Hi everyone! I am super excited to have been part of this designers challenge and share this party on a budget with you all. The fact that I was able to blend both my love for fashion and for entertaining made me enjoy every step of this process. As soon as Ebony sent us the guidelines for the challenge along with the theme, I was torn on two shows. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV other than the children’s shows my son watches, but I am a big fan of the new show Revenge and have been watching Project Runway since it began. My husband helped me in deciding that the fashion inspired event would be better and he was right. I wanted to design the party how I interpret the show and really make it my own, I also didn’t want to use their logo or anything typical and cause any legal issues with that. Designing a party with only $100 is a challenge all on its own so I used any and everything I could that I already own to help create the party. However, I probably own more fashion related things than the average person so I made sure to spend the entire budget to make it fair. I also didn’t worry about the food/dessert part of the design because from the beginning I said whatever I had at home is what I would use for food. I did have to spend a little on extra ingredients that I don’t normally have at home on a regular basis or that I may have run out of. My advice is look in your freezer and your pantry and get creative if you are on a tight budget ;). I love to cook so that wasn’t a problem for me. Now let’s get to the details:
The Party Synopsis:
Marisol is an aspiring fashion designer who was just chosen as a participant in the next season of Project Runway. She has invited her best friends over to celebrate before she leaves ;).
I used to work for a well known handbag retailer while I was in fashion school, so as the seasons would pass they would get rid of some of the merchandising items when introducing the new ones. I took advantage of that and would take whatever I could home so you’ll see some of those throughout the set up.
For the centerpiece, I used wooden display head that was used to display a white floppy hat I bought from Targets dollar section. The table runner was created using a strip of fabric from a one yard piece that I used throughout the design. It wasn’t the traditional tribal Ikat print but the flowers were etched like it and blended perfectly. I was seriously meant to find this fabric at the store plus they gave me 20% off it ;). The faux flowers are originally from Pottery Barn retailing at $8.00 each stem and I got the 4 stems for $2.00 at the thrift store, talk about a bargain! I already had a can of fuchsia floral paint left over from last year so I used that on them as they were originally white. I displayed those in simple white vases I already owned.
I came up with my color scheme while shopping at the thrift store but I love prints and definitely knew I would incorporate that into the design. Fashion is all about trends and what’s in the now, so I wanted to use an Ikat print that goes well for Spring. I didn’t think I could pull off the etch look of the print in the little bit of time I had, so I searched on Etsy and found a seller who had the exact colors I was using and the print I wanted, it was definitely fate! You will see those patterns printed on cardstock used around the party. I took one of the blue prints and wrapped a strip around the white vases. I also used another blue design as the background for the menus at each place setting.
As for food, I wanted to serve some healthy options so I went for sushi, salad, Panini’s and veggie puffs. The appetizers I chose were perfect to use with a chop stick set I already own. We like California rolls and usually always have them at home but since it’s not really an item that can be stored for a long period of time I bought a fresh pack for the party and included that in the budget. I love ginger dressing, so I used that on some spring mix I also had and served them in mini white dishes I already own. Good thing the main dish is eaten using your hands so I didn’t need any standard utensils.
As for the entrée, I served Panini’s consisting of grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, pesto, ciabatta bread and sundried tomatoes. These are ingredients you will always find at my home as this dish is quite common ;). I took the chicken out of the freezer the night before and left it marinating over night. I buy ciabatta bread at Costco for like 5 bucks for 12 rolls I think, so I always freeze them for later use which definitely came in handy for the party. I am obsessed with basil and I usually have it chopped up and stored in a zip log bag in the fridge. The pesto and sundried tomatoes I also had.
Beverage: I used Pilsner glasses I already own and I think they have a pretty shape. I initially thought of making a smoothie or frappe, but went with a pink colored Fuze drink and topped with a slice of lemon which we all have lemons at home =). Next to the dining table I displayed a merchandising mannequin with a piece of fabric that was left over from that one yard I used, as a scarf.
