ere is my archive of past and present online helpful party-tip guides.


Week of:April 25th


Have you ever had that uncomfortable "where should I sit" feeling as you balance your buffet plate in one hand and a drink in the other? Having to wander around and ask, "Is this seat taken?" is probably the thing that makes you feel very "unspecial" at a special event. I promote seating cards at even a small dinner party. For large groups, instead of putting guests into a certain chair, you would direct them to a specific table, or in other words reserving them a seat.

You can either spend hours laboring over placing guests at tables where they will find compatible conversation or you can play a little gambling game and toss the names in the air and let them land for some real exciting interchange. Either way, they will have a wonderful time--reuniting or getting acquainted.

Seating Assignment Tips.
1. Arrange cards/items on reception table in alphabetical order.

2. Use first names "Patty and John James". Add children's names to simple seating cards, but give each child their own assignment item, if it is other than a card.

Clever seating assignment items are used at theme parties. These can be wrapped party favors, snacks such as a bag of popcorn, box of Cracker Jack, a shiny red apple, a candy bar or even a small box of chocolates. This item is attractively presented with a tag imprinted with the guests' name and table number.

                 Week of:May 3rd.


The correct place for your name tag is on the right lapel area. Most put it on the opposite lapel. The reason? If you shake hands with another your eye will fall gracefully on the name tag and it will be very easy to read it and call the person by name. This is especially helpful when you are greeting a person that you SHOULD takes the anxiety out of the situation.

NEVER let the guest write his/her own name tag...or you may as well not even have them. Name tags should be printed in large block letters--never typed unless large font.

Business events--first and last names and company if possible. National meetings--always include city and state
Personal occasions--first name and if space permits, include how the person fits into the situation. This is a lot of fun! For example: "JOHN SMITH, the bride's cousin", "JOHN SMITH, the groom's college roommate", and so forth.

Name tags are more and more used at social events for they take a whole lot of anxiety out of gathering with groups of folks whom you have not seen in a long while-- especially relatives.

Week of:May 10th 

Reserving Rental Equipment:The Questions to Ask

1. What are the delivery and set-up charges?
2. What are the terms of rental?
3. How long can you keep the equipment for a one-day rental charge? Out by when, in by when?
4. What is the condition and age of rental equipment?
5. Will you get the same equipment as that shown to you?
6. What happens if you lose or break an item?
7. Does the equipment need to be cleaned before return?              8. Will they bring along extra quantity or items in case you find the need for them and not charge you for them if you take them back? (extra tables, chairs, linens, lights, etc.)
9. Will a supervisor be coming to assist in set-up or will it simply be delivered?
Rental Tips:
*Sometimes it costs the same to rent silver and china as it does to purchase fine disposables.
*Do not put soiled linens in closed plastic bags for return, they might mildew.
*If you are renting large quantities of tables, chairs, etc. you will need a volunteer crew to help set it up. The rental people can move just so fast.
*Move cars away from loading areas before the rental truck arrives *Do not empty trash before all silver and serving pieces are accounted for.
Week of May 17th:

Name Tag Games

(Even the smallest party will benefit from a good mixer- type activity related to the theme. ) Instructions: At the bottom of 50% of the name tags, write an important year. Then write corresponding events such as "Yankees Won World Series", on the balance of tags. Mix tags thoroughly before writing names on them to be sure couples do not receive their matches. Guests find tag mates, check in with host to verify correct matches and claim prizes. You can adapt game to theme: Music-titles with artist, art-artist to work, books-title to author and so forth.
Week of June 1st:

Unique Mailing Containers

You can mail your invitations or announcements in cassette cases, tubes, padded envelopes, corrugated boxes, record album covers, odd sized or wildly colored envelopes, cloth bags, plastic sandwich bags, film cans, special tins, and here is one of my all-time favorites--pizza boxes, Plastic bottles (ketchup, mustard, baby), plastic envelopes and plastic tubes are becoming popular for sending dimensional invitations since you can see through them to what's inside. All can be mailed unwrapped with only a label and stamps. Where to find: pizza boxes, in Yellow Pages under Pizza Supplies.
Month of July, 1999:
Party Ideas For Teens

1. Artists and Models: Provide old white dress shirts for each guest, and a set of markers. A great activity for the guests is creating works of art on each other’s shirts. The souvenir is the collective art shirt.

