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Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

Don’t Let Covid-19 Cancel Your Wedding – Make It Small!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

bride and groom with masks on for covid

Covid-19 caution is warranted, but with a few adaptations, you should be able to enjoy your nuptials right on schedule. Opting for a small wedding ceremony and exercising a little creativity with your celebration can mean your friends and family get to celebrate with you without risking their health.

Think Small, Simple Wedding

You may even want to restrict your ceremony to the members of your “coronavirus bubble,” the few people who are observing the same sorts of precautions you are who you’ve decided to keep contact with.

This might mean your minister, your parents, and one or two witnesses. These tiny weddings have gotten fashionable of late anyway, simply because they are a lot less stressful than their 200-guest counterparts.

Opt for an Outdoor Ceremony

bride and groom beach small wedding during covidIf you can’t stand the thought of leaving anyone out then it’s a good idea to opt for a small, outdoor wedding. You have room to invite a few more people because there’s more room for social distancing and the chances of infection are a lot smaller outside.

Obviously every guest should be expected to wear a mask per the state guidelines and should be respectful enough to do so.

Can’t find a venue so close to your original date? This would be the perfect time for a small backyard wedding.

Wear Fashionable Wedding Masks

Wedding designers reacted quickly when the coronavirus crisis hit. Now there are plenty of places where you can buy gorgeous wedding masks. You can even get them custom-designed for the couple and the members of the wedding party.

After all, everyone will need to get masked up, including you and your partner!

Take advantage of this to express yourself. Wedding masks can give your attire a mysterious appeal, which means wearing them can be fun and interesting as well as necessary.

Adopt Some Virtual Wedding Traditions

outdoor small wedding during covidThere will be some family members, friends, and loved ones who just won’t be able to attend, no matter how many precautions you take. Some won’t want to travel. Others will be immunocompromised.

You can still make them a part of your ceremony. Tell them if they’d like to be included they are welcome to dress up and create a video clip saying congratulations to the couple. Give them the option to add a few words of wisdom or well-wishes.

Compile a big wedding video and include the clips, then send them out to everyone you would have invited prior to covid-19. You’ll create a beautiful memento that you’ll cherish in the years to come.

Embrace the Benefits

bride-and-groom-elopement-cupcakesWhile it might be disappointing to switch over to a small, intimate wedding, or a small wedding reception, there are benefits. Pre-covid, most weddings cost over $25,000. That’s more than enough to put a down payment on a house or to indulge in an epic honeymoon when things are just a little bit safer.

Remember, the wedding is just the first chapter. The marriage is the rest of your life. Celebrate your love and the time you have together! Ultimately, that’s what’s really important.

Come on down to Paper Plus for your wedding supplies! Read about how we’re keeping our employees and customers safe during Covid-19.

How to Celebrate Your Birthday While Social Distancing

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

two handfuls rainbow sprinkles

Though the Berkeley area is gradually reopening, social distancing as much as possible will remain a smart idea until a COVID-19 vaccine is found and is widely available. This can be a bummer for those who have to stay at home on their birthday. It can be especially rough on kids in quarantine.

COVID-19 is forcing all of us to get creative. Fortunately, creativity is the key to launching an amazing socially distanced birthday party! Here are six ideas to get you started.

1. Launch a Socially-Distanced Birthday Parade

You’ll need to recruit family, friends, and neighbors to support your loved one on their birthday. Have them decorate their cars with streamers, happy birthday posters, and whatever else their creativity can come up with.

Then ask them to drive by the house. Have each person bring one balloon, and you’ll have one big birthday bunch at the end.

This idea is especially great because it gets to the heart of what a birthday celebration is all about: showing someone that they’re loved! It doesn’t take a huge party to accomplish that, and the effort it takes to organize and turn out for a parade does such a great job of communicating the sentiment while making the recipient feel special.

2. Go Big on Yard Decorations

backyard birthday celebration chocolate cakeIf you’ve got a yard then put it to use! Go big with large-letter signs, posters, balloons, and more.

