I kind of like parties. (“Kind of” is kind of an understatement.) I like planning them, I like hosting them, I like cooking and baking and decorating for them. I really like searching for the perfect details for months longer than is technically necessary but is a great way to make the fun last longer. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect white balloons for weeks now to turn my dining room into an arctic wonderland at Caroline’s birthday and I’ve finally narrowed my search down. Here are my top 6 websites for party planning when I’m at home watching Glee:
1. Oriental Trading Company -I’ve ordered everything from rainbow lollipops to a 4 foot T-Rex from OTC and I’ve loved every purchase. It’s sort of a one-stop-shop, especially if you’re throwing a kid’s party. You can search by holiday or theme, and it includes everything from stickers and glow necklaces to wedding supplies. Sign up for their newsletter or catalog and you’ll get discount codes and free shipping fairly regularly.
2. Bake it Pretty – A fantastic site to make your dessert table gorgeous. I’m obsessed with their cupcake toppers and selection of sprinkles. They have food coloring to make any color frosting you can imagine (including a kit to make those awesome rainbow cakes that are all over Pinterest) and paper goods and chocolate molds too. Prices are reasonable and you can get discounts by signing up for their newsletter.
3. Etsy – Obviously. Need invitations? A Happy Birthday banner? One hundred tiny paper butterflies? A custom onesie? Your wish is pretty much their command. If you can’t find exactly what you want by searching (be specific or you’ll get WAY too many results) find a shop with a style you like and see if they take custom orders. I cannot wait to show you the cupcake toppers I ordered for Caroline’s 2nd birthday. Prices range from extremely affordable to WHOA WHO DOES THAT? but I love getting to know and supporting handmade.
4. Save-on-Crafts -I found Save-on through a Pinterest link that said “Like Oriental Trading for adults!” and it’s true. Very popular among the
crazy enthusiastic bride sector, they have TONS of really over the top stuff mixed in with essentials like glass vases and glitter at discount prices. Their shipping isn’t cheap (it’s hard to get cheap shipping on 5 foot tall pre-lit birch trees) but it is fast. Invest in reusable pieces – apothecary jars are good for any type of party, chalkboard markers last a while – and save your extra dollars to pay someone to clean up afterward.
5. Amazon – Search for ANYTHING on Amazon and you’ll probably find it. I’ve bought balloons, costumes, gifts, favors, food, tablecloths and books for various parties at really great prices. I have an Amazon Prime account that gets me free 2-day shipping for last minute stuff (there is ALWAYS last minute stuff). p.s. It doesn’t hurt to double check Amazon against OTC prices. I’ve found identical items are sometimes MUCH cheaper on one of those sites compared to the other.
6. Shop Sweet Lulu – Adorable packaging and decorating supplies (paper straws, vintage-style popcorn boxes, milk bottles) in bright and pastel colors. Their blog is also a fantastic place for inspiration, as long as you don’t mind feeling slightly inferior to some REALLY amazing planners.
What am I missing? Tell me so I can go shop there immediately – only 2 months and 10 days until Caroline’s 2nd birthday!