Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Vintage party ideas & inspiration from Glemham Hall

Whether you’re planning a wedding or like the idea of having a fancy birthday party, I think that a vintage theme is perfect for summer events. When I visited the Glemham Hall vintage wedding fair I was struck by how many of the decorating ideas would work perfectly well for a garden party or a wedding anniversary. Even an afternoon tea with friends could be elevated to a special gathering with just a few vintage-inspired touches. Today I’m sharing some of the photos I took at the event and I hope it’ll help provide a little inspiration when you come to plan your own wedding, baby shower or anniversary party. vintage party wedding inspiration ideas retro_-5vintage party wedding inspiration ideas retro_-16vintage party wedding inspiration ideas retro_-19Adopting a vintage theme can also be a thrifty way to throw a party, as none of the elements needs to match – in fact, the more mismatched your china is, the better! Cobbling together some old jars and tins out of the attic, filling them with pretty blooms and hanging a length of floral bunting is more than enough decoration to hint at a bygone party theme.

In terms of entertainment, I love the idea of using an old record player to provide the background music while you enjoy the party. A cracking record of old songs is a charming soundtrack to a vintage party and you can still buy vinyl records at very low prices in charity shops or at car boot sales. Finding a record player might be more tricky, but ask around your friends and family to see if someone has one stashed away that you could borrow for the day. Failing that, it is possible to hire vintage record players, and even ancient gramophones!

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Shab-Fab: DIY Party Decor

If you’re planning a summer party but want to stick to a budget, how can you get a pulled-together chic look for only a few pounds? Well, if you’re up for a little DIY then adopting a ‘shabby chic’ style will do the trick. Your party decor can be as quirky as you like and, because you’ll be making most of the decorations yourself, it’s surprisingly affordable too. Whether you’re planning a wedding, a vintage hen party, a pretty birthday party or simply a summer gathering with friends, adopting a shabby chic theme makes it easy to plan special event with few resources. Read on to find out how…vintage china crockery floral shabby chic party ideas inspiration low cost budget thrifty table setting birdcage flowersTables and chairs
A shabby chic scheme calls for a lot of mixing and matching, so if you can borrow tables and chairs from friends, all the better. You may already have a house full of shabby chic furniture but even if you don’t have any chairs at all, you can unify those you’ve borrowed to create a cohesive look for the party. If your friends aren’t too keen on your idea to spray paint all their chairs white(!), simply decorate the backs of the chairs instead. Unify the different shapes by using the same colour fabric on each chair, hanging the linens down to cover at least two-thirds of the legs. Layering different shades of white is a nice way to keep the palette neutral without being too uniform.chair linens ribbon floral shabby chic party ideas inspiration low cost budget thrifty table setting

Chair and images above from Hostess with the Mostess blog

Wherever quilting supplies are sold, you can usually find packets of fabric with complementary colours and patterns. If these are too expensive, just get your ideas from the pre-mixed packs and buy some patterned fabrics individually. For a less whimsical feel, again go with layered shades of white: mixing cottons, linens, and ribbon. Cut them into uniform strips of about 2 inches wide and tie them to the backs of chairs. Quantity is key here: really fill the backs or it will look like an afterthought. Tie the strips horizontally with the ends coming out the middle to create a long ruffle or tie vertically and gather them in the middle with a bow or flower.carnnation flowers floral centrepiece shabby chic party ideas inspiration low cost budget thrifty

shabby chic flowers from The Bridal Guide

Centrepieces
If you’ve chosen really colourful fabrics, you’ll want a little less colour in the centrepiece, so you could go with simple greenery. Alternatively, white chairs beg to be paired with colourful flowers. Some classic shabby chic centrepiece basics would be birdcages, lanterns, or white ceramic pitchers. If you have a little craftiness in your DNA (and have the time!) cover aluminium cans with patterned paper, tie ribbon around them, and fill with peonies. Cheaper flowers can be bought from supermarkets and you could choose the most ‘blossomy’ stems so you’ll need fewer flowers to fill vases. Carnations (which are cool again these days!), Sweet Williams and scented stocks all fill a lot of space and don’t cost too much. Alternatively, pick your own flowers from the garden; daffodils in spring, foxgloves in June and hydrangea in August-September. If you want variety but don’t want it to look too ‘over the top’, mix up different types of flowers but use the same holders on each table.vintage china crockery floral shabby chic party ideas inspiration low cost budget thrifty table setting

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Ideas for a James Bond themed party

Organising a party that has an underlying theme to it can be a pretty difficult thing to do at the best of times, but if you are aiming to provide food that fits this theme then the task gets even tougher. The enduring popularity of the James Bond franchise, and the recent release of its latest smash hit – Spectre – have led to more people organising Bond themed parties. This lets people dress as 007 himself, or Bond girls, and enjoy casino themed foods – but how do you go about preparing these?james bond themed party decor ideas