Take Home Favor Section:
So those who follow Project Runway know that the big sponsors are Marie Claire, Garnier and Loreal. I am a magazine queen so that wasn’t going to be an issue to incorporate but to include the others two might have gobble a big chunk of my budget. So to create the “hair and make-up” part of the show, I purchased 4 mini TRESemme(who used to sponsor the show and is a product I use so it was best I bought something I would use after I was done with the challenge 😉 ) hair spray bottles and bought “cheaper” make up and used those as take home favors in white favor boxes I already had from a past event. We can pretend the makeup is Loreal, no? I topped the box with a favor tag I made using a quote from the show and a fashion illustration with a floppy hat I made.
I also sewed up the sides of cardstock pieces and made mini emergency sewing kits to put inside the pocket. The kit included one button, white thread and a needle (which I already own). I incorporated a quote from the show in a frame I had. I also displayed a couple issues of Marie Claire covering my address of course ;). The white display head I already own and accessorized it with one of my scarves.
Well I bring you into my personal space in this section. This is where I work from which is shared with my sons playroom =). I rearranged a lot of things to make it work for the party. This is where the host invites her guests to learn how to sketch a design, draft a pattern and sew. Kind of like a little class where she can teach them what she loves to do .I hung a sign on the door leading to this area with a famous quote by Heidi Klum using a piece of boning(used for corset’s which I already owned) and a zipper. I drew what is called a “croqui” in the fashion world and printed them on cardstock with the header as “Make it Work,” which is constantly repeated by Tim Gunn on the show. This is where the guests would design something using the Tria markers. These markers are quite expensive so a good alternative would be color pencils which I would have used my prisma color set, I just couldn’t find them anywhere.
I displayed some more magazines in one of my abaca baskets as an additional resource for inspiration. In the show the designers shop at Mood fabrics for their supplies so I definitely had to incorporate that as that is a big part of show. I took the leftover cardboard piece from our paper towels that I had saved and wrapped ¼ yard strips of fabric I had bought to create the “store”. The guests would be able to choose which one they want to use for their learning sample. I already own the over lock and sewing machine which just worked perfectly. I also displayed supplies like a fabric scissor, pattern tracer, seam ripper, pinking shear, pattern paper and ruler, all which I own. I had to fill the cubbies so I took the blue pillow I purchased at the thrift store and made it into a jumbo sized pin cushion. I already own the white glass bead pins which turned out to be a cool addition to the design. The last cubby was filled using a piece of left over fabric, my ruffle dessert stand and one of the mini cakes I made.
I used my media table for this part of the party. I live in a condo, don’t have a lot of space so in the words of Tim Gunn, I had to “make it work”. My initial idea for this party was to set up a runway outside for the guests to play dress up, use accessories from the “Accessories wall,” and act as models but the weather has been unpredictable so I eliminated that part of the party.
For the back drop I used a canvas board I already own. You can get these at your local craft store, don’t forget to use a coupon! The blue fabric I used I already owned but just never got to doing what I wanted with it, until now. So it worked out perfectly. If you have nice landscaping or scenery at you home you really don’t need a set up like this. But my TV was behind it so it helped cover it a bit =).
I still wanted to create a runway of some sort so I made a mini version on the dessert table. I took one long foam board and cut two pieces from it. I wrapped inexpensive muslin fabric around the pieces. I took another piece of left over floral fabric and created a runner. I printed out my name for the back wall of the runway, which is typical for runway shows ;). I gathered and pinned muslin to the covered foam pieces to create curtains. This part I’m pretty pleased about and it was simple to make and I kind of thought of it last minute. The runway displayed mini cakes that I made that I decorated with buttons. I also created a simple topper for each using a couple of toothpicks and wooden beads from Michaels I had in my supply box. Finally found a good reason to use them =). The cakes were placed on top of cake board that I cut down from the standard 10” size they come in. I had a pack of 12 of these already that I bought at the craft store for another earlier project. You can always just use pieces from a box you have lying around, it’s just cardboard. However these did go a long way as I also used 4 circles to create the dessert stands.
