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Featured on Creative Party Place!

1 Feb

My modern red, black and white bridal shower is being mini-featured today, along with several other adorable baby showers, on Shannon Dow’s Creative Party Place! The site displays some amazingly creative diy hostess parties and is one of my favorite blogs to peruse for ideas.

Shannon Dow is also a fab blog template designer who runs Eight Crazy Design. (*Hint* you can pick-up some free handwriting fonts from her page.)

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Divine Ducky Baby Shower

26 Aug

Hostess With the Mostess has some of the cutest baby shower decor ideas on the web. I first ran across the site looking for ideas for a baby shower when I spotted this great Bubbly Ducky Baby Shower spread.

Considering that we had over 40 guests, I couldn’t quite set up the tables in such a beautiful way without shelling out some serious cash. So here’s my take on a more bugdet friendly version for a large number of guests.

Event: Baby Shower

Guests: 45

Budget: $253 ($165 without gift bags)

Discount fabric stores and wholesale florists that are open to the public are two of my favorite places to browse for inspiration and fantastic deals. I found some great brown fabric for $1 per yard so I bought 15 yds (just in case) and used them as table covers, for the dessert bar and other miscellaneous table tops. I also bought some pretty bright blue disposable table covers, paper plates and cups ($40 total) to break up the brown a bit.

For the centerpieces, I tweaked the Hostess’ design a bit and came up with this:

Centerpieces

Centerpieces

It’s not the best picture, but you get the idea. Four of these were sufficient for the tables and they were really easy and fun to make. Since I already had the bubbleball glass bowl vases (well, I only had one, but I borrowed some from family) they were really inexpensive.  The bowls are pretty cheap though, around $5 or so. Save-on-Crafts has them starting at $2.99 for the 4  3/4″ vases.

Packets of Styrofoam balls, if I remember right, in 1″, 1  1/2″ and 2″ sizes were about $10 total. The Styrofoam balls come in packets so there were some left over for future projects too 🙂 The clear balls, which I just found out are really called clear fillable ornament balls , came in two pieces.  (For another party, I filled them with small flowers and hung them from a tree.) Michael’s had them at $1 a piece for the 2″ and  3″ sizes, so I bought 12.

The rubber duckies in, various sizes and colors (pink, purple, blue, yellow, and green), came in a packet of 12 from K-Mart for $10 a bag. Two of those were plenty.

We mixed the water and food coloring in a pitcher, to make sure all the centerpieces had the same coloring, added a little water to each bowl, dropped in the balls and topped it all off with a ducky.

I think the floral centerpieces came out great and here’s where the good florist comes in handy. We asked ours what was in season and well priced. She suggested ranunculas, aka Persian Buttercups.  She also told us that white stock flowers were also always a good choice and that she had an overstock of pink roses. The total for 2 dozen pink roses, 6 stems of ranunculus and one batch of white stock was around $33. For this version, I bought Wet Oasis floral foam ( 4 bricks for $5), prepped the foam and stuck in the flowers. To conceal the edges I got some leaves from a neighbor’s yard, bent them in half and attached them to the foam with toothpicks and green floral wire, voila!

Cookie Bar

Cookie Bar

For the second centerpiece, I lined the sides of the vase with the leaves, filled it with water and some foam to keep the leaves in place and then arranged the flowers. The unopened ranunculus looked great as a kind of frame around the flowers.

Top View

Top View

Side View

Side View

Four packets of ice blue vase gems ($1.20 for a packet of 24) scattered around different tabletops gave them a little extra oomph.

Since it was more of a bring the whole family co-ed baby shower, some blue gift bags filled with goodies from the dollar store for the kids kept them occupied and happy…for about 10 minutes anyway 😉 For the adults, we used the same bags but filled them with adult goodies, like an orchid from Costco or a travel set from Bath and Body Works. You can kind of see them in the background of this picture.

BS Gift Bags

Total cost for 8 kid’s gift bag $4o and 4 adult gift bags $48. (We splurged a little here, but who really needs another vanilla scented candle or Dollar Store fake gold frame! That’s actually one of my pet peeves about party favors. They don’t have to be extravagant or anything but sometimes it just feels like people get things for the sake of getting them and end up wasting money on something the guest will eventually throw out. My rule of thumb, NO TRINKETS! Unless it’s a destination wedding and you’re giving guests more of a souvenir. That’s why I love plants, edibles, travel size soaps or lotions instead. Actually, I just realized a small pot of basil of lavender would be a really great idea for a gift bag! I’m off my soap box now.)

Well, thanks for visiting! Let me know if you have any ideas you’d like to share or try out.

Ducky Baby Shower Cake

Setting up the dessert table

Setting up the dessert table

Love the lighting in this pic!

Love the lighting in this pic!

Budget Bridal Shower

23 Aug

Coffee and crafts...

Coffee and crafts, my two addictions...

My first blog! I recently had the very fun honor of decorating a bridal shower for the most amazing cousin-in-law/friend a girl could ask for. I love decorating for events and do so every chance I get, regardless of whether I have to beg, borrow, but not quite steal (do leaves from a neighbor’s garden count?) to get it all done. There have been so many amazing blogs and sites that I’ve drawn inspiration from that I really wanted to share my take on a modern and romantic bridal shower on a budget. I hope you enjoy it!

