Tag: birthday

A Q&A with Bloom & Wild – Our Favourite Flower Delivery Service

We think Bloom & Wild’s flower deliveries make the best gifts, for any occasion. So we teamed up with them to create a Bloom & Wild patchwork that makes it super simple to share the cost of one of their subscriptions as a present for a loved one. It’s group gifting made easy. We wanted to know more from them about how they’re changing the flower delivery service and why they think flowers make such a wonderful gift, so we had a chat with Bloom & Wild’s Brand Director, Sara Gordon.

How has Bloom & Wild redefined the flower delivery service?

Bloom & Wild exists to make sending and receiving flowers the joy that it should be. We’ve all had bad flower delivery experiences in the past and our mission is to change that for good. We enable people to turn emotions into action from their phone or computer simply, and recipients to experience quality, fresh, creative flowers from bud to bloom.

What do you think makes receiving flowers so special?

Whether they’re sent as a thank you, an apology or simply just because, receiving flowers is a beautiful symbol that someone is thinking of you. Because our bouquets are sent in bud, the recipient sees their gift go from bud to bloom and enjoys the full life of the flower. We also make the process a true experience, so that our recipients get to become the florist themselves.

Who picks the flowers that go into the bouquets each month?

Our in-house flower team, including our Lead Floral Designers Rowan and Caroline, are the ones behind the designs. We’re always inspired by trends we see around us, whether it’s in the world of fashion, interiors or our own travels and we interpret these with in-season blooms to ensure that the recipient only gets the freshest flowers.

What’s your favourite ever Bloom & Wild bouquet and which flowers did it have in it?

I’ve had quite a few favourites, but currently it’s The Daisy. The blue delphinium flowers also add height and visual interest and are one of my favourite flowers at the moment.

What makes a Bloom & Wild flower delivery such a great group gift?

We often see families coming together to give their mums or grandmothers a year of blooms or friends coming together to gift a three month bundle for new homeowners or newlyweds. It’s great to be able to give someone something they might not necessarily treat themselves to, like a year of flower delivery, and coming together with a group makes it easy for everyone to pitch in on a gift that gives joy all year long.


 

Thank you Sara and Bloom & Wild! If you want to organise a flower delivery for someone you love, just customise our Bloom & Wild patchwork and send it to friends to fund, then your loved one can enjoy the gift of beautiful flowers through their door every month.

Bloom & Wild Flower Delivery – The Perfect Gift for Far Away Friends.

Flower delivery gift

Since Tammy left London for the countryside her friends miss her. Badly. 

No more spontaneous sunny days in the park, afternoon visits to cuddle babies, or late nights out on the town. 

There are upsides – weekends in the country for long walks, roaring fires, red wine evenings and late mornings drinking tea on the sofa. But these trips need organising in advance and don’t happen as often as everyone would like. 

And then there’s birthdays. Even worse, weekday-birthdays. 

With no chance of popping around with cake and bubbles the girls wanted to make sure Tammy still felt loved from far away. So they used Patchwork to chip in towards a flower delivery and chose a lovely big bouquet to be delivered to her door. 

Tammy says: “What a beautiful, gorgeous treat to receive from my lovely friends. I was gutted not to be able to see them on my birthday so it was such a special way to feel loved and an amazing surprise. The flowers were so beautiful.”

With Bloom & Wild delivering flowers across the UK by post you only need to order 24 hours in advance to ensure your seasonal blooms are delivered through the letter box without a hitch. Just customise this flower delivery Patchwork so friends can chip in towards a beautiful bunch. Then gift the patchwork to your friend on the same day as the flower delivery, so they can see everyone’s messages and send their love and thanks.

A Kids’ Party with a Back to the Future Theme

Patchwork founder Olivia’s son turned ten this month. To celebrate she wanted to throw him a really special party with all his family and friends. Although Manu knew about the party, what he didn’t know was that it was going to be a Back to the Future themed party – an obsession that he’s inherited from his 1980s parents. 

So when did Manu’s love of Back to the Future start?

