Call Us Now:

1629 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702

Monday – Thursday
10am – 5pm
Friday – Saturday
10am – 6pm
10am – 3pm

Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

80s Party Ideas for Adults

Monday, August 1st, 2022

boom box in front of graffiti

Got some 80s nostalgia? Plenty of adults do right now, which is why 80s parties are all the rage.

You don’t even need a reason to throw one! You can throw one just because things are finally opening up again, and you’re ready to have a good time with your friends.

Use these tips to create a night to remember!

What can you do for an 80s party?

duran duran recordAn 80s party is the perfect opportunity to:

  • Bust out your favorite 80s tunes!
  • Create a glow-in-the-dark party!
  • Set an 80s dress code!
  • Serve up some retro sweets!
  • Rent some 80s arcade cabinets, set to free-to-play!
  • Get a green screen and a karaoke machine to make your own music videos!
  • Get a button machine so that guests can make some bling!
  • Set out some board games like Topple, Win Lose or Draw, Wheel of Fortune, Twister, Chinese Checkers, Uno, Battleship, and Connect Four.
  • Don’t forget the decorations!
  • Clear the dance floor!
  • Throw lip-sync battles, karaoke contests, and dance-offs!

Believe it or not, adults can really connect and enjoy all of these activities, even when they seem silly. Especially when they seem silly!

What do you need for an 80s party?

Retro snacks are a must. We’re talking everlasting gob stoppers, Tootsie Pops, fizz bombs, snowballs, rock candy, and Jiffy Pop. Stock up on soda, especially Dr. Pepper and Sprite. Create neon signature cocktails. Make sloppy joe sliders.

If you rent those arcade games you could give out prizes for the guest who wins the high score of the night.

Make sure you have a dance floor cleared, and use decorations to make sure the dance area is clear to all. Set up stations for people to do all the fun activities you’ve set out for them.

80s Party Decorations: DIY

It’s easy to find a lot of cut-outs for 80s-themed decorations, or to make your own. You could deck the walls with 80s movie posters or create Pac-Man themed cut outs. Put out black lights and glow sticks.

Just about anything neon will evoke that 80s feeling. So will retro video game prints and hanging swirls with cassette tape danglers.

80s Party Props

cassette tapesProps and favors are easy for 80s themed parties, and they can be one and the same.

  • Set out bowls with huge, angular glasses for guests to pluck up and wear.
  • Give out neon glitter pen bracelets and jelly bracelets.
  • Decorate with Rubix cubes and let your guests take them home if they want to.
  • Set out neon hats!
  • Set out tye-dyed pencils.
  • Set out little 80s themed erasers!
  • Give out 80s-themed keychains!

Other props could include neon glassware, plates, and napkins, as well as boom-box cut-outs, paper lanterns, and more.

80s Party Games for Adults

It’s hardly an 80s party without busting out the MadLibs, which can be made as clean (or as dirty) as you tell your guests to keep them. Set up an 80s trivia game.

We’ve already mentioned karaoke, lip-sync battles, and dance-offs, but you can turn them into full-scale contests. You can also give out a prize for the best music video.

You could even create a giant table full of Legos and just let people play. An 80s party is a great time for people to connect with each other and with the nostalgia of the past.

What do you wear to an 80s themed party?

To evoke the 80s style, don’t forget to tease up your hair and find yourself some shoulder pads. Wear some neon or dig up some leg warmers. Letter jackets and jean jackets are also a good call.

It was a colorful era, even for men, and there are plenty of options. Will you go punky, preppy, neon, or yuppie? The choice is up to you!

Have a totally tubular time!

rubix cube

Don’t overthink your 80s party. Right now you’ll be doing everyone in your life a favor by cheering them up with bright colors, music they haven’t heard in years, fun colors, and exciting games. Keep the energy up and go over-the-top: the 80s were all about going big and they were anything but sedate. And if this all sounds a little exhausting, you could always tone it down. Make a few glowy cocktails, set out a bowl of M&Ms, tell your friends to put on some 80s gear, and fire up Back to the Future, Die Hard, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 

It was a bright, fun time, and we could all use a little more of that in our lives.

Do other decades interest you – 50s, 60s, 70s?

And, of course, if you come on down to Paper Plus you’ll find plenty of supplies, from cut-outs to favors to neon-themed glasses and cups. Our shelves are all stocked and waiting to help you launch some summer fun, so stop on by today!

