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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Easy Thanksgiving Decorating for Your Zoom Dinners

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

metallic thanksgiving balloons

Most people won’t be doing a lot of travel for Thanksgiving this year. Instead, we’ll use Zoom to get our togetherness time while stopping the spread of the pandemic.

Yet there’s no reason to think you can’t be just as festive as you were when the entire family gathered in your dining room. With a little creativity, you can make your virtual Thanksgiving just as special as your in-person gatherings.

Decorate the Gathering Space

easy thanksgiving decorations - cornYou don’t have to decorate your whole house this year, and that might be kind of nice! Instead, you can just stage your Zoom background.

Of course, nothing says you can’t decorate the whole house, especially if your immediate family will be there, celebrating Thanksgiving with you. Indeed, going all-out might help you create a festive space in the middle of an uncertain time.

Banners and crepe paper in festive fall colors are an easy way to get this done. If you want an even easier way, think outside the box and go with balloons. Some examples of great Thanksgiving balloons include beautiful latex balloons with leaves, which come in burgundy, gold, brown, and yellow, and which have elegant prints. You might also opt for metallic gold and silver balloons with a chrome finish, or look for the same in mauve or rose gold. Another option would be to go for mylar balloons with Thanksgiving-themed graphics on them, like turkeys, cornucopias, scarecrows, bales of hay, or ears of colored corn.

Allergic to latex? Mylar balloons are a solution.

Of course, don’t neglect the basics, like a stunning Thanksgiving table.

Outdoor Gatherings

easy thanksgiving table decorations for outside zoomIf you and your family have formed a “Covid Pod” then you might be doing an outdoor gathering this year. Look for decorations that won’t be defeated by wind. If you’re doing balloons, add weights to them to keep them in place.

Use cloth napkins outdoors…paper napkins tend to fly all over the place.

If you’re still Zooming with remote family members remember to set up the Zoom area inside…wind can cause a lot of mic interference and the Wi-Fi signal usually isn’t as good outside the house.

Wear Hats

If you don’t want to go all out with decorations for a Zoom call, hats are a great solution! You can DIY “pilgrim” headwear, or make boppers with turkeys on them. Make a cornucopia fascinator, or just find some premade hats.

They’ll be funny and festive, and you can take them off when it’s time to get ready for dinner in your own home.

Remember It’s About Connection

red fall leavesThere’s no glossing over the fact that a Zoom Thanksgiving isn’t “the same” as the festivities you’ve enjoyed in the past. Try not to let that get you down. If you treat your call with your family and friends like an event for the day that allows you to connect and catch up, and go out of your way to make it as festive as possible, then your holiday can still be meaningful and special.

Remember: this pandemic won’t last forever. You can still make memories this year while looking forward to better ones.

Want lots of options for your Thanksgiving decorations? Come to Paper Plus, where we’ve got a huge selection at incredible prices.

Celebrate the Mask, It’s Here to Stay

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

cartoon faces with masks

Wearing masks on the regular was an adjustment for everyone, but now they’ve become an integral part of every day life. Given Covid-19 may not be going away any time soon, they’re the one reason we can live, work, shop, and play outside.

If we can’t get rid of them, we might as well make them fabulous! Celebrate them! Done right, masks can be anything from an elevated fashion accessory to a fun excuse to dress up in costume every day of the year.

Fashion Masks

woman wearing pink maskGet more than one mask. You need more than one because you have to wash them anyway.

Buying an assortment will let you mix and match your masks to your outfits. Try to get an assortment of colors that work well with any outfit, from business to casual. Don’t forget to have fun, too: if you love rocking animal print there are plenty of masks that will let you do just that.

The next thing you’ve gotta do is get the right fit. A mask that’s too baggy won’t look any better than a pair of pants that’s too baggy. A mask that’s too tight will feel unbearable to wear.

Another tip? Use masks with earloops. They let you keep your hairstyle nice.

Fun Masks

Got a holiday coming up? Match your mask to the occasion! This is an especially fun technique on Halloween. It’s effortless to integrate a mask into a ninja, samurai, or bandit costume. Full-on face masks like traditional monster masks still count for masking purposes.

faces painted on masksAre you a super fan of a TV show like Star Trek, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, or Stranger Things? There are plenty of face mask makers out there who will make a mask with your fandom in mind. Try Etsy for just about every kind of mask you can think of, or make your own.

