Some napkins capture ideas, others inspire them

My husband (let’s call him by his alter ego, “Igor”) will tell you I have a themed paper goods hoarding problem, but I like to think of it as a collection or investment. To me, the right paper plate or cocktail napkin is an inspiration. Finding the right pack of napkins at Home Goods or the Christmas Tree Shops, for example, kicks me into high gear planning a menu, tablescape and even attire for a themed party. 

Here are some examples of when one small cocktail napkin or other design element sparked an idea for an entire event: 

Old world wine cork napkins – the inspiration for the joint 30th birthday party for my friend Anne and I. With our birthdays in late November and early December, respectively, a wine harvest bacchanal themed event was fitting. Plus, it gave us an excuse to host a toga party. One of these days we intend to class it up and celebrate our birthdays with a Napa Valley wine tasting tour.

Banana leaf plates/napkins – these fun paper goods have been central to our semi-annual Cuban Dinner Party, which started as a way of exploring our Cuban American friend Carlos’ family recipes. While the roast pork is typically the star of the show, the evening has also included cigar tastings and a reading of a play written by our guest of honor (I’m afraid we didn’t do it justice #mojitos).  Since the last time we partied around this theme, I acquired from Home Goods a set of palm print melamine plates that I can’t wait to use for the occasion. I can taste the Yuca con Mojo now…

Princess evites – This adorable Paperless Post evite design by meri meri, one of my favorite brands, was the impetus for my older daughter’s first birthday party. More to come on that party soon. 

Outer space plates/napkins – another meri meri home run, the “To the Moon” paper goods suite was the perfect fit for Luna’s second birthday gathering. To learn more, check out my “Two the Moon Party” post. 

Whenever I see paper goods I think could be the central design element of a party, I buy and store them away in my designated party supply bins. It is now safe to say I could host no less than 4 children’s birthday parties on a moment’s notice!