I’m going on my second year of hosting a Pinterest party. I’d been thinking it would be a cool idea to get friends together and craft something up but I could never decide what project to do and who to invited to do that project because all my friends are so different.
Every year as the holidays approach, I’m reminded of my mom telling me about when she was little, her mom hosted a get together called BPFC. The meaning: Be Prepared For Christmas. The ladies would get together and sew their little hearts out in the months leading up to Christmas.
My Nana was a visionary! I wanted to do this.
At that point, the Pinterest party was born.
There are truly no rules to hosting a Pinterest party. You can just come up with a concept in your head and carry it out in a way that works best for your life.
Since “Just wing it” isn’t a sufficient ‘How-To’, I’ll break down how we host our parties.
CONCEPT: When planning my Pinterest party, I knew we would get together and work on projects for Christmas. It could be a gift or decor. Everyone coming to the party, chooses a project from Pinterest they would like to do (in the amount of time they will be at your house) and brings enough for everyone to try it.The instructions are typically to state how many people you expect at the party so each person knows how many people to supply with their chosen project. It sounds pricey but it’s actually not. You can choose yours according to the budget you’re working with. Having everyone choose their own project helps with the conundrum of coming up with something everyone would like to do. TIP: Keep your guest count manageable. 10 guests are plenty. For your party, you can choose whatever focus or theme you’d like.
Chili bar by Marigold Mom
click image for more great (and affordable) party ideas
FOOD & DRINK: As the host, it is up to me to plan food and drinks for my guests. This time around, one of my guests actually wanted to cook for the party. Who am I to turn down that offer? We had chili. A creative and very do-able idea is a chili bar. It’s very cost effective. Add some cornbread to the sides and you have a nice meal. In keeping with the “bar” theme, tacos and salads work just as well. As far as the drinks go, you can be as plain or as fancy as you’d like. Hop onto Pinterest and search for party drinks or just keep it simple and put out bottled water, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. (party drinks HERE). TIP: Keep the food and drinks away from the craft area.
craft storage option from the Container Store
PREP: Even though your guests will each be bringing a project for everyone including the supplies, it’s likely someone will forget something or not realize they needed glue, ribbon, mod podge, etc, until the last minute. Beef up your craft supplies before they arrive. A list of things that are always good to have on hand are:
- Glue Dots
- Glue Stick
- Cardstock paper
- Xacto knife
- Pencils and Pens
CRAFT AREA: All your guests will have questions for one another, will want to see what the other is doing and will be chatting it up like crazy. It’s a super-fun night so be sure you have an area where everyone can sit down close to each other. You can set your Pinterest party up at an extended kitchen table or even a folding table with a festive cover.
TIME: As fun as it is crafting it up with a bunch of great girlfriends, the length of time is important. This goes for both you and your guests. Of course they can stay longer but 3-4 hours is plenty of time for what you want to do.
- NO KIDS: Unless your children are involved in the project or being watched by someone not participating in the party, it’s not advised to have children present. Why? They will want to do what you’re doing, be in the mix and distract you from being engaged in your project with friends. Plus, there’s a safety element that plays into it if you’re using scissors and knives.
- NO BYSTANDERS: While it’s awesome to sit and visit with a friend, someone just dropping by to chat it up isn’t a part of the group’s activity and, just like children, will take your focus off what you’re doing.
- NO IN-DEPTH PROJECTS: Keep it quick. If the craft can’t be completed in the time of the party, save it for something you do at home. A Pinterest party is self-contained. This means, whatever materials are brought into your party are the same materials that are carried out of your party. No overnight drying, coming back for phase two of the cutting, etc. Also, encourage your guests to bring a new project they haven’t tried before. I went to one party where a lady just brought some stuff she’d been working on and thought this was a good time to continue with it. The problem was that she just came to do her own thing while the rest of us were introduced to new ideas, suggestions, successes and fails.
