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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Why Everyone Should Be Celebrating Mardi Gras

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Colorful Mardi Gras beadsFirst, a little word-history lesson: Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and refers to the tradition of eating richer foods before the ritual fasting of Lent, which begins the next day, a.k.a. Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is also called Shrove Tuesday, from the English word shrive, which means ‘to confess’ — referring to the penitence given before the start of Lent. This year, Mardi Gras is Tuesday, February 9th.

So, what makes the holiday so great?

It’s a huge PARTY!

Mardi gras masksPeople all over the world celebrate Mardi Gras by wearing masks and costumes and dancing in the streets to live, uptempo music. Other popular ways to celebrate include overturning social conventions (dressing up lavishly and taking to the streets), dancing, engaging in sports competitions, parading, and generally being debaucherous.

Mardi Gras isn’t just a day; it’s a way to celebrate life.

Paper Plus has so many great Mardi Gras accessories, including:

 

Masks

We have beautiful feather masks, ornate jeweled masks, simple masks, masks ready for a DIY design, headbands, and butterfly masks.

Beads and Coins

Our selection of Mardi Gras beads is HUGE, with everything from the cheaper throwing beads to beautiful costume strands. We also carry bead earrings and Mardi Gras ‘doubloons’, which are coins to be thrown out into the crowds!

Mardi gras beads and masksCostumery

We carry all the Mardi Gras costume accessories, including glasses, mustaches, and tiaras. Don’t forget your hat — we have top hats, crowns, and many more!

Party Supplies

A Mardi Gras party cannot be complete without some colorful gold, purple and green decorations. Think balloons (we carry latex and mylar balloons in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes), colorful plates and napkins, door hangings, and banners.

We at Paper Plus think it’s time to join together and embrace Mardi Gras, the holiday for the people! Come visit our North Berkeley store and get your own ideas for a great Fat Tuesday celebration.

 

Looking for something special or out of the ordinary? Our friendly staff are ready to help you find it at (510) 525-1799.

How to Throw a Fabulous Chinese New Year Party Your Kids Will Love

Friday, January 29th, 2016

 Chinese-New-Year-Monkey-2016-

Chinese New Year is February 8th this year and marks the start of Spring according to the Chinese lunar calendar. So say goodbye to the Goat and hello to the Monkey!

Because it is a time of renewal and spirited celebration, Chinese New Year is a great holiday for a gathering. There are some traditional activities that go along with a CNY celebration, making it especially fun for families to celebrate.

 

  • Chopsticks for Chinese new yearDecorate your house with lanterns. Paper lanterns are sweet and festive reminders of the round, glowing moon.

 

  • Give red envelopes. Brightly decorated red envelopes are traditionally filled with a bit of ‘good-luck’ money and given to the youngest generation to wish them prosperity. (Red envelopes are also great for enclosing any kind of cash tip, whether its given at Chinese New Year or not.)

 

  • In lieu of giving money, kids will be delighted to receive something from our stock of Chinese New Year kids’ items, whether it’s a notebook, pencils, dragon puppet on a stick, or CNY-themed stickers!

 

  • Eat long-life noodles with a set of our festive chopsticks!

 

  • Chinese new year displayBring financial prosperity to your home or business by placing our good luck coins in lucky places, like in your wallet, in or on a cash register (if you own a business) or with your financial papers!

 

  • Wear one of our Chinese hats and ring in the new year or attend a dragon dance with a Chinese drum! We also carry dragon masks on sticks, which make excellent Chinese New Year party favors!

 

  • Decorate your Chinese New Year feast with themed centerpieces, cutouts, and tissue dragons!

 

  • We have supplies to make your own Chinese New Year cards, including red and gold paper and decorative supplies, and monkey stickers!

 

Visit our North Berkeley store on San Pablo Avenue and get ready for a bright and cheery start of the lunar new year!

Looking for something special or out of the ordinary? Our friendly staff are ready to help you find it at (510) 525-1799.

