Category Archives: Event Decorating

Make Lasting Memories at your Prom or Homecoming!

Plan the Perfect Dance!

Choosing the Theme is the First Step.

What are the hottest themes this year? Poll your student body and find out what is HOT at your school, or search online for ideas! Will this be a formal or casual dance? Once you pick a theme, you can begin gathering your prom supplies and decorations to create those lasting memories!
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Stumps Blog Prom Themes

How to Host a 20 Year Reunion

One of the most important things to understand about hosting a 20-year reunion – or any reunion – is that outreach is as important to success as the big party itself. Start early to build anticipation and maximize participation.

Email and social media such as Facebook make this easier than ever. Chances are you already use Facebook, have joined the “You know you’re in/from [insert hometown here] if…” FB page, and have spun off a reunion page that you administer. (If not, all these ideas are translatable to email, message boards, etc.) The next step is to utilize it effectively. Use the page to:

Find high school classmates and 20 year-old artifacts. Put out short lists regularly of people you’re seeking, yearbooks you’re missing, and old photos of landmarks you’d like to display.

Build new reunion memories. Use status updates to provide a personal welcome to new members as they join. Ask questions: “Anybody here from the CHS Choir?” “Did you catch Jurassic Park when it opened? Who’d you see it with?” “Tube skirts or flannel shirts?” Conversations will nurture a comfort level among participants. They will also tell you what’s still universally memorable to the Class of ’93.  At the reunion itself, many committees set up stations that replay a high school video or leave scrapbooks filled with pictures.  Ask attendees to sign a physical or digital guest book with messages about the past or predictions for the future.

Add value to the reunion ticket. Perhaps reunion committee members have worked out a deal for a block of discounted hotel rooms, or someone is organizing an afternoon picnic. Give reminders of these extras regularly to ensure that new page members see it – some folks will search older threads and the Events page when they join, but many won’t.

Let’s say that the Jurassic Park mention got a huge response. What do you do with this information? We recommend planting a cardboard cutout of a T-Rex somewhere in your venue as a symbol of a good time had by all.

Take the symbolism as far as you want: Empire State Building prop to stand in for Sleepless in Seattle, Red Roses backdrop for Bon Jovi’s “Bed of Roses,” and so on.

Party props mixed with Class of ’93 artifacts (game balls, photo canvases of class outings, etc.) can form the basis of a guessing game about senior year events that classmates start on upon arrival.

The overall party theme could reflect early 90s popular culture or could come from other shared experiences, such as:

  • Favorite hangouts: beach, movie theater, dance club
  • Special events: annual fair/carnival, excursions into the city
  • School pride: winning-est sports, music and academic teams; school colors
  • Other: senior prom theme duplication, crowd-sourced ideas put to a vote

Again, let outreach interactions be your guide. Once the reunion theme is chosen, you’ll be able to coordinate banners, favors and tableware with theme decorations.

Two areas may require extra supplies: tableware and favors. Be sure to know how many display tables you’ll need for name tags, yearbooks and the like so that you can cover them similarly to the dining tables. Likewise, have contests worked out in advance of ordering (dance moves, classmate-who-traveled-the-farthest-to-get-here) so you can select favors as prizes.

Are you planning a reunion party this summer? Let us know how it’s going!

Seven Super Fourth of July Parade Float Ideas

The town is painted red, white and blue and the fireworks are ready to go. It’s the Fourth of July and all of America is ready to celebrate Independence Day. The cookouts will be delicious and the fireworks spectacular, but the other American staple on this patriotic holiday is the childhood favorite Fourth of July Parade.

Here are seven super Fourth of July Parade float ideas:

1s004aTriumphant Truck
Instead of hauling your float behind the truck, use the truck itself as your parade float. The Patriotic Truck Parade Kit is the easiest way to get started. It includes two 25-foot-long vinyl twists, four 15-inch X 10-foot long pieces of vinyl fringe, and an instruction set. Add some star balloons, American flags, and blare some “God Bless the USA” in the truck speakers and you’ve got yourself a simple, yet patriotic parade float!