Event: Bridal Shower

Budget: $195

Guests: 38

I usually start with an inspiration board (or nine) to get the creative juices flowing. I wanted the shower to really reflect the bride, who is a perfect mix of girly and fun. I imagined that she would love something very pink and black, with feathers and lots of glamorous details. So I created some inspiration boards and sent them out to the other bridesmaids to get some feedback. Unfortunately I already deleted them but I’ll try to post some others in future blogs.

One of the girls was really partial to a “cherry” theme board that I made and after looking at her bridal registry I realized that her decorating style seemed to have a much more modern and sleek sensibility. (I’d never even thought of referring to her registry to get ideas for the décor!) So here’s the really quick board I did for that one:

cherry themeI really loved the table setting and wanted to figure out how to emulate it a little more economically. The red chiavari chairs, which I love, would have eaten up the entire budget and were not easy to track down.  So instead I focused on how I could get crafty and have a similar effect.

I happened to run across this gorgeous Chanel paper flower runway decor, which made me really want to do something with paper flowers.

Chanel Runway 1

Chanel Runway 2

I wish I had had the time and talent to do these, but I settled on something a little easier:

red paper flower

Even though I’d originally wanted to use various vases with red fabric wrapped around them, I thought these looked fun and unique, and they fit the look of my inspiration table setting. They’re surprisingly easy to make and very inexpensive, around $2.50 for a pack of red tissue paper, I bought 4 and still have some left over. I also had a bunch of white tissue paper so those were free 🙂 Here’s a quick link on how to make them:

http://www.howcast.com/videos/288-How-To-Make-Tissue-Paper-Flowers

I used paper clips, and when I ran out twist ties, instead of the pipe cleaners. I also experimented with different cuts instead of the v-shape and I think it’s easier to cut once folded.

I made three large and three small flowers for each table and extras to place around the room and on the food and drink tables.

For the runners, I bought red fabric from a local discount fabric store on sale for $2 per yard. (We ended up buying around 16 yds, so around $32 total) I measured and cut the fabric and used fabric glue and an iron to clean up the seams.

The paper plates were from Target,  (around $35 total, including napkins)and I bought the favor boxes from Michael’s in a diy kit from the Brides collection for $20. We stuffed these with tissue paper and Ferraro Rocher chocolates totaling $40. (Damn those things are yummy!)

We used paper napkins and folded them like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHkbOV_OeOo

Then I created a monogram and designs for a simple napkin holder and printed them on heavy weight paper for a customized feel.

Here’s how it came together:

Table Setup

I ended up putting the napkins on the plate and placing the favors on the table though and you can kind of see the napkin rings on the bottom left hand side of the picture.

To fill up a large empty wall I created a “tree” using construction paper I bought in packets of red, black and white for $3.75 a packet. Using a circle cutter I cut 2″, 3″ and 5″ circles and free-hand cut the trunk and branches as I went along. Th only thing I wish I’d done differently was to use double sided tape instead of just taping over everything, but it was late and by the time I realized it was going to work (I originally intended to test drive it first) I was too tired to redo the whole thing. Here’s how that came out:

Tree

We also seriously scored on the paper lanterns as a friend had some left over from her wedding and we used those, hanging I think somewhere around 40 overall. (Thank you my wonderful hubby for hanging most of those and my awesome MIL for helping so much and putting up with my craziness, lol!)

I was loving the little circles, so in the middle of another wall by the entry I wrote:

Now that we’re

all gathered inside

share some words

of advice for the bride

I taped white circles all around it, making sure not to go too high. It was really fun (and a little tear jerking) to read what everyone wrote. Here’s my mom giving her advice:

Mom Giving Advice

I also made another sign for the front that read:

She’s all grown up

but still giggling with glee

come in and celebrate

the sweetest bride to be…

Both of those were inspired from the wording in her invitations (I’ll try to post pictures later).

The bride’s aunt also made this fun cake for her and let me tell ya, it tasted as good as it looked!

Cake

TP Brides

The Beautiful Bride-to-be and her TP court

The paper flowers ended up doubling as decorations in one of the games we played too 🙂

Oh, I almost forgot the signature drink (and the only place the original cherry idea was actually incorporated), cherry limeaid margaritas. We almost ran out, and considering how much we made, I think they were a hit.

Scaled down recipe for cherry limeade margaritas:

1  1/2 pounds of frozen unsweetened cherries, thawed and drained.

1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups water

5 oz tequila

2.5 oz triple sec

In a blender, combine cherries, lime juice, and sugar; whirl until smooth. Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher extracting as much liquid as possible; discard residue. Stir in 3 cups cold water, tequila and triple sec and serve over ice.

We bought red roses in bulk at Costco for $24. We put those in front of the fireplace and in the sconces above the mantle. We also got a mixed bouquet there for $12 and used it near the entry. I used some of the flowers from the mix in the bathroom too. The bride’s awesome brother and his amazing girlfriend hooked us up with free chairs and tables too!

Here are some more random pictures:

Overall 1

Overall 2

Overall 3

I think that about covers it. Thanks so much for bearing with me through my first post! Up next: A Father’s Day BBQ celebration…

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