Category Archives: Party Planning

My Sister’s DIY Wedding

My sister got married last summer.  This is not news, but it has taken me this long to wrap my mind around sharing all of the fun projects and beautiful pictures that came out of this special event.  Even so I won’t take the time to explain them all.  Picture proof is good enough at this point.

My sister wanted a very small, intimate wedding.  She was kind enough to involve me in the process.

The wedding was at Silver Fork Lodge in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  It couldn’t be a more beautiful setting for an August wedding.

Silver Fork Lodge

Unless otherwise noted, all photos taken by Kate Elizabeth Photography and more available for viewing here.

The venue is a little bed and breakfast (and tasty diner – the sourdough start is apparently more than 100 years old) in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We wanted to make sure guests didn’t get distracted by the beautiful scenery and miss it.  So I found this easel at the thrift store for $15 (one of the most expensive items from the wedding!). One side had a chalkboard that we just removed.  It was good and sturdy and always could be used by my sister’s twin daughters in the future! I cut out letters using the Cricuit and simply taped them on.  We hoped for good weather and lucked out.

Welcome Sign

My sister’s now-husband walked down the aisle first.  Their twin daughters and flower girls were supposed to walk down with him; however, they weren’t having that after waking up a little too early from that afternoon nap.


The flower girls’ baskets were also from the thrift store, where I purchased them for 50 cents each.

DI baskets

My sister’s florist decorated the arch.


Her hubby-to-be, a gifted musician, played acoustic guitar while my dad walked her down the aisle.

Wedding Cid & Drew-79

This little shack proved quite the eyesore along my sister’s walk to the arch.  I covered it with lace curtains I found at a Goodwill in Nebraska and other white sheer curtains from Ikea.

CurtainsThe groom’s dad provided the rings in a leather pouch we purchased at a leather store in West Jordan.

Leather Ring Bag

The twin daughters got rings as well.

Plastic Rings

Kiss the Bride

The happy new family participated in a sand ceremony to symbolize the uniting of all four of them.


Sand end result

The dinner and reception was quite the party!

Tree Photos

Rock Chalkboard

Rock Basket


mason jar


mason jars


vases 2



I collected unique vases and jars for about a month or so before the big day.




Card Table

Wedding Cid & Drew-29

lanterns 5


I recommend buying paper lanterns.  (We got these used on KSL.)  Making the string ball was quite messy.

lanterns4A friend made their cake.

cakeThe cake stand was purchased from Etsy.


The chalkboard menu was created from an old mirror I had laying around.


Eat, drink, be married!

Be Married

Eat Drink Be Married

The groom’s band played for dancing party guests of all ages.

Wedding Cid & Drew-475

Wedding Cid & Drew-394


See more of the photographer’s photos on Kate Elizabeth’s blog.



Filed under DIY, Party Planning

Yo Gabba Gabba Birthday Party

This birthday party happened six months old.  I know.  I’m a mess. Happy 2nd birthday Cole!

We made this wreath based on this tutorial.  By “we” I mean “I” – my BFF has this strange thing about touching rubber.  I have no idea what to do with her.

Pardon the poor lighting.  I am camera illiterate.

We used dollar store tablecloths to create the colored backdrop.

My BFF found a lot of the Yo Gabba Gabba paraphernalia online.

We made cheap favors using red favor bags and cut paper.

We created fun boom box animal crackers from online printables.

The birthday boy loves Yo Gabba Gabba but it sure creeped me out! What children’s program gives you the willies?


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Barbeque-Themed Party

Props go to my BFF for coming up with the theme for this bridal shower luncheon.  One of my close friends is tying the knot next month and her co-workers threw the party in the break room in their office.  I was going to do some gray and yellow decor (I have serious gray and yellow infatuation lately) but my BFF suggested a barbeque theme since everyone was pitching in to get the happy couple a grill.  What a clever idea!

I love picking up a bunch of flowers at Costco.  I used mason jars I already had tied with twine from Cole’s cowboy birthday party.

I found a lot of fun stuff, including these food baskets below, on sale at JoAnn’s for 70 percent off!

I made a banner out of fabric and hung it on the work bulletin board.

Sure I took a picture of all the fun decor but I took two pictures of the cake.  This is for good reason.  I consider myself a cake connoisseur and this was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.  (I think it is important to clarify that I did not make this cake.  But I may just start stalking the woman who did.)

Perhaps you recognize the burlap runner, too?  I love having things on hand for a quick and easy party.

Everyone loves a good barbeque!


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Wild, Wild One: Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party

It’s been a year since I threw my first party –  a “Wild About Cole” safari baby shower.  Well lil’ Cole just celebrated his first birthday and we threw him another wild, wild bash.  Cole was more than happy to dress up as a cowboy for his “Wild Wild One” birthday hoe-down.

My stepdad built this directional sign that served as a beacon for guests coming from all over town. I used letters I cut with the Cricuit so that I can use this sign again without having to repaint it.  Isn’t it great? I can’t wait for the next reason to tell people where to go.

I used straw to display a cow skull and this tissue paper numeral one.  (I got the idea for the tissue paper number one from this tutorial.)

Straw is officially on my do-not-ever-purchase-again-no-matter-what list.  What a mess!

