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Posts Tagged ‘party decorations’

No Helium, No Problem! Decorating with Non-Helium Balloons

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

non helium balloons heart wedding decoration

For a long time, helium has been the essential element that makes balloons so magical. From the 1956 French film The Red Balloon to childhood birthday parties, it’s hard to imagine decorating without helium balloons.

 

But with the recent helium shortage, artists and designers have been doing just that … and their creations are mesmerizing. Even before the helium shortage, creative and crafty types have put no helium balloons (i.e. air-filled balloons) to great use.

 

You can find the most impressive air-filled balloon designs at the World Balloon Convention–no, we’re not making this up! This international balloon design convention and competition has an air-only balloon event where contestants from all over the world come to showcase furniture, mythical creatures, fictional characters, massive archways, fashion and hundreds of other clever pieces made entirely of balloons without helium. The convention shows first-hand that the design possibilities with no helium balloons are un-ending.

While your no helium balloon needs probably aren’t as extravagant as the designs at the World Balloon Convention, no helium balloons can be used on a smaller scale for many of your traditional party decorations.

 

The Benefits of No Helium Balloon Designs

Even though it’s nice to have party decorations that float, choosing air-filled balloons slows the demand for helium without compromising the look of your decorations.

non helium balloons table decoration

  • In general, helium balloons are more sensitive to temperature changes (they deflate in cold temperatures and expand in hot temperatures) which can affect your decorations. Helium is a smaller molecule than oxygen, so helium balloons deflate quicker than air-filled balloons.
  • If you are hosting a party outdoors, air-filled balloons are a stronger choice. Since air-filled balloons are held together with sturdy materials like poles, vases, and string, you can keep balloon decorations from floating around and tearing apart if the wind picks up.
  • Helium centerpieces are typically less innovative because the main attractiveness is the floating part. With air-filled balloons, your centerpiece can be as elaborate as you want.
  • Helium balloons tend to be more expensive because helium is a more expensive commodity than air. If you have big ideas for balloon decorations but you need to stay on budget, air-filled balloons are much more economical.
  • You certainly aren’t limited to latex balloons either. Air-filled Mylar balloons of all shapes and sizes are available for balloon bouquets, cake toppers, photo booth decorations, and centerpieces. Whether you use Mylar or latex, you never have to worry about your balloons floating away with this type of centerpiece.

 

Big No Helium Balloon Designs

Air-filled balloons are perfect for big decorative columns and arches because they are suspended with poles, vases, and frames. This makes outdoor balloon decoration much more dependable. Even if you are hosting a party indoors, big air-filled balloon structures don’t move around as much, so they can be incorporated into more complex designs. We’ve seen “columns” that look like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and archways that look like portals to new dimensions. You can make your vision come to life with air-filled balloons; all you need is a strong, flexible frame to keep it in place.

 

Small No Helium Balloon Designs

non helium balloons on a stick

Air-filled balloons can also be used for smaller decorations, props, cake toppers, party favors, and centerpieces. Small balloons suspended on short poles create lovely multi-tiered designs that can be customized by theme or type of occasion. We’ve seen elaborate centerpieces that touch the ceiling, centerpieces that look like flower bouquets, and others that include candles or lights. A classic air-filled balloon design features a single latex balloon on top with little latex balloons attached around the bottom. You can also create small topiary trees and structures with air-filled balloons.

Air-filled balloons are also used to make inflatable props like balloon animals. Balloon animals are traditionally made with long or “tube” air-filled balloons and add a little magic to children’s birthday parties, festivals, and other occasions. Another popular prop is the air-filled balloon on a hand-held stick. This party prop dates back to before the popularization of helium balloons, and now they are making a comeback!

multi colored balloon animals

Reimagining balloons can lead to some magnificent designs while also reducing the demand for helium. We thank you for considering air-filled balloons for your next event. If air-filled balloons sound like the perfect option for you but you don’t know where to start, stop into Paper Plus at 629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley and chat with our balloon-loving staff. Or, give us a call! 510-525-1799

We love balloons, so we write about them a lot!

 

 

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!

 

Decorating and Entertaining with Compostable Products: A Growing Trend

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

If you walk into a party supply store, you will notice a growing selection of compostable plates, cups, utensils and even decorations. Compostable products have certainly grown in popularity, and as Berkeley residents, we have front row seats to this sustainable shift in an industry that is typically viewed as extravagant and–sometimes–wasteful.

 

Only a few short years ago the first attempt at compostable cutlery was a bit of a flop. Compostable spoons would disintegrate in hot tea, and party supplies hardly screamed fun.  Now that manufacturers have perfected their formulas, we’re seeing an impressive evolution from function to form.

recycled and compostable party napkins green wave recycled and compostable party napkins yellow hearts

As the demand for compostable plates, utensils, and decorations continues to increase, manufacturers are getting creative with textures, colors, and shape to make them more attractive. In a brief time, we’ve gone from brown, pulpy paper plates to single-use hot cup technology that looks and functions like plastic. We no longer have to compromise looks for sustainable products, which makes the appeal for compostable decorative products much stronger.

