Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.View Video
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Share the love by giving fun party favors to your guests. Our list of clever -- and often DIY -- party favor ideas has something for every party theme.
Party Type: Summer party
Send partygoers home with something sweet: candied citrus peel. The bright, tangy fruit looks adorable when packed in mini glass jars and tied with a bow. Bonus: The cute favors double as decor -- set them atop your party table for a pretty pop of color.
Party Type: Dessert + coffee party
Even if the sweets aren't homemade, the package can be! These simple DIY candy cones -- made of paper, washi tape, and ribbons -- will seal your status as the ultimate party host. Here's how to make it:
1. Cut a 7-inch square from a piece of reversible patterned cardstock. Roll the paper into a cone.
2. Secure the outer edge with double-sided tape. Cover a large brad with strips of washi tape, folding the ends under the brad. Cut two or three pieces of ribbon to notch the ends.
3. Punch a hole in the edge of the cone and through the ribbons. Poke the brad through the ribbons and the cone, and fold it open to secure. Fill the cone with candy. Tuck the top corner into the cone, and secure with a glue dot to close.
Party Type: Engagement party
Here's a tasty takeaway for friends: lemon-thyme shortbread cookies. Cut the dough into cute scalloped shapes, bake, and tuck into "berry-stained" muslin bags. Find out how to get the splattered look below!
Here are three easy tips for making your party the soiree of the season!
Party Type: Cocktail or Italian dinner party
Forget lemonade -- when life gives you lemons, make limoncello! The lively crew in your life will love its fragrant, cool flavor, made with only four ingredients. Make it party-ready by pouring it into a screw-top jar, tying it with a fabric bow, and adorning it with an old-school manila tag.
Party Type: Bachelorette party
Party Type: Summer party
Transform simple strips of paper into a fun and fruity party favor. Not only are they cute and easy to make, but you can fill them with almost anything, such as gourmet candies or a sweet thank you note.
Bonus: Turn the fruity crafts into the perfect fall favor -- a pumpkin! -- by swapping the pink for orange paper.
Party Type: Ice cream social
Who says the social has to stop? Let guests take the party home with them. Give them the recipe for your favorite homemade ice cream, along with a mini wooden spoon and a pint-size container wrapped in pretty paper or a cute cozy.
Party Type: Book club
For a practical party favor, dress up handy, plain-Jane notebooks in washi tape -- a decorative adhesive that comes in endless colors and patterns. Look for the cheap party tool at your local crafts store.
Make the flower: Adhere five strips of washi tape close together on a piece of cardstock to create "tape paper" for punching. Punch three or four flowers from the tape paper, layer the pieces, and fasten them in the center with a brad.
Party Type: Garden party
Make simple pots of moss or small houseplants to give as party favors. A printed tag lets guests know they're free for the taking.
Party Type: Grill-out party
Spice up your party with jars filled with a custom herb rub. Buy glass or tin containers at a crafts store. Adorn them with paper and twine attached using double-sided tape. Mix up our herb rub recipe and add it to the containers. Tie a string or ribbon and an identifying tag around the middle.
Editor's Tip: Include an ingredients list and directions for use so friends and family can cook with confidence.
Party Type: Cocktail or dinner party
Channel your inner designer and create party-theme wine labels. Print them and adhere them to the bottles with double-sided tape. To start, know that the average wine bottle is 10 inches around, so the length of average printer paper (11 inches) should suffice.
Party Type: Campout party
Fire starters are inexpensive party favors, and they couldn't be cuter. To make them, attach long wicks to pinecones with wax. Place the pinecones in metallic cupcake liners for a sparkling finish.
Party Type: Outdoor summer party
Guests will be more than grateful for simple paper fans on a hot summer day. Hand these out at the beginning of the party so everyone can cool off as they relax under the sun.
Party Type: Travel-theme party
Compasses make clever party favors at travel-theme birthday parties. Attach a clip-on compass to cardstock printed with a map pattern, or use a length of ribbon to tie the tool to a real map. Add a personal message or a travel-related quote to the favor.
Party Type: Garden party
A bed of blooming flowers will keep guests smiling long after the party is over. Wrap seed packets in easy-stitch burlap bags, and seal the bags with a plant marker.
Party Type: Mexican fiesta
These mini cacti make a cute take-home party favor. Wrap bright tissue paper around the bottom of the pots and fluff. Hold the tissue in place by wrapping ribbon around the pot and tying with a knot or bow. Attach a card with the plant name, guest name, or party word (these say "besos" -- "kisses" in Spanish).
Party Type: Tea party
Fresh herbs make an aromatic party favor. Plant herbs in delicate, secondhand teacups. Tie a small tag with the name of the herb or guest to the handle of each cup. Tuck instructions for care among the foliage.
Editor's Tip: The favors double as place cards when you arrange the tagged teacup planters on saucers at the table.
Party Type: Thanksgiving dinner
Invite your friends to revel in the little things with the aid of a small gratitude journal. A handmade label and a pencil are all you need to style simple notebooks into a meaningful party favor.
Party Type: Baby shower
Sweet and simple, these party favors will give your guests reason to indulge their sweet tooth. Upgrade strore-bought candy bars with scrapbook paper and doilies. Add a printed label to separate types of chocolate, or write "baby boy" or "baby girl" to reveal the sex of the baby.
Party Type: Birthday party
Picture frames capture images of the party forever. They're so easy to customize, too. Paint or purchase frames to coordinate with your color scheme. Use dimensional chipboard letters from a crafts store to spell out an appropriate sentiment or note the date of the party.
Editor's Tip: If you'd like each guest to have a photo memento of the party but printing photos during the party is too chaotic, send a party photo sized for the photo frame with each guest's thank-you note.
Party Type: Winter party
Guests will think warm thoughts when they brew a customized tea blend. Spoon store-bought loose-leaf tea into individual heat-seal tea bags (available online and at organic food stores), and insert a length of decorative twine, centering it in the bag opening. Press the edge of the bag with an iron to seal. Print or write the name of the tea or a personal message on small tags. Glue the tag to the end of the twine. Tuck the tea bags inside a cup with a few honey sticks to complete the party favor.
Party Type: Bridal shower
Guests will gush over these cute vintage vases filled with handcrafted flowers. Purchase small clear vases at a crafts or secondhand store. Make flowers using a pearl-strung jewelry wire (add stability by running thin wire next to the jewelry wire) as a stem and scrapbook flower embellishments for the flowers. Personalize the gift with a tag and a party-theme embellishment (like faux diamond rings for a bridal shower).
Editor's Tip: Use the embellished vases as place cards or create a pretty centerpiece by displaying them together on a cake platter.