Halloween Party Idea: Kittens and Candy

My four-year-old was bawling in the Halloween section of Target the other day—not because I wouldn’t buy candy but because the talking skull was terrifying (don’t get me started on the witches being sold at Costco!). With him in mind, I’ve kept these Halloween party ideas super kid-friendly by focusing on the fun stuff around Halloween, like kittens and candy. Here’s how to throw a similar low-key, not-spooky Halloween bash.

kid's halloween party halloween party ideas

Click through for more on throwing a kittens-and-candy-themed Halloween party

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Holiday Decorating Inspiration: Into the Woods

Now that it’s officially fall, I’ve been dreaming up all things autumnal. This tabletop look features deep berry and bordeaux tones mixed with woodsy details like faux bois and dappled doe fur. Add to the mix different textures like faux burnout velvet and seasonal fruits and berries and you’ve got yourself an earthy, autumnal spread that’s perfect for this year’s Thanksgiving feast or your next dinner party.


FOR MORE HOLIDAY DECORATING INSPIRATION:

thanksgiving flowers for minted by kelli hallThis deep berry-toned centerpiece includes dahlias and kangaroo paw.

thanksgiving table top by kelli hall

IT’S ALL IN THE MIX
Fall is all about warmth—translate that coziness to your dinner table by mixing and matching different patterns. Aim to combine pieces that create richly layered colors, depths, and feel. I chose a berry shade of the “Soft Florals” fabric to evoke the feeling of a carpet of fallen leaves, then complemented it with a trompe l’oeil doe print. I like to experiment with the vibe by tossing the fabrics on the table for a layered effect and then stripping them away if it starts to look too busy. And, speaking of busy: To balance some of the jewel-like colors, I’ve paired them with a neutral, gravelly grey. I’ve also kept the menus and place cards relatively simple to act as a bold counterpoint to the energy of the patterned fabrics.

thanksgiving linen A simple folded linen for the bread bowl.

thanksgiving take home boxes by kelli hall Boxes and stickers make pretty takeaways for leftovers.

Keep reading for more fall decorating inspiration

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DIY: Stork Labels for a Baby Shower

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

I’m all about taking a store-bought item and DIY-ing it into a totally new project. That’s exactly what I did with today’s DIY stork labels: I found these adorable stork cake toppers at the cake-decorating store and fell in love. Aren’t they cute? But instead of using them to top a cake, I bought a bunch and styled this flock of storks as food and drink labels for a baby shower. I love the playful touch they add to the table!

DIY Baby Shower Food Labels | Minted DIY Baby Shower Food Labels | Minted

Click through for the step-by-step instructions … 

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Party Idea: Build-Your-Own Balloon Bar

A few weeks ago, I had balloons blown up for a get-together. At the end of the night, I sent all the kids home with a balloon of their own and they were thrilled. It dawned on me that balloons make the perfect party favors which means that a balloon bar is definitely in my future. Here are details on setting up your own:

kid's party favor ideas

Click through for details on setting up your own balloon bar

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Bluebird-Inspired Kids’ Birthday Party

Our little chickadee is turning one, so I’ve dreamed up a first-birthday party full of bold blue hues, soft pastels, and tiniest pinch of bird seed and lavender. Check out all of the details along with some tips on how to pull together for your own little chick…

blue bird first birthday for minted by kelli hall

blue bird first birthday for minted by kelli hall blue bird first birthday for minted by kelli hall

Click through for all of the bluebird birthday-party details

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DIY: Champagne Coupe Place Cards

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

I recently discovered a cake-decorating store in my neighborhood and I can’t get enough of all the adorable cake toppers they have in stock! I saw these mini champagne coupes and immediately bought them all—they came in both clear and gold, but I love the look of the gold ones filled with pink cotton candy. At 20 cents each, they are a super affordable way to dress up your table for an upcoming bridal shower, bachelorette party, or birthday party. Cheers!

Champagne Coupe Place Cards | Julep Champagne Coupe Place Cards | Julep

Click through for full instructions … 

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DIY: Gender-Reveal Baby Shower Pins

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Are you hosting a baby shower this summer? If the mama-to-be is planning on revealing the baby’s gender to guests at the party, then today’s project is the perfect way to add a fun game into the mix. Make a bunch of these pink and blue prize-ribbon pins and place them in a bowl by the party entrance. As guests arrive, have them pick a blue or pink pin, depending on what they think the baby will be. When the mom-to-be makes the big announcement, you can pass out small prizes to the guests who guessed correctly!

DIY Gender Reveal Pins on Julep DIY Gender Reveal Pins on Julep

Click through for full step-by-step instructions …

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DIY: Fabric-Lined Wood Tray

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Sometimes, we fall in love with a certain patterned fabric and want to use it for absolutely everything. And we’re feeling the love right now for “Midnight Florals” by Alethea and Ruth, the crafting possibilities are endless with this pretty floral print—pillows, pouches, totes, trays… First up for us is this super simple fabric-lined wood tray. Your fave fabric, scissors, and Mod Podge are all you need to dress up a plain wood tray and make it unique. It’s perfect to use this summer for backyard picnics and barbecues, or as a coffee-table accent for books and a vase of flowers.

