DIY PHOTO BACKDROP WITH FLOWERS AND BALLOONS!

Back in April, I hosted a party at Urbanic Paper Boutique and I knew that I wanted to have a super cute and colorful photo backdrop at the entrance! I had a bunch of ideas going into it including a watercolor floral design as my inspiration, so I gathered the materials, set up my camera, and got started.

To make this, I used a plain white backdrop with a stand, fabric markers (here are some black ones and some colorful ones), balloons, and I tried out a few ways to attach them together (string, fishing line, rubber cement, and a low heat glue gun).

When choosing a stand for your photo backdrop, consider the height you’ll want! This one is a little too short, but fine for sitting. If you need a taller one, try this 8 foot version! You could also try either a fabric backdrop or a paper backdrop depending on your needs.

Lay out the backdrop on the floor. 

Place something underneath to catch any ink that bleeds through. Iron out any folds in the fabric!

Draw flowers on the backdrop using fabric markers.

If you want to learn to draw flowers and leaves, I can't recommend this book enough - it’s called Botanical Line Drawing.

Hang it up and add finishing touches.

When you’re happy with your hand-drawn designs, set up the stand and hang your backdrop so you can get a better idea of how it will look.

Inflate your balloons, then tie the knotted parts together to form clusters. 

I tried out a bunch of different methods for this - stitching the tied ends with fishing line, gluing them together using rubber cement, tying them together with string, and using a low heat hot glue gun.

Optional: Add paper details to the clusters! 

We cut out a bunch of differently shaped paper grasses and flowers to test things out, but ended up choosing the plain green grasses and sticking them into the balloon clusters.

Set it up at your party.

Once you’ve moved your backdrop to the location where you want it to be set up, tie the balloon clusters to the stand.

Pose and say cheese! 

I pulled a bench in front so we could take seated photos at the entrance to the party.

Where would you set up a photo backdrop like this? Do you have any fun events coming up where a photo booth installation like this would look super cute? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Jack's 3rd Birthday Party + Cheeky DIY

Firetruck themed birthday party

A couple months ago when I asked Jack what he wanted his birthday cake to be, he enthusiastically exclaimed, "FIRE TRUCK!" Since he seemed pretty set on the idea, I started keeping it in the back of my mind as a loose theme for his birthday party. My cousin makes his cake every year, so she had plenty of time to prepare and figure out the details to make his wish come true. I got the invitations designed and ordered about three weeks out, but it wasn't enough time to have them printed and mailed. Plus, let's be honest, I didn't have enough time to hand address every one of them like I wanted to. We got custom invites made by A Pretty Little Party (she also designed the ones for Jack's first birthday party) and sent them through Paperless Post. We collaborated with our friends at Cheeky and made a simple DIY out of their awesome plates, which you can see how to make near the end of this post. There's also a giveaway and chance to win your own party pack!

Our set up was fairly simple, we borrowed an awesome ride on firetruck and banner from Rachel since she threw two firetruck themed birthday parties for Grayson. We put one of Jack's firetrucks on the napkins because it was super windy that day and we didn't want them to blow away. JC roasted a pig and my mom made awesome potstickers, fried rice, crab rangoon, and egg rolls. I didn't get a photo of the spread of the food, but I did get it on video, which will hopefully be edited in the next month or so. Love that it's truly a family affair when it comes to putting these parties together. We used the same buckets for utensils as last year and you can check out his 2nd birthday video on YouTube.

The celebration was lots of fun. We booked Pump and Splash, which was super fun for the kids and even some adults. Since we are in a drought and on a water restriction, our grass is completely dead. One of the awesome things about Pump and Splash is that it recirculates the water. It was the perfect addition to go along with our theme. We also had The Beat Buds perform, which was super fun and entertaining. I first saw them when I scrapbooked Willow's (Pink's daughter's) 2nd birthday party. Since then we have seen them at tons of events and Jack is in love with both of their CD's. The kids were so engaged, playing the musical instruments and dancing along.