You don’t have to be the sole source of these decorations. Ask friends and loved ones to stop by and add giant cards to the mix. Your birthday person can read the cards when it’s time to return the yard to normal.

Going big can be hilarious and can make your loved one feel extra special.

And how about a night of backyard camping?

3. Get a Cameo

Does your loved one have a favorite celebrity? If so, they might be on Cameo.com, especially right now. This site accommodates everyone from Instagram influencers to Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulson in ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD.”

You’ll find celebrity chefs, reality show stars, rock stars, and baby animals all waiting to make a video, especially for your loved one.

Each star sets their own cost. When the video is done you get a link, which means you can send it to them by email, text, or via your favorite messenger program. For the true fan being personally recognized for a short video can be an absolutely thrilling experience, and may entirely make up for being stuck at home.

4. Party By Mail

birthday cardsThis is an especially effective celebration for family and friend groups who are scattered across the country, especially if video chats aren’t an option. Pick out one thing your loved one really enjoys: bears, frogs, teacups, unicorns, whatever.

Then, use social media or email to recruit as many people as possible into sending pictures, cards, and small tokens on this theme. These don’t have to be expensive! A teddy bear picture or construction-paper cut out can be just as meaningful as an actual teddy bear.

Try to arrange this all about a month before the birthday so the mail will all come in at once.

This is especially lovely for younger children, who are often absolutely enamored with the idea of receiving any kind of mail.

5. Participate in a Global Scavenger Hunt

small white dog outside with birthday hatIf you haven’t heard of GISH yet, now might be a great time to check it out. GISH stands for the “Greatest International Global Scavenger Hunt.” Usually, GISH takes place for one week every year and inspires people to do things like create giant replicas of board games or to do silly things in costume out in public, all while earning money for the charity Random Acts, which has gone on to do a huge amount of good all over the world.

Right now GISH is hosting 24-hour quarantine “hunts” at home, and each scavenger hunt item is designed to be do-able at home. Some involve Zoom chats, others involve making art, and still, others involve making funny videos. At the moment, all funds are going to keeping kids fed during the COVID-19 crisis.

If your birthday person’s special day happens to fall on or near the next hunt, you could form a team of family or friends and spend the day competing to finish as many items as possible. It’s a great way to bring everybody together while making a difference…and yes, younger kids can participate too!

6. Host a Virtual Party

virtual birthday via zoom showing two dogs on zoomVideo chats have become the coronavirus go-to for social interactions of every kind. How can you turn it into a party?

One way is to get everyone to dress up. Have a princess party, space party, or zombie party by having everyone dress up. Host some good video-chat party games like charades or Pictionary. Or just get together, have some good food, and chat.

If you need a little more structure you might try a karaoke party. If you have Discord or another streaming platform you can share party games like the ones put out by Jackbox Games.

The Netflix Party app is another awesome option, allowing your family and friends to watch a movie together while commenting in a shared chat.

Plan, Get Supplies, Go Nuts

child celebrating quarantine birthday with cakeThe specifics of what you do don’t really matter. What matters is showing your love for each other on your birthday, spending time together, and having some fun. Think outside the box, gather some art or party supplies, and try not to let your disappointment over not having “normal” birthday activities bring down the mood.

Still, don’t forget to order some ice cream and cake via delivery. We don’t want to throw all the traditions out the window just because this virus might be around for a while, and cake is sacrosanct.

Come on by!

Starting May 9th, 2020, Paper Plus is offering all your party supplies, as well as some essential items, in a properly socially-distanced environment. Grab your mask and visit our store to stock up on all your birthday needs. We are located at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, CA. Question? Give us a call at 510-525-1799.

Throw the Perfect Birthday Party with These Unicorn Party Supplies

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

 

unicorn cake with horn white pink

Unicorns are gaining popularity in the tiny worlds of little munchkins. While unicorns have been associated with fairy tales in the past, they are currently holding their own in the minds of imaginative children. Take a look around the next time you are out and about and it’ll be hard not to notice a sparkly and colorful unicorn adorning children’s t-shirts, hats, and even shoes. They’re so popular now, that unicorn birthday parties have become a favorite for little ones.

