Friday, July 14, 2017

Video Instructions to help you make DIY Party Decorations

Hello there. Glad you found us.
I'm Marlyss on the left who is writing this.
Stacey is my daughter.

I've been making party decorations here in Michigan for longer than I want to attach a number to.  Stacey joined up with me over 10 years ago. She has brains (went to West Point and got an engineering degree) and beauty and mad foamcore cutting skills and an overflow of creativity flowing thru her veins.

Stacey also has great iMovie skills so we've made some instructional videos to share with the world all the things we've learned about making and shipping party decorations all around the United States. We only ship in the USA but very often get requests from the UK, Canada, Australia and once even from Africa. We don't ship to these places but we definitely can offer our video help to folks anywhere out of the USA....or here as well in the United States if you are a do-it-yourselfer or a party professional who wants to enhance their skills.

We can always still make things and ship them directly to you but I realize that sometimes folks have really tight budgets or even just want to do things themselves to 
dig in deep into their party making process.  

We've learned so much over the years. Sometimes the hard way too. But we have grown and have made so many fun & unique party centerpieces and signs from the inspirational input that folks have given us to get our creative juices flowing.

If you want to dig in deep to make your own ideas or have to just because the budget is small but the ideas are large, one of these videos is just right for you!

Here's some of the topics covered in our videos:

"DIY CENTERPIECES"

 1. What we use for bases and where we get the material.
 2. How to make a hole in the base for elevated centerpiece poles and how to prevent
     wobbly poles.
 3. What variety of materials you can use to cover the bases.
 4. Where to get mylar.
 5. How to make beautiful mylar, tissue or ribbon poufs easily.
 6. Inexpensive poles to elevate your centerpieces and where to get them.
 7. What to fill the poles with and where to get the material.
 8. How to fill a clear pole.
 9. How to make a sprocket to keep your pole secure and straight.
10. How to attach props to the top of the pole.
11. What printer we use and how to get economical ink to make computer designs.

"TIPS & TRICKS with FOAMCORE" 
 1. What tools we use to cut foamcore.
​ 2. How to prevent choppy and rough edges when cutting foamcore.
 3. Best position for your knife when cutting thru foamcore to get even edges.
 4. How to cut perfect circles.
 5. How to clean up rough edges when they do occur.
 6. How to cut perfect stars.
 7. How to cut clean and crisp letters.
 8. How to make corner edges, rabbit edges, v-grooves and rounded edges. 
 9. Secret tips for bending foamcore and how to get concave, convex or curved edges.
10. The difference between white and black foamcore.
11. Tips for painting foamcore and what paints to avoid and which ones to use.
12. How to get a perfect and smooth glossy painted surface.
13. How to glitter foamcore to get the best look and avoid mistakes.

"How to MAKE an OCTAGON BASE"

1. This video shares all the tips to make one of our most popular upgraded bases instead 
    of using styrofoam.

2. We share how to get the measurements right and tips for getting the sides even and 
    straight and a perfect octagon.

3. We share how to cut & glue each side and assemble it into a sturdy and re-inforced  
    party centerpiece base that will enhance anything you place on top of it. 
    


These videos are available for 
immediate viewing and downloading.
Click Here:

Party Decoration Video Instructions



To order other items, email me at: marlyss@mac.com
Or, visit our websites:
www.marlyssandstacey.com
www.guitarcenterpieces.com

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Class of 2017 GIFT CARD BOXES


By far.... the post I made in 2009 about graduation centerpieces has been the most popular. I've added updates to it many times to keep it fresh. Since I post more on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, I have not made as many posts here on this blog even though it's alive and well.

So I decide to post my favorite gift card boxes from this years Class of 2017 to inspire and also to show that I'm still here and working away!

Our gift card boxes are made from foamcore and often painted with high gloss Rustoleum colors. We use layered cutouts for lettering and photos to add dimension to the boxes. There is always a slot on top and a trapdoor on the bottom. 

