Tips & Tricks for Throwing a Great Party!

BS Tips & Ideas

 It was a blast throwing my first Baby Shower for my soon-to-be-born Grandson!  It was great having so many of our friends and family there to help us celebrate Lyndsi & Brandon’s new baby.  I learned a lot of things on how to make it special but still keep it affordable.  These ideas would be great for any type of party.

Here are a few random ideas for you to try when planning your next big event:

1.  Choose a theme including color scheme and use it right from the beginning.  The Nursery is done in Buttercup, Slate, and Outdoor Denim so we started with 70 home made invitations to start the theme out right.  Close To My Heart’s BabyCakes Paper pack was the perfect complement.  This also helped many people choose the color of gifts they gave to match the nursery.


2.  Get Help from the experts!  Look around your circle of friends and call in a favor, ask to trade, or pay them for their time.  I got some great help with the printed materials from my talented friend, Jen Mahan.  For more info on these Invitations, check out my previous post about them.


3.  Join Forces!  Look for others who love the person you are celebrating and combine your efforts and specialties.   Brandon’s mom, Susan, was my partner in this event.  We met early to discuss our ideas.  Susan is an amazing cook so she took on the huge task of feeding everyone.  Also, when someone asked either of us if we needed help, we gratefully said, “YES, bring a treat to share”.  We had more than enough yummy food to eat with a great deal of variety and it allowed more people to be involved.

BS Susan

4.  Don’t leave anyone out – the more the merrier!  Everyone is excited for this baby – not just the girls – so we invited the men, too!  (Another reason we needed plenty of food!)  It was awesome having all that testosterone in the room to help celebrate the new man in the family!

BS Invite the Men

5.  Be Prepared!    For anything to happen!  We had extra food, drinks, candy, and chairs in the pantry – just in case.  We planned for lots of seating and spaces to mingle.  This was an open house with a 3 hour window for people to come and go so we didn’t expect everyone at once – but many came for all, if not most, of the time because it was so fun to see and talk with friends and family.

BS Group People

6.  Make a Statement!  Find an area where you can create a focal point.  This is especially hard – and important – when planning a party in your home.  With so many people and all your every-day things around, it’s easy for the theme to get lost.  We moved the furniture around to accommodate more people and mostly faced the area where the happy couple would be sitting and opening presents.  This is where the bulk of the decorations were to make a nice backdrop.  There are a lot of easy and fun ways to decorate with your theme.

BS Lyndsi & Brandon

7.  Send a Message loud & Clear!  I asked Brandon and Lyndsi to write a message/theme on this large chalkboard (I highly recommend something like this for all your parties!).   We talked about writing song lyrics, or something silly like “The joys of boys and toys” (since we were using trucks throughout the room).  But they came up with the best message ever!  They used it as a big reveal for their baby’s name.  Up until now, we were all told they wouldn’t decide on a name until he was born.  But they surprised us all!  It was so fun and exciting to see everyone’s reaction as they came in!  Welcome baby Corbin!

BS Fireplace 2

8.  Banners are an easy and fun way to get your point across and you can make it any size, depending on your space and needs.

BS Full Banner

This banner was simple to make using Cricut Craft Room with Close To My Heart’s Art Philosophy Cartridge to layout my designs and size it all.  Then I simply covered inexpensive clothes pins with CTMH’s versatile Slate Washi Tape and hung everything from an inexpensive Clothesline.

BS Single Banner

9.  Wrap it up!  Wrapping paper and gift bags are an inexpensive and easy way to bring in the color you need.  I wrapped several sized boxes and placed them throughout the room to bring in more color and tie everything together.   Some had bows and some were simply placed in out-of-the-way places for a spark of color.

10.  Stuff It – With Stuffed Animals!  For Babies and children, stuffed animals make an easy addition to your decor.  We placed them in several random places: by gifts, in corner of windows, etc.  If you plan early, you can borrow or find them at thrift stores.  They are such a cute and easy!

BS Gifts Mantle

11. Everything looks better in Ribbons & Bows!   Go to your stash of ribbons, fabrics, bows, yarn, tulle – even scraps of your wrapping paper will give your decorations that little something extra.

BS Candy Jars Cover

12. Picture this!  Use photographs and pretty matching frames throughout the room.

BS Candy Photo

13. Give ’em Props!  Find Props to use to carry out your theme.  I loved the trucks to represent a little boy and the colors were perfect.  They kept a few of the younger kids busy, too!  Calvin was practicing his driving skills so he can teach his cousin exactly how to drive the big rigs – good times to come!

BS Calvin

14. Gift your Decor!  Why waste money on useless decorations that you have to throw away when you’re done?  I decorated with cute boy clothes to match our color theme and hung them with the clothes line and pins (covered in matching Washi Tape, of course!).   This way, just like the photos and toys, the decorations also become part of the gift – money well spent!