Looking for unicorn party ideas? We’ve put together this list of unicorn party favors, activities, decorations, and unicorn party supplies so that you can host a unicorn themed party like a pro.

Unicorn Party Activities

sparkling rainbow unicornPin the Tail on the Donkey? Nope! Pin the Horn on the Unicorn!!

Remember the old Pin the Tail on the Donkey that we used to play as kids? Well, donkey has spruced himself up a bit! Pin the Horn on the Unicorn is fun, popular, and guaranteed to create giggles and laughter. This is a favorite unicorn party supply you don’t want to leave out!

Make Your Own Unicorn Horn

When it’s time to settle the kids a bit, take out the craft supplies and lead the party goers in a unicorn-themed activity where they get to create their own unicorn headband, complete with a horn! Cotton candy cones are the perfect shape for DIY unicorn horns. Grab some paper for strips that the kids can wrap around their heads. Lay out some craft unicorn party supplies, like unicorn stickers, paint supplies, markers, glitter, and glue, and let the children get creative. There are all types of unicorn stickers and supplies that kids will love placing on their own, personal unicorn headband.

cat with unicorn horn and doughnutPlay Unicorn Dress Up

After the kids have made their unicorn-horn headbands, offer up a box of sparkly dress-up items like tutus, unicorn t-shirts, and fun silk scarves. Don’t forget a wand to make the magic complete! A rainbow wand will make the kiddos feel like they are playing in a true unicorn haven.

Make Your Own Unicorn Backdrop

Make your venue look like a fairy tale with a unicorn backdrop. A day or two before the party, you and your kids can work together using glitter, paint, markers, and stickers to color in grassy hills, pink clouds, and colorful rainbows. Hang the unicorn backdrop on the wall for pictures and let the kids’ imaginations run wild. For even more unicorn fun, give the kids glitter or rainbow markers, and have them sign the backdrop with birthday wishes!

Unicorn Party Favors

Create a unicorn goody-bag for the children to take home with unicorn party favors. In addition to a variety of unicorn stickers, unicorn tattoos will complete any good bag! Kids love wearing fake unicorn tattoos to school and to the playground to show their friends.

Want to go big? Other animals rock the unicorn horn too! Add a stuffed rabbit or llama for the most talked-about goody bag of the year! Pick up unicorn sunglasses and candles, and your party favor bag is complete.

unicorn party supplies and cake with rainbowUnicorn Party Decorations

Give your child the best unicorn party ever with the perfect unicorn decorations. Hang up a unicorn happy birthday banner along with multiple unicorn balloons. Kids love balloons that are in the shape of unicorn heads. Think of getting balloons in super bright colors like pink, purple, yellow, green, blue, orange, and rainbow.

Get into the magic by making a colorful unicorn balloon arch. It’s the perfect addition to a unicorn party where kids can take pictures or walk through as they pretend it’s a magical portal to a unicorn fairyland. Make sure and grab streamers in multiple colors to give your venue that unicorn sparkle. And don’t forget the unicorn cake, glitter cupcakes, and rainbow ice cream as a special cherry on top for the perfect unicorn party.

We carry everything you need to create magic at your next unicorn birthday party. Come on by Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, or give us a call at 510-525-1799.

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.

How to DIY Your Elopement Party

Friday, November 1st, 2019

 bride-and-groom-elopement-cupcakes

Once upon a time, couples who wanted to elope would skip town, the elopement party, and just head to a courthouse, sometimes across state lines. Elopement usually happened when the families disapproved.

But today it means something else entirely. “Elopement” has come to describe small, cozy weddings with a handful of cherished guests, either close to home or destination. These weddings and elopement parties can often be thrown for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding with hundreds of guests. They’re also a relatively low-stress, low-key option.