Simple ones start at $85. Two to three level ones average $150-185 plus shipping.

They can be ordered by emailing me at 
marlyss@mac.com

I'll keep adding to this page as the season goes along but here's a few graduation gift card money envelope boxes to get started.

First let me say.....we never limit the amount of photos you can use. 
Some folks use one photo and it can be great. Some use many and that's sure fun too!





Sometimes we don't even use a photo and it can be colorful, classy and fun also.




We can work with many different ideas just as Kyndle's shows with her 
one-of-a kind logo at the top that she designed and 
her love of super heroes leading her to her college studies in animation.





If you want to view more gift boxes from the PAST years...or centerpieces... 

I'd love to hear from you with your ideas for a 
cool graduation gift card box that reflects you.






Monday, September 19, 2016

Cutting Foamcore

Cutting foamcore should be easy.
But it's not always easy for some folks.

This picture proves it.

But it's easy for us.

Here's an example below.

This was a 30" freestanding name in
multiple layers of foamcore.




If you need us to cut anything out of
foamcore  for you, please email us or
visit our website at:
www.partydecorationsbymarlyss.com


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Best iPad Mini protection cases and jackets to carry it in

First off....Let me say that all my jackets MUST have an iPad mini pocket. If they don't, well then, I just won't buy it.  My iPad Mini travels with me both on vacations and around town and out to eat frequently. It's my buddy.

I have 3 levels of jackets for here in Michigan.

LIGHT WEIGHT: Costco fleece jackets (or similar) with the all-important zipper pockets on the sides so things can't fall out and an inside pocket that is big enough...just barely.... for the iPad mini. "Barely" counts as good enough for me.




MEDIUM WEIGHT: My favorite medium weight jacket is from ScotteVest. Here's me and one of the 15 pockets this jacket has. It's called the Chloe Glow Hoodie and is $90 unless you get it on sale which I did. I didn't receive any benefits from saying this but I love their clothing and if I was a millionaire,  I'd probably order everything they have for women. Since I'm not, I'm selective.  

I ordered this one in XL because I like to layer up underneath it. I'm 5'4" and 135lbs and it fits me fine. Since Scottevest tends to have very accurate measurements if you like a more loose casual fit, I suggest upping it one size and forgetting about your ego like I had to do.




HEAVY WEIGHT: If I'm more dressy or it's really cold here in Michigan then my black coat from Columbia with an inner and removable very warm Omni-Heat silver liner fits the bill. I also ordered this in XL. I bought it at an outlet mall and kept trying them on until it felt just right. The outlet mall also had a North Face outlet but I'm too frugal for that. Columbia was fine with me. I liked their prices better and I couldn't love this coat anymore than I do...unless it was plastered with a North Face logo....because this pocket is BIG and could probably hold a little kid or puppy inside it instead of my iPad mini. 

Now about the iPad mini cases.

For 3 years I've had an Invellop Leatherette Case that I bought for $14.95.
It still looks like new. "Leatherette" is good stuff. Wears well.

The best feature on the Invellop Case
is that you can close the cover and it shuts the iPad mini off.
That's my favorite feature.

My second favorite feature is that it holds a pen stylus with an elastic loop. It's worked
great for 3 years and is still working just fine. It's handy to always have a pen and I use
the writing pen end more than the rubber stylus because...now my next favorite feature...it has some credit card slots that I keep small sheets of paper in instead.
Perfect for a quick note. 
(I know I could use an app for that but sometimes I stay in old school mode.)

The only drawback to the Invellop Case...and it's a major one....is 
that it will not reliably stand up.
I can't tell you how often I've used a salt and pepper shaker behind it to raise it up.
That works well in a restaurant but when I'm laying in bed that trick won't work. So I just hold it in my hand or prop it on blankets. 
It does have a hand strap but it's thin and doesn't instill confidence.

