A Mermaid Party

Mermaids are a huge summer trend and make a great party theme. We’re obsessed with this Mermaid Party created by Natalie Thomas over at Nat’s Next Adventure. Natalie was throwing a Sprinkle (a baby shower for a woman who already has a child), but many of these ideas (like the paper dolls) would translate well for a kid’s birthday party, too!

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On the inspiration behind the mermaid theme, Natalie says:

The party was for my dear friend Brooke, who is expecting her second child. I planned it with my two friends Amanda and Jessica, and it took place in the Hamptons, where the four of us are sharing a summer rental with our families. 

Since she’s having a little lady and already has a boy, we wanted to go with something girly. After looking at Paper Source’s products, we chose a mermaid theme because of all the cute things we could use, as well as it being summer and our close proximity to the sea out here.

To set the stage, Natalie used a mix of products for layered effect that created an enchanting look. Using a paper table runner (you can also use wrapping paper) gives the party a more polished look. Natalie created a “custom” tissue paper garland by using the Colorful Tissue Garland as her base and adding in the gold tassels from the Black & Gold Garland. We love the way she used Paper Source products as a jumping off point, but continued to craft and ended up with a truly personal fête.

The cake was accented with Vintage Party Number Picks that held meaning for the couple (but could also be used for age in place of traditional candles). Behind the cake (and throughout the tablescape, Trend Party Fans added metallic pops of chic color).

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Metallic Paper Fans were placed around the party and doubled as decor and cooling!

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For the adults, popsicles were served in Prosecco atop a tray lined with Gold Foil Dots Wrapping Paper.

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Gold Dot Napkins, Kate Spade New York Gold Confetti Coasters, Trend Confetti and Gold Confetti were displayed along with colorful accessories to create a dreamy setting.

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Natalie set up a kids-only corner called “Guppies Grotto” where tiny tots could get messy while they stamped, and left out a variety of rubber stamps and ink pads for the kids to go to town.

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She also had the kids make their own mermaids. Using our Paper Doll Kit as the base, Natalie made her own mermaid tail template and pre-cut shapes out of the fine paper included in the kit for the kids to choose from.

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Natalie says, “The paper doll kit is so sweet. My daughter loves playing with it and dressing her “girls”- the options are endless and the paper selection is of great quality. I’m absolutely framing a few. ”

The final touch was spray painting the Craft Letters with gold and using them as a party backdrop. If you aren’t going with a DIY Photo Booth, this is another quick way to make a picture-perfect background (people will always know where the picture was taken).

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Natalie also used the Mermaid Art Print and plans to print the name and birthdate of the baby on it once she arrives to gift the parents as nursery decor (and a sweet reminder of this memorable sprinkle).

Natalie says, “We love the way it turned out! There were so many fun things to do with the theme, the color palette was pretty and we all had such a good time.”

 

What do you think? Does this mermaid shower inspire you? Don’t forget to submit your party or craft pictures to press@papersource.com when you use Paper Source products, and we might feature you on the blog!

 

Natalie Thomas is the Founder and Creative Director of Nat’s Next Adventure, an obsessive party planner and mom to Lilly.

Create a D.I.Y. Photo Booth

Photo booths are one of the most popular party trends – and for good reason, too! They’re interactive, fun and make for great keepsakes. We’ve come up with two great D.I.Y. options for popular summer events.

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To start, you’ll need roll wrap (we used solid wrapping paper, but patterns would be fun, too!) to use as the background. To create our sets, we pinned the paper to a cork board we had in the office, but you can also attach the paper to a ceiling or wall with heavy duty tape.

The first set we created was all about weddings! We love the dark and luxe feel of this gold and black combination, and all it took were fun decor and tape! We used the Gold Glitter Alphabet Letters to spell out Mr & Mrs at the top. Gold Tissue Rosettes were attached to give the look dimension. Then Tissue Paper Tassel and Glitter Mini Banner Garlands were mixed together for a full, finished look.

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Don’t forget the props! Assemble the Photo Props Kit and leave it, plus Reusable Confetti Poppers, on a table or in a box next to the background for people to take silly photos (other popular items could include silly hats, feather boas, and more).

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Another tip: If you can’t afford for a photographer, make the photo booth a Selfie Station! Leave a few Selfie Sticks so people can hook their phones up and snap photos themselves. Ask them to send the photos to you (or use an event hashtag to see them all on social media) so you can create a photo album.

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Seriously, don’t forget the Reusable Confetti Poppers – not only are they fun to use, but they make really great photos.

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Our next set is a background that could be used for everyday parties like birthdays, baby showers, cookouts and more. The great thing about making your own photo booth is you can easily set the mood. Unlike the formal look of the first booth, we made this one fresh and fun.