2. Creative Crafts: These parties are very popular, especially with girls of all ages. A favorite is tissue flower making, where the materials for each guest cost under a dollar. Gather recyclables and turn your crafters loose on their own floral creations. Guys will get into painting baseball hats or t-shirts.

3. Fix Your Own Food: Parties that involve each guest preparing his/her own pizza, tacos, subway and for dessert, sundaes are a hit. Paper chef's hats and aprons, personalized with guests names are a great touch. Games and entertainment include reference to food preparation: Match food with person, song, book or TV program title (ie.Cookie Monster, Tutti Fruitti, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.) or dance the Mashed Potato.

4. Costume Swapping parties are hilarious when guests bring outfits for each other. The creativity is boundless when another's embarrassment is at stake. Award prizes for best (or worst) stage and video tape a fashion show. Show the video during refreshments for an incredibly successful finale.

5. Treasure Hunts created to take place in your backyard or near neighborhood will intrigue the young guests. Provide a super sleuth kit, complete with magnifying glass or pirate's gear for each guest depending on your hunt's theme. Each team goes on a different trail to collect their clues.

6. Playlets or Musical Productions, complete with costume effects, props and a set or two, will bring out the talents of guests. Parts are assigned by drawing for them and you are the director. Include non-speaking parts such as animals, trees, statues, piano, etc. for youngsters that cannot read. Video tape the fiasco (and it will be one) for viewing during refreshments.

7. Weather permitting, plan camp out sleepovers in your backyard. Set up tents and a campsite. Start a fire for cooking out, keeping warm and gathering around for singing and scary stories. A pancake breakfast tops off the outing. Take lots of photos and video for souvenirs.

8. Borrow or rent a Karaoke Machine and throw a Star Search Party. Include the selected song list in the invitation so that guests can be ready to perform. Gather costume effects like hats, boas, jackets, inflatable instruments for extra pizzaz. Make cassettes for favors. Video taping will be a major hit.

9.Young ladies will love a mini-spa to include a facial (be sure to include the mask...for great laughs) and a quick glamorizing. Invite a cosmetics pro (Mary Kay is usually very enthusiastic about sharing their expertise) to teach the essentials of skin care. Top off the pampering session with guests styling each other's hair. Borrow a book on braiding from the library. Present a small pack of beauty samples and a bright hair accessory as a favor to each girl. Create some delicious, yet healthy snacks.

Note: All of the above should include 1) themed invitations 2) casual food, 3) singing or dancing if applicable. Kids love to sing and dance to the hits of the day, rock and roll nostalgia favorites or party dances like the Hokey Pokey 4) enlist older teenage helpers to facilitate parties.

                            Month of August, 1999. 

Recycle and Improvise for Party Decorations 

Whether your clients are planning events for home, school, church, organization or business saving money is a concern. As well as any event professional you can be a wizard with your client's budget while creating magical effects. The goal is to create a quality illusion that will cost very little. Recruit a"champion bargain-hunter-garage-saler-dumpster-diver" to scour the nooks and crannies for your decor treasures. Then, challenge a crafting genius to turn your trash into cash as party decor that can either be rented or given as a minimum purchase perk. You will be a real hero for reducing your customers decoration costs.

1. Arrange a single large silk flower (with a long stem wrapped in green florist tape) on a mirror tile, with the stem twisted in cork screw fashion to create a stand. It may be taped to secure, then trimmed with ribbons, shred, twinkle lights. A smaller single blossom floating or placed in a florist bubble may be trimmed with a bow, tulle or garland, then set at each place or used at registration as a seating assignment.

