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Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

No Helium, No Problem! Decorating with Non-Helium Balloons

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

non helium balloons heart wedding decoration

For a long time, helium has been the essential element that makes balloons so magical. From the 1956 French film The Red Balloon to childhood birthday parties, it’s hard to imagine decorating without helium balloons.

 

But with the recent helium shortage, artists and designers have been doing just that … and their creations are mesmerizing. Even before the helium shortage, creative and crafty types have put no helium balloons (i.e. air-filled balloons) to great use.

 

You can find the most impressive air-filled balloon designs at the World Balloon Convention–no, we’re not making this up! This international balloon design convention and competition has an air-only balloon event where contestants from all over the world come to showcase furniture, mythical creatures, fictional characters, massive archways, fashion and hundreds of other clever pieces made entirely of balloons without helium. The convention shows first-hand that the design possibilities with no helium balloons are un-ending.

While your no helium balloon needs probably aren’t as extravagant as the designs at the World Balloon Convention, no helium balloons can be used on a smaller scale for many of your traditional party decorations.

 

The Benefits of No Helium Balloon Designs

Even though it’s nice to have party decorations that float, choosing air-filled balloons slows the demand for helium without compromising the look of your decorations.

non helium balloons table decoration

  • In general, helium balloons are more sensitive to temperature changes (they deflate in cold temperatures and expand in hot temperatures) which can affect your decorations. Helium is a smaller molecule than oxygen, so helium balloons deflate quicker than air-filled balloons.
  • If you are hosting a party outdoors, air-filled balloons are a stronger choice. Since air-filled balloons are held together with sturdy materials like poles, vases, and string, you can keep balloon decorations from floating around and tearing apart if the wind picks up.
  • Helium centerpieces are typically less innovative because the main attractiveness is the floating part. With air-filled balloons, your centerpiece can be as elaborate as you want.
  • Helium balloons tend to be more expensive because helium is a more expensive commodity than air. If you have big ideas for balloon decorations but you need to stay on budget, air-filled balloons are much more economical.
  • You certainly aren’t limited to latex balloons either. Air-filled Mylar balloons of all shapes and sizes are available for balloon bouquets, cake toppers, photo booth decorations, and centerpieces. Whether you use Mylar or latex, you never have to worry about your balloons floating away with this type of centerpiece.

 

Big No Helium Balloon Designs

Air-filled balloons are perfect for big decorative columns and arches because they are suspended with poles, vases, and frames. This makes outdoor balloon decoration much more dependable. Even if you are hosting a party indoors, big air-filled balloon structures don’t move around as much, so they can be incorporated into more complex designs. We’ve seen “columns” that look like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and archways that look like portals to new dimensions. You can make your vision come to life with air-filled balloons; all you need is a strong, flexible frame to keep it in place.

 

Small No Helium Balloon Designs

non helium balloons on a stick

Air-filled balloons can also be used for smaller decorations, props, cake toppers, party favors, and centerpieces. Small balloons suspended on short poles create lovely multi-tiered designs that can be customized by theme or type of occasion. We’ve seen elaborate centerpieces that touch the ceiling, centerpieces that look like flower bouquets, and others that include candles or lights. A classic air-filled balloon design features a single latex balloon on top with little latex balloons attached around the bottom. You can also create small topiary trees and structures with air-filled balloons.

Air-filled balloons are also used to make inflatable props like balloon animals. Balloon animals are traditionally made with long or “tube” air-filled balloons and add a little magic to children’s birthday parties, festivals, and other occasions. Another popular prop is the air-filled balloon on a hand-held stick. This party prop dates back to before the popularization of helium balloons, and now they are making a comeback!

multi colored balloon animals

Reimagining balloons can lead to some magnificent designs while also reducing the demand for helium. We thank you for considering air-filled balloons for your next event. If air-filled balloons sound like the perfect option for you but you don’t know where to start, stop into Paper Plus at 629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley and chat with our balloon-loving staff. Or, give us a call! 510-525-1799

We love balloons, so we write about them a lot!

