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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Car Window Decorating Ideas for Any Occasion

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019


Car window decorating has become a big deal for a number of different occasions. People have used it for graduation parties, weddings, sporting events, and gender reveal parties. Maybe you’ve even got your own event to celebrate. Now you just need some ideas.

Not to worry! There are plenty of ways you can get the job done. And of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to windows at all.

Car Window Decoration Supplies (Or, for the Whole Car!)

Let’s start by equipping you with your own car decorating kit. You’ll want to make your own both so it will be specific to your event and so you can avoid things which might damage your car, such as silly string. (Why avoid silly string? Because it’s akin to egging your own vehicle).

Many pre-sold kits also come with adhesives. But many stickers can be very hard to remove. They can damage your paint job or lower the value of your vehicle.

Car Decorating Paint

Temporary paint pens are the only ones you’ll ever want to use on your car’s paint job. Make sure the paint pen says “all surfaces” before you use it on the trunk, hood, or sides of your car.

A good car decoration paint pen should be water-based and solvent-free so you can clean it up with a wet rag, later.

Car Window Decorating Markers

Most of the markers you can use to decorate your car are meant for your windows. Liquid chalk markers, or washable window markers, are both good bets here.

The one you choose will depend on the look you’re trying to achieve. The chalk markers really do look like chalk, making them absolutely perfect for senior car decorating. After all, if you’re going to celebrate the end of your school career you might as well do it with a shout out to the school experience!

Markers will give you a more versatile, colorful look. They’re great for wedding cars or gender reveal cars.

Streamers & Banners

Streamers and banners are both fun and traditional. Often you’ll tie them to bumpers or car mirrors to get them into place, and to keep them there.

The sky’s the limit here, depending on your theme. There’s such a wide variety of streamers and banners to choose from. For some, it’s easy enough to make your own if you can’t find anything that suits.


You can use real ones. Artificial ones usually work better.

There are a couple of different ways you can do this. The one that is the least harmful to your car is usually to use a hot glue gun to affix your flowers to magnets. You can then stick the magnets to any non-window surface.

As long as the magnet is powerful enough it will stay until you peel it away. Other options can damage your paint job.


Decorating a “Just Married” car? Tying tin cans to the bumper or trailer hitch is traditional. Some people have experimented with other things like old keyboards (for tech enthusiasts).

Just make sure they’re tied tightly so your decorations don’t break free to threaten other drivers.

Colored Powder

Tire burnout powder or exhaust powder in either pink or blue are both popular options for gender reveal parties. But they come in far more colors than pink or blue.

Tire burnout powder is a small package of colored powder with an adhesive. You peel the back off and place it on your tire. When it’s time to drive, you’ll run over the packet. Festive clouds of color balloon out everywhere! Exhaust powder is made of the same materials. Instead of taping it to your tires you use a funnel to pack it into your exhaust pipe so that bursts of colored smoke pour out of the pipes when you drive.


Want to honor your sports team? Grab some powder in the appropriate colors. This is good for graduation, too, since you can sub in the school colors. It hasn’t caught on for weddings yet, but if you don’t want tin cans on your getaway car you could use powder that matches your wedding colors.

Miscellaneous Exterior Decorations

LED lights, temporary stickers, and other accessories can all be helpful on your quest to decorate your car, too. License plate rims are another cool option. They’re easiest to find for sports teams, but you can find them in assorted colors, too. You can even find license plate rims outlined with colorful LED lights.

Just grab some items in the appropriate colors or with the appropriate motifs, and have some fun!

Car Interior Decoration Ideas

Many people neglect their interiors when they decorate their car. But you can really pull the look of yours together by paying some attention to it. People can see into your car. And the driver and passengers no doubt want to feel festive, too!

The main thing here is you don’t want to blind the driver, or distract the driver. You can do a lot with steering wheel colors. LED cup holder liners can be a lot of fun too. You can stick them inside of your cupholders to make them glow in different colors at night.

You can add little decorations on clips (use small safety pins if the clip isn’t already there). Hot glue gun them to small toys, and affix them to your vents.

How to Decorate a Car for Your Chosen Occasion

Now that you’ve got your car decoration kit assembled, it’s time to dive into some more specific car decoration ideas.