Have a special, socially-distanced outdoor celebration with your Covid pod coming up? Add a holiday-themed mask and make things festive. Use falling leaves for Thanksgiving, or a festive red and green theme for Christmas.

Mask Comfort Tips

Don’t like the feel of a layered or flat mask against your face? Try a “beak” style mask, which only puts a little bit of pressure on the bridge of your nose, your chin, and the sides of your face, leaving your mouth and nostrils clear. They’re also easier for glasses-wearers to adjust, which means you don’t have to deal with foggy glasses.

Pay attention to the fabric you’re using, too. Silk, for example, isn’t going to breathe very well. Denim is easy to mix and match to your outfit, but it can be downright miserable when the day gets hot.

Masks for Kids

adult putting mask on childHaving trouble getting your kids to wear their masks? Remember to lead by example…if you don’t wear yours, your children won’t wear theirs. Yet you don’t have to make it grim and gloomy. Get the masks that are fun for your kids! Help them think of getting to wear a mask as being akin to getting to play dress-up every time they go out. Help them get masks that are comfortable for their face, and let them choose the ones that make them feel special.

Mask Etiquette

According to the CDC, you should wear your mask every time you go out in public while continuing to practice social distancing. You should be sure to wear your mask correctly by pulling it over your mouth and nose while securing it under your chin. Your mask should fit comfortably on the sides of your face.

If you’re just walking around outside, it’s okay to keep it down, but pull it up if you pass people on the sidewalk.

Remember, masks are how we protect each other from the virus. Any one of us could be a “silent” carrier. If we all observe this basic courtesy, we can all get back to life as we know it a lot faster.

Want supplies for a fabulous costume mask? Come to Paper Plus, where we’ve got a wide selection of options for you to choose from.

How to Keep Kids Connected to Friends While Staying Safe

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

childs hand with crayons and coloring social distance activity

A socially distanced summer doesn’t have to be lonely, and your kids don’t have to stay glued to screens to stay in touch with their friends. With a little creativity and a few art supplies, your kids can have fun, connect with their besties, and brighten the days of all their friends.

Here are five easy, inexpensive activities you can do with your kids this month. Many encourage you to strap on your mask and get out for a walk or a drive, which can help add a sense of excitement and adventure after months of being locked down at home due to COVID-19.

1. A Good Old-Fashioned Chain Letter

Chain letters may carry some crazy connotations for those of us who grew up in the 80s, but their basic concept is both simple and innocent. Someone starts a letter and mails it (or drops it off at) the house of a friend.

The friend adds a bit of artwork, or a message, and then passes it on, like a long relay that only grows more fun as the letter grows.

You can send it with US Mail or you can walk it or drive it over to the next-closest friend. Whatever makes sense for you and your family.

Get creative! Nothing says the chain letter message can’t get a little 3D. Add some glitter, or forge an actual tiny construction paper chain to dangle off the side of it. The important thing is to have fun both reading and contributing.

2. Cards for Classmates

If you’re willing to spring for more stamps or know everyone lives close enough for a walk-by mailbox delivery, then kids can make cards for all their friends and classmates. Think “summer Valentines,” without all the pink.

If you’re not going to mail them, and you’re feeling a little fancy, you could even make small goodie bags. Include tiny favors like stickers, pencils, and erasers, wrap them in nice paper and add a bit of ribbon. It’ll be a summer surprise sure to leave a smile on every face.

3. Sidewalk Chalk Messages

sidewalk chalk messages for friendsIf you want to encourage your kids to get out and get walking, then this can be a fun low-investment idea that still brings a lot of cheer. Grab some sidewalk chalk, then visit friends’ houses one by one. Leave a quick message in the driveway or on the sidewalk.

Get together with other parents so they can encourage their kids to do the same. Seeing the list of messages grow can be exciting and a lot of fun for kids.

One caveat: if you live close to all your child’s classmates it may be a nice idea to visit every classmate you can find, not just every friend within your child’s circle. If everyone lives close together less-popular children may see messages and grow upset when they don’t get any. By being conscientious about this, your child can work to make everyone feel included.

4. Rainbow Windows

rainbow and hope painted on windowsGrab some window paint and paint a bold, beautiful rainbow (or anything else your child wants to paint). Include an encouraging message for friends, the neighbors, essential workers, or anyone else your child wants to give a shout-out to.

Coordinate with other neighbors to fill the neighborhood with them, then go for a walk to see all the fun messages. It will be a little like the tradition of going around the neighborhood to see the holiday lights, minus the holiday (and the lights).

