Category Archives: Charming Party Basics

Party Toolbox 101: I’ve gone over the basics and the handy stuff and now we get to talk about all the fun stuff! These tools are the things that are pretty but can also be super helpful during party setup.




I always tuck a few bags (e.g., white lunch sacks, striped sacks, clear bags) into my toolbox for party set up. A sack can be used for last minute favors, sending food home with guests, or a quick sign (fill a lunch bag with sand/dirt and draw an arrow for directions).



Having coordinating fabric on hand is always useful. I like cute little cocktail napkins or finished fat quarters for adding finishing touches to a food table display or a cute way to catch water from a slightly leaky flower arrangement. You can even make a last minute garland by hanging them on a string.

Cupcake Liners


Cupcake liners can obviously be used for a last minute cupcake, but you could also make a cute place setting flower or quick party hat decoration for the birthday kid.



There hasn’t been a party set-up where I haven’t needed paper. And decorative paper that coordinates with your party theme is great to have available. I’ve used it for a table runner, signs, thank you notes for helpers, or name tags. Just grab a few sheets of something that coordinates with the party theme.



Always have ribbon. Even if you aren’t throwing a party! Ribbon is just so much fun and having it in your toolbox will always be handy. Think last minute gift-wrapping, tying up a garland, tying your hair back. Ribbon is functional and aesthetic.

Floral Spray Paint


Have you used this paint before? It is so wonderful. You can buy it at most craft stores or your local florist will have it. It is a VERY versatile product. It was originally designed for spraying flowers a specific color and it works so well for that if you needed bright pink roses and only got light pink or touching up flowers that look a little sad. It takes some practice using it on flowers without things looking fake, but a great application for it is for vases and other items that aren’t the easiest to paint with normal spray paint. The color goes on in coats too, so you can layer colors and do some pretty custom things. They have a few different types of products for different applications too – so check it out!



You guys know about straws. They are darling. They come in stripes, polka dot, solid, you name it. They work for food labels, signs, garlands, wreaths. I don’t think you should leave home without them.

Washi Tape


Mostly I just love collecting washi tape and I’ve talked about it before HERE. I just wanted to give you another reason to go buy some! You’re welcome.

Decorative Wire


Wire is so handy to have on hand. I talked about the heavy duty wire in the previous Party Toolbox posts, but this decorative wire is great when you need to hook something together and still have it look pretty. This is useful for wrapping presents, adding extra bling to a floral arrangement [INSERT HERE], or hanging decorations when you can’t use tape.

There are more ideas like this in our Charming Party Basics series. Check out our checklist download for a complete list of items for your Party Toolbox and happy planning! 


A fun party always requires a bit of setup whether it be casual or fancy. Having tools on hand will make your set up go smoothly and you’ll be ready if anything goes awry! Today I’ll go over the basic tools every Party Toolbox needs and that you probably don’t want to leave home without.


Cutting Tools


The basic cutting tools I recommend are: floral knife, clippers (pruners), utility knife, scissors (nice ones that cut fabric and ribbon, crummy ones that can cut anything, and precision for small details), and wire cutters (not pictured).



Tape is essential. You should just have some everywhere you go. Always have duct tape and scotch tape on hand and beyond that, think about what types of décor you will be using. You may need painter’s tape that is easy to remove or floral tape. Floral tape is great for wrapping flowers, but can also be used to attach two things together while still looking nice on the outside.

Notebook and Pen


Everyone has a smart phone, but there is something really handy about having pen and paper on hand. You can use it to jot down and sketch a space during planning or write down ‘to dos’ or ideas you have. I’ve also found it useful during a party to write down ‘lessons learned’ for the next party I plan.



Rubberbands, batteries, corsage pins, and a measuring tape may seem odd, but having these in your party arsenal can really save the day! Did the birthday boy just get the greatest toy ever? But it requires batteries? Bam, you can be the hero! I’ve used rubberbands for closing up treat bags and hanging picture frames. A measuring tape comes in really handy during planning efforts or to make sure all those tables and chairs will really fit through the door.

Clean up!


These can be dreaded words, but with a few simple things on hand, cleanup will be a piece of cake. I recommend keeping a washcloth, hand towel, kitchen-sized garbage sack, sanitary wipes, and windex wipes in your toolbox at all times. Cleaning up spills during the party and packing out trash at the end will be a cinch. Windex wipes are great to add a last minute sparkle to any surface before pictures too! If you are renting your party space, having these tools on hand will help you avoid fines for leaving a mess too.



I recommend keeping a gluestick, super glue, and glue dots in your Party Toolbox. I love glue dots! They are so simple to use and can help you out with that pesky sign falling off the door or holding down a food label next to the cake!



Wire is right up there with adhesives. It is so helpful to have some on hand for various tasks you may encounter during your party setup. When you buy wire look for the gauge number. The higher the number, the more flexible the wire. My favorite gauges to have on hand are 22, 24, and 26. Sometimes you need strong bulky wire and sometimes a more lightweight version.

