Home Confetti: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Different Take on Garlands

Garlands have come a long way since those glittery letter banners you find in party stores. There are so many creative interpretations for garlands now–and I love that most of the ideas are DIY. Here are just a few that offer their own unique style, and that you can tailor to your own party.

An "eerily easy" idea for Halloween from Good Housekeeping. This garland uses mouthwash size cups, scrapbook paper and a string of store-bought lights. I think it's pretty genius! You can customize the look for any party theme. Find the complete directions here.

Here's a garland gone vertical! This one does require a little extra effort but I think the final look is well worth it! Hang these pom pom vines from trees as shown, or you can still hang them horizontally across the wall. A tip: When making these, or any type of tissue paper pom pom, make sure to go for quality tissue paper sold at card or craft stores (i.e. don't buy the dollar store tissue paper). Cheaper tissue paper will rip way too easily and you'll only get frustrated. And if you use the better tissue paper, the pom poms will store better and you'll get to reuse your pom pom vines again. For the complete tutorial on these pom pom vines, click here.

This garland doubles as a sweet favor! Just tie lollipops one at a time at the bottom of the lollipop "ball" to colored string. (Photo source here.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bewitching Halloween Dinner Party

If your kids are old enough to be out and about on their own Halloween night, invite your friends over for some of your own tricks and treats! Here is some great inspiration for a spellbinding tablescape from Courtney Dial of Pizzazzerie! There are so many great details and ideas to take from this design. I love how she used a colored cocktail to bring a green accent to the table. And how about those adorable witch cupcake skewers?! Go to Pizzazzerie here to see all the gorgeous photos. Plus, Courtney provides shopping resources and even some menu ideas.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apples Aren't Just for Eating!

This is the time of year when I miss the Northeast and going on the annual apple picking trip. Fortunately, I was able to bring our girls a couple of years ago and the photos are priceless! They had so much fun getting dirty and running up and down the apple orchards. Most often though, after a trip like that, you end up with bushels of apples that you just don't know what to do with! How many apple pies, apple crisps and applesauce can you make?! Even if you don't make it to an apple orchard there are apples aplenty in the grocery stores and farm markets. Apples can be a great contribution to your fall decor. They set the stage beautifully for a great shower--think "Apple of My Eye" couples shower or a beautiful organic, rustic setting for any dinner party. Here are some delicious photos to get your juices flowing when it comes to putting apples to good use–that don't involve cooking!

Photo sources and additional inspiration (from left to right):
Photos #1 and 5 found here; Photos #2 and 8 found here. Photo #3 found here. Photo #4 found here. Photo #6 found here. Photo #7 found here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not Your College Jello Shots!

I think I've found what I'll be bringing to parties this coming holiday season! These variations of "jello shots" are definitely a long way from the college jello shots! So much prettier that guests may not immediately know what they are. Surprise your guests with a burst of flavor in these little gemlike jellies.

Sangria inspired with sweet wine and citrus flavors, these are from Martha Stewart. They look so pretty on that lucite tray. Get the recipe here. A similar looking recipe from Food Network can be found here.

Save this one for your summer-themed parties! Mojito Jellies–and how great do they look in that lime bowl??! This one can inspire you to come up with other summer flavors. Find the recipe here.

Isn't this presentation beautiful?! The photo is from Brides.com, but unfortunately this is no longer on their website (although the photo is still floating around the Internet) But I thought it was worth including as inspiration for your own presentation. They're jello shots, topped with edible flowers, held by picks.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Summer Lovin' With a Garden Party

Just because summer is over on the calendar doesn't mean you can't enjoy the signs of summer inside your home. A "summer garden" party is still a fun theme to use for a birthday or shower, and a great way to bring color into your home during the gray months of winter.

From left to right:
This centerpiece alone brings instant color and charm to any garden-themed party. Change the letters to a child's name for a birthday party or "MOM" for a baby shower. The napkin rings to the right are a great complement to the centerpiece. Both were designed by Jen Sbranti from Hostess with the Mostess for iVillage. The tutorials for each (along with other garden inspiration) can be found here. An easy way to add color to your tablescape is with soda bottles offered all year round. Use blocks of color to give you a rainbow effect. (Photo source here.) This was a great find! A grass mat to set the stage at your table! These grass mats can be found here.