Graduation Car Decorating Ideas

Creative senior car decorating ideas can be hard to come by. Start with the basics! You’ll need the school colors, and a way to paint the name, and the year, and a heartfelt message.

From there, why not use decals or more paint to create the school mascot somewhere on the vehicle? As mentioned earlier, it might also be a cool idea to use colored exhaust or tire powder to poof out the school colors. And don’t forget the inside! A little stuffed animal mascot could be a great addition to any graduation car.

See also: Simple High School Graduation Party Ideas.

Birthday Car Decorating Ideas

Car decorating is becoming a big deal at birthday parties, too, especially for Sweet 16 parties, quinceaneras, and the good old “Lordy, Lordy, someone’s 40” parties.

See also: Quinceañera Decoration Ideas for the 3 Most Popular Party Themes

Here, you can even add a few more items to your car decorating kit. Tying a few colored balloons to the antenna, mirrors, or bumper of your car can instantly give it a birthday look. Try to pull together a few themed colors.

If it’s a 40th birthday, don’t forget the black flowers! Use chalk markers to add some gravestones, too. Hey, it’s all in good fun.

Wedding Car Decoration Ideas

tin-cans-behind-just-married-decorated-carPinterest has thousands of images you can look through, here. Don’t feel compelled to follow the crowd, though.

Here, there are three things you’re going to want to consider. The first? Your wedding colors. Second? Wedding flowers. And third, your wedding theme. A rustic, backyard wedding with mellow outdoor lighting and mason jars is going to suggest a very different scheme than a 1940s-themed wedding at a 5-star venue.

Using “bride and groom” stuffed animals is getting popular. You can hot glue gun these to magnets just as you can hot glue gun flowers. These usually sit on the trunk or hood.

You can also use flowers to spell out the “Just Married” message if you prefer not to use banners. If you’re going for a more rustic wedding you can use a big magnet to add a chalkboard to the back of your car. Use colored chalk to write your “Just Married” message.

Gender Reveal Decoration Ideas

You already know all about the colored smoke, but what else can you do?

One idea could be to use the same magnet method to put a baby doll on the hood or trunk of your car. You could also draw big, stylized question marks in pink and blue all over your car body or windows.

You could even get a little silly inside of your car by adding some GI Joes, Barbies, and other, traditionally “gendered” toys to the dashboard or to the rearview. If you’re feeling bold, you can tie these on the back like you’d tie the tin cans on a wedding car.

See also: Cute Baby Gender Reveal Party Ideas.

Homecoming Decoration Ideas

These ideas stand in for any other major sporting event. But homecoming is a great example.

Sports team colors and mascots are a natural start. You could also add traditional flower varieties in these colors. Many people like to put a large, colorful bouquet right on the hood or on the front grille.

Both flowers and colored banners are great options for anyone who is going to be using their car as a parade float.

Other Quick Tips

First, don’t forget to wash your car before you get started. Dirt on cars can get stuck in markers and scratch the paint job. It can also defeat your attempts to make your magnets adhere to the surface. Nobody wants to shed decorations all the way down the street!

Second, don’t plan your car idea before you’ve looked at your local supply options. You don’t want to get fixed on an idea only to find you can’t quite make it happen.

Where should you start your search?

Right here at Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, where we’ve got banners, streamers, markers, chalkboards, glue guns, and a whole lot more to help your car stand out at your next event.

Preparing for Yom Kippur Break Fast

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

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

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

Preparing the Yom Kippur Break Fast Table

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

Table paper & runners

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

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

For Wood Tables

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

Place Settings

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

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

Other Table Decorations for Yom Kippur Break Fast

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

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

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

Not Hosting Break Fast this Year?

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

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

5 Elementary School Classroom Decoration Ideas, Just in Time for Back-to-School

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

young children in classroom no teacher

Decorations turn a boring classroom into a lively learning environment, especially for elementary school kids. But doing it without breaking the bank can be a challenge.

Here are some cheap ways to decorate a classroom. And we’ve got some great ideas if you’re drawn to a jungle theme or Hollywood theme for your elementary school students.