Early. Manu chose his first red ‘life preserver’ at age four, started guitar lessons on a mini red electric at the age of five, owned a skateboard by six, went to the Secret Cinema screening of Back to the Future at eight and still watches the film at least once a month, reciting every line by heart. So, a Back to the Future themed party seemed like the perfect way to celebrate Manu’s past and future.

How did you go about organising the party?

Once I’d fixed the date and booked the local Scouts hall the real challenge was searching the country to track down an original Back to the Future DeLorean to drive Manu to the venue in style. 

From that point on it was simple. The Scout hall, a 1950s prefab, was the perfect Hill Valley School hall and although I knew it was going to take a lot of work to recreate the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, with Patchwork it was easy to share the plan and ask everyone to help.  

Manu's Back to the Future themed party patchwork

Manu’s Back to the Future themed party patchwork

What response did you get from your party patchwork?

Within days of sending out the patchwork invite I had 50 people coming, a local ‘Marvin Berry’ band booked, badges being made, a projector screen and speakers promised, 100 balloons ordered, eight cakes being baked, a banner, two signs and a Flux Capacitor being made.

How did you keep it all a secret?

It was easy to keep the Back to the Future theme a secret from Manu until the day of the party. Getting dressed in his skinny jeans, checked shirt, denim jacket and red gilet was normal for Manu. But he did start to get a bit suspicious when his dad produced an 1980s Walkman and a brand new pair of white Nikes with a red tick.

With everyone waiting at the venue it was up to Manu’s dad to get him there. As they left home Manu said ‘I feel like Marty’, and at that exact moment the DeLorean pulled up and opened its doors, blaring out the Back to the Future theme tune!

Back to the Future themed party

How did Manu feel riding a time machine through Brockley?

This was the only Universal Studios DeLorean time machine in the UK and the one used for the 25 anniversary promotional tour, complete with Flux Capacitor. So Manu was speechless. As were the people who saw it driving (at 5 miles an hour over the speed bumps) through the streets of Brockley.

Back to the Future themed party

How did you transform the party venue into the Enchantment Under the Sea dance?

I spent Friday night with girlfriends painting the giant banner and two wooden signs. And we arrived at the venue on Sunday morning with a handful of helpers to decorate the hall, blow up balloons, set the tables, fill party bags and get the band set up. So when Manu arrived the scene was set and everyone was outside the hall dressed in 1985 or 1955 outfits to welcome him. 

Back to the Future themed party

What did Manu think when he arrived at the Back to the Future themed party?

Manu McFly tried his best to play it cool as he stepped out of his time machine to whoops and cheers from the crowd, but he couldn’t hide his surprise and delight. His joy reached new heights when he stepped inside the hall and the band started playing ‘Power of Love’.

He said “The best bit of the party was riding in the DeLorean, seeing all my friends, eating all the cakes and the Flux Capacitor that Eric made me. The funniest thing was seeing Grandad dressed as Doc and the most embarrassing bit was when the band played Earth Angel and mum tried to make me dance.”

Back to the Future themed party

Back to the Future themed party

We know that you’re the biggest Back to the Future fan really. So what was your favourite bit?

I am. I loved feeling everyone’s excitement as we saw the DeLorean drive up and seeing Manu’s face as he got out of the Time Machine! It was so fun stepping into 1955 as we entered the hall, seeing all our efforts come together and hearing the AMAZING band. We’d made mini clock tower fairy cakes but seeing the incredible sea-themed creations, the Jail Bird Joey cake and the huge red guitar cake that everyone else had made was amazing. And of course Patchwork made it all so easy. I could keep track of all the things people were helping to fund, make and do and contact everyone about the things they’d pledged to do and send updates to everyone along the way. 

After an evening of dancing I could also show Manu the patchwork so he could see how everyone helped to make it happen and read everyone’s messages so he could send his own thank yous. It was a massive success, made super easy with Patchwork. Now I’m just looking for another excuse to plan a big party!

Back to the Future themed party

YAY. Best party ever. If this has inspired you to plan a party with patchwork, check out our party patchworks for inspiration, or create your own from scratch.

