paper bag party lanterns

Paper bag party lanterns

With the nights getting darker this last week I’ve been wanting to bring more shine and brightness to our evenings. These colorful paper bag party lanterns that I created in partnership with Elmer’s will bring it. Big time!

They are an easy craft to do with the kids during that too early for bed, but too dark to play outside time that we are all trying to fill these days. Whether you use the lanterns to line the driveway showing guests the way in, or lining your mantel for an indoor glimmer, they will bring a helping of graphic whimsy to your house and parties this season.

Paper bag party lanterns

Paper bag jewel lantern

Paper bag party lanterns

The lanterns can be topped with basically any design or decal you choose. My kids are very into gems these days so making a few bright and graphic gems was a hit. I’m also super in love with the light bulb lantern, ohhh… and the hearts! Making these obviously got addicting real quick:).

Paper Bag Party Lanterns

To make the paper bag party lanterns you will need white paper bags (find these in the lunch bag section at Target, or at a craft store), thick gauge floral wire, a small hole punch, glue, thick card stock paper for the decals, Elmer’s Painters Neon Brights, Elmer’s Painters Super Tip Black, and flameless candles.

DIY paper jewel decals

Start by designing your decals. Have the kids help if they are old enough. For the graphic bag decals we started by outlining the shapes, cutting them out and filling in the color and lines with our painters. The Painters were a great option for the kids because they come through thicker than a normal marker (more like paint) making it easier for them to color in the shapes. And for my sanity, they are much easier to clean up than paint.

Once the color was completed, I went back over the shapes with a ruler and the thick black painter to add graphic detail. Some of the shapes had a second layer of card stock attached to add dimension to the design. There is no “right” way to make these, just as long as they are colorful the lanterns will look great.

DIY party lantern

Next, take the white paper bags and fold over the top about 4 inches. Use a small hole punch to make slots on both sides of the lanterns for the floral wire to run through. Cut the floral wire to size and bend over and into the holes to form a handle on the lanterns.

DIY party lanterns

Lastly attach the decals with glue on the front side. Although we used real flickering candles to try these out, they will be much safer with flameless candles or the small battery white Christmas tapers that are out this time of year.

Paper party lantern

Paper bag party lantern

When lit up the lanterns have a gorgeous glow, and the colorful decals are made even brighter by the flames. The paper bag party lanterns are a great way to make a festive statement this season, to get the kids crafting with you, and to keep the house shining all season long.

Painters® Paint Markers are as fresh and fun as the projects they create! These colorful opaque acrylic paint markers are perfect for decorating, drawing and personalizing almost any surface. Available in a variety of colors & tips, they are fast drying, permanent, streak-free, non-toxic & acid free. Express Yourself™! Follow Elmer’s on Instagram & Pinterest.

Compensation was provided for this post by Elmer’s – a brand I use daily! The opinions expressed are all mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Elmer’s. Thanks for supporting our crafty sponsors.

Posted November 12, 2014 1 Comment
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colorful party garland and paper trees

Printable party garland

Nothing beats a festive strand of party bunting. No matter what the holiday is… colorful bunting is always the right answer!

Bunting, combined with a simple scene of white tress and peppermint striped straws, makes for a holiday centerpiece reminiscent of the north pole. This little set up will bring a festive touch to your house this season. Make the winter scene to center a table, place on a mantel, or to top a cake! (just switch out the foam board for a cake:)

I found a new trick for making crazy easy party bunting. It’s an awesome party hack for all the celebrations coming our way soon. I’ve partnered with Avery today to share this bunting printable and the easy trick to use their labels to make the entire process a piece of cake.

Printable party garland

How to make printable party garland.

To make the winter forest scene you’ll need one package of full page labels, a package of white shipping labels, an x-acto knife, red and white striped straws, kitchen skewers, tape, string, a foam core board, and our printable miniature bunting template.  

Posted November 12, 2014 2 Comments
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printable doggie bags

DIY doggie bags

Feasting season is upon us and with it my desire for easy comfort meals that can serve a crowd. Whether I am dishing up dinner for a huge holiday gathering or serving up a small weeknight group of friends – finding quick ways to please the crowd is at the top of my priority list. Second only to sending them home with yummy and pretty packages of food. I know everyone is slammed this time of year, so I am happy to partner with Marie Callender’s to share the joy of having a nice meal and leftovers to boot! You just can’t beat that.

I created these bright doggie bags to encourage the feasting of leftovers. They are a fun addition to a holiday feast, or great for any night you want the comfort of your meal to last.

DIY printable doggie bags (print these with an inkjet printer!)

Easy to make pot pies - perfect for a crowd!

