Recently we hosted a birthday party for my mother-in-law, Annie, at our house. I wanted to add some personalization and a few punches of color to the party, and I decided it was the perfect occasion to pull out a couple of my quick DIY tricks.
Are you throwing a birthday party, shower or even a wedding soon? I have a couple of fun, easy ideas to add some personality to your party. The best part: They cost less than $10 and take less than an hour to make. Have fun!
Project 1: DIY personalized paper banner
Paper banners are a fun way to add some personalization and color to your gift table or dessert area. They’re simple to make and can be created using supplies that you already have in a matter of minutes.
I used the following supplies, which I already had. From start to finish, this project took me about 25 minutes.
+ 5-7 sheets of white cardstock paper (letter-sized)
+ Hole punch
+ Color printer
1. First, I designed 4-inch by 4-inch squares using Adobe Illustrator. I used a chevron pattern for the background design and picked a bold font for my lettering. I laid out 4 squares per letter-sized cardstock sheet. Each square had one letter or number in it to spell out "60 H-A-P-P-Y B-D-A-Y 60" and "60 A-N-N-I-E 60"
2. Next, I printed out the designs on my color printer and cut them all down to squares using scissors (a paper cutter or exacto knife would also work).
If you don't have the software or a color printer:
A. Instead of designing your own background and lettering, you can download a free, generic happy birthday or congratulations banner template that I designed.
B. Go to a craft store and buy about six 12-by-12 sheets of your favorite scrapbook paper, along with large scrapbook letter stickers or foam letter stickers, at least 2 inches tall. Cut the squares to the desired size and stick the appropriate letter to the appropriate square.
3. After I cut out all of my squares, I hole-punched two holes at the top of each square in the upper corners for the ribbon to be strung through.
4. Next, I looped my ribbon through the holes until I had each letter/square placed. You can slide the squares as needed along the ribbon to get the desired spacing. For best results, use a ½-inch to ¾-inch ribbon.
5. I hammered a small nail to hold the two ribbon ends in place in the wall (you can also use tacks, heavy-duty tape or adhesive). Note: You can use one ribbon, or multiple ribbons like I did. If using multiple strands, tape or tie the ends of the shorter stands to the strand above it. If the top strand is nailed, it will be sturdy enough to hold the extra weight of the second strand.
Extra tip: Use the holes that you punched from your squares as confetti (I punched out holes from some extra squares for even more confetti!).
Project 2: DIY custom cupcake stand
Cupcake stands can display anything from desserts to appetizers. Create yours custom using materials you have or thrift-store finds. I went to Savers Thrift Store in Olathe and scoured the shelves for some interesting cupcake-stand parts. Here’s what I grabbed:
+ Various candlesticks
+ Coordinating plates in various sizes
+ Epoxy (yes, I actually found an unopened tube at the thrift store but decided to buy another tube at a craft store just in case)
You’ll also need spray paint in a color you choose. (Note: Most spray paints are not food-safe. I did not spray paint the plates, just the candlesticks).
1. Wash the materials thoroughly.
2. Once dry, spray-paint two candlesticks in coordinating colors. (I picked a cheery yellow.) Do two even coats.
3. Once that’s dry, coat the candlestick top with the epoxy. Let it stand two minutes, then attach the candlestick to the plate. Wait 1-2 minutes for each epoxy application to set. Continue to epoxy each tier until you have the desired amount of tiers. Use the largest plate on the bottom of the stand and the smallest one on top.
I’ve made one-, two-and three-tiered stands, but the possibilities are endless! You can play with designs and colors to match the occasion.
I hope that you find these tips useful at your next party! Stay tuned for more Oh So Lovely entertaining tips.
Audrey Kuether is the creative force behind Oh So Lovely, a Kansas City-based graphic design, photography and event planning company. She specializes in wedding design, photography and styling and planning. She'll lend her entertaining expertise every month for KC Magazine's Web-only blog.