6 Ideas for Spectacular Gift-Giving this Christmas

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

6 Ideas for Spectacular Gift-Giving this ChristmasIt is never too early to start thinking about the presentation of your Christmas gifts, and at Paper Plus, we are stocked full of awesome ideas to make your presents especially memorable.

1. Half-off Christmas Gift Wrap, Ribbon and More!

You will love our selection of Christmas gift wrap, ribbon (from curling to satin to printed to totally unique), hundreds of styles of gift tags to suit every occasion, fifty colors of tissue, and mylar sheeting for that lovely metallic sheen. Whether you’re wrapping two gifts or two hundred, Paper Plus’ friendly discount prices allow for great gifts and lovely wrapping.

2. Giving an irregular-sized or delicate gift? We have a box for that!

With the advent of online shipping, many goods no longer come with their appropriate gift boxes. Don’t give your sweetheart jewelry from a drawstring bag — find a box! Paper Plus has boxes for jewelry, folding boxes of all shapes and sizes, apparel boxes, cake boxes for baked goods, craft boxes to personalize, and shipping boxes.

We also carry bubble wrap, mailers, tape and other essential post office goods.

3. Make ornaments together!

We love crafting. This year, get the kids involved (or don’t) for Christmas tree ornament making. These are special crafts that reappear every year when you (or whoever you’ve given them to) decorate the tree — a truly meaningful way to live the Christmas spirit.

Our shelves are stocked with ready-to-decorate ornaments, wire hangers, tinsel, beads, stickers, beautiful decorative papers, felt, glue, tape and so much more. We also carry a line of antique wooden Christmas ornaments for just 25 cents apiece.

4. Add to your Christmas card list and check it twice!

Paper Plus is the affordable Christmas card seller in the Bay area. We carry single and boxes Christmas cards in a huge variety:

  • silly Christmas cards
  • animals Christmas cards
  • Japanese print Christmas cards
  • religious Christmas cards
  • secular Seasons’ Greetings / Happy Holidays cards
  • New Years’ cards (these boxed cards are HALF price!)
  • Make your own cards with handmade paper, envelopes in different colors and sheens, stickers and more

5. Make it the Office Holiday Party to remember!

Office managers, we carry all the party goods you’ll need to make your company’s holiday party stylish and festive! You’ll find table rolls, placemats, “sturdy style” colored plates and matching cups and utensils (or mix and match colors), plus decorations to fit any holiday or office situation.

6. Festive odds and ends make the season bright.

At Paper Plus, you’ll find perfect party goods you didn’t even know you wanted, like a set of patterned poinsettia or snowflake plates to complete your Christmas table setting, or some mylar Christmas balloons to brighten up a party setting. Speaking of keeping things bright, did you know we have Christmas lights and candles at a discount? Look for our candles, pillar candles, LED candles and colorful Christmas candles.

Whew, that’s a lot of Christmas spirit! Paper Plus is ready to help you find what you need (or what you just want) this Christmas season. Call us at (510) 525-1799 to ask if we carry something specific, or visit our North Berkeley store before December 25th!

How to Get Jolly for San Francisco Santacon

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Set of red Santa Claus hats for SantaconSantacon — the annual flashmob parade of slightly sober Bay Area people dressed in Santa suits – has officially entrenched itself in the past couple years as a San Francisco public tradition.

Also known as “Santarchy” and “The Red Tide,” the city-wide pub crawl starts with toy donations in Union Square this Saturday, December 12 at noon and proceeds to pretty much cover the city’s landmarks, bars and dance clubs until well into the night.

What do you need to participate in Santacon? A Santa suit, of course!

But that’s hardly a simple answer, because there’s so much you can do with a Santa costume. Paper Plus has everything to outfit the budding Santa within you, including not only the tradition soft red-and-white Santa suits, but also the largest selection of Santa hats.

Authentic Sinterklaus’ will appreciate our selection of white beards, gloves, and suspenders.

