BAKE TIME: 15 MINUTES
Fifteen minutes, guys! That’s how long we had to turn this hotel ballroom from a totally blank canvas to a fully decorated “party” for the Krusteaz Cookie Swap Session at the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) in Seattle.
I’ve styled my fair share of quick-turn events, but this teensy set-up window was definitely a new challenge for me! I mean, I can barely get myself presentable in 15 minutes, and this room had 10+ tables, gift bags for every chair, a cookie buffet, a stage, etc. But how boring would life be without challenges, right? ;)
Making this happen meant being super aggro about getting all the details done & organized ahead of time (including having the helium tank delivered straight to my hotel room the day before & stuffing gift bags until 2am with the much-appreciated help of Toni and Scarlett!). Thankfully, there were plenty of hands on deck for the morning set-up, because I was at this conference with the rest of the Krusteaz Baker’s Dozen and some of the 360 PR team. Together, we
frantically threw placed the table runners, centerpieces, craft supplies, and gift bags onto the tables + got all the giant balloons & banners in place.
DO TRY THIS AT HOME ;)
Despite the chaotic morning (this session started a little after 10am), I’m so glad it came together in the end, because now I have all this fun cookie party & crafting inspiration to share with you! Speaking of which… you can also find all the free printables that I designed for this event right here.
TRAVEL THEME + SAVOR THE MOMENT
Since our session had both a travel twist and a “Savor the Moment” theme, I scoured HomeGoods for inexpensive travel and clock themed decor. I picked up a mix of anchors, sailboats, airplanes, hourglasses, etc, and gave them all “crafty makeovers” with acrylic paint, custom paper details, and other embellishments:
See the “Before” of the above anchor here.
A few of these $12 sailboats were given polka dot motifs on the sails with craft paint + pencil erasers. I also filled them with color-coordinating sprinkles as a nod to the cookies. ;)
The little vintage airplane centerpieces were my favorites. (They started out looking like this.) I bought 2 of them (+ a matching helicopter) and removed the original paper clock faces that they came with, then designed something new for the “clocks” that better matched the theme. Here’s an overhead view pic that was taken while putting on some finishing touches at the hotel the night before:
At the event, the airplanes were displayed on stacked mini yellow suitcases from Land of Nod, which were embellished with washi tape, ribbon, stickers, and rhinestones.
The 2 Hourglass centerpieces were more difficult to embellish – the paint just did not want to stick to the metal… it took 4 coats! And I’m not the most patient when it comes to letting paint dry. I just couldn’t resist how well hourglasses tied into our “Savor the Moment” theme though.
These pieces were also displayed on a mini suitcase, which was embellished with custom-color tissue confetti that I ordered from The Flair Exchange. This same tissue confetti mix was also used for the giant confetti balloons!
Here’s a peek at some of the Baker’s Dozen and other attendees with their sailboat cookie crafts. I love how well the outfits on this group coordinate with the party colors. ;)
There were 10 different flavors of Krusteaz cookies on the cookie buffet. The hotel baked 1200 cookies for the session early that morning! Attendees could go up and taste them + bring a bunch back to the table to use for their cookie gifts… or to save and eat later. ;)
Below is a closer look at the sailboat cookie craft that we taught attendees to make. (This pic was taken at my house prior to packing everything up for the party.)
You can also see one of the DIY Burlap & Chevron table runners that we used on half of the tables at the event. My original plan was to use this runner design on all of the tables, but after making the first one I realized it was going to be a little too time consuming to make 10-12 of them (mainly due to the taping-off process). Luckily my friend’s mom is a sewing whiz, and she whipped out red & white polka dot runners for us to use on the other half of the tables. (And variety is the spice of life anyways, right?!)
I also designed a bunch of signs & paper details for the party, but didn’t get professional pics of very many of them… you can see (and download!) them all over in the Free Printables post though.
Here’s a peek at the antique helicopter centerpiece that matched the airplanes:
Giant balloons + fun paper tassels always make me so happy! (These are DIY tassels made from scrapbook paper + 2 different sizes of circle punches + a sewing machine.)
Here’s a closer look at another one of the hourglass centerpieces… the chevron design featured on the sides of the suitcase was cut from the patterned paper, and the “flavor adventure” circle can also be used as a gift tag or party favor accent.
The gold “moments” sticker is by Heidi Swapp. I seriously adore all of her script-y sticker designs and have been using them as party accents quite often lately.
Anyways, I hope this inspires you to have some fun with cookies & crafting too! Don’t forget to check out & download the free printables here.
And you can a closer look at all of the incredibly tasty and easy-to-make Krusteaz cookies on their (brand new!) website. I genuinely like them all and have a hard time picking a favorite, but will say that Snickerdoodle, Double Peanut Butter, Triple Chocolate Chunk, and Oatmeal Scotchie have been baking in my own oven often quite often these days! My kids especially loved these Snickerdoodle Cookie Cup Caramel Sundaes though. I think the name says it all. ;)