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To create this look we used Tissue Paper Pom Poms, a Colorful Tissue Paper Tassel Garland and Trend Party Confetti (we taped the confetti to twine). We also used the Painted Celebrate Banner (You Rock is printed on the back) as an interactive prop.

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Which one is your favorite? How will you incorporate a photo booth at your next event? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

Picture Perfect: Make the Most of Photo Albums

We love taking traditional photo albums and giving them a modern update. There are so many great ways to use and gift photo albums, and with the new Kinsho line, there are formats for any use (from pocket-sized, to traditional albums, to photo journals/scrapbooks). With luxe details like cloth-bound covers, nature-inspired colors, acid-free and archival paper, interior pockets and elastic enclosures, the new albums are practical enough for everyday use with a superior quality that makes a thoughtful gift. Here are some of our favorite ideas for using and gifting these classic products.

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Store wedding memories. Photo albums are a classic way to store wedding and engagement pictures, but here are three different ways to use albums in your wedding plans (the Kinsho Ivory Photo Album has room for 200 photos and plenty of writing space).

  • Photobooth displays. Photobooths are a current wedding trend, and so is displaying the photobooth pics. But don’t forget to gather those up at the end of the night! Store them in a photo album so you’ll have them close by.

    Photo from Weddingomania

    Photo from Weddingomania

  • Candid moments. If you’re not doing a photobooth, give every table a disposable or Polaroid camera and collect the prints at the end for a look at the reception you might not have seen!
  • A custom guest book. Request that your guests bring a photo of them with the happy couple and place it in the album along with well wishes.

 

A thoughtful graduation gift. Send off your new graduate by asking friends and family to bring their favorite pic with the new grad. Have each guest store their photo and write a favorite memory or tip for “the real world” for a gift they can keep forever (this Kinsho Pocket Photo Album is small and portable for wherever life might take the new grad).

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Photo from Kinsho

 

Create a memorable baby shower. Have your close friends bring baby photos of themselves and collect them in an album. Ask them to write a sweet message, fond memory, or tips on parenting, on the side. Keep it as a baby keepsake for years to come in the Kinsho Photo Journal – which features scrapbook sheets with room to write on the side.

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Whichever way you’re using your album, unique pens, stickers, washi tape and stamps can make a difference (they’re not just for scrapbooking – you can customize your photo albums however you like).

With smartphones and screens becoming the popular way to store photos, we love the idea of printing out memories and having a tangible album holding some of life’s biggest moments. What are your favorite ways to use photo albums?

Bachelorette Party Invite

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A bachelorette party is a monumental event worthy of some great invitations. Meg K., a designer at Paper Source, planned her friend’s bachelorette party in Nashville. Using Paper Source products (and a whole lot of creativity), Meg fashioned the perfect invitation for an action-packed weekend.

Meg used our Envelope Liner Kit and coordinating Mint & Gold Fine Paper for a pop of color. This was a great way to finish the design with a professional look without breaking the bank.

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The itinerary was cleverly stored in Baby Envelopes which were taped on the invite. Using text weight paper, Meg listed the weekend’s events by the hour on the receipt-size sheet (perfect for storing in your wallet while out).

 

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These invites capture a fun, exciting bachelorette party to come. Congratulations to Brianna and we wish her a fabulous party!

From a Recruiter: Opening a New Store

Our new “From a Recruiter” series will give an inside look at what it’s like to interview and work for Paper Source. Written by Cara Pacholski, our Field Recruitment Manager, you’ll get a sneak peek at stories, tips and tricks from our store recruitment team. 

 

What inspired me to join this organization seven years ago was the big picture plan to grow a small company. I remember my first day here at Paper Source; at the time, we had 21 stores and eight more were planned to open that year. We had an aggressive expansion plan and we were building our strategy from the ground up. Needless to say, it was a fun few years of getting teams built and functioning collaboratively for success. It was an amazing time of working together, and the success of seeing that first store I helped open is still exciting after all these years.

Here at Paper Source, every department is involved in opening our new stores. Everyone has a role; from reviewing leases, to traveling to site inspections, to overseeing construction, to picking and shipping products from our warehouse, to ensuring the store fixtures arrive on time (right down to the toilet paper holder), to, of course, hiring our new associates… a lot goes into opening a new location! Hiring the team for a new store is like putting together a puzzle. My recruitment team visits each new location to find the top creative talent. We speak with community members, schools, restaurants and other retailers in an effort to spread the word about Paper Source.

When the puzzle of hiring for a new store is completed, the feeling is amazing. But that’s where much of the work starts! Training is a huge priority at Paper Source, but especially in new stores. We put time and care into making sure our new team members feel like a knowledgeable part of our creative community.