DIY Fabric Lined Wood Tray | alice & lois for minted
DIY Fabric Lined Wood Tray | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the easy step-by-step instructions…

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5 Ideas for Throwing a Laid-Back Fourth of July Picnic

My favorite way to celebrate the Fourth and beat the heat? A simple outdoor picnic featuring a cool color scheme and even-colder drinks. So whether you’re planning a summer picnic or a casual backyard fete, these are my favorite tips for a simple outdoor soirée.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall
july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall
boxed blueberries, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallPackage your favorite summer fruit in individual-size kraft boxes.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallFresh cherries make a simple snack.

1. Think finger foods.
You can make a terrific picnic with foods that require only two fingers to eat. Start with the healthy nibbles packaged in individual portions: summer fruit like blueberries and cherries, olives, cheese cubes, crackers, and so on. Then, round those out with heartier options such as open-face sandwiches, sliders, or a make-your-own bruschetta bar with baguette slices and a variety of toppings.

blueberry and rasperry ice cubes,july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallFrozen-berry ice cubes in patriotic colors

2. Keep drinks ice-cold.
Help guests beat the heat by making sure their drinks stay cold. Wrap beverage bottles in cloth napkins to insulate and keep them chilled; I also love freezing fresh berries in ice cubes for a quick cocktail cool-down.

july fourth mini picnic styled for minted by kelli hallLarge throw pillows are a comfy alternative to a picnic blanket.

sparkler and tag, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

3. Add festive summer touches.
What’s July 4th without some sparkle? Be sure to pack sparklers (or small bottles of bubbles if you’ve got lots of younger kiddos in tow) for some post-picnic fun. Pro tip: Place the sparkers (handles down) in a container about half full of water; once they’ve been used, you can quickly extinguish them in the water.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallTie a simple tag on a sparkler stick with festive grosgrain ribbon.

bubbles and wand, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallYour littlest guests will love a bottle of bubbles with a unique blowing wand. 

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

4. Keep things packable and portable
When you’re planning a summer picnic, packing is key—here are some of my favorite tips and ideas:
• Wrap drink bottles in fabric napkins to keep drinks insulated (and looking pretty!).
• I also like to roll fabric napkins and a fabric table runner around drink bottles—it helps save on basket space and keeps them wrinkle-free.
• Recruit helpers: I usually ask two people to help carry all of the picnic items to the picnic (all in one trip!).

fabric wrapped bottle, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallA simple napkin wrap keeps drinks cool and bottles pretty.

menu hand fan, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallCool down with a paper-menu-turned-hand-fan.

5. Think double-duty.
Keep things efficient by choosing picnic items that will work double-duty:
• Beat the heat with paper-menu hand fans: Attach a wooden stick to the back of a menu card and wave away the humidity and bugs!
• I like to wrap flowers in a white paper lunch bag—it keeps the stems in place while packing your picnic and can be used as a bag for post-picnic rubbish.
• Decorate place settings with fruit to add a festive pop of color and also serve as a tasty snack.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallWrap flowers in a paper lunch bag that can be used later for rubbish.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallScatter cherries on the picnic table like edible confetti.

summer poppies, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall Decorate the picnic table with a simple mason-jar arrangement of one or two blooms, like poppies and Queen Anne’s lace.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

Resources:
“Watercolor Frame” invitation by Laura Condouris for Minted
“Cute Red Little Flowers” fabric napkins by Alexandra Dzh for Minted
“Breton Stripe” table runner by Melissa Selmin for Minted
Wooden cutlery
“Ombre” menu card by Dean Street for Minted
Hand-fan sticks
“Cool Cobalt” pillow by Kelli Hall for Minted
Mini buckets
Bubble wand
Bubble bottles
Picnic table
Picnic basket (similar)
“Enjoy” gift tags by Melanie Severin for Minted
Small modern cake stand from Minted
Wire basket (thrifted)
Kraft boxes from Minted
“Family Name” stickers by Jill Means for Minted
“Aviary & Ink” place cards by Kelli Hall for Minted
“Johannis” gift tags by Jack Knoebber for Minted
“Kite” party sign by Lena Barakat for Minted

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How To: Decorate a Store-Bought Cake

Sometimes there just isn’t any time to bake a cake from scratch. And sometimes your attempt at a homemade cake completely flops. And sometimes all the birthday kid really wants is bakery frosting. Whatever the reason, there’s no shame in a store-bought cake. And all it takes is a few minutes to make it look good, no skill required.

easy ways to decorate a cake

Click through to see the “before” cake and two other decorating ideas below…

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