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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Easy Thanksgiving Decorating for Your Zoom Dinners

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

metallic thanksgiving balloons

Most people won’t be doing a lot of travel for Thanksgiving this year. Instead, we’ll use Zoom to get our togetherness time while stopping the spread of the pandemic.

Yet there’s no reason to think you can’t be just as festive as you were when the entire family gathered in your dining room. With a little creativity, you can make your virtual Thanksgiving just as special as your in-person gatherings.

Decorate the Gathering Space

easy thanksgiving decorations - cornYou don’t have to decorate your whole house this year, and that might be kind of nice! Instead, you can just stage your Zoom background.

Of course, nothing says you can’t decorate the whole house, especially if your immediate family will be there, celebrating Thanksgiving with you. Indeed, going all-out might help you create a festive space in the middle of an uncertain time.

Banners and crepe paper in festive fall colors are an easy way to get this done. If you want an even easier way, think outside the box and go with balloons. Some examples of great Thanksgiving balloons include beautiful latex balloons with leaves, which come in burgundy, gold, brown, and yellow, and which have elegant prints. You might also opt for metallic gold and silver balloons with a chrome finish, or look for the same in mauve or rose gold. Another option would be to go for mylar balloons with Thanksgiving-themed graphics on them, like turkeys, cornucopias, scarecrows, bales of hay, or ears of colored corn.

Allergic to latex? Mylar balloons are a solution.

Of course, don’t neglect the basics, like a stunning Thanksgiving table.

Outdoor Gatherings

easy thanksgiving table decorations for outside zoomIf you and your family have formed a “Covid Pod” then you might be doing an outdoor gathering this year. Look for decorations that won’t be defeated by wind. If you’re doing balloons, add weights to them to keep them in place.

Use cloth napkins outdoors…paper napkins tend to fly all over the place.

If you’re still Zooming with remote family members remember to set up the Zoom area inside…wind can cause a lot of mic interference and the Wi-Fi signal usually isn’t as good outside the house.

Wear Hats

If you don’t want to go all out with decorations for a Zoom call, hats are a great solution! You can DIY “pilgrim” headwear, or make boppers with turkeys on them. Make a cornucopia fascinator, or just find some premade hats.

They’ll be funny and festive, and you can take them off when it’s time to get ready for dinner in your own home.

Remember It’s About Connection

red fall leavesThere’s no glossing over the fact that a Zoom Thanksgiving isn’t “the same” as the festivities you’ve enjoyed in the past. Try not to let that get you down. If you treat your call with your family and friends like an event for the day that allows you to connect and catch up, and go out of your way to make it as festive as possible, then your holiday can still be meaningful and special.

Remember: this pandemic won’t last forever. You can still make memories this year while looking forward to better ones.

Want lots of options for your Thanksgiving decorations? Come to Paper Plus, where we’ve got a huge selection at incredible prices.

The Best Earth Day Activities for Kids and Adults

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

earth day letters around earth

Earth Day is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to do your part as a steward of the planet. If you have kids, this is a wonderful opportunity to empower them with the tools and knowledge to create less waste, more plants, and a cleaner future. Here are five Earth Day activities for a fun, informative, and helpful celebration that takes into account our current social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19.

Plant a Vegetable Garden

Nothing tastes better than vegetables, herbs, and fruits that you planted yourself. Not only is gardening meditative, but it’s also fun for kids. Children love getting dirty and then watching their hard work grow to fruition. Having a garden helps reduce your carbon footprint while creating an aesthetically pleasing landscape. Include your community by sharing the

children planting garden earth day

bounty at harvest (be sure to socially distance while sharing). It’s also a great way to teach kids that our food doesn’t just come from the grocery store.

If you live in an area or home that isn’t conducive to having a garden, or you just don’t have time, purchase your produce from local farmers. Find the schedule for your local farmers’ market or sign up for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, and get fresh, local, and seasonal produce every week.

 

Earth Day Crafts and Activities for Kids

child finished artwork for earth day activityGather your kids and recycled and reusable materials to create fun, practical, and decorative crafts. Look for items around the house that you aren’t using anymore and find creative ways to upcycle them.