Decorating ideas from ‘Catch My Party’ blog

Jam-filled playing card biscuits

It is not hard to see how these would be the perfect edible addition to a James Bond casino themed party and the great thing about them is that they are perfect for guests of all ages. Create the dough by sifting sugar into your bowl and beating together with lemon zest and butter until it is fluffy in consistency. At this point beat in egg yolk, salt and flour, before rolling the dough out and cutting it into roughly 7-inch rectangles. These should be frozen for half an hour minimum before being cut down to rectangles of around 2 inches each and baked for ten minutes. Once they have cooled, you cut the card symbols into them using cookie cutters and add the red or black jam to create the finished cards.playing card biscuits for james bond themed party

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Cherry chocolate cake recipe + my blog’s 4th birthday!

Today is Cassiefairy.com’s 4th birthday! I can’t believe I’ve had four whole years of happy blogging already and this little blog kick-started a whole new career as a writer for me so I couldn’t let the birthday pass unmarked. So I divided to push back my usual Pieday Friday cookery post by a day and I whipped up a cheeky cherry chocolate cake to celebrate.easy chocolate cherry cake baking recipe-7My blog anniversaries have passed me by in previous years and I’ve only ever celebrated my 1000th blog post with a cake before so I thought that this would be the perfect excuse to indulge in a cake just for me! I also wanted to try out a new recipe that I’ve been thinking about for a while. The starting point is a standard sponge recipe that I’ve added chocolate, cherry juice and amaretto syrup to in order to create a gooey cake that’s just a little lighter than a dense rich chocolate cake. It’s just as naughty and flavoursome though!  Continue reading “Cherry chocolate cake recipe + my blog’s 4th birthday!” »


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Rent it, love it, return it!

No, I’m not suggesting some dodgy take-your-dress-back-to-the-shop-after-wearing-it scheme! I’m taking about dress hire. Remember in the Sex and The City Movie when Carrie’s PA Louise has the best designer handbags on her arm and an assistant’s wage in her purse, baffling Carrie into asking how she has got hold of her waiting-list-only arm candy? Louise proudly tells Carrie that it’s rented and we all wondered how long it would be until a service like this arrives in the UK too. Well, it’s here right now! Yes, I’ve found out that you really can hire designer dresses, coats and accessories from Wish Want Wear.

Like Louise from the SATC film, I found an array of gorgeous handbags but immediately worried about creating pen-leaks and lipstick stains inside and being charged for the damage, so it’s definitely a service for special occasions rather than everyday use. But if I ever feel the urge to wear a £1650 Hervé Legér bandage dress, this is the place to come! When I discovered this website, I began thinking about all the events I need to go to this year; weddings, christenings and parties and started doing the mental arithmetic on how much a new outfit for each special occasion would cost me to buy. Now, I’d never be able to buy afford designer dresses but even so, the cost of an outfit soon adds up. I imagine that someone who attends a lot of work functions would get a lot of use out of this service, but would be right for me? As you know, I’m a thrifty kind of girl, so I looked at the lower-priced rental outfits and found a few at bargain rates.

wish want wear designer dresses

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Help with special occasions – hiring a chef for your party

Are you in need of a private UK-based chef to cater your upcoming event? There are a plethora of chefs to choose from, so how do you choose? Obviously you will want to try to find the best private chef you can but it can be difficult to differentiate them. We hired a private chef for our wedding and he came highly recommended so we were delighted with the service, but it’s not always this easy to organise a catering for your party! The best option is to get a series of quotes and speak to the various chefs and see which one offers the most bespoke service to match your taste and budget. Reading reviews and testimonials can help as they provide an invaluable insight into their quality and standards.

Regardless of how you research them, you should know what to expect from the top chefs so you get the best service. Whether you are looking to host a buffet, a banquet, a cocktail party or something in between, there is always a company out there ready to meet your needs with professional chefs and staff. What you want is one that will provide the most enjoyable and memorable experience for your guests. You want a high-quality chef with lots of proven experience who will work with you to create the perfect event.

ideal party photo of buffet

Ideal Party

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Party ideas ~ Photo Wall

Another feature of our anniversary party was the photo wall. We had a doorway that we needed to cover to stop guests going into the room, so we decided that we would cover it with a sheet of fabric and use it as a backdrop for a photo-booth style photo-wall. So I stitched a wide hem into the top and bottom of the fabric (like the tube that would encase dowling on a roman blind!) and inserted a garden cane in each hem. This meant that I had somewhere to hang the fabric from at the top, and the bottom cane kept the fabric neat and taut. I used a striped canvas fabric from Wholeport for this photo-wall backdrop and set up a tripod with a digital camera programmed onto self-timer.

