Friday, July 4, 2014

I Made This - VBS Collection Box

As you may have seen in the last post, I helped decorate for VBS at a local church in Gastonia, NC last year. I also made this money catcher for their "Boys VS Girls" yearly collection competition. Everyday at VBS, the kids pour into the building in the morning and drop their changed into the appropriate side. All of the money goes to charity, but only one group gets to claim victory for donating the most coinage.

My friend Heidi and I sweated this last decoration detail for weeks– WHAT are we going to do for the collection boxes? Then we literally found the pegboard used on the back of these boxes as well as the clear plexi-glass used on the front, and a plan came together.

And because the church was renovating their sanctuary, VBS was split up into THREE different locations around the campus. So that meant we made THREE of these. There was lots of sweating in my garage in the sweltering summer heat as I tested the location of the coin catching machinery. Perhaps if I had listened better in geometry class I could have done some quick math on the perfect angles...

The machinery is made from items we found at the hardware store–I think in the plumbing department. They are attached with braces screwed into the peg holes. We used the handy Cricut to cut out vinyl letters for the "Boys VS Girls" as well as dollar signs and arrows at the top. The back is braced with kick out legs on hinges that fold down for easy storage. There is a small door in the bottom back for collecting the money each day.

My favorite part is the shovel. The money drops into that but it has to be heavy enough to dump the change to the next tube. Getting that angle right was what took the most time.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

VBS 2013 Colossal Coaster World

Balloon Cart
So last year I said "Ye-Ye-Ye-Ye-Yes" to VBS decorations. It was a CRAZY week packed with non-stop prepping, sawing, nailing, painting, repainting, staging, moving, staging again... but I think the kids enjoyed what we whipped up.

This was my favorite part. Our fountain–every amusement park has a fountain at the entrance. This, as you may be able to discern, is, from bottom to top, a flower pot, a baby pool, blue cello paper, and blue pool noodles! 

3-D Carousel

Double Dog Dare Ya' Cafe

Sky Ride. Made from insulation board. Hanging this in mid-air
two stories up was F.U.N. I definitely faced my fears

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Luau School Dance

We had a ton of fun putting together this Luau for a school dance. Our place cards were a huge hit with the kids, from elementary age to high school. 

 For table centerpieces, we used sand, sea shells, table cards, and glass vases with candles. For the table cards, we chose names of Hawaiian islands to go with our table numbers. They stuck in the sand quite nicely with large popsicle sticks.

 Then we painted a quick palm tree on the glass, spread a few leis around the table and covered the tables in different clothes– in pink, blue, red, orange, and yellow. The room looked so bright and breezy!
For each person's place setting, we used the Luau themed cartridge on our handy Cricut to cut placemats in fish, sun, and palm tree shapes. We wrapped the utensils in a hibiscus patterned napkin and secured it with homemade napkin rolls- aka paper and a touch of glue stick. The menu cards doubled as a timeline for the evening as well.

Every serving table was wrapped with colorful roll paper and a grass skirt. The Surf Shack was the DJ table. Aloha!

Gorgeous tissue paper flowers dotted the room. Adding a stem with a brown pipe cleaner definitely took those flowers to a new level of DIY sophistication.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hostess with the Mostess

SeƱora Siado, my Spanish teacher in high school, told me that I was "the hostess with the mostess" after I helped plan an Ice Cream Social to kick off the new school year in Spanish club.

This sticks in my memory still today because I have always loved parties. Going to them, planning them, even cleaning up from them! I love the moments when people first meet each other, or get a taste of a new food they have never tried. Or when their eyes light up at creative decorations and they get ideas for their own events. Or even when the party is over and the clean-up crew is breaking down the mess. I like to hang around to reflect on all of the great memories made that night. Parties are magical. Parties are LOVE.

I even convinced my parents to let me throw a party at our house in high school. Of course, we had to have a band for entertainment. They were called Just Pancakes. I'm not sure how I still remember that.

How lucky was I, at 16 years old, to discover a talent that I still use today. I went from scooping ice cream in high school, to planning banquets at the University of Texas at Austin for Business Council, to organizing rock star parties for Lava Records artists, to finally opening my own invitation and event planning business, Paperlicious.

My 2004 wedding to Troy Nelson was covered on E! Style Network's show Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?, where the insanely talented New York event planner Jung Lee swept in and rescued me from the chaos of being a bride and a wedding planner. It might have been a small challenge letting her take over.

As a mom to two girls, I love to plan parties for them–from fancy play-dates with whimsical themes (Fondue tea-party anyone?) to awesome birthday parties. My girls expect that every year we will have an Easter Egg Hunt and a Halloween Party, too. They love picking the Halloween party theme each year–they choose it and I make it work. So far we have had Monster Mash, The Big Boo, and a Halloween Carnival. I have worked as a wedding planner, a neighborhood party planner, a church VBS decorator, and a school dance planner. And I loved every. single. event.