Bottom Row:
Details such as these retro-styled straws also add spots of color and whimsy to your tablescape. Photo source here. A very inexpensive way to package your favors is to save those berry boxes from the summer. Fill them with goodies and finish them with a bright bow. (Photo source here.) Finally, bring a few garden creatures inside with paper butterflies or birds. (Photo source here.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DIY: A Chandelier That Rocks!

Candy never looked so good! Yup, that's pieces of rock candy threaded onto wire! Created by Laurie Cinotto for Once Wed, this is a great example of turning something as simple as candy into something pretty special! If you want to add some sparkle (dare I use the word bling?!) to your Halloween party, this would make a great conversation piece--and totally works with the whole candy theme! Orange rock candy would be a good idea, too. (Just make sure guests don't try to eat it or pick at it!) You can find the tutorial here. It might not turn out as nice, but I'm wondering if this could be done by attaching rock candy on sticks to the inside of a metal embroidery hoop? Might be worth a try!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Treat to Fall For

So, today's the day... 9 years with my husband John! Since he's been working a lot lately, I wanted to make him a special treat to bring over to his shop as a surprise. In my search, I came across this lovely cake from Sandra Lee. It's a spiced walnut cake with maple cream frosting, and thought it would be perfect! I have to admit, I love Sandra Lee! Her semi-homemade formula of 70% store-bought/30% homemade has helped me get dinner on the table fast on more than one night! I especially appreciate her ability to provide easy recipes, but then create such beautiful presentations with them. This cake is a perfect example. It's actually a mini-cake using a fluted pan. I can envision a small tower of these mini-cakes for a shower or other special fall occassion. I'm attempting it as one large cake. My husband and I had a purple-themed wedding, so I will probably put a few purple flowers in there. A nice way to mark a special occassion and welcome autumn. Get the recipe here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hostess Helper

One of my biggest pet peeves during a party is when people randomly leave their dirty glasses and dishes all over the house! They don't really think to put them in the kitchen sink. So, you really need to designate a place for used dishware, and let your guests know. This standing tray set is a huge help when I entertain! I keep it in the corner and add a sign above it politely asking guests to leave their finished drinks and plates on it. Then, when it looks full, I bring the tray to the kitchen in one trip! No need walking around picking them up all over the place. And after spending so much time and effort decorating your tables, you really don't want to tarnish them with dirty dishes! I purchased this set on sale at Pier 1 years ago. I can't even tell you how much I paid for it--but it has certainly been a great help! Best thing is, once the party is over I can fold it and put it away. You could even use a nice tray and luggage rack, if you have one. Consider doing something like this when you plan your parties this season.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Time to Wine With a Party

This week my husband and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage! It makes me think back to some of the great anniversary trips we used to take pre-kids! One of our favorite's being a trip to California's Napa Valley. How can you go wrong with a place filled with great wine, food and spas! Our room even had a balcony that overlooked a vineyard. It was heaven!

A wine and cheese party is a great way to bring a little wine country to your own home. (Okay, minus the beautiful scenery... but you know where I'm going with this!) With a little decor to make it extra special, it's a great reason to get together with friends!

Top Row: These wooden pedestals from Pottery Barn are perfect to display cheese and grapes. Let the wine inspire your decor: use purple-themed touches to add color to your tables. Using a wine decanter for your flowers also helps to enhance your theme. (Photo source here.) Dim the lights and use empty wine bottles as candle holders. It's a fun and economical way to set the stage for your party. Photo source here.

Second Row: These "mingle plates" are a great find–and ideal for a wine party! These plates hold your glass while you enjoy your cheese and other apps. These are also from Pottery Barn, but many online party stores carry them. Just search for "mingle plates." If you want to make your party educational as well as entertaining for your guests, create a "wine guide" they can take home. A wine guide will remind guests which wines they tasted at your party. It's a great reference if they want to buy that brand in the future. Use corks to mark the names of each wine, as decor or even create a "hot plate" with them. You can buy wine corks in bulk at craft supply stores. Photo source here.