BS Window N

Windows make a great backdrop for a clothesline full of clothes for the little one!

BS Window S

15. Layers of Fun!  By creating visual dimension and layers, you make any display more appealing and interesting.  I highly recommend everyone own at least 1 set of these tiered plate holders and buy them for gifts for your friends and family so you can borrow them for big parties!

BS Food Table Before

This table held all our desserts and appetizers.  Then we had the main course items on the same side of the kitchen on the counter top.

BS Food Table After

16.  Make the Most of the Mundane!  Even something as simple as the drinks can become special.  I found this cool (formerly green) metal tub at the thrift store and painted it silver.  To keep the water bottles cold, I covered the bottom in frozen & sealed blocks.  Then I fluffed a layer of yellow tulle (remnant found in the bargain bin at Walmart) over the ice and added paper covered water bottles.  Even the punch was a little more special with matching straws.

BS Water Bottles

17. Oh the places you go!  If you plan early, you can watch for sales and discounted items wherever you go.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make something special.  Here are a few ideas:  Watch the bargain bins at Walmart, Craft Stores and fabric stores for your table clothes (you don’t even need to hem when you drape or tie knots in the end), check the clearance racks for clothing, and visit the thrift stores for things like toys, clothes, containers, frames, dishes, etc. to dress up your event – you can always paint them to match.

BS Treat Table Full

18.  Keep your mind and eyes open to the possibilities!   It’s important to have differing heights to add interest and individuality to each container on a Candy Bar.  I watch for unusual jars and have recycled and re-used many of them.  Glass containers are easy to borrow from others, as well.

To save on candy in the bigger containers, put a glass up-side-down on the bottom/inside of the jar then fill with candy around the edges and on top.  The only glass I bought was this one for the Lemonhead Candy canes.  To get the height and shape I needed, I bought a candle stick and jar at the dollar store and glued them together – cheap and easy!

BS Dollar Store Jars

19.  Chalk it Up!  You can’t always be everywhere at once – so to better communicate, we used several sized and shaped Chalkboards throughout the room as message boards to say those things that you can’t find time or remember to tell everyone.  Like Thank You!  We had envelopes out for people to write their address on, making the thank you process later much easier.  Thanks Grandpa Burnett!

BS Envelopes

20.  Leave them with a Sweet Taste!  You can’t say thank you enough when your family and friends support your special occasions.  On our candy bar we had a simple Chalkboard TY note plus these cute little boxes that said thanks.  They could fill it with treats to take home.  Message me for a list of supplies and/or help in recreating these cute boxes.

BS Candy Box

21. Share the Love!  We had a front loader filled with Pens and these fun papers for everyone to write their thoughts and advice for the new parents.  These will make great stories for Corbin as he gets older.

BS Predictions

22.  Even the garbage can look great!  Wrap a big box in wrapping paper for the garbage.

BS Garbage Box

23.  It’s the little things that can make all the difference!  When you think you’ve thought of everything, look again.  Even something as simple as a tag and bow can make things more special.  I loved that we had the Crib set-up to put gifts in.  It kept things contained and added to the flavor of the event.

BS Gift Tag

24. Be there and enjoy the moment!  When all the work is done, let yourself relax and enjoy the moment – especially the people who are there to share this time with you!  Lyndsi and Brandon have such wonderful friends and family – I loved seeing them all!  Welcome Corbin – you’re one lucky little boy!

BS Friends

And what did I learn and what would I do differently?  Next time I’ll ask someone to be in charge of photos!  It’s a huge part of a party and it was hard to remember to take these few.  You can never have too many pictures but as the hostess, you’ll have too many other things to keep track of!  So ask someone – or a few someone’s – to take those shots for you.

Party On!   Love, Grandma Rottler

8 Responses to Tips & Tricks for Throwing a Great Party!

  1. bren yule says:

    What a stunning spread! Congrats Grandma!!!

  2. Launi Layton says:

    Sheri, you are an amazing woman! You always make everything bigger, better, classier, funner and blingier! Everything looks fabulous! I wish I had made it up there! Thanks for posting and sharing. Luvs!!

  3. Love it all!!! So cute and crafty!

  4. WOW, Sheri it looks AMAZING, and I LOVE all the fun little banners, trucks, and details you added!!! I love it!

  5. Jennifer Ropp says:

    WOW!! Thanks for sharing all of that great party throwing info! You are so incredibly talented! I loved all of the little special touches you included. What a beautiful party! Congrats on the new grandson!

  6. Sheri says:

    Thanks Everyone for sharing this exciting time and your kind words with me! XOXO

  7. Jen Mahan says:

    Outstanding Sheri! I finally got the chance to read through all your goodies. Beautiful. And that Lyndsi is a mini-me of you. Congrats on the new grandson!

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