8 Unique Group Gift Ideas for a 40th Birthday

Let’s face it, 40 can be a difficult age to buy for. Your loved one is hopefully pretty satisfied with their lot, and if they want something small they’ll tend to buy it for themselves. Chances are there is something they really want, but it’s so far out of your price range you hadn’t given it much thought. That’s where we come in – set up a patchwork on their behalf and ask friends and family to chip in towards that one special gift or experience. Then you can surprise your unsuspecting partner/sister/best mate with the one thing they really want, but never thought they’d get.

Of course, you can use patchwork to organise and fund anything, so if you’re reading this and you already know what that one thing is, what are you waiting for? Get started. Create a patchwork to show everyone what it is you’re asking them to contribute towards. Collect cash gifts direct to your PayPal. Then buy the gift when and where you like.

But if you do need some gift ideas we’ve collected some of our favourite presents below for people turning the big 4-0.

buy-a-bike-patchwork

Buy a bike

Does the excitement of getting a shiny new bike ever wear off? No. It doesn’t. If you know this is the one present that will put a big birthday smile on your loved one’s face, all you need to do is customise this patchwork. Then friends can choose whether to spend a fiver on the bell, or shell out £50 for a wheel. Soon enough you’ll have enough to buy a beautiful new (or vintage) bike from your chosen shop ready to tie up in a giant comedy bow. You can write everyone’s names on tag so the birthday boy/girl will know it’s from all the people who love them. Then they can cycle off into the sunset. Or around the block.

sky diving patchwork

Send them on a sky-dive

Is your loved one an adrenaline junkie? Do they have all the trinkets, tablets and household things they could ever want? Forget stuff and give them an experience they’ll never forget. Just have a think about whether it’s going to be the best day of their life, or the very worst. Now’s not the time to force your partner into conquering their fear of heights. If you know they’ll love this, just customise our sky-diving patchwork and send it out for everyone to contribute towards. Then invite them all to come and watch.

wellness-retreat-patchwork

A week on a wellness retreat

From one extreme to the other. Maybe your mate could do with total relaxation in a blissfully calm environment. Get friends and family to club together and whisk them away for a few days on a wellness retreat, where they won’t have to think about anything except when their next massage is booked in and whether to have mint or green tea.

photography-course-patchwork

Sign them up to a photography course

Now’s the time to pursue those creative endeavours that may have been pushed aside in favour of careers and kids and food shopping and all that other grown-up stuff. Send your loved one off on a photography course where they can pick up all the skills they need to get going with their hobby. Then they can bring out their camera with confidence at every special occasion. Or just walks in the park and drinks in the pub. Everyone who chips in will get to see the lovely photos and know they helped bring them to life.

fund-a-tattoo-patchwork

Chip in for a tattoo

What do you give the person who has everything? A permanent drawing on their skin. Of course. What better way to mark this momentous occasion than with a needle full of ink? Show friends and family this patchwork and get them to each buy a piece – whether it’s £100 for ‘an hour of pain’ or a fiver for the ink. Obviously, you’ll need to leave the actual design up to your loved one – all you need to do is present them with the cash or voucher for their favourite tattoo artist and get them booked in. Then throw a party so everyone can see the new tat they helped paid for.

handbag-patchwork

Give them *that* handbag

We all know how it feels to fall in love with a special pair of shoes, a certain coat, or a beautiful handbag. And how it feels to turn the tag over and see the price. If you know someone who’s fallen deeply in lust with a bag that’s way out of their price range, surprise them by getting all of their friends and family to chip in and then present them with it on their birthday. The bond between a woman and her bag will last a lifetime. And she’ll be pretty happy with you lot too. Customise our handbag patchwork here. 

karaoke-party-patchwork

Plan a party

If your loved one has insisted on no fuss this year, just go behind their back and organise a party. Simple. They don’t really mean no fuss. Maybe they mean no socks, toiletries or flannel shirts, which is fair enough. But they don’t mean no getting everyone they love together in one room. What kind of party you throw is up to you, but we’ve created a Karaoke Party patchwork that could be perfect. Get everyone to chip in for the karaoke machine, then just ask people to bring a bottle, make a dish, help decorate. And before you know it you’ll have a great party on your hands. Just make sure you have all the birthday girl/boy’s favourite songs lined up and champagne at the ready.