Feeling like going dressy this year? Classy Saint Nicks might prefer our miniature Santa hats or Santa hat clips, which pair well with a cute flannel dress and ho-ho-ho boots.

Give your Santa costume some California sunshine love with our Santa sunglasses. We even have Santa themed tutus!

Watching the fun from afar? Throw on one of Paper Plus’ twenty-some Santa headbands. They’re easy to put on and take off when the Christmas mood suits you (or when the bar you want to patronize has a No Santa policy).

Get over to Paper Plus in North Berkeley before this Saturday and stand out in a sea of Santas.

Looking for something in particular? We’re friendly! Call us at (510) 525-1799.

6 Ways to Get Your Kids Excited for Hanukkah (that Don’t Have to Do with Presents)

Monday, November 30th, 2015

 

wooden dreidels for hanukkah with confetti

Hanukkah is a special holiday for Jewish children, and not solely for the eight presents they may receive. Hanukkah is also a holiday of games, rituals, and learning experiences.

1. Lighting the Menorah

There are many different styles of menorahs and candles out there, but the mitzvah of the lighting remains the same. Paper Plus carries different lengths of good quality candles at varying lengths, sizes and colors, all with sure, steady flames. We also have menorahs.

2. Give gelt

The tradition of giving gelt (gold coin) harkens back to the Maccabee coin and its significance as a symbol of Jewish freedom. Nowadays, parents give chocolate gelt to their children as gifts and reminders of the importance of charity, which is also given as part of Hanukkah festivities. We carry milk chocolate gelt and dark chocolate gelt – and if you’re not a fan of chocolate, why not put a spin on tradition and give them Hebrew Bazooka bubble gum instead!

3. Play the dreidel game

The spinning top game is a fun way for kids to feel pride in the Hebrew heritage (the symbols on the dreidel spell ‘A great miracle happened there’). We have a huge assortment of dreidels with varying sizes, colors, and materials.

4. Gather for dinner

Bring the kids together for latkes, donuts and cheese — all symbolic foods which celebrate victories of the Jewish people. Decorate the table with Hanukkah centerpieces and placemats. For dessert, make cookies with our Hanukkah cookie cutters or let the kids try our Hanukkah-themed cupcake kits.

5. Get creative

We have so many great activities for Hanukkah, including beadmaking kits, stamp kits, make-your-own banners, stickers, and books for kids. These games and crafty items offer new ways to get excited about Hanukkah while still teaching children the important symbols of the holiday.

6. Give gifts

And finally, there are the much-anticipated eight presents, one for each day of Hanukkah. For those, Paper Plus has plenty of Hanukkah-themed gift wrap, gift bags, ribbon, and gift boxes!

 

Visit our store in North Berkeley for great Hanukkah party goods. Looking for something in particular? Call us at (510) 525-1799.

How to Set the Ultimate Thanksgiving Table

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Here at Paper Plus, we love to see our customers browse our shelves and light up with joy for some party favor or decorative item that they either didn’t remember or know existed until it was there in front of them. There are so many fun party ideas just waiting for a host or enthusiastic partygoer with a vision!

Thanksgiving paper goods - plates, napkinsFor Thanksgiving this year, why not gather some fresh ideas and mix it up?

  • Honeycomb turkeys make great centerpieces. These foldout paper turkeys are well made, easy to assemble and totally charming. For a more elaborate look, surround your proud turkey with an assortment of fruit, decorative gourds and fall leaves.
  • The cornucopia or ‘horn of plenty’ is the classical symbol for good harvests and feast times and is usually filled to overflowing with fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers.
  • Candles are an excellent way to bring natural, glittering light to your Thanksgiving table. Use formal candle holders at regular intervals or disperse tea lights randomly. When the meal is winding down, dim the lights and allow family and guests to enjoy each other’s company by simple candlelight.
  • Thanksgiving-themed invitations are a festive way to bring friends and family together.
  • Thanksgiving banners in different styles transform a bare, blank spaces like office meeting rooms or event halls into warm rooms ready for food and friendship.
  • We carry fun wearable items like turkey headpieces, decorative top hats with turkey feathers, and pilgim hats. Come to dinner with a few of these and enjoy your moment as the life of the party!
  • Get crafty with our large assortment of decorative papers, including handmade paper, tissue paper and gift wrap.
  • Games build an appetite! We have Pin the Tail on the Turkey, playing cards and lots of other party games for kids and adults.