One easy and useful craft is creating masks out of old shirts and shoelaces. Or gather old sweaters and make fingerless gloves to keep your hands warm in cooler seasons.  Create a recycled wind chime with old mason jar screw tops, hardware, and anything else you might otherwise throw away.

Commit to Using Less Plastic

Virtually rally your neighbors, family members, and friends and ask them to commit to using less plastic. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, keeping a stash in your trunk or by your door so you never forget them. Purchase reusable sandwich and snack bags from eco-friendly stores and discontinue your use of zipper storage bags.

Take things a step further and seek bath and body goods that are not packaged in plastic. Every tiny step counts. The trick is to not get overwhelmed; rid yourself of one type of plastic and when that becomes a new habit, move to another.

Celebrate With Compostable Earth Day Party Supplies

corn cup with starsWhen you have wrapped up your Earth Day activities, consider hosting a shelter-in-place Earth Day party, with healthy food and supplies you might have around the house.

Not sure if balloons are suitable for an Earth Day celebration? Latex balloons are compostable and have the biodegradability of a maple leaf. We busted the myth about balloons being harmful to the environment here.  So, go ahead and celebrate Earth day with balloons!

Your party won’t be complete without compostable Earth Day products if you have them on hand. These products have come a long way and you can now find compostable napkins, plates, cups, and utensils that are both stylish and Earth-friendly. So you can celebrate knowing that your Earth Day party won’t be bad for the environment.

While we’re all staying in for Earth Day 2020, for your next Earth Day celebration, call us at (510) 525-1799 or drop in at 1629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkley to browse our wide selection of stylish Earth-friendly decorations, utensils, and more.

Fun Excuses to Dress Up in Costume Every Day of the Year 

Saturday, February 1st, 2020

women dressed in feather costumes

Who says it has to be Halloween to dress up? With so many fun festivals, school events, fairs, cosplay conventions, and themed parties popping up all year round, there is always a good excuse to get in character for a fun event. Stock up on face paint, make-up, costume accessories, complete costumes, and all dress-up items, and add them to your costume storage so that you can get what you need any day of the year.

You’ll have no problem taking your costume game to the next level when you have all the costume supplies you need on hand, for any event that may come up throughout the year. Have fun with it! Get creative and mix and match various costume accessories for a unique ensemble. Personalize a premade costume with a new wig, accessory items, and fun make-up. Go wild – the possibilities are endless, and your take on a costume can be one of a kind.

Purim

Purim homemade masks and hamantaschenThis Jewish holiday celebrates the Jewish people’s escape from Haman. If you’re looking for ideas for a Purim costume for adults, think about putting together a Queen Esther costume by adding a gold armband and bangles to a dress you already have. Your child will love a Haman costume that you make complete with a fake beard and mustache. Spice up a hamantaschen costume with a fun wig for easy Purim dress up. Don’t be afraid to recycle and reinvent costumes that are already in your closet. You don’t have to spend a lot of extra money on a full costume. Take stock of your current inventory and dress it up with fun costume accessories. Now that you’re in costume, it’s time for Purim crafts!

Burning Man

bike riding on the playa at burning manWhether it’s your first Burning Man or your 10th, take your costume game to the next level. There are no rules when it comes to Burning Man dress-up, so let your creativity run wild. An easy way to beef up your costume game is to gather various accessories and use them in new and unique ways. Try covering yourself entirely in feathers, by gluing them on every inch of clothing, ankle bracelets, and your headband. Wigs don’t have to go on your head; using elastic, wrap it around your waist to make a long, fluffy, colorful tail. Take a hat you already have and wrap it in a new material, glue fake jewels and beads to it, and transform it into a new costume piece. You can even make a fun bra out of colorful ribbon, scraps of cloth, beads, and feathers. Don’t forget to dress up your bike as well!

Themed Parties

If you’re in a sorority or fraternity, you’ve probably been to a theme party at one point in your academic career. Even if you’re not part of the Greek row, there are plenty of adults and children who love throwing themed birthday parties and celebrations throughout the year. Create a unicorn horn with a cotton candy cone and ribbon, making sure to decorate it with sparkly, colorful paints and stickers for a kid’s unicorn party. Be the life of the next Game of Thrones party or Lord of the Rings party by adding chains, fake swords, and sashes to clothes you already have in the closet. For example, dress up as Khaleesi by adding a wide belt to one of your long dresses, donning a long white wig, and making a jeweled headpiece out of beads and string.