Send them flowers, every week

What could be more special than receiving a bunch of beautiful flowers every week for a whole year? If you have someone in your life who’s deserving of an incredible treat, this is it. Just customise this patchwork, send it out to friends and family to chip in, then let the flowers roll in. Your loved one will be reminded of the people who love them every single week, and their house will smell blooming lovely.

Sophie’s Handbag – Funded by Friends

Sophie-Rose is a musician and songwriter in the band Paradisia, and has just turned 27. In the months leading up to her birthday she fell in love. With a bag. So she decided to patchwork it, asking her friends to chip in and make her handbag dreams a reality. Sophie tells us all about the new love of her life and why Patchwork worked for her.

Tell us about this dream handbag..

I decided to fund a Céline trio zip bag, the most practical, beautifully constructed handbag a girl could ask for! I’m not into labels in a big way. I like to mix high street pieces with vintage finds but when it comes to coats, bags and shoes I like to invest. These are the things you wear everyday. So it’s important they are made of quality materials, well crafted and made to last. The Céline bag is all of these things. It’s not too blingy, it’s not an obvious statement or too fashion-y. It’s a classic. So it’ll last me through the seasons and as trends come and go. 

sophies-crowdfunded-handbag-gift

Why did you decide to fund one big gift rather than ask for lots of little ones?

I’ve got all the little things I need. If I want a new book, t-shirt or mascara I can go and buy myself one. But on an artist’s income it’s not so easy to afford those investment pieces that I daydream about. I’d been saving up, but my birthday meant I could use Patchwork to ask family and friends to help me reach my target. I think as you get older you fixate on those long lasting, timeless possessions you can keep forever and then eventually hand over to your children. This is very much the case with my Céline!

What did your family and friends think of your request?

They loved the idea! My sister actually made the Patchwork and collected the cash so I didn’t know until my birthday who had contributed and whether I’d really be able to get the bag. It was the best thing when she turned up on my doorstep on the morning of my birthday. She’d been to Céline to buy the bag and had wrapped it up with a card and everyone’s messages. And I was (and still am) just so happy with it. Every time I look down at my bag I am reminded of my lovely friends and family and their generous offering, I made sure the patchwork ranged from £10 – £200 so all my friends could afford to give something. Then I sent everyone photos of me and my bag to say thanks for the BEST GIFT EVER. And a few of my friends are now making their own patchworks for Christmas!

Thank you for chatting to us about your beautiful bag Sophie! And a big belated happy birthday from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to fund a bag for a loved one, you can customise our template handbag patchwork here, or browse our birthday gift ideas. Or create a patchwork from scratch now.

Crowdfund a New Handbag

As presents go, handbags are right up there with the best. They’re the ever-loyal accessory that will always fit and always make you look smart, even when you’re in your scruffiest clothes. Really special ones can be a bit expensive – but don’t worry – you don’t need to take out a loan to afford one. You can patchwork it.

If you have a fashion-loving friend who would love a new handbag, why not club together to buy them the object of their affection? A well made, good quality handbag will last for years and years, so you know your gift will be loved and appreciated for a long time to come. And if you share the cost with friends and family, it’ll become much more manageable.

hanbag

We’ve made a template handbag patchwork that you can easily customise and share with friends to fund. Then once you’ve collected all the money you can go and buy the bag, wrap it up, and present your lucky friend with it. What a lovely treat.

The beautiful bag in our patchwork is from Mhulot – head to their site to see more. Or, if you have a specific handbag that you would like to make a patchwork of and need some help, just email us at hello@patchworkit.com.

How To Throw A Surprise Party

Throwing a surprise party can be so much fun, but the organisation involved can be pretty stressful. From the timings to the theme, there are a lot of decisions to be made. But don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help your planning go smoothly. Read on to find out how to organise the best surprise party ever.