What are some tools you recommend keeping in your Party Toolbox? Let me know in the comments below. And heck out the rest of the series and more ideas like this in our Charming Party Basics series.

Welcome back to Party Toolbox 101. Today I’ll be talking about the handy tools to have at the ready during a party. They aren’t essential, but sure do help out in a pinch!




I like to have a variety of string on hand. Twine, baker’s twine, cotton string, and fishing line are some I recommend. You can tie a bow on a last minute present, seal up a treat bag, or hang a garland with it. I especially love fishing line for hanging signs, balloons, or flowers for a floating effect.

Snacks, Lotion, and Lip Gloss

This isn’t pictured, but I just thought of it as I was writing this! It’s important to take care of yourself as you prep for a party. A fruit snack or granola bar can make all the difference in the world if you have been setting up all day. And a dab of lotion and some fancy lip gloss will make you feel refreshed and calm before the party starts!

Floral Tools


These are great floral tools that can serve lots of purposes in addition to what they were designed for. Floral foam is great for holding up a direction arrow or you could put some in a tiny container and add a food label to it. The rose stripper is great for cleaning leaves off of flowers. The GreenGlo is great for adding shine to floral leaves or plants or other décor (use with caution) before pictures.



I recommend adding pushpins (clear or colored), command hooks, and pipe cleaners to your Party Toolbox. Pushpins are great for hanging things from the ceiling. Command hooks can be used on almost any surface and can be removed afterward (they also hold quite a bit of weight!). Pipe cleaners are great for fastening things together, making cute shapes, or hanging things up. I like pipe cleaners because they come in a variety of colors and you don’t have to hide them, cause they can be kind of cute!

Glue Gun and Floral Putty


Glue guns are a party planner’s best friend. Usually hot glue will fix any problem, so it’s always nice to have one around if you have access to electricity. This floral putty is also really neat. It is definitely to be used with caution because it will leave a green residue, but it will pretty much stick to anything and hold together whatever you need! I’ve used it to hang garlands in awkward places or hold down centerpieces on a windy day. You can find it at most craft stores or at your local florists. A common name for it is ‘Cling’.

Have you found any tools/supplies that are handy to keep in your toolbox? Stay tuned tomorrow for all the fun/pretty stuff I recommend keeping in your Party Toolbox, as well as a downloadable Party Toolbox Checklist to keep on hand.

Check out more ideas like this in our Charming Party Basics series.

Ahhh, Party Toolbox 101. In this series I’ll show you how a well-stocked toolbox is essential for all your party-throwing needs. Today I’ll show you the toolbox itself. Later this week I’ll cover the basic tools every toolbox should carry, the extras that come in handy, and all the fun stuff to carry with you. Having all the tools you need on hand will allow you to decorate in a jiffy, solve party problems, and give you time to relax and eat some cake! At the end of this series, you’ll have a downloadable tool checklist too.


The Toolbox
I have four different containers for you to consider for your Party Toolbox. There are hundreds of options, but these will give you a few things to consider as you create your own. Think about containers you have at home or non-traditional containers you could transform. The container is just as fun as the stuff you put in it!

Idea One: Traditional Red Metal Toolbox


This is a simple metal toolbox I picked up at my local hardware store. It’s perfect for throwing all the basics in and makes it very easy to find what you are looking for in a pinch. I love the sleek red color of this one.

Idea Two: Tacklebox


A tacklebox is another great option. I like the drawers on this model for organizing purposes. Like the red toolbox, you can find what you need quickly and you can remove the drawers for easy access. It is also great to have compartments like this that you can label. For every party you can take a quick inventory and see what you need to restock.

Idea Three: Vintage Suitcase


Your toolbox doesn’t have to be traditional. I found this darling red carry-on suitcase at a local thrift shop and it works great as a container for my tools. A drawback is not having compartments to store tools, but you could definitely add pockets or straps to the inside if you want to get crafty. The hardcase carry-ons would be perfect for this too. A great thing about a cute old suitcase like this is you can leave it out in plain sight at your party – it can totally fit in with the décor and you don’t have to hide it away!

Idea Four: Cute Bag


Another great toolbox would just be a cute bag with lots of pockets and compartments. Most of us have one of these lying around the house. Again, you can toss everything you need into a bag and be all set to go!

So go find yourself a great container for your tools and stay tuned for all the tips on what to fill it with…

Check out more ideas like this in our Charming Party Basics series.

You’ve probably seen these pretty jars around (try here or here). They’re called cracker jars and they are the mason jar’s sleek big sister. With a squatty shape and wide mouth they’re perfect for containing all sorts of things at a party or otherwise. The smallest jar holds crayons like a pro!


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The square shape comes across as more modern then a mason jar, but the best detail of these jars has got to be the texture of the horizontal lines that buffer each corner. One of each size (gallon, 2-quart and 32-ounce) is a good place to start your collection; although, we probably have at least a half dozen of the smallest, 32-ounce size.

Photography, design + styling by Bettijo B. Hirschi and Aimée Lowry.

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