Cookie Bar for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2014  |  Party Ideas  |  No Comments

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

Cookie bars or cookie stations are fun. They are popular at weddings and family reunions and big celebrations. They let guests play a bit, interact in a fun way and they are delicious too. But you don’t have to be having a big event to enjoy all the fun. A small scale cookie bar is a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day whether it’s just you and your sweetheart, your family or a get-together with some friends.

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

Cookie bars are often cookie decorating bars. You know the ones, where the kids try to load as much candy on a cookie as possible. I wanted our Valelntine’s Day cookie bar to be a little less about the candy grab but still fun and yummy.

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

So instead of icing I thought we would give dipping the cookies in a chocolate fondue and then in bowls of candy decorations a try. Still fun for the kids but a little more grown up for the adults. And if you want to grow up your fondue even more (if you are only serving adults of course) you can add a splash of your favorite liqueur.

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

Plus we have the added bonus of dipping fresh fruit in the chocolate fondue too. Just supply the skewers and guests can assemble their own.

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

A lot can be done in advance to make this a quick set up. The cookies can be baked days in advanced and stored in an air tight container. Or even a month or two in advance and frozen. The candy decorations can be placed into serving bowls and covered. Some of the fruit can be washed and prepped and stored in airtight containers a few hours before, but some of the fruit, like the bananas, will need to be prepared right before serving. Something to think about when choosing the fruit you want to serve. And here are some great tips for making the chocolate fondue ahead too. This is the chocolate fondue recipe I used.

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

For the final touches I added a heart garland hanging down above the table and sprinkled some heart confetti in and around the serving dishes. I made the heart confetti by punching out hearts, using a hand held 6mm heart punch, from the scraps of cardstock left over from making the heart garland.

Cookie Bar for Valentines Day | diyPaperJoy

A fun and delicious Valentine’s Day treat for everyone.

XO Debbie

Sledding Party Invitation

January 8, 2014  |  Party Ideas  |  2 Comments

Sledding Party Invitations | diyPaperJoy.com

A sledding party is a fun, kid-friendly way to get together with other families and enjoy the winter together. And, even though this is a casual affair, handing out an invitation is a special touch that makes the event something to look forward to, for your guests.

For our Sledding Party invitation, I used the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection, filled out the party details and then made my own envelope to coordinate. Full instructions for customizing, printing and cutting are included in each printable party collection download. You can also refer to this tutorial on how to customize your printable party collections.

 Step {ONE} Invitation

Sledding Party Invitation | diyPaperJoy.com

Customize, print and cut out as many invitations as needed. I printed mine on Bazzill Criss Cross Texture Cardstock in Lily White to add some texture.

Step {TWO} Envelope

1. I chose two patterned papers from the collection (the blue and white stripe for the outside and the white with blue snowflakes for the inside). I printed the first pattern on a sheet of bright white 28 lb printer paper (it’s a little heavier than standard printer paper), using borderless printing. Then, I reloaded the same paper back into my printer tray and printed the second pattern on the other side, creating an 8.5” x 11” double sided sheet of patterned paper. Each printer loads differently, so you just need to make sure the side you want to print on is facing the right direction. For my printer, the side facing down is the side that the printer prints on, so I reloaded the paper with the blank side facing down.

Sledding Party Invitation envelope template | diyPaperJoy.com

2. To print the free envelope template, I reloaded the double sided patterned paper back into my printer tray with the pattern I want to have on the INSIDE of my envelope facing the direction of printing. Again, for my printer the side facing down is the side that is printed on, so I reloaded the paper with the pattern I wanted on the inside of the envelope (the snowflake) facing down. Then I printed the envelope template on top of the patterned paper. Cut along cutting line #1, creating an 8.5” square. Then cut along cutting line #2.

Sledding Party Invitation - how to make your own envelope | diyPaperJoy.com

3. Score, fold, then unfold along each of the remaining guidelines. With the cut off corner downward, fold in the two sides. Then fold up the bottom flap with the cut off corner and secure with double sided tape.

Step {THREE} Finishing Touches

Sledding Party Invitation and Envelope | diyPaperJoy.com

With the envelope constructed, I slid the invitation into the envelope.

Sledding Party Invitation rounded | diyPaperJoy.com

Then, I used a corner rounder to soften the pointed edge on the envelope flap.