Elopement allows you to create an intimate, meaningful wedding. And when you DIY as much of it as possible, you don’t just save money. You put your heart and soul into creating something that’s truly unique. Here’s everything you need to become your own elopement planner.

Elopement Ceremony and Elopement Party Checklist

Here are all the things you’ll have to think about when planning your elopement.

Elopement Venues

couple-eloping-ring-ceremony.Choosing a venue is about more than finding a pretty location and booking it. It requires a lot of advance planning, as well as an awareness of the local laws governing marriages.

You’re likely actually going to choose two venues here. Many couples will still choose a courthouse to get married in, before moving everyone to a gorgeous location for the reception. If that’s what you’re doing, we’ve got you covered!

When choosing your venue, consider:

● Whether you’ll need a separate appointment for your marriage license.
● Whether the courthouse requires you to book ahead or allows walk-ins. Booking may be better, as you don’t want to get your guests to the courthouse only to force them to wait on someone else’s wedding!
● Whether the courthouse allows you to book.
● Whether the courthouse allows you to offer your own vows.
● Triple check the laws if you’re eloping in another country.

Do some calling around. For the most part, you’re going to want to book early. Choose your top reception locations, and then call courthouses near those venues. Call each reception location to make sure it’s available too. If you find matching times for the reception and courthouse, you’ve won!

If you absolutely can’t book both locations for the same day, and are adamant about having your wedding in a specific spot, then give the reception area preference. Some couples don’t invite anyone but witnesses to the courthouse and instead invite everyone to the reception.

couple-eloping-holding-hands.If that’s you, then you can get legally married a week or two before the reception. Your announcements and invites would then say that you got married, where, and when, with a warm invitation to attend the upcoming elopement party.

Some people choose to hold the reception closer to home, opting to get married in a city by themselves with no guests, enjoy their honeymoon, and then come home for the elopement party. This could save many of your guests a fortune in travel costs.

Elopement Attire

You’ll want to talk to your partner about how you’re going to dress for the ceremony, and for the reception. You don’t have to go crazy with color coordination, but you’ll want to match your level of formality.

For example, many eloping brides prefer white dresses with simple, clean lines, formal enough for work or any party but available at any department store. This prevents you from having to purchase or rent an elaborate wedding dress. If you take that route, then the groom might want to wear a simple suit instead of a tux. Slacks, a vest, and a crisp shirt are a good choice too. These items play well at the reception, too.

You might both want to at least visit a local tailor to make sure the fit is spot-on. This is still your day!

Elopement Announcements and Invitations

This is one of the areas where you can get truly creative by making your own announcements and invitations. Here are some elopement announcement ideas.

For a Formal Elopement Party

Get heavy card stock and a calligraphy kit to write out each invitation or announcement by hand.

For a Less Formal Elopement Party

For weddings where you didn’t invite any guests at all, send a “Reception Only!” card. Write the words right at the top in big, bold letters, and then add the details in smaller ones. Gel pens on heavy card stock will produce outstanding results.

For a Backyard Elopement Party

Have a little fun with stencils to put on-theme decorations on your invitation. You don’t even have to use the word “reception.” You can call it an “I Do BBQ” or a “Happily Ever After Party.”

Don’t Forget

Announcing your elopement comes with its own etiquette. Those who will be attending you at the courthouse are your witnesses. Keep in mind your chosen city may require them! You should plan on having fewer than a dozen witnesses, even if you plan to invite a slightly larger group of people to your post-elopement party.

Announcements may be mailed to anyone who didn’t attend the elopement after you’re hitched.

Invitations, either to the elopement or the elopement party, can be mailed before.

It’s a good idea to send “save the date” cards to anyone you want on site, too.

Elopement Reception Planning

There are some truly unique elopement places out there. Some venues have begun specializing in this sort of wedding, and even have some of the best elopement packages you could possibly ask for. Choose the right venue, and details like flowers, food, music, and even a photographer can already be all lined up and done for you.