 

 

12 Big and Small Birthday Party Ideas for Adults

Monday, October 1st, 2018

big or small birthday party ideas for decorations

 

It’s Not One Size Fits All – Big and Small Birthday Party Ideas

In the billions of birthdays that happen each year, it’s lovely to think each birthday celebration can be as unique as the person being celebrated. From the decorations to the guest list to the venue, there are so many details that make a birthday party yours.

 

Big birthday parties set a gigantic stage for all the you-centered festivities, while minimalistic and small birthday parties can say a lot about what’s truly important to you. Whether you plan on inviting a few of your closest friends over for a low-key dinner party or you’re designing an elaborate murder mystery dinner, we’re wishing you the best birthday of your life with the help of these big and small birthday party ideas for adults.

 

Small Birthday Party Ideas for Decorations

Sometimes simple is the best way to go. Minimalistic birthday parties for a guest list of 10 or fewer keep the flash and flare on the low and the limelight on you.

 

small birthday party ideas for party hats and decorations

For this size party, you might decide to host at home and the timeframe will likely be under two hours. Guests won’t be expecting a full meal (especially if the party is set for mid-afternoon) and they might even be planning on bringing their own beverage. No matter how minimalistic you choose to go, a birthday doesn’t feel quite like a birthday without a few key decorations and essentials.

 

1. Cake and Ice Cream

The first essential that distinguishes a birthday party from any other party is (of course!) the cake and ice cream. If you don’t like cake, that’s OK too! Serve up a delicious treat that you do love, like brownies, a seasonal tart, or even a signature cocktail.

 

2.Basic Decoration

Even for minimalistic parties, it feels good to add a little decoration to amp up the celebration. For smaller birthday parties, choose the decorative-but-functional route with party necessities like paper plates, utensils, and maybe some streamers or a centerpiece for the table. You can also order a decorated cake that acts as a centerpiece.

 

3. Activities

If you’re inviting friends from different friend circles, include a simple game to help break the ice.

 

Activity-Oriented Birthdays for Small to Midsize Parties

If you have a slightly larger guest list (20-25 people), you may be hosting a party at a venue where the activity is provided. This could be at a brewery, an art studio, a teahouse or anywhere that offers an activity that you enjoy.

Because these parties tend to take longer, there are some additional essentials that will improve the experience for your guests.

 

4. Pizza

Ordering a few pizzas or another quick, universally enjoyed food makes feeding guests simple. However, you will need

young adults at small birthday party with friends

to check with the venue to make sure bringing your own food is OK. You can also plan to grab pizza after the activity. For breweries or other venues that provide food, call ahead of time so they can best serve your food and beverage needs.

 

5. Reserve a Room

Reserving a party room can give you more liberties with basic decorations (though you still have to ask!), and it can also help distinguish your party from the rest of the guests at the venue. Think balloons and banners.

 

6. Basic Theme

An activity-oriented birthday party will likely have some sort of theme, whether that is age-related or activity-related. If you’re engaging in a sport, buy sweatbands or team jerseys to spark the competitive spirit!

 

Family-Friendly Birthdays with All the Frills

If you plan on having a family-friendly birthday party, then more activities, decorations, and snacks are a must. Depending on the size of the guest list, it might be helpful to rent a large space or have your party at a park so the kids can run around. Some additional essentials for a family-friendly outdoor party include:

 

7. Bouncy House

children playing in bouncy house Bring the activity to you! Having a family-friendly activity keeps the kids occupied and the parents available to mingle.