- BE VERY SPECIFIC: Are you asking that your guests bring guests? If not, state that in the invitation by letting them know you’re keeping it to a set amount. Your guests should be informed of every event detail so they can properly plan for the festivities.
- HAVE FUN. This isn’t Martha Stewart. It’s so fun being around people who are trying these projects for the first time. Some of your friends will be those natural crafters who can make anything look good. Other friends are total Pinterest fails every time they try. It’s awesome. Truly.
Oh, yes. This Pinterest stuff is serious business!
Have you seen our boards? We can be found HERE. What’s your Pinterest account? Comment below so we can see inside your minds and follow your boards.
I first “met” Haddy from House of Creative Designs last Christmastime on Instagram. It’s a crazy social media world we live in. Haddy was always doing some amazingly cute things with her Elf on the Shelf and I was getting into it at the same time. We just started chatting and have been in touch for a year, now. Since that time, Haddy has officially created House of Creative Designs and has an incredible eye for design (something I do not have) and is so stinking creative. When I saw her DIY Outdoor Movie Night, I asked if she’d be willing to do a guest post.
Friends, meet Haddy. Haddy, meet our friends. Let’s begin, shall we?
First of all let me say this was super fun and I’m absolutely doing this again. My guests all loved it and demanded that we have one monthly. The bonus was how inexpensive and easy it was to create. It took just ONE WEEK to prepare.
- EMBELLISHMENTS & FUN TOUCHES
I literally had less than a week to make our very first “Outdoor Movie Night” happen. So the first thing you need is going to be a projector. We lucked out and just borrowed one from My aunt’s office and hooked it up to my laptop, then used some computer speakers to amplify the sound (optional). If you don’t have the same luck and would like to invest in a projector, I have seen some pretty good deals on Overstock.com and Amazon for about $200. The other option is renting. There are several online AV rentals companies and they typically charge around $55-$90 for a weekend.
The next main staple you’ll need is a screen. You don’t need anything fancy and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Just head over to your linen closet or thrift store and dig out a stain free white sheet and iron it. You can also use a fabric shower curtain, drape panel, or a tablecloth – which is what I used. I used strong clips to hang it from the gutter off of the roof line but you can also run rope or heavy duty fish line or clip it to a fence.
For seating, a mixture of blankets, pillows and chairs will give your guests options.I would suggest writing instructions on your invites for guests to “Bring your own lawn chair”.
Now for the fun stuff. Of course, movie night is not complete without popcorn. Why not a popcorn bar! Remember people like options and popcorn is cheap! To create this, I used an existing tablecloth and bought a couple of yards of burlap (cost less than $10) and threw that on top. I wanted my popcorn bar to be rustic and a bit vintage so I incorporated an old create and wire basket and made a wood popcorn sign. (more on the popcorn flavors under EMBELLISHMENTS & FUN TOUCHES)
The popcorn sign was also pretty inexpensive to make just using some old wood, nails, rope to hang it from the fence and paint. I wanted a bit of a wow factor so I decided to add little lights along the center of all the letters by drilling holes as evenly spaced as possible. I stuck the light bulbs through the holes and taped them down on the backside of the sign. This was my rustic approach to the DIY marquee sign.
EMBELLISHMENTS & FUN TOUCHES
Some of the staples you’ll need to pull off the popcorn bar are:
…for the popcorn. This is where the Dollar tree comes in. They actually sell all the “Popcorn” labeled bags and plastic containers. They even have big serving bowl sizes to match. I, again, like to give my guests options. So I had some pre-filled bags of buttered popcorn for those who didn’t want to scoop their own. I put them in glass jars and a DIY sack (which was just a paper grocery bag I lined with butcher paper with burlap and twine wrapped around the outside).
The flavors of popcorn I went with were:
- Butter popcorn
- Chile lime popcorn
- Moose Munch (recipe HERE)
I had to add a jar of red vines – another movie staple. My bar was made to feed 15 people. For a larger group, I would suggest adding another couple of containers and a third savory flavor like cheese flavored popcorn. We also had other treats for guests to snack on like 7 layer bean dip served in individual cups and little finger foods.