Third Row: An alternative to using small chalkboards is this chalkboard platter found here. Use that along with old crates in your food display to simulate a rustic look. Finally, if you want to provide favors at your party, personalized coasters like these cork ones are very easy to make. Just cut out circles from cork board purchased at a craft supply store and glue felt to the bottoms. Paint or stamp the tops to give it a signature look.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Twirlie Whirlie Wedding

I've seen great pinwheel parties for children, but never a pinwheel party done quite like this for a wedding! Event planners, Jesi Haak Weddings, did a wonderful job translating the pinwheel, kites theme for this wedding. Colorful, fun and whimsical--what better way to end the week?! Take a closer look at those flowers in the first photo... they are made of paper! The cake and dessert table were done by My Sweet and Saucy–I love the trimmings around the cake stands!

But, you might be asking yourself "Why is this on Home Confetti if it's not a home wedding?!" This wedding offers so much great inspiration and there are ideas that can easily be used for a home shower or birthday. Visit My Sweet and Saucy's website here to see the rest of the photos. Look for some of my other favorite details, including the kite invitation and the pinwheels on the chairs. Have a twirlie whirlie weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Play Dough Has Its Day!

Did you know play dough has its own day?! Yes! Today, September 16th. So, to recognize National Play Dough Day, I found a cute Halloween treat idea using your own homemade play dough. I love this idea, because frankly, now that my girls are getting older, it's going to be harder to hide the ridiculous amount of candy they'll have after October 31st! But they love play dough–and definitely wouldn't mind finding it in their trick or treat bags!

As a guest blogger on eighteen25, Ashley from "Under the Sycamore" shows how to make your own batch of play dough and wrap it up all cute as a treat for Halloween. This is also a great idea for classmates. (Okay--so if you want to use the store-bought Play-Do we won't tell!) Click here for the full tutorial.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pretty Halloween Wreath

I have been refraining from posting Halloween stuff just yet... but now that I've finished my first Halloween project for the season, I've given myself the green light! This past weekend I got the itch to walk around Joanne's–see what new stuff they had in store. (That itch comes around every 10, maybe 7 or even 5 days!) When I walked in, they had the Halloween fabrics up front and center... so I took some time looking through them just for fun, wishing I knew how to sew! Then, as I browsed the aisles, I saw a cute set of pumpkin bells–and that's when the bell went off in my head! I came up with this project that is so easy and I think a bit nicer than hanging a plastic skeleton from your door! :0 The directions are below. If necessary, click on the photo board to get a closer look at each step.
What You Need:
- Black paint or spray paint, and brush (I used black acrylic paint I had on hand)
- Embroidery hoop (I made a large wreath with a 12" hoop, so I would recommend a 10" hoop for a front door) $1.59
- A spool of black tulle, 25 yards $2.99 (Look for it in the wedding crafts aisle)
- Glittered orange tulle (I purchased a yard, you can probably get away with 1/2 yard) $4.19
- Halloween bells $4.99 (minus 10% coupon!)
- Optional ribbon

Step One: Start by painting the embroidery hoop black. It'll look better if black is peeking through the tulle, instead of wood.

Step Two: Start cutting strips of tulle and tie them around the hoop. I made my strips about 26" long. If you're using a smaller hoop go shorter. Don't worry about the strips being even. That's the beauty of using tulle; it actually looks better with uneven edges. The more you can fit around the hoop, the better. It will help the tulle "stand" around the hoop.

Step Three: When you're finished, it should look like this

Last Step: Using strips of the orange tulle, add a few accent pieces around the hoop. Then embellish with bells, like I did, or some other trinket. (I was happy with the results, and I actually didn't end up using the polka dotted ribbon shown in the first photo, but you could use the ribbon to add a fun bow to the wreath or use it to hang the wreath on your door.)

That's it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

How to Get Vintage Style

Adding old world charm to your table gives it character and a comfortable sensibility. As promised, and as a follow-up to yesterday's post, "Old Style for a Modern Party" here are a few projects that will help you add vintage flair to your table. These projects are especially useful if you don't have access to great flea markets or vintage shops in your area.