So for the desserts stand I took a green soda cracker can which I save after each is done for projects like this. I wrapped strips of that same floral fabric around to create a spool of thread out of fabric, fun huh? I took each cake board circle and made them the ends and voila! I also made out like a bandit with the fuchsia floral fabric because although it was only a yard of fabric I used in total it was extra wide, so that’s definitely a tip I can give you when shopping for fabric. On one I displayed mini cheesecakes I made from the no bake box I purchased. These are so simple and light. On the other stand I displayed Nutella mousse. Yes, you heard right, it’s delish!! I found this recipe on a blog called Sugar Hero, and that she is! It was a simple mix of Nutella which is always found in my home and heaving whipping cream, genius! I topped them off with a piece of a lady finger. I then put the dishes in a fuchsia animal print cupcake wrapper that I already had.
I took 4 white thread spools and displayed cookie and cake pops I made. For these desserts I already had a cake mix box and tub of frosting, I did have to buy another tub though. Using food coloring I made a portion of the frosting yellow for the cookies and left the rest for icing of the cakes and for mixing a bit with the cake ball batter. I already had a couple packs of the lollipop sticks but only used four for this table set up. I used ready to use cookie dough that comes cut and only used two pieces for the table so you have plenty to work with if you are having more guests etc…
I already had a couple of canvas boards (You can use Styrofoam/cardboard) and wrapped them with fuchsia wrapping paper I already had to make the trays. On one of the trays I made chocolate covered Oreos topped with a little bit of white nonpareil sprinkles I had left from a bottle. To display the Oreos, I took 3” wooden circles and accented them with ribbon and cardstock. For the base I painted wooden spools white, using basic white touch up paint we all have lying around our garage/storage room. On the other tray I displayed some yellow pudding I mixed with a bit of whip cream and served them in mini dishes with mini spoons. I love entertaining with mini dishes and usually buy them by the case so I always have some. However I now see that places like Party City are selling them so they are much more accessible in smaller quantities. Also more and more bakeries/restaurants are using these dishes for desserts so you can always wash and save them for future events. I made a banner with white cardstock and ribbon that I had. As well the Paris & New York wooden pieces I already owned were originally black but using that same can of white touch up paint I refinished them to go with the design.
Another tip I have is look through your recycling bin. You never know what you could re-use. I think I covered it all and I really hope you enjoyed this party that could also work well for any birthday, baby or bridal shower! Xo Marisol
What I spent:
Faux Hydrangea $2.00
White & Fuchsia Floral Fabric 1 YRD $9.60
Ikat Digital Paper via Etsy Seller $ 4.50
3 Navy Zippers $3.96
4 White Spools of thread $4.00
Large Round Buttons Fuchsia/Navy B1G1 Free $4.49
Small Round Yellow/Navy Buttons B1G1 Free $.90
4 Mini Tresemme Hair Spray cans $9.96
1 bag of yellow candy melts $1.99
Navy blue pillow $2.00
2 White Floppy Hats $5.00
Styro Foam Board $4.49
3” wooden circles $2.39
(4) ¼ yard fabric pieces $8.38
(2) YRDS of Muslin $ 2.00
(4) e.l.f eye shadows $4.00
(5) Wooden spools $3.32
Groceries ( 1 tub of frosting, Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, sushi, heavy cream, no bake cheesecake mix, 4 bottles of Fuze pomegranate and acai berry beverage, oreos, lemon pudding mix) $25.77
Total $ 98.75
I am a bargain shopper so I used coupons at every shop.
Credits: Photography, Styling, Design, Desserts- Modishly Delish Events
Digital Paper: Etsy Seller http://www.etsy.com/shop/expect
Nutella Mousse recipe: http://www.sugarhero.com/2012/02/2-ingredient-nutella-mousse/