Pot pies and doggie bags

Printable paper doggie bags

To make the bright doggie bags download our four doggie bag templates right here. You can print directly onto the bags using an inkjet printer. Just feed the paper bag through the printer on the highest quality setting (the fabric bag must be first taped onto a piece of white computer paper, like this). Your guests will be thrilled to stash these baggies away for another busy day.  

Posted November 11, 2014 1 Comment
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paper trees advent countdown

Paper Trees Advent Calendar

Can you believe it is time to start thinking about advent already!?! In just a couple weeks the season will begin and the countdown will be on. These festive tree boxes are a fun way to hide a collection of toys and treats for counting down the days.

The graphic tree boxes would also make great favors for a holiday party, and simple wrapping ideas for small presents to be gifted. Although, a collection of the tress together for counting down advent is a fantastic way to make a whimsical fairytale forest show up at home this holiday season.

Paper Trees Advent Calendar

Paper Trees Advent Calendar

Paper Trees Advent Countdown

To make the paper tree advent calendar you’ll need; various shades of green paper – with a little yellow and metallic thrown in for good measure, a collection of small Kraft boxes, scissors, an exacto knife, festive ribbon, and treats to fill the boxes with.

Start by drawing and cutting out your trees. We found the more exaggerative and imaginative the better! The trees definitely do not need to be perfect, in fact having the kids help with this step could make the project extra fun. Aim for the trees to be a little larger than your boxes and every tree to be just a smidge different.

Once the trees are cut, use an exacto knife to put 2 slits in the sides of the trees for the ribbon to run through.

Paper Trees Advent Calendar

Fill the boxes with small toys and treats for the kids. Make a countdown calendar for grown-ups by filling the boxes with coffee cards, and rich dark chocolates. Once the boxes are filled run the ribbon through the sides of each tree and secure to the bottom of the boxes with tape.

Paper Trees Advent Calendar

Paper Trees Advent Countdown

Stack the boxes, or set them on a mantel/table standing up for a festive holiday display that everyone will be excited to open. An optional addition is to put numbers on each of the boxes, although I prefer a pick one you love everyday style. The countdown will come with how many of the festive trees are left standing in the forest.

I had fun looking for simple sweets like candy dots and a collection of toys that could be broken up, like these puppets to fill our advent calendar with this year. What are your favorite toys and treats to countdown the season with?

PS. This advent calendar can be sent in the mail – so great for grandparents counting down a visit!

(Photography © A Subtle Revelry by Erin Holland)

Posted November 10, 2014 3 Comments
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why don’t we… say thanks

Thank you text pumpkins

November is a great time of year to stop and say thanks. In the past I’ve dropped off flowers or soup to say a sweet thank you to important people in my life. This year I am going to use pumpkins! We have a pretty large collection of pumpkins left over from Halloween that need to be festively re-purposed.

To make these thankful pumpkins. You’ll need spray paint, a metallic pen, and pumpkins (check the clearance sections if you don’t have any left over). Spray paint the pumpkins with a pretty metallic color on top, spray a bold fall color on the bottom, and use a metallic pen to write in words of thanks after the paint has dried.

Deliver to the doors of your dearest friends with a kind note of thanks. It’s a great use for the left over pumpkins and will make everyone feel amazing this weekend. Create a similar look with mini pumpkins for fall party favors, or write in guests names for easy Thanksgiving seating cards.

While we get to delivering, here are a few other nice ways to say thanks…

Write it out on a pie crust | Thanks for popping by with popcorn! | Thank you paper baggies to bring to school or the office | Thanks for coming apple roasting favors | A bouquet of cinnamon rolls is always a great idea | Mini pumpkin thank yous | And adorable donut thank you tags.

I wish I could drop one of these pumpkins off on each of your door steps this weekend. Thanks for hanging out here with me this fall & happy weekend! xoxo

(Photography © Beatrix Boros/Stocksy United)

Posted November 07, 2014 2 Comments
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my sanity saving mirror trick


It’s about this time of year that my life turns nutty! Between crazy holiday blog shoots, video spots, and the never ending parties that are associated with this next month, I find it super easy to get behind on important things like working out and doing my laundry. When that happens, I inevitably get down on myself. But this year, it is going to be different!!!

I’ll let you in on my simple plan to keep sane and happy no matter what my schedule sends to me. It involves an easy laundry plan, and a new mirror that sends only good vibes my way.



A talking mirror! I saw this idea for the first time years ago at my favorite restaurant and immediately thought – genius! Writing text on any mirror in my house is a simple way to update the space for whatever I might be celebrating, like birthdays or Christmas. Today it’s going to celebrate me! :)


I found a simple mirror at a thrift store to use for this project and decided first to paint it, adding a bit of color and whimsy to my laundry space. Festive laundry decor is always a good idea.



