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Double Corked!

25 Mar

So here is another salute to all those hard-earned corks you have lying around in drawers, underneath tables, floating in the pool, on the roof…errr…maybe we shouldn’t mention that night, but, well, you get the drift.  We all have these around, and usually end up tossing them.  However, before you toss this time, take a look at these creative upcycling ideas for cork stoppers.   Going green doesn’t have to be hard– especially when it is accompanied by a nice full-bodied red.  Please follow the links below to the photo owners and tutorials!   Check out the original post Corked! for more ideas!

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Corked!

28 Jan


And you thought the fun only started when you popped that cork!  Now you can upcycle all your months of hard partying (…er…work) by reusing all your old corks as wine glass charms for your guests!  A Charmed Life has a wonderful tutorial (with pictures!!) on their website that will guide you through how to create these little jewels.  Their final product is pictured above.  So, remember, when you open your next bottle for a party, you are technically saving the environment.  You rock.

Snowman Cookies!

15 Jan

Definitely wish I  stumbled upon these quirky melted snowman cookies a month ago!   Crazy Domestic has a great tutorial that will give step-by-step instructions on how to create these little guys.  Although the season is over, these will be awesome for next year (I couldn’t wait a whole year to share these)!  [Photo courtesy of Crazy Domestic]

Writing on the Wall…err..Wine Glass

7 Jan

Ever put your glass down at a party never to find it again?  Problem no more!  The blog Just Short of Crazy and MollyO came up with a stellar way to literally mark your own glass. Chalkboard paint on the bottom on the glasses allows guests to create their own moniker for their glass.  Although wine glasses were only highlighted, this can be most likely be painted on a beer mug, champagne glass, etc.  Much more sophisticated than the red plastic cup and a permanent marker.  Your guests will love it.

Warm Welcomes

17 Dec

It is that time of year when the holiday parties are coming in droves.  Each weekend has (or will be) claimed from here until New Years.  If you are lucky enough to host your own, you want to make sure to welcome your guests right at the start!  Here are some fun, festive, and quirky front door mats that will certainly impress, if not begin, some chatter at your party.  Most listed are made from coir (coconut husks) and are environmentally considerate.

Fun & Festive

 …festive doormat depicts red birds and white branches against a blue sky. Simple, silhouetted shapes make for a modern design, while sustainable and absorbent coir minimizes damage to both the environment and the doorstep.

…leftover birch twigs and branches that would otherwise be burned and slice them into cross-sections to expose their growth rings and beautiful, natural coloring. The disks are sanded smooth and mounted on a water-resistant backing. (INDOOR USE ONLY)

…A peaceful forest of evergreens is dotted with white snowflakes on a natural background. This easy-care, durable doormat is a great way to welcome guests to your home.

 

…Crafted from coir, a sustainable material made from the husk of a coconut, this durable Reindeer Doormat is great for high-traffic entryways.

Quirky

…This natural coir doormat tells your guests to “beware of dog,” right down to the bite taken out of the corner. The 100% natural coir mat if fade resistant and vinyl-backed…

…Give guests a laugh with this good-humored, mind-boggling doormat that reads differently depending on whether you are walking in or out of the house. Carefully designed letters read “Come In” from one angle and “Go Away” when flipped…

A Better Thanksgiving Kids’ Table

20 Nov

The weather knows it, the leaves know it, and children definitely know it. What is it you ask? Well, it is the beginning of that magical holiday season, of course! And what better to start that season with friends and family than with the all important Thanksgiving dinner. As soon as Halloween is over, the kids begin preparing day in and day out at school with traced hand turkeys, feathers, and glitter– apparently a very important fashion statement for pilgrim belt buckles. So, why not reward all that hard scissor work with a table all their own at the Thanksgiving feast? Here are some ideas to make your children’s table seem less like an after thought and more like the place to be!

The Table

Pumpkin Table Weights

Turkey Place mat (with tutorial!)

Thanksgiving Themed Finger Puppet Favors (with tutorial!)

The Activities

Thanksgiving Coloring Place mat (with tutorial!) Checkout Crayola’s site for more free coloring book ideas!

Pine Cone Crayon Holder (with tutorial!)