School Events

boy with sword and shield costumeDid your child just come home from school telling you they need a fake sword for the school play? Or they need a Chautauqua costume for their next performance? Save money by finding a complete costume that your child may have worn in the past and sprucing it up with a wig, hat, feather boa, or costume jewelry. It’s easy to dress your kid up in black pants and a button-up shirt; transform that basic outfit into a character from the past by adding a vest, a fake mustache, fake beard, wig, and appropriate hat. Little items like a pocket watch, a fake mouse, or spectacles will make your kid’s costume complete.

Cosplay

You can get really creative with your cosplay costumes using accessories, face and body paints, and wigs. For Anime cosplay spruce up a short skirt with a pair of colorful tights. Use wide white duct tape and a messy wig to create a Deku costume. Use boot covers over existing shoes to add to a My Hero Academia cosplay costume. Sailor Moon is easy when you find some red ribbon to tie in a giant bow to put over a white sailor shirt. Beef up clothing items that you already own with duct tape, feathers, paints, wigs, scarves, boas, ribbons, and beads. Get creative with costume accessories for your next cosplay, whether it’s Raven, Spiderman, Spider Gwen, Starfire, Todoroki, or Zero Suit. No need to spend a ton of money on a full-kit costume – stand out from the rest with your own personal take on your favorite cosplay character.

Themed Fairs & Live Action Role Play

If you’re attending a Renaissance fair, Dickens Fair, or a live action role play (LARP), think about all the extra accessories you can add to your clothing or box costume and really make an impression. You can get lost in the moment at a themed fair and LARP, especially if you get into character with LARP foam swords for live action sword fights, crowns and headdresses for the queen’s parade, and a goblet around your neck for imbibing with other festival attendees. Bedazzle a wig you already have with beads and a headdress for a female Twin Mask LARP costume. Perhaps you have an old cape lying around from that year you were a vampire on Halloween; throw it over black jeans, a black shirt, grab a fake sword and tie a black bandana around your face for a dark LARP character.

No matter the festival, play, party, or event, it’s easy to take stock of items you already own and inject an added flair with ribbon, tape, beads, feathers, wigs, make-up, face paint, boas, capes, swords, fake glasses, and fake facial hair to get into character. It’s fun to transport yourself to another time, another place, or another world, any time of the year.

swords, masks, and other halloween costume accessoriesDon’t wait until the last minute to get you or your children outfitted in the perfect costume for the next school play, fair, festival, cosplay convention, LARP, theme party, Purim, or any other fun celebration that may come around throughout the year.

We never put our costumes away!!

We never put our costumes or costume accessories away, so swing by our Berkley store at 1629 San Pablo Ave. or call us at (510) 525-1799 if you have any questions.

How to Create Incredible Kwanzaa Decorations

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

kwanzaa-candles-and-table-decorations

Kwanzaa decorations aren’t easy to find. Despite the fact that it’s been celebrated since 1966, few companies make or sell them. Those that do have been selling the same patterns for over 25 years.

In fact, many people only know the holiday in passing.

What is Kwanzaa?

The name comes from a Swahili phrase: “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.”

Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday. Though it’s celebrated from December 26 to January 1st, it is a harvest festival. It is not a replacement for Christmas.

Some people assume the holiday draws from many different religious traditions, but this isn’t quite the case. The holiday is cultural, not religious. Much of this confusion arises from the presence of the Kwanzaa candelabra known as the kinura in the traditional celebration. The kinura resembles a menorah, but they are not the same.

Kwanzaa is meant to be available and accessible to black people of any religious faith. It is a celebration of the rich history and culture found in so many forms throughout black societies around the world.

Who Celebrates Kwanzaa?

18 million people of African descent celebrate Kwanzaa worldwide. But people of all racial backgrounds are often welcomed to the celebration.

Those who do not share any recent African heritage (all human life made its first appearance in Africa) should approach any celebrations with respect, just as a Christian might when invited to attend a Hanukkah celebration.

In America, only about 35% of the black population currently celebrates the holiday. Many of our readers will celebrate the holiday for the first time this year!