Firecracker of a Float
The fireworks might be later in the evening, but get things started with a Firecracker Float during the parade! The Patriotic Float Kit can get you started with its floral sheeting, festooning and fringe. What really makes this float grand is the addition of the cardboard firecrackers. The set of three comes with one that is four-feet high, another that is three-feet high and the third is two-feet, six inches high. They will really make your parade float burst!

Luau for Liberty
Hawaii is just as much a part of the U.S. as any other state, so consider having a luau theme to celebrate Lady Liberty and all she stands for. Naturally, decorate your float in red, white and blue float materials. What will make your float special, however, is the addition of props used at a luau. Have your parade guests wear Americana Leis and add a few palm trees to your float.

Flashback Float for the Fourth
In 1976 America celebrated its bicentennial. Take parade guests on a trip to the 11hcgsnt65brwpast and create your float as if it were 1976. Deck out your float in red, white and blue tie-dye gossamer, blast some classic Southern rock and make sure those on the float are in their favorite bellbottoms as you stroll the streets as a 70’s time machine.

God Bless America Float
This float idea is especially great for church groups. Personalize a banner with the words “God Bless America” and the name of your organization or church. Add some “God Bless America” columns to the float and be sure to play some patriotic, Christian music.  Consider having different people on the float dress up as famous American Christians from the pioneer days when America first became independent.

Celebrate American Cities
Instead of celebrating America as a whole, celebrate one of America’s favorite cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Seattle. Make that American city come to life on your float! For a city like New York, take some of its iconic buildings and use as a background. Don’t forget the Statue of Liberty, and use lots of patriotic decorations like garland and stars.

Float for Diversity
One of the great things about America is its diversity. Celebrate the wide range of ethnicities by having a Fourth of July parade float that honors people of all backgrounds. Stick with red, white and blue decorations, but have people on the float dressed in traditional clothes of many different cultures like Asian, African, Mexican and Middle-Eastern.

Make Memories at a Safari-Themed Graduation Party

Most people will attend at least a handful of graduation parties each year. Make your graduation party stand out from the rest by making memories at a safari-themed graduation party! Sure the school colors are common, as well as caps and gowns, but instead of all that do something different. This graduation theme is fun for a graduate heading off to college and even more so for a graduate heading abroad.

Come Up with a Fun Safari Phrase
This could be easy if the graduate is either graduating from a school with a mascot like a lion or tiger, or a graduate who will be attending a college with a mascot found on a safari. Get a personalized banner honoring the graduate and tying in the safari theme. Display the banner outside of the venue, inside, or both! Some ideas are, “Go Get ‘Em Tiger!” or “Congratulations Jason, and Good Luck! It’s a jungle out there!” Come up with a creative title for the party and watch your party guests smile at your creativity!

Welcome to the Junglep0393n
A safari-themed graduation party needs some seriously wild decorations. Skip the typical graduation balloons that match the school colors and instead opt for safari print balloons. Decorate tables with zebra or tiger-print paper, and place animal standees around the venue while also showing off the graduate’s accomplishments. Consider using animal-print picture frames for pictures of the graduate while he or she was growing up, or from their favorite high school memories. If the graduate was ever a safari animal for Halloween or some other event, be sure and display that photo as the largest.

Safari Snacks and Drinks
Keep guests’ bellies full and thirst quenched with a variety of food and drink. 12spmntsafMake cookies or gelatin in the shapes of safari animals, and be sure to incorporate your safari theme into the graduate’s cake. Ordinary graduation parties serve graduation-themed mints, but this is no ordinary graduation party. Toss some safari printed mints on the tables. They’ll act as both a treat and a decoration!

