Graduation Party Decorations, To-Go

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When my friend Jill asked me to make decorations for her sister Erin’s college graduation party, I was thrilled. The only problem was that I couldn’t attend- I had a wedding the same day! My challenge was to make decorations that would make a big impact, but that were also portable and easy to set up by Jill and her family. Challenge accepted!

I focused on decorations that would add color and festivity to the main party area, the food table. I decided on four main decorations: a banner, hanging paper poms, mini pom cupcake toppers, and appetizer flags.

Erin’s school colors were white and gold, and her favorite color is blue, so I used those three colors as my palette (I cheated a bit by using yellow instead of gold). For the banner, I liked the idea of having tassels hanging from the letters, which I created using strips of tissue paper.

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For the letters, I made accordion circles with colored paper and freehand-cut the letters.

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I used yellow, white and blue tissue paper for the large paper poms, and blue tissue paper for the pom cupcake toppers.

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I kept everything flat for traveling, and then Jill and her mom fluffed everything up for the party. Huge thanks to Jill for taking these pictures of everything set up!

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I was so happy to contribute to Erin’s day from afar. Congrats again, Erin!

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DIY Fourth of July

I grew up in a town that made a big deal over the Fourth of July. We held claim to the largest parade in the state, followed by a pretty great fireworks display that everyone in town would gather to watch on the common by the lake.

Boston, of course, has it’s own Fourth of July celebrations, but this year I wasn’t up for jostling with the crowds to get a good spot on the esplanade to watch the fireworks show. I decided that instead I would throw a casual get-together at my house, and get a little crafty in the process. Of course, I decided this two days ahead of time, so a large part of the planning was scouring my house for things I could use to make a little setup on my porch.

I thought I was going to melt putting up the decorations, but I was happy with how it turned out.

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Believe it or not, the only thing I had to purchase was tissue paper to make the blue circles (and the food!). Granted, I tend to have a lot of supplies around, but for this setup the main decoration was actually patterned paper that I printed out. I used it for the toothpick flags and to wrap the vases for the flowers.

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For food, I kept it simple with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes on french bread, strawberries and blueberries, chips and salsa, raspberry creme cookies, and, of course, Twizzlers. We made hamburgers later in the day.

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I also made a simple drink with cranberry juice and seltzer, modeled by my very pregnant friend in her pretty matching dress.

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Two other paper decorations I threw together were simple flags that I stenciled stars onto with a silver Sharpie:

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And a cute “America the beautiful” sign that I created in Word and framed.

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I might do a tutorial on the tissue paper circles, but they are very simple. If you have ever made a paper pom, you’re already way ahead of the game because these are even easier.

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The silver star was a decoration from Christmas, and all the plates, candles and vases were things I had lying around. All in all, it was a fun little project that made for a festive and laid-back Fourth.

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Over the Moon Baby Shower

When I found out that one of my best friends was expecting her first baby, I was over the moon excited. I knew I wanted to do something special for her shower that reflected my friend’s style and celebrated her soon-to-be baby girl.

With the theme “Over the Moon” in mind, I set to work. First, I ordered invitations from Etsy from a wonderful and helpful seller, http://www.sweetbellastationery.com.

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Once the invitations were sent, I started working on a few extras for the event. First, I made individual 4×6 cards for guests to fill out that would serve as a guest book for the mommy-to-be. Once they were filled out I put them in a little photo album for her to keep.

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I also wanted to do something to keep people engaged and entertained while the presents were being opened. I took inspiration from Pinterest and created these simple Bingo boards.

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A game is no fun without prizes, but instead of making up goodie bags I decided to kill two birds with one stone and incorporate the prizes into the table centerpieces. The winners of Bingo went home with these adorable succulents that I planted in cute pots from Michael’s, and they were a huge hit (there might even have been a couple cheaters trying to get the plants first!).

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I kept things simple with yellow flowers and babies breath in mason jars. Oh, and those fun little plants on the table are moon cacti! (Get it? Over the Moon? 🙂 ). I already knew I was having succulents on the table, so when I found out that moon cacti existed (and were adorable) I knew I needed them for favors. I wrapped them in little pieces of fabric and tied moons and tags thanking everyone for coming.

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Since we had the shower at a restaurant, I didn’t have to worry about food or setting up the tables. The staff were wonderful and so helpful. The last thing to take care of was also the most fun: the cake!

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The mom-to-be’s very talented cousin made the cake, and I popped in my hand-made topper to complete it. The topper was created using iron-on letters, felt balls, and a lot of love.

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We had a great time at what ended up being a fun and stress-free event. Most importantly, the mommy loved it!

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