How to Decorate for Kwanzaa

Every good celebration starts with great decorations.

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

Each day of Kwanzaa has its own symbolic meaning.

● December 26th – Umoja – Unity
● December 27th – Kujichagulia – Self-Determination
● December 28th – Ujima – Collective Work & Responsibility
● December 29th – Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics
● December 30th – Nia – Purpose
● December 31st – Kuumba – Creativity
● December 1st – Imani – Faith

The meanings of these 7 Kwanzaa principles each weave in and out of traditional decorations.

Kwanzaa Decorations

Mekeka

First, you need mekeka. These are woven placemats symbolizing the family. These are typically green, red, yellow, and black. Though they would traditionally be woven out of straw, creating them out of construction paper is among the popular Kwanzaa activities for kids.

Kinura

kwanzaa-candlesNext, you’ll need the kinura, which is the candle holder itself. This represents the parents. If you’re handy you can find nearly everything you need to make your own down at the hardware store.

Candles

The Kwanzaa candles are the next traditional decoration. You’ll need three red ones to signify struggle, three green ones to signify the future, and one black one to signify the African people.

Unity Cup

The “unity cup” is next. These can be made of wood, but you can also make yours with a colorful plastic party glass wound round with festive beads, affixed to the goblet with hot glue. You’re not bound by the three traditional Kwanzaa colors here: the cup is used to pour libations in memory of deceased loved ones or ancestors. Thus, you could use any colors that remind you of these individuals. The glass itself should be in one of the three traditional colors if it is not made out of wood.

Vibunzi

Next up is the vibunzi. This is an ear of corn meant to signify each child. Using colorful decorative corn is one option. Another is to make festive corn husk vases for each child. Use hot glue to affix a corn husk to a short glass, a little wood stain to give the husks a nice color, and colorful braided yarn to add visual interest. You can wrap strands of yarn at the top and bottom, or around the middle. Affix the yarn with your glue gun, then add festive flowers.

Mazao

The mazao is next: a bowl of your freshest fruits and vegetables to symbolize the harvest.

Zawadi

Finally, the zawadi: gifts for each child. This is another Kwanzaa tradition which causes some people a lot of confusion, as it might look a lot like a Christmas or Hanukkah tradition. But Kwanzaa gifts aren’t meant to be games or toys. They usually consist of a book and a symbol of cultural heritage.

“Choose the Best and Most Beautiful”

The Official Kwanzaa Website offers guidance on how to celebrate Kwanzaa. One of the principles is that celebrants should not mix the symbols or decorations with those that come from any other culture. They may draw from other religions, but should be African in execution.

The other is that celebrants should choose the best and most beautiful decorations they can find or create.

Other Ideas for Your Kwanzaa Celebration

Many celebrants choose to give each other Kwanzaa cards. As with the decorations, there are very few pre-printed or pre-made options.

Thus, it’s a great time of year to get creative! You can create your own cards. Use heavy card stock, markers, or other creative touches to send well wishes that are entirely your own.

You can also make some of your zawadi. For example, the cultural heritage symbol could be a handmade string of colorful beads, or a small African drum.

Here at Paper Plus, we do have plenty of materials that can help you make all the decorations, cards, and gifts mentioned in this article. Stop by at 1629 San Pablo in Berkeley, CA and ask what we’ve got in stock right now!

We can help you make your Kwanzaa celebration truly special this year.

Preparing for Yom Kippur Break Fast

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

bagels-lox-yom-kippur-break-fast-table-displayThe 25 hours of fasting required by the Day of Atonement can certainly build anticipation for the feast to follow. And once you’re done picking out your Yom Kippur break fast menu (or calling all your relatives to tell them you’re having a potluck this year), you need to consider how you’ll make your guests feel comfortable and festive.

In fact, there are people who have elevated the presentation of all that traditional Yom Kippur food into an art form.

Preparing the Yom Kippur Break Fast Table

You don’t have to go elaborate to create something beautiful and meaningful. Here are a few items to pay attention to.

Table paper & runners

noodle-kugel-raisins-yom-kippur-break-fastThe Rustic Look

Cover your table from end-to-end in white paper, and then create a burlap runner to go right down the center. Add a few green and white floral arrangements. You can put these in simple jar vases wound round with hemp string to enhance this simple, humble look.

