This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Carol Mackey

Carol’s Party Suggestions:

Popcorn Bar
Set up a help yourself popcorn bar!
Popcorn Seasons from The Spice House
All natural-cheddar cheese, sriracha and maple garlic

I set up the popcorn bar on an old dresser  I was actually going to sell in a garage sale.  I attached sturdy branches from the yard and hung a chalk board sign on it.  I decorated with tissue paper flowers using the school colors.  Small red paper bags and holder (I spray painted it black) from Michaels, printed off my computer stickers, “Thank you for popping by!”
Shakers – World Market
chalkboard stickers on shakers – Michaels
Chalkboard Frame – Homegoods
DIY Grilled Pizza
Teenage boys are ALWAYS hungry so this is a great way to keep them busy and have fun making a late night party snack.   Set up bowls of your favorite pizza toppings and ready-made grilled crusts.  I love my Kettle Pizza oven for the grill (available at Crate and Barrel).  To make it even easier, I use Wood Grilled Pizza Crusts from The Pizza Gourmet (all natural and found in the all-natural refrigerator section at Mariano’s). I also like to soak applewood chips for about 30 minutes in water, drain and then throw on your coals. This gives it a really smoky authentic wood-fired pizza flavor.
Take a strand of lights and wrap around your tree in the backyard. If you don’t have an outlet close by, battery lights are available. Using mini clothespins (available at the craft store in various colors) clip copies of pictures of your child on the string of lights. You can have the pictures laminated at Office Max.

If your graduate is a musician, have his instrument case open for cards.  String a banner across the top (banner supplies, felt letters and musical note stamp are available at Michael’s Craft Store).  Also for the musical graduate, take sheet music or sheet music paper (Michael’s Craft Store) and with a star craft punch, punch out random stars, tape on a flameless candle. They will really stand out in the evening.

If you’re having a large party, centerpieces can be expensive.  I took glass bottles, spray painted them, glued ribbon around the center, glued on a small plastic horse (school mascot) and placed one gerbera daisy in the vase.  I wanted different heights so as a nod to my hockey playing graduates, I placed the vases on stacked hockey pucks.

It is very special to get a note or advice from friends and family so I set up an old vintage suitcase with an old typewriter in it (from my collection but they are easy to find at an antique store).  Have paper and pens out to write that special message.