Last but not least, the cake! The cake Cindy made was a HUGE hit. Not only did it look amazing, but it tasted so good. And Jack for the first time blew out his candles on his own!

We used Cheeky plates, utensils and napkins, which are available in the party department, exclusively at Target. Here's the simple DIY you can create with just a few items.

Thanks for checking out some of the fun from Jack's party - wish you all could have been there! We had over 80 people, and I can't wait to get the video edited to share more of the fun. And extra special thanks to Cheeky for collaborating with me. Love working with awesome people at amazing companies making a positive impact. The best part is for every Cheeky pack you purchase, they give a meal through their partnership with Feeding America. Cheeky has now helped generate over 9 million meals since launching in November 2014! We also have some pieces from their modern and whimsical Cheeky Home collection we love using on a daily basis. I also shared some tips and my party playlist over on the Party Series on their blog.

GIVEAWAY:

  • Cheeky Party prize pack of our fall assortment:
    • Cheeky Party beverage napkins
    • Cheeky Party lunch napkins
    • Cheeky Party 7" snack plates
    • Cheeky Party 9" lunch plates
    • Cheeky Party cutlery
    • Cheeky Party table covers
  • Cheeky will also donate a meal for every person who enters on 9/22!

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED - Congrats Thelma! You are the winner! TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with anything party related! Comments closed on September 26 at noon Pacific. Thanks to all who entered!

Halfway there - 2016 photo a day project

Hard to believe this year is over halfway over. I've been using Collect Photo App to document a photo a day. So nice to see a slice of this year that is just FLYING by.

It's a great modern way to keep your memories on your phone and computer. I think my game plan will be to print these out and scrapbook them very simply. Or I may just stick them in sleeves as a snapshot of the year since I am very behind on my memory keeping. Hope that makes you all feel better considering this is part of my job! The Collect Photo App is easy to use and how fun are these collages from 2015?! 

I've found that I do best with daily projects I don't necessarily have to commit to everyday. Does that even make sense? You can easily go back and document the entire month in one go or choose a photo every day as you go. I like that you can also cheat (shh!) if you don't have a photo to use on any given day. Do you have any apps you like to use that help make documenting your memories nearly effortless as well?

Photo Organization + free printable

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I love printed photos. In fact, whenever one of my favorite online places runs a special promotion - especially free prints, I cave and place an order. During Jack's first year, I must have taken over 10,000 photos. While I didn't print every single one of them (although when you watch the video it might seem like it), I did find myself placing bulk orders to give to family and friends and so I could have them on hand whenever I had an assignment for scrapbooking. I was also trying to keep up with Project Life at the time, so I was ordering both 3x4's and 4x6's. Because my memory keeping skills couldn't keep up with the amount of photos I was amassing, I ended up with piles of photos, and no good way to organize them. Plus I felt enormous pressure (that I put on myself) to have them in chronological order. Thankfully I let go of that need and came up with a simple filing system that seems to be working thus far. We made a video of the process, and included a free printable if you'd like to try the same method!

The months are flying by

Here's how our year is looking so far.

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I've decided to use the Collect Photo App (it's free!) to document a photo a day for this year.  I actually decided to do this when I woke up at 6am this morning and I was laying in bed. It took me less than an hour to catch up on these 2 months and 2 days (I started with March and went backwards). Several years ago, I had to go through quite a process to basically achieve the same goal. I still do love the way this colorful month of June 2012 looks though.

The Collect Photo App  is easy to use, simple and prompts you with a selection of photos from whatever day you click on the calendar. You can even cheat a little if you didn't take a photo on a particular day and it will double check to make sure you want to post it on the so-called incorrect date. It's a great overview of the little moments that make up our days. The only thing I wish I had done is rename the generic "My Album" to something else a bit more clever. Guess I'll just have to wait until next year!

Do you have fun ways or apps to organize your photos? PS - we're having a little shop update at 3pm EST today!