That's why when I got the chance to try the Gladius iPad mini case by New Trent (on the left) that goes for $35.93 I jumped right on the deal they offered me to review it and try it at a discount.



I was intrigued by the metal stand and the beefy hand strap. That's what drew me in and both features did not disappoint.  (The Invellop on the right is playing nice and standing for the picture but it doesn't have the iPad mini in it for the picture. When the iPad mini is in the Invellop case the weight makes it very unstable.)

The fact that I now have to press a button on the side to shut off the iPad...or wait 2 minutes for it to auto shut off....gosh I'm so lame....makes me not miss folding over a lid quickly to shut it off seem like something I can live without. Especially since there is a clear cover over it now that comes as part of the more protected Gladius case on the left.

The New Trent Gladius case stands up by itself so well. It stands up even on my bed when I turnover or adjust. It's a very sturdy kickstand. It's not an adjustable one though. But the angle choice they decided to make it was probably for this reason and it's more easily viewed straight on than looking down at it.

I thought I'd use the hand strap more now that it's a beefier one on the New Trent Gladius. I guess if I worked in the Apple store and walked around with it more, I probably would. (And I'd look so cool in my grey t-shirt with the Apple logo. 
If only I was an Apple genius. If only. If only.)


I thought I might go back to my old Invellop
case because I love familiarity and there is comfort in things you are use to. 
But....I guess the winner is the New Trent Gladius because my iPad mini is still in there.
I think it has found a new home. And...as you can tell from the size, it still
fit in all my pockets!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Selling on the Internet thru our websites and social media

 Someone told us we are everywhere on the internet.
(Not true....I can't be everywhere but I sure do try.)

Someone else told me they just found us.

So I keep trying to put new ideas out there on my
favorite places in the internet world.

I try hard to scatter pictures and helpful information all around
on my personal favorite social media sites. 
We are on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook and
our two websites:

I try to vary the pictures. 
I'm an avid photo taker with my iPhone and my
Nikon CoolPix P520. 

I love making collage theme pages because I know
folks love to collect ideas and inspiration whether they
use us for it or not. I'm willing to share ideas in abundance.

One of our most popular ideas is our guitar pick placecards.

Here's an example of a themed page I made to help folks 
get the idea of what we can do or they can implement.


We also welcome custom designs in this
category or any other themes.

We are all about new ideas...bring it on!

(This is a pick placecard and the matching larger
Table Name/Number for the dining table.)

We've got you covered if you want something new, 
creative and innovative.

Email us at:
marlyss@mac.com
or use the contact form on our one of
our websites.

We'd love to hear from you if you find us here or
anywhere on the "interwebs" of cyberspace.








Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Behind the scenes with a fashion/shopping themed party.

Here's some pictures from the development of a shopping 
themed Bat Mitzvah party.

It all started with several preliminary logo designs and 
ended with one similar to the the top right one.



This is the one finally selected.
We had lots of party stuff all over our work room.

Then we shipped things to another state with
instruction pages included for the balloon person
to assemble and bring to the party.

Then it moved on to the party room and
the party got started and the guests picked up
their 'credit card' place card.
Macy's Gift Card Money Box.


Sign In Board
Look at that sweet baby photo! We photoshopped
her shirt to pink to match and added lots of colorful 
borders all around. I had to restrain myself from adding
 a little shopping bag into that cute little fist because it
wasn't wanted by Macy but I think it turned out
very cute anyways.

 What a delightful party!

marlyss@mac.com






Friday, November 7, 2014

Instructions to Help Make Party Decorations or DIY

When we ship out our party decorations, we very often
send an instruction page with finished photos.

This helps in the re-assembly upon arrival.

They are easy to assemble.

But sometimes a picture just makes it
even EASIER.

Here's some examples of an INTRUCTION PAGE we've
sent out with some of our designs.

We also send out VISUALS to help with decisions on
types of party decor like whether to use mylar poufs or
shredded mylar for example.