That being said, we’d like to welcome the newest members of our Paper Source “family”… a big hello to our Tampa, Florida store, which opened in late June!

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If you’re interest in joining our creative team, please visit our careers website.Interested in opportunities to join our “family”, please visit our careers website.

 

The Perfect Pool Party

One of the most fun ways to cool off during the summer is a pool party with friends. Here are some of our must-haves for a great summer bash.

 

Essentials

First thing’s first: you need a way to haul your stuff! This Red Stripe Tote Bag is durable and cute. Even better? It’s got plenty of room for this super cute Beach Radio, because a pool party is nothing without music!  We love this vintage-looking radio because you can plug in your iPod or smart phone to stream your own playlist. And of course you’ll need a pool float! Lounge around and catch some rays on this funny Pizza Slice Float.

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Fun & Games

Whether you’re a kid or a kid-at-heart, these games are sure to be a hit. Use the Big Kahuna Bouncing Water Ball or the Orgo Sport Beach Game for group games in the pool. When you need a break from the water, we love this Picnic Activity Mat, which includes three different game options sure to keep you busy on a sunny day!

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Food & Drink

Enjoy drinks poolside with these recyclable and reusable (and shatterproof) Govino Wine Cups.  If you’re going without vino, these cute Jam Jar Juice Glasses are super cute and acrylic, so they won’t break. In need of ice? And of course you’ll need some food! Keep everything chilled in this funky Watermelon Cooler.

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These are just a few of our favorite picks from our Summer assortment. What are your party must-haves?

The Ultimate 4th of July Drink

 

Are you throwing a July 4th bash? Don’t forget the drinks! We love this recipe from mom.me that can be made with or without alcohol. Serve it in this super patriotic drink station for a really festive look.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sprite/Champagne/Sparkling Water
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries/Raspberries
  • Anchor Ice Tray

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To start, fill the Anchor Ice Tray with whole or crushed berries. Pour water over them and freeze.
  2. Use cranberry juice to fill another tray. Freeze.
  3. Once the ice cubes are frozen use them to complement your favorite cocktail (or mocktail). The clear drink dispenser is perfect for displaying these pops of colors. Put the fruity ice in a cocktail, mocktail, or fruit punch and serve!

 

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Image courtesy of mom.me

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Image courtesy of mom.me

Happy celebrating!

 

Remember, you must be 21 or older to drink alcohol – and please don’t drink and drive.

“Meteor” Shower (A Paper Source Baby Shower)

One of the great things about working at Paper Source, with tons of creative people, is the ability to celebrate our friends and co-workers’ life moments in meaningful ways. With baby showers, especially, it’s always fun to think of themes that really resonate with the mom-to-be. For this baby shower, we knew we wanted to have a celestial-themed bash that coordinated with her nursery motif. Since we’d already thrown one “stellar” baby shower, we wanted to make this one unique. We started by calling it a “meteor” shower with an emphasis on planets and the solar system.

Invitations

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For these invites we used Night Circle Cards and printed a band to look like a planetary ring on Sunshine Text Weight Paper. Before attaching the band, we made a template with cutouts where we wanted striations to be. We put the cutout on top of the circle cards and used ink pads to rub directly onto the card. Once dry, we attached the middle band. The band was secured on the back with a 4″ round label, which was printed with more shower details.

 

Food

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Since the shower was in the afternoon, we went with a fun “Neptune’s Nacho Bar” and light snacks and desserts. We labeled everything with a mis of place cards and “punny” names.

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Decor

For decor we punched stars out in a variety of solar shades on text weight paper. Then we used double-sided tape to attach them to Blue & White Baker’s Twine with 1.25″ Round Labels for added interest.

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We wrapped the gifts in Constellations Gift Wrap and Silver Stars Fine Paper for a really beautiful gift basket.

We love giving mom something sentimental to take home. We handed out extra star cutouts and asked attendees to write down their wishes for baby. Then we collected them in an A7 Box Mailer that was covered with fine paper; something cute to keep on a bookshelf.

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Have we inspired you? Send us your Paper Source baby shower pictures to press@papersource.com and we might feature you!

 

 

Emojis Speak Louder Than Words

Emojis are a fun way to text, but we love the idea of using Emoji Stickers as a way to communicate messages in everyday life. Here are some of our favorite ideas on how to use these sassy icons.

Use them to mark your planner for an upcoming summer getaway….

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Or create a personalized message on an invitation (like this one for date night)

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Stick them in your friend’s schedule to let her know drinks are on the books.

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Or use them as fun motivational notes.

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And emojis are always perfect for when you can’t find the words to ask someone on the perfect date…

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How will you use your Emoji Stickers this summer? Share your pictures with us on Instagram @papersource!