Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Letters

I am so excited to share my entry for the Sparkling Events and Designs LOVE {Designers Challenge}!

I was so thrilled when I was asked to participate in the 2nd round of the designers challenge! I could hardly contain myself! I was as giddy as a school girl when I told my husband the exciting news. {My sweet husband always replies with... that's great honey!...because he really has no idea what I'm talking about. lol}

The rules  for the challenge were....It had to be a Valentines Day-LOVE theme, have some treats, a favor and a craft all for only a $100 budget! So I had to be creative and crafty!

I LOVE burlap and I am all about making craft projects so I bought 3 1/2 yards of red burlap {with my 40% off coupon} and went to town. I made the wreath, flower ball, pom poms, napkin rings and chair bows all with $8 worth of fabric!

I knew right away that my color scheme was going to be Black, White and Red because I had been dying to style a table with my FAB-U-LOUS plates that my mom and I found at a BIA warehouse sale.

I got 4 appetizer plates for $3.99 and a matching platter for only $2.99!!!! The diner plates were from Home Goods and they were only $3.99 each. So my beautiful place settings were only $5 a piece! {You know you thought they were super expensive. :)}

I love celebrating valentine's day with my kids and my hubby, but I thought it would be fun to take a slightly different approach and have a party for my mommy friends.
I got this wild idea that I wanted to give each one a special Love Letter from each of their kids as their favor, so with a little help from a babysitter and a couple of teachers, I got three reasons "why I love my mommy" from each child. I printed them out and I wanted to frame them in these beautiful frames I had seen on the Internet but their price tag wasn't in he budget. I was just going to have to get creative.

I headed out to my garage to see what I could come up with. Now those who know me, know that my garage is like Mary Poppins magic bag. It is a never ending supply of craft and party goods. I found a can of black spray paint and a stack of the $1 wood frames from Michael's {I'm sure I had a really great idea that I needed them for at one time}. I had seen this really cool DIY on Pinterest on how to emboss wood so my hubby ran to the hardware store and picked up some wall fix for me and I created these great frames.

I love how they turned out! I placed one at each place setting and they looked absolutely beautiful on the table! I set the table with a white table cloth, two black table runners {made from a failed attempt at faux Roman shades for my kitchen}, black napkins with a DIY napkin ring made from a cling wrap tube and a vase with a DIY burlap flower ball.

I really wanted black chairs, but my hubby was not going for it, so I tied strips of burlap and ribbon around my chairs and it gave them a whole new life. I love how simple they are but they add so much to the table. And of course who doesn't love hanging pom poms to complete the look. :) 

I had recently been to a vinyl party and everyone was swooning over the signs so I thought it would be fun to make a vinyl sign for my activity. My hubby cut some left over fence boards for me and I gave them a light coat of white spray paint. I pre-cut all the vinyl, ribbon and the names of their kiddos. Each guest had the freedom to lay their sign out the way they wanted.

I even DIYed the desserts! I made the cake, hand dipped the strawberries, and made mini cherry pie shooters.

I used the O from the HO HO HO at my Christmas part so all I had to buy was the X. The banner was from my fall decorations but it had a brown ribbon so I just flipped it over and hot glued a black ribbon on the back and now it's reversible!

I made a mini bunting for the cake with the left over burlap scraps and hung it from some paper straws left from my kids' birthday party.

I made the flower toppers from some muslin fabric scraps I had in my fabric box.

The black and white paper mache letters spelling "love" were from my sister's bridal shower. The backdrop was made from a piece of white muslin from my nephew's pirate party, my {failed} faux roman shade and the burlap bubble wreath I made myself!! Finally, I created my printables with standard love letter closures- love, xoxo and always and forever. {I tell my boys every night I love them always and forever.}

I was so happy with the way my design turned out. It was affordable, personal and beautiful!

Here is the budget breakdown:

Decor, Favors and Activity:
Fabric - $8
Wreath Supplies - $7
Favors - $7
Craft - $6
Paper Mache X - $2
Total = $30

Desserts:Food - $35
Treat Sticks - $3
Total = $38

Serving Pieces:Appetizer Sample Platter - $24
Appetizer Spoons - $4
Total = $28

Overall Party Total = $96

With a little creativity and a few DIY projects, you can have a beautiful party at any budget.

{Stay tuned for a series of DIY posts for all of the fabulous projects I made!}