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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

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.


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:


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!


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.


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.



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!

Celebrate Mexican culture and heritage on Cinco de Mayo at Paper Plus

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Founded after an unlikely victory by Mexican troops against the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican and U.S. holiday honoring Mexican culture, food and heritage. It is often mistaken for the day of Mexican Independence, which is actually celebrated on September 16.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in all sorts of ways: parades, parties, nights out on the town, music festivals and folk dances, or bailes folkloricos.

Paper Plus loves the fiesta! Our permanent Fiesta section of Mexican party goods grows in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo.

You’ll find beautiful paper cutout strands, or papel picado, which come in a variety of colors and designs, including fruit, birthday, flower and traditional. These colorful strands of paper make beautiful decorations in windows, doorways, and as frieze borders.

Throwing a Cinco de Mayo party? We have plates and napkins in bright Mexican designs. Serve that delicious Mexican food and drink in style! Or choose serving ware by color; we have every color in the rainbow, plus silver and gold. Mix and match green, white and red to honor the Mexican flag!

We also carry props for photo booths, like mustaches on sticks, hats, and more gear to dress up your photos. Our huge selection of pinatas is also available year-round.

Cinco de Mayo is a time for bright colors and music-filled celebrations honoring Mexican culture and the historical battle that took place on that day. Some cities go so far as to reenact the Battle of Puebla in full Mexican and French soldier regalia. Others just want to have fun – in Vancouver, Canada, it’s celebrated with an annual Cinco de Mayo skydiving event; people in the Cayman Islands gather to celebrate the holiday with an air guitar competition.

Visit the store in Berkeley to check out our Fiesta section and get in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo.

Hop over to Paper Plus for Easter Supplies

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

For Christians and secular communities alike, Easter is a joyous celebration of new life. It is celebrated by attending Church services, gathering for a special meal, and hunting for Easter eggs. On the calendar, Easter marks the beginnings of warmer weather, the blossoming of bulb flowers, and longer days.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Easter, Paper Plus has your Easter supplies ready.

Easter Egg Hunts

For egg hunts, we carry plastic eggs, chicks, wearable headboppers with eggs, egg bags and baskets, fuzzy bunnies — all the materials you may need for creating Easter egg baskets and putting on the perfect Easter egg hunt. The children will love searching for brightly colored eggs filled with candy, coins, stickers or toys!

Make Easter Dinner Special


For Easter dinner feasts and lunch gatherings after church services, Paper Plus carries a huge selection of beautiful dishware, including paper plates, napkins, utensils and serving ware. Our Easter dishware comes in religious and secular Easter patterns. We also have an entire aisle devoted to solid-color dishwares to fit any color scheme. Mix and match for a beautiful pastel table.

Decorate Your Home for Easter

Looking for Easter decorations for your home? Paper Plus has a huge selection of window hangings, Easter bunny balloons, streamers and other party decorations for your Easter party. We also carry Spring-themed centerpieces, cookie tins, and other festive decor items for annual use.

*Cotton Candy Machines* and More!

If you really want to sweeten your Easter party, rent a cotton candy machine from Paper Plus Rentals! Our quality machines are easy to operate and carry reasonable rates. We also have popcorn carts, nacho cheese dispensers, and sno cone makers! Just give us a call (510) 525-1799!

Paper Plus is proud to serve the East Bay and San Francisco Bay Area communities in making their Easter celebrations colorful and fun. For Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, and Berkeley Hills residents, Paper Plus offers the best party supplies at discount prices.

Visit us at our store on San Pablo Avenue, or call (510) 525-1799 to speak with one of our staff members.

Celebrate Passover with stories, games and seder dinner

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Passover is a special time for many in the Bay Area Jewish community. A celebration of the story of Exodus, Passover is a time to gather, eat seder dinner, tell stories and play games.

Passover dinner, or Seder, usually involves a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Friends and family gather together to read from the Haggadah, the narrative of the exodus from Egypt which includes special blessings and rituals and Passover songs. Eating matza, drinking wine, and partaking of the Passover Seder plate’s symbolic foods are all part of this special holiday celebrating freedom. In some families, children are offered prizes for finding the afikoman, a piece of matzo set aside to be eaten as dessert, which is hidden somewhere in the house.

PesahplateFor those hosting a seder, or for those who wish to contribute to the festivities, Paper Plus now carries a wide selection of Passover party supplies, including Passover decorations, festive Seder plates, Passover placemats and Seder dishware. We also carry a Design Your Own seder plate, to help children understand the meaning of those symbolic foods.

Paper Plus also offers Haggadah storybooks, afikoman matza covers, and kits which represent the Plagues as told in the Exodus story. Guide the children through the story with frogs, locusts and other props!

And of course, we have plenty of fun Passover games for after the meal, including Passover stickers, Matza playing cards, and jumping matzo balls.

So whether it’s your first Passover or your fiftieth, Paper Plus is your Bay Area party store for Passover party supplies.

Looking for something specific? Ask one of our helpful staff members at (510) 525-1799. Or visit our store, conveniently located on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley.

Paper Plus is proud to help East Bay communities celebrate the holidays with style and fun!

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