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Choose a Theme

It can be simple, anything from glitter glam to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This sets the tone for your party. Is it formal? Costume? A backyard event? Choosing a theme helps you prepare and lets your guests know what to expect at your awesome event.

If you’re doing a seasonal party, don’t just choose the holiday or season as your theme. I’d much rather attend a “Winter Wonderland” or “Santa’s Workshop” party than just another Christmas gathering. Plus, having a specific theme can help you with the details of the planning. Hmmm, which invite should I use? Consult theme. What activities should I plan? Consult theme. What food should I prepare? See above.

Plan Ahead

Party day is so much more fun when you can be involved with your activities, mingle with your guests, and EAT THE FOOD! So, plan ahead. If possible, have everything complete 2-7 days before the party (depending on the number of guests attending). Cake made and frozen. Presents wrapped. Food prepared. Activities put together. This will make it so much easier to spend the day with your party honoree (child, spouse, friend…) and have a memorable day in addition to an awesome party!

Go here to download my free party planning printable to organize for the big day!

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Get Inspired

Some of my best party moments evolved from someone else’s great idea. Go online, look through magazines, talk to other people and find ideas you love. Then make them work for your party! Pin it, like it, share it! And don’t be afraid to get creative. Just because balloons are generally used for birthday/New Years type celebrations doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with them for a Thanksgiving gathering.


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Get Creative with Party Favors

This is a perfect opportunity to make your event memorable, to incorporate your theme, and to thank your guests for participating! Pinterest and Instagram are the perfect place to brainstorm favor ideas, but you can also use party activities to have guests make and take home their own custom favor (ie. a stenciled mug for your barista, water gun from your pool party, etc.)

Enlist Help

Whether its taking pictures, heading up activities, or throwing up the decorations the day of, enlist help. Choose friends or family who might otherwise not be engaged at your party – older siblings, parents of the attendees – especially if you are planning activities for a specific age group or gender.

Above all, enjoy the process and get creative! There is no high quite like planning and throwing an awesome party!

I fell in love with party themes this year. I’ve always been big on thematic events, but I have been seriously drawn to certain styles and ideas that have all impacted my design.



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cotton gold brown wedding inspiration Cotton, Gold, & Brown Inspiration {Wedding Wednesday}

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RESEARCH How I conceptualize my party themes is a long and (most of the time) very enjoyable process. Because I usually spend somewhere between 15-30 hours on each package and go through a rigorous process to design each element, I first start with a little research on the popularity of the theme. 5463277560_dc8caae4fa_b via Hello!Lucky and Kara's Party Ideas This could be as simple as perusing Pinterest or as in depth as searching the wide web for illustrations, artwork, and general design. I generally do a little price comparison as well. Are people actually buying these themes and what are they pricing at? What is being included and how is it being sold? (Are they printables or print & shipped? How much are others valuing these designs for?) I'm often motivated by a personal endeavor as well. For instance, this Circus party package was the theme for my son's first birthday party. I was excited to make the package pretty and robust because I intended to use it! SKETCH After I decide whether a party theme is marketable, I start to sketch. I look at other people's artwork, usually with ideas of my own percolating. (As I constantly tell my husband, ideas are never the problem. It's how to sell that awesome idea to someone else and give it value!) DIGITIZE Once I've thoroughly sketched an idea and given it some depth, I'll start to input it in the computer. Sometimes that's scanning my work directly in, other times it's going to Vecteezy and getting some free vectors to work with (cutting down on time and thus, cost). As my artwork takes form, I critique it, change it, tweek it here and update it there. Really, the biggest lesson I've learned in creating for Etsy buyers is how to create items that are quickly customized. This could mean the difference between an hour lost trying to re-warp text or imitate my original gradient in a new color scheme rather than just typing in a new name and hex #. (If you plan to make a business in customizable prints, you have got to find a way to make this work for you! It is a time, effort and money saver!) MARKET Finally, I have to market the item. I've chosen a very specific brand for myself to display the professionalism and intricate design of my work while also showing some vibrancy and personality. This last step is actually the hardest because the consumer experience/taste can be a finicky thing. I could love my own work to death and not be able to sell a one. I tag (and re-tag) them, always experimenting on what gets the most views. (ie. As a designer, I've always called things by their very specific names, but when it comes down to it, "Circus party decoration" will get way more hits than "Carnival bunting and labels." Go figure.