Block Party Ideas For a Great Street Party

Friday, July 1st, 2022

neighbors socializing at block party

National Night Out is coming on August 2, and it’s the perfect excuse to throw a block party. We really encourage it, since it’s a chance to do what many of us have never done before: meet and communicate with your neighbors.

This can be intimidating if you’ve never thrown one before, so we’ve got some fun ideas to share.

What does a block party consist of?

Most block parties include:

  • Lots of free food and soft drinks. If you don’t want to pay for it all, you could set up a potluck table. Other block parties do it as a BBQ, a picnic, or even an ice cream social.
  • A lot of promotion in advance: people need to know about your block party if they’re going to go!
  • Plenty of tables to hold food, and kegs or ice chests to hold drinks and ice.
  • Music, if local ordinances allow.

Block parties help you have fun and meet people you’d never met before. They’re a great way to make friendships with people who live right where you do.

What can you do at a block party?

You can do anything you’d do at a normal party. Most block parties are kept family-friendly and allow space for the kids to show up and have a good time.

Most will include food, music, and some light games to help people get to know one another. You can block off an area for dancing as well, though you don’t want to blare the music too loudly. Ultimately, you want your neighbors to talk to one another.

How do you throw a small block party?

You may be having overwhelming visions of 40 to 50 strangers showing up to your event, but in truth you can control the size of your block party.

First, use old-fashioned methods to advertise your party. Don’t jump on Nextdoor or Facebook. Pick a few streets, perhaps the street above and below yours, or even just your own street. Hang a few invitations on people’s doors or send them through the mail after taking a walk to gather the addresses.

If you want to let people invite friends, family, or relatives, say so on the flier. If you want to restrict it to people who live on your street or block, you can say that, too.

Block Party Games

office chair races at block partyWhile the words “block party” can evoke images of wild parties, they can be family-friendly events, too. In fact, we encourage it, especially for National Night out! Here are a few ideas.

  • An egg toss.
  • A bean bag toss with canisters of different heights and widths.
  • Office chair races with helmets.
  • Hold a simple best dog contest: let people enter and show off their dog’s tricks and award points for loudest clapping.
  • Hold a pet costume contest.
  • Get local businesses to donate prizes and hold drawings or give them out as prizes for pet contests.
  • Think old time games: musical chairs or Red Rover can offer good, clean family fun.

Tips For a Good Street Party

potato sack races at block partyHere are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Check with your neighbors. They may be planning block parties too. You can team up or if more appropriate, choose another date.
  2. Advertise at least 4 weeks in advance. You might want to send out reminder fliers two weeks in advance.
  3. Parties should be finished before 9:00pm, especially if there are kids or seniors on your street.
  4. Keep it on the lawn but keep your garage as a rain-out option, or, if you can get a permit, reserve the whole street. If you’re not comfortable having people wandering around your home you can keep the party on your back and front lawn.
  5. Make food fun and accessible. For example, renting a cotton candy machine, a popcorn machine, or both can make outdoor-accessible food easy and fun.
  6. Check your local regulations before you put on a party, as there may be ordinances that impact you. You may, for example, require a permit.
  7. Set out balloons to mark entrances and exits. This shows it’s an organized activity.
  8. Use colorful signs to direct people to the party-accessible areas, and the off-limits areas.
  9. Get some volunteers! You’ll need people to help you post signs, advertise the party, serve food, and even circulate among the crowd making sure everyone has someone to talk to. Some might even be amateur entertainers who will be willing to make your block party even better.
  10. Set out a sign-in book so you can get contact information for your neighbors. This can come in handy for future block parties, but can also help bring your neighborhood together in a crisis.
  11. Encourage security. Remind neighbors to lock up doors and equipment while they’re at your party.
  12. Don’t forget to clean up after your party. You won’t endear yourself to your neighbors if you leave trash all over the street after it is done.

You’re ready to meet the neighbors!

Don’t stress out too much! If you get some people joining in and having a good time with food and fun, you’ve done more than most. And after two grim Covid years most people will appreciate an opportunity to have some fun.

Don’t forget you can come on down to Paper Plus to get balloons, disposable flatware, table cloths, sign supplies, game supplies, and more. Our shelves are fully stocked and we’ve got great prices. Come on down and see us! We like meeting our neighbors, too!

How Do You Throw an Ice Cream Party?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

cups of ice cream and cones with toppings around

An ice cream sundae party is a time-honored tradition. The ice cream social is an early American phenomenon dating back to 1744. An ice cream birthday party may be the first thought that jumps to mind, but the very first social was a dinner party, hosted by Maryland governor Thomas Bladen, who served ice cream for dinner. President Thomas Jefferson would later go on to host one in the White House in 1802.

