Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kate Landers' Children's Party Design Advice: Part Two {& Twinery Giveaway Winner!}

For Part Two of my children's party design advice mini series, I want to share with you a very important subject: The Printed Details. {winner of The Twinery Giveaway announced at end of post!} 

                      {image by Open Shade Studios}

I absolutely love the details, as you will notice from many of my party designs you will see featured throughout this post. Contrary to popular belief, I choose to implement details to create an experience for the birthday child and their guests--not *just* the parents!!!

{image by Open Shade Studios}

A perfect example of what printed details I implement, how I implement them and WHY, would be from my "Madeline" inspired party featured yetserday.

Please note that this is just my personal opinion, not to be taken as facts--it is what has worked extremely well for me and my clients. Obviously children must be of a certain age to grasp the concept and be able to enjoy printed details.

1) Clothing Tags:

In my experience, children (who are old enough) are aware that there are tags in clothing at a store--they probably don't look at the tag for a price like you might--but rather, they know it is there {often because it is itching them, or you remind them that the tag must stay on when the item belongs to the store}. 

Therefore, in trying to create a "realistic"-seeming experience for the guests of the "Madeline" party, I wanted to have a clothing shoppe where they would get their costumes (which they wore throughout the party, and then took home as a party favor).

To make it feel more "real", as well as to make sure that every guest received an item {and that there was no arguing over who got what}, I had personalized tags created for each capelet and hair bow.

The girls LOVED seeing their names printed up--it seemed to help them feel that much more special knowing that something was there just for them. On top of that, having tags in them while in the "shoppe" reminded them of being a real store, where clothes had tags!

2) Luggage Tags:

In addition to the tags mentioned above, the "Madeline" party also featured personalized "luggage" tags for the little suitcases girls were given to travel around the "Paris Marketplace".

I remember always having a little luggage tag on my suitcase as a child. In this case, the primary purpose of the tags was to give everyone their very own special container to put their party favors (costume, coloring pages, little canvas, candy).

This made it MUCH easier when the parents came to pick up their children at the end of the party, not having to hunt and gather their child's goodies.

3) Canvas Labels:

One of the activities at the party was decorating a little white canvas with paper flowers (with pre-applied stickers on the back--such as those you find in the scrapbooking section of your craft supply shop).

In order to make sure every child made it home with their mini masterpiece, labels were created and adhered to the back of the canvases, personalized with the child's name.

4) Place Cards:

In my experience, place cards can serve not just one purpose but two, and are especially helpful at a child's party.

There have been cases where children fight over who gets to sit next to the birthday child. A great way to help deter this from happening, is with a personalized place card.

The place card not only helps you pre-determine where each child will sit, but also allows the child to feel that much more special.

In my experience many children are incredibly responsive to seeing something with their name on it (of course they must be at the age where they can recognize their name in order for this to be helpful in this regard), and knowing that a special spot at the table was created just for them, can bring the guest great joy!  

The second purpose I find that place cards serve, is as a table decoration. You can reinforce your color scheme with the color ink you choose.

A third, less common benefit to place cards, is if you print clearly on the front and back sides, children who may not know the other children at the party (and are of reading age), can better learn the names of the children around them.

5) Food Labels & Candy Jar Signs:

This is probably one of the more popular forms of signage you have seen in many of today's parties published online.

I find that having food labels and signs first and foremost provides a very important duty: It helps parents (and children of that reading level) to be able to identify what specific foods are, in particular flavors.

In addition to being functional, food signs and tags can serve a decorative purpose. I love using pretty fonts and borders, attaching signs with ribbons to clear glass apothecary-style jars.


In addition to the printed details mentioned above from my "Madeline"-inspired party, I have also used them throughout my other events.

Examples would be the printed mini milk carton favor boxes from my Gingham Party design, with the gingham pattern on the printed paper goods matching the gingham on the fabric gingham linens and party hats....

As well as the printed tags by The TomKat Studio on aprons for guests at the Wizard Of Oz Party shoot {which also served as place cards telling each child which spot was theirs, and because the children wore different sizes, this made sure each child got the proper size apron just for them!}...

                         {image by Open Shade Studios}

I loved the font used for the Mystical Mermaid {Signature Party} shoot, that reinforced the whimsical under-the-sea theme...

                       {image by Open Shade Studios}

And in the case of the Woodland Fairy Party, the tags on the wands, hair garlands and fairy frocks gave a "storybook" feel...

The colors and damask pattern used on the signs from the Marie Antoinette-inspired party gave everything a regal look, and the pink and aqua ink colors re-inforced the color-scheme of the party...

And custom printed tags {by Jennifer Birkhead!} turned a simple paper towel roll wrapped in tulle into something of beauty from the Nutcracker Suite Ballet {Signature Party} shoot...

As a re-cap of today's post, printed details at a party can serve many purposes:

a) Creates a more realistic experience for the birthday child and their guests

b) Makes identifying party favors and artwork that much less-stressful when it's time for the guests to go home

c) Helps prevent arguments over who gets to sit next to the birthday child

d) Allows you to make sure each child getting a costume gets the right size

e) Helps the children experience greater joy knowing that a special spot at the party table was created just for them

f) Helps parents and children identify types of food and flavors of candy

g) Reinforces the color-scheme or theme of the party, adding style!

                      {image by Open Shade Studios}

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, printed party details can also be one of the less-expensive ways of personalizing your party, tying your entire party space together, and giving you a more cohesive and professional look.