If your mom doesn't have a cake stand like this in her cabinet, you can easily make one–and it doesn't require drilling a hole through the plate! Use it to display petite fours, tea sandwiches or macaroons... so sweet! Get the complete tutorial here.

Use vintage tins to give your flowers or other goodies European flavor. Download these FREE vintage label printables here to achieve a faux look!

From cowboy birthday parties to weddings–vintage style bunting is showing up everywhere! It's an easy and festive addition to your mantle, buffet table or ceiling. Use vintage patterns and soft colors to complement your theme. Don't know how to sew? No problem! Click here for a tutorial that shows you how to make one without a sewing machine. And Martha provides a tutorial to make one from scrapbook paper here.

Old Style for a Modern Party

I am in awe of any vintage-inspired party! Mainly because I think it's the hardest style to pull off. You've got to be careful not to make it just look like a collection of flea market finds!

I found this sweet old world, vintage-inspired tea party on Catch My Party! It's a great example of not going over the top with too much stuff, while using some great ideas--do you see those gift boxes in the bird cage?! Love it! Having a stone fireplace certainly helps to set the stage by providing an old European feel and giving the party a grand background!

Tomorrow, I'll give you some DIY projects to help you create a vintage-styled setting for your own table. Click here to see the rest of the photos of this lovely tea party that Canadian Hostess did for her family.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fast Fall Decor

When a new season draws near, I do like to add a few things around the house that reflect the colors and elements of that season. BUT, I really don't want to be buying too much stuff or spending too much time doing it. If you're like me, you'll love these quick and inexpensive ideas that will help your home fall into autumn.

Guess what these are made with? Not styrofoam balls... wiffle balls! And don't we all have those random wiffle balls in the garage? If you don't, I'll give you some! Pick your look, material and check out the tutorial here. The textures of the burlap and moss will give any room in your house a fall feel.

I've actually seen twine wreaths like this at the dollar store... cut wheat or find other natural elements outside to embellish the wreath and hang. Photo from Better Homes & Gardens.

I love how this woman created her own version of different leaf-covered Pottery Barn products. This is just one of them. All you need is a pillar candle, silk leaves, rubberband and twine! See directions here for all her Pottery Barn-inspired accents.

Perfect for the kitchen, just add walnuts to a pillar candle in a hurricane glass container. Can't get any easier! Photo from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

DIY Deco Decadence

How fabulous does that look?! A chocolate deco that makes your cupcakes or cakes go from ordinary to extraordinary! Perfect for any special occasion that deserves a little "wow" factor. And it's actually not that hard to do! How do you do it? I'm about to tell you... or I'll let the talented women of Icing Designs show you how to do it here. And while you're there, check out their blog, dedicated to everything sweet and lovely. It's one of my recent discoveries and I've really been enjoying it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pumpkin-themed Baby Shower

A friend and fellow MOMS Club member is planning a Halloween/Autumn-themed baby shower. More specifically, a shower to welcome "the newest pumpkin in the patch." So, she asked me to put together a few ideas for her. I collected a lot of great ideas here in this "inspiration board." I'm sharing the ideas here, too, in case any of you have the same plans! Make sure to read the follow-up details below. The info includes sources, tutorial links and even more great ideas. Plus, info on how you can get your own custom inspiration board!

Starting from top left to right (click on photo board to enlarge):

Top Row: Pumpkins give you so many versatile ways to decorate. Here is an example of letting people know if it’s a boy or a girl. Photo source here.

To give your décor a more rustic look (which I love for Fall) use mason jars as part of your decoration—either for lighting—or as vases for your centerpieces. Photos source here.

Orange paper lanterns in different shades give a more subtle decor indicative of pumpkins—please don’t turn them into jack-o-lanterns!

And what about this cute idea?! Show everyone the new pumpkin that’s on his way by displaying a sonogram photo! This is from a great pumpkin shower found here.

2nd Row: If you don’t want to do the usual orange, yellow, red harvest color theme, this pop of purple/crimson is really nice. Photo from an inspiration board on katehart.net

I always like the idea of “pre-packing utensils” in a nice presentation for buffets like this one. Photo source here.