If the venue doesn’t offer an elopement package then you will want to make sure your DIY elopement reception has the following:

  • Someone to take pictures. It can be your uncle or your bestie if you don’t want to hire a photographer. Print photos and purchase a scrapbook or photo album so you always remember your special day!
  • A way to play music. An mp3 player and good Bluetooth speakers with a solid Google Play or Spotify playlist work just fine.
  • Food! You can’t neglect the food. Fortunately, catering for twenty people or less is a lot less expensive than catering for over 100. You might want to contact a few caterers in the local area and arrange a tasting if you can. If you’re having your party in your own back yard you can, of course, just make your own.
  • Don’t forget glasses, plates, and flatware. Use tasteful disposables for a minimum of fuss.
    Wedding cake is totally optional, but most couples want one. Elopement cakes are usually single tiered cakes with some tasteful but beautiful low-key decoration. If you want something a little less formal and a little more fun, you could also have the bride and groom’s cupcakes arranged in tiers and towers.
  • Flowers are also optional, but if you want a bouquet to throw you’ll need to think about this. Many online flower shops deliver wedding bouquets right to your doorstep and don’t require a lot of notice.
  • Balloons!  Balloons make even the most casual event special.
  • You might want to consider other supplies like chairs and tables.

Here at Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, we offer all the supplies you’ll need, including chair rentals, card stock for invitations, and more. Stop by and ask how we can help you make your elopement a memorable and beautiful event.

After you’ve acquired or scheduled everything you’re going to need, take a breath and relax!

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.

Quick Tips For Creating Amazing Casino Theme Party Decorations

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

poker chips and ace playing cards for casino theme

Feeling lucky? Host a casino theme party! Take your guests back to the glamorous casino era, when everyone got gussied up to test their luck on the casino floor. A casino night theme party is the perfect way to celebrate a milestone birthday, a retirement, graduation, or even an anniversary. Whatever you’re planning to celebrate, host an unforgettable casino theme party with these decoration tips.

The Casino Theme at a Glance

ace playing card peeking outThe colors for a classic casino theme party include black, red, white, silver and gold. Glean your inspiration from decks of cards, dice, and the glamour of the casinos as they’re depicted in James Bond films. If you’re looking to go with more of a Las Vegas-style casino theme, then you will have many other colors to choose from, including neon colors!

The fun of a casino party starts with the glamour of the games, winning, and having plenty of money to blow. Provide your guests with stacks of fake currency when they arrive so they get in the high rolling mood. Provide plenty of champagne, martinis and decadent hors-d’oeuvres to fuel the fun.

Creating casino theme decorations can be somewhat time-consuming, as the cards, dice and other mascots of the theme require a steady hand and a good eye for detail to recreate. If time is tight, head to Paper Plus to get ready-made casino theme party decorations. If you’re crafty, we have a wonderful selection so that you can create beautiful casino theme party decorations yourself.

Casino Theme Party Invitations

The excitement starts with the invitation. Depending on which style of casino theme party decorations you’re going for, the invitation could look like a large playing card, a crisp black Casino Royale-style invitation with basic information, or a glittering invitation inspired by the jackpot.

Casino Theme Decorations

large playing card casino party decorations

When it comes to casino theme decorations, bigger really is better. You want your guests to be immersed in the casino experience as soon as they walk in, so don’t be shy with the decorations!

  • Paint half a dozen boxes to look like dice and stack them in corners throughout the venue.
  • Order a balloon arch with black, red, white, and silver balloons for the entryway. We carry latex balloons with casino theme prints that accent the balloon arch nicely. You can also purchase up to 32-inch Mylar balloons shaped like spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds.
  • Cut up some poster board to create jumbo playing cards, and display winning hands across the venue.
  • If you have a large venue, create direction signs so guests can easily locate the games they want to play.
  • Cover your tables with casino theme tablecloths. We have tablecloths with playing cards, dollar signs or table games printed on them.
  • Don’t forget about the walls! Hang casino-themed banners, backdrops, and cutouts near the appetizers and around the doorways. We carry jumbo playing cards, dollar signs, dice and poker chip cutouts as well as banners that imitate casino signs.

