How to Jazz up Dollar Tree glasses

Dollar tree has remarkable deals; some items you can use straight off the shelf others may need some additive to make it valuable, others may simply need a bit of jazzing up. On my last trip to dollar tree I found 8 champagne glasses. Perfect!! My current event is a Male birthday party filled with black and gold decorations.  Because it’s a lounge style party there is only one table that needs over the top decorations.

Here is how I turned plain $1 glasses into eye-catching pieces.

Supplies Needed: Glasses, foam brush, gloss glue, glitter.

I used a broken plate to contain the glitter. I recommend that you also use a glitter catcher; you’ll thank me later.

Step 1. Wash and dry the glass

Step 2. Apply a generous amount of glue to the base. Do one glass at a time. Tip: use painters tape for a more uniformed finish.

Step 3. While the glue is still wet sprinkle the glitter onto the painted area.

Step 4. After covering the entire painted area, gently tap the excess off.

Step 5. Allow the glue to dry for several hours.

Step 6. Once dry lightly tap the loose glitter off. Tip if you need more coverage simply apply more glue and sprinkle on more glitter and allow to dry.

Final step: Apply a light layer of glue over the dried glitter and allow to dry.

The final picture shows what the glass looks like with final glue application and after.

Happy Crafting.

Prince Winter Wonderland Baby Shower 

I was asked by a friend to design a budget friendly Winter baby shower for a baby boy.  My budget was less than $100 so I had to be very creative. My first step was to grab all the white and baby blue items that I had on hand and determine whether or not it would fit the theme. 

Next I looked for inspiration on Pinterest. Here I found this amazing backdrop that looked like falling snow.  

It was very easy to make and so I delegated the task to the mother to be her instructions were from this Hanging Snow blog.  
Next I went to the dollar tree. Here I found: polar bears, snow, blue and silver ornaments, vases, tea light holders, baby blocks and carriages, hot chocolate and candy. 

With my centerpiece design in mind I asked my design partner to collect pinecone from outside.  She then lightly spray painted them with white spay paint from Walmart ($.88c). 

My next stop was Joanns.  Because of my tendency to overspend in this store I came up with a game plan.  I needed snow and flowers for my centerpiece and nothing else.  As you may have guessed my game plan did not work, in addition to those items I ended up buying candy and oreo molds as well as a wreath, white woodland creatures. All for under $20 using Coupons.

I also ordered snow items from Aliexpress. Items from this site are very inexpensive  but they may take up to 45 days to arrive. I ordered: snowmen decals, snow garlands, silver crowns, photobooth props cutouts, and strip icicles.

To create the create the backdrop boxes my partner simply wrapped the boxes in wrapping paper the glued stenciled letter cutouts of the baby’s named then taped the boxes together.

Lastly, I found two pieces of scrap wood and painted it with chalkboard paint, to use it as the hot chocolate bar sign and the welcome sign.  

Whenever planning a party always take inventory of your items on hand then with the theme in mind try to reprurpose these items.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Email me if you have any questions: adim@diybudgetpartyplanning.com 

Work Birthday Party

Who ever said that a work party has to be ordinary; noone. A work party like all other parties can be as big,small, elegant or plain as you desire. I recommend following these simple steps to make your work party elegant and memorable. 
Delegate, delegate, delegate

  • Assign 1 duty to each person.
  • Pick a leader. Someone who is in charge of telling everyone what items to bring and followup to ensure that they do not forget.
  •  Delegate the food items needed for the party.
  • Pick a decorator.
  • Have a designated setup team.

Pick a theme

  • This step is key to making each work party unique. The theme does not have to be elaborate. Simply pick it based on colors, activities, hobbies, sports or anything that is unique to the individual. 

Decorate on a budget

  • Have each person contribute a few dollars and buy all decorative items at the dollar store. 
  • Most people have items that can be used to decorate already on hand,  identify these items and use as many as possible. 
  • Write out our sketch out a detailed plan to follow on how you would like the table to look. 

On the day follow your sketch or plan.  Try to setup in under 10 mins.  

Paper flowers on canvas

I love, love, love paper flowers. Making these flowers were so much fun. 

Here is how I did it. 

I used Google to search for patterns and I must say people keep these patterns pretty heavily guarded. I believe I came away with 2 patterns and they were tiny. Once you cut the pattern out simply use a pen or pencil to curl the edges and then assemble them with glue from largest to smallest. 

For the majority of the flowers I designed my own pattern. I started with one large petal and used it to cut 5 more for a total of 6 large petals. After cutting 4 to 5 different sizes of 5 to 6 petals proceed to put a small slit in each petal. Fold one half of the slit onto the other half and fasten with a dab of glue. The end result should resemble the picture below (top right).

Next using a pen or pencil  (professionals use other tools, none of which I have access to) roll the tip down. This is optional as it will yield a specific type of flower.