More Thanksgiving table tips are here!

Visit our store in North Berkeley for the best Thanksgiving party goods.

Looking for something in particular? Call us at (510) 525-1799.

How to Make a Day of the Dead Altar or Ofrenda

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

dia de los muertos decorationDay of the Dead is marked all over the world with parades, music, food and ofrendas – special altars dedicated to loved ones who have passed away. These altars are colorful, eclectic sites that honor the spiritual journey of the deceased, who are remembered with photographs and small personal items. They’re usually displayed within the home or on the sidewalk at parades with eye-catching decorations. Paper Plus has everything you need to decorate your own Day of the Dead altar, including:

Flowers

An ofrenda must have lots of color, and flowers are a wonderful, fresh way to decorate. If you don’t want to get cut flowers (marigolds are traditionally used), why not make some Mexican paper flowers from our selection of crepe paper sheets? Remember – more is more!

Skulls

On Day of the Dead, the skull is no longer a fearful symbol, but a reminder of life and unity! Paper Plus has multicolor skull garlands and lots of little grinning ceramic sugar skulls to decorate your ofrenda.

Candles

Paper Plus has a wide selection of tea light holders, including sugar skull tealight holders. Light at least one candle for each person being honored.

Papel Picado

day of the dead garlands and decorationsThe traditional Mexican paper cutouts are used to brighten the altar table and background. Paper Plus has a beautiful selection of papel picado with varying imagery.

 

Other items you might include: fruits and vegetables, a glass of water, incense sticks.

Enjoy the altar with family! Making an ofrenda is a wonderful way for families to remember loved ones and for children to build a positive understanding of death and dying.

We offer a great selection and friendly prices for Day of the Dead items. Looking for something specific? Call us at (510) 525-1799 and we’ll check our shelves.

day of the dead tea light holders

8 Easy Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Halloween is a week away, and today you decide to throw a Halloween party. You don’t have time to plan an elaborate shindig…what’s a host to do?

Don’t panic — panic is a party foul. Good thing Paper Plus is here to help with a few last minute Halloween party ideas.

 

1. Balloons.

orange and black balloon displaySeriously — whether your guests are two, twenty or 200 years old, there’s nothing like a room full of balloons to get people feeling happy.

 

2. Wigs.

The more guests wearing wigs, the better the party. We’re pretty sure that’s a scientific fact.

 

3. Bobbing for stuff.

It’s sloppy, it’s silly, it gets people laughing. Get a large tub, fill it with water (or champage, whatever) and toss in some apples (or pears, to go with the champagne). Voila, instant good times.

 

4. Fangs.

halloween balloon displayIf a guest arrives without a costume, as the party’s host you have the right to make them put in some fangs. It’s the least they can do. Besides, everyone looks better with a mouthful of sharp teeth.

 

5. Fake blood.

For writing messages on the bathroom mirror, of course. Keep your guests entertained by changing the message every hour or so.

 

6. Blackouts.

The decorative kind! If you can’t do a proper decorating job, try covering as much of your messy house as possible with black table covers and black crepe paper. Guests will be creeped out – which is a good thing, in Halloween party terms.

 

pink straight hair wig and purple short wig

Pink straight hair wig and purple short wig

7. Get bonin’ – with skeletons!

Arrange a line of skeleton cutouts in various positions on the walls and pretend your party is under siege by a skeleton army. Serve chicken drumsticks and t-bone steaks.

 

8. Wear a spandex body suit.

People wearing spandex body suits are walking ice breakers. Your guests will adore you.

