Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY OUTDOOR FRENCH BOHEMIAN PARTY

Pictures from a vintage French themed party that was put together for our friend Cynthia's birthday.

We put up a projector and played the film, "The Artist", which was perfect considering the setting.

The effort that went into the all the details of this beautiful party were absolutely astounding.

Overall, a perfect day.

A party like this is pretty simple to pull off with creativity, some helping hands and good weather.

Here are the huge array of pictures I took while enjoying the evening:

vintage gypsy bike with flower handles
pain, fromage, raisins, salami
the spread
homemade french treats
 no movie is complete without popcorn!
the birthday girl (in yellow), upon seeing her surprise
bows (I'm in love with photographing the back of people's heads)
 le wafers de chocolat
nikki, donning her diy crown 
 movie treats, complete with tags and bags
 just my boyfriend, james dean
 loulou, our french waif
 lanterns and sunlight
 looks of love
 the eiffel tower and wine tower
 flower crowns - make them HERE 
the lovely blondies
Jess, our very own model, looking gorgeous as always

lo and lou
sipping on homemade lemonade

 waiting for the movie
 lou decided to ride on the gypsy bike

playing with the puppy
the boys and their drinks of choice
the wisest four year old any of us know
lovely green lantern

burlap pillow case

girls enjoying the beautiful day
the guests and the propped up huge canvas we used as a projector screen
playing with fire

enjoying the treats
delicate lanterns


HOW IT WAS DONE:
Debbie, Queen of crafts and party planning, showed me some tricks to make your own perfect outdoor french party. Here are the things you'll need:

a. Mason jars (many)
b. Candles of various sizes
c. Tea candles 
d. Folding tables
e. Thrifted tablecloths or sheets with vintage patterns
f. Lawn furniture, benches, couches or whatever you can have outside
g. Futons or mattresses, placed on old sheets for protection. 
f. Giant Canvas, Plain white wall or projection screen
g. Thrifted french style ornaments, such as birds, gilded boxes, gold and silver trays, etc. 
h. Cutest paper plates and napkins you can find (you can usually get these at the Dollar Store)
i. Plastic utensils
j. Bunting, in either vintage french pattern or cream / white
k. Christmas lights 
l. Extension cord
m. Blankets, pillows and throws
n. Projector
o. Miniature paper bags (many)
p. Strong yard/rope to hang mason jars and lanterns 
q. Lanterns
r. Clothes pins
s. Fake flowers (baby's breath is perfect for a party like this) 
t. A film- Make it something French, Black and White, or if that fails, stick with Amélie
.
Find an area of your yard that will work for your party. Plan it around a space that will work to either prop your canvas screen, hang your projection screen or facing, but not too close to, a white wall.
Set up your tables, keeping in mind how many guests your're going to have. Cover the tables in your thrifted sheets and table cloths. Have someone with strong arms help you move all the furniture, and maybe a few to help you move the futons or mattresses. Make sure you'll have enough seating for everyone attending. Add blankets and pillows.
Prop up your projector screen (if you're using one) and grab your projector. Find a good spot to place it, and have someone good with projectors figure out how to get it to work (this may take awhile).
In the meantime, grab your extension cord and Christmas lights. Find an outlet and get those lights wrapped up on some nearby trees, or even on a bench or table. 
A lot of the delicacies at the party were homemade. This is awesome if you have the time, sanity, or helpers to do it all. There are amazing recipes online for French tarts and pastries. Find the ones that are simple and have less prep time to make it easier on yourself. If baking means burning the house down to you, then head over to Trader Joes or Whole Foods to pick up cute snacks. The main things you may want are:

1. Baguette and possibly another delicious, crusty bread
2. Grapes (champagne and large)
3. Brie and other assorted cheeses
4. Assorted crackers
5. Salami and prosciutto 
6. Sparkling juice for the little ones
7. Wine, red and white
8. Champagne
8. Tarts, pastries and cakes (that is, unless you're making them yourself)
9. Strawberries (for lemonade and chocolate covered strawberries)
10. Chocolate to melt or chocolate fondue for dipping strawberries
11. Lemons
12. Lemonade
13. Croissants
14. Truffle oil (if you want to make really special popcorn)
15. Popcorn
16. Raspberries

And candies for the movie:

1. Chocolate covered almonds 
2. Chocolate wafers
3. Tootsie rolls
4. Chocolate covered pretzels
5. Gummy bears
6. Skittles
7. Twizzlers
8. Any other candies your heart desires

Truffle popcorn is one of the easiest things to make. Simply take some butter-free popcorn after being popped, and put a few drops of truffle oil on them. Remember truffle oil goes a long way, so don't use too much. You can add some olive oil or butter if you think the popcorn is too dry. Add a touch of salt and you're done. Put your popcorn in miniature paper bags, or cute vintage popcorn bags. Everyone will love it.

Now it's time for your food prep. Thrift, borrow or steal (no, don't really) the most intricate and elegant silver or gold platters and dishes you can find. Lay out your pastries and cakes. Put your bread, crackers, meat and cheese wooden cutting boards or other platters. Add some grapes to garnish and nibble.

Make your chocolate covered strawberries and set them out. 

Make sure you have your mason jars, because you'll need them for the next part. They're simple to get. Order them in bulk online or buy them at Ace Hardware. You'll be happy if you get a lot because you will re-use them, believe me.

Cut up the rest of your strawberries, your lemons and raspberries. Pour your lemonade into your maison  jars, making sure you have enough for each guest. Add your sliced lemons, and berries and close each one. Put in a tub with ice and save for later.

Put your candies in mason jars by type. If you'd like, add name tags in french to each delicacy. You can do this either by cutting up some of the paper bags you bought and tying string through them, or by buying name tags. Line up the jars on a table with spoons so people don't have to use fingers. Put the rest of your paper bags for people to snack while they watch the movie.

Bunting for parties can either be made by hand with vintage fabric, or bought on Etsy. There are lots of sellers with really good prices, so just check it out. Hang it up anywhere you'd like, or paint/draw a name on it if the party is for a special someone.

Find a place you can string lanterns. Tie up some of your rope with a very sturdy knot. Open some of your mason jars and add tea candles. Tie some of the yarn around the lip of a maison jar and attach it to your line. If it is leaning too much, tie it from both sides and attach to the line. Take any latterns you have around and tie them up as well.

Add your food trays, drinks, etc to the tables. Fetch any handy treasures you may have picked up- a rusty Eiffel tower perhaps, a few floral boxes, some glass birds, a forgotten old bicycle- and add them to the ensemble. Place the rest of your crazy assorted candles around. Add your fake flowers to the tables and put the rest in mason jars or vases.

Put on the beret you've been waiting all year to wear, and watch as all your guests light up. 
Send us pictures of the shenanigans you get into!

xo. Lo


4 comments:

  1. This place looks amazing! I love these pictures.. like there is some kind of magic! Lovely! :)

    http://gamesoffashion.blogspot.com/

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  2. Thank you so much! It's perfect for a surprise party!

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  3. This was a lovely and meticulously planned party--we should all be so lucky! I partciularlly like the labels on the mason jars, it pulls the whole theme together nicely.

    Best,
    Rachel
    www.thecuratorial.com

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