Glue the largest sets of petals first in a circular motion onto a small circular cutout. I used liquid Elmer’s glue it yielded good results. Keep adding to each layer similarly to the pictures above. 

If you leave the corners uncurled you will get the effect of the flower below on the left. If curled it will yield the flower on the right.

Of the many styles of pistels  (the center part of the flower) this is my favorite design. To make this cut a strip of paper the length and width is relative to the size if the flower. Mine are typically 2inches x 8inches. 

  1. Fold the strip in half
  2. Cut a small slit along the entire length at the folded portion. Do not cut all the down.
  3. Unfold the paper and
  4. Fold it the other way, leaving it unsmoothed.
  5. Roll it tightly and glue it together. 
  6. Place a large amount of glue on the base after it has dried and glue it to the center of the flower.

    Repeat these steps to make as many flowers as you like. 

    Enjoy!

    Glued petal aisle runner

    The decision to make a glued petal aisle runner should not be taken lightly. The creator of the blog Curious Purple Pig 

    https://curiouspurplepig.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/diy-petal-aisle-border/ 

    spent 20 hours making her aisle runner. This was her inspiration; mine as well.

    I found her blog to be very useful and I used it as my base for creating my own petal runner. 

    Here are a few things that I changed.

    1. I used cheap fabric as my base: I started off using Brown wrapping paper as the blog suggested but I found it to be very hard to work with, it kept rolling up and would not lay flat. Other DIYers used tulle, but, after reading so much negative posts about the draw backs of using tulle I decided against even experimenting with it. Instead, I went to Joanns and purchased some bundles of off white remnants.
    2. I cut my strips deeper than the drawing on the inspiration photo: because, I discovered that cutting the curves too close together caused my runner to not look like the inspiration picture. so I switched to this pattern the result was exactly what I was looking for. 
    3. I tried to tea dye/stain the petals and quickly discovered that it was too time consuming and did not yield a consistent color. Moreover, it just looked dirty when placed next to other ivory items so I purchased ivory petals from Amazon.com.
    4. I needed to make a total of 80 ft and did not have the time so I quickly recruited HELP. Please do not hesitate to recruit help this is a very big project.

    Here is my finished product. 

    Bride and Groom chair sign

    Add some uniqueness to your next event by making some DIY bride and groom chair signs. 

    I bought this from a bride on my Facebook group wedding buy and sell. I immediately knew that I had to add something to make it…more, but  I did not want to spend a lot. 

    I bought 2 small wreaths and 2 of each type of garland and wrapped them around the wreath. I later changed the ribbon color of the bride and groom sign and tied it to the wreath. To complete the look and tie it into the theme of the wedding I used leftover flowers and wrapped them onto the bottom center of the wreath.

    This is the final product. 

    Cloth cake stand

    Nothing satisfies me more than making things with leftover materials. Browsing Pinterest as I often do, I stumbled upon this post. (Click picture for the link to Pinterest post).

    After discovering it, I decided that I had to make it and break it down for my fellow DIYers and I wanted to use materials that I had on hand. 

    This is my version. 

    This is how I did this. I used very thin wood and had a friend cut 3, 13inch circles out and nail it together with strips of wood.

    I then cut leftover satin fabric into 8 inch straps to ensure good coverage.

    I folded and taped at first until I gained the confidence to staple as I went. I found that once one side was complete it was very easy to align it with the other side. For the bottom I used the drawer slip resistant liners. I simply folded it in half and used the unattached circular wood topper to cut it into a circle and then stapled it to the bottom. 

    My topper was a bit more complicated to do. I used some Elmer’s school glue and coated it quickly and thick. Then I poured silver glitter directly on top and let it dry completely. Once dry, I knocked the loose glitter free. 

    This was my first attempt. I was curious to know if I could pull off the same look using different material and so my second version was born. 

    This time I used cardboard cake stand cutout that I purchased from joanns and some foam sheet that came inside the box of a glass desk my mother in law purchased a few months ago (I save everything).

    I tried to glue it and quickly realized that I can’t glue foam. The heat for the glue eat the foam away in a matter of seconds. My solution was using a stapler. To my surprise it worked just fine.
    I used the same process that I used on the wood stand and folded and stapled satin around the entire stand. I decided to not use glitter and instead I spray painted the top in 2 coats of gold. 

    This is my end result. 

    How to find an inexpensive venue

    When working with a small budget for an event; it is important to find an affordable venue. A good venue will set the tone for the rest of the event. Some things to keep in mind when selecting a venue are: 

    1. Cost: An ideal venue should cost no more than 15% of your total budget if it does not include the rental of tables and chairs or 30% if it includes those items.
    2. Colors: Does the colors of the flooring and walls compliment the colors of your event. This is a very important factor when choosing a venue that generally gets over looked. 
    3. Rental items: the best venues will include the use of their tables and chairs as part of the base fee. Other venues may include the use of linens and centerpieces as well. The latter is not common but is a big bonus if offered.
    4. Hidden Fees: Sometimes a venue will seem like a great deal on its face but will add a lot of hidden fees such as requiring a dance floor rental if a dj is being used or charging for parking or security. It is important to have a list of questions to ask before booking any venue.
    5. Restrictions: Very common restrictions are alcohol, outside or unapproved caterers and or vendors. Usually restrictions are spelt out on the venue’s website but in the event that this information is unavailable, it is important to ask during the first meeting.
    6. Permits: Some venues try to be restrictive by requiring permits. Acquiring a permit is usually the task for the lessee.  One major permit is a liquor licence.