Casino Theme Costumes

It’s possible some guests will arrive without costumes, so you’ll want to be prepared. Give out green visors so guests can pretend to be dealers. Provide fake clip-on ties, fedoras, and boas for your costume-less gambling guests so they can play the part. These are items we regularly stock!

Casino Theme Centerpieces

Suits of playing cards in golden glitter

Make your guests feel like high rollers when they take a seat. Hire a cocktail waitress to take their orders.

  • Fill martini glasses with beads, dice, poker chips and even red and black feathers.
  • Scatter some poker-inspired confetti around the centerpieces.
  • Take advantage of clear glass containers, as they make a great foundation for displaying all the flashy chips, beads and ribbons.
  • You can’t go wrong with classic red roses, either. A few dozen bouquets woven into the centerpieces elevates the decorations without going overboard.

If you’re crafty, you can also manipulate playing cards with scissors and folding techniques to create playing card roses.

When it comes to creating the perfect casino theme party, there are so many possibilities.

Use your imagination and your knowledge of the guest of honor to create a truly personal party they will never forget.

If you’re looking for ready-made casino theme decorations, head down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo in Berkeley and check out our wide array of party props, wearables, and decorations.

We also have a huge selection of craft materials so you can make your own decorations.

 

The Quick Guide to Essential Bachelorette Party Supplies

Friday, March 1st, 2019

bachelorette party

If you are the Maid of Honor, then you know well and good it’s up to you to know where to find bachelorette party supplies. While every party is unique, there are some essential supplies that no bachelorette party should be without.

Essential Bachelorette Party Props

Whether you have a silly sisterhood bash planned for the bride or a sophisticated soiree, make sure all the bridesmaids have props. These include, but are not limited to:

  • shot glasses are the perfect bachelorette party supplyThemed necklaces and sashes that say “bride-to-be” and “bachelorette”
  • Photo booth props (use them for social media photos too!)
  • Handheld (stick) balloons
  • Glow sticks
  • Shot glasses, wine glasses, and sparkly goblets
  • Temporary tattoos, glittery tiaras, and hats
  • Disposable or Polaroid cameras

The purpose of the bachelorette party props is to amplify the fun, so let your imagination run wild! You really can’t go wrong with classic shot glass necklaces, glittery tiaras and bride-to-be banners.

Silly Bachelorette Party Hats, Sunglasses Other Wearables

Is there anything more fun than dressing up with your girlfriends and hitting the town?

Tonight is the night to bring that girlhood, slumber party dream of the “ideal bachelorette party” to life and celebrate your friendships.

Some of you have known the bride longer than she has known her groom!

Celebrate the silly, wild, forever kind of friendships with brightly colored bachelorette party hats, sunglasses, sashes, and veils.

bride team logoClassy Bachelorette Party Supplies

If your bride is the ladylike, home-by-midnight type, make sure you pack in as much sophisticated fun as possible before the clock strikes 12.

Make the bride feel like the queen of the evening with a tiara and flowing veil, a personal jeweled wine glass, and a glittering sash that says “bride-to-be” or simply “bride.”

If you pride yourself on your crafting skills, decorate a sash with a custom phrase using a plain satin sash and fabric paint. You can also decorate the champagne bottles with her name, photo, or favorite quote.

It’s also very popular for the group to bring items they can decorate or write on throughout the evening. Sometimes this is a poster, a garment like a headband or hat, or even a small dry-erase board to add “captions” to your social media photos.

Bachelorette Party Kits

Each guest of the bachelorette party should receive a bachelorette party kit filled with both fun and practical items that will elevate the night (and make the morning after much easier).

The bachelorette party kits should have the bachelorette party theme “uniform” (hats, glittery tattoos, sashes or nametags that say “bachelorette” or “with the bride,” etc.) and other supplies like Advil, gum, lip gloss, and makeup remover.