1. Pick a Theme

Choosing a theme can help you keep your spending under control, because you’ll be able to plan everything from the bulletin boards to the door decor and will never have to wonder if you have enough stuff.

You might want to change up the theme every now and then to stave off boredom. Here are some popular ones:

  • Jungle
  • Neon
  • Hollywood
  • Camping
  • Wizard
  • Frog
  • Bee
  • Ocean
  • Woodlands
  • Beach
  • Space
  • Subject-based themes, i.e. music for a music classroom.

These make good classroom decoration ideas for kindergarten and 1st-grade students.

You can also go with changing out the theme every month to reflect the time of year and the holidays. Seasonal decorating is also some of the easiest, as there are always cut-outs available to reflect everything from St. Patrick’s Day to Christmas.

2. Shoot for a Festive Classroom Atmosphere

You want your kids to feel like this year is going to be fun and exciting from the moment they walk through the door.

Example 1: Turn Your Classroom into a Jungle-Themed Forest

toucan with jungle leaves and flowersStart with green party streamers. Get them hanging from the ceiling! Most classrooms are pretty big, so it helps to create a centralized point. You could use some large specialty paper in alternating shades of green to create huge jungle fronds in a whimsical circle, then stream from there.

Now, look at the windows. Try adding more jungle fronds over those. Don’t forget some fun cut-outs of tropical flowers and animals like monkeys, toucans, or silly snakes that you might find high in the trees. Layer your leaves and your cut-outs to give your classroom a lusher, more 3-dimensional look.

You can adorn the walls with more animals, along with palm-tree cut-outs and different tropical-themed decorations. Animal print bulletin board borders can be combined with a few more giant leaves to fit your announcements into the theme, along with letters that match the colors of your flowers.

A big solid piece of paper can give you a nice backdrop for your exterior door. Yellow or a paler green might work well here, as would sky blue. Add some more cut-outs and some cheerful lettering, such as “Welcome to Our Study Safari!”

For an extra touch, many teachers won’t think of, set your desks into a table arrangement and add vases full of artificial tropical flowers, and add some blue and green hanging lanterns.

Example 2: The Hollywood-Themed Classroom

clapperboard classroom decoration ideaYou can do a lot of different things here. Cut-outs of clappers, popcorn, stars, and sunglasses are all a lot of fun. For color themes, think red, yellow, white, and black.

You can use black paper, white paper, and yellow paper to create a movie kiosk. You could even change out the lettering every week to give sneak peek’s at the week’s lessons. Want to assign seating? Give every student his or her own Hollywood Star to mark their place.

You could use a huge red banner to create a “Red Carpet Recognition Wall.” You can add a black-and-white photo of each kid. Add a yellow star with a description of what they’re being recognized for under each photo. You can add multiple stars throughout the year detailing all kinds of great behavior.

You can create a “Now Showing” bulletin board to showcase student work. And a “Lights, Camera, Action” bulletin board for assignments.

Don’t forget to showcase your whiteboard or chalkboard. Border it with red paper, and add more stars. If you’re really feeling ambitious you could use red cloth with yellow ties to make a theatre-style grand-premier curtain border.

You can do all sorts of stuff with your door. A red paper carpet stretching back to the door’s window insert is a fun possibility, along with a black backdrop and yellow lettering. You could also create black and yellow paper spotlights and use cut-out letters to spell out something like “Spotlight on Success.”

You could even swap out your normal desk chair for a Director’s chair!

You might check out our Oscars post for even more classroom decorating ideas.

3. Consider Reward Items Based on Your Classroom Theme

hollywood star classroom decoration ideaWant to give your classroom an almost party-like atmosphere that stresses the idea that learning is fun? Extend the theme to little giveaway items you can pass out for good behavior or outstanding academic performance.

Kids love decorative pencils and fun erasers in all kinds of shapes. If you’ve chosen a jungle theme you can grab animal erasers, for example.

Got a space theme or a Hollywood theme? Star stickers for A papers are great! If you’ve taken your classroom to the jungle you might want to pick up happy little animal stickers instead.

4. Find a store that will treat you well.

You can save even more money by making sure you use a store which acknowledges and honors the fact that you’re using your own funds to go the extra mile for your students. For example, we offer a 10% discount to teachers. Just tell us you’re a teacher when you check out.