That’s it. Just start the movie and tell everyone to be quiet. A last minute fun touch I wanted to add was a chalkboard with the movie(s) that were playing. You can pick up a piece of plywood at Lowes for cheap and some chalkboard paint. Just remember when using chalkboard paint you need to make it 2-3 days before you intend to write on it.
If you like what House of Creative Designs has to offer, check out their other cool inspiration pieces and Etsy store. Like them on Facebook for more.
So you’re going. Good for you! In Part 1 of our Reunion series, “Going To Your High School Reunion – Part 1: Pros and Cons. How to Prepare”, we covered everything you’d need to make a decision and what to do before you get there. Now let’s look at what to do once you’re there. Confidence is the most important thing you’ll need when you walk through those doors. Do you feel comfortable? Are you there for the right reasons? Are you truly interested in getting reacquainted with your old classmates? Cool. Then let’s get this party started!
What To Bring
- Bring your yearbook and any pictures you have from back in the day.
- Look at your yearbook before you go, then bring it with you.
- Bring your camera or your phone to take pictures.
- Recruit a friend to go with you if you’re nervous about walking in alone.
What To Do
- Wear your name tag.
- Smile. It helps the nerves.
- Talk to people you didn’t know well, not just the ones you used to hang out with.
- Talk to someone standing alone.
- Listen more, talk less.
- Partner up with somebody and mingle together.
- Admit to not remembering someone.
- Take pictures.
- Relate the memory of a positive story of someone you’re speaking with.
- Let go of past arguments, but do apologize.
- Remember that people age differently. Don’t judge.
- Accept that some people will never change.
What NOT To Do
- Don’t go in with a grudge or to seek revenge.
- Avoid conflict – avoid controversial subjects like religion, politics, or personal sensitive subjects.
- Don’t bring up the obvious, i.e. fat, bald, with someone other than their husband/wife.
- Don’t drink too much.
- Don’t just sit at a table. Roam around and mingle.
- Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Be true to yourself.
- Don’t expect your friendships to take up right where they left off.
- Don’t count on romance.
- Don’t brag, lie, assume or say stupid things.
- Don’t blame old classmates for not keeping in touch.
- Don’t tell embarassing stories about your classmates to other classmates.
- Don’t revert back to your old self.
How To Start Conversations
- Just introduce yourself and don’t try to be witty or clever. People seem to respond to someone who seems genuinely sincere, rather than someone who is obviously trying to impress them.
- Smile, shake hands or hug, and immediately put the focus on that person. Lead with something like “I heard you were a runner”, and let them tell you about themselves. Continue to ask them questions. The ice will have been broken and the conversation should progress easily. Pay attention to the tone of their responses, though. Most people like to talk about themselves, but some don’t. If they give short answers and act uncomfortable, move to another less personal, more general topic.
- Always follow up a yes or no question with a statement or another question if you’d like to continue talking to a person.
- Start a conversation by complimenting the person, ie. “I love your hair!” “You look great!” “You haven’t aged a day!”
- If you’ve been friendly and respectful and the conversation still isn’t going anywhere, politely excuse yourself and move on. You’ve done all you can, and maybe the person just doesn’t want to talk to you. Don’t take it personally.
- Remember to connect with the person and not their accomplishments. Keep that in mind as you talk with them. Learn what has happened over the years to make them who they are today.
What To Do When You Don’t Remember Someone’s Name
It’s always uncomfortable when you don’t remember someone’s name because it conveys to them that they weren’t important enough for you to have remembered them. (Did you study your yearbook before you came as suggested?) If someone isn’t wearing a nametag and for the life of you, you can’t place them, here are some options…
- Be honest and say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember your name”.