To help the guest of honor, the graduate, stand out, let him or her carry a personalized cup. Serve guests drinks like “Safari Water” and “Jungle Juice,” and get some personalized reusable plastic cups that guests can take home with them.

Safari Sound
Your safari can really come to life with the help of the right sounds. Download some safari sounds and have them playing in the background. If the party is going to be huge and have a lot of young guests, consider getting a DJ to play some music so people can dance.

Say Thank You
After the party is over and the gifts have all been opened, make sure to send out thank-you cards to the people who came. Keep the safari theme in mind and thank them for attending your wild safari-themed graduation party! Chances are it was the most unique and exciting party they went to this season!

Forget You’re in a Tent. Decorate Elegantly for Outdoor Events

Summertime means outdoor parties, barbecues, and bonfires. If you’re planning a summer wedding or a more elegant graduation party, maybe even an outdoor prom, you’re challenged with decorating in a tent. With the right decorations and the proper planning, you can make it so your guests completely forget that they’re in a tent! With a few tips and tricks, your decorations can be elegant enough to make your venue seem like an outdoor wonderland, not a party under a tent.

Table Settings Make a Difference Outdoors

If you have tables under your tent for your summer event, you’ll want to use them as a decorating tool. By covering your tables with a white cloth and a shimmery strip of gossamer as a table runner, you’ll create a light, airy feeling for your summer event. A centerpiece for your tables will play a huge role in creating an elegant event, also. Depending on your theme, you could choose a centerpiece that will fit with the theme. You could also simply choose an elegant centerpiece that will go with any theme, such as a candelabra. When the sun begins to set, switching to candlelight versus bright LED lights or no lights will make your event that much more elegant. Also, the candlelight reflecting off a shimmery gossamer fabric will create an interesting effect.

Don’t forget about the chairs that will go with your tables. Seeing just a simple folding chair doesn’t say elegance. You can use folding chairs for your event, but look into chair covers. You could just use a ribbon or you could use a complete chair cover and a ribbon.

Hide the Tent

As you’re preparing your decorations, try to find a way to disguise the tent you’re decorating. Try wrapping the tent poles with shimmery silver iridescent chiffon. If you decide to use candles when the sun sets, the candlelight will Silver Chiffonreflect off the chiffon. You could also station a bunch of balloons at each of the four corners of the tent, as a way to disguise the corner tent poles.

If you want to disguise the poles running along the top of the tent, try twining garlands and flowers around them. Or you could do a combination of chiffon, garlands, and flowers. Another good option is hanging decorations from those poles, such as an ivory floral topiary.

Remember, summer outings don’t have to be all fun and no elegance. Even if you’re using a tent for your event, the decorations and the table settings can help you create an elegant sure-to-be-remembered event. Centerpieces and chair covers are a way to help guests forget about the tent, but if you want to disguise the tent, shimmery, flowing fabrics are the way to go. As you plan your elegant summer event, choose fabrics and other decorations that will set your colors off perfectly—create an event that your guests will remember for a long time!

Sparkling Red, White and Blue Event Ideas

There are lots of ways to bring sparkle to your patriotic events this season – often literally! Glitter, glass, foil and rhinestones are just some of the ways we can summon such a thing. Let’s explore.

Fabric Decorations. Many of our decorating fabrics have metallic or glitter versions in the patriotic colors you’re looking for. A sampling: iridescent sparkle, metallic eyelash, liquid metallic, and metallic gossamer fabrics.

Use these fabrics for stage and podium backdrops, ceiling and wall coverings, and table decorations. Generally speaking, we like monochromatic domination in background materials for patriotic parties, mostly because you don’t want to overpower or clash with themed decorations, but there are other reasons, too:

  • to make patriotic patterns really pop via contrast
  • to avoid in general a visual that’s overly busy
  • to let textures and/or light effects “do the talking”

  • There are many choices, so here’s how to narrow them down. If you simply must have red as your dominant color, for example, shop by color first to see the available materials. Other considerations include translucence vs. opacity, a preference for no-sew/no-fray fabrics, a need for flame retardant options, and of course cost.

