It’s not too late to start the new year off right with some inspirational goals. This subway art from Eye Candy Event Details should get you started down the right path.
Do of Piggy Bank Parties offered a great post the other day, thanking the other party folk who inspired her in 2011. (Read it here.) Do’s blog, Oink is “a place where we could help people plan and execute easy, fun and memorable parties on a Piggy Bank budget. Check out Oink!, the Piggy Bank Parties’ blog, for insider tips, recipes, favor ideas, themes, invitation ideas, games and so much more!”
(And can I just say that the budget party is always more inspiring to me? Shopping is just not that hard, people. It’s fun, but it’s not hard. Much more challenging is to look at what you have with new eyes and apply your own crafty touch to your party. Love that.)
So, I’m going to take a page from Do’s book and offer my own gratitude to the ladies who helped Double the Fun Parties launch in 2011. Here they are, in roughly chronological order.
Kori of Paper & Pigtails
Kori published my first party, our Budget July 4th Celebration. She gave me the boost of confidence I needed to take seriously the friends who kept telling me I could be a professional party planner. (And a side thank you to my college room mate Laura, who is in a play group with Kori and gave me the idea of submitting my party to Kori’s site.)
Susan of Think LTV Marketing
Susan is another college friend, the godmother of one of my daughters, but also a marketing guru. Susan has sat with me at Starbucks and PURE, talking about my business name and concept, asking me good questions, telling me how she’d tweak my logo and business card. I’m grateful and owe her many, many Frappuccinos.
Kim of The TomKat Studio
So it goes without saying that Kim has great taste. And that’s why when she recommended WordPress for blogging, LaunchHER for business start-up advice, and Pretty Darn Cute for graphic design, I ran with it. And when Kim posted on FB about my Polka Dot Christmas Break Fun Jar that featured her Vintage Rudolph collection, I had my biggest day ever on the blog. Thank you, Kim!
Kara and Tracy of LaunchHER
Fellow Minnesotans Kara and Tracy specialize in advising women-owned start ups on the legal and marketing aspects of their business. I was amazed at how much they packed into each conference call we had, how much thought they put into my business, and how they were able to meet me where I was — tailoring their advice to “now” and “later.” They also referred me to Ahoy Graphics (more on that later).
Lindsey of Pretty Darn Cute Design
Lindsey is so sweet. Hard stop. She designed my logo, website banner, Etsy banner and Facebook profile image. She is a dream to work with, and all about coming up with the right solution and making the customer happy (not always the same thing!). Work with her if you have the chance!
Kristen of Ahoy Graphics
Kristen is developing my new website. I’ve been getting sneak peeks for a while now and can’t wait to unveil it to you — I hope by the end of the month. Kristen really grasped the two divergent things I wanted my site and blog and shop to be and she’s managing to put them all together in a way that works. I hope you’ll love it!
The Ladies of Party People on Martha Stewart’s Dreamers into Doers
What a blessing it was to was become a member of this group! These ladies take time out of their busy days to support other bloggers and shop owners. We post each other’s parties, brag about each other’s great ideas, and give each other those much need pats on the back. I’m so happy to have met them all, but especially The Party Wagon, Easy Made Invitations, The Petite Soiree, We Love Crafty Tracy, Tickled Peach Studio, and Ashlee Rae! (I hope I haven’t left any of the key players out!)
The Free Printables Designers
I’ve said it before: I am not a designer. So it’s been really exciting to bring you free printables designed just for my readers from these generous designers: Green Beansie Cards (Christmas countdown bell), HR Creative (Christmas countdown bell #2), Bugaboo Announcements (New Year’s Eve banner). We’ll bring you more printables designed just for you in 2012.
Lissette of Viridian Images Photography
I worked with Lissette in past life. Now she has launched her own business and I launched mine, and we get to work together again. Starting in September 2011, she has photographed all my parties, and as Robert Frost said, that has made all the difference.
Bird of Bird’s Party
Bird, my sweet friend in France whom I’ve never met. I could do a whole post just about Bird. Despite having an enormously successful business herself, Bird has taken an interest in my little business. She sponsored my first giveaway, but most importantly, she took a personal interest and has offered me invaluable advice. I SO look forward to working with her in 2012! I love her sweet spirit.
Jillian of Catch My Party
Jillian asked me to post a party on her page. And now two of my parties have been featured in her Party of the Day rotation. How good did that make me feel? Her “cupcakes” matter, let me tell you!
Sally of Polka Dot Market
Sally has very sweetly posted on Facebook about some of my polka dot-inspired designs, like some of my wreaths. And because of her fans, I’ve learned more about what you like to see. (Plus, I love shopping her site!)
Sarah of Brown Paper Goods
I found Sarah on Etsy and she kindly turned her terrific Christmas card into a complete party printables set for my Christmas Card Writing Party. The party was eventually published by Gig Masters, The Party Wagon and Kara’s Party Ideas, so thank you Sarah for helping me have a huge hit! I hope we’ll be selling Christmas Card Writing Party Kits together in 2012!
