MKKM Designs

5 Last Minute Ways To Decorate A Party: A Procrastinator's party guide.✦ Thursday Tips & Tricks Series

Thursday Tips and TricksMelissa KayComment

Hello and welcome to our new Thursday Tips & Tricks series. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite party tips to help keep the stress out of party planning. Parties are meant to be memory making events, and you don’t want the only memory to be how stressed out you were while putting it together. Read along with this tongue and cheek series and let us know if there are any specific party problems you have! We would love to help make it easier for you.

5 Last Minute Ways To Decorate A Party: A Procrastinator's party guide. ✦ Thursday Tips & Tricks Series on MKKM Designs

My son’s 6th birthday was this past weekend, and it got to be the week of his party when I realized, I had spent so much time working on other people’s parties, that I hadn’t even started on his. That got me thinking that there are probably a TON of other moms or hostesses out there that are busy with work, or kids, or just life in general, that are in the same boat. I started decorating parties for my son’s 1st birthday and have a ton of experience under my belt on what’s quick and easy, and which decor item is the BIGGEST time waster.

I’m sharing 5 easy ways to decorate an event, when it’s the day before and you have nothing done. These easy decor tips can make any party look custom created, and guests will think you spent way more than a couple hours preparing.


Cupcake Toppers

Cupcake toppers are a fun, versatile way to decorate a party. A simple Pinterest search will bring up all kinds of printables in your theme. All you have to do is print, cut and tape onto a stick. If you’re like me, you don’t even have to bake the cupcakes. I usually just pick up a dozen cupcakes from the grocery store the day before the party.

Materials Needed

✦ Cupcakes ✦Cupcake Printable ✦ Lollipop Sticks/Party Straws ✦ Scissors/ craft punch ✦ Tape

If you plan on hosting more than one party in your life, I highly recommend getting a cupcake topper punch. I have had the shown punch for over 6 years and LOVE it. It’s been used a ridiculous amount of times. I use both the 2” circle punch and the 2.5” circle punch for a bit of variety.

Total time: Around 15-20 minutes for assembly. Possibly hours to decide which printable you like best, out of the thousands you can find online.


Bottle Wrappers

1 case of water, 24 bottle wrappers, B O O M decor. This is probably one of the easiest decor ideas out there. You honestly don’t even need to do the whole case. Throw a few wrappers on and everyone will think they are the best thing ever. I know this from personal experience. I once put some “melted snowman” wrappers on a couple of bottles of water, for a get-together, and everyone thought I put so much time and effort. I did it 10 minutes before everyone arrived.

Materials Needed

✦ Water bottles ✦wrap Printable ✦ scissors ✦ tape

Every party needs water, why not make it cute?!? This decor idea is only slightly more labor intensive than the cupcake toppers, only because you have to take the current wrappers off the water bottle. I mean, if you are really short on time, just skip that step too and tape them on top. This is a great way for kids to help decorate, they will LOVE ripping the original bottle wrappers off of the bottles.

Total time: Around 30 minutes for assembly.

Table Signs

Decorating with table signs is one of the easiest ways to make your theme come to life. Party signs are my absolute favorite part of putting together an event. I love designing them, and I love seeing other people use them. They are one of the quickest, and most inexpensive ways to dress up your event. Print them and frame them to make your party pop without doing a lot of work, or just tape them up on a wall somewhere. Guests won’t care, trust me.

Materials Needed

✦ Printables ✦ scissors ✦ frames or tape

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll see that I use the same white frames in almost every single one of my parties. I LOVE them. They are so easy to decorate around and I’ve used the same 3 sets for tons of events. They are so cheap that you can even spray paint them and recycle them after the party, without feeling bad if you never use them again. This is another time, where if you plan on having more than one party in your life, you need these.

Total time: Around 5 minutes to cut and 10-15 minutes for assembly, depending on how you display them.

Food Cards

Pinterest is full of good food name ideas, for every theme you can think of. Either buy cute cards, or just make your own from some card stock. Putting punny or clever food cards out is the easiest way to turn something like boring old potato chips into the star of the show. “PAWtato chips, what that’s awesome”. We personally have a ton of free cards on the blog.