 

When You’re Done – Is It Recyclable or Compostable?

 

Composting and recycling are two different, though equally essential methods to keep unnecessary waste products out of the landfill. So, how do you tell the difference?

 

Recyclable Party Supplies

Recyclable means that the disposed waste is reused to produce new products. This doesn’t necessarily mean your kombucha bottle will come back as a kombucha bottle in a second life. Typical party recyclable items include glass containers, paper decorations, and plastic cups. Recyclables can certainly have prints and dyes in them, but they must be rinsed and cleaned before disposal, otherwise, they could be sent to the landfill.

 

Compostable Party Supplies

Compostable materials are biodegradable products that given the right conditions degrade to create

compostable corn and wood utensils

what is called humus (no, not the delicious chickpea dip!). Humus is a nutrient-rich, all-natural soil that can be returned to your garden, just as nature intended.

 

Food is typically compostable. Also, look for compostable party supplies like napkins, cups, plates, and utensils made from corn, recycled crushed paper, bamboo, and palm leaves. Longer-lasting compostable products are typically made from a type of wood.

Partially Compostable

In some cases, party products can be considered partially compostable or biodegradable. For example, latex balloons are compostable but the string is not, so you must dispose of each piece separately.

 

Exciting New Options

Take a look at a compostable plate versus a traditional paper plate now and you probably won’t notice a difference. Compostable decorative and single-use items (cutlery, plates, napkins) hold their own in the decorative department nowadays, and they also hold up better and have more longevity in terms of daily use.

compostable plates made of palm leaves

 

Manufacturers have recently come out with compostable decorations, including placemats, gift bags, banners and place cards. Compostable plates made with palm leaves look modern and are available in various textures and patterns.

 

For compostable decorations like crushed paper you might notice a little difference in texture, but now manufacturers are coming up with stylish shapes like squares with borders.

 

Compostable products are not made with paints, lacquers or chemical dyes. Instead, they use texturing, crushed paper, cuts, shapes and naturally derived dyes to create a diverse selection of attractive designs. Some designs even include prints!

 

compostable corn cup with stars

They have come a long way, and we are thrilled to see what they come up with next.

 

Looking to decorate your next occasion they ec0-friendly way? Call us 510-525-1799 or drop in at 1629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley to browse a wide selection of stylish earth-friendly decorations, utensils, and more.

 

Table Decorations to Spruce up Any Celebration

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Nothing makes a celebration festive quite like finger food, friends and family, and fun party table decorations. Take a look at our favorite table decorations for home holiday festivities for Super Bowl, Award Shows, Valentine’s Day, and Mardi Gras.

Super Bowl

superbowl balloonsOn Super Bowl Sunday, there are snacks galore, tons of hungry fans and plenty of opportunity to decorate that snack spread. Create a football field table spread with football-shaped cookies and touchdown centerpieces. With a green table cloth and some white duct tape and paint, you can create a football field table cloth, so every snacker is a player!

For the table cloth:

  1. Cover the table surface with the green table cloth and tape it down to secure it.
  2. Mark where you want the yard lines and use white duct tape to create the lines.
  3. Use paint or white paint markers to write numbers on the field.

Read more about what you’ll need to complete your Super Bowl party.

And keep your guests and the kids entertained on Super Bowl Sunday!

Award Shows

red carpet and streamer for oscarsAwards shows like the Oscars and Grammys are all about the glamour. Using silver and gold table decorations like stars and confetti is a great start. Use a black or red table cloth as your base. If you’re preparing appetizers, decorate finger food toothpicks with black tie attire: bow ties, top hats, mustaches, etc. In the spirit of the movies, decorate a popcorn station and label different spices based on the movies that are nominated this year.

 

What You’ll Need for Award Show Table Decorations

  • Toothpicks
  • Construction paper
  • Table cloth
  • Stars
  • Confetti or ticket stubs

 

Valentine’s Day

homemade-valentines-day-crafts-for-schoolBring on the love! Whether you’re throwing a dinner for two, a cute Valentine’s Day party with the kids or a Galentine’s Day party with all your girlfriends, this is the holiday for pink and red table decorations, candles, flowers and balloons! Get out the construction paper and cut pink and red hearts to decorate the table. An excellent addition to a Valentine’s Day table spread is paper mache letters. You can buy them at the store or make your own with newspaper, paint and glue.

 

Mardi Gras

The signature colors of Mardi Gras are green, purple, gold and silver. You can use bead necklaces, confetti, pompoms and feathers in these colors. You can make simple table decorations by filling martini glasses with beads and attaching masks to them. Take some feathers and stick them in the beads for a festive centerpiece. You can also place beads in candle holders and place tea lights inside for a smaller centerpiece.

 

Colorful Mardi Gras beadsDecorations Needed for Mardi Gras

  • Beads and bead necklaces
  • Masks
  • Fleur de lis design
  • Top hats
  • Feathers
  • Confetti and glitter

 

Come on down to Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley to get everything you need to decorate your table!

We’re open Monday – Saturday 9am – 7pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.

Happy Celebrating!

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