As the season starts to change, I’m excited to show you a glimpse of Autumn themed decorations that will be launching soon!
What advice would you give to someone planning a party?
Planning a party should be fun but somehow it often turns into a nightmare. Recently a friend asked for help planning her wedding and it got me thinking. As someone who used to work in the event industry I know how easy it is to get bogged down in tiny details like the colour of the napkins and forget the big picture – it’s meant to be fun.
So today I’d like to share some tips about how to plan a party and still have the energy to enjoy it!
No matter how much we might wish it otherwise, no-one is an expert at everything. Pick the stuff you’re good at and get some help with the rest.
If you’re not a baker, buy a plain iced cake and decorate it yourself.
Haven’t a clue how to cater for 50? Me neither, pop down to your local deli and get them to make some large platters for you instead.
Not sure where to start with decorations? Read on for some great tips!
1.Pick a theme: (and stick with it!)
Choosing a theme will help you to keep focused during your planning and preparation and make sure you end up with decorations, gifts and food that look like they belong together. We’ve all got a bit of magpie in us and it can be all too easy to add a bit of this gorgeous thing and a bit of that because it’s lovely until you end up with a confused mess and none of the lovely things you’ve chosen end up sparkling like you’d hoped they would.
If you fall in love with an idea or decoration which doesn’t fit in with your theme don’t worry, bookmark it for your NEXT party. You can even make it the reason to have another party ( if you really need an excuse).
Choosing a colour as your theme is a great way to give your party a cohesive look. Stick to one colour or choose something like a rainbow or pastel theme. You’ll still have lots of flexibility in how you interpret the theme and if you choose a colour that’s on trend at the time of your event you’re even more likely to find appropriate items easily.
Whether it’s a beautiful buffet table, a photo booth back drop or an activity zone, a focal point helps set the tone for the party and creates a wow factor.
3.Decorations with a difference:
In my former life as an event florist I created decorations out of pretty much everything; glowsticks, toy cars, sweets, fruit the list goes on and on.
A few key pieces such as this garland can easily be added to with less conventional items.
Keep an open mind and you’ll be amazed at how much you already have that can be transformed into a decoration.
Take a look at my Rainbow pinterest board to see how a simple pack of balloons can transform a room in next to no time.
4.Let your guests do the work:
One of the best parties my boys have been to involved them making their own party bag and it’s entire contents! The children had a great time, loved their gifts and the very clever mum who organised the party had saved herself a lot of time and hassle. Whether it’s adding toppings to ice cream, mixing their own cocktails or colouring in the table cloth, guests will enjoy the opportunity to get involved.
Any table can be easily transformed with a table cloth and some coloured paper. If you’ve got a long or square table create a line of decoration down the middle of the table.
As long as you’ve got some coloured paper to hand and a pair of scissors you can quickly and easily create this rainbow effect by cutting random triangle shapes and layering the paper onto the table.
Got a hole punch? Create circular confetti and create a graduated stripe running down the centre of the table. (love the idea but haven’t the time – you can buy my rainbow coloured eco friendly confetti here)
If I was using this idea for a circular table I’d place a jar of smarties in the centre of the table and surround it with a circle of the paper triangles/ confetti.
6.Gorgeous Gift Wrap:
Particularly important at children’s parties, it’s always nice to give your guests a gift to take home. Kraft sandwich bags or boxes can easily be transformed with a simple ribbon. I’ve carried my rainbow theme through to the party gifts by using different ribbons for each box but if you’ve got more time take a look at my rainbow pinterest board for more wrapping ideas.
Want further inspiration? Take a look at my rainbow party themed Pinterest Board
Fallen in love with my rainbow elephant garland? You can buy it here
Need to get your hands on some rainbow confetti? Find it here
Creating bespoke papercuts for wedding presents is a true privilege. I love working with clients to weave together lots of different elements to tell the couple’s story. It is always a journey of discovery as ideas are sent back and forth and the design takes shape.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this commission with you for a while but as I don’t like spoiling surprises had to keep this under wraps until now.
So much of this papercut design is deeply personal to the wedding couple and yet at face value it’s simply a picture of skiing trip. Everytime the newly weds look at this snowy scene they’ll be able to relive happy memories without feeling like their private love letters are on display. And if people ask about the papercut they can share as much or as little of the story behind the picture as they like.
Now that’s what I call a wedding present! If you’d like to commission me to create a special papercut for you simply drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether it’s showering the happy couple with confetti on their wedding day or a ticker tape parade in New York, there is something about those tiny bits of paper fluttering down from the sky that makes them an essential part of a celebration.
Confetti is fun! But it’s not always the most environmentally friendly way to celebrate.
So here’s how you can have your confetti cake and eat it too!
Whenever I create a papercut I generate hundreds of teeny tiny scraps of paper like this (pretty aren’t they). Until relatively recently I had just swept them up into the recycling but then my husband brought home a new product from work and I realised that perhaps I could give these tiny scraps a happier more useful life.
Now the proud owner of a heart shaped die-punch I could transform these scraps into frivolous, joyful, romantic and environmentally friendly confetti! I’m delighted to say I also found a supplier of biodegradable glassine bags and biodegradable stickers so the packaging is eco-friendly too!
Because they are created from high quality art paper, this confetti is not only coloured on both sides, its also deliciously thick and the range of papers means I have created some rather luscious colour combinations. Raspberry Ripple, seas greens, summer pastels etc.