Materials Needed

✦ Printables ✦ scissors ✦ Party food

If you’re really short on time, try to find cards that are already done for you, or are editable so that you can make them fit what you already bought for the party. If you haven’t bought anything yet, then it would make your life so much easier to plan your food around the cards. Make a list of the food you “need” to have at your party and I’m sure you can find a food card that matches.

Total time: Around 10-15 minutes for assembly.

Favor Tags

Favors only have to be as complicated as you make it. I’ve done everything from custom made “goodie bags” to literally throwing a tag on a cookie and calling it a day. Favors for kids parties tend to be easy, give them a snack and they’ll be good all day. For baby showers, I love doing “Wipes, not just for babies” tags, and giving each guest a beauty mask wipe.

If you have at least one night before your event, one of my favorite “quick” favors for baby or bridal showers are homemade bath salts. They only take an hour to put together and guests really appreciate them. Check out our Penguin baby shower post to get the recipe we use!

Materials Needed and time vary


THE Number *one* party decor time waster

Drumroll please ….. The number one biggest time waster of all is a …. BANNER. Ugh, I have to be honest, I despise banners. I use them, most people use them, but really guys, if you are in a hurry at all, just skip it. They take forever to create, they take forever to print and cut, and they take even longer to hang up. If a banner is a must for you, try to find a solid color banner that matches from a party store or from Amazon. It will save you so much time and money.

Hopefully these tips help you out! Planning a party can be extremely stressful and we want to help you find ways to make it easier! Leave us a comment with your biggest party stressors and we may feature it in our next Tips & Tricks post.

5 Last Minute Ways To Decorate A Party: A Procrastinator's party guide. ✦ Thursday Tips & Tricks Series on MKKM Designs

This content includes affiliate referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Harry Potter Mini Party with Free Printables

Freebie Fridays, PartiesMKKM DesignsComment

Just in time for fall, I'm sharing a Harry Potter themed party! Shout-out to my Hufflepuffs. We used these printables for a Potter themed Christmas, but they would be great for birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or just because you're a gigantic Harry Potter fan. Grab the free printable food cards and table signs at the end of the post.

Harry Potter party printables. Mini Party ideas and free printable signs from MKKM Designs.
Welcome to the Great Hall, Harry Potter free printable party sign from shopmkkm.com

Our party was on Christmas Eve morning, so we made it a Harry Potter Pajama party. The shirt from below was one of my favorite Christmas presents! The “Three Broomsticks” mug was made on Island.

My husband and I are total Harry Potter nerds (resident Hufflepuff and wannabe Slytherin) so all of the Funko Pop figurines you see scattered throughout, are from our own mini collection of them. It was nice being able to use them for something productive LOL.

Harry Potter Inspired Party Food

Pumpkin Pasties (Recipe), Herbology Bites - (Recipe), Werewolf Chow, Deviled Dragon Eggs, Golden Snitches, and of course we had Butterbeer (Recipe).

Grab the printable food cards JPEG Zip | PDF

Deviled Dragon Eggs. Free printable Harry Potter food cards from shopmkkm.com
Werewolf chow at a Harry Potter party. Free printable food card designs from shopmkkm.com
4 Free Harry Potter food cards for a Potter themed event. Pumpkin Pasties, Herbology Bites, and more. // Designs by MKKM Designs
Harry Potter party printables. Grab the free party signs and food cards from shopmkkm.com
Three Broomsticks Pub and Inn sign from a Harry Potter party. Free printable party signs from MKKM Designs.

Free Printables

We love creating custom orders! If you need a larger size sign or want your own signs to match your event, send us a message on Etsy! Custom party signs can be ordered here.

Printable food cards JPEG Zip | PDF

Printable 4x6” table signs JPEG Zip | PDF

Products we used to make this party pop!

Don't forget to tag your parties with #mkkmdesigns on Instagram! We put together a new party centric Insta account and can't wait to share your pictures!

Harry Potter Mini Party: Free Printable signs and food cards from MKKM Designs.