2. Make a large bow of gold-sprayed window screening (from hardware store), add trim and use as centerpiece. Place a votive candle in glass container in the center of a 8" x 8" square of gold sprayed screening, tie around rim with gold cord, then decorate with holiday ornament trim. Make a matching napkin ring of screening and matching decor. Place bow and votives on mirror tile or circle for an elegant arrangement.

3. Paint or cover boutique size tissue boxes with gift wrap, mylar, fabric, decoupage, napkin art, crafts to create a handy-dandy arrangement holder. The opening is ideal for flowers, favors or balloons on sticks. Weight box down with rocks , use *Magic Mounts to stabilize boxes to mirror tile, or other base.

4. Place small green plastic fruit containers upside-down in the bottom of box, coffee can or fancy gift bag to hold flowers, greens, balloons or favor stems in place. Weight down and affix to base with Magic Mounts.

5. Spray paint white elephant vases, baskets, mugs, bottles, pots, tins, etc. (gold works great) Add touches of glitter. Coordinate matching flowers, ribbons, tulle, lace and greens to create slightly different elegant arrangements for each table. Add twinkle lights, mirror tiles, votives, stars around garland and mylar shred for a more dazzling effect. This is an idea that can work with any amount of tables.

6. Perform spray paint magic on castoff plastic flowers , greens and fake fruit/vegetables. Spray all the same and arrange in identical vases for creatively uniform centerpieces. Ideal for small cocktail table decor. Flat white or black with gold and glitter touches look spectacular at an elegant affair.

7. Plain heavy brown paper bags can be sponge painted with silver or gold paint, then cut to make place mats, napkin rings, favor wrappings. Lunch size bags, with decorative cut-outs, work for luminaria lights. Accent any brown bag arrangements with straw and paper ribbon, paper shred. Inexpensive decorative items can be created with corrugated cardboard.

8. Save balloon ribbon spools. Spray paint to beautify, then glue a faux silver plate on top of two silver spools. Ideal for elevating small arrangements. Use glue gun to stack spools in a pyramid, three deep. Place small silk or real flowers and greens into center of each spool, spilling out to create arrangement. Trim arrangement with tulle, garland and lights. Spools can also be painted, trimmed with jewels, braid, tulle, garland, ribbons and used as individual bud vases and/or place cards at each place. IDEA: Why not tie the napkin around a decorated ribbon spool that holds a miniature flower arrangement and/or tiny balloons on a stick? Write guest name and table number on mylar mini-balloon back for a seating card.

9. In addition to standard chair covers or back bows, table runners or place mats you can offer artistic one-of-a-kind beauties created from sheets , pillowcases, shower curtains, draperies, stained or torn rental linens. Dye and/or hand paint plain colored fabrics. Prints or florals can be glitter painted in accent spots, hemmed for place mats and sewed in strips for napkin ring ties. Chair covers can be tied around chairs with gold cord, tulle, ribbon or wired ribbon. These sets will be ideal to make available for customers having small dinner parties.

10. Save burnt out light bulbs of any size...spray them gold or silver (or color of choice) touch with a little sprinkle of glitter and tuck into holiday arrangements, wreaths or table enhancement.

11. Small cat food cans, baby food bottles, colored bottled water containers, mis-matched china cups, cream/sugars or small t-pots are all great for vases, favors or candle holders. TIP: Use a new "smooth edge" can opener for all cans that will be recycled as decorations.

12. Glamorize old cowboy boots with spray paint, decorative trim and use for centerpieces or table decor. Glitzed up kids size boots can be used with plastic liners to hold breadsticks, beef jerky or tall celery sticks, etc.

13. New, and lined with plastic, sports shoes double as whimsical snack servers or centerpiece arrangement components.

14. Elegant high heel pumps can also be glamorized and used as table decor at formal or theme events.

15. Have your "treasure hunter" dig for garments or remnants of velvet, lame, lace, satin, brocade, animal prints and more..........small pieces can be used for buffet table draping or tier covering -- another item that will thrill a customer at very little cost to you.