- Here’s a less honest approach. Say “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember your name”. They’ll probably tell you their first name. You then smile warmly and say, “Oh no, I meant your last name”.
- Keep making small talk until someone joins you and hope to God they throw their arms around the person and spit out their name when telling them how good it is to see them again.
- Politely excuse yourself for a minute and go ask one of the friends you do know to tell you.
How To Respond To Rude Questions
What if you get stuck talking to someone and discover they haven’t changed much from high school. They’re nice enough, but they’re asking you rude or personal questions. Here are some responses…
“I make it a rule not to discuss that subject”
“Seriously? Did you really just ask me that?”
“Whoa! I’m not touching that one! Let’s talk about something else.”
“I’m sorry, what do you ask me?” (If you look incredulous enough, they probably won’t repeat it).
If they ask if you’ve gained (or lost) weight… “I’m feeling great! How are you doing?”
What To Do if the Asses in High School are still Asses
The clique of girls who made fun of you in biology class have reunited and reverted back to their old selves… The guy you wouldn’t go out with back in the day wants an explanation why you didn’t find him amazing… the girl who got dumped because her boyfriend wanted to start dating you has come to finally rip you a new one…
- Pretend they’re not there and avoid them. It’s okay. You’re an adult now and have choices. You don’t owe them anything.
- Treat them as you would a stranger. Be polite, speak briefly, then move on.
- If they try to rehash an old grievance or bitch they still have with you, just shake your head, smile and walk away.
- If you’re not enjoying yourself, remember…You can leave any time you want. It’s your choice to be there or not be there.
What To Do Before You Leave
- Acknowledge and thank the reunion committee for all their hard work.
- Exchange contact information with those you’d like to stay in touch with.
What To Do After You Get Back Home
- Follow up by email or a note with the people with whom you’ve reconnected, not just on Facebook.
- Stay true to your word by putting forth the effort to stay in touch with those you’ve promised you would.
- Post any pictures you took, and share them with those who attended. Those who weren’t able to attend will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
With so many of us reconnecting with old friends on Facebook, some people may feel attending their High School reunion isn’t necessary. If you’ve ‘Friended’ old high school friends, you already know what they look like now, what their marital status is, what they do for a living, where they live, places they’ve been, the ages of their kids, and what friends you still have in common. Hell, you can scan their updates and conversations and pretty much know everything you’d probably ask them if you saw them at a reunion. So what would be the reason for a face-to-face?
On the other hand, the above reasons are exactly why others want to attend their class reunions. Maybe you’ve reconnected with old classmates that you didn’t hang out with in high school, and because of what you’ve learned about them, you’d like the opportunity to really get to know them and possibly start a friendship with them that you missed out in in High School.
I did a little research and learned that attendance to a High School reunion averages between 20% and 30%. Attendance percentages over that amount is considered to be a hugely successful event. So, what are the reasons people give for wanting or not wanting to attend their High School reunion?
Wanting to Go…
- To renew old friendships
- The possibility of seeing a particular person
- To reminisce and relive the feeling of High School
- To see how everyone has changed
- To show people how they have changed
- To return to familiar people and places, and revisit the place they grew up
- To get to know the people they didn’t hang out with in High School
Not Wanting to Go…
- Wasn’t popular in High School and didn’t fit in
- Can’t afford the travel costs to attend
- Job or family commitments conflict with the date
- Didn’t like classmates, or still holds a grudge. Doesn’t want to see someone who might attend
- Concerned their friends won’t attend
- Don’t feel good about their present life or what they’ve accomplished
- Afraid of not being recognized or remembered
If you have decided against going, don’t feel guilty. You’re an adult, you’ve moved on with your life, and it’s your choice. But do RSVP your regrets. It’s only polite.
For those of you who have decided to go, you might want to do a little prepping. Here are some suggestions and tips…
1. RSVP TO THE REUNION INVITATION
Let the reunion committee know you’ll be there. If there’s a caterer involved, they’ll need to give them an estimated head count. There may also be nametags, decorations and events being planned and your response could save them some work.