Browse more of our party Blog Posts

This content includes affiliate referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Monday Motivation for Milspouse's, Quotes for PCS-ing

Mantra MondayMelissa KayComment

I'm back with another round of Monday motivation for my military mom's, and wives because we are in the midst of another overseas PCS and I'm about to pull my hair out. If you've been through any PCS, you know what I'm talking about. If you've had to try to get 2 dogs and 4 people and a household of stuff from Japan to Europe in the middle of a school year, then girl, have a drink, and know I'm right there with you. Here's a little bit of love to get you through the week.

I've got 99 Problems & this PCS has caused all of them. Milspouse Quotes // PCS Quotes✦MKKMdesigns✦

Ok, I've got 99 Problems & this PCS has caused all of them. This is in fact a true story, TMO I'm looking at you. You have caused about 90 of the 99.

It doesn't matter where you're going, it matters who you have beside you. Milspouse Quotes // PCS Quotes✦MKKMdesigns✦

Now that my kiddos are back in school for a few weeks before we head around the world, I've been working on a ton of parties to blog! Keep an eye out in the coming weeks!

And then I realized Adventures are the best way to learn. Milspouse Quotes // PCS Quotes✦MKKMdesigns✦

If any of you other military mama's have any advice on surviving running a business and moving around the world, let me hear it! Heading to Japan wasn't this hard.

I am SUPER excited to show my enthusiasm for PCSing with the shirt I just ordered from one of my favorite Milspouse businesses, The Rosie Project Apparel. They have a bunch of really cute military themed shirts for the whole family. Click the pictures below, to check them out.

You can keep up with my survival personally on instagram @melissakay_15 and keep an eye out for new posts on our Facebook page.

Penguin Baby Sprinkle with Free Printable Tags

Freebie Fridays, PartiesMKKM DesignsComment

Winter is coming . . . and so are the cutest winter baby shower ideas. I'm sharing a fun mini shower that we put together for fellow biz owner, Alex of Golden Coast Crafts. This penguin themed baby sprinkle was perfect for the boy mama, with another little boy on the way. Scroll through for some fun party ideas and free printable favor tags.

Penguin Baby Shower - Mini Party Recap. Tips on throwing a baby sprinkle for your mom to be. Grab some free printable favor tags and scroll through for some Penguin party ideas.
Sprinkled with love printable favor tags for a penguin baby shower. Get the free printable from shopmkkm.com

The "Sprinkled with Love" favors were one of my favorite DIY projects. I found a recipe for homemade bath salts on Pinterest from Number-2-Pencil.com and adapted it to fit our event. The original recipe was cut in half to create small favor jars for every guest to take home. The recipe I used is below!

Penguin Baby Shower favors from a Baby Sprinkle. Click to get the Bath Salts recipe we used to make these cute take home favor jars.

I personally used Dr. Teal's Lavender Epsom salt, so I didn't need to add any essential oils. They smelled great and I didn't have to go searching Okinawa to find a scent.

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe for baby shower favors. - Design by shopmkkm.com Recipe adapted from number-2-pencil.com
Penguin cupcakes. Penguin baby shower decor.

The penguin cupcake's were custom made by a co-host. There is a great tutorial here from The Cents Able Shoppin that gives step by step instructions for a similar looking cupcake.

You can find the table signs, invitations and more in our Etsy Shop. If you would like custom items created in this theme, feel free to send us a message on Etsy! We'd love to personalize your event.

Grab the PDF for the printable favor tags here!

Free Printable penguin baby shower favor tags. Grab your "Sprinkled with love" tags on the blog at shopmkkm.com

Some of my favorite items from this party are affiliate linked to help you recreate the look! I used glass jars from our local 100yen shop, but the glass jars below would work the same way. If you are wondering how to create something else from the event, just leave a comment!

Penguin Baby Shower party ideas and free printables from MKKM Designs

Don't forget to tag your parties with #mkkmdesigns on Instagram! We put together a new party centric Insta account and can't wait to share your pictures!