16. Mylar balloons, once deflated can be recycled and used for a gift sack by cutting off the stem.

17. Affix straw to the outsides of empty cardboard boxes, tie with wire as in bales, use as western theme prop. Actual bales are heavy and inconvenient to transport and dispose of.

Month of September, 1999:


Plan a Brilliant Brunch for the Veddy Ritzy Bunch. A hoity-toity gathering designed as a social-climbing spoof,that is loaded with high-tone laughs.

Formal, engraved or specially lettered
Tiny rhinestones glued on the R.S.V.P. period dots
Trimmed with lace, pearls, cords of silver and gold
Sprinkled with sparkle and glitter to dazzle your guests into a festive and fancy RSVP of "YES, We Wouldn't Miss It, Dahlings!

Ultra posh · Formal
Dripping with real or fake diamonds and precious gems
Fluffy and faux furs

Fashion Show of glamorous and glitzy fashions
Prize to the best dressed
Sophisticated violin or harp music
Genteel gossip
Toasts and tributes

"Fabulous Fakes" diamond jewelry
Crystal-like knick knacks
Imitation gold and silver "knock-offs"
Phony designer doo dads
Books, tapes, videos of get-rich-quick schemes
Gag gifts for the person who has everything
Elegantly wrapped next-to-useless gadgets, gimmicks and gizmos

Gift for Guest of Honor:
Order a wonderful silver serving tray with the event date and all guests names engraved in a lovely design on the surface

Glamor, glitter and glitz
Luxurious lamé and lace
Crystal chandeliers and candelabra
Sparkly and shiny fabrics and papers
Elegant table settings and exclusive decorator touches [Check with your local department store or community theater for display and prop items that may be rented.]

A beautifully and exquisitely presented brunch with silver, crystal, fresh flowers, linens and lace to richly complement the theme.

This is just one of the party plans found in my book 52 Totally Unique Theme Parties, now available on disk. Only $5.95. It can be ordered from my catalog page at Party & Event Planning Guides

December, 1999

 Stress-Free Holiday Celebrations

Take some of the stress and hassle out of your holiday entertaining by adding an unusual and unexpected twist to your party with the following ideas:

DIFFERENT TIME: To add an element of surprise and intrigue to your party invite your guests for breakfast, brunch, luncheon, tea, dessert or even midnight snack. With all of the same flair and careful planning that you would put into a traditional holiday party, create your invitation, decor, refreshments and entertainment. These off-time gatherings will be a welcome break from the standard Friday or Saturday night function.

DIFFERENT PLACE: Whether you gather your guests in a ballroom, barn or bowling alley you can make your party a happy holiday happening. Unusual locations such as art galleries, atriums, mansions or indoor gardens will add an air of novelty and excitement and a friendly backdrop for your event. Then, again, for more casual gatherings head out to ranches, rinks, gymnasiums or parks where the comfortable background will encourage relaxing and socializing--all with a holiday spirit.

TRY A THEME: How about a Holiday Hoe-down western theme party with country western music, group lessons in the "Electric Slide" or a lively square dance? Add a festive touch of creativity with a "Trim-a-ten Gallon Hat" contest. Plan an escape for a Hawaiian Holiday, complete with tropical decor, island food fare, authentic music and entertainment. Invite your guests to swing their hips in a Hula Hoop contest. Another perfect holiday theme takes place in a snowy Alpine atmosphere where the serving style is Swiss Fondue. Add some Tyroleon music, snuggle dancing and your guests will all burst into a Yuletide yodel!

MIX WORK WITH PLAY: Bring your guests together for not only enjoyment, but also for employment. Hang decorations, wrap packages, address cards, bake (then exchange) cookies, swap homemade or handmade projects during your party. Who said you can't mix cheer with chore? Surprise! These activities are not just for the ladies so encourage the gents to show up and show off their special skills.