Give drinks their own place. This cider station idea is from brides.com

Using different level heights always enhance a table presentation—makes it look more formal, especially if you’re having the shower in someone’s house. Also liked the next idea of using actual vegetables as part of the “signage.” Photo from an inspiration board on katehart.net

Next Row: How cute are these baby pumpkins?! Photo source here.

If you’re on a tight budget and you want to try to make your own decorations, this is a cute paper pumpkin you can make. Tutorial and photo here.

Pumpkin knit hat as a cute gift. Try knitting one on your own, or find one on etsy.com. Photo source here.

Pumpkin brownie pops would make a cute addition to a dessert table. Source here.

Next Row: This is an adorable idea to incorporate the pumpkin patch theme into your décor/display. Just paint a bunch of small little pumpkins and display on a small bale of hay you can get at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Photo source here.

Trick Or Treat Bar: If you want to tie into Halloween, this is an easy idea that also works as a favor. Let guests pick their own candy from a candy buffet, put in orange cello bags with nice ribbon as their take-away.

A pumpkin onesie is another cute gift idea for the mommy-to-be. This one found here. Depending on the time you have, you can have each guest design a pumpkin with fabric paint on blank onesies, then attach them on a clothesline and package in a gift basket.

A pumpkin diaper cake can be a sweet spotlight on the gift table. Find out how this one was made here.

Little Pumpkin favor tags are a nice embellishment. Found here.

"Little Pumpkin in the Oven!" A pumpkin cake mix in a bag is another useful favor option. Found here.

Have a great party theme in mind, but don't know how to execute it?! Let me help you with an inspiration board! An inspiration board provides direction on an overall look for your party, with specific takeaway ideas that you can actually use. The board generally has between 12-20 photos and includes details such as where-to-buy resources. Give me a shout! I would love to help you with your party. There's only a nominal fee involved--not much considering how much time you'll save and the results you'll get for your party! Please e-mail me at rosemarie.massaro@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Handmade Gifts For Grandparents Day

Sunday, September 12th is Grandparents Day and there's nothing more appreciated than a handmade gift. Here are a few gift ideas you can make with your kids.

Paperbag Scrapbook
I love this idea, adding a promise to "fill the scrapbook with memories." Go here for the complete tutorial.

Pot of Love
With all the container mums out now, this is a timely gift for grandparents and I'm sure the kids will have fun decorating it. Click here for tips.

Message Photo Block
I love series of photos that tell a story. So, I thought this message photo block was fun. Click here for the how-to.

Friday, September 3, 2010

No Labor This Weekend: Cocktail Recipes

Or maybe a little for us... we're in the (slow) process of re-doing our guest bathroom. Of course my husband insists on doing it himself, so it's sporadically getting worked on. But, I'll be sure to make some time for one of these delicious cocktails from Good Housekeeping! And I hope you do, too! Have a great long weekend!

Click here for recipe

Click here for recipe

Click here for recipe

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Today's Takeaway: Scrabble Tile Favors

How many ways can you say and spell "LOVE"? This crafty bride actually made the favors for her wedding, and I think they were well worth the effort! First of all, I love that the individual letter tiles are magnetic, making them a favor with function. And they'll certainly look cute adorning your refrigerator. I also love this idea because you can customize it for any occasion. This would be really fun for a "gender reveal" party, using the favors to let guests know if it is a B-O-Y or G-I-R-L. Or you can just spell out "BOO" for Halloween!

Click here for the complete tutorial to craft your own Scrabble tile magnetic favors. The bride even provides information on where to buy the tin cases. I searched around on where to buy Scrabble tiles. You may find them on eBay, or you can order them from Hasbro here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Construction Party

Having two girls makes it very easy for me to get caught up in all the pink, girlie stuff, so I wanted to make sure to post this boy party (although I haven't been too bad--remember the sailor party in the nautical themed post?!) Here is a very cute construction party that was done for a boy's 2 year birthday party. Mom, Jessica Levitt, put a lot of thought into this party, starting with the handmade barricade and sign that greeted guests, down to the actual nuts and bolts in the food display... and what about those tool-shaped cookies below?! The big finale was a surprise visit from an actual construction vehicle! There are so many ideas to pick up from this party. "Dig in" to the rest of the photos at Jessica's blog, juicy bits, here.

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