For Wood Tables

If you have a wooden table you could enhance it with a white cloth runner. Lay this along the center of the table. Then, cut a piece of striped fabric in dark blue and white, grey and white, or some other muted color. This will create a nice contrast, and some visual interest.
Don’t forget you might want to set aside a kid’s table.

Place Settings

vegetable-quiche-for-yom-kippur-break-fastMaking your place settings special and appealing can go a long way. One idea would be to fold your guest’s napkins and to tuck a small flower inside of each fold. Lay them on the plates to create a lovely place setting that everyone will admire as they come to the table.

Or, grab some stiff white paper and some calligraphy supplies. You can use them to make place cards. You can also put a flat piece of paper on each plate. These can contain prayers or well wishes for the end of the Day of Atonement.

Other Table Decorations for Yom Kippur Break Fast

You don’t have to go overboard, but adding an arrangement of silk flowers or candles can give your break fast table an elegant touch.

Of course, most of your guests will be so hungry that the food itself can be used as decoration. Raised platters at varying heights can be really helpful, here. So can baskets, creating a cornucopia feel. Surrounding each plate with silk flowers can add an air of festivity as well.

If you’re like many who celebrate the holiday you’ll be forgoing elaborate recipes for foods you can get out quick like fruit, cheese, bagels, and lox. This finger-food fare lends itself especially well to these types of displays.

Not Hosting Break Fast this Year?

Don’t forget to pick out a gift for your host or hostess. Kosher food baskets, challah boards, and other fine gifts can all show appreciation for whoever is doing the bulk of the work so you can break your fast. Be sure to wrap it up in a pretty box or with some pretty paper to make it extra special.

Need supplies for your Yom Kippur break fast? Stop by Paper Plus to find items that can help you decorate your home or venue. Need extra chairs? Ask us about chair rentals.

These 4th of July Party Ideas Will Help You Throw the Best Bash Ever

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

american flag and fireworks

Tired of throwing ho-hum 4th of July backyard barbecues? You know: the ones where your family members sort of lamely wave sparklers around after you eat a few hamburgers?

Time to step up your game. With a few 4th of July party decorating ideas and a little extra planning, you can create a memorable holiday your family and friends are sure to remember.

And like some of the best things in life (like fries, or milkshakes) your options even come in small, medium, and large.

Small 4th of July Party: The Family Picnic

4th of july party cupcakesFirst thing’s first. Ditch the backyard. Go for a change of scenery at your local park. The shift in locale alone can make the day feel special.

Next, grab some patriotic plates, napkins, and a tablecloth. Decorations make a difference! These don’t cost much, and they help you make the experience special. You’re not just eating some food at the park here, you’re making memories.

If you want to barbecue look for a park with pits. But sometimes bringing finger foods and cold foods is just as fun, and is a lot less work. That part’s up to you.

Don’t forget to bring some entertainment. Red, white, and blue water balloons can give you what you need to start a rollicking romp after lunch is done. You’ll all be dripping wet when it’s done, but you’ll have a ton of fun.

After you’ve changed into dry clothes, grab a few tiny flags and fun wearables like themed headbands and pinwheels, and head down to see your nearest fireworks show. Don’t forget to bring folding chairs for your comfort, and get there early to get a good spot.

And if you still want to wave some sparklers around, this time it’s bound to be way more exciting for everyone.

Medium: 4th of July Barbeque Party Ideas

4th of july party cake decorated like flagFor this, you’ll need almost everything you needed for your picnic. You’ll also need additional 4th of July party supplies.

This time consider inviting extended family members and family friends. Rent a pavilion at the park and decorate every table.

At this point, you definitely need a barbeque pit on-site. You’ll need plenty of drinks. Don’t forget plastic cups and sharpies so nobody mixes up cups.

And because it’s all about the food at this level, be sure to pick up some disposable warming trays. Baked beans are great when they’re hot. They’re not so great when they’ve cooled.

With a crowd this size you might want to skip the water balloons. Instead, turn up the tunes and hand punch balloons out to the kids. And to get everyone playing together, add a patriotic piñata, which you can make yourself by checking out our How to Make a Piñata blog post.