Sledding Party Invitation finishing touches | diyPaperJoy.com

And to finish my envelope off, I added the family names using my Dymo Label Buddy, a wood veneer snowflake that I held in place with a glue dot and then I tied it all together with some red and white bakers twine.

And there you have it, a sweet invitation for a winter get-together. Get out and enjoy winter!

Debbie

Hot Chocolate Bar

January 6, 2014  |  Party Ideas  |  No Comments

Hot Chocolate Bar | diyPaperJoy.com

We added a hot chocolate bar to our new year’s eve Sledding Party this year. It was a big hit with all age groups and so simple to make. I knew I wanted the bar to have a rustic feel, kind of cabin like. After all we were tobogganing and hanging out by the bonfire and lots snow was falling – it seemed to fit the scene. My husband attached two pieces of barn board together and we simply placed it on top of a flattened snow bank. Then, we stuck two logs in the snow, one on either side.

How to make a Hot Chocolate Bar | diyPaperJoy.com

How to make a Hot Chocolate Bar 2 | diyPaperJoy.com

The logs gave me a place to hang the garlands. The Hot Chocolate Banner, from the Let It Snow Collection, and a pom pom garland that I made. For the Hot Chocolate Banner I simply tied the bakers twine to the log poles.

Hot Chocolate Bar banner | diyPaperJoy.com

And for the pom pom garland, I zig zagged it back and forth from one pole to the other, a few times.

Hot Chocolate Bar garlands | diyPaperJoy.com

Pom Pom garland | diyPaperJoy.com

Then, just before the party, I started setting up the bar. I set out a large thermos of hot chocolate along with hot beverage cups, a pail of large marshmallows for our Roasted Hot Chocolate, as well as a smaller pail of mini marshmallows. We also had chocolate chip cookies for an added treat and Kahlua for the grown up crowd.

Hot Chocolate Bar cookies | diyPaperJoy.com

Hot Chocolate Bar kahlua | diyPaperJoy.com

I made a sign to encourage guest to help themselves and try making a Roasted Hot Chocolate. A fun twist on regular hot chocolate, which incorporated roasting marshmallows by the bonfire and our hot chocolate bar.

Hot Chocolate Bar & Roasting Marshmallows | diyPaperJoy.com

And, because our Sledding Party was at night, I also made ice votives that I placed on the bar and hung from the trees, so guests could see while serving themselves.

Hot Chocolate Bar ice votive | diyPaperJoy.com

The Hot Chocolate Bar was a really fun addition to our Sledding Party. I love that it encouraged guests to make themselves at home, get involved, mingle and enjoy a fun treat. We will definitely be setting up another hot chocolate bar before the winter is over.
I hope you give it a try too.

Debbie

P.S. All the printables used for the Hot Chocolate Bar are from the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection. You can find this collection along with others in the shop.

Sledding Party

January 3, 2014  |  Party Ideas  |  No Comments

sledding party

Do you remember what you did to celebrate the new year in 2000? Do you remember all the hype and uncertainty of what would happened as the year switched over. Well, it was that year that we started having an at home family friendly New Years Eve Sledding Party. And we haven’t looked back since.

A lot of memories have been made with this tradition. Old friends who have come every year. New friends who have joined us along the way. And the kids…they have all grown so much. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate not just the new year, but also a group of friends we are so grateful to have.

It’s a casual affair. Pretty go with the flow once the night begins, but we do follow a bit of a traditional routine that includes cocktails, dinner, tobogganing by Christmas lights, a kids countdown with fireworks and then the real countdown at midnight.

This New Years we added a hot chocolate bar to the tobogganing portion of our party. It was a cold and snowy, windy and dark night. Perfect for wrapping your hands around a cup of hot chocolate and warming up by the bonfire but not so perfect for taking pictures. So, I don’t have many unfortunately.

But a family friendly outdoor activity with a hot chocolate bar is a great way to enjoy time with friends. We had a lot of fun and I think you would too, so over several posts I’ll go through the steps we took to set up our sledding party. After all, getting outside and enjoying some friend and family time in the snow is what winter is all about.

Oh, and if you don’t have kids, grab a few friends and give it a try anyway, because nothing brings out your inner kid like playing in the snow and drinking hot chocolate.
Debbie