Fabulous Ways to Fiesta

A fiesta doesn't have to mean tacos, margaritas, and pinatas. This playful, modern twist calls for crafty decor, icy Peruvian cocktails, and grilled pizzas. Yep, we'll say cheers to that!

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    Modern Fiesta 101

    This modern fiesta is all about the details. From pretty paper flowers to bright and bold banners, Design Improvised blogger Haeley Giambalvo shows you how to get down and crafty.


    Photo Credit: Candice Stringham Photography

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    Cupcake Wrapper Flowers

    Save on an expensive bouquet from the market and opt for reusable paper flowers instead. They're cute -- and a cinch to make! As long as you have the following, you're golden. 


    - Florist's wire

    - Cupcake liners

    - Pom-poms 

    - Hot glue


    Haeley's Styling Tip: Fill tall green vases with the flowers for a natural holder that lets the flowers do all the talking.

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    Cupcake Wrapper Daisies

    Give your party drinks the Hollywood treatment with homemade swizzle sticks. These pretties are made with cupcake wrappers and plastic stir sticks -- just cut, glue, and stir away!

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    Colorful String Banner

    Get crafty with a banner made of yarn. Haeley recommends using bold colors, such as orange, lime, pink, and purple. To hang, use clothespins and tie to trees, deck, or patio. 

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    Embellished Drop Cloth

    Wide rickrack ribbon turns a plain painter's drop cloth into a fiesta-worthy tablecloth. All you need to make it is fabric glue, a measuring tape, ribbon, and the cloth. 

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    Yarn-Woven Silverware Basket

    Keep up the festive yarn theme going by stringing some onto a wicker silverware basket. If it has a handle, even better! Haeley recommends wrapping that in string, too.

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    Vase Placeholders

    Mini vases make the perfect placeholders -- just fill each with an easy-to-assemble name flag. For a sweet way to say thank you, let guests take them home as a favor. 

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    DIY Drink Station

    Let guests help themselves to a variety of fiesta-worthy drinks. Keep the bar stocked with a signature cocktail, festive sodas, and water.

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    Pisco Sour Drink

    Start your party on a cool, authentic note with an icy pitcher of pisco sour, of course. The Peruvian national drink is light, crisp, and looks great when garnished with lime and fresh mint. 

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    Tlayuda con Chorizo (Mexican Pizza with Chorizo)

    Who says tacos are the only fiesta food? Give grilled pizza a go by piling it high with all your favorite Mexican flavors: jalapenos, cilantro, smoked chorizo, and more!

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    Shaping Perfect Pizza

    Prefer homemade crusts over store-bought? We're here to help! Here's how to make perfectly shaped pizza crusts for your party.

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    Grill It

    Grilling pizza is a super trendy (and easy) way to entertain, and it only takes a couple of minutes to make. Plus, it lets you hang outside with your crew instead of being cooped up in the kitchen. Look for premade crusts at your local grocery store.

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    Authentic Pizza Toppings

    Arrange a variety of fresh toppings in colorful small bowls, including salsa, cilantro, mesclun, queso fresco, avocado, and lime slices. Display the bowls in a pretty wicker tray lined with pom-pom trim. Just add a couple small dabs of hot glue to hold the trim in place.

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    TIY: Top It Yourself

    Follow the pizza recipe or let guests make fun variations of their own. Use black beans or salsa as the sauce, spicy jalapenos or cool queso fresco as the topper -- either way, these personal pizzas will be downright delicious.

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    Mocha Tres Leches Cake

    Everything tastes better in a Mason jar! Serve guests individual Mocha Tres Leches Cakes in festive yarn-wrapped Mason jars. You can make them in advance so you won't have to spend time cutting and serving the cake during the party.



    Haeley's Styling Tip: Cut the Mocha Tres Leches Cake into cubes and fill Mason jars 2/3 full. Pipe or spoon whipped cream mixture on top and finish with sprinkles.

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    Meet Haeley

    Haeley Giambalvo is the founder of Design Improvised—a blog focused on easy home decor and entertaining projects that make a big impact. Almost all the projects on her blog can be completed in less than an hour for $20 or less. Haeley is particularly passionate about any crafts involving pom-poms or balloons. Her idea to combine the two to make pom-pom balloons was the best decision she ever made! Her work has been featured by numerous magazine websites, Apartment Therapy, and BuzzFeed, among others. Haeley is a business consultant turned DIY blogger and mom to Stella, 5, and Hazel, 3. She lives in San Antonio, TX.

  • Next Slideshow How to Throw a Casual Mexican Taco Party Like a Chef

    How to Throw a Casual Mexican Taco Party Like a Chef

    Whether you're celebrating Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, or just a low-key Friday night with friends, a build-your-own-taco buffet and a few colorful decorations make for a fun Mexican-theme party. "Top Chef" judge and frequent party host Hugh Acheson shows you how.
    Begin Slideshow »

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