 

8. Balloons

Don’t skimp on the balloons! Decorate tables, chairs, and archways with balloons to add classic birthday fun to your theme. Balloons are extremely versatile nowadays. You can order name arches, balloons that spell your name or age, and arrangements with stunning balloon colors like chrome. If any of your guests have never been to your home–or you’re hosting the party at a venue–use balloons on the street to show where the party is located. In addition, air-filled balloons have recently become a popular alternative to helium balloons. While they don’t float, air-filled balloons are often used as accents in centerpieces, cake decorations, and party favors. Air-filled balloons can also be purchased on a stick and make a fun addition to bouquets or photo booth props.

 

9. Elaborate Decorations

Take advantage of a simple theme (monochrome, age, etc.) to inspire more elaborate decorations like centerpieces, lighting, entryway guest books or interactive decorations, tabletop decorations, decorative appetizer trays, streamers, and more.

 

10. Favors

old fashioned popcorn cart concession rental

Thank your guests for celebrating with you by preparing party favors. Give away succulents, bake and wrap cookies with decorative packaging, or whip up some seasonal lotions or scrubs.

11. Concessions

In addition to a meal, provide party snacks like cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn or any other treats that fit your birthday theme. (Remember: if you’re hosting a party outdoors you will need a generator or access to electricity for concession machines).

 

12. Seating and Other Amenities

Depending on the seating availability, you may need to rent tables, chairs, linen, and chair covers. You could also rent plates and cloth napkins for a more elegant birthday.

Whether you’re hosting your own birthday or you’re planning an elegant surprise party for a loved one, we hope this birthday essential checklist is helpful! For additional assistance with decorating, give us a call at 510-525-1799 or stop by Paper Plus at 629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley today!

 

Decorating and Entertaining with Compostable Products: A Growing Trend

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

If you walk into a party supply store, you will notice a growing selection of compostable plates, cups, utensils and even decorations. Compostable products have certainly grown in popularity, and as Berkeley residents, we have front row seats to this sustainable shift in an industry that is typically viewed as extravagant and–sometimes–wasteful.

 

Only a few short years ago the first attempt at compostable cutlery was a bit of a flop. Compostable spoons would disintegrate in hot tea, and party supplies hardly screamed fun.  Now that manufacturers have perfected their formulas, we’re seeing an impressive evolution from function to form.

recycled and compostable party napkins green wave recycled and compostable party napkins yellow hearts

As the demand for compostable plates, utensils, and decorations continues to increase, manufacturers are getting creative with textures, colors, and shape to make them more attractive. In a brief time, we’ve gone from brown, pulpy paper plates to single-use hot cup technology that looks and functions like plastic. We no longer have to compromise looks for sustainable products, which makes the appeal for compostable decorative products much stronger.

 

When You’re Done – Is It Recyclable or Compostable?

 

Composting and recycling are two different, though equally essential methods to keep unnecessary waste products out of the landfill. So, how do you tell the difference?

 

Recyclable Party Supplies

Recyclable means that the disposed waste is reused to produce new products. This doesn’t necessarily mean your kombucha bottle will come back as a kombucha bottle in a second life. Typical party recyclable items include glass containers, paper decorations, and plastic cups. Recyclables can certainly have prints and dyes in them, but they must be rinsed and cleaned before disposal, otherwise, they could be sent to the landfill.

 

Compostable Party Supplies

Compostable materials are biodegradable products that given the right conditions degrade to create

compostable corn and wood utensils

what is called humus (no, not the delicious chickpea dip!). Humus is a nutrient-rich, all-natural soil that can be returned to your garden, just as nature intended.

 

Food is typically compostable. Also, look for compostable party supplies like napkins, cups, plates, and utensils made from corn, recycled crushed paper, bamboo, and palm leaves. Longer-lasting compostable products are typically made from a type of wood.

Partially Compostable

In some cases, party products can be considered partially compostable or biodegradable. For example, latex balloons are compostable but the string is not, so you must dispose of each piece separately.

