Thursday, May 30, 2013

"It's a Party!" - Easy Party Planning...

Step 1:  Putting your ideas on a "Party Board"


Party planning can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.  Figuring out the food, the theme, the place, who will be invited and how much should be spent. With Pinterest, party planning can be a snap.  There's so many ideas and tutorials and recipes that can make planning your party a whole lot of fun.  

I always start by making a "Party Board".  I try to decide what I'm exactly going to have that will be fun and will make lots of smiles.  This past May our bowling team was in charge of planning our bowling banquet.  I tried to think of something different instead of bowling balls, pins and other trinkets that you would normally associate with bowling.  I thought why not have a "Tea Party"... kind of corny, but I thought it would be cute and it would make everyone smile.
All of these items can be found on Pinterest.  Check out my Pinterest boards to see the sources...http://pinterest.com/hoffy6675/  
Candy Spoons - Candy Shoppe http://pinterest.com/pin/161637074097230588/
Tea Bag Holders - Card & Gift Wrap Shoppe (http://pinterest.com/pin/23081016813065396/)
Tissue Holders - Purse & Tote Shoppe - http://pinterest.com/pin/257690409899034503/

Once the ideas are down on paper, it's time to figure out exactly how many items you will need and what supplies you will need to buy.
  
For the bowling banquet I needed the following:
16 - flower centerpieces
16 - Tea Cozies
16 - Cardstock Teapots (1 for each team)
100 - spoons, teabag party favors, teacup candy holders (not shown), tissue holders, 
chocolate spoons, 16 glass heart bowls and 128 cookies

It looks a little daunting, but we had a few months to get everything ready.  The fun part is getting everything together and then a few weeks before the banquet our team got together and assembled everything.  It is always a blast to have people help.  We have a party to make a party.  It is so much fun! Everyone brings food and beverages and we turn into assembly line workers.

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Each centerpiece had a flower, tea cozy, Team cardstock teapot, and a heart shaped bowl for the decorated cookies. The centerpiece was anchored with gingham card stock.  Each person attending received a teacup party favor with M&M's and nuts, a chocolate covered spoon, a "Tea for Two" party favor with two teabags in it and a fabric tissue holder.

"The Centerpiece"

Step 2:  Time to start the assembly line...

Ahh... those colorful Tissue Flower Centerpieces

I really wanted some silk Gerber daisies for the centerpiece, but it was cost prohibitive.  So I found a tutorial on Pinterest on making tissue flowers.  I made them in lavender, hot pink, yellow and orange. The Dollar Tree came in very handy.  The glass holders were only $1 and they were filled with pastel jelly beans that were purchased before Easter for $1 per bag.  Each container required 2 bags of jelly beans.  The stem of the tissue flower was made of brown grocery bags rolled very tightly and then floral tape was wrapped around to give it stability. Then a lot of hot glue held the flower to the stem.  Cost: about .25 cents each.  A lot cheaper than the Gerber daisies that would have cost about $5 for a bouquet of four, not including the jelly beans and vase. The silk flowers were also purchased at the Dollar Tree.  I needed a bouquet of each color.  Cost: $4. So the flower portion of the centerpiece total cost was approximately $3.50 which included the vase, jelly beans and tissue flower.  Not bad for a very colorful addition to the table.

I pinned the tissue flower tutorial on my "Card & Gift Wrap Shoppe" board on Pinterest....


If you need more information on making pom poms, please visit

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Step 3: Time to make the Tea Cozies

I would have loved to just purchase the tea cozies, but found out that they can range from $15-$40 each on the internet.  Again cost prohibitive.  So, it was time to locate a quick pattern to make them. I decided that polka dots and gingham would be sweet and very springy.  So off to the fabric store to figure out how much it would cost to make 16 of them.  The fabric was $5 per yard with a coupon from Joann Fabrics.  I was able to make 4 tea cozies out of one yard.  Cost:  $1.25 per cozy.  I also needed batting to make them thicker.  I had the batting, but I figure the cost was about .75 cents for each cozy.  That's all I needed.  So the cost was $2 for each cozy and it only took about an hour to make each one...  
I found a tea cozy tutorial on... where else, the internet. Please check out my Pinterest board 


Here is the pattern I found.  You can make your own, but I would use her measurements for the tea cozy. It was just the right size...


I added the flowers from scraps of fabric that I already had.  You will need to cut a 2 1/2" circle template an  a 4" circle template.  I used a file folder for the template.  They were much easier to work with. Each flower uses 5 circles of each size.  I used directions from this "Pin"  http://pinterest.com/pin/257690409900912510/ on my "Quilt & Sew Shoppe". I did make modifications, as you can see.  The tutorial is for a barrette.  I laid the two different size flowers on top of one another and tacked it together.  Then I covered a button with matching polka dot fabric for the center and attached it to the tea cozy.

  
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Step 4:  On to the Card stock Teapots, Teacup Candy Favors, and "Tea for Two" Teabag Samplers

I love all the beautiful card stock they have available for people who love to scrapbook and make greeting cards.  I haven't attempted any of them yet. But hope to someday. I once again went to Joann Fabrics and found a stack of cute glittery card stock.  It was called "The Glitter Stack".  There are usually about 42 sheets of different card stock in each stack.  The cost was $19.99, but I had a 50% off coupon.  Cost: $10. That was enough to make all 16 card stock teapots and the inserts needed for the teacup fronts.  I also needed plain pastel colors for the teacups (candy favors).  They were also on sale. I purchased a stack of  yellow, pink, blue, green and lavender.  Cost: $4.  I also needed 25 sheets of a pastel striped card stock for the Teabag samplers.  Each piece cost .33 cents.  Cost: $8.25. I purchased small box shaped candy favors from the Dollar Tree.  There were 12 in each package. I purchased 9 packages.  Cost: $9.  I also needed 8 packages of glittery butterflies for the teacups.  Cost: $7.50.  
So lets review the cost:
Glittery card stock - $10.00
Pastel card stock - $4.00
Pastel striped card stock - $8.25
Candy favor boxes - $9.00
Glittery butterflies - $7.50
Approximate Total:  $39.00
We made 16 teapots, 100 teacup candy favors and 100 teabag sampler holders.
The cost per item was approximately .20 cents each. Not to shabby!

