Tag Archives: Party ideas


Craft Crush | July

Summer is in full swing. Are you overheated yet? These hot temps are keeping me in the pool or in the A/C. The latter leaves me lots of time to pin projects that are inspiring me… now I just need to get to crafting them! Here’s a little round up for my July Craft Crush:

Craft Crush July

Clockwise from top left:

Tissue Paper Banner by It all Started With Paint // Banners are the quickest way to dress up a party or a backdrop. Make one like this for your next summer gathering!

DIY Stenciled Kitchen Canisters by No. 2 Pencil // How fancy are these? Yet, so simple to create.

Crochet Hippo Hat by Repeat Crafter Me // Ok, I know it’s about 100° outside right now, but start crocheting this cute little hat now and it will be ready in time for cooler temps.

Fringed & Fabulous Tank Tops by I Love to Create // Crop tops are really not my thing this summer, but I’d love to create this in a longer version as a swimsuit coverup. Bring back tie-dye!

Scalloped Beverage Bucket by Plaid // If this doesn’t scream summer pool party, then I don’t know what does. Such a cute way to dress up your cooler!

Party Checklist

The Perfect Party Checklist

I love throwing parties. My favorite part is crafting all the little details that make the party unique and heartfelt. While throwing a party may seem a bit daunting, you can pull off a professional and whimsical party with just 5 main ingredients. We’ve rounded them up just for you in the Perfect Party Checklist.

1. Invitations

Birthday InvitationSet the tone for your party with a handcrafted invitations. Make them at home or design them online, either way you can create the perfect invite for a very special party. Don’t forget the Thank You Notes!

2. Decorations

Party DecorationsWelcome guests into your party with a simple chalkboard sign.  The best part is that you can reuse this sign for future parties or in your home décor. Table DecorAdding details to the table really help set the scene. Frame your invite or scatter some pom poms; you’ll be surprised how easy this will add a little oomph to your party table.Celebration BannerBanners are the easiest way to create a backdrop to a dessert or present table by giving it some height and drawing guests eyes to this area of the room. You can create a paper banner with pre-cut pennant garland, chipboard glitter letters, twine and ribbon. How easy!

3. Treats

Dessert TablePerhaps my favorite part of any party … the treats! Putting all of the snacks on a table makes a great focal point for your party. Warning – with a treat table like this, you may want to have Dad standing guard.Sprinkle Cake PopsCake pops are a favorite. Not only are they adorable, but they’re easy for kids to eat and a great addition to a small cake.Sprinkle CakeThis Sprinkle Cake just makes me happy. Everyone loves rainbow sprinkles, right?Party Treat ConesAnother fun treat – Party Cones! In just a few easy steps, you can make these fun cones to fill with popcorn, cheesy poofs or your favorite snack.

4. Entertainment & Favors

Party ActivitiesFun outdoor toys like bubble wands are sure to keep the kids busy for at least 10 minutes. You’ll want a few of those, trust me.RL StationAnother fun activity – a Rainbow Loom® station! Tell guests to bring their looms, then separate band colors into baking cups and let them go at it. Swapping bracelets is such a fun party activity!Party DrinksThis dual purpose party activity keeps kids busy crafting and results in a favor they can take home with them.Party HatsHave the kids craft their own party hats with adult supervision. In just a few easy steps each child will have their very own, handcrafted party hat!Favor BagsDon’t forget the favor bags. Colorful paper bags, washi tape & labels make these treats come together in a snap.

5. Gift Wrap

PresentsGift wrap is made easy when you stick with basic solid surfaces and embellish. Glue pom poms to a brightly hued gift bag. Use adhesive letters on kraft paper,  add a felt ornament or washi tape to present. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed and will make the guest of honor feel extra special.

Gift Wrap

If you can cover these 5 essentials, you’re all set for the perfect birthday party.

Party on!


Wilton® Sweet Up & 2014 Baking Trends

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Wilton® Sweet Up at their headquarters in Chicago. At this event they gave us a sneak peek of their new cake decorating courses, some of their new products that are arriving in our stores now and announced the baking trends for 2014.

While I was there, I had the chance to visit The Wilton® School in Darien, IL. We learned all about the history behind the company. Did you know that in 1929 Dewey McKinley Wilton first began to teach the now-famous “Wilton Method” that is taught in our stores?

History of Wilton

While at the school, we got a little hands-on experimentation with the new Decorator Preferred Fondant. It’s very soft and easy to work with. Trust me, that’s supposed to be a rose … it’s a work in progress.


We practiced our icing skills:


And, we even partook in a friendly cake decorating competition. Our team took home the award for Most Varied Techniques.

cake-decorating-competitionChocolate Award

Next up, we took a stroll through the Wilton Store.  Yep, an entire store full of cake decorating supplies. It was a baker’s heaven for sure.

Wilton Store

After picking up some mini donut pans and new icing tips, I headed over to their Headquarters to get ready for the Sweet Up.


During this live press event Wilton announced the top baking trends for 2014.

1. Buttercream


Buttercream has been around for ages, but these are new trends in buttercream frosting like natural & organic colors and techniques. Keeping it simple, not overdone. This includes updating the texture of your decorating and adding new flavors like lime, rosewater or spirits.

2.  Frosting Techniques

Trends in Buttercream

Using simple, more modern techniques like vertical ribbons, dots, petals. Another trend gaining momentum is the messy frosted cake finished with flowers on top.