 

Exciting New Options

Take a look at a compostable plate versus a traditional paper plate now and you probably won’t notice a difference. Compostable decorative and single-use items (cutlery, plates, napkins) hold their own in the decorative department nowadays, and they also hold up better and have more longevity in terms of daily use.

compostable plates made of palm leaves

 

Manufacturers have recently come out with compostable decorations, including placemats, gift bags, banners and place cards. Compostable plates made with palm leaves look modern and are available in various textures and patterns.

 

For compostable decorations like crushed paper you might notice a little difference in texture, but now manufacturers are coming up with stylish shapes like squares with borders.

 

Compostable products are not made with paints, lacquers or chemical dyes. Instead, they use texturing, crushed paper, cuts, shapes and naturally derived dyes to create a diverse selection of attractive designs. Some designs even include prints!

 

compostable corn cup with stars

They have come a long way, and we are thrilled to see what they come up with next.

 

Looking to decorate your next occasion they ec0-friendly way? Call us 510-525-1799 or drop in at 1629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley to browse a wide selection of stylish earth-friendly decorations, utensils, and more.

 

3 Unique Teacher Retirement Party Ideas

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Teachers are a lot like superheroes–they make the impossible happen, they have multiple strengths, and they sacrifice so much on behalf of their students. When it’s time for a teacher to throw in the towel, they deserve a standing ovation and one heck of a retirement party. Check out these unique teacher retirement party ideas for the special teacher in your life.

 

Topsy Turvy Teacher Retirement Party

Teachers spend a lot of time keeping things in order, whether they’re timing student speeches and group discussions, meeting with parents or grading stacks of papers. Considering how many to-dos they juggle in a day, it’s amazing they get everything done! When the clock strikes retirement, help her toss those rules and to-do lists out the window with a “Topsy Turvy” retirement tea party! Steal a page from the books of Salvador Dali and the Mad Hatter and go a little bonkers. Some ideas:

 

  • Decorate a topsy turvy cake with wild colors.
  • Use porcelain saucers, teacups, forks, fake flowers, and a hot glue gun to create table centerpieces that look like flowers are spilling from the teacup onto the saucer.
  • Craft up a few mobiles using warped shapes, tea cakes, sugar cubes, squiggle straws, and spoons.
  • Build small, colorful “street” signs pointing in silly directions.
  • Create decorations that look like clocks with numbers falling off of them.

 

Sweet Dreams Teacher Retirement Party

Make your favorite teacher’s dreams come true with a “Sweet Dreams” themed retirement party! While this theme really depends on what your retiring teacher dreams of (travel, golf, writing her memoir), combine this dream with dreamlike decorations. Think clouds, stars, moonlight, soft colors and sparkles.

  • Decorate tables like the night sky using a black tablecloth and sheer glittery fabric.
  • Decorate the cake to look like the full moon.
  • Create dreamcatchers of various sizes to hang from the ceiling.
  • Order blue macarons and sprinkle some edible gold glitter on top to set on the table.
  • Use string lights and lanterns for soft lighting.

 

Hall of Legends Teacher Retirement Party

After years of brightening the lives of students, your retiring teacher is a legend in their own right. Celebrate her in style with a “Legendary” themed retirement party! Decorate the venue to feel like a grand hall of legendary icons. Go with colors like gold, black and red–and don’t forget the glitter! Go all out and invite guests to dress as their favorite legendary figure.

 

  • Send formal, printed invitations to guests.
  • Create a poster for guests to write down their most legendary moments.
  • Hang black and white prints of historic icons as well as prints of the retiring teacher.
  • Roll out the red carpet and create a step and repeat wall.
  • Set up a photo booth for guests to replicate iconic portraits.

Congratulations to the retiring teacher in your life!

Come on down to Paper Plus in Berkeley for all of your teacher retirement party decorating needs!