They’re perfect for block parties, church socials, fundraisers, birthday parties, housewarming parties, and even chic afternoon get-togethers. Here are some ideas to help you launch yours.

Ice Cream Party Food Ideas

bowl of ice cream with fruitThe star of the show is, of course, the ice cream, but consider going the extra mile. Set up a sundae bar with multiple flavors and toppings, arranged and decorated in a way that promotes a festive atmosphere.

If you don’t know all your guests, consider adding at least one pint of dairy-free ice cream and at least one pint of sugar-free ice cream, to accommodate everyone’s needs.

If you want an ultra-healthy hack for those who can’t have much sugar, frozen bananas run through a food processor creates a totally healthy ice cream substitute that even has the right flavor and texture.

Want to try a sophisticated twist? Serve up a roast pear & sherry ice cream with a side of sherry.  Or try a few savory ice cream flavors.

Don’t want to send your guests to the moon with a major sugar high? If you’re going the dinner party route, add a few protein-heavy appetizers to help ground them a little. Meatballs on a stick, satay skewers with spicy peanut sauce, cheeseball lollipops and pineapple skewers can keep the theme a little light-hearted and fun while offering the same sophisticated twist.

Pro-tip: you can pre-scoop ice cream scoops and freeze them so you can get everyone served up quickly and easily, without having to fight with an over-frozen carton.

ice cream sunday in glass cup

Ice Cream Party Games

Kids and grownups alike love games, and you have quite a few options with an ice cream social. A blind taste test to see who can identify the most ice cream flavors is one fun option, especially if you throw in some of the lesser-known flavors.

Rolling dice to see what toppings you can add to your sundae is another fun game, though this game works better when you have a room full of adventurous eaters!

For kids, you could do a fun race where you have them hold a maraschino cherry on a spoon, and then try to race from one end of the yard to the other without dropping their cherry. Or you can have a sundae relay, requiring each kid to stop at a station to top off a stunning sundae before running the finished product to the end of the line.

Ice Cream Party Favors

Use colored paper to make cone-shaped goodie bags and fill them with sweet treats. Pens, pencils, and erasers that are shaped like ice cream cones or decorated to look like them can also be fun for certain age groups.

For adult guests, try putting a ribbon around an ice cream scoop and pass them out to your guests. A fair number of them are probably still bending their spoons beyond recognition at home. They’ll appreciate a proper scoop!

Ice Cream Party Decorations

ice cream cone with toppingsYou’ve got so many options! Honeycomb paper ice cream cones are a fun option, but there are also ice cream cone cut-outs that you can buy and place on your wall. You could also create an old-fashioned ice cream parlor sign, or use color chalk to create a menu board. You can turn party hats into ice cream cones, or create decorations out of balloons where the balloon is the ice cream and the cone is made of paper.

There are several pre-made ice cream centerpieces as well, though if you are crafty you can easily make your own.

Think bright, cheerful colors and whimsical styling unless you’re going ultra-sophisticated, at which point you may want to do similar things in tones of white, gold, and silver.

Don’t overthink your ice cream social!

Right now everyone is looking for just about any reason to celebrate and have some fun. Put your own twist on your ice cream social and send out the invites! Anything cheerful is going to be a big hit right now, and you’ll be doing your friends, family members, or neighbors a huge favor.

Want to add cupcakes?

Want to DIY some favors or decorations? Need the perfect party favor? Come on down to Paper Plus to get prepared for your ice cream party! We’ve got plenty of supplies in stock and we’re excited to see you.


How to Decorate a Graduation Cap

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

person wearing decorated graduation cap with text

Fall 2017 Commencement” by Germanna CC is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

We’re so excited that graduates in Berkeley will be able to enjoy gatherings in person this year, with family members and friends. We’re saying goodbye to drive-by graduations, and we couldn’t be happier about it!

This means the long tradition of decorating a graduation cap is back! Here are some pointers.

What do people usually do with their graduation caps?

People do all sorts of fun things with their graduation caps! We’ve seen:

  • Quotes
  • Song lyrics
  • Hopes for the future
  • Sports or hobby themes
  • Friend-group themes
  • Art designs
  • Designs that match your graduation party theme

Decorating your graduation cap is a great way to celebrate your graduation win and to express yourself, whether you’re graduating from high school, college, a Master’s program, a PhD program, a nursing program, or any other program you can think of.

Graduation Cap Decoration Supplies

The supplies you’ll need will depend on your method, but you can use any of the following supplies to make your graduation cap great.

