The Hip Hostess

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DIY Apple Place Cards {Fall Party Ideas} October 1, 2012

fall party planning ideas decorating with apples eco-friendly

Using apples as place card holders is an inexpensive and simple way to add some fall to your table.  They’re perfect for any autumnal party, whether it’s a fall bridal showers, engagement party, dinner party or Thanksgiving.  They also make great party favors for guests to take home and enjoy.

To make these DIY apple place cards, you’ll need:

Apples with stems intact (I used Macintosh but any variety will do)
Card stock (craft stores sell single sheets)
A printer
Twine or ribbon
Single-hole punch

Here’s how to put them together:  Using a Word document, printed all of the names on the card stock (leave several lines between each name, and make two columns by tabbing over so you don’t waste any space/ paper).  Make a rubber leaf template by printing it on a sheet of regular paper using this leaf template (you need Abobe Reader to download the template), or copying the shape onto a piece of paper with a pencil like I did for the place cards pictured (the rubber leaf shape is very simple to draw/ cut and they don’t need to be perfect).  Cut the template out and trace it around each of the printed names, centering the names inside the leaf (you will be able to see the printed names through your template if it is made of regular paper).  Cut the leaves out and punched a hole to the left of each name, near the end of the leaf using a single-hole punch.  Used some inexpensive twine to tie the leaves to the apple stems.  Happy fall!


Printable DIY Party Favor Labels + GIVEAWAY September 7, 2012

I so enjoy making DIY party favors.  What I don’t enjoy is fighting with my printer to format the labels, which I have done too many time just minutes before my guests are about to arrive.  It makes for some last-minute stress, which I am always looking for ways to eliminate.  So I was excited to try Avery’s new line of customizable labels with templates to see if they made the task any easier.  They come in various shapes and sizes, and I received a sample package including the printable bag toppers with bags, oval labels and arched labels.

The timing for the sample pack was perfect since I had a fiesta theme dinner party planned and needed some favors for the occasion.  I used the printable bag toppers with bags as packaging for homemade spiced pepitas (I made a double batch for 6 favors).  I found an image of a Mexican blanket pattern by searching google images, and was able to easily save it to my computer and then upload to Avery’s template for the labels and used it as a background.  My friends thought they were store-bought (good thing I printed The Hip Hostess blog address on the back to prove I actually made them!).  The labels were fairly easy to print.  I did have some adjusting to do, which Avery’s site allows for (you print a sample page on regular paper – I used greyscale to save on ink for the test pages – and hold it up in front of the labels to make sure they will be centered).  After 3 test pages and a few adjustments I was able to get the alignment just right.  The labels had a pre-applied adhesive that made assembly quick (they’re sticky enough to stay put but were easy enough to remove a few times while I tried to center the bags on the adhesive).  These bags would be perfect for a small business owner looking to sell a food product like cookies, or a small handmade item like soap.  The Avery templates online allow you to add a barcode, have several clip-art, pictures and patterns to choose from and the labels even have perforated holes that can be removed to accommodate display hooks (not ideal for party favors though).  The printable bag toppers with bags are $20/ package (40 bags and 40 toppers per package).

fiesta theme party favors spiced pepitas mexican blanket pattern

The next labels I tried were the oval labels, which I have to say are my favorite and are going to be my new go-to labels for party favors.  They’re the perfect shape – easy to put on any size package or container, and the glossy texture makes the labels look professionally printed (I was worried that the glossy finish would make the ink smudge, as I had happen with other labels in the past, but there was no smudging with these). The package includes 180 labels, meaning I can buy one pack and have them last for many events – especially given the versatile oval shape.  I used these labels to make tags for honey favors for Rosh Hashanah.  I bought a large jar of local honey from the Finger Lakes and poured it into “upcycled” glass yogurt jars (baby food jars would also work well).  I made the labels using one of Avery’s template designs and am really happy with how they turned out.  Again, they were simple to print (even more so than the printable bag toppers), and only took 1 test page before the alignment was perfectly centered.  The oval labels are $20/ package (180 labels).

honey party favor jars sweet new year bridal shower wedding favor ideas diy

The last package of labels – the arched labels – will be great for printing custom wine labels or adding a sophisticated label shape to a larger favor jar or package.  They’re matte with a really nice textured  (linen-like) feel, and are water-resistant.  I plan to use them to make homemade bloody mary mixes for holiday gifts.  I haven’t printed anything on them yet, but I assume the template usage will be similar to the others.


Avery has generously offered to give a set of these three labels (3 packages total to one lucky Hip Hostess reader – a $60 value!  Simply leave a comment and you’ve entered.

EXTRA ENTRIES: Please leave a comment for every extra entry you complete

1. Blog about this Giveaway (4 entries)

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3. Follow us on Twitter (@hiphostessilana) (2 entries)

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5. Link this Giveaway in Facebook (2 entries)

Contest ends September 14, 2012 at Midnight PST.  Winner will be chosen by and emailed.

USA only please

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Special thanks to Avery for providing samples for review purposes.

Wedding/ Bridal Shower Place Card Vases February 2, 2009


Flowers can take up a big chunk of your budget – whether you are buying them for a bridal shower or for your wedding reception.  A great way to decorate your table and save on flowers is to use mini place card vases at each setting.  Have your florist make mini arrangements for you or, if you are looking to save even more, buy an assortment of flowers from a wholesale florist and make your own mini arrangements.  If you would prefer not to have to worry about arranging flowers, buy a single type of flower and put one or three blooms (odd number look best) in each vase.  Place the flowers in mini vases that have a holder for place cards and your table will look amazing without costing a fortune.  Opt for a candle arrangement as your centerpiece instead of using more flowers since your table will already be in full bloom. 


An added bonus – use your mini vases as favors for your guest to take home.  Print a quote on the back of each place card so guests can display something other than their name after they take the vase home.   


Savings:  Lets say a typical centerpiece costs an average of $175 per table – they can obviously be hundreds more or a little less.  Instead, with 8 settings per table you spend $28 on place card vases (average of $3.50/ vase, shipping included) and $30 per 2 bunches of flowers (less if using in-season, basic flowers or a single stem per vase), which will be more than enough to fill 8 mini vases.  You spend an average of $58 per table if you use the mini vases.  A savings of over $100 per table.  You’ll still have the costs of a candle arrangement for the center of the table, but candles are often available from your venue or you can rent candelabras from a party rental company.   


 *These place card vases are great for any type of party – a Bar Mitzvah, Easter, Mother’s Day or a birthday dinner.


Place card vases are available at:

Ross-Simons for $35/ set of 12 vases ($2.92 per vase)



Lillian Vernon for $17/ set of 6 vases or $30/ 2 sets ($2.50 per vase)



The Knot for $13/ set of 6 ($2.17 per vase)



My Wedding Favors for $25/ set of 8 ($3.13 per vase)



Wedding Things for $60 for 36 bud vase/ card combination ($1.66 per vase) – available in more colors/ patterns



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