                {image by Open Shade Studios}

I have had the great pleasure of designing and co-designing my own printables, as well as working with numerous highly talented and creative graphic designers who have created beautiful printed products for myself, my clients, my events and shoots.

                  {image by Open Shade Studios}

It seems there is no shortage of resources of printed party products to choose from, and it brings me great joy to share with you some  people who chose to share with me their invitation and/or party printable business names and links, so you can take a look and find the resource with the perfect invitations and printed party details, or DIY printables for your next party {of course if you are crafty, you could create your own, or do some research for free printables online--for personal use only!}.

 I browsed around many of these online shops and LOVE LOVE LOVE the designs--I bet you will too!!!!

While I cannot personally endorse each and every one of these designers and vendors, I am more than thrilled to share their fabulous work with you--incredible talent!!!

Preferred Vendors {as specified} are those who I have worked with and know first-hand the quality of their design and products, and highly recommend!!!

I also added on there a few favorite stationery and invitation businesses from when I worked in the high-end stationery industry, marked with an *.

I hope you have some time to browse these shops and fall in love with some darling printed products for your next party! {if image not featured for a company, it was because I was unable to grab one--but please be sure to still stop by and visit their shop!!!}

Fontaine Maury*

Julia D. Azar*

Dabney Lee*

Lovie and Dodge*

Stacy Claire Boyd*

Blonde Designs*

Jenny Sweeny Designs*

Boatman Geller*

Whitney English*

Preppy Cards*

Sweet Pea Designs*

Style Me Gorgeous

Love The Day

Blissful Nest Studio

Green Apple Paperie

WH Hostess  {preferred vendor}

Spaceships and Laser Beams 

Soiree Chic Shoppe 

Fine Prints 

Paiges Of Style

Anna and Blue

Cupcakes and Lemonade

Magnolia Creative

Frog Prince Paperie

Mon Tresor

Parties I Heart

The Paper Cupcake

Jennifer Birkhead Design  {preferred vendor}

Party Designs In Bloom

Party Printables

Intrigue Design Group

Funky Munchkins

The Candy Tree

The TomKat Studio {preferred vendor}

                                         {images by Open Shade Studios; styling by Kate Landers Events, LLC}

 Bee Custom Design

Custom Party 4 U

Mya Bruce Designs

Whimsicle Design Studio

Paper & Pigtails  {Preferred Vendor}

Fresh Chick Designs

Sweet Petal Bakery

Pen N' Paper Flowers

My Little Jedi

Linz Loves You

Event Envy

Party Starters

Blush Printables

Paper Glitter

Chicka Bug

Snow Write

Sweet Craft Cake

AJZ Delights

Anders Ruff Custom Designs

Paper Candy 

Icing Designs

Fairy Dust Invitations

A big thank you to everyone who shared their businesses for this post, I greatly appreciate it!!!!

The winner of The Twinery giveaway is Cindy Royal!!! Congratulations Cindy! Cindy, please e-mail Nicole at, as well as, to accept your prize RIGHT AWAY! A *big* thank you to the almost 1,000 of you who entered, truly honored to have you here.

Stay tuned for Part Three tomorrow!


Jennifer Birkhead said...

Oh Kate, so very honoured to be mentioned amongst such wonderful talent. Such high praise coming from you, thank you xx
This is a wonderful post that illustrates once again why you are a leader in all things to do with children's parties xx

linnette from said...

Great, great, great post! I agree--children love their names on print! I sell lots of custom party kits with the child's name on them. Thank you Kate for the post and for including my work in your post :)

Linda said...

All of these ideas are so wonderful!! I can't wait to have a party "just because" just so I can use some of these ideas! :) thanks for this awesome mini-series! :)


Linda said...

These tips are fabulous!! Thank you for such an awesome mini-series!! :) and, congrats to Cindy for winning the twine....enjoy it!! :)


Tera said...

Thank you Kate! I am thrilled to be mentioned among all the wonderful talent. I love that you keep the focus of the party on the guest of honor as well as the guests! Making each little one feel special and included! Such a beautiful and informative post!

Kori Clark said...

Thanks so much for sharing Kate!! You are such a doll! I love the facts about the printed party materials too!

LittleBird said...

I am absolutely lovin this series you are posting!!!!

Kelly Massman said...

Congrats to Cindy!
You have such pretty things in the post! I love those seahorses especially!

A Blissful Nest said...

Kate it is such a honor to be included on this list. Thank you and I love every shop/designer you mentioned. Your tips on personalization are so key to a detailed and memorable party!

CHS Creative Productions said...

Awesome part 2 and a fabulous list of vendors with unique styles to choose from.

Sweet Craft Cakes said...

Thank you so much for including our shoppe in your party series post! We really enjoyed reading all your personal tips!!!

Cupcakes and Lemonade said...

Thank you so much Kate! I too am so honored to be mentioned among such talented ladies. Loving all the wonderful party advice that you have so graciously shared with all of us. Your parties are fabulous!

BeeCustom Designs said...

Kate, thank you so much for including me in your's an honor:)

BeeCustom Design

Mindy said...

Where do you get those cute suitcases from?

First communion favors said...

How lovely this party favors are! I appreciate your blog so much!

Cindy said...

Was totally enjoying this post with a big smile on my face all the way to the end and 'bout fell off my chair when I saw I won the Twinery prize!! I'm so excited!!! Thanks so much and thanks for such a fun blog to read!

the candy tree said...

Thank you so much for including us in this list, alongside so many amazing designers! We are loving your mini-series! xxx