  • Glitter glue
  • Acrylic fabric paint
  • Glitter
  • Stick-on letters and numbers
  • Hot glue guns for gluing on beads, embellishments, or cut-outs
  • Felt or paper for cut-outs
  • Shaped confetti
  • Small balloon numbers
  • Fuzzy pipe cleaners bent into interesting shapes
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Miniatures
  • Artificial flowers
  • Stencils

decorated graduation cap

Graduation Cap (Mortarboard) Box by Me” by Jorge Jaramillo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

How do you make a graduation cap topper?

Create a plan! You want to know exactly what you plan to do.

Always start with a 9.5″ by 9.5″ square topper in hard or decorative paper or felt. If your favorite paper is thin you’ll want to glue it to a stiffer piece of paper. You can also use felt.

Cut a small X in the center so you can work it under the tassel.

You can then work with the topper and if it doesn’t come out the way you want it, you can create another. The sky is the limit here! Glue on rhinestones or paint on a stencil. Did you play soccer? Attach little soccer balls. Fill it with flowers or stick on letters to spell out a specific message. Let the world see your originality!

Can you paint directly on a graduation cap?

Yes. You’ll want to use acrylic fabric paint. We do recommend creating or using stencils to get the best and most consistent results.

We rarely recommend painting directly on the cap though; we usually recommend using a topper.

How do you put letters on a graduation cap?

Stickers and glue adhere to most graduation caps just fine, though again a topper can help ensure you get the exact design you want before you touch the cap itself. The cut out can then be adhered to the cap.

If you do attach a topper, then use a hot glue gun for best results!

How do you attach flowers to a graduation cap?

For flowers, you will absolutely need felt or a stiff paper topper. You’ll want to start by gluing a topper onto your cap with a hot glue gun.

Then you’ll want to lay out your flowers before you begin. We recommend using artificial flowers. You’ll want to take them apart and then layer them back together with glue.

Once you’ve decided on your layout you can begin gluing down your flowers. Use a popsicle stick to flatten the flowers and smooth down the glue so you don’t burn yourself.

To get a nice layered look, start by placing the flowers in a random, spaced pattern. You can then fill in later. This helps to ensure that your flowers aren’t too crowded.

Other Tips for DIY Graduation Cap Decorations

First and foremost, make sure you’re allowed to decorate your cap. Most local schools allow you to but every school has its own policy.

We also recommend gathering your friends so you can all do it together. It’s a fun pre-graduation activity and a neat way to spend time together!

kindergartener with graduation cap

Happy Graduation!

Don’t forget that if you need supplies you can hop on down to Paper Plus. Our shelves are well-stocked and our prices are affordable. We’ve got everything you need to help you make your graduation cap perfect this year!

Once you are done with your cap, decorate your car windows!

Sweet 16 Party Ideas

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

pink donuts to celebrate sweet 16

For many girls, the sweet 16 party is going to be one of the highlights of their childhood (or the quinceanera at 15). It’s a time to go all out to create the most amazing birthday bash you can possibly manage.

If you’re searching for unique sweet 16 party ideas then you’ve come to the right place.

Sweet 16 Themes

mardi gras mask beads and makeup

Playing with themes is a great way to help set your sweet sixteen party apart from the one that all the other girls will be having this year.

If your daughter’s birthday is in February then you could go with a Mardi Gras theme, complete with beads, masks, and hurricane mocktails.  Serve up some po-boys and, as they say in South Louisiana, “you be laughin’.”

If you have a winter child, then a winter wonderland sweet sixteen theme can be a wonderful choice.

You can also center the party theme around your daughter’s favorite colors, or you can go with hobbies. Sweet sixteen glow parties are also all the rage this year.

mittens and snowflake for winter wonderland sweet 16 theme

Sweet 16 Party Ideas at Home

Some parents compete to try to make their sweet sixteen parties more and more outlandish. They rent giant venues and treat it almost like a wedding.

Yet you don’t have to do that to make the day special. Collaborate with your daughter’s friends to set up a surprise party at home and the day can be just as meaningful. In fact, this may be your last chance to really set one up: after they turn sixteen it’s almost impossible to keep a party a secret.

Sweet 16 Birthday Ideas on a Budget

Save a lot of money by keeping the party in the home, but really punch up the theme to make it festive. Cook all of your own food.

Do those two things and you’ll honestly tackle the two biggest expenses associated with sweet sixteen parties.

If you’re crafty, consider making some of your own decorations as well. If you can’t, don’t worry. Decorations are rarely very expensive and you can do a lot of creative things with a very small budget.