2. MAKE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS
Don’t wait until the last minute. For a lot of people there’s a certain amount of anxiety related to attending their reunion. Don’t add to it by stressing out because you aren’t able to get a flight at the last minute.
3. TAKE STEPS TO LOOK YOUR BEST
Although the whole idea of a reunion is to get reacquainted with old friends, you still want to present your best self to them. If you’ve been meaning to drop a few pounds, get started on that diet. Go get a manicure. Make that appointment for your teeth cleaning that you’ve been putting off. Try out a more modern hairstyle or color. Hit the gym.
4. CHECK THE DRESS CODE
Unless the invitation states otherwise, the dress is probably casual. Use your judgement. Even if clothes aren’t important to you, at least make an effort to choose something that looks good on you. If you’re not sure, get someone’s opinion. Too sexy could look slutty. Too casual could look sloppy. Casual doesn’t mean sweats. An upcoming reunion is a great excuse to modernize your wardrobe. Throw open those closet doors. How long has it been since you’ve updated your clothes? Are you still living in the 80’s? Choose your shoes early – you’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet and possibly dancing…not a good time to break in a pair of new shoes. Be happy with what you’re planning to wear, and make sure you’re comfortable in it. Feeling comfortable and knowing you look your best gives you confidence and can help calm any nerves you may have.
5. CALL IN THE TROOPS
Most people don’t like to walk into a room alone. If it doesn’t bother you…yay you! For those of you who get butterflies thinking about busting through those reunion doors by yourself, get a hold of one of the High School friends you’ve kept in touch with and see if you can go together. It may be a good idea to arrange to meet them beforehand someplace and follow them to the reunion so you’ll each have your own car in case you want to leave at different times.
6. GET OUT YOUR YEARBOOK
It’s always a little uncomfortable when someone remembers you, but you don’t have a clue who they are. Dust off that yearbook and spend a little time reacquainting yourself with your old friends names and faces. You may not recognize a lot of the people you see at the reunion, but chances are that when you hear their name, it will at least sound vaguely familiar and give your memory a little nudge.
7. RECONNECT ON FACEBOOK
Don’t do this too far ahead of the reunion date. Part of the fun of seeing old classmates is finding out what experiences they’ve had and what their lives look like now. Not knowing what to talk about is one thing people fear when reconnecting with someone they haven’t seen in years, especially if you weren’t particularly close back then. If you’ve spent hours on your classmates Facebook pages, and read everything they’ve shared, you may not have any questions or be curious enough to learn more about them.
So…have you made your decision yet? We’d love you to share your reasons for going or not going to your upcoming reunion or why you did or didn’t go to one in the past. If you went, did you have fun? If you didn’t go, do you wish you had?
Watch for Part 2 of “Going To Your High School Reunion”. We’ll talk about Do’s and Don’ts, and Tips and Tricks!
My son just started kindergarten which means he had to say “goodbye” to his Pre-K classes and incredible teachers.
I found this how-to on School “Glue” stick push up pops. It was cute but I wanted to make some changes. That’s my answer to everything, by the way. I never take anything at face value. My project is what you see in the pictures.
- Push up pops (Michaels)
- Candy (white)
- Ribbon (orange in two different sizes)
- Glue dots
- A Lifetime movie playing in the background
- Your favorite drink
- Time to yourself
This is the easiest freaking project on the face of this planet. Here’s how:
- Click HERE for the “glue” tag printables. Print on cardstock and cut out.
- Stuff the Push up Pops with white candy (just like glue – get it?)
- Wrap the thick ribbon around the top and adhere with glue dots. Do the same at the bottom with the thinner ribbon
- Stick the rectangle label on the front.
- Call it good.
- Appear amazing and pretend like this was really hard. When people compliment you, don’t blow it off like it was nothing. Be enthusiastic as if this took the better part of a week.