Be sure to get washable window markers or paint for this project so you can safely remove the message later.rainbow and clouds painted on windows

5. Stuffed Animal Safari

This idea is better for younger children. Coordinate with your child’s friends. Get as many of them as possible in on putting stuffed animals in their window. Make a checklist of each friend’s house and then take a walk to find each animal. Match the animal to who it belongs to.

You might even have your child make a small blue ribbon to mail or deliver to the home of the kid who successfully found the most animals.

Stay creative and optimistic!

stuffed animal bunny outsideThis summer doesn’t have to be a drag. With a little work, you can make it one of the most memorable your child has ever had. Don’t forget to schedule in other fun arts and crafts activities for you and your children, like this one for Father’s Day! They may appreciate the extra time with you, and with a little luck, they’ll be a little less bored (and distracting when you finally have to sit down for that conference call).

Don’t forget, Paper Plus has all of your arts and crafts supplies, and we’ve modified our store to remain as safe as possible for social distancing due to COVID-19.

You can even walk up and pick up your order at the curb if you don’t want to come inside. We’re all in this together!

How to Celebrate Your Birthday While Social Distancing

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

two handfuls rainbow sprinkles

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

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

1. Launch a Socially-Distanced Birthday Parade

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

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

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

2. Go Big on Yard Decorations

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

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

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

And how about a night of backyard camping?

3. Get a Cameo

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

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

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

4. Party By Mail

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

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

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

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

5. Participate in a Global Scavenger Hunt

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

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

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

6. Host a Virtual Party

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

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

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

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

Plan, Get Supplies, Go Nuts

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

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

Come on by!

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

5 Epic Backyard Camping Ideas

Friday, May 1st, 2020

There are lots of reasons why pitching a tent in your own back yard makes sense. The number one reason right now is that in California, we are all sheltered in place due to COVID-19.

Backyard camping is always an option! If you have little kids who want to experience camping you get to let them do it without taking them too far from their own comfy beds, toys, and routines (many will want to go inside eventually). If money is tight you can this is the perfect idea for a fun staycation.

Here are some fun backyard camping ideas that with a little creativity won’t break the bank.

1. Pitch a Perfect Tent

cartoon gray tentIf you’ve already got a tent then pitch away! Then jazz it up with fun decorations, strings of light, and a big air mattress. Since you don’t have to worry about car space you can bring your own sheets and blankets, creating a bed that’s both more attractive than a standard sleeping bag and more comfortable.

Don’t have a tent and don’t want to buy one? If you have a tarp or fabric lying around, you can make one of your own. There are quite a few tutorials on YouTube on how to do so, and figuring out how to make a tent could be a fun family activity in its own right.

 

2. Bring on the Bonfire

roasting-smores-over-firepit-while-backyard-camping-If you have a fire pit then you’re all set, but what if you don’t? What if you live in a neighborhood that bans open flames?

You could create a fake bonfire out of LED lights. Simply wind coils of orange and white lights together and set them in a circle, or use a wide basin or birdbath to contain them. Or just hang light strings: the effect is magical, and it will make you all happy to be outside once the sun sets.

Doesn’t look ‘flamey’ enough? Try cutting paper flames out of orange, red, and yellow tissue paper, then gathering them together on cardboard “logs.” You can again use a birdbath or other basin to contain your ‘fire.’

Obviously the fake fire is for backyard camping with kids. If you’re backyard camping with adults skip the fake fire and go straight to the barbeque pit, or pop open a bottle of wine under the stars.

 

3. Don’t Forget the Food

smores-supplies-on-table-in-front-of-fireWhy not pack a cooler and have a picnic? Grab s’more supplies and make them. You don’t have to have a fire: you can make skillet s’mores.

As for other things you might serve, the sky’s the limit. Hot dogs and hamburgers are popular and fun. Chips and healthy vegetables with dip offer fun finger foods. You could even set out a big bowl of trail mix to keep the camping theme going strong.

If you’re having a party you can have even more fun with this. For example, you can get compostable plates, cups, napkins, spoons, and forks. That way you’ll be helping the environment even as you enjoy your camping fun.