Sweet 16 Party Decorations

confetti flying in air

Balloons, napkins, plates, and confetti that say 16 or have ones and sixes on them are easy to find. If your child’s friends would enjoy wearing them there are also headbands with the number 16 on the bopper. You can make your child queen for a day with a tiara or a sash.

Adding a balloon arch where teens can take photographs and selfies is always a big hit.

Put together a rocking playlist and clear some dance floor space, too! If you can, enlist your birthday girl’s BFF to get the playlist made and to come up with ideas for activities. They’ll have a better idea of what your daughter will want to do than you will, and can help you ensure that none of the festivities embarrass your child for being a little too young or a little too stodgy.

Don’t miss your chance to throw the party of a lifetime!

While putting together a sweet sixteen party can seem intimidating it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really show your child you care. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm some ideas or to think outside the box a little bit. You might find the right ideas on Pinterest or after talking to your child’s friends.

Once you know what kind of sweet sixteen party you’re going to be putting together, don’t wait! Head on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA to get all the supplies you’ll need to throw an amazing party. 

Anniversary Party Ideas

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

couple celebrating 55th annivesary with balloons

While we often think of an anniversary as being between members of a married couple, there are other important anniversaries in our lives. For example, best friends can celebrate the day they met or friend groups could celebrate the way they came together. People also celebrate sobriety birthdays or 100-day celebrations as well.

No matter what type of anniversary you’re celebrating this year or how many years you and your loved ones have been together, there are a wide variety of celebrations to choose from. An anniversary party can be any size…often the success of the event really just boils down to capturing the spirit of the milestone. Read on for our anniversary party ideas!

Happy Anniversary Balloons

Getting balloons for your anniversary is one of the quickest, easiest ways to spruce up a space. You can get them numbered to match the day you’re celebrating. Most people who are celebrating anything other than a wedding anniversary stick with silver for a 25th year anniversary party or gold for a 50th anniversary party.

You can make up your own though: number balloons come in all colors, and you don’t have to make them say “anniversary.” Or, if you want the word “anniversary” you can spell it out with letter balloons.

Don’t forget balloon decorations can create some pretty cool effects as well. For example, if you’re having a big party you can make an arch with the numbers in the middle. You’d then adorn them with spirals on the side. Or go for several balloon bouquets.

30th anniversary party spelled in balloons

Other Anniversary Party Decorations

There are loads of other ideas for anniversary party decorations you can come up with.

For example, anniversaries are all about numbers, so try putting numbers on sticks. These can be waved, or be placed in a plant or vase to make a centerpiece. You can target the time of year as well: during the fall one of our customers put succulents in mini-pumpkins and then decorated them with a wreath, which we thought was very creative.

You can also use glitter, glue, and stencils to decorate just about anything.

Themed Favors for Anniversary Parties

If you’re doing a wedding anniversary then every anniversary has a theme, such as “paper,” or “wood.” You’re not bound to those if you’re doing a friendaversary, but you can still use them for inspiration.

If you do, you can then create favors based around those themes. You don’t have to be literal about it: if it’s a sapphire anniversary then you can just offer sapphire blue favors; you don’t have to literally shower people with jewels.

A Nice Meal

What would an anniversary celebration be without a wonderful meal? You can go small or elaborate depending on who you’re throwing your anniversary party for. If you’re having a backyard anniversary party then there’s nothing wrong with a BBQ, but something more elegant is usually appropriate.

Friendaversaries can be a little bit more low-key. For those, you might consider tapas or other small plates just to keep things light and fun.

cake with candles numbered 50 for annivesary party

Anniversary Cupcakes or Cookies

What’s for dessert? You’ve got a lot of options, but we recommend cupcakes or cookies.

Cupcakes and cookies offer nice places to put celebratory numbers, either as candles or as decorative icing. They’re also nice single-serve treats that you can make or buy in dozens of different colors.

candles spelling happy on cupcakes for anniversary

Are You Planning Your Anniversary Party Ideas on a Budget?

Remember you don’t have to buy most of your anniversary party decorations! It’s perfectly okay to just make yours. Doing so can be a lot of fun and can make your celebration a lot more personal…and it can save you some money, too!

Need supplies for your anniversary celebration? Whether you’re making them yourself or want them ready-to-go, Paper Plus can help. Stop by to see what we have in stock!

These Olympic Watch Party Ideas Will Make Your Gathering One to Remember

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

figure skater in olympics spinning jump

If you’ve set out to host an Olympics watch party this year then you’ve set a big goal for yourself! After all, the Olympics is a major event that only comes around once every two years.