Like the quote says, "Do what makes you happy and you will never work a day in your life."

I hope that you find what God put you here to do. When you do, the blessings don't just go out from you, they flow right back to you in huge waves of LOVE. It's like you get to have a party every day!

Happy Planning!

Charming Rustic Woodland Wedding

Here's a charming wedding we did last year in North Carolina. The bride, herself an event planner, had a rustic woodland vision that we had a ball executing. Check out our awesome paper crafts like the pinwheels, tissue paper flowers, and place cards with coordinating art. 

The ceremony featured simple decor like these easy paper cones, filled with baby's breath and tied to the pews with twine, and a row of handmade pinwheels, made from craft-store paper. 

So. Sweet.

Upon entering the reception, guests found their last name on escort cards featuring whimsical pinwheels and flag bunting motifs.

The buffet dinner was labeled as well with table cards featuring the same paper patterns used through out the event. Want to know my secret? I took photos of the paper and used the jpgs images in InDesign. Printed out quite nicely.

For the tables, we stacked up a few vintage books–found at thrift stores and yard sales–along with sweet little wood placards of favorite Bible quotes. Next to that was a blue mason jar of fresh flowers and the table number. The table numbers were craft store numbers with decorative papers glued to the top with Mod Podge. Cause who doesn't love that gloriously sticky stuff?!

Tied to the chairs were with twine were hand-made tissue paper flowers (easiest thing ever!)

The evening ended with a candy bar. Guests were given sweet little burlap bags, hand-stamped with the new couple's monogram, to fill to their heart's delight with M&Ms, Skittles, Gummy Bbears and more. This was one of the most popular spots of the evening!

But this might have been my favorite part- a gorgeously simple wedding cake decorated by my friend. I wish you could have tasted it. There were also cupcakes galore in six different flavors, but I was too busy eating them to take a picture.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Kid's Birthday Party Themes In 2013

2013 is almost over and millions of birthday parties have been had. What was your top birthday party theme of the year? It seems my kids went to quite a few Laser Tag Parties and Spa Parties. Here are our Top Birthday Party Themes of 2013 based on Paperlicious' most sold invites:

Spa Birthday Party

Laser Tag Birthday Party

Gymnastics Birthday Party

Hollywood Birthday Party

Cooking Birthday Party

Luau Birthday Party

Check our our Party Planning Ideas page for quick and easy ideas on some of these themes.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How To Keep Track Of Allowance & Chores In Your Home

Nashville, TN – December 10, 2013 – IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Paperlicious LLC ( launched today their newest one-of-a-kind product, Custom Printed Chore Cards for Children. These handy cards will make completing chores and dolling out allowance a motivating experience for families.

In over 20 whimsical kid-friendly designs, Custom Printed Chore Punch Cards are a perfect way to get organized in the new year. Each card is custom printed printed with your child’s name. There are 24 circles on each card for keeping track of chores, either by punching a hole or stamping the card. It is up to you to decide how many hole punches a chore receives.

Having age-appropriate chores is an excellent start to developing a strong work ethic. Paperlicious’ exclusive Chore Cards for Children serve as a visual reminder and motivator for children, and they are a unique and effective new way to keep track of chores in your home. If you are wondering how to keep track of chores and allowance, here is a great chore system.

Paperlicious Owner Amy DeRouen Nelson has been using these Chore Cards with her own children for several years.

“My children see right away how close they are to receiving allowance. If there is something my kids want at the store, they will ask to step it up and do more chores to earn money faster. And it helps me too with housework! They are also learning the opportunity cost of spending their money on one purchase and not another. My children know firsthand the value of hard work!”

About Paperlicious:

Launched in New York City in 2005, paper junky and Paperlicious Owner Amy DeRouen Nelson wanted to parlay her success as an Artist Relations Manager and Publicist at Lava Records to her own company. While at the record label, Ms. Nelson would often spend her lunch hour at the nearby stationery store, drooling over the gorgeous papers and supplies. So naturally, an invitation company was the perfect fit!

Having worked with the likes of Kid Rock, matchbox 20, Sugar Ray and more, Ms. Nelson launched Paperlicious with the goal of bringing a hip edgy perspective to the world of custom printed invitations, birth announcements, social stationery and more.

Although Paperlicious has catered to such luminaries as Kid Rock, Pamela Anderson, and Nicollete Sheridan, Ms. Nelson takes the most joy from the hundreds of thousands of party invitations she has created for customer’s important life events.

Paperlicious has been recognized in the Top 40 of the Leading Moms in Business by Startup Nation. Paperlicious products have been featured in Pregnancy Magazine, Parent’s Magazine Goody Blog, as well as popular websites Industry Trade Mag Gifts & Decorative Accessories called Paperlicious a “fresh face” of the National Stationery Show.

Paperlicious products are available online at