Kara of Kara’s Party Ideas
When I saw that Kara had posted my Christmas Card Writing Party, I jumped up and did a little dance. In fact, I think I danced most of the day. Then, I explained who Kara was to my husband and kept dancing.
Chris of Celebrations at Home
I’ve loved Chris’s blog and party spotlights from a distance well before I ever dreamed of Double the Fun Parties. I’m so excited that she just featured my New Year’s Eve Party with printables from Bugaboo Announcements. There is nothing else like someone saying (essentially) “good job.” Thank you, Chris!
Brittany of Edible Details
First of, Brittany is an amazing fondant artist. “Amazing” is an over-used word, but it’s the right one here. Her cupcake toppers for my Christmas Card Writing Party were my favorite part of that party. I can’t wait to see what see does for our Wizard of Oz party! And, when she said, “How about including my cupcake toppers in your party kits?” I knew it was the start of a beautiful friendship!
You have each made such a difference for me and I thank you for your generosity and look forward to continuing to work with each of you in 2012!
Just in time for New Year’s Eve, here are our favorite FREE printables of the year from your favorite party designers!
From The TomKat Studio
From Pamela Smerker Designs
Included in this NYE 2012 collection is an 8″ x 10″ sign, mini bunting pieces and party shapes. Hop on over to Scribd to download, print, cut and decorate!!
From Paper & Pigtails
Kori’s printables include Party Circles, 2 Mini Banners, and editable Tent Cards!
From Love the Day
Lindi created this set last year to benefit Operation Shower. So, yes, some of these items say 2011, but many don’t include the year, and it’s just so beautiful and for such a good cause, I had to include this set. In her own words:
“ ‘Operation Shower is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides joyful baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment.’ “To help achieve their mission, Operation Shower started Operation Give Thanks, a nation-wide fundraising campaign to support these wonderful parties.
SO, in an effort to get the word out about Operation Give Thanks and support those who give so much to our country, Love The Day is providing a FREE 2011 New Year Printable Party. The whole SHEBANG!! Big circles, small circles, tags, labels, tent cards, thank you tags, candy bar wrappers, welcome sign, flags, a banner and more!
But in doing so, I really hope that you will support and spread the word about Operation Shower in the following ways:
1. Check out Operation Shower’s website to find ways to donate or volunteer
2. Tell your friends, family, and neighbors about Operation Shower and the Give Thanks project.
3. Facebook/Tweet/Blog about this FREE DOWNLOAD so more people will come and read about Operation Shower.
4. Donate to Operation Shower here.”
From Bugaboo Announcements
Here are some of my favorite New Year’s Eve parties from around the web. I hope they give you fabulous inspiration for your own party. Click on the links below each photo to see the full parties.
Great minds must think alike (if I can put myself in Paula’s category) because I see that she used the same silver glitter polka dot paper that I used in my New Year’s party to create cupcake wrappers and a variety of other homemade elements in her terrific mini-party.
Chris’ New Year’s Eve table from last year is one of my favorites. I love the old Hollywood glam look of the black, silver and white combination. And I can’t get over the beaded backdrop. Sooo pretty.
This is a great tutorial on how to make your own New Year’s Eve party kit. It includes so many cute elements, but my favorites are the the keepsake tin and 2012 journal as a party favor.
I adore all the color in the party, as well as the sparkle. Adding the favorite things twist makes this an extra special way to kick-off the new year.
We are such homebodies that we’d much rather stay home on New Year’s Eve and attempt to stay wake until the ball drops. So an at-home, very casual New Year’s Eve party seemed right up our alley. You could have the neighbors stroll over to your house for a party upstairs (adults) and downstairs in the playroom (kids). (I would add a babysitter for good measure; if everyone chipped in, the cost would be very small per couple.) Kids could come in jammies so you can pop them right in bed at 12:01 a.m.
To keep the party low-cost, I chose teal and silver, since I had elements in those colors. I also loved the idea of incorporating clocks and sparkle. Best of all, I spent only $131 (not including food).
I started with a ruffled teal backdrop that we hung from a suspension rod between two bookcases. Then I used a white twin flat sheet to cover the serving area and the open bins where we keep our toys. I added the 2012 banner to the backdrop and a distressed silver bead garland to the bed sheet. A rosette of silver garland left over from our New Year’s Eve clock wreath hid the spots where I pinned the beads. In the center of the silver bead garland, I used plastic house numbers to create “2012.”
Our terrific party printables were designed by Michelle of Bugaboo Announcements. Michelle is offering the complete set in her shop, but she’s also offering my readers the 2012 banner for FREE! The printables collection also includes:
- Block party invitation
- Editable food labels
- “Name that Oreo” game card (more about this later)
- New Year’s Resolutions card
- 2011 Timeline
- And more that Michelle has added to her shop.
