My little sister, Stephanie, is the queen of throwing creative and fun parties. She started having her annual Valentine exchange party several years ago and it always looked so fun that my Mom started having them, too. I sadly live across the country from them so I never get to go. I decided, this year, that I would have one on my own, and my good friend, Sarah, agreed to host the party with me. I hate cooking for parties, but I love decorating; Sarah loves to cook and has a fun food blog. So, we make a good team.
It's always a little nerve wracking to invite friends to a party that requires them to work for it, so I always worry that people won't want to come, but this party ended up being a huge success! Everyone left asking us to do it again.
Here is how it works if you want to plan your own:
Each guest needs to make a homemade Valentine for all of the other guests. I kept my party small so no one would be overwhelmed with Valentine making; and everyone could get one of each Valentine. At the party, everyone talked a little about their gift and handed them out. My sister does it a little differently. She always has lots of people to invite so, instead of making a Valentine for everyone, you just make a specific number and then exchange the Valentines “speed-dating style” until each guest is finished giving out the gifts they brought. I think it is fun both ways!
Today, I wanted to post about the food and the details that we created for the party. First up, the crepe paper backdrop for the food table…
It was super easy and inexpensive, but it had a huge impact. All you need are several rolls of paper streamers in several colors. We used 4 rolls and 4 colors: red, white, pale pink, and magenta. Then, you just stitch them together with a really large stitch on your sewing machine. We used a 6 on our machine. It gathers them together to create ruffles. I had Sarah help with this since I don't sew but after a few minutes of watching her I realized that even I, a horrible seamstress, could do it! Then, I just looped each of the streamers on to a piece of baker’s twine and hung it from some hooks on the ceiling.
For the food we had grilled cheese heart croutons in mini glass trifle bowls of tomato soup (not pictured), fruit skewers, sugar cookies, mini-wrapped black forest cheesecakes, and Shirley Temples to drink.
I think it's the little details that really make a party memorable, so I added cupcake toppers to the top of the fruit skewers and flags to all the straws. Both of these were printables I bought from Rhonna Designs. You can find the kit I used here. We also bought little pink baskets for everyone to help them carry home their valentines. I added a tag with everyone’s name on them. I don't have the best hand writing but they still look pretty cute.
That is it! I have to say it was a lot of fun to get to create a party using pink! With all boys in this house it’s a color I rarely have an excuse to use.
I'll post more Valentine decorations and all the guest’s Valentine gifts next week!