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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

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.

Simple Holiday Cookie Wrapping Ideas for Pretty Edible Gifts

Saturday, December 1st, 2018


Simple Cookie Wrapping Ideas

The secret to gifting baked goods for the holidays (aside from grandma’s unbeatable cookie recipe) is a beautiful presentation. Festive packaging adds the finishing touch to your thoughtful gift and highlights all the love you put into those delicious cookies. Whether you’ve been gifting holiday cookies for decades and your cookie wrapping ideas have gone stale, or this is your first go at baking and you don’t know the first thing about wrapping cookies for gifts, we’ve got you covered. Get inspired with these simple cookie wrapping ideas!


How to Package Cookies for a Gift


cookie wrapping idea in boxes wrapped with cellophane and bowBakery or Gable Boxes

If you’re wondering how to package cookies beautifully without breaking the bank, keep things clean and simple with a classic bakery box and some ribbon. Baking or gable boxes come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can switch things up and personalize packaging. The secret to this packaging idea is in the choice of ribbon. A thick ribbon with gold embellishments will look elegant while a big, floppy red bow will look merry and bright.


Holiday Tins

You can’t go wrong with baking tins! Tins are great because they are reusable and they make stacking cookies fairly easy. Line the tins with parchment paper and separate each layer of cookies with wax paper so they don’t stick together. Then cross-tie the tin with a thick cloth ribbon and finish with a gift tag.


Parchment Paper

Bundle up your basic chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies in some colorful parchment paper. Parchment paper is relatively cheap and is perfect for individually wrapped Christmas cookies or packaging big batches of cookies. You can fasten them with colorful twisty ties, ribbon, tinsel or wrap them again with a sheer but colorful fabric.


cookie wrapping idea - gifts in cellophane with yellow ribbon

Repurposed Containers

With a little spray paint, construction paper, or butcher paper, you can turn any old container into beautiful cookie packaging. Dress up an old Pringles canister to look like a yule log, or line the wells of an egg carton with cellophane and parchment paper for smaller cookie bites like Mexican wedding cookies or cocoa peanut butter balls.



If you’re gifting a batch of various cookie types, then a basket will give a nice finished look to the selection. Baskets come in all shapes, colors and sizes and you can line them with beautiful printed parchment paper and tissue paper. Wrap sparkly ribbon around the handle or add some tinsel for additional color and fun.


Cellophane/Plastic Wrap and a Fabric Bow

If you’re packaging hundreds of cookies, keep things simple with plastic wrap. Cookies wrapped in cellophane can look picture perfect when you dress them up with a fabric bow. You can choose a colored plastic wrap like green, red, purple or keep it traditional and let the bow do the caroling.


Mason Jars

For cookies that look too beautiful to eat, showcase them in a clear mason jar. Top the jar with a square of holiday

cookie gift wrapping idea in glass jars

printed cloth or paper, then tie with a ribbon. Remember to stack them individually with wax paper in between so the cookies don’t stick together.


Cookie Bags

Personalize bulk party treats with cookie bags. You can search printable cookie bags online or buy higher quality ones at party stores and some bakeries. Add some fun with stickers, lettering, and ribbon.


Don’t Forget the Gift Tags

Personalize your cookies with handmade gift tags! You can use cardstock, construction paper, scrapbooking paper, stickers, glitter, and pattern-cutting scissors to create cute thoughtful tags.


Decorating Your Cookies

It’s on the inside that counts … and we’re not just talking about the flavor! Decorating your cookies is part of the presentation, so whether you’re sprinkling blue crystals on snowflake-shaped sugar cookies or dying cookie balls to look like tree ornaments, don’t forget this important step! Some common items you will need to decorate cookies include:


  • Decorating food coloring
  • Sprinkles
  • Edible dye
  • Edible frosting pens
  • Fondant


Some bakeries have technology that allows you to screen print images onto baked goods. This is a cool option if you want to turn your cookies into a photo album or simply skip the drawing process altogether.


Bake-Free Cookie Wrapping Ideas


Cookie Recipe in a Jar


gift of cookie ingredients

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or you need to make a dozen gifts in a pinch, a cookie recipe in a jar is a fun way to share recipes and save time in the kitchen. Simply layer each dry ingredient in a mason jar and tie it with a festive bow. You can take it a step further and include wet ingredients in separate jars plus baking utensils for a full holiday baking package.


Cookie Dough Gift

Pre-make your cookie dough and freeze it in separate cookie dough cartons. This makes less work for you and more fun for your friends who prefer to do the baking. Label the cookie dough with “ingredients” like love, holiday cheer, and joy.

Now it’s time to jump into the kitchen and make some holiday magic. Happy baking! For more packaging inspiration, check out our wide selection of tins, containers, ribbons, paper, and tags at Paper Plus at 629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, 510-525-1799.


Like wrapping gifts? We have plenty more gift wrapping ideas for all your gift-giving needs!

12 Big and Small Birthday Party Ideas for Adults

Monday, October 1st, 2018

big or small birthday party ideas for decorations


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

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


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


Small Birthday Party Ideas for Decorations

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


small birthday party ideas for party hats and decorations

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


1. Cake and Ice Cream

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


2.Basic Decoration

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


3. Activities

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


Activity-Oriented Birthdays for Small to Midsize Parties

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

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


4. Pizza

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

young adults at small birthday party with friends

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


5. Reserve a Room

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


6. Basic Theme

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


Family-Friendly Birthdays with All the Frills

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


7. Bouncy House

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


8. Balloons

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


9. Elaborate Decorations

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


10. Favors

old fashioned popcorn cart concession rental

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

11. Concessions

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


12. Seating and Other Amenities

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

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


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