Baby Shower Ideas for Boys, Girls and Gender Neutral Themes

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

baby shower spelled in blocks

 

Your precious bundle of joy is on its way and you need baby shower ideas! Your baby shower day is one you will never forget. You get to celebrate with all your friends and family, share your plans for the nursery, play games and stock up on diapers! Whether you’re keeping the baby gender a surprise for the big day or you want to paint the place pink (or blue!), check out these adorable baby shower ideas for decorations, games and more.

Having a gender reveal party first? Check out our gender reveal party ideas!

cartoon animals for babyBaby Shower Decorations and Games

When it comes to baby shower decorations, the possibilities really are endless. From the ready-made pink or blue baby shower decorations to balloon bouquets to crafty centerpieces and games, making the most of the decorating is an excellent way to thank your guests for their support and get excited about your bundle of joy! Here are some of our favorite baby shower ideas for decorations:

 

The Interactive Baby Shower Decoration

If you have creative friends, alphabet painting is a super fun way to have them take part in decorating the nursery. All you need is the 26 letters of the alphabet (wooden or cardstock) and each guest can paint a letter to be hung up on the wall. All the people that mean so much to you will have a hand in decorating the nursery!

 

baby shower girl cookies and box

Baby Bib Decorating

You’re going to go through a lot of bibs, why not have plenty of unique, hand-decorated ones? All you need is fabric paint and plain bibs and your guests can paint a personal bib gift for your baby. So cute!

Baby Babble Scramble

Scramble common baby-related words and print them on paper that matches the theme. Have guests unscramble the words to reveal the answers, and whoever unscrambles them first wins a prize.

What Size is Mommy’s Tummy?

This game is super simple and always gets people smiling. All you need is some ribbon or yarn. Have guests cut the ribbon to the length they think wraps around mommy’s tummy perfectly. Whoever gets the size right gets a prize.

 

Advice Cards

Create themed advice cards for your guests to give their personal piece of baby advice. This game is fun and can be a neat way for guests to give insight. The more input the better!

 

Baby Shower Favors

baby shower boy cupcake blocks pacifier booties

Let your guests know how thankful you are for their support (and gifts) with themed baby shower favors. Some of our favorite baby shower favor ideas include:

 

  • Gift bags – fill with confetti, candy and hand-made thank you notes
  • Soap – wrap bars of soap with thank you notes as a cute thanks for attending the “shower”.
  • Succulents – remind people of the precious gift of life with a succulent!

 

Baby Shower Themes

Whether you want to keep the classic baby blue theme or opt for something outrageous (zombie baby shower, anyone?) choosing your baby shower theme can help you zero in on decorations and make this baby shower extra special.

 

Baby Shower Themes For Girls

Throw a baby girl garden party! This is a delightful way to expand from an all-pink baby shower. Make paper flowers, serve tea cakes and tea sandwiches and give away flowers or succulents as party favors!

 

gender neutral baby announcement

Baby Shower Themes For Boys

Sports themed baby showers for boys are always fun and the best part is that you can buy plenty of ready-made decorations. Whether you want to do a football theme, baseball theme, basketball theme or all-sports-in-one, a sports baby shower lends itself to tons of games. Plus, it’s a great theme for a co-ed baby shower.

 

Gender Neutral Color Theme

If you want to keep the gender reveal for delivery day, have some fun with a gender neutral color theme!

Yellow and green are popular baby colors, or you can select the whole rainbow in pastels. Play gender reveal guessing games or ask for gender neutral name suggestions.

No matter what theme, decorations or party favors you choose, your baby shower is going to be a day you remember for years to come.

We’ll help you make it extra special. Come on down to  Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley to get everything you need!

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

Congratulations!

It’s A Surprise! Cute Baby Gender Reveal Party Ideas

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Baby newborn hanging baby boy baby girl body. Baby gender reveal

Is it a boy or is it a girl? There is so much excitement surrounding the reveal of your baby’s gender. The most popular way to share the big news with friends is to make them all a special part of the reveal and throw a gender reveal party! Celebrate in style with unique gender reveal games, decorations and announcement ideas. Whether you’re decorating the announcement yourself or a trusted friend is in charge of that cherished envelope, these cute gender reveal ideas are sure to wow and delight your guests.

