Monday, January 6, 2014

New Years Eve 2014

For the last three years that we have been in our apartment, we've had a few friends over for New Years. Our apartment is perfect for New Years thanks to our roof deck which provides a 360 degree view of all of the fireworks in the city. It's absolutely breathtaking! Things tend to get pretty crazy (hey, we're a fun bunch!) but I also like to class it up a bit with a few decorations. Luckily Christmas decorations already make the space feel pretty festive, but I always add one or two things to spruce it up for New Years. 

DIY New Years Eve table decorations | Choosing Happy Blog
NYE Table Set-up

Last year I had made gold glittery numbers for the date and luckily had the foresight to make a 4 for this year as well! Bravo last year me! I decided to build off of that, using gold glitter as my theme. I was really pleased with the result. AC Moore craft store is seriously my happy place, and I found so many fun things there. 

I'm loving the striped paper straws that are EVERYWHERE on Pinterest and was so happy to find them in gold. I had saved some hats and noise makers from previous years and separated the gold ones out for a table display. Also included: 2014 Sign, Glitter Banner Stirrers, Champagne Cupcakes, Glitter Photo Backdrop.

I had some leftover glitter scrapbook paper from making the Glitter Photo Backdrop so I just scattered a few pieces over the table.


DIY New Years Eve table decorations | Choosing Happy Blog

To keep the sparklers together before midnight I tied them with a gold ribbon.

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream | Choosing Happy Blog

These cupcakes were AMAZING! I displayed them on the Charlotte cake pedestal from Crate and Barrel to add some height to the display. Recipe is below. 

Glitter banner drink stirrers for New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

Not particularly functional drink stirrers but so darn cute!

DIY New Years Eve table decorations | Choosing Happy Blog

DIY New Years Eve table decorations | Choosing Happy Blog
Even my Christmas decorations were feeling festive :-)


 Champagne Cupcakes
First things first, the cupcakes! They were so fluffy and amazing. I used gold star glitter (edible on top), and gold foil cupcake wrappers. 


Champagne cupcakes with champagne buttercream | Choosing Happy blog

I typically don't like using cake mix for cupcakes since you don't know what's in it, however, sometimes you just have to. Next time I do these I'll probably try to alter this recipe so it's a bit more 'whole food friendly'.

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream | Choosing Happy Blog

For the Champagne Cupcakes, you will need:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups champagne (use a bit more if the batter seems to dry)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Heat oven to 350. Place foil baking cups in 24 regular-size muffin cups. 

Mix dry cake mix and champagne in mixer. Add oil and egg whites. Mix on medium speed until batter is smooth. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Side note: For me this recipe yielded less then 24 cupcakes because I prefer my cupcakes to be a bit more full over the top of the foil.

Bake 20-22 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream | Choosing Happy Blog

For the Champagne Frosting, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup champagne
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix room temperature butter, champagne and vanilla in mixer at low speed. Sift powdered sugar into mixer cup by cup allowing to mix thoroughly in between.

Transfer frosting to frosting bag with desired frosting tip and pipe icing onto the cupcakes. Top with desired garnish.


Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream | Choosing Happy Blog

Note: this is a take on this recipe from Betty Crocker. Pink Champagne cupcakes!

Glitter Banner Drink Stirrers
I like to set up champagne glasses for each of the guests with some kind of fun decoration. For 2013 I use gold and silver pipe cleaners to make 'firework' drink stirrers. They were cute, but I much preferred the banner style from this year. 


DIY 'Firework' drink stirrers for New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog
NYE 2013
DIY Glitter banner drink stirrers for New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

I LOVE this glitter tape! It's very easy to use and so pretty. I actually couldn't find a belt for my outfit so ended up making one with this tape! I just measured the size and then used a glue gun to attach it. It was a one time use belt since I had to cut it off at the end of the night, but it worked!

DIY Gold Glitter belt using craft tape | Choosing Happy Blog
Who would have guessed it was crafters tape!

DIY Glitter banner drink stirrers for New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

For the stirrers, I used lollipop sticks and wrapped the glitter tape around the top cutting the tip to look like a banner. Super easy!

DIY Glitter banner drink stirrers for New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

If I made these again I wouldn't use lollipop sticks since they are made of paper and tended to unravel and get soggy if you actually kept it in your drink for a long period of time. Plastic sticks would have worked much better. But they were definitely cute!


Glitter Photo Backdrop
Ok. Let me start by saying, this DIY project is a HEADACHE. I hate to admit that the payoff wasn't even worth the hassle which is the worst kind of project. If I had stayed truer to my original vision I think this would have worked out better. So here are a few lessons learned on this one:
  • Use double-sided paper. Once I set up the backdrop the glitter paper would spin and the backside was white - not so cute. I ended up taping it to the wall. Such a pain.
  • Make circles, not squares. I tried to make circles and even bought a special paper punch to make large circles, but it was an epic fail. Since I had to cut them all out by hand there was no way I was going to make circles. Even so - squares took forever.
  • Don't use 'Dandyline'. This stuff is pretty cool and I will be able to use it for other tasks, but it was just too thin for this project. Next time I would get a neutral color, broader ribbon or something and use my sewing machine to attach the paper to the string. More secure, quicker, easier.
  • Make the backdrop wider and longer then seems necessary. For the full effect you want to make sure the backdrop shows up no matter how you set up the camera. I didn't do that. Fail again.
That all being said, here is what I did. I cut the glitter scrapbook paper (about 12 sheets) into varying size squares. I did not worry about size consistency at all.

DIY Glitter photo back drop New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

DIY Glitter photo back drop New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

Then I laid out the squares the way that I wanted them on the floor face down, placed lines of the Dandyline on the back of the square and taped them in place. THIS part worked fine. I used an entire roll of tape. Craziness.

DIY Glitter photo back drop New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

DIY Glitter photo back drop New Years Eve | Choosing Happy Blog

I originally tried to use command hooks and the 'Dandyline' to attach the backdrop to the wall, but that is where I discovered the line was too thin. I ended up having to use way too much double-sided tape to get it to stick. 

My husband was kind enough to be my test subject for the photo backdrop, but since he had just come back from the gym he didn't want me to post the picture. I thought he looked cute, but why rock the boat ;-)


The party was fantastic. It's always so much fun to ring in the New Year with friends and family and I am really going to miss this apartment once we buy a house. We're hoping one of our friends decides to take it when we leave so that we can still have New Years here. A girl can dream!

Hope your New Years was fantastic!

xo
Alison

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