At the minute the quantities of confetti are rather small but with each papercut stocks will grow. If you’ve got a wedding or event coming up later in the year and would like me to stock pile certain colours for you feel free to get in touch.
To take a look at the current range of eco-friendly confetti click here
As a papercut artist it might not surprise you that I’m not really a believer in a paperless society. But using a product that results in millions of trees being chopped down each year doesn’t exactly scream environmentally friendly does it? So how do I justify my obsession with paper?
Don’t stop using paper – use it better!
Earlier this year we committed to making Rosie and the Boys as eco-friendly as we could without giving up on using paper (you can read about it here). So here are the some of the ways we are trying to put our new maxim into practice:
Reduce how much we use
Sounds a bit obvious doesn’t it? But this isn’t just about no printing things when we don’t really need to, it’s about getting the most out of each piece of paper.
- Similar to the concept of no-wastage pattern cutting I try hard to position cutting templates to make the most effective use of a piece of art paper. High quality art papers are now the only paper resource we use that are allowed to hold single use status.
- Challenging myself to reduce how much art paper I use has also meant I now actively look try to create designs to utilise the larger offcuts from commission pieces.
- And what about the teeny tiny scraps of paper? Well I’ve even come up with a use for those!( Find out more in the next blog post.)
Reuse what we have
- I find myself writing endless lists; jobs to do, people to contact, which photos I’m going to use.
- A sheet of blank paper can be daunting, somehow using the blank side of an envelope or scrap piece of paper takes away some of the pressure and you can get straight down to sketching.
- Even though I use Illustrator to create a lot of my commission work it helps to block out a draft design on paper first. Drawing takes practice, practice, practice. Not all the designs I come up with are “keepers”, sometimes I’ll redraw something over and over to get it right. Sometimes I walk away from an idea. By using scrap paper to practice first, I make better use of “The Sketchbook” or Illustrator to develop promising ideas.
Recycle what we can’t reuse
And what happens to all those to-do lists once they’ve been completed and the practice designs drawn on the back of envelopes? What about the teeny tiny offcuts from papercuts that are so tiny they can’t be used? Well, this cardboard box now has pride of place under my desk ready to catch even the tiniest scrap allowing it to be recycled.
So here’s to changing the world: one envelope at a time!
If you’ve got any suggestions for how we could use paper even more efficiently then we’d love to hear them. Just add a comment below.
Recently I was commissioned to create a papercut as a wedding present. As I talked with the client about the design it became obvious that this gift would celebrate not only the love between the wedding couple but also the deep friendship between the customer and bride-to-be. A catalyst sparking off memories for the couple and for their friends and family who had watch the relationship blossom.
As part of planning the design I try to discover not only the details a client would like to include but also the story behind them. In this instance, I learnt about a couple who born thousands of miles apart had met in London and been drawn together by a shared interest. My client told of holidays together, shared passions and special nicknames, a romantic proposal and plans for the big day.
With pages of notes, my task was to now create a design that would tell this couple’s wonderful story in a way that was beautiful as well as meaningful.
They had travelled the world and yet so many of the key moments in their relationship took place in just one city. The idea of an illustrated map began to form…and so here is how I chose to draw a love story:
It has been a long time coming but here is the how to for creating a geometric feature wall. Just in time for a Tuesday Treat
When I was decorating my office I really wanted to be bold with colour and take advantage of the fact that this was MY space. I was inspired by this beautiful wallpaper by Cole and Son but was keen to create something of my own.
So here’s how…..
Step 1: Do lots of research into colours. I found pinterest a great way to gather images and see what I kept choosing time and again. You can see some of my picks here
Step 2: Measure your wall. This can be surprisingly tricky to do by yourself so grab someone to help you. Check your measurements several times. Accuracy is really important. My wall measured 2.2m tall x 2.04m wide.
Step 3: Draw a grid on a piece of paper to work out how many squares you want in your design. I decided on squares measuring 22cm as this would mean I had a complete column going down the wall and only one incomplete square on each row.
Step 4: Test out your design using a computer graphics program (I used Paint) or good old fashioned pens and paper.
Step 5: Buy your paint! I had a number of tester pots left over from previous projects that I wanted to use but also needed to buy more. Tester pots come in a wide variety of sizes and I did run out of some colours which meant altering my colour choices during painting. For reference the Crown Vintage 125ml tester pots pictured were enough to do two coats in their colours.
Step 6: Get your tools together.
Step 7: Draw your grid onto the wall using a pencil. This is where I discovered that my walls were not straight and it would have been handy to have some help! Use a plumbline to give you straight vertical lines and make at least 5 measurement marks for each line you draw. That way you are more likely to end up with straight lines. you can use a spirit level to help with the horizontal lines.
It is tempting to rush this part but it is really worth taking the time to get it right.
Step 8: Mask off the diagonal lines.
Two things to note when choosing your masking tape. Firstly I used over 80m of tape! Secondly you are better off using low tack tape designed to be used with fresh paint than trying to get away with cheaper types. I found I could resuse the masking tape two or three times if I was careful and the results were significantly better than my first coat using cheap tape.
Step 9: Paint! I painted one coat of each colour at a time (remove low tack masking tape straight away to get a nice clean edge). You could paint stripes of one colour and then draw your grid but I would be nervous that the pencil might show up.
Even using low tack masking tape you have to leave 24 hours before applying masking tape over fresh paint. Do two coats of one colour before removing the tape.
Don’t worry if you make mistakes like those I’ve highlighted. You can easily correct them on the second coat, or when you add the next colour.