Just like I did for the safari shower, I made a burlap banner to announce the theme.  This time I used clothespins instead of stringing it through the rope. This was so much faster!

The birthday boy and his parents were ready to greet their hoe-down guests. Have you seen a cuter cowboy? I seriously doubt it.

We displayed the birthday boy’s cake on a red plaid table cloth Cole’s grandma owned and we topped it off with the no-sew burlap runner I made last week.

I used flowers in mason jars on the cake table and elsewhere around the house.

To create consistent signage, I used picture frames wrapped with rope.  (Gotta love that hot glue!)  You may recognize these dollar store frames from my past parties.  I used them to display vintage New Zealand travel posters here, to show off Alvin and the Chipmunks here, to name a bar here, and to show of all of one family’s little sunshines here. That’s a lot of mileage for a $1 purchase!

In case the glare in my painfully-amateur photo prevents you from reading it, the outhouse sign says “Don’t squat on yer spurs.”  I crack myself right up over that one.

I’m totally in love with these paper straws. (I used the blue and white ones for the “Time Flies” 1st birthday party a few months ago.)

I purchased these straws on Etsy from Pebbles in my Pocket, which included the PDF for these straw tags.  It was perfect!

I made a ribbon banner with red and white plaid paper and a blue starry paper.

The birthday boy’s picture was republished for his wanted posters. (Seriously! Have you ever seen a cuter 8 tooth grin?)

I also bought a wanted poster to leave blank.  I cut out the middle, passed out a few faux mustaches and voila! An instant Kodak moment.

It turns out that even the birthday boy’s proud papa is a wanted criminal!

We decorated Cole’s high chair with a small banner using the same paper from the “Cole is 1” banner.

This is one baby boy who did not hesitate to sink his hands into that frosting!

Cole did not stop until he had cake on the floor, on his bib, on his face, and in his hair.  That’s how it’s supposed to be done big boy!

Cole’s youngest cousins were listed on the chalkboard to make sure they picked up their favors.

Each little favor bag included root beer barrels and wax mustaches.

Every one else could take a dum dum from this lollipop flower I made from this tutorial.

Cole bid farewell to his party guests by wishing them “Happy Trails”!


Who remembers the wax lips from the 1980s?


Filed under Party Planning

No Sew Burlap Runner: Giddy Up!

I’m gearing up for a cowboy themed birthday party (yee-haw!) and threw together this burlap runner without sewing, embroidering, or stitch witchery.  This runner (or a tablecloth) would be great for fall festivities, too!

First, cut the general size you want the runner.

I’ve cut the top edge but it is not pretty.  (No matter how many times I cut fabric in my sewing class I still can’t cut straight.)

Second, find a fiber that runs the full length of the edge.  It should be about three or four fibers in.  Give it a little tug, like I’ve done below.

Next, work that fiber out of the full length of the fabric so that it creates a clear line that you’ll follow to keep the edge straight.

Working from the outermost fiber inward toward your guideline, fray away each of the fibers.

When the outside edges are peeled away, you’ll have a straight line!  Just cut the frayed edges to about the same length and you’ve done it!

Who thinks burlap is too itchy?

Also, who can give me some pointers on taking photos at night? Flash or no flash?  As a late-night blogger, natural light simply is not an option.


Filed under DIY, Party Planning

Create a Super Centerpiece for Your Super Bowl Party

For the most part, I am overly ecstatic that football season is over.  It seems like there has been a football game every day since August!  I, for one, have had it with MNF and Sundays wasted away.

I do, however, like to party.  (Especially if it’s celebrating the end of football!) And if I were throwing a Super Bowl party, I would create a miniature football field just like the one I originally created for my nephew’s sports party.

This project was easy and inexpensive.  I bought the football-shaped chip bowl and the itty-bitty football at the dollar store.  I then bought a small piece of sod and cut it to size.  I created the field goals out of skewer sticks and hot glue.  With a little paint, this cute diorama was a huge hit!

Who’s partying this Sunday?

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Free New Years Eve Printables

With New Years Eve right around the corner – okay, one day away – the blogsosphere is on fire with free printables.  I’d probably incorporate several of the ideas below if I had any intentions to decorate for the holiday.  Call me Scrooge, but all this partying has tired me right out.

I love, love, love this tabletop from The Finer Things.  Isn’t her table beautiful?

Image here.

The colors are fantastic but what really makes this table creative is the beautiful clock decoration.  And great news!  She’s giving the clock printable away for free!  Visit her here for the download!

Download here.

If a classic damask print is calling your name, look no further than the Catch My Party blog where the owner of the Paper Dolls Shoppe is giving away her beautiful collection of  printables for free!  Her collection includes an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. banner and these adorable labels below.

Downloads available here.

(Pssst…once upon a time I was featured on the Catch My Party Blog and it pretty much made me feel like a celebrity.  You can see me bask in all my glory here.)

Finally, if you feel like giving back a little this season, consider visiting The Giving Madam, who designed these New Years Eve free printables to raise awareness for military families.

Download this and many more here.

I wish I had the energy to throw some glamorous bash, but I just don’t have it in me.  Are you throwing a party? If so, can I live vicariously through you?

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