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Spice up your birthday party with miniature tins filled with a custom herb rub. Buy tin canisters at a crafts store. Adorn them with strips of patterned paper attached using double-sided tape. Stir together a special blend of herbs, spices, and sea salts. Fill the canisters with your herb blend. Tie a bright ribbon and an identifying tag around the cap.
Editor's Tip: Include an ingredients list and directions for use so friends and family know your recommendations for adding flavor to grilled or roasted meats using your herb rub.
During any season, tell guests you want your friendship to grow. For a fall or winter party, simply nestle flower bulbs in a peat pot. Include a seed packet to anticipate the new growth of spring or a favorite winter soup recipe to get them through the cold. Add a colorful touch with a bright ornament that stands out against the natural bulbs. For spring and summer parties, fill the pots with flower and vegetable seeds, a wildflower mix, or a seedling or two. A recipe for cold soup or fresh salad is a natural accent. For color, drop in a plastic egg (filled with seeds) or a single fresh bloom. Tie a length of colored twine into a bow and tack it to the peat pots.
Editor's Tip: Include instructions for forcing bulbs to help guests to enjoy spring color inside while it's still cold outside.
Guests will think warm thoughts about your birthday party when they brew a customized tea blend. Buy or mix a loose-leaf tea blend. Spoon the tea into individual heat-seal tea bags (available online and at organic food and botanical body care 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, and embellish with party-appropriate designs, using stickers or other scrapbooking supplies. Glue the tag to the end of the decorative twine. Tuck the tea bags inside a cup with a few honey sticks to complete the kit.
Editor's Tip: Skip the teacups and focus on the tea. Package your tea blend in individual heat-seal tea bags. Stack three or four together, wrapping the tag around each bag. Wrap the stack with colorful ribbon on all four sides and tie in a bow to make sweet, sophisticated packets that travel with ease.
These mini cacti make a cute take-home favor. Easy to maintain, cacti and succulents add a touch of life to any niche. 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, a guest name, or party word (these say besos or "kisses" in Spanish) to the original plant tag or a crafts stick. Nestle the stick in the soil.
Guests will gush over these cute vintage vases filled with handcrafted flowers. Purchase small clear vases at a crafts store, antiques store, or flea market. 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. Print each guest's name on vellum, and cut out using a circle punch. Back with a slightly larger circle. Punch a small hole near the top. Add a small embellishment to match the birthday theme, such as a "diamond" ring for a bling-filled birthday celebration or a seashell charm for a beach party. Tie the tag around the neck of the vase using coordinating ribbon.
Editor's Tip: Use the embellished vases as place cards or create a pretty centerpiece by displaying them together on a cake platter.
This pretty pastel display looks good enough to eat. Fill small tin canisters found at a crafts store with colorful soft candies. Glue color-coordinated cardstock circles to the tops of the canisters, and tie with sheer ribbon to add a delicate touch. Display on a cake platter to create an unexpected birthday party centerpiece and make it easy for guests to pick up their party favors on their way out.
Give guests the gift of fresh garden herbs with this pretty party favor. Plant a small herb in a delicate teacup. Choose funky painted cups for a perky planter, go for an understated look with simple white cups, or mix and match cups to suit your party's look. Tie a small tag with the herb's name or a guest's 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.
Help guest carry the relaxing attitude of your birthday party home with them. Bath salts, bubble bath, lotions, or body powder in embellished glass containers make lovely party favors. Make your own contents or purchase bath essentials in bulk. Fill glass containers and seal with a cork. Wrap shiny wire, ribbon, strings of beads, or other embellishments around the bottleneck. Finish with a printed or handwritten label hung from color-coordinated ribbon to identify the contents. Add the date of your party on the label to help guests remember the occasion.
Editor's Tip: Create single-use versions of your bath gifts by packaging them in heat-seal bags, mini tin containers, small test tubes, tiny bottles, or other individual-size containers. Most containers are available at crafts stores, but explore flea markets, secondhand stores, and discount stores for options.
When you're serving fabulous food, everyone wants the recipe. Give your guests a set of recipe cards with your favorites from the birthday party. Type the recipes in a pleasing typestyle. Add images or artwork to match your party theme or decor. Add a border if you like. Don't forget to include the guest of honor's name, the occasion, and the date. Print the recipes onto cardstock and cut out. Hand out individual cards, tie a set together with a pretty ribbon, or punch a hole in the corner of each card and loop a ribbon or keychain ring through the hole to make a set.
Editor's Tip: If your computer design skills are limited, print the basic recipes onto cardstock and embellish the cards by hand using scrapbooking supplies.
Keep the party going by sending guests home with your favorite wine. Buy plain wine bags, or make your own from silk or cotton fabric. Stamp the fabric with a fun pattern, your guests' initials, or an appropriate birthday image based on your party theme. Tuck the wine in the bag, and secure the top with a ribbon and a silk flower embellishment.
Editor's Tip: Instead of a wine bag, encase your bottles in customized label wraps. Print a personalized message and a design to coordinate with your party theme. Use heavy paper or cardstock for stability. Cut out the labels and adhere to wine bottles with double-sided tape or permanent adhesive.
For a birthday party focused on travel and exploration, a compass is an amusing, practical party favor. 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 that has meaning for the guest or to the party theme. Add a personal message -- a thank-you note, a tidbit about past travels, a travel-related quote, or even a wish that the compass always guides friends home. Bon voyage!
Sweet and simple, these party favors will give your guests reason to indulge their sweet tooth. Doilies and paper wraps in coordinated party colors complement your party decor. Cut a scallop on the ends of the paper wrap and a simple V shape into each end of the sentiment strip for easy, subtle elegance. Make sentiment strips that say "Thank You" or offer another birthday message.
Picture frames capture images of the party forever. They're useful, adaptable, and so easy to customize for your party. Paint a decorative frame 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.
Add color and personality to your birthday party with decorations that are also take-home gifts for your guests. At a crafts or home accessories store, select weighted photo holders. Following your party theme, cut festive shapes from two-sided scrapbooking or other heavy paper. For an outdoor or garden party, butterflies and flowers in party colors make striking tabletop statements. You could also cut out numbers to commemorate the birthday guest-of-honor's age, stars, or birthday cakes. Place the cutout shapes in the holders and arrange on the table. As guests leave, give them one of the holders to take home.
Editor's Tip: Take digital photos of the birthday honoree and each guest. Print out the photos, and send each guest home with a party picture to display in the holder.
Personalized journals will give your guests a reason to write about your party in glowing terms. Buy journals that suit your party decor, colors, or theme. Keep them simple, or customize them to your party by adding themed scrapbooking embellishments. If the journal includes a photo slot on the cover, slide in a piece of paper with your guest's name, or include a photo of each guest if one is available. For a sit-down meal, place the journals on top of the place settings to act as place cards.
Editor's Tip: Personalize each journal by including a special quote or saying appropriate for each guest. Include the party occasion and date to commemorate the event.
Colorful gift boxes in interesting shapes take on party personality when wrapped with paint-swatch strips from the paint store. It couldn't be simpler to customize boxes to suit your party decor. After you wrap the boxes in the colors of the day, fill them with sweets, salty snacks, photos, or a charming memento of your party.
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