    Having at least a couple of your requirements worked out in advance means you’ll be able to zoom in on the most likely candidates in no time. Be sure to read other planners’ reviews to find out more about the qualities of fabrics that are new to you.

    Large decorations. The patriotic balloon arch and columns pictured at the top of this post get an extra vertical boost from clusters of our big mylar star balloons reaching up. Meanwhile, versatile swirl chandeliers frame it prettily and push it into the foreground. This creates interest at every eye level. You can also achieve the height you need in large spaces with a glittered arch and sequined columns in a solid color, greeted from the ceiling by hanging star decorations such as our 52” star in patriotic pattern and groovy fringe.

    For props that are larger than life we like to use parade float decorations such as the firecracker props shown above at right – yes, even indoors! Decorate a large table just as you would a parade float, covering it with shiny floral sheeting, festooning, a patriotic banner and the firecracker props. We bet others will wish they’d thought of it.

    Table decorations. Your tables should certainly duplicate the colors and perhaps some of the materials of the other decorations. For example, several of the fabric options discussed earlier would make chic table coverings, as would the floral sheeting. And if you’ve used the star mylar balloons elsewhere you could incorporate them into table centerpieces.

    Sparkle can also equal glassware. Shining glass plus a do-it-yourself adornment of Americana would be perfect as table decorations and as favors. Raid the DIY store for cylinder vases you can transform to suggest firecrackers, or simply embellish votive holders with glitter ribbon or stick-on star rhinestones. A glue gun and your creativity will do the rest.

    Ten Trivia Questions and Answers to Ask At Your Memorial Day Party

    This Americana Lei makes for great Memorial Day Party favors!

    Everyone gets together for Memorial Day – It’s what we do! We grill out, we set up the barbeque, we roll out cold drinks, we often go to the lake if we can… It’s a fun holiday where we get time off work, and there is usually a parade and a commemoration service to honor our veterans.  This Memorial Day, before or after prom this weekend, quiz your friends on how much they know about the Memorial Day holiday:

    1. What do bumblebees and the Air Force have in common?

    Answer: The Air Force used aerodynamics discovered during research on bumblebees on their F-117 fighter.

    2. Just because you “remember the Alamo,” doesn’t mean you know what the word means in Spanish. What does Alamo mean in Spanish?

    Answer: cottonwood

    3. Where was the first “official” observance of Memorial Day?

    Answer: Waterloo, NY

    4. While the first official Memorial Day celebrations began sometime in the 1860s, when was Memorial Day an “official” U.S. holiday?

    Answer: 1971 – yep, it’s fairly recent!

    5. Which U.S. State is closest to Bermuda?

    Answer: North Carolina

    6. Of all the “Founding Fathers” who signed the Declaration of Independence, how many of them went on to become U.S. Presidents? (Bonus if you can name them!)

    Answer: Two – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

    7. We know the famous line, but what was the actual first word spoken on the moon?

    Answer: Houston.

    “Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has Landed.” – Neil Armstrong’s first words back to base when his shuttle landed on the moon.

    8. On Memorial Day, is the flag raised to the top of the pole or kept at half staff?

    Answer: This is a trick question! The U.S. flag is supposed to be at half mast until  noon, and then raised to the top of the pole. Whoever gets this one right definitely deserves a prize.

    9. What time is the “National Moment of Remembrance” on Memorial Day?

    Answer: 3pm


    10. What state boasts the longest running Memorial Day Parade? And bonus points if you can name the town, too!

    Answer: Ironton, Ohio – it has been holding a Memorial Day parade every year since 1869.

    Now, when you start throwing out trivia questions left and right, it would be fun to sweeten the pot by offering an incentive to winning at trivia. However you decide to celebrate this Memorial Day, be sure to keep it fun while remembering the reasons behind the holiday.