DIY Projects

Planning for a birthday party at home

Last week we had our son’s 4th birthday and we had arranged a party at home. Being a crafter, this is the time of the year I look forward for the most. If there is one thing I love most about having a birthday at home, it is decorating the home for the party. Having done the birthday decoration for my son’s birthdays over the last 4 years, I have realized how easy it is to arrange for the party and decoration if one plans well in advance. Being a working mom, I start planning at least 2 months in advance  so that we have enough time for shopping. Also, I do the decoration on my own so that the expenses are well within budget.

Here is a typical list of shopping items that would help you in planning for the party:

  1. Dresses for the birthday kid – Since a lot of people at the party will be holding, playing and lifting the birthday kid, it is good to have at least two pairs of dresses so that you can change once the dress gets dirty.
  2. Return gifts for kids – I take utmost care in choosing the return gifts for the kids. Ceramic/plastic mugs or stationary are definitely not on my list of return gifts. Over the  last 4 years, i have realized that kids love puzzles . Also, puzzles come in a lot of varieties catering to different age groups. So, one can never go wrong with puzzles as return gifts for any age group.
  3. Disposable cake plates, water cups and tissues/napkins – this is a no brainer and needs no explanation.
  4. Party Decoration supplies– The must have items for any birthday party are balloons, birthday banner, non adhesive flagging tape / plastic ribbons. You can make wonders with just these 3  items. Make sure you buy them in complementing colors.  Apart from the above, you will also need facemasks, birthday caps and party blowers for the guests and kids.
  5. Cake- Order the cake one week in advance. Before ordering cake from a baker, make sure you have tasted a few cakes or pastries from the bakes to be sure of the taste and quality. Also, it is good to ask the bakes to show you some pictures of the cakes they have made for orders which will give you an idea of how well the bakers decorate the cake.
  6. Garbage bags– A house party will generate a lot of thrash both recyclable and non recyclable. Make sure you have arranged for waste segregation and disposal of both the kinds of waste.

Apart from the above list, there is one more important list which is the guest list. Make sure you have a proper count of the adults and kids in the guest list. It is also good to invite the guests 3 to 4 days in advance so that they can plan to attend your party. If you wish to have lunch/dinner for the party, have a list of the items in the menu.

Arranging a party at home can be very stressful because you will be taking care of many things at the same time. Having lists for different purposes will be very helpful so that you can plan and keep track of the arrangements without forgetting anything.

To keep the expenses low, it is better to purchase supplies in bulk from a wholesale dealer. I usually buy all the decoration supplies and return gifts from the wholesale dealers in Chikpet and Avenue road in Bangalore. Check if you have any such area in your town/city where you can make bulk purchases at wholesale price.

How do you usually plan birthday parties at home?  Is there anything else you would like to add to my list here? Do let me know 🙂

DIY: Maple Leaves Wall Decal

Hello friends…

Here is something new and different from the regular quilling projects I am posting on my blog. I have been thinking about diversifying the content of this blog for some time and here comes the first post in the new category “DIY Projects”.

I have always fancied having a beautiful wall decal on the plain wall in my room. That was the time when I had just ventured into online shopping for household needs. ( I always like to handpick the items from local shops).  I browsed through numerous online stores like amazon, fabfurnish, jabong and lot more for some wall decals. The more I explored , the more I felt that the shops were charging a bomb for the stuff. Even a simple wall decal costed not less that Rs 500. The ones I fancied to buy costed somewhere form INR 1500 to INR 2500. Staying in a rented house, I did not want to spend so much on the decals. I also learnt that the wall decals are actually stickers which stick to the wall and would peel off the paint when tried to remove. I was no sure if my house owner would be happy with such a thing sticking on the wall. This was one more reason which kept me from buying the wall decal stickers.

I had some handmade paper in assorted colors lying in my wardrobe from quite a few months. I had bought them when I had visited the local market  ( Chickpet ) in Bangalore. The beautiful colors and the cheap cost had made me instantly pick them from the shop though at that time I did not know what I will be doing with that paper.


Determined to do something on the plane wall, I took out the handmade paper  and starting working on it. I cutout multiple maple leaves using the brown, orange and red paper. I used dark green paper for the the branches. I cut the branch in multiple segments which I stuck together to get the final look.  I arranged all the cutouts on the floor to  check how the  final look would be. Since the leaves in red, orange and brown all indicated falling or old leaves the total picture was giving me  a negative feel. So I added a hint of regrowth  with green maple leaves. The few green leaves that I added to the final arrangements brought  a new feel to the picture.


I used a tape with adhesive on both sides to stick the paper to the wall. I had to prepare the wall by cleaning it with a damp cloth to remove any dust or loose paint particles. Once the wall was dry again, I put together the branch first and later added the leaves . In no time, I had a beautiful wall decal in front of me. I totally loved the final outcome.  Since I had used only a small amount of adhesive tape to stick the leaves, the paper leaves curled at various angles to give a 3D effect  on the wall.

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The bright colors on  the wall brought a fresh look to the room. The handmade paper had added a texture of real leaves to the cuttings. A plain paper would never have resulted in this look.

Do let me know how you like the decal. To get regular updates on more DIY projects, follow the potpourri blog by clicking the follow button on the top left corner.