As the winter Olympics is up next, we’ll talk about putting together a winter Olympics viewing party. Yet many of these principles would work just as well for a summer Olympics viewing party.

Choose Your Time

Scheduling is probably everyone’s biggest party hurdle. There are a couple of ways to do it.

The first way is just by targeting the opening ceremony and a handful of events on the first day of the 2.5 week Olympics competition. Choose this date if you want to get everyone pumped about the rest of the events. You might keep the excitement going throughout the event by setting up a temporary Discord server or Slack channel where you can chatter about other events after the party is over.

Another way is to focus on a specific event that everyone loves. Figure skating is a great one because those competitions are such fun visually, but you can choose any event that excites your partygoers.

Of course, it might be a matter of convenience. You can use the WhenIsGood tool at to find a time that works for most of your guest list.

watching bobsled olympic event

Decorate Like Crazy for Your Olympic Viewing Party

Decoration is the best way to get all your guests into the spirit of the Olympic events!

Here are a few ideas.


Olympic flags and national flags can really get people in the mood. You can get tiny hanging flags on a line or flags that you can group in vases for centerpieces. Toothpicks with flags on them are great to place in certain finger foods.

Sporty Decorations

If you’re theming your party around a specific event then you can often find decorations that celebrate that event. Hanging decorations, cut-outs that offer a stick figure of someone skiing or skating, or other decorations can create a specific atmosphere.

Pom Poms

Winter sports may not traditionally come along with cheerleaders, but if you’re cheering on the USA Hockey Team you might want to capture some of that spirit. Pom Poms are also festive and fun!

Olympic Torches

You can create torches out of vases and red, yellow, and orange tissue paper. You can also get torch cut-outs to put on the wall.

curling stone

Make it Interactive

You can just have everyone settle in front of the television with a passel of snacks. That’s a perfectly valid way to host a winter Olympics watch party.

Yet if you want your party to be a bit more memorable, it’s always fun to add some interactive elements. Since the Olympics are the main event you don’t want to do anything that will distract, so incorporate some games into the watch party.

One way is by filling out some score cards. You can have your guests raise their cards and compare them to the judges’ scores. They get a point every time they make an accurate prediction. Give out gold, silver, and bronze medals to the winners.
If you know the event very well and don’t have any beliefs against gambling then you could also set up a friendly, small scale Olympics betting pool. There are a few printable examples online, or you can make up your own. Nobody minds winning a little lunch money!

Theme Up the Food

Make cookies in the shape of rings and then use colored sugar to turn them into the Olympic rings. Theme plates after the 5 colors of the Olympics. Create ‘torch’ displays with long glasses and pretzels.

Your creativity is the only limit. Many of the game day foods that people use at the Super Bowl or other watch parties are great for an Olympics watch party, too.

How do you celebrate the Olympics at home?

Once the party is over there will typically be a lot more Olympics to watch! Keep it fun by snacking on a few of those leftover party cupcakes every now and then, or make certain events into family fun nights. That Discord or Slack channel will sure come in handy too. Or host a virtual watch party for family members and friends who couldn’t be at your physical one. It’s a great way to get a gold medal in event planning!

Need supplies for your Olympics watch party? Head on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA to get all the flags, decorations, and other supplies that you could possibly need.



What to Do When Your Favorite Party Goods Aren’t in Stock

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

rainbow balloon arch

You had your heart set on the perfect supplies for your carefully orchestrated party plan. Yet when you get to your favorite party store, some of the items you really wanted weren’t in stock. What gives?

More importantly, what are you going to do now?

Don’t worry! We’ve got solutions for all your party planning challenges, and items being out of stock is a party challenge just like any other.

Where are we seeing shortages?

Latex, helium, and certain balloon colors have been hard to get ahold of lately. We’ve also struggled to keep posterboards, signs, and banners in stock. We’ve also had trouble keeping pinatas in stock.

Banners have been really hard to find too. That’s because demand was quite great when everyone was doing everything outside, and suppliers struggled to keep up.

The Reasons

Some of our customers really want to know why we’d ever experience a shortage, so we thought we’d devote a little time to explaining. There are quite a few things that could be going on behind the scenes.

First, there are times when the item is being made at a higher cost and so we have to sell it at a higher cost and don’t order as much.

Another reason is that some of our goods are shipped from China, and right now shipping and trucking costs have gone through the roof. That means we are bringing in fewer shipments. The items will be here, but you may have to wait!