This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Dinosaur Dig Party & Free Printable Food Cards

Freebie Fridays, PartiesMKKM DesignsComment
Dinosaur Dig Party. Dinosaur Party ideas and free printables from shopmkkm.com

Well, here we are again. Another birthday, more dinosaurs. My son's fifth birthday and 3 out of 5 parties have been dino's. I'm wondering if Number 6 will be my chance to design something else for a change LOL.

We (meaning I, because the kid didn't care what dino was involved as long as it was a dino) decided to go with a Paleontologist theme this year. There was an exacavation site set up with tools to dig with and everyone got to go home with the dinosaurs they found.

Scroll through the party pictures for some great dinosaur birthday ideas and free printables. The list of downloads are located at the end of the blog post. Enjoy!

Dino Party Food Ideas

Here's some ideas for fun dinosaur themed party food. The food names in the first column are included in our free printable food cards. Download them here!

  • Dino Droppings (m&m's)
  • Stegosaurus Scales (chips)
  • Raptor claws ( bugles)
  • Brachiosaurus BBQ (meatballs)
  • Triceratops Toast (Grilled cheese)
  • Dino Eggs ( Trolli Sour Egg candy)
  • Pterodactyl Pasta (Mac & Cheese)
  • Diplodocus Dip (Salsa, or veggie dip)
  • Dinosaur Bones (Pretzels)
  • Spinosaurus Snacks (Pigs in a blanket)
  • Raptor Rolls ( Turkey & Cheese Wraps)
  • Brontosaurus Bites (Veggie Cups)
  • Triceratops Treats (Candy of choice)

 

We set up an "Herbivore Valley" area with veggies and fruit and cheese. A "Carnivore Cave" section with the wraps, Spinosaurus snacks, and dip. A Sweet's area with all the dino related candy, and a Watering Hole with all the drinks for the party. The little wooden food card holders are one of my favorite decor finds and I've used them for so many parties. You can find them here (af.link).

I think I posted about this a few parties ago, but over on Etsy, we always get asked how we put together our cupcake toppers. You can either use lollipop sticks or party straws (cut in half). A couple of my favorite products that I use for literally EVERY single party are affiliate linked for you.

Print out your toppers and cut out with a 2" or 2.5" circle puncher (both used for this party), which are sold at craft stores and online at Amazon. Tape onto sticks or straws. Boom, done!

Free printable Dinosaur food cards from MKKM Designs.
Dinosaur party sign by MKKM Designs

The dinosaur models were one of my favorite parts of this party. I was lucky enough to find them at Daiso, our local Japanese dollar store. For those of you that aren't stationed over here, there is a similar set on Amazon (af.link), that would probably work better. The ones that I got from the dollar store looked great, but fell apart almost immediately after they were touched. LOL.

The leafy backdrop was a fun patio cover-up that they sell at a local store called Makeman (similar to home depot) here in Okinawa. The party favors were a magnifying glass and paintbrush that the kids used to dig up little dinosaur favors from a makeshift sandbox. The sandbox kept them busy for a long time and was worth the mess afterwards.

Free Printables from Melissa & Kara

*Please see zip folder notice at bottom of post*

Party Supplies used from Amazon

The dinosaur cutout we have affiliate linked above has been a rock-star. That thing lasted me 3 separate birthday parties which made it well worth the cost. It's always a big hit with the kiddos too. And just a quick note on the absolutely adorable sign that my friend made for my little dude's birthday. We actually ended up using it as party decor after she showed up with it.

For custom items, including the invitation, dino dig sign, cupcake toppers and other printables not available as free download's you can find the entire party theme here.

Check out our other dinosaur party themes here! Grab the printables shown in the party here!


*We included the JPEG files in zip folder format for you to use. Zip folders can only be opened from a computer. You must download, copy/paste the files into a new folder on your computer to print*

As these are free files, to be used for personal use only, we do not individually email the JPEG's out as it is time consuming and takes away from our business work. If you're having trouble downloading the zip folders, a quick google tutorial will usually help you out. Thanks for your understanding!

Party ideas for a Dinosaur Dig. Free printables and tons of dinosaur party ideas for a little paleontologist. Designs from Melissa at mkkmdesigns.

This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.