Don’t forget to add a few piñata essentials, like a bat to hit it with, or sacks with pretty decorative ties so kids can pick up the candy and bring it home.

Want to rock until the sun goes down? Scored a BBQ spot you can see fireworks from? Grab some light-up necklaces and earrings so everyone can see each other in the dark, and keep the excitement rolling while you finish out your awesome day.

Large 4th of July Party: The Block Party

big 4th of july party with lots of people at picnic tableReady to prove your chops as a party-planning ninja? Consider a block party. You can either move this one back to your home, or you can rent a larger outdoor venue.

If you have a pool you definitely should bring the party back home, because a 4th of July pool party will be an instant hit. If you don’t have one, you might see if there’s a venue with a pool available. Just leave yourself plenty of time: you’ll have a hard time scoring a location like that if you wait too long.

At this point, go nuts with the invitations, and use notecards to send them. Invite your co-workers. Invite your neighbors. Invite the friends you usually only see once a year. This may be the perfect opportunity to spend time with people you don’t know you’ll love yet.

You can use everything you’d use for a picnic or BBQ here, but you’ll need to step up your game. You need way more 4th of July party decorations to get everyone into the spirit. To control access, you need a dedicated entry point, but one that can serve as a decoration too. It’s time to bust out the balloon arch!

You also probably don’t want to invite every random person in town who decides they want some free food. Having a stamp pad lets you mark who belongs and who doesn’t. Have guests turn in their invite in exchange for a stamp.

Plan on serving booze? You definitely don’t want to hand a beer to a minor by mistake. Card your guests and issue wristbands to those who are old enough to hit the beer cooler.

Want to really impress your guests? Think about passing out fun 4th of July party favors. You don’t have to go crazy here: flags, pinwheels, and glowing wearables are perfect.

Don’t Get Cverwhelmed!

Sometimes it just takes a few simple touches to make your 4th of July party a success. The real trick is getting people together, talking and laughing, while taking steps that make them sit up and think: hey, this day is special.

Get everyone in one place and in the right mood, and your celebration should be a rip-roaring success at any size.

And here at Paper Plus, we can make it easy. Stop by our store at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley to get everything you need to make your 4th of July party both memorable and fun.

Table Decorations to Spruce up Any Celebration

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Nothing makes a celebration festive quite like finger food, friends and family, and fun party table decorations. Take a look at our favorite table decorations for home holiday festivities for Super Bowl, Award Shows, Valentine’s Day, and Mardi Gras.

Super Bowl

superbowl balloonsOn Super Bowl Sunday, there are snacks galore, tons of hungry fans and plenty of opportunity to decorate that snack spread. Create a football field table spread with football-shaped cookies and touchdown centerpieces. With a green table cloth and some white duct tape and paint, you can create a football field table cloth, so every snacker is a player!

For the table cloth:

  1. Cover the table surface with the green table cloth and tape it down to secure it.
  2. Mark where you want the yard lines and use white duct tape to create the lines.
  3. Use paint or white paint markers to write numbers on the field.

Read more about what you’ll need to complete your Super Bowl party.

And keep your guests and the kids entertained on Super Bowl Sunday!

Award Shows

red carpet and streamer for oscarsAwards shows like the Oscars and Grammys are all about the glamour. Using silver and gold table decorations like stars and confetti is a great start. Use a black or red table cloth as your base. If you’re preparing appetizers, decorate finger food toothpicks with black tie attire: bow ties, top hats, mustaches, etc. In the spirit of the movies, decorate a popcorn station and label different spices based on the movies that are nominated this year.

 

What You’ll Need for Award Show Table Decorations

  • Toothpicks
  • Construction paper
  • Table cloth
  • Stars
  • Confetti or ticket stubs

 

Valentine’s Day

homemade-valentines-day-crafts-for-schoolBring on the love! Whether you’re throwing a dinner for two, a cute Valentine’s Day party with the kids or a Galentine’s Day party with all your girlfriends, this is the holiday for pink and red table decorations, candles, flowers and balloons! Get out the construction paper and cut pink and red hearts to decorate the table. An excellent addition to a Valentine’s Day table spread is paper mache letters. You can buy them at the store or make your own with newspaper, paint and glue.