Will the guest of honour appreciate a surprise party?

The first thing to ask yourself when planning a surprise party is ‘will my partner/friend/family member really enjoy this?’, and the majority of the time the answer to this will be a big fat ‘yes!’, but there are certain people who would much rather be involved in the plans. And that’s okay. If your guest of honour really isn’t keen on being the center of attention, it might be mistake to force it upon them. Some people need a bit of warning before being thrust into a room full of everyone they know, so it might be best to tell them the details. There are also people who just love to plan their own events, and would feel they were missing out if they were denied the opportunity to plan their own party. If you know one of these people, which you probably do, it may be best to leave them to it. Chances are, they have these events down to a tee, so the stress of trying to organise a party that would measure up to their high standards may not be worth it anyway!

Backyard Dinner Party

When should I start organising the party?

The answer to this depends on how many people you are inviting. If you’re inviting everyone the guest of honour has ever met, you’re going to need a good amount of planning time. For a party of 50-100, you will need around 6 months planning time. For a guest list of 25-30, you can do it in about 6 weeks. If you’re just inviting a handful of close friends, you could get it done in a fortnight.

When to send out the invitations is a different question – if this party is in honour of an important event, you’re going to want your friends and family to keep the date free. So even if you don’t have a clue what exactly you’ll be doing yet, make sure you at least get the most important guests to keep their diaries clear. You could even send out a save the date card, just as you would for a wedding. Just keep in mind that the more people you tell prior to the event, the more chance there is of the secret getting out. So make sure everyone knows they have to keep schtum.

What does the guest of honour want from a party?

This is the time to do some detective work. If you’re throwing a party for someone, it’s probably right to presume you know them pretty well. But do you know what makes a great party for them? If not, it’s time to do a little digging. What’s their favourite music to listen to at a party? Do they prefer house parties? Would they feel at home in a fancy venue? Do they like to dress up or down? All of these little things can help you narrow down exactly the type of party you’re going to throw.

drinks-copy

How should I decide on a theme?

Theme possibilities are endless. You can go all out with a theme by picking one of the guest of honour’s favourite things and planning the party around it. Do they love 90s pop music? Get everyone to dress as their favourite popstar, plan an epic playlist that includes all the hits, and fill bowls with nostalgic sweets. Are they a total film buff? Go for old Hollywood glamour.

If you don’t want to go all out with your theme, you can keep it simple by just choosing a colour scheme. Think about your loved one’s favourite colours and decorate accordingly – sticking to a few colours can have a big impact on the overall look of the event.

Just remember, if you decide to go with fancy dress, or any kind of dress code, you’ll need to organise an outfit for the guest of honour. There would be nothing worse than turning up to a party full of glamorous movie icons in your jeans.

Who should I invite?

Remember that what’s important about choosing the guest list for this party is whether the guest of honour would be really happy to see them there. So if they’re not a huge fan of one of your friends, maybe it’s best to leave them off the invite list for this particular occasion. And if you don’t really get on with one of theirs, you may have to swallow your pride and invite them anyway. This party is all about gathering all of your loved one’s very favourite people in one room. So think carefully.

What’s the best way to let people know about the party?

The most foolproof way of telling everyone the details of the party, without the secret getting out, is to make a secret Facebook event. That way everyone can come back to check on details like the time and place, without having to ask you questions. The more your phone beeps, the more likely you are to be found out. For those friends not on Facebook, you can always send an email or pick up the phone and give them a call (like in the olden days).

balloons-copy-4

So I shouldn’t send printed invitations?

Though printed invitations are undoubtedly the most special way of inviting friends to a party, they’re also the riskiest. It might be left out or put on the fridge where it could easily be spotted, and then all your hard work keeping everything secret will be wasted.

Where should I throw the party?

You may be thinking of hosting the party in your own home, but if you’re throwing the party for your significant other, this may cause a few logistical issues. It’s one thing to organise a surprise party, but it’s another to organise one in the home you share with the guest of honour. If you think you can be sneaky enough, by all means go for it, but it may be easier to find another venue. If you really like the idea of a house party, see if any of your mutual friends would be up for hosting it.