 

4. Let the Games Begin

girl-using-sidewalk-chalk-backyard-patioWhat would your staycation weekend be without backyard camping games? Here are a few ideas:

  • Use sidewalk chalk to make a giant copy of any one of your favorite board games, then let your kids pretend to be the pieces.
  • Create a scavenger hunt with a number of clues appropriate for your kid’s age: 3-5 for a younger child, 5-10 for an older child, and up to 20 for a tween.
  • Go classic with horseshoes, croquette, or cornhole
  • Wear animal masks and play “wild animal hide-and-seek” with stuffed animals.

Add a few more outdoor activities that aren’t competitive. Bring out the soap bubbles, or bust out the sidewalk chalk again so the kids can decorate your back patio.

5. Have a Wind-Down Plan

Eventually, you’re going to want your kids to go to bed, and this break in routine might make it difficult if you don’t have a plan.

Signal the beginning of nighttime activities by passing out wearable glow sticks. Get a family clean-up effort going so your back yard “campsite” doesn’t get overrun with flies and ants.

Then it’s time to settle in for a story, or perhaps a movie under the stars if you have a projector and a screen.

Sleeping arrangements are up to you. Some kids will want to sleep in the tent. Others will be ready to go back to their own beds. Use your judgement.

In the morning, give yourself a high-five! You’ve planned and pulled off an amazing family day activity that will be the subject of good memories for years to come. Have a victory mimosa at breakfast to celebrate a successful backyard campout night. You’ve earned it!

The Best Earth Day Activities for Kids and Adults

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

earth day letters around earth

Earth Day is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to do your part as a steward of the planet. If you have kids, this is a wonderful opportunity to empower them with the tools and knowledge to create less waste, more plants, and a cleaner future. Here are five Earth Day activities for a fun, informative, and helpful celebration that takes into account our current social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19.

Plant a Vegetable Garden

Nothing tastes better than vegetables, herbs, and fruits that you planted yourself. Not only is gardening meditative, but it’s also fun for kids. Children love getting dirty and then watching their hard work grow to fruition. Having a garden helps reduce your carbon footprint while creating an aesthetically pleasing landscape. Include your community by sharing the

children planting garden earth day

bounty at harvest (be sure to socially distance while sharing). It’s also a great way to teach kids that our food doesn’t just come from the grocery store.

If you live in an area or home that isn’t conducive to having a garden, or you just don’t have time, purchase your produce from local farmers. Find the schedule for your local farmers’ market or sign up for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, and get fresh, local, and seasonal produce every week.

 

Earth Day Crafts and Activities for Kids

child finished artwork for earth day activityGather your kids and recycled and reusable materials to create fun, practical, and decorative crafts. Look for items around the house that you aren’t using anymore and find creative ways to upcycle them.

One easy and useful craft is creating masks out of old shirts and shoelaces. Or gather old sweaters and make fingerless gloves to keep your hands warm in cooler seasons.  Create a recycled wind chime with old mason jar screw tops, hardware, and anything else you might otherwise throw away.

Commit to Using Less Plastic

Virtually rally your neighbors, family members, and friends and ask them to commit to using less plastic. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, keeping a stash in your trunk or by your door so you never forget them. Purchase reusable sandwich and snack bags from eco-friendly stores and discontinue your use of zipper storage bags.

Take things a step further and seek bath and body goods that are not packaged in plastic. Every tiny step counts. The trick is to not get overwhelmed; rid yourself of one type of plastic and when that becomes a new habit, move to another.

Celebrate With Compostable Earth Day Party Supplies

corn cup with starsWhen you have wrapped up your Earth Day activities, consider hosting a shelter-in-place Earth Day party, with healthy food and supplies you might have around the house.

Not sure if balloons are suitable for an Earth Day celebration? Latex balloons are compostable and have the biodegradability of a maple leaf. We busted the myth about balloons being harmful to the environment here.  So, go ahead and celebrate Earth day with balloons!

Your party won’t be complete without compostable Earth Day products if you have them on hand. These products have come a long way and you can now find compostable napkins, plates, cups, and utensils that are both stylish and Earth-friendly. So you can celebrate knowing that your Earth Day party won’t be bad for the environment.

While we’re all staying in for Earth Day 2020, for your next Earth Day celebration, call us at (510) 525-1799 or drop in at 1629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkley to browse our wide selection of stylish Earth-friendly decorations, utensils, and more.

Car Window Decorating Ideas for Any Occasion

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

just-married-license-plate-car-decorations

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.

Flowers

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.

Noisemakers

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.

puff-of-blue-powder-like-exhaust-powder

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.

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