Preparing these kits beforehand will make each guest feel special and will also ensure that everyone has everything they need to make this night memorable.

The bachelorette party is a once in a lifetime event, and so we wish you the very best in making this an unforgettable experience for the bride.

If you’re looking for further inspiration, head down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley to check out our big selection of bachelorette party props, wearables, and other goodies.

Quinceañera Decoration Ideas for the 3 Most Popular Party Themes

Friday, February 1st, 2019

tree in enchanted forest

Before we reveal our knock-your-socks-off quinceañera decoration ideas, here’s some background.

When a young Mexican woman turns 15 she celebrates her quinceañera, a combination of the Spanish words quince (fifteen) and años (years). This is a special day for Mexican women as it symbolizes a rite of passage – or the transition into womanhood – and so it is celebrated with a similar grandeur as a bat mitzvah or debutante ball. The friends and family of the young woman come together to celebrate this special day. The guests give thanks and blessings to the young woman, who is dressed in a floor-length ball gown.

While it is a tradition for the party decorations to match the color of the young woman’s gown, you can still have fun contextualizing the color with a theme. Whether the gown is blue, pink, green or even gold, get inspired by these three themed quinceañera party ideas.

1. Quinceañera Decoration Ideas for an Enchanted Forest Theme

An enchanted forest theme lends itself to plenty of whimsical, nature-inspired quinceañera decoration ideas. This theme works best if the gown is green, burgundy, purple or gold.

Quinceañera Centerpieces

With an enchanted forest theme, rustic bouquets are perfectly acceptable as centerpieces. The best quinceañera decoration ideas for tables include whimsy details. Add a few glittery faux flowers or string lights, or handwrite placement cards on tea-stained paper.

Take Advantage of Quinceañera Party Rentals

The details will make or break the theme, so take stock of what you have and stop by Paper Plus for the rest! We have both table and chair rentals to ensure your guest are comfortable.

Giant Mushroom Props

Whip out your old newspapers or coupons and put your papier-mâché skills to work! You can find plenty of papier-mâché giant mushroom, flower, or tree prop tutorials online, and you can paint them to match the theme colors.

2. Quinceañera Decoration Ideas for a Winter Wonderland Theme

white rock candy for quinceañera decorations for winter wonderland themeA classic winter wonderland theme is perfect for an elegant quinceañera. This theme complements a gown that’s light blue, white, silver or even purple.

Icy Elements

Make the whole venue sparkle with crystal centerpieces, glittering white branches, and frosted string lights. Don’t forget the cotton candy – you can rent a machine from us!

Quinceañera Balloons

Blue, white and silver latex balloons make an elegant balloon bouquet that can be fastened to centerpieces or allowed to float around the venue like snowfall.

Quinceañera Centerpieces

Focus on the “Wonderland” for the centerpieces with jars of white and blue hard candies. Think white rock candy, blue swirled lollypops, Tiffany blue M&Ms … anything sweet and wintery. Fill clear glass containers with the candy and set them on a ruffled transparent blue table runner (or equivalent fabric).

3. Quinceañera Decoration Ideas for a Masquerade Theme

Amplify the mystique of womanhood with a masquerade theme. Invite guests to dance the night away behind elaborate disguises with the new queen of 15. This theme works beautifully with red, rich purple, royal blue, black, gold, and pink gowns.

Masks, Of Course

Buy standard plain masks in bulk and decorate them individually with faux feathers, jewels, glitter, and vibrant paints.

mask for masquerade themed quinceañera decorations

Masquerade Themed Quinceañera Invitations

A masquerade calls for divine invitations. Add elements of surprise to your invitations with invisible ink or elaborate paper folds that reveal the date and time or a special musical guest.

Quinceañera Centerpieces

Masquerade centerpieces should be overflowing with decadent details. Scatter the tables with gilded candelabras. Fill wine glasses with jewels and feathers. Nothing is too gaudy with this theme.

No matter what theme you choose, we wish you a happy quinceañera.

