Valentine’s Day Play Date {Guest Feature}

Hosting a party on a budget can be tough when you’re including 4 kids, some sweet treats, a crafty activity, and party favors. But that’s exactly what my pal Carolyn of Carolyn Horten Events did when she designed this Valentine’s day play date for less than $100. This was for a design challenge hosted by Ebony on Sparkling Events & Design, for which I also served as a judge.

Carolyn is used to creating lavish kids parties for clients in L.A. so to see her crafty side come out in this design was a treat! On the dessert table she used grocery store items and displayed them in festive ways. She also used $1 mini frames, lots of ribbon, felt flowers, fabric, and burlap to add those special touches we love so much.

On the treats table Carolyn used skewers to create eye-catching displays with cinnamon pinwheels, and marshmallows with twizzlers. Small sandwiches were cut in the shape of a heart and placed inside clear heart-shaped boxes – my favorite idea of the day!

Carolyn had to incorporate a seated table with activity and favors along with the dessert display. She used a lot of items from around her home – something we LOVE to do here on CAH. The place settings were wooden frames with cut-out hearts, and backed by pink paper {love that!}. Each guest had her own heart shaped box with a chain inside, and beads to create her own necklace. The favors were small bags filled with “love” themed fortune cookies.

The grand totol for this party was just under $84!! Just goes to show you really can create a fabulous party on a budget!

PS – See how Carolyn made these felt flowers on Piggy Bank Parties blog here.


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About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and has contributed to, SheKnows, and countless other websites. Most recently she was featured in Celebrate magazine, and her work has been published in Woman's World, Ocala Style, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.


  1. The marshmallow twizzlers combo is a brilliant idea! I can’t believe this was done for $84…that’s amazing!

  2. This is absolutely adorable!

  3. She did an awesome job!


  4. dayanara garcia says:

    Amazing job! Those gold skeleton keys are amazing!!! Where are they from!

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