 

Mardi Gras

The signature colors of Mardi Gras are green, purple, gold and silver. You can use bead necklaces, confetti, pompoms and feathers in these colors. You can make simple table decorations by filling martini glasses with beads and attaching masks to them. Take some feathers and stick them in the beads for a festive centerpiece. You can also place beads in candle holders and place tea lights inside for a smaller centerpiece.

 

Colorful Mardi Gras beadsDecorations Needed for Mardi Gras

  • Beads and bead necklaces
  • Masks
  • Fleur de lis design
  • Top hats
  • Feathers
  • Confetti and glitter

 

Come on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley to get everything you need to decorate your table!

We’re open Monday – Saturday 9am – 7pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.

Happy Celebrating!

Ideas For Homemade Father’s Day Cards

Monday, June 5th, 2017

handmade idea fathers day cardStore-bought Father’s Day cards always seem to look the same: golf clubs, fishing rods, and tools. But your dad is special, and on Father’s Day he deserves a handmade Father’s Day card that really captures your special bond.

Maybe you have a favorite board game you like to play together, or you enjoy the same sport (maybe that sport is golf!). Whatever it is, using these details to create a homemade Father’s Day card (or even Father’s Day cards for grandpa or uncle) will make a memorable gift. After all, handmade gifts always come straight from the heart, so why settle for anything less for your dad? Here are some card crafting tips and ideas for all ages:

Choose a unique Father’s Day card theme.

Think about what you really want to say, and how you want to make your dad (or grandpa, or uncle) feel. Maybe you want to remind him of your favorite day together when you were a kid, or express all the reasons he has helped you as you’ve grown. Some possible themes could be:

  • Happy fathers day superhero card theme ideaSkiing
  • Hiking
  • Watersports
  • Road trips
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Travel
  • Historic events
  • Your favorite place
  • Camping
  • Music and instruments
  • Superhero
  • Dad-to-be theme

The possibilities don’t stop there! Any theme that comes from your heart will speak volumes. Plus, choosing an original theme will make choosing colors, folds and embellishments much more focused.

Opt for a unique fold.

While it’s easy to fold a piece of construction paper in half and call it a card, there are so many unique and interesting ways to set up your card. For example, you can cut it in the shape of something relevant to your relationship, like a football, a video game console, or something from his favorite movie.

Get To Decorating Your Homemade Father’s Day Card!

This is the best part, so get out your crafting supplies: tissue paper, craft paper, ribbon, embellishments, glitter … whatever you think will make your Father’s Day card one-of-a-kind!

Tip: We suggest adding interactive elements to your card.

  • Make a pocket for a gift card.
  • Add extra pages for a longer message.
  • Create a pop-up scene that matches your theme, like splashing water and a boat, or a skier jumping toward him when he opens it! You will just need a little more time and construction paper for this idea.

Don’t Forget The Final Touches!

Write a poem, draw a picture, and add a gift card or candy. A little something extra always makes a card feel that much more thoughtful.

Tips For Helping Young Kids Make A Father’s Day Card:

  • If you’re helping a child create a card, ask them what they love about their dad to get an idea established.
  • Cut the shape of the card out for them. If they are old enough to use scissors, trace the shape so they can use it as a guide.
  • Help them choose the right adhesives (tape, liquid glue, or glue stick).

Now your card is ready to sign!

Ready to get started?

Head down to Paper Plus for Father’s Day card making supplies, balloons and more to celebrate.

And, if it’s last minute and you haven’t had time to make a card…we have plenty 🙂

Clever Leprechaun Trap Ideas

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

top-hat-gold-and-st-patricks-day-balloonsThe exciting day when green starts popping up everywhere —  in our milk, on our clothing and even in the toilets — attracting the leprechauns once again. Even though it’s been centuries since anyone has caught one, they snatch up our gold every year, leaving only tracks and footprints as evidence. But this year we have some clever leprechaun trap ideas that we want to share with you! Not sure how to make a leprechaun trap? Not to fear, we have the information you need right here!