Step 5:  Let's make some Party Favors...



I found a teapot design on the internet.  I made some adjustments to it to fit my purpose.
Here is the template... You can enlarge it with a copier or a printshop program on your computer. The finished measurements should be about 7" or so high by 8" wide.
Cut one pattern of the whole teapot and one of just the belly of the teapot. I used a file folder to make the template. It made it easier to trace on the card stock.  Then cut one of the whole teapot and one of the belly only in different patterned card stock.  I added the team's name and number on a separate piece of card stock. Then added a ribbon around the top and finally used a glue gun to attach a double thick card stock stand on the back.  They turned out great!

Teapot Template



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Teacup Party Favor Template

Cut one cup from pastel card stock and one insert out of patterned card stock that was left over from the teapots.  I added a ring of netting on the cup handle and a sparkly butterfly to finish it off.  Once again I used a print shop program on the computer to create our league name and cut them out with pinking sheers to give them a softer look. Once completed, we glued the cups to the party favor boxes purchased at the Dollar Tree.


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Step 6:  Finally....the "Tea for Two" Teabag Wrappers

"Tea for Two" teabag wrappers...the last of the paper items.  I thought what can I give each gal that wouldn't cost much, but would make the theme a little bit stronger.  So, back to my Pinterest boards.  I found this pin that worked just great. 
http://pinterest.com/pin/257690409899399388/  ("Not so Idle Hands Blog"). They are actually candy holders, but I changed it up a bit and put two teabags inside to finish off our theme.
I wanted to make the bend lines perfect and there were 100 of them to do.  Once again I went to the internet to see if there was some kind of tool that would make this task a little easier.
Bingo! I found the "Scor-Pal"... www.scor-pal.com
"WHAT A FIND".... I know I'm probably coming late to this party, but this tool is great!  I purchased it right away.  Hopefully down the road I will be using this to make other card stock items.  So this was a little indulgence for me.  Cost: $29.95+ shipping.  A little pricey, but well worth it...


Teabag Wrapper Template

Card stock usually comes in 12"X12" pieces.  You can cut 4-5 wrappers out of one piece of card stock depending on the design.  The dotted lines are the fold lines.  The Scor-Pal made the lines perfect!  Then a "Tea for Two" label was added.  Sandwich bags worked perfect to wrap the teabags.  After the folds were made the wrapped teabags were put inside and it was stapled closed.  


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Step 7: Now the fun part..... candy and cookies!!!!

I was going to make the teapot cookies, but to be quite truthful I wanted something a little simpler.  So I just made round soft sugar cookies.  I decided to try one of the many recipes that I have pinned on the "Cookie Shoppe" on my Pinterest boards....
The recipe comes from http://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/2011/12/meltaway-cookies.html  These cookies are delicious.  Instead of just putting pink frosting on them, I piped pink, lavender, yellow and orange thick bands across them and topped them with pastel royal icing daisies... I found the idea for the royal icing daisies on Pinterest.   
Karen's frosting and icing recipes from www.karenscookies.net is a wonderful source for cookie decorating.

This is her recipe for Royal Icing
3 T. meringue powder
4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
6 T. water
½ tsp. vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want a pure white icing)
¼ tsp. almond extract

Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes).  To vary consistency, add water to thin and add powdered sugar to thicken.

Directions for making royal icing daisies... 

To make daisies, use a rose tip, wax paper cut in small pieces and a flower nail. Pipe out petals.  Unlike a rose, turn the rose tip around and have the thicker end on the outside.  Press your pastry bag and pull down.  Make as many petals as you like.  Finish off with an M&M in the center.  Royal icing needs time to set up.  I usually leave them for 24 hours before I peel them of the wax paper.  They will last for a long time in a covered container.

Meltaway Cookies
http://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/2011/12/meltaway-cookies.html
If you love sugar cookies, this is the one for you.  They are creamy and melt in your mouth.  Please check out "landeeseelandeedo" for the complete recipe.  You won't be disappointed.

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Step 8: Last, but not least..... "Chocolate Spoons"
Just to add a little sweet touch, we made chocolate coated spoons with M&M's and sprinkles on top. I forgot to take a picture of them, but I used a picture from Pinterest http://issuu.com/wholekitchen/docs/magazine14.  These were extremely easy to make.  
You will need the following:
Plastic pastel spoons - Dollar Tree
Wilton's chocolate wafers - Joann Fabrics or any cake decorating store.  Walmart also carries them
M&M's and sprinkles
We wrapped each spoon in plastic, tied a ribbon around it and added a small "Tea for Two" label on them.

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Special Thanks to our team for all of their help....

...and that's it.... "A Tea Party" theme...  The bowling banquet was a great success.  There were lots and lots of smiles... and that was my goal!  Yes, it's a lot of work, but if you love what you're doing it doesn't seem like work at all.  When you have special friends help, you not only create smiles for everyone else.  You create fun memories to share with them over the years...  Sometime down the road one of your friends will say, "remember when we made all those paper teacups?".... "that was really a fun night"!
There's nothing better than good friends.... and lots and lots of smiles!!!



"Life's short....eat dessert first!"

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