If you need assistance bringing your quinceañera vision to life, stop by Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley and we can help you with craft ideas and balloon decorations.

8 Luau Party Ideas to Beat The Winter Blues

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Hawaiian luaus are a special kind of happy place. Delicious, hearty food served to the sound of tropical Hawaiian music, blissful weather and spectacular entertainment set to a warm ocean breeze–it’s a complete dream! But who says you have to be in Hawaii to enjoy a luau? With the right luau party decorations, ideas, and a bit of imagination, you can enjoy a luau in your very own backyard, even during the winter.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a winter graduation or you simply want to beat the winter blues with a Hawaiian staycation, turn up the heat this winter with these luau party ideas.

What is a Luau Party?

Traditionally, a luau is a big Hawaiian party where the entire community is invited to enjoy a feast. Guests receive a buffet-style dinner, tropical drinks and traditional Polynesian dances for entertainment. Many luaus often invite local, traditional Hawaiian artists to present arts and crafts demonstrations, musical performances and games for the whole family.

How to Throw a Luau Party

The first detail you will need to consider for your luau party is the location. Luaus are typically held outside, but that could prove difficult during our rainy, chilly winters. If you have a wide open indoor space, that will work perfectly! The important thing is to create a space where people can immerse themselves in the small details that represent a luau.

To help your guests imagine this tropical destination with you, there are a few signature Hawaiian luau party supplies you won’t want to forget for your luau:

1. Leis

Many traditional luaus begin with a lei greeting, where the hostess provides each guest with a lei garland. Half the joy of a lei is the presentation of it, so take a moment when your guests arrive and adorn them with their very own lei. The most popular leis are made of fresh tropical flowers, but other leis can be made with coconut shells or seashells. If you don’t have any of these natural materials available, we have plastic costume leis in a variety of vibrant colors.

2. Tiki Torches

Illuminate your luau party with tiki torches. You can also strategically place tiki torches throughout the space to indicate where the appetizers, games, and luau party favors are located. There are many flameless tiki torch options available now so you can safely erect them in your home or outside. We also have mini tiki torch candles for table decorations.

3. Music

Whether you have a band, a DJ or you plan to make a playlist yourself, Hawaiian music is an absolute necessity at a luau. Coordinate with any performers you may be inviting so you have their music ahead of time.

4. Pork

Traditionally, luaus serve a slow-roasted pork that has been cooked in a hole in the ground. But don’t worry about digging a hole in your backyard. Instead, use a crockpot to slow cook your pork.

5. Luau Party Wear

Hula skirts, Hawaiian shirts, and flip-flops will be the attire for your luau party. Make sure to include these details on your luau party invitations.

Luau Party Decorations

One of the most important parts of a luau-themed party will be the decorations. The right luau party decorations can transport your guests to the Hawaiian Islands, even just for a moment!

6. Luau Party Centerpieces

Luau centerpieces can be fairly easy and inexpensive to make. All you need are some flowers (fake or real), tropical fruit like pineapples, coconuts, and watermelons, bamboo details, and plenty of bright fabrics and paints. You can create simple centerpieces with mason jars and flowers, or decorate a pineapple as a hula dancer. The limit is your imagination!

7. Luau Party Games

Simple games are usually the most well-received, so why not go ultra simple and supply a few hula hoops. For something that requires a little more imagination (and a sense of humor!) host a game of hula charades! The traditional hula dance uses specific dance moves to tell a story about a goddess, a myth, or a cultural ideology. Combine the rules of charades with the ancient practice of hula to create your very own game of hula charades.

8. Luau Party Favor Ideas

Keep the party going when your guests leave with luau party favors. Provide colorful sunglasses, cake-pop “islands” complete with little cocktail umbrellas, bags of gummy fish candy, or make-your-own Mai Tai gift baskets. Your party favors will depend on the age of your guests, of course.

 

Wishing you all the best on your Hawaiian luau getaway party!

 

Stop by Paper Plus in Berkeley for all your decorations, wearables, and luau party supplies.

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