Cartoon-mom-gender-reveal-balloons-for-boySimple Gender Reveal Idea: Balloons in a Box

The balloon reveal is a classic decorative way to announce the gender of your baby. All you need is a box and balloons, the rest is up to your crafty imagination!

 

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard box
  • Neutral wrapping paper (The reveal is inside!)
  • Confetti
  • Pink or blue balloons
  • Tulle (optional)*

 

  1. Gift wrap the box.
  2. Fill the box with confetti that matches the color for either boy or girl.
  3. Fill the balloons with confetti or another, smaller balloon. Remember: the more you put in the balloon, the less it will float.
  4. Place the balloons inside the box and secure it shut.
  5. On the day of the reveal, open the box and the balloons will float up to reveal the baby’s gender!

 

*Wrap tulle around the balloons for some added decoration!

 

Pink and blue baby shower, reveal the gender baby showerCute Gender Reveal Ideas For a Sibling

Have some extra fun telling your child that they’re going to have a baby brother or sister with a balloon popping gender reveal. Simply fill a black balloon with confetti that demonstrates the gender, then help your child pop the balloon. The balloon will burst and reveal a lively array of confetti!

 

If your child is a bit younger, help them celebrate with a gender reveal scratcher, which you can buy or make using a postcard, pens (to write the reveal!), some acrylic paint and dish soap.

 

Name Suggestion Station

There’s plenty of time to play gender reveal games before the announcement! Heighten the anticipation while gathering baby name inspiration with a Name Suggestions Station.

 

What you’ll need:

  • Slips of Pink and blue paper (plus extra colors to decorate the jar)
  • A decorative jar
  • Colored pens
  • Table cloth
  • Confetti
  • A book of names to get people started (optional)

 

Gender Reveal Party Game: Baby Gift Bingo

Prolong the reveal with a good ol’ game of baby gift Bingo! Whether you buy the Bingo set or create your very own with some decorative paper, pens and “chips” of your choosing, Bingo is a fun and easy way to get everyone involved (and hint at some gifts on your baby shower wish list).

 

One Last Baby Gender Reveal Party Idea – The Wearable Vote

Gussy up your guests with pink and blue wearables like necklaces, hats or pins! As your guests walk in, invite them to select either a pink or blue wearable based on what gender they are “voting” for.

You can even make your own wearables with some paint and clothes pins! Simply paint the end of the pins blue or pink so guests can easily clip them to their belongings. If you’re the crafty kind, make wearables based on your gender reveal party theme.

Also, there’s no reason you have to use pink and blue. One cute wearable idea is to make mustaches for the boy vote and little bows for a girl vote. Adorable!

Come on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley to get everything you need to make your  gender reveal party special!

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

Congratulations on your soon to be bundle of joy, and Happy Gender Reveal!

Next, here’s some baby shower planning inspiration for boys, girls, or gender neutral!

 

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!

Host Your Oktoberfest Party: Traditions And Decoration Ideas

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

beer pretzel pumpkin candle oktoberfest tableHappy Oktoberfest! If you’re wondering when Oktoberfest is, it actually isn’t in October: It starts on the second Saturday of September.  That means it’s finally time to get gussied up with traditional Oktoberfest clothing and celebrate life, love and family with Oktoberfest games. Get ready for elaborate costumes, games and, of course, Oktoberfest beer.

Why Is Oktoberfest Celebrated?

On October 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Everyone in Bavaria was invited to take part in the festivities. At the close of the event, horse races took place, and it was decided that the races would happen again the following year. Sure enough in 1811, horse races were put on, along with an agricultural show. After a few decades, beer stands were replaced with the popular beer tents of today. Now there is an entire fun faire, with carousels and games.