If you don’t think a house party is your guest of honour’s bag, have a think about what their favourite venue might be. If they love your local pub, why not ask if you can hire it for the night? Or if they’re passionate about food, see if you can get a private room at a favourite restaurant. This might not be possible for larger groups, but if you’re looking to create a more intimate affair it’ll be perfect.

Overhead of vintage glasses with pink rosé champagne on a silver tray

What food & drink should I provide?

This depends on the venue you’ve chosen, but it’s unusual to provide a full meal at a surprise party. It’s best to stick to small plates and snacks. A buffet style spread is ideal as people can help themselves if they start to get peckish. In fact, a brilliant way of keeping costs and effort down is to ask your friends to each bring a dish, even just something small. That way you know you’ll have enough food for everyone and you’ll have a lovely eclectic mix of treats.

If the budget isn’t a problem then you can always hire caterers to provide canapes. This may cost more than BYO, but at least you’ll know everyone will be definitely fed and your stress levels will be low.

One thing that should never get too low, on the other hand, are the alcohol levels. Make sure you’ve ordered enough – you can buy bulk alcohol on a sale or return basis, so anything that doesn’t get drunk can be taken back. It’s always better to have too much than too little – no one wants to have to nip to the offie half way through a party. And again, asking everyone to bring a bottle is a great option if you want to keep the budget down.

vinyl-record1-copy

How should I sneak the guests in?

If you’re planning on having the guest of honour arrive at 7.30, and telling everyone else to turn up at 7pm, don’t. Tell them 6.30. People can’t help but be late for parties, even surprise ones. And the difference between a successful surprise party and a failed one is timing. You can’t afford to have a half empty room when the man or woman of the hour walks in. You need to have a strategy in place for latecomers – tell them to use a different entrance (if possible) to be sure there’s no confusion. It’s also a good idea to ask people to park a little further away – if the guest of honour arrives to all of their friend’s cars on the drive, they’re going to know something’s up.

Can I ask for help organising the party?

Absolutely. The secret to organising a great surprise party is knowing when to delegate. Ask friends to help you decorate whichever venue you decide on. Ask a keen baker to make a delicious cake for the occasion. Ask a musical friend to do a bit of DJing. Get everyone to pick a favourite song to put on the playlist. See if a photographer friend will take some lovely images of the event. And above all, ask them to keep it a secret.

A great way to tell your friends about the party and to ask them for help is to create a patchwork to show them the plan. That way, you can tell them exactly what you need, whether it’s help with the decorating or someone to make the cake, and you can keep track easily in your account.

Just browse our readymade party patchworks for inspiration, or create your own from scratch now.
Have fun!

5 Favourite Party Instagrammers

Hopefully you already follow us over on Instagram, where we share all sorts of colourful party inspiration. But if you’re looking for even more fun to follow, we’ve got some ideas for you. Here are five of our very favourite party people. These glorious ‘grammers are the life and soul of our feed.

oh-happy-day-party-instagram

Oh Happy Day is a never-ending source of inspiration for brilliant party DIYs. Always fun, always colourful, and (nearly) always easy to do.

geronimo-balloons-instagram-party

Geronimo balloons create bright, beautiful installations all over LA and beyond. Let them inspire you to create something special for your next party.

bash-party-instagram

BASH is an independent, design-focused party company drawing inspiration from art, interior design, fashion, and party style across the globe. We like their squiggly patterns.

confetti-system-instagram-party

Born out of a shared love of communal celebration and craft-making, the duo behind Confetti System create the most incredible backdrops for parties. Feast your eyes on all the tassels.

poppies-for-grace-party-instagram

Poppies For Grace describe themselves as craft gangsters, joy makers and day dreamers. We agree. Their Instagram is jam-packed full of fun ideas.

Happy scrolling! And check out our party patchworks here if these ideas have got you itching to organise a party of your own.

Patchwork Make: Balloon Numbers DIY

We love balloons. Balloons maketh a party, or something like that. So we love this DIY for a kid’s party – how much fun would this be to do?