Pick up folders, notebooks, journals, marking pens, and craft supplies at the same time you’re getting your decorations and you’ll be well ahead of the game, and prepared for the students whose parents don’t have the means to pick up the full school supply list.

5. Have fun decorating your classroom!

Starting a new school year is usually exciting for the kids. Hopefully, you’re excited too. The best way to create a classroom kids will love (even curmudgeonly high schoolers) is to unleash your own sense of fun and play.

Do that, and the kids will pick up on your energy and drive, giving you a chance to build their own in turn.

Speaking of energy, we’ve got lots of it here at Paper Plus, along with all the supplies you could possibly need to make your classroom look amazing this year. Head on over to 1629 San Pablo, Berkeley, CA to stock up.

How to Decorate Your Burning Man Bike

Monday, July 1st, 2019

decorated bike at burning man

If you’re a Burning Man veteran, you already know bringing a bike is one of the easiest ways to get around Black Rock City. And you know decorating your bike is not only part of the fun, but a good way to discourage people from “borrowing” your bike.

If you’re going to Burning Man for the first time this year, now you know! Creating your very own burning man art bike will help you fit in better and feel a little less awkward about your first visit to the playa.

Either way, you might need some great Burning Man bike decoration ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

See also: The Essential Burning Man Costume Checklist.

You Don’t Have to Be a Great Artist

bike riding on the playa at burning man Sometimes, unleashing your inner child is enough. Using decals and stickers creatively can be one of the fastest, easiest ways to get your bike ready for Burning Man.

Wrapping up different parts of your bike with streamers can be fun and easy too. Just make sure you use compostable ones in case the wind rips a few off. Don’t worry: compostable streamers come in metallic colors! If you’d like something longer, sparkly garlands are also an option.

Get Going With Glue

You can glue all sorts of cool stuff to your bike. Want to do a fun, frilly, and feminine bike? Glue on some lacy doilies or flower garlands to get in touch with your softer side.

Want to go a bit 3D? Add little miniatures. Texturing your design this way can really add a great deal of visual interest.

Let There Be Light on the Playa

Keeping your bike lit up is a big safety concern. So shine on, and consider adding some LED lights to your bike. They’re bright and long-lasting, so they can be the best Burning Man bike lights.

Of course, during the day your real concern is the sun and the dust. You might consider using wire to hang a few pairs of sunglasses to your bike bars, just in case you lose or break a pair.

A Tisket, a Tasket, a Burning Man basket

If your bike doesn’t already have a basket now is the perfect time to add one. And it’s not just a place to add more decorations. Of course, plenty of people use it that way: tricking out your Burning Man bike basket can be almost as fun as getting the rest of the bike decorated.

But either way, you might want one. It’s a good spot to keep your water bottles, or to keep little favors that you can give out to other people.

Bring it all Together for the Perfectly Decorated Burning Man Bike

Black rock desert burning man

Your bike will look even better if you tie all your decorations together with a unified theme. Will you build a UFO bike? A frilly fairy bike? A bike with a jungle theme? A Burning Man fire bike or fish bike?

Your creativity is the only limiting factor, so let yours soar. Take a little time with it. The whole event is way more fun if you can create a bike you can feel proud of.

Want to grab all your Burning Man bike supplies in one place?

Head on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley. We’ve got a huge variety of craft supplies to help you create the amazing bike you’ve been dreaming of.

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.

Preparing for Sleepaway Camp: Here’s What You Really Need to Pack

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

summer camp spelled out in colorful letters

Heading to sleepaway camp is likely to be one of the most exciting events of your child’s summer, but it can be one of the most stressful, too. This is especially true for younger kids who will be enjoying their first time at sleepaway camp. But any child will be off-routine, and may be prone to sleepaway camp anxiety, and homesickness.

In addition to having long conversations about how to survive sleepaway camp, a little preparation goes a long way towards making sure your child’s summer camp experience is positive throughout. And a lot of the work of preparing for sleepaway camp will be centered on making sure he or she feels connected to you and the rest of the family the entire time.

Here’s how to prepare for sleepaway camp.