Sometimes there are shortages because the supplies are needed in other industries. For example, latex is used to make medical gloves.

Sometimes the problem is that we’ve lost our manufacturer. Some of them went out of business during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ones we were working with aren’t making those goods anymore. Some companies have also let their representatives go or the company has moved to another state, which can slow down the process of reordering.

Unfortunately, going to another shop won’t always even help when these problems rear their heads. If your favorite store is dealing with these issues then chances are your second choice will be dealing with them, too.

Fortunately, there are workarounds. Read on!

The Solutions

birthday spelled in balloonsIf you’re having trouble finding latex balloons, don’t worry. There are lots of other balloon types to choose from!

Can’t find helium? All sorts of stores are having trouble getting it, which is why there’s been a huge surge in organics. Create columns, pillars, arches, and strands of multi-colored, multi-sized balloons. They are light, portable, and can replace other things that are getting hard to find, like banners.

Can’t find the balloon colors you want? Did you know we can make balloon colors? It’s just a matter of slipping one balloon inside the other.

birthday girl with non helium balloons

For example, purple and green are the hardest balloons to find right now. So we just take a blue one and put it inside the red one. We blow them both up and voila! Purple.

As for a lack of posterboard, signs, or banners, we have a couple of solutions. One is to use rolls of paper in solid color to create the banners yourselves. Another is to use mylar balloons with the messages pre-written on them. Another way would be to find the individual letters, which we often have as big individual items, and then linking them together with brads.

Can’t find piñatas? It’s easy enough to make your own. By the way, piñatas can hold a lot more than candy. You can stuff them with all sorts of favors. They can be an adult-friendly party game, too!

homemade-heart-shaped-balloon-pinataWhen all else fails, you can become a maker! Create things instead of buying them. Use the raw resources you have at your disposal. Get creative! You’d be surprised what you can upcycle into incredible party decorations.

Looking Ahead

Nobody can predict how supply shortages will continue to play out as America recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet Americans are ingenious. We’ll come up with other avenues.

As a consumer, it’s important to hold on to your patience and your sense of humor. Unfortunately, these shortages aren’t anybody’s “fault.” They’re just conditions we’re all facing as we all try to get back to normal.

Here at Paper Plus we are devoted to helping you solve all your toughest party challenges. Can’t figure out what to do? Come on out and see us!

Build a Balloon Bouquet for Any Interest or Occasion

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

pink and gold stars balloon bouquet

Balloon bouquets are a fun alternative to sending flowers to mark just about any occasion. They’re fun and festive, often last a little longer without special care, and carry some other benefits, as well.

For example, there are so many shapes and sizes of balloons available that each bouquet can be tailored to the recipient. You can theme the balloons around hobbies like football or Fortnite. You can focus on fandoms, creating a Spiderman balloon bouquet or a Frozen balloon bouquet. Or you can just focus on the occasion.

You can fit the balloons to the recipient’s personality too. If they’re serious, use elegant balloons. If they’re a bit more laid back, use humorous ones. You know your loved one best, so use your imagination.

Another benefit? You can send a balloon bouquet across the country, having it delivered just about anywhere, any time. That’s a boon during a time when travel is still feeling a bit dicey.

Birthday Balloon Bouquets

purple and red balloon bouquetThe right bouquet will depend on the age and temperament of the recipient.

For example, if it’s a 50th birthday you can send a funny balloon shaped like the Grim Reaper that says, “Relax, I’m just here for the cake!” If you’re putting together a Sweet 16 balloon bouquet you could go with an elegant rose gold balloon bouquet.

Look at anything that interests the person. Dog lover? Grab balloons in the shape of paw prints, frame them with a few confetti balloons beneath, and put it all together with a weight to make a fine arrangement.

Graduation Balloon Bouquets

We covered these at length in our graduation balloons post, but these are a fine way to make your grad feel special. There are dozens of congratulatory graduation-themed balloons out there that you can take advantage of.

Valentine Balloon Bouquets

red valentine heart balloon bouquetYou can combine flowers with balloons to create some truly unique Valentine’s day gifts. Get balloons shaped like roses or simply find a collection of Valentine-themed balloons that you like.

They’re especially fun and festive to deliver to your significant other at the workplace!

Mother’s Day & Father’s Day Balloon Bouquets

Tired of overthinking your Mother’s Day or Father’s Day presents? Balloon bouquets for the occasion mean that you can show your parents you’re thinking of them without stressing over figuring out yet another gift to give.