Pilgrim Hat Holder (with tutorial!)

The Goodies

Oreo Turkeys (with awesome tutorial!)

Acorns (with how-to)

Corn Cookie (with how-to)

Hopefully these wonderful ideas help jump start your kids’ table and make the adults try to sneak a seat over with the kiddos. As a note, adjust all the ideas accordingly for different age groups. Remember that happy entertained kids also means happy entertained adults. Happy planning and Happy Thanksgiving!

Lord of the UN-Rings: An Ode to Coasters

6 Nov

After that last drop of wine is gone, the last finger foods nibbled, and the last guest happily wanders out, you just want to enjoy the night and clean up in the morning– BUT WAIT– what about all those dripping glasses all over your new wood furniture?!  Whose idea was it to serve ice?!  Call it ‘Lord of the UN-Rings,’ but no one wants to wake up to three dozen tennis-ball-sized rings all over their coffee table after an awesome soiree. One thing is a must: COASTERS.

Coasters do not have to be overindulged nor do they have to be boring.  For example, a creative way for guests to never forget their coaster is to actually attach the coaster to the glass!  DimmalimmHome has made these adorable coasters that slip over the bottom of stemware and come in a variety of colors and are for sale on Etsy.

The next coaster would be great for a game night or a book club: Scrabble Coasters.   Again, this little jewel comes from Etsy and is by MadeByMarcy.  I guarantee this will be a conversation starter especially if guests do not know one another!  For you DIY-ers out there, here is a tutorial to make your own Scrabble Coasters.

A project I would like to give a whirl for a larger party is DIY coasters.  Design Sponge had a great idea that is economical and can be customized.  I think they look like little crackers and would look great with a cheese, crackers, and wine spread!  Or maybe sewing or stenciling on different designs to customize for any holiday or festivity!

And another DIY coaster that is a little more substantial is made from 4 x 4 ceramic tiles.  I think this is cute for little hostess gifts or small friend gifts since they can be completely customized.  One bride even used it as a creative place card for her wedding [photo: Era Photography, Inc.].  Directions on how to make these little jewels can be found over at On the Journey. On that site is a great step by step tutorial with images.

Remember, the more visible the coasters are, the more likely your guests will use them.  Using ones like those mentioned above and placing them on most flat surfaces, people are guaranteed to see them and get the hint. Now you will be free to mingle and the only thing you will have to worry about now is your husband’s work friend trying to organize an impromptu karaoke contest– but at least your wood furniture will won’t be hurt, just your ears.  Happy party planning!

Smile! You’ve Been Framed!

20 Jun

Lowes Creative Ideas Giant Frame

A fun and easy project that can be used at family reunions, weddings, birthdays, or a myriad of events is from Lowes’ Creative Ideas.  You take insulation board (I believe there is a light pink and a light blue version that would work well), cut it out using Lowes’ giant picture frame template found on their website here, and then paint it!  Their website recommends using a jigsaw, but if you are careful and patient, you can carve the design out with an Olfa knife.  You could even make some ‘happy’ mistakes that make the frame more your own.  You can also make smaller sized frames.

This would make a great holiday card and the kids can even help decorate the frame for whatever holiday you choose.

The giant frame can also be used as a moving announcement: the frame and new homeowners are in the foreground and house in the background.  Or try the idea below for a father’s, mother’s, or grandparent’s day card.

Use several different shots with the same (or different) frame in a series for the card to really capture the quirky air of the frame.

Frame

Lowes Creative Ideas Giant Frame Father's Day

Bachelorette Bash

16 May

For some oddball reason when we chose our wedding date, it was only two weeks after my graduation from graduate school.  Not to mention that I was planning it in my hometown which was a 2 and a half hour drive away.  That meant, between 16 credit hours and thesis writing, we had to go down practically every weekend to plan food, the venue, the flowers…well, you get the idea.