Maybe just looking at them will help you if you
are a do-it-yourself person.

If you aren't a DIY type of person, then send us 
an email at: marlyss@mac.com and we
can talk about how we can help you have an
#FABULOUS PARTY.







Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Party Centerpieces 2014

2014 

Here's a smattering of some of 
the things happening this year.
Guitars are always popular for centerpieces for
all the Rock Star parties happening.

Butterflies and Broadway.

Football and Gambling.

And YoYo-ing too!

Contact us with your theme!

marlyss@mac.com

www.MarlyssandStacey.com



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sweet and Simple Party Centerpiece

On this first day of a cold and wintery February, 
I decided it was time to post a picture with the
sweet and simple centerpieces we did for
a young lady named Summer.

www.marlyssandstacey.com

Finding a balance in an unheated garage.



"Best Advice" articles for those in their own business.

My favorite paragraph was on  Business Balance. 
Here's an excerpt.

I had just used that word the day before in a form 
I was filling out for an application for a small business
grant contest that Fedex is sponsoring.
Here's my form. 



Starting January 16th if enough folks are kind enough to vote
for us then we may move onward to the next level of finalists.

I have plans for what I would do with the grant and it 
involves upgrading my shipping area. 

I "balance" my work life between designing on the computer and boxing
and shipping our party decorations that Stacey brings to life.

My teeter totter balances between being cozy and comfortable at the
computer and being cold and frosty in our garage shipping area.

Oh how nice it would be if my teeter totter was level and I 
was warm in both places. I would have achieved another
form of 'Balance' in another area of my life. 
I'm so hoping to see that in my future!



Friday, August 30, 2013

Slot Machine Gift Card Money Boxes for weddings, sweet 16 or mitzvahs

SLOT MACHINE GIFT CARD BOX

Perfect for any age or Vegas/gambling themed party.
This one was for an 86th birthday but it works just as well for a Sweet 16.
There is a slot in the top to drop those money envelopes into.
Each one can be fully customized with your words and colors.

Or a WEDDING.

We did it in Vegas!
Love it!
What a cute saying for a slot machine 
GIFT CARD MONEY BOX.

This colorful red gift card box was
for a reception held after the bride & groom
came home from Vegas.

I'm sure it set the mood for the party.
I heard the red 7's had special meaning for 
the groom.

Just like these "16"'s have special
meaning at this Sweet Sixteen party.


Just like these wedding bells have
special meaning on this wedding
gift card slot machine.

Or the "Bar" on this Bar Mitzvah slot machine.


There are so many ways to 
customize these foamcore slot machines.
Here's one we customized with the
Caesar's Palace font style and the Soy Money
logo and the logo on the front of the box that were
 used in the party.



How can we customize one for you?

marlyss@mac.com


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birthday Party Decorations...Every year should be the best one.

Start with Birthday #1.
That's pretty important even though
you might not remember it, you should
have some good photos to look back on and
say:  "Ahhhh....wasn't I so cute and look
at the fun stuff at my party."  

Actually...you should be able to say 
that very same thing EVERY YEAR.

So...Happy Birthday #1.
Ahhhh.....Carolena is so cute.

And...look at the fun stuff at her party.

At another one year old party we did baby animals.





 Maybe a King or Queen of the Jungle theme?



Baby animals are fun for a few early years.
Then into maybe music and guitars?
Or maybe the Rock theme can start the
first year.






Happy Birthday guitars work for any age
and there are other accents that can
go along with it like a Placecard
Board or a big sign.



Maybe there is no "theme"...just "birthday" is 
the theme. That's a theme for sure.


Or.....hobbies and things that say who
you are and what you like make for fun
birthday centerpieces.


Probably the years we get the most
requests to make something special are
13 and 16.

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs at 13 and
Sweet Sixteens.




I have many more pictures from
 Mitzvah Parties and
Sweet 16's on the website at

Come and visit us there to see more.