Anniversary Balloon Bouquets

There are some truly great Happy Anniversary mylar balloons available. There are even mini 5-inch mylars that you can attach to larger balloons so you can customize them for the anniversary date or occasion.

Another popular option are giant hearts, which are available in up to 36″ in all colors.

Baby Shower Balloon Bouquets

pink and white balloon bouquetBalloon bouquets make great decorations for baby showers even if they aren’t necessarily good baby shower gifts. Combine them with a balloon arch to make the parent-to-be feel especially special on the big day!

Get Well Soon Balloon Bouquets

The tradition of giving out get well soon balloons is alive and well. Listen, any stay in the hospital is hard and stressful. So is any recovery from surgery or any major illness. Getting balloons can help your friends or loved ones know that you’re rooting for them in their hour of need.

They’re even better than flowers because scents can be very difficult for people who are sick to bear.

Make sure any balloons you send to hospitals are made of mylar and not latex.

50 Balloon Bouquets: A Showstopper for Any Occasion

You can really go for it with some giant balloon bouquets, and you can mix and match all sorts of options.

Not sure what to do, what balloons to include, or how to arrange them in a pleasing fashion? Reach out to your local party store! It’s a great way to create a memorable bouquet while working with experts who create these fun gifts every day of the year.


Here at Paper Plus we have an enormous selection of balloons available. We don’t have any cookie cutter bouquets, but we will help you make your own. We have letters to spell names, Hawaiian balloons for luau themes, flowers, emojis, hearts, stars, diamonds, cubes, teardrops, and more. We’ve got a plethora of colors, characters, and encouraging messages to share. Browse some of our selection or give us a call today.

What to Put in a Piñata Besides Candy

Thursday, July 1st, 2021


Piñatas are becoming a staple for pandemic era parties, but what can you put in a piñata besides candy? After all, most adults are watching their waistlines, at least a little bit. Some adults have health problems that mean they’re trying to stay away from sugar. Many parents are trying to keep their kids off sugar. What’s a party planner to do?

Turns out there’s lots of options! You don’t have to settle for cheap plastic toys that just end up becoming junk. You can put fun, useful items in a piñata, too.

Piñatas: Not Just for Kids Anymore

First, let’s talk about what’s making piñatas so popular, and why they’re not just for kids anymore.

Primarily, they’re the perfect outdoor party activity. They let you engage everyone in a fun game while ensuring everyone continues to social distance. You have to be six feet away from a piñata to work it safely, so everyone’s already playing safely. And hey, what do you even need a blindfold for when you’re already wearing a mask?

taco pinata

All jokes aside, let’s face it. Beating some of your pandemic-era frustrations out on a big colorful object is the kind of fun just about everyone can get behind right about now.

Of course, kids still love piñatas too. Nobody wants to be cooped up with kids while they’re high on sugar, so we’ll include a few age-appropriate candy-free ideas below.

Ideas to Make Your Piñata Party Awesome

Consider playing around with a theme. This can help both with choosing a piñata design and with what to put inside.

For example, if you and your friends are all craft enthusiasts then you could do a craft-themed piñata. Just choose a really pretty piñata and then fill it up with all sorts of craft supplies. Who couldn’t use more yarn and washi tape?

Ideas for What to Put Inside a Piñata for Kids (that isn’t candy!)

For kids, think of toys with some actual value:

  • Yo-Yos
  • Chinese jump ropes
  • Blacksmith’s puzzles
  • Play Doh
  • Tops
  • Masks
  • Playing cards
  • Miniature notebooks with pens attached
  • Packets of balloons
  • Finger traps
  • Finger puppets
  • Friendship bracelets

 Ideas for What to Put Inside a Piñata for Adults

unicorn pinataFor the aforementioned craft party:

  • Yarn
  • Knitting or crochet needles
  • Washi Tape
  • Lanyards to make keychains
  • Prepackaged DIY crafts
  • Pincushions
  • Embroidery thread
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Fuzz Balls
  • Glue
  • Paper

For a true grown-up party:

  • Small bottles of alcohol (make sure they’ll fall on a soft surface)
  • Jewelry
  • Healthy snacks
  • Gift cards
  • Nicer pens and pencils

You might have even more ideas. Consider:

  • Items people can use more than once
  • Items that aren’t too large so they can fall out
  • Items that fit the party’s theme

A little creativity can take you a long way in filling a piñata with something other than candy!

Paper Plus has dozens of piñatas, as well as plenty of items you can use to fill them up! Or, make your own piñata! Stop by to see us today.

Our Reviews

Paper Plus Outlet