So, some little things fell through the cracks like my bachelorette party.  My bridesmaids were scattered throughout the state and the country, and two of them, to top it off, were getting married the month after my wedding.  We were all stressed out and pressed for time.  My then fiance stepped up and planned my bachelorette party.  There was just a mass party invite on Facebook, which included boys and girls, and mostly involved people in the area since I sent it out a week before hand.  I had a great time– don’t get me wrong– but after attending other people’s more planned parties, I took on the challenge to see what I could have come up with and ideas that would have been fun to do.  I am still working on a budget since it has just become a habit to me now.

Themes

Some themes that aren’t too tacky or expensive:

  • Black & White Party. This is where all invited guests must wear black or white and the bride (and maybe the bridesmaids too) wear a vibrant color.  The theme would work well since every girl has the iconic black dress somewhere on hand.  Works well if you are going out on the town.
    • IDEA: I would then have either bright feathers and ribbons to attach on the guests to signify they are with the party. Like a pin or something easy to make and it could be a favor as well.  Activities help people who know the bride well, but maybe not the other guests– it can act as an icebreaker.
  • Destiny Revealed Party: This might involved a little bit of money if you were to hire a fortune teller to tell all the guests futures.  The decorcould involve lava lamps, beaded doorways, and a crystal ball.
    • IDEA: A set bag of questions that a magic eight ball would reveal and help the girls meet one another.  This would be if you were not leaving the site and were there the entire night.
  • Brides-Night-In: This idea seems really fun, again, if you can swing hiring someone.  The night would be contained in a residence or somewhere large enough to host a slew of girly things:
    • Hiring a pole dancer to teach your guests pole dancing would be fun or know somewhere to go that offers pole dancing lessons;
    • Hosting a passion party (its something to giggle at, but at the end of the night, the representative will most likely expect people to buy products which could put off some people)
    • Hire a belly dancer to give lessons to everyone.
  • Sparkling Party: My maid of honor did this for her party.  Everyone who attended was asked to wear head to toe sparkly- sequins, fake jewelry, anything that would be fun and bright.  At her house before hand, we made more glittery stuff from little gems and feathers to wear out.  This is a nice cheap way to get everyone involved and it made for some great pictures!
  • Girls Night Out on the Town: Do the typical games and presents at someone’s home or hotel room, then go out on the town with the girls.  This one could escalate in price if you go wild on food, decorations, and game props.

Invitations

Facebook invites are good and all, but I really enjoy the paper kind of invitation.  There is a wide variety of invitations that range from tea party to explicit.  I would like to cultivate the European idea of sexy as opposed to the American idea (i.e., slutty).

I like Brandy Seitz’s (how to instructions on link) lace up invitation via make-your-own-invitations blog.

Invitation Total: 95¢

Investment Purchases Total: $28.68

Creating this invitation will be a bit higher if you do not already have some of the tools needed.  You could always skip the eyelets and just punch holes, but I think you would looks the tied look a bit.  For the price, I would assume that the eyelet kit and hole puncher are investment products simply because you can use them for other projects.

  • Eyelet Puncher with Eyelets: $24.49
  • Hole Puncher: $4.19
  • Ribbon: $1.72/roll (I would say 3-4 cards per roll, so 43¢/card)
  • Card Stock: $12.99/25 pack of 12″x12″ or 52¢/sheet (I like this neat sparkly card stock, but the linen will be good too)

IDEA: The insert could have a fish net stocking stretched across it as a belly band or maybe surrounding the entire invitation.

IDEA: Since the invitation invokes a lingerie aura, then the invitation should suggest that guests bring something for the bride to wear, or use, on her honeymoon.

Looks

Outfit Total: $110.06

  • The dress from Forever21 is something I normally wouldn’t wear, but a girls night out deserves something a bit more fun for $27.80.
  • Next, the earrings would be something slightly sparkly like these from Express for $19.50.
  • The bangle is something I am starting to like.  This one is from Forever21 as well for $5.80.
  • The clutch is something that should add to the dress, but not be missed when your out dancing.  This one is from Target and goes for $16.99.
  • I love a cute pair of black heels and these look like they could be dressed up or down from Tilly’s for $39.97.

Another look that would go well with the sparkly theme:

Outfit Total: $122.99

  • The dress is flashy but understated from Express for $69.50.
  • The shoes are still sparkly, but doesn’t take away from the dress from Target at $22.99.
  • The earrings and bracelet are stylish and can be worn again from Forever21 both for $5.80.
  • The clutch ties everything together for $18.90.