Next I grabbed a sharpie and got to writing! The mirror can be moved throughout the house, but I like it best in my laundry room where it can speak words of encouragement to me daily.

When I want to switch up the writing, a dab of rubbing alcohol takes the text right off and on I go to the next bout of encouragement. Because we can all use a little more self-kindness in our lives this time of year.



My talking mirror, although I realize it sounds kind of silly, has done a world of good for me. It’s just the littlest details sometimes that can take us from feeling like everything is ruined, to realizing life may be crazy, but it’s not so bad. And heck—I’m pretty amazing for juggling it all.

After all, planning the holiday posts for this blog, crafting for hours, jumping on that conference call, making a quick stop to buy Tide Pods at Target along with that Sharpie, and still making it to the photo shoot on time… That kind of hustle should definitely be celebrated.


The small mirror update has really made me more excited about doing my laundry, and Tide Pods has also helped immensely. They are so easy to use; I just toss one in and my laundry is basically doing itself, which is helpful during this nutty season of life.

So here’s to making our laundry easy in the midst of our crazy lives, and to reminding ourselves how seriously awesome we all are! Write it on a mirror today – you will be so happy you did.

Sponsored by Tide.

Posted November 06, 2014 3 Comments
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face decal party balloons

Put your face on a party balloon! (Click through for the tutorial)

Who remembers these family photo face eggs? They were one of my favorite projects ever. Putting our faces on inanimate objects is just too much fun. So obviously… balloons are next!!!

Face decal party balloons

Fec decal party balloons

About this time of year, there is a push to get our family photos done for the Christmas cards. When trying to think of new and original ideas, the thought to put our faces on balloons was all too compelling.

The concept will also work awesomely for birthday parties, anniversaries, even for making seating cards at a Thanksgiving feast. Could you imagine doing a progression through the years for an anniversary or milestone birthday party!?!

I’m not actually sure when putting a familiar face on a balloon would not be the right thing to do… Because, it’s awesome. Because, it’s easy. Gah. I’m obsessed.

How to decal a photo onto a balloon!

To create the face decal balloons, you’ll need an inkjet printer, white tissue, tape, Mod Podge, and white balloons.

Start by taping the tissue to a piece of white computer paper, tape all the way around the tissue to ensure it doesn’t get caught while printing. Then print out the face you want to decal with your inkjet printer (PLEASE don’t attempt this in your nice laser print and then send me hate mail!) it must be an inkjet, this whole printing on tissue idea only works on inkjet printers.

While making these tissue decal candles, I mentioned how I actually buy inkjet printers just for crafting. You can find them for about $15 at your local big box store. Projects like this make them so worth it!

Put your face on a party balloon! (Click through for tutorial)

Once the photo is printed, cut around the face getting as close as you can and removing the bottom tissue layer. Then take a balloon and carefully using Mod Podge attach the photo to the balloon. The tissue blends seamlessly with the white balloons, just like it did with the eggs. You are left with a decal imprint of the face on the balloon. A balloon face!

Our holiday card recipients and party guests will definitely thank us. Now to find an embarrassing selfie of everyone to use for their Thanksgiving chairs – it’s going to be hilarious!

(Photography by Jocelyn Noel for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted November 05, 2014 6 Comments
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painted feather cake

Painted Feather Cake

Feathers are such a fun way to make anything seem crafty and homespun. In a season when there is way too much cooking and prepping to be done – a simple solution like surrounding a cake with pretty painted feathers makes for an awesome party statement that takes very little effort to create. A stellar solution for adorning your Thanksgiving dessert table in a festive party style.

pretty painted feathers

Painted feather garland

To get this look – start by painting your feathers. Faux feathers can be found at craft stores this time of year, and they present a much safer option than real feathers! Paint a variation of bright bold colors, textures, stripes, even polka dots (my favorite!) to give the feathers a festive dose of color. Hang to dry.

Painted feather garland

Painted feather lined cake (click through for the tutorial).

Painted feather lined cake

Painted feather lined cake

Use a basic cake recipe (here is my favorite party cake for fall) or purchase a cake pre-made. Top the white frosting with dashes of cinnamon to add texture and some spicy fall flavor to the cake.

Starting at one side of the cake begin gently placing the feathers around the cake. Cut some of the feathers down to add variation to the sizing, giving the design a more whimsical look. There is no real science to this, just layer the feathers around the cake and gently push into the frosting to secure.

Painted faux feathers for pretty fall decor

Painted feather garland

String up any extra feathers to create a fall worthy party garland that will transform any wall into a beautiful backdrop for feasting.

Painted feather lined cake

Now with a gorgeous dessert checked off the list, who wants to bring the potatoes?:)

More Thanksgiving party ideas right here.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted November 04, 2014 3 Comments
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