Rustic Winter Engagement Party

Rachel and Hugh's Engagement Party Collage

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life -Confucius (smart guy)

I feel this is never more true for me than when I’m working on decorations for a loved one. One of my best friends since we were 13 recently got engaged to her beau and her mom wanted to throw her an engagement party right after Christmas while friends and family were in town for the holidays. This made a very busy month for me between Christmas shopping and working on decorations, but I loved every minute of it.

I wanted a winter theme that would tie in the Christmas decorations that would still be around the house for the party. I went with a winter woodland theme with birch trees and pops of red and turquoise.

These beautiful invitations were ordered from Oh Happiness Cards on Etsy. Everyone loved the back detail!

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I purchased these awesome birch tree straws for the mimosas at the party, simply displayed in mason jars with ribbon.

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Speaking of mason jars, I also used them as accents around the house filled with cranberries and floating candles.

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Along with mimosas, we also served coffee and tea, so I made custom hot cup sleeve covers with a birch tree stamp and the couple’s initials.

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I love the way covering cups and bottles with printed paper makes them that much more special. I created little custom labels for the champagne bottles that made them really stand out.

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I decorated the drink table with a painted burlap banner.

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And I added a little festivity to the doorway with simple paper cones strung between the dining room and living room

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Something I don’t usually tackle for parties (except those I host) is desserts. For this party I actually made two desserts- a cake and sugar cookies.

First the cake: chocolate with vanilla icing, decorated with cranberries and rosemary

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With a custom burlap cake topper!

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The cookies are of Vermont, with a little sprinkle heart on Burlington where Rachel and Hugh met and fell in love.

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(These gave me a very hard time. I wished I could teleport Clara to help me!)

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Thankfully, the cake went easy on me.

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Love the birch round I found at Michaels to use as a cake stand!

Lastly, I painted a sign for the couple that sums up the feeling going into the new year and celebrating their lives together.

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Love you guys!

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Friendsgiving 2013

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Every year my friends and I make a point to get together around the holidays to celebrate our friendship in the midst of family gatherings and the general busyness that occurs this time of year.

I offered to host Friendsgiving this year, choosing blue, orange and gold for the decorations. I made a few simple things that created a festive atmosphere for the grown-ups to sip white sangria and the littles to run around/lay about bringing joy to our growing friend-family.

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I used paint to add color to the setup, including the vase filler, gold accents on the orange votives, and giving a few little pumpkins a colorful makeover.

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I made the banners with brown card stock and paint, and found some pretty orange flowers to brighten up the table.

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Finally, I sent my friends home with simmer jar favors filled with oranges, cinnamon and cloves so they can continue the festivity in their own homes.

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I’m so thankful for the good people in my life. Enjoy celebrating with yours.

 

Harry Potter-Inspired Halloween Bash

What do you do when your roommates suggest that you all host a Halloween party a week in advance? You say “heck yes” and immediately start drawing decorating inspiration from your favorite series of all time, Harry Potter!

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Given that I only had a week to get decorations together, I utilized free Harry Potter printables that I found on Pinterest. If this had been a client’s party I would have designed my own, but I am fine with taking a shortcut for myself. I printed out a “Happy Haunting” banner and several drink labels that I used with bottles I had around the house.

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I was also able to squeeze in a trip to the dollar store to get a couple other Harry Potterish decorations, like a little owl and a skull that I painted black and dripped a candle on top.

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For food, my roommates helped make some fun snacks, including witches broomsticks, witches hats, and these adorable owl cupcakes.

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And I finally got to make my own Butterbeer! I found the recipe here. It was a big hit!

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I know I’m not the only person who loves taking pictures, so I made a simple photo backdrop for people to pose in front of.

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And since this was an adult party, I made a giant Harry Potter Drinking Game. Don’t make fun of my little drawings (or do, it’s fine).

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And, finally, a minimalist Harry Potter pumpkin.

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Yes, that is a wand. And, no, I did not buy it for the party…

In case you were wondering, I did not do a Harry Potter themed costume. I couldn’t get a cape in time. Maybe next year!

 

Navy Blue and Lime Green Bachelorette Party

Liz Collage

I’m a firm believer that a bachelorette party doesn’t have to be tacky. But it is a great opportunity for a bride-to-be to have a lot of fun with her closest friends. To celebrate her sister Liz’s impending nuptials, my friend Clara (of Reckless in the Kitchen) asked me to design decorations that incorporated Liz’s wedding colors (navy blue, lime green and white) and would make her bachelorette party feel special.

Since this was another party that would need to be portable, I used mainly card stock and ribbon to put together decorations that would add a lot of color to the final tablescape.

For favors, I decorated wine glasses with the initials of the guests. For the bride, I did “E&J” on one side (for Elizabeth and James) with their wedding date on the other side.

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To make wine bottles more festive, but without having to remove and relabel the bottles, I made wine bottle cards that slipped over the bottles.

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The banner was made with card stock and decorative nautilus shells, which Liz loves.

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I also added tissue paper garland to decorate the table.

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I made cupcake toppers with paper flowers I found at Michael’s, which I also used to decorate mason jar wraps. My circle punch came in handy for these items, as well as for table confetti.

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Lime green apples for a nice Fall tie-in 🙂

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Here’s the table all set up, which Clara will recreate for Liz’s party. Congrats Liz!

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Graduation Party Decorations, To-Go

Best Pics

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!