Decor & Favors

I think even if you are only staying a few hours at someone’s house or a meeting spot that can be decorated, do it.  It provides a fun backdrop to pictures, and most decorations can be reused for another person’s party.

  • The favors mirror the lingerie party theme, and offer to be decorations on the tables for $20.28/12 or $1.69 ea. (comes in an assortment of colors).
  • A another cute idea to call out the bride is a personalized sash that could be bought by bridesmaids as a gift since it is $24.50 ea.
  • The Candlesare an easy inexpensive project.
    • Purchase varying sizes of pillar candles (these can double as favors/prizes for games) at $5.24 for 8″ candles.
    • Cut out the desired paper size to wrap around and attach with either spray adhesive or two sided tape.
    • Use your newly purchased eyelet puncher and kit to duplicate the look of the invitations.
    • Lace ribbon through.
    • You can embellish the edges with pearl ribbon or jewels– just remember to keep it is a candle and things can catch fire!
    • IDEA: Place inexpensive mirror tiles (at Walmart) underneath the candles and the boas and sprinkle with sparkly confetti to complete the tablescape.
  • Feather Boas are easy as displays on tables and also can be worn once you leave to party (image via blog australiaentertains).  I would use sparingly since one 6′ feather boa runs about $9.99.

On the Menu

For the bar, there can be several different serving options to choose from:

  • Make-your-own
    • Provide a selection of alcohol and mixers, maybe a blender, for people to dabble.
    • Provide various fruits to mix in like limes, lemons, strawberries, etc…
    • Place suggested drink recipes on cards near the ingredients.
  • Made-to-order
    • Either have pitchers of sangria, mimosas, or other easy to mix drinks on the table.
    • If you have a friend willing to man the bar, have them make mixed drinks in the blender from a selection of drinks for the guests.
    • Place cards of what you are offering that evening that coordinate with your decor.
  • Remember to include staples like wines, beer, and sodas.

  1. Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail
  2. Sangria Blanco
  3. Plastic Glasses at $11.99/25 or 48¢ ea.
  4. Red Headed Slut shot (could change it to whatever color the bachelorette is) Ingredients: 1.5 oz Jägermeister,1.5 oz Peach schnapps,Fill with Cranberry juice
  5. Vodka Ginger Lemonade
  6. Cosmo Slushie
  7. Jello Shots (The link has some good recipes for jello shots). Don’t forget the Shot Glasses! The glasses could be customized with stencils.

For the nibblers on the table, Myrecipes.com suggests:

“Most bachelorette parties end up with the guests out on the town for a second round. Serve some simple but sophisticated food that will get the evening started without much prep time. The girls won’t be too full to party, but will have enough to keep going. To make the most of the time catching up with friends, choose food that’s easily eaten without utensils. Finger foods move with the girls as they mingle through the party.”

  • The cake is something that is a little unexpected: you will need a cleaned Ken doll and different sizes of cake rounds.  You can easily make little outfit and miniature paper money to stick in his hands.  This is especially good when you do not have a stripper, or want one.

Decorating a house without a house

20 Apr

As I hungrily await for our time to by a house, I find fun little tidbits online. I’m thinking of many different rooms when I search. I found this IKEA light where you can add anything you want into the outside cylinder.  How great would this be in a kids bedroom?  You could have toy cars or little Barbie doll shoes, and then as they age, you can change it out with more teenager things, like shredded paper or money.  It says dry items only, but if you use mineral oil–a non-conductive liquid– it should be okay.

Ikea PS Pendant Light

I also saw a theme for a baby’s room that was a hot air balloon theme (not tacky).  It was minimalist and graphic. Loves!

EXPEDIT Desk

This desk unit includes a detachable desk with expandable shelving.  How great is that???  Everyone always needs more space for all their crap..I mean “treasures.”  I think placed in a guest room or a kids room as a craft station would be the best use.  Little boxes and trinkets would be highlighted.

The problem with Ikea though, is you better be able to lift this by yourself or have your sig other come and put it together for you.  The price you pay for cheapness!