    My favorite venue is a free venue. Using a family or friend’s house or yard I’d usually a good idea for weddings, birthday parties or any other family/friend oriented event.

    When using this option be mindful of: 

    1. The season:  A tent may be needed with a heater to keep guests warm during the colder seasons. While a tent and air conditioning for hotter months or tent as a rain option.
    2. Parking
    3. The size of the house/yard in relation to the number of guests: Guests will need a bathroom option, so, be sure to explain this to the host family. Portable bathrooms will ease the use of the house bathrooms and are available in upscale styles.
    4. You will be responsible for all rentals: tables and chairs etc.

    Churches tend to offer a discounted rates for members of the church. Many churches are designed to hold the ceremony and reception in the case of a wedding or any event that needs a ballroom type space. 

    Churches generally:

    1. Will have tables and chairs available in the rental price
    2. Adequate parking
    3. Restrict alcohol 
    4. Restrict certain music

    Community or recreation centers are my go to place to host a baby shower, reunion or brunch. 

    Community centers generally offer discounted rates for its residents but will still allow non-residents to use the property. Things to keep in mind when renting a rec center:

    1. Centers usually have a time limit for rentals, including setup, event time and break down.
    2. Many recreational centers allow alcohol but my also require a permit so be sure to ask upfront.
    3. These venues may also restrict the use of tape or tacks on their ceilings or walls. 
    4. May require security guards or police presence based on the desired use. 

    Whatever venue you choose just remember that all venues have pros and cons but the important thing is balance and ensuring that the pros outweighs the cons. 

    How to coupon for your DIY projects

    I must start out by saying that I love, love, love coupons.  animatedcoupon

    My favorite store to coupon for my craft items is Joann fabric and craft store.  I do however shop at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Handcock, Ac Moore, Amazon and Etsy.  Although the staff at Joann is extremely helpful and friendly that is not the primary reason why I am in love with this store.  My love affair is mainly due to their coupon policy.

    Joan buidling1. At Joann you are able to use an unlimited amount of coupons in store as long as each coupon features a different barcode.  2. Once you sign of for the email list, Joann will send you at least one coupon a week day, which is a minimum of 5 coupons for the week (all with different barcodes).  3. They mail you paper coupons frequently (all with different barcodes from the emailed coupons even if it for the same dates).  4. You are able to screenshot of take a picture of the coupons to save on printing and they will accept them. 5. Coupons are also available online and they do not match the barcodes of the ones mailed. 6. Joann has in store circulars with coupons for the following week. These however are all have the same barcode and cannot be used in the same shopping trip. 7. They always have great sales.

    joan joan 2

    michaels 1 michaelJoann, Michaels, Ac Moore have two main types of coupons as do most craft stores, the ones you can only use on one regular priced item and the ones that can be used on all items purchased including sale items.  Regular Priced item coupons can only be used once at Joann, but, at other stores they can only be used once a day (in one location, so you can use it in another store the same day). these coupons also can only be used on a regular priced item or a single cut of fabric.   Total Purchase coupons cannot be combined with another coupon on an item. But, in the same transaction you are able to use both coupons if you have purchased regular priced items and sale items.  For example: I purchase 1 regular priced vase for $6, 1 regular priced flower for $4 and 1 foam pad that was marked down to $2. Using the coupons above, the regular priced item coupon will be applied to my highest priced regular item which is the $6 dollar vase making it a $3 purchase price. The 15% coupon will be applied to the $4 vase and the $2 foam pad, making it a $5.10 purchase.  My total for my shopping trip will then be $7.10 as opposed to $12 without coupons.  If you have time before your event, try to buy all regular priced items with a regular priced coupon, even if it means making several trips.

    Michaels

    There are several items that I cannot get a Joann, and so I tend to shop around. For local stores, I like Michaels, Ac Moore and Hancock. However, there coupon policy is rather strict and they do not offer many coupons each week. This means you will need to make several trips to purchase high priced items.  I do enjoy shopping at these stores because they have a very big inventory and with your receipt you typically get a coupon for a future purchase that is different from one that you can print from their website. Like Joann, you can present coupons from your smart phone.  Be warned, the employees at this store tend to not be familiar with their coupon policy so be sure to travel with a copy of the policy.

    With a little elbow grease anyone can create a budget friendly elegant event.

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