 

How To Make A Basic Leprechaun Trap

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Empty cardboard box
  • Green construction paper
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • St. Patrick’s Day garland
  • St. Patrick’s Day embellishments
  • Rainbow paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Pot of gold

Just 6 Steps for Your Leprechaun Trap

Step 1: Cut out the door and cover the box with green construction paper

Step 2: Decorate with the garland

Step 3: Decorate the box with St. Patrick’s Day embellishments (we have lots in the store!)

Step 4: Cover the trap door with another piece of paper-covered cardboard

Step 5: Make a rainbow to lure the leprechaun across the trap door

Step 6: Add your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for a final touch!

 

And there you have it, your first leprechaun trap! Ready to step up your game with one of our tricks? Check them out below!

4-leaf-clovers-and-pot-of-gold-to-decorate-leprechaun-trapMake Your Leprechaun Trap Even Better

 

Add a Fun Sign

Leprechauns aren’t just tempted by gold; they also love a witty sign! Get crafty and make a sign to welcome the leprechaun — or offer up a little reverse psychology with a sign that says “Danger, don’t walk on the lawn!”

Dress Up Like a Leprechaun

The one thing a leprechaun won’t be expecting is a larger leprechaun saying hello as he arrives! Dress up with fun festive wearables like hats, necklaces and suspenders. You’ll catch him so off guard, he might faint with surprise!

Create A Maze Trap

This is so elaborate, it just might work! Map out a 3-D cardboard box maze, with construction paper walls. Be sure to include dead ends! Decorate the walls with embellishments and make a trap at the exit. The maze will give you more time to catch him, especially if he takes a nap from all that running around!

Invite Him To His Own Party!

Leprechauns are known for their arrogance, and that could be just the thing to trap him! Create a handmade invitation to a pretend party where he is the guest of honor. He’ll be so flattered, he might be blinded to the trap and walk right in!

 

There you have it! We wish you the best in capturing a leprechaun this year. If you want to find out more about our St. Patrick’s Day supplies, give us a call at 510-525-1799 or come on down to our Berkeley, CA store.

 

Easy And Fun Purim Crafts For Kids

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Purim homemade masks and hamantaschen

The Jewish holiday of Purim is an exciting festival full of costumes and traditions. Purim is based on the story of Esther and is all about disguising your identity, and Purim crafts are an important tradition cherished by children and adults alike. What will you make this year?

Enchanting Masks

To make a beautiful Purim mask, you will need:

  • Construction paper
  • Leather cord or a sturdy jewelers cord.
  • Glitter glue and embellishments
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glitter pens

Making a mask is the simple part, the fun part is decorating it! To make your mask, first measure the cord to fit around your head. Then mark the length on your construction paper with a pencil. Draw the lower part of the mask with an arch in the middle for your nose. Next, start drawing the upper part of the mask – this is your chance to get creative! Cut out the mask, draw and cut out the eyes, and now it’s time to decorate with pens, glitter glue and embellishments. After letting your mask dry, attach the cord by punching holes on either side of the mask. And there you go, now you have an enchanting mask for the festival!

Graggers

Graggers make the Purim stories more interactive for kids. When the story of Meglliah is told, kids shake their graggers at the name of Haman. Here’s how to make a simple gragger with a small plastic container, dried beans, glue and crafts:

  1. Decorate the container however you’d like!
  2. Fill the container with dried beans (just a little bit for the shaking sound.)
  3. Glue the lid on, and wrap a rubber band around the container if you don’t have time for the glue to dry.
  4. Shake shake shake!

Crowns

Crowns and tiaras are perfect for commemorating the story of Esther. For a simple crown, all you need is some construction paper, tape, markers and scissors.

  1. Cut a strip of paper about 5 inches high and wrap the paper around the child’s head for size.
  2. Cut rectangles or triangles out of the top to make the shape of the crown.
  3. Color embellishments or glue them on. And there you have your very own crown!

Fake Beards

Fake beards are simple, fun and add a little more disguise to Purim costumes:

  1. Cut out a piece of cardboard in the shape of a beard (don’t forget to cut out a place for the mouth!)
  2. Poke two holes at the top of each side of the piece of cardboard.
  3. Loop string through the holes to create a band to go around the head.
  4. Glue on strips of construction paper, yarn, or whatever you want to use for the “hair”.

Still looking for Purim craft or costume ideas? Come on into the store and we’ll help you pick out the perfect costume.

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