3. Tall Cakes

Tall Cakes

The more layers, the better! Cakes are trending in 4+ layers. Want to know a little trick? Add decoration on top to add even more height! As you can see from this picture, Naked Cakes are all the rage and they’re super easy to make!

4. Small Treats

Small Treats

We’re seeing this bite-size trend pop up everywhere for a few reasons: guests feel less guilty about indulging in a small treat, you have the option of trying more than one kind of treat when they’re tiny and, things that are mini are oh so cute! Try mini bundts, mini donuts, molten cakes, petit fours and pops!

5. Fondant

Square Fondant Cake

New trends in fondant are sleek and sweet. Square covered cakes, bubbles, painted fondant and imprinting are all the rage.

Have you used any of these new trends in your cake decorating? We’d love to see your cakes!

featured image

Cinco de Mayo Watermelon Piñata

pinata 1

In preparation for Cinco de Mayo, Sara, Jillian, and I decided to turn our fondness for the ever-popular fruit trend into a festive watermelon piñata. We had so much fun cutting the tissue paper into fringe and transforming a cardboard box into a sweet fruit slice. I personally want to leave this piñata up for decoration year-round! :)

This watermelon piñata project is perfect for any summer celebration! For Cinco de Mayo, simply fill it with treats and have fun celebrating with friends and family.

Here’s what you need to get started…

- Tissue Paper
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Fringe Scissors
- Sharpie® Marker
- Cardboard Box
- Black Cardstock
- Tape
- Candy
pinata 3
Step 1: Cut out your desired shapes. Trace the shape on the cardboard with a marker and cut out the shape with scissors. For the watermelon, start with two large triangles. Use the first triangle as a template for the second triangle.pinata 2Step 2: Next, trace and cut out a long and thin rectangular piece for the edge of the watermelon. Use this template as a guide for the second piece. Also cut a rounded piece for the bottom edge.pinata 8 pinata 4Step 3: Use tape to attach the pieces together. Before closing, fill the inside of the shape with candy. pinata 5Step 4: Wrap the pinata with the tissue paper. Wrap the bottom edge with green tissue paper to represent the rind and wrap the majority of the watermelon with red tissue paper.pinata 6Step 5: Fold the tissue paper sheets in half. Leaving an inch of space at the top edge along the fold, use the fringing scissors to cut along the the bottom to create the fringed look. Repeat this step for all of the fringe pieces.

Step 6: Starting at the bottom with the dark green section, begin layering the fringe sections. If the fringe piece isn’t long enough to wrap all the way around the back, use a second piece to fill in the gaps.  Repeat until the entire piñata is covered.pinata 7Step 7: Use black scrapbook paper to cut out the watermelon seeds. Apply the seeds to the watermelon with tape.pinata 9Ta-da! Now you can hang up your watermelon piñata and get the party started!

Have fun celebrating Cinco de Mayo!



Wilton ProductsIt’s no secret that we are Peeps®-obsessed over here. Not only are we snacking on the marshmallow treats for our 3pm sugar boost, but we’re in love with the Wilton® line of Peeps® products. There are bunny & chick shaped cookie cutters, pans and molds; they even have a giant 3-D Chick Cake Pan. We’ve gathered up some Reci-Peeps to inspire you this Spring.

Bouquet of Bunny Peeps®

Bouquet of Bunny PopsThis Bouquet of Bunny Peeps®  can be made in no time flat and is sure to be a hit at your Easter gathering.

Peeps® 3-D Chick Cake

3-D Chick Cake Wowzers. Make this 3-D Chick Cake for the next Easter party you go to and you’ll never be asked to bring chips and dip again.

Bunny Cookie Pops & Peeps Party Cupcakes

Cookie Pops & CupcakesAs usual, treats on a stick are a fan-favorite. So you won’t miss the mark when you bring in Bunny Cookie Pops. Looking for something easy, yet homemade? Add bunnies and chicks to the tops of your cupcakes and you’ll be ready in a flash!

Do you love Peeps? Share your reci-peeps with us in the comments!

- Jillian


Decorating Tips for Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch 1Get your family energized for the big Easter egg hunt by gathering together for a special brunch decked out in a plethora of pastels. This spring palette of pale blues, pinks, greens and yellows adds a festive touch to your Easter brunch celebration. Get started by adding a line of painted mason jars to your shelves or counters. These mason jars remind me of my favorite candy-coated, chocolate eggs! To create the mason jars, simply paint the inside of the jar with the pastel paint of your choice.

Easter Brunch 4Add some spring cheer to your walls with a Easter egg wreath and seasonal bunting made out of a variety of pastel scrapbook papers. Your guests will love discovering these little, fluffy chicks placed in random spots around your home.

Easter Brunch 2Fill apothecary jars with eggs made out of a variety of textures and colors. Add this unique decor piece to your buffet table by arranging a few egg-filled jars around your plates of delicious food.

Easter Brunch 6Combine tulip stems and Easter egg picks in a mason jar for a simply sweet floral arrangement.

Easter Brunch 5Add some height to your decor with a charming Easter tree. Trim the branches with tiny eggs hanging from the branches and a few petite birds to keep an eye on the party.

Before you head out to your local store, take this Easter brunch decor inspiration with you and pick out the perfect pieces for your celebration. Do you host an Easter brunch or celebration for your family? How do you like to decorate your home? We would love to hear your decor ideas in the comment section!

Have a Happy Easter!

- Meredith