If you can’t make it all the way to Germany, but the thought of missing all the fun has you hankering for a stein, make your own Oktoberfest party at home! Here are some simple and fun ways to host your very own Oktoberfest party this year!

decorated pretzels oktoberfest tableSet The Oktoberfest Table

At Oktoberfest, there are game booths, rides, and tents lined with long picnic tables. All around, there are people sitting along tables with sausages, beers and belly laughs. Recreate this feel with centerpieces, stamped tablecloths and seasonal gourds. Some other ideas include:

  • Create a cupcake carousel for the dessert table
  • Fill steins with treats at the kids’ table
  • Make a fondue table for a unique way to snack on all the traditional foods!

Hold Traditional Activities

Hold a beer tasting of specialty German beers, or just with beers you’ve wanted to try! Nowadays there are plenty of Oktoberfest style beers on the market. If you want to stick to tradition, import beer from the classic 6 breweries: Augustiner, Hofbräu Münchner, Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner, Löwenbräu, and Spaten-Franziskaner. For kids, use chilled steins to make big root beer floats!

Set The Scene

Set up a photo booth with handmade props, using construction paper, cardstock, glue and embellishments. Make hats, mustaches, speech bubbles and more!

Turn up the music

Play an Oktoberfest playlist! Make your own or use one from online. There are few good ones on Spotify and Pandora. Folk music works just fine, too.

pretzels and oktoberfest cloth on wooden tableGet Your Costumes On!

Build your own pair of lederhosen with suspenders, shorts and a simple white peasant blouse! For kiddos, you can also make a pair with construction paper and the right adhesives. For ladies, dirndl skirts, peasant blouses, corsets and aprons are perfect for this celebration. Come on down to our craft and costume departments for all your Oktoberfest supplies.

Craft Festive Decorations

Draw a classic beer stein, then cut it out and use it as a stencil to make dozens of them. Next, string them up to create the look of a wall lined with beers. Like a classic Oktoberfest scene.

Prepare a Traditional Oktoberfest Spread

Set the table with hearty, traditional munchies like soft pretzels and mustards, bratwurst sausages and sauerkraut.

How To Make A Pinata For A Classic Party Game!

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Handmade party games and activities really bring life to any celebration. One craft we really enjoy making for birthdays, Sunday BBQs and summer park days is a pinata! No matter what your age or the occasion, there’s something about whacking a homemade pinata and releasing that prize that brings about a pure sense of joy and celebration.

Cardboard or Paper Mache Pinata?

There are two different ways to make a pinata, depending on your craft level, how strong you want it, and the amount of time you have. To make a pinata for, say, a baby’s 1st birthday, or if you want to use more complex shapes for an animal pinata, you will want to go with the first tutorial. For more classic homemade pinatas, go with the second tutorial.

number 5 homemade cardboard pinataHow To Make A Pinata With Cardboard

Time Needed: 20 Minutes

When you need to make a fun activity fast, go with the tape-it-up cardboard pinata.

What You’ll Need:

  • Masking Tape
  • String
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Ruler/Straight Edge
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper
  • Cardstock/Cardboard
  • Pen
  • Candy or other small prizes
  1. Cut Out Your Shapes. Using your pen, cardstock or cardboard and scissors, cut out the shapes you will need for your pinata. Depending on your 3-D crafting knowledge, you can make whatever shape pinata you’d like!
  2. Construct the Pinata. Tape your pieces together to construct the shape. Be sure to use masking tape!
  3. Fill’er Up! Before taping the top on, fill the pinata with your treats.
  4. Add String! Tie a knot in your piece of hanging string and feed the string through the top of the pinata. Tape it set.
  5. Cut The Tissue Paper. Fold your tissue paper over and over, then use the scissors to cut strips about 1.5 inches wide. This will start the desired fringe paper. Be careful not to cut too close to the
    top and sever your fringe. Add the fringe to your pinata with glue, and there you have it!

