Throw a Birthday Soiree

Toast a friend with flair by keeping things simple yet elegant. All You shows you how.

  • <p>Make it Special</p>
    Photo: Theresa Raffeto

    Make it Special

    There are few better excuses to dress up and have fun than the birthday of a good friend. But there's no need to get elaborate when you're hosting the event. Instead of preparing a soup-to-nuts dinner, keep it easy by throwing a cocktail party with a finger-food menu.

  • <p>Add Crowning Touches</p>
    Photo: Theresa Raffeto

    Add Crowning Touches

    Choose an easy-to-execute theme designed to spark conversation. Create a good vibe by playing upbeat tunes with a few celebratory classics added to the mix. When it's time for the cake (or cupcakes, in this case), bestow a handcrafted crown upon the honoree, and be sure to snap some photos—she'll want to remember this party long after she blows out the candles.

  • <p>Raid the Photo Album</p>
    Photo: Theresa Raffeto

    Raid the Photo Album

    Spell out the birthday girl's age (but only if you are certain she is not the sensitive type!) using photographs of her with friends and family. Adhere the photos to the wall with double-sided masking tape to ensure that they don't leave marks. Provide self-stick note pads and pens so that guests can jot down their comments and memories and add them to the collage. At the end of the party, collect the photos and notes in a scrapbook.

  • <p>Make a Photo Timeline</p>
    Photo: Theresa Raffeto

    Make a Photo Timeline

    1. Gather an assortment of portraits of the guest of honor that includes a baby photo and ones that show her at various ages up to the present.
    2. Use a color copier to enlarge them so that all the faces are a uniform size, about 7″ tall.
    3. Mount the color printouts on white construction paper or lightweight card stock, using spray adhesive and cut out faces.
    4. For each face, cut a triangular hat, about 7″ tall, out of patterned paper or card stock.
    5. Glue a hat to each face, using a glue stick.
    6. Tape the tip of each hat to a length of ribbon then tape the completed garland to the wall or ceiling.
  • <p>Stick 'em Up</p>
    Photo: Theresa Raffeto

    Stick 'em Up

    Choose a cute snapshot of your friend and make a sticker from it. Some label companies let you create a design online (try avery.com), add text and then output the result onto the label using your computer and printer. Or have zazzle.com do it for you. You can use the stickers to decorate the invitation envelopes or to customize a centerpiece. Simply snip lengths of florist wire, then sandwich one end of each wire between two stickers. Fit the wires into the bouquet in an overall pattern.

  • Endive with Smoked Salmon

    Serve a Memorable Menu

    Elegant finger food stars in this sophisticated soiree. From drinks to dessert, this menu has you covered.

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