To add height to the buffet, I added my apothecary jars and filled them with non-breakable silver and teal ornaments and topped them with teal ribbon. The clocks I gathered from around the house, and then added two Goodwill specials … my favorite is the glittery silver clock that my husband spray painted for the party.
I made all the food, focusing on finger foods and options like mini pizzas, ham biscuits, apple grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks, and Cutie oranges that would be filling during a late night. For sweets, I offered marshmallow popcorn balls and Real Crazy Cake (a homemade chocolate cake with a few “crazy” ingredients). I added bunting to the cake using leftovers from Michelle’s printables and some scrapbooking paper, and then Grace and I trimmed the bottom of the cake in Sixlets. I do wish I’d had enough ribbon for the popcorn balls, but it made no difference to the girls!
I’m not wild about the idea of mocktails for kids, so I provided milk in altered Starbucks bottles. (For the tutorial, click here.) I covered the edges of the lids with white cardstock and the tops with more silver garland. The sides I wrapped in teal glitter paper and two bands of rhinestone bling.
For entertainment, I’d have Rudolph’s Shiny New Year in the DVR and board games ready to go. But I also came up with a few other ideas that Michelle helped me create through printables. First up was “Name that Oreo” — inspired by my husband’s love of Oreos and my total amazement at how many flavors there are. I bought six types of Oreos and labeled their containers one through six. Then, without peeking, the kids tasted each Oreo and wrote the number of the container by the flavor they thought each cookie was.
Our next activity was creating a timeline of each child’s year. The idea was to write down a memorable event from each month of the past year. I think it also might be fun to have all the kids create one big timeline on a roll of white paper.
Our other activity was, of course, writing down our New Year’s Resolutions. (It did take a little explaining was a “resolution” was.)
Finally, we got to Meg and Grace’s favorite part: the noisemakers. To create these, I simply recovered Dollar Tree noisemakers in silver polka dot glitter scrapbook paper and finished it with a length of teal ribbon and silver garland.
Happy New Year! Jennifer
Vendor Credits and Party Budget ($131)
Silver bead garland: Linden, $8
2 Clocks: Goodwill, $5
Teal rug: WalMart, $29 (This was my splurge!)
Teal backdrop fabrics, 2 yards: Hobby Lobby, $14
Suspension rod: WalMart, $8
Ring clips for suspension rod: WalMart, $5
Scrapbooking paper (six sheets): Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s, $9
New Year’s Eve hats: Party City, $4
2 teal trays: Party City, $10
Teal appetizer plates: Party City, $4
Teal dessert plates: Party City, $8
Teal and white polka dot napkins: Party City, $2
House numbers: WalMart, $4
Rhinestone bling: WalMart, $6
“Silver” trays: Dollar Tree, $2
Teal ribbon: Hobby Lobby, $6
Teal ornaments: WalMart, $6
Photography: Viridian Images Photography
I know you all love your wreaths … so here’s my New Year’s Eve wreath for you. Yes, New Year’s is still a month away, but you need some Christmas supplies to make this wreath, so I wanted to give you enough advance notice. This wreath meets my two favorite criteria: cheap and cute! You can make this for only $20!! (I love all the light reflecting on my door from the sun hitting the tinsel.)
14-inch foam circle wreath
50-foot tinsel garland in silver (I got mine at Big Lots for $3 – the brand was Santa’s Boutique)
3 floral pins
4 silver bows (I got mine at WalMart, 4 for $3 – the brand was Holiday Time)
Silver-toned old fashioned alarm clock (Big Lots for $8 – mine looks gold-ish in some photos but it’s silver)
2 glue dots
This is super easy and you can make the wreath in about 30 minutes.
1 – Unwrap just enough of the garland to start wrapping the wreath. (It’s easier to keep most of tinsel on the roll.) Pin the end of the tinsel to the inside of the wreath.
2 – Continue wrapping the garland around the wreath by passing the entire roll of tinsel through the wreath. As you go, tuck each roll of the garland tightly against the previous roll.
3 – When you get all the way around the wreath, pin the garland on the inside of the wreath. Do not cut off the garland.
4 – Set the alarm clock. Pass the remaining garland through the arched handle on the top of the alarm clock so that it will hang from the center top of the wreath.
5 – Wrap the garland around the wreath again and secure with another floral pin. Do not cut off the garland.
6 – Peel the sticky back off the four bows and apply them to the top of the wreath over the alarm clock. (I thought I would need to hot glue the bows to the garland, but the bow’s own stickum did the trick.)
7 – Put a wreath hanger over your door. Pull the garland through the back of the wreath and up over the hanger. I used a glue dot to secure the garland to the front of the hanger and another to back of the hanger. Now cut off the garland.
And here’s your finished wreath.