 

How To Make A Paper Mache Pinata

Time Needed: 45-60 minutes

 heart-shaped-ballon-for-pinataFor this classic pinata tutorial, be sure to lay out lots of extra newspaper to keep paper mache paste or paint from staining anything.

What You’ll Need:

  • Large balloon
  • Newspaper
  • Large bowl
  • Paper mache paste
  • Paint
  • Crepe paper
  • String/Yarn
  • Masking Tape
  • Candy/ Prizes
  1. homemade-heart-shaped-balloon-pinataBlow up your balloon really big!
  2. Grab your bowl, cover it in plastic wrap and set the balloon on top of it.
  3. Tear up your newspaper into strips. Don’t be shy, you’ll need quite a bit! Make sure they are at least 1 inch wide and about 6 inches long.
  4. Set your paste in a bowl, and dip the strips in. Remove extra paste with your fingers
  5. Lay your strips onto the balloon, alternating directions until the whole thing is covered. Leave a hole at the balloon tie. Let it dry.
  6. Once dried, add at least 2, but preferably 3 additional paper mache layers to your balloon, waiting for each layer to dry before adding the next one.
  7. When dry, pop the balloon and remove it through the hole you left.
  8. Paint your pinata in bright colors, or decorate with tissue paper (like the tutorial above!) and then fill it with candy and prizes.

Now you have a pinata to liven up your party!

Need a few things to get started? Come on down to Paper Plus for balloons, tissue paper, and other crafting supplies today!

Simple and Creative High School Graduation Party Ideas

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

high school graduation caps being thrown
High school graduation day is a big milestone. Caps are tossed, speeches are shared and plenty of photos are taken. On such an important day, your grad deserves to be celebrated in a BIG way!

After all, this day is going to be one your grad looks back on through their lifetime. So choose a unique graduation party theme and grab your crafting supplies, it’s time to celebrate!

For their big milestone, throw a high school graduation party that really captures their personality. From handmade graduation party favors and decorations to games and activities based on their personality, there is so much opportunity to make the grad in your life feel extra special.

 

Graduation Party Decoration Ideas That Delight

Create a photo collage of all the beautiful memories that led to this special day! We are particularly liking photo wreaths this year. They are simple to put together, and you can decorate them in any assortment of colors. Feeling ambitious? Make a photo wreath for every year of your grad’s life. You can even make a graduation party game out of it and ask guests to try and put them in the right order. Whoever gets them in order wins a prize.

 

high school graduation party capKeep Track Of Those Graduation Cards!

With all the excitement on graduation day, it can be a bit difficult keeping track of all the graduation cards. Make the graduation cards even more exciting and decorate a box for them. Paint it with the grad’s favorite colors or school colors, add embellishments and set it on a gift table for guests to fill as they arrive.

 

Make An Entrance!

Make their entrance to the party a moment to remember with a balloon arch! This will also make for a great photo area.

 

Graduation Party Decoration Ideas: Year Signs

Sometimes the cleverest crafts are also the simplest. That goes for graduation party centerpieces, too! Create a tissue paper graduation year sign centerpiece with this simple tutorial:

  1. Select enough tissue paper for your desired sign size. Consider buying the grad’s school colors.
  2. Cut out the shape of the number of the graduation year from cardstock or something sturdy.
  3. Glue the tissue paper to the numbers. The fluffier the better!
  4. berkeley school color balloons red yellowWhile your numbers dry, decorate 4 glass bottles to match the tissue paper
  5. Attach a wooden dowel to the back of each number, and place them in the bottles
  6. There you have a simply spectacular graduation year sign!

 

Capture All The Fun!

Set up a photo booth with fun and festive wearables, photo props and more! Create your own props with popsicle sticks or dowels, construction paper and pens.

 
Stop by the store today to talk about a balloon arch (remember they are a great photo background), centerpiece making supplies and everything you need to decorate for your graduation party!

 

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