CARE AND SHARE: Organize a giving project such as assembling food baskets for a family, toys and clothing for kiddies, or books and personal items for seniors. Go the extra mile (literally) and make the delivery of the items for seniors a part of the party. Add to an already meaningful visit by adding a bit of show biz to the occasion with some spirited holiday singing.. After these altruistic acts, let your guests share the after- glow with a hearty holiday spread back at the party site.

April 2000

Closet Clean-Out & Stuff-Swap Party! 

Springtime is the perfect time to welcome a new season by
clearing out your no-longer-adored wearables--clothing,
accessories and jewelry--at a friendly and festive "Stuff Swap"!

It is actually a practical party scheme that makes an excellent
get-together for family members, friends and neighbors. Plus,
with a bit of refinement the plan can be successful for
school/church, club and association members, and even, retail
promotions. By pricing all items for sale you can turn the
event into a fund raiser. New items solicited from local
merchants or guest business-owners will bring more revenue
and add excitement for shopping enthusiasts.

This party plan is good for ladies only or to include the gents
--to unload impulse purchases, "no-longer-your-ideal-size" or
"haven't-worn-in-a-decade" fashion items. Hey, the oldies
could just be back in style again and one of the other guests
might be thrilled to add it to his/her wardrobe.

This theme event turns a less-than-thrilling task into the
basis for a casual and comfortable change-of seasons gathering.
The scheme is to invite the guests to bring some of their
"too-good-to-toss" spring\summer fashion treasures and join in
a fun and friendly barter or buy bazaar.

These delectable discards should be clean, ready-to-wear,
but not necessarily in style, or even in good taste or
practical because that is all relative. It is a well-known
fact that one person's couture castoff could be another's
fashion find.

The time for this party could be at breakfast, brunch, lunch,
tea time, dinner, cocktail hour or dessert. Indoors, outdoors,
back porch or ballroom--all could be the ideal venue for
such a novel concept. It may be run as an auction or as a
flat sale event complete with "marked down" tags and custom
(recycled) shopping bags.


 1. Suggest the number of items for each guest to bring.

2. Serve a pot-luck menu, with each guest bringing an assigned
refreshment. (I guess you could call it a "Clean Out the
Cupboard" party, too.)

3. Contact your local closet organizer company and solicit any
organizational tip brochures or giveaway items to include with
your invitation.

4. Request that they also give your guests a special discount on
product and service purchases to be used as take-home gifts.

5. For appealing party favors give hanging sachets or padded
hangers. Male guests will appreciate spicy-scented sachets,
as well as belt or tie racks.

6. For raucus fun, make an entertainment activity of awarding
a prize to the contributor of the worst "fashion faux pas."
prepared with their closet catastrophe. Additional funds will be
raised as owners pay a handsome price to get rid of their award

7. To add even more entertainment, invite some amateur musicians
to perform...billed as the "Closet Outcasts."

8. Encourage guests to bring "hopeless" items and engage
a crafty person(s)to demonstrate how to turn them into
fantastic creations with their clever remodeling strategies.

I hope this party plan helps you to burst into spring with a
fun-filled session of shopping, swapping and sharing, along
with socializing. Guests will celebrate the new season, their
newly purged closets and mostly the piles of new-found treasures
that they will carry home.

Special Theme Ideas

He or She is a Real Gem

This is one of the best "gemeric" themes to pay tribute to one(s) who do not have an obvious pastime, hobby, talent or occupation that fits as a theme. The words "treasured", "valuable", "sparkling", "precious", or "irreplaceable" must be included in party details. This theme works equally as well for a birthday, anniversary or retirement celebration. In addition, it is ideal for awards and gratitude events.

Invitation: Your gem of a person(s) deserves a gem of an invitation, one with sparkle and glitter and a touch of treasure. It should have a look of value and clarity, like a precious gem. To let your guests know that the occasion is to honor a person(s) for an accomplishment or deed that sets him among the true gems.