All of these ideas can be made reality at Paper Plus in North Berkeley. We are one of the largest party stores in the San Francisco Bay Area! Come browse our shelves and find all the supplies you’ll need for even the most last minute Halloween party.

5 Easy DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

So you’ve been invited to a Halloween party. Or maybe your kids are insisting that you dress up when you go trick-or-treating.

Don’t be the neighborhood fuddy duddy without a costume! There are so many great Halloween costume ideas out there, from pre-packaged sets to totally unique DIY Halloween costume assemblies. Here are a few ideas to get your costume creativity flowing:

Find the perfect wig.

pink straight hair wig and purple short wig

Pink straight hair wig and purple short wig

Halloween is the time to experiment with new hair! Wigs are a near-instant way to get into the spirit of disguise. Get a long shaggy wig, put on some tight pants and a black headband and go as a rocker from the 80s! Or wear a blue bob and some white clothing and go as a Waitress from the Future. Or a Cult Member. Wigs are so versatile!

 

Get creative with cardboard.

Cut some holes in a box, cover it with wrapping paper, attach some ribbon suspenders and go as a Christmas present! Or have your kids decorate the box for you with buttons and control panels and go as a Robot.

 

Accessorize.

costumes accessoriesSunglasses, mustaches, eye patches, badges…these small accessories make your costume complete. Paper Plus has a huge selection of these costume add-ons. You can gather ideas just by browsing!

 

Get recognized.

Jump on the pop culture train, it’s fun! We have this year’s hot costumes for kids and adults, including Minions and Ninja Turtles. These easy, ready-to-wear costumes look great in ‘teams’ and offer a great way for families to bond.

 

Use your imagination.

This isn’t a costume idea; it’s a state of mind. Paper Plus has shelves and shelves of raw materials for costumes, like glitter and masks and paper and felt. Get crafting!

 

Whether you’re keeping it casual or going whole hog, this year’s Halloween costume is ready to be found at Paper Plus in North Berkeley.

Looking for a specific item? Call us at (510) 525-1799; we’ll be happy to check for you.

3 Ways to Make Your Halloween Party the One to Remember

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Planning a Halloween party? People love to be surprised by unique Halloween party ideas. Rather than resorting to the old orange and black treatment, why not visit a store with thousands of Halloween party goods and see what else is available? Here are some things to consider:

1. Set the mood

halloween bat

Bat decoration

Halloween is all about a change in atmosphere. How do you want your Halloween party to feel? For a spooky gloom, cover up colorful plants, wall hangings, and windows with cobwebs. A scattering of tombstones in the front yard or a skeleton propped up in the corner can do the trick, or go for mayhem overhead by hanging bats or ravens in unexpected places, like the bathroom or in doorways. For a more bubbly, upbeat mood, colorful balloons scattered across the floor or ceiling turn your house or apartment into a fun/madhouse. Or place one of Paper Plus’ awesome balloon structures of Frankenstein’s monster at the door to greet guests.

 

2. Remember the details

Turn your usual party gear on its head on Halloween. Label your wine and beverage bottles with creepy old labels that say “Poison” and “Witches Brew”. Use table covers and crepe paper over mirrors and wall hangings to transform the party space. We also carry Halloween-themed cupcake holders and plates and napkins.

 

3. Arrange unique activities

halloween balloon displayGive your guests something to do while they make merry! Bobbing for apples is a classic (we have the large tubs, which do double duty as ice buckets), as is playing scary movies on the television on mute. Or play the Mummy Challenge – who can make the best-looking mummy using gray crepe paper? Get crafty with our huge DIY section and have the kids decorate miniature pumpkins or their own Halloween trick-or-treat bags.

Paper Plus is READY to make all of your Halloween party dreams come true, from the bats in the trees to the eyeballs in the punch.

The shelves at Paper Plus are a great Halloween party waiting to happen — you’ll find items you didn’t even know existed! We invite you to browse our store in North Berkeley, or call us to ask about a specific item at (510) 525-1799.

Happy Halloween!

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