cassiefairys wedding anniversary party ideas fancy dress photo booth wall

My husband and I then had an enjoyable shopping trip at a carboot sale to buy fancy dress accessories and hats for our guests to use as props for their photos. We set a limit of no more than 50p per item and I especially enjoyed buying two massive sombrero hats for 50p each! We already had a few wigs at home to add to the feather boas, bunny ears and police helmets that we bought so we stored them all in a big hamper for our guests to choose from while taking their photos. When I told my mum why we were buying these silly odds and ends, she insisted that I borrow her Tina Turner wig and chicken hat – both of which went missing at the end of the party – be warned, you WILL probably lose some of your fancy dress items!! So now I’m on a search for a replacement chicken hat and wig to give back to my mum. But as far as the party goes, the photo wall was a great success – we got photos of most of our guests in silly outfits and many of our friends (including my husband) carried on wearing the fancy dress wigs and accessories while dancing the night away!

More Wedding Anniversary Articles:


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Ideas for home-made party decorations

With our anniversary party taking place this weekend, I wanted to make some personal touches to the decorations. It’s easy to find lots of tutorials for creating your own DIY decorations at home, from funky fans to traditional paper-chains, but I seeing as I didn’t have much spare time before the party, I wanted to make something that is quick and easy and gives a good result. 

ideas and inspiration for crafty diy party decorations for wedding decorating

I went to a friend’s wedding a few years ago and their reception hall was beautifully decorated using only tissue-paper pom-poms and fairy lights (check out the photo below!), which created the feeling of a mediterranean fiesta which got everyone in the mood for a fun party from the very start. I want to set the tone of the party as soon as our guests arrive and although I want an abundance of decorations and colours, I don’t want to spend a fortune – so that’s where the DIY decorations come in! I love the pom-poms but I think it will take a long time to make enough to fill the venue, so I’ve chosen some ‘different’ decorations and I will share my photos of the decorations I make shortly after the party! I am definitely going to take inspiration from the confetti balloons above and cut out some shapes to pop into my balloons (maybe pop is the wrong word to use in this instance!

cassiefairy's blog wedding decor blue and green theme with tissue paper pompoms

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Silent Sunday – Quote from Dr Seuss

We are celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary this week so I’m enjoying a lifetime of mutual weirdness with my wonderful hubby 😀

mutural weirdness forever dr seuss

Mutual Weirdness via Cassiefairy on Pinterest

And congratulations to my fab friend Jemzifairy who tied the knot yesterday! Well done you two 🙂


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Anniversary Party ~ Inspirations for invitations

I may have already mentioned a few times on the blog that this year is mine and hubby’s 10th wedding anniversary and we are planning a big party to celebrate! It’s coming up soon in August and all year I’ve been non-stop pinning photos of gorgeous weddings and parties on my Pinterest boards. Although I sent out a virtual ‘save-the-date’ back in February (to make sure important guests didn’t go away on holiday – it IS in August, after all), I’ve since been gathering inspiration for making the invitations.

Source: Uploaded by user via Cassiefairy on Pinterest

For weddings and parties, the invitation (and the save-the-date) really set the tone for the occasion, and give guests an idea of what’s to come. I obviously don’t want to give away too much about the party on my blog because I want guests to experience it first hand, but I wanted to share my inspirations for invitations because I know that many of you will be planning your own hen parties, weddings and summer shindigs yourselves and might be glad to get some  ideas.

I love all the above invitations and there are elements of each that I really wanted to use in our anniversary party invites. I didn’t want to hand make the whole thing, because I’m not really a crafty card-maker, and I knew that a couple-of-hundred invitations would take ages to make (I remember making my wedding invites, and that was enough to last a lifetime!). So I wanted to design something that could be printed professionally onto cards and postcards that I could then embellish with a little stitching – I do sew for a living, after all!

So I made a design on the computer that used scrabble tiles to spell out clues of what the event was, and I sent this design to be printed using an online printer. There are plenty of services that will print your invitations – check locally or use an online company like I did, such as Instant Print.

cassiefairy blog anniversary party invitation ideas sewing bunting

When the invitations arrived, I spent a few hours (rather than a few days, if I’d been making them myself!) stitching on little triangles of coloured paper to make a 3D string of bunting. I hope that this gives the impression of a lively party and that it will be a bit more of a big occasion than just a birthday party etc. This is the wording we used, in case you need inspiration yourself: “We invite you to share a special moment in our lives as we celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary”.

cassiefairys anniversary party invitation for 10th wedding rainbow bunting scrabble

I’m happy to share all this now, because the invitations have already been sent out and everyone should have seen them by now!  And I’m sure you’ll hear a lot more about my party planning activities over the coming few months, and I’ll be sure to share photos of the big event! Please get in touch if you’ve got any suggestions for fun party ideas, I need all the help I can get!

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