Click through to Oh Happy Day to see how it’s done, then get making. Or better yet, include it in your party patchwork and ask friends to help you. Friends can pledge to help make and do everything you need to throw a great party for your little one, whether it’s making the cake, or blowing up a load of balloons.

Get inspiration from our party patchworks, or create your own from scratch.

 

The Mamahood plans your kid’s party

Fabulous woman and fellow SE Londoner, Diana Bardega, set up The Mamahood a year ago, with the aim of bringing mamas together in their local neighbourhoods. The Mamahood provides mother’s with a chance to get creative, collaborative and inspired with crafting workshops across the UK. She’s written us this great blog about planning kid’s parties to help take the stress out of those little birthdays.

Urgh. If you are anything like me, when the time comes to organise my children’s birthday parties I feel dread. It can be such an expensive, mass produced, stressful affair. From naff decorations, to expensive entertainers, crap food, to heaps of plastic tat that will only end up in a landfill.

But fear not, there is another way. You see, all around us are some incredible, creative, independent businesses who are there to help when we hit party planning season. And better than that, some of them are run by fellow multi-tasking mothers who understand better than anyone the stress of organising a party.

The Mamahood is all about enabling mothers to connect and support each other. I believe passionately that we should be buying and supporting and working together more because when you become a mother you join a community. Regardless of class, religion, creed, choices and status we all understand the pressures of being a mum. So when you shop, shop independent and where you can, support your fellow mamas. Because we all know how hard it can be to manage the juggle.

Plus I’ve done the hard work for you. Here is a round up of my top 5 mama-run businesses to check out if you are planning a kids party.

invites

Invites

I have always found it tricky to find stylish invites on the high street. If you’re a stationery addict (I am) you will love the gorgeous Marby and Elm. Set up by a very talented mama Eleanor, she designs and letter presses in beautiful neons and brights. They are so beautiful you will almost not want to send them.

And if you’re after something extra special I cant recommend more highly the wonderful illustrator and mama Lakshmi. She can sketch a gorgeous illustration of your child that you can use for invites and then keep for posterity. Double win.

kids party tableware

Tableware

Look no further than The Jelly Rabbit. Run by lovely mama Sarah, she will take all the stress out of party planning for you. She sells gorgeous tableware, decorations, Pass the Parcel kits, balloons, dress up – you name it. I love her party kits. Literally everything you need by theme and all delivered – no stress!

kids party craft kits

Party Bags

Sick of plastic rubbish that goes straight in the bin? Then definitely check out Cotton Twist, set up by two mamas Anne-Clare and Alexis. They create the most wonderful craft kits that make the perfect take home alternative to a goody bag. Choose from a huge range of themes that suit both boys and girls. And if you need any party extras like themed food boxes then they’ve got you covered there too.

kids birthday cakes

Cake

For ridiculously beautiful cakes look no further than Blossom and Crumb. Run by mega-talented mama Megan, her cakes speak for themselves.

punk-me-up-ceramics-cafe

Venue

Obviously this is hugely dependent on where you are based, but if you do find yourself in SE London, I can not recommend more highly The Punk Me Up Ceramics cafe. Run by the loveliest mama Toni – her kids party packages (held in the back of her beautiful shop) are wonderful. From the make your own goody bags, polaroids of the kids with their faces painted, painting your own themed ceramics and the mini milk bottles and bento boxes for the kids, every detail is covered stylishly and with minimum stress for you. A huge thumbs up.

To stay on top of workshop news and exclusive offers to shop at mama-run businesses, follow us over at @the_mamahood. Whether you want to meet other local like minded mothers, or just have some time for yourself and learn a new skill, you can find out what’s going on in your local area by signing up over at The Mamahood.

Planning your kid’s party? Take some of the stress out of it with our party planning Patchworks. Ask your friends and family to fund, make and do to organise a stress-free and fabulous party. They can contribute their time, skill or money to make the party happen. Your best friend can buy the bubbles, your mum can bake the cake and your brother can blow up all the balloons. Simple.

Customise one of our party planning patchworks here or create your own from scratch.

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