*Type the party details in a calligraphy font, the long way on a slip of paper 3 X 11 inches.
*Affix adhesive-backed toy jewels to the paper in random spots as if sprinkled.
*Fold the paper accordian style to fit into a small, silver or gold jewelry gift box.
*Tie a length of 1/4 inch wide metalic ribbon around the folded paper, and make a pretty bow on top.
*Place this in the box and tie another length of ribbon around it in the same way as the paper.
* Trim the outside of the box with small adhesive backed jewel stones.
* Mail in a small padded envelope for protection against damage. It's a very lightweight package and should be low postage.
Resource: The self-adhesive jewels can be found in the Oriental Trading Catalog.

Room Décor: Jewelery Posters scored from local jewelers or department store. Jeweltone balloons and ribbons.
Centerpiece: Florist corsage box, see-through, irridescent shred, mardi gras beads, jeweltone balloons, and streamers.
Table décor: Faceted votive candle holders
Crystal goblets with votives
Velvet place mats or table runners
Mirror tiles or jewelry display pedestals
Linens and holders: Fake diamond ring or fake jewel bracelet on elastic=napkin holder.
Table covers and chair backs in jeweltones, silver or gold.

Preferred Seating: An event planned to celebrate the wins and wonders of a family member, dear friend or associate is most likely going to draw a crowd of fans. A dinner for a "fan club" requires assigned seating for each guest at least to a designated table. Instead of table numbers label tables after gems, Diamond, Ruby, Saphire, etc. etc. Trim place card with stone to match table ID.

Food Facets: Buffet table covered with velvet or mylar, jewelry boxes as elevation for food containers, fake gems sprinkled among folds of velvet, add costume jewelery accents, brooches, necklaces, etc.

*Something delicious on diamond shaped toast
*Pearl onions
*Oysters w/o pearls
*Star-Shaped saphire Jell-O
*Emerald, Ruby, Saphire jello cubes in goblets
*Sparkling Water
*Ruby Red Wine
*Karat Kake
Tip: Whenever you serve theme named food such as "Carat Cake" place a small tent card in front of it as part of the décor.

Activities: *Awards Ceremony, tiara for lady, jeweled crown for man
*Toasts and Testimonials
Treasure Trove Trivia: Designed with questions related to gems such as:
*Name the two stars of the movie, Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend. (Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell)
* Name the stars of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. (Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard)
Come up with at least 12 questions…2 very easy, 4 medium difficult, 4 difficult and 2 impossible.

Rules: Place an answer sheet and pencil on each table (hidden, if possible) for each table to fill in as a team.
Announce the game, when time is called, sheets are passed to the next table for correction. Host or DJ reads answers.
The team with the most correct answers wins prizes for each member. This is a wild and wonderful way to break the ice before dinner.

Favor: A trinket treasure in a small gold gift box trimmed with bow, gem. Boxes are in bowl or basket, on each table, when guests leave they each take a favor.
Tip: You can also wrap an empty box elaborately, attach a small gift tag imprinted with the Guest of Honor's name and the date, and affix a small piece of magnetic material on it...Voila! a memento magnet.
Caution: Don't tell your guests about this until near the end of the party for the centerpiece will be destroyed the minute you do.
Prizes: Bottle of Jewelry Cleaner
Calculator with jewels
Giant Diamond Ring Napkin Holder
Pearl Bath Beads
Rhinestone pin or tie tack

Take the jumpstart ideas here and create your own party that will give your guest(s) of honor memories to treasure for a lifetime.



December, 2000-- 11 Down...1 to Go!,
in the First Year of the New Millennium

       I've set up a whole page of holiday tips for you to review plus there is a new holiday newsletter from for your enjoyment.  Click onto the sites below:

            Patty's Holiday Page

  Holiday News

New Year's Eve theme party ideas

Enjoy the information and the holiday season. Remember to slow down and enjoy your family, friends, associates and keep the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Celebrate each day!

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