The Boring But Necessary Bit

Remember when your parents used to sew labels into your clothes?

Who’s got time for that now?

Still, your child needs to be able to find all his underwear. And permanent marker won’t get it, at least, not if you don’t want the “label” to wash out.

The solution? A hot glue gun and some printable labels get everything neatly marked without eating half your day.

Your Super-Parent To-Pack List

 Now let’s talk about what you’ll want to pack to make sure your kid has a blast.

For Homesickness

children playing outside at sleepaway campAdd these items to your child’s duffel to avoid tearful calls from the front office.


Letting your child take his or her favorite stuffie to camp is a risk. There’s always the chance the one toy he or she can’t sleep without, the lifelong, constant companion, could end up lost or stolen.

Instead, why not pick up a few smaller stuffies that share a “species” with the favorite? If it’s a large bunny, for example, you can pick up two smaller ones. The little ones can be the children of the big bunny, or the little sisters and brothers, or the friends. Either way, they’ll go while the Favorite stays home.

If your kids are really little you might even bring the Favorite to see them off: Mom and Mommy Bunny are saying goodbye to all their kids at the same time. Don’t forget to label the stuffies, too!

A Small Photo Album

Pick up a new, small photo album, one which won’t take up a lot of space. Then, fill it with pictures from home.

Your child can pull it out and look at the pictures whenever he or she starts to feel lonely.

Memory Makers

boy using binoculars at sleepaway campOne way to ward off homesickness is to get your kids excited about sharing all the memories he or she is making. Consider picking up a small disposable camera so he or she can document some rockin’ summer camp adventures.

Slightly older kids might enjoy recording their experiences in a blank journal complete with decorative pencils and colored erasers in fun, funky shapes. The “fun” supplies help avoid a situation where your kid feels like you’re assigning homework. Noting what happened can make your children feel connected to you even if you won’t get to read the journal right away.

As a bonus, your child will be less likely to forget anything he or she really wants to tell you!

To Build Anticipation

The more excited your child is about going to camp the less likely he or she is to fall apart once there. Adding some fun items to their bags can help with this one.

For example, what could be more fun than glow sticks for the campfire? Kids really look forward to breaking those out and waving them around during an event that’s already tons of fun.

You can also help kids keep track of when things are supposed to take place. Countdown the days to summer camp with a small calendar and a fun sticker book. As a bonus, they can take the calendar and some different stickers with them, and then use them to countdown the days until they have to say goodbye to their camp friends.

Mail Never Fails

boy eating smores on stick at campfire at overnight campMaking sure your kids get mail is one of the best ways to help with homesickness. It makes them feel remembered!

If you’re in a hurry, you can just grab a few postcards. Use them to write a letter to your child at camp so they get something on mail day. You can slip a couple of self-addressed, stamped postcards in their bag so they have something to send back too (without forcing them to spend precious pocket money). Or, our discounted greeting cards are always a good choice!

If you’re feeling ambitious and the front office allows it, try a care package! Here are a few overnight camp care package ideas. These work for tweens, too! Grab a beautiful box to make it special, and fill it with any of the following:

  • Small toys
  • Puzzles
  • Bouncy balls
  • Silly putty
  • Balloons (including regular balloons, punch balloons, water balloons, or animal balloons)
  • Bingo cards. Make sure there are enough to play bingo with the other kids in the cabin!
  • Drawing materials
  • Extra paper, pencils and erasers

Want to add food? Consider including something homemade in a pretty container, or wrap it up in decorative cellophane. One twist of a twist-tie and you’ll be ready for super-parent status. (If you use a box mix to save time, we’ll never tell).

Don’t forget to fill the box with tissue paper and packing shreds to make sure nothing gets damaged.

Why all this stuff? Don’t we have cell phones now? Can’t they just text?

In many cases (in most cases, even) going to sleepaway camp really is like stepping back in time. There are rarely any cell towers nearby. That’s why you have to get a bit creative to comfort and contact your kids.

But why fight it? This is part of the fun. Do it right, and the steps you take to make your kid feel happier and more comfortable at camp might just be one of the things they remember most about it when they’re older.

Come on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo in Berkeley and we’ll help you prepare your family for a summer of 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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