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Emilia McCool of Sweet Emilia Jane put together this informal afternoon party featuring s’more-making and beer-tasting stations plus games galore. “We went with a casual, rustic affair, but glammed it up with gold accents and cozy elements,” says Emilia. In a season of formal parties, this fun get-together gives guests a chance to really relax and reconnect with friends.

Download our free printable reindeer-themed gift tags to match these other DIY decorations — attach them to party favors or holiday gifts.

To get the look of this party yourself, try the DIY projects featured in the videos below.

Emilia created this marquee backdrop that does triple duty as an attention-getting sign, unusual light fixture, and focal-point decoration.


  • 2×6″ piece of wood, stained or painted
  • Light blue mini Solo plastic cups
  • String of lights
  • Gold spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Drill with 3/8″ spade drill bit
  • Duct tape

Step 1: Lightly spray-paint Solo cups gold on the outside, leaving the inside alone. Once they are dry, flip the cups over and lightly spray the tops so the rims are covered. Note: If you put too much spray paint on the cups, they lose their shape, so use a light touch.

Step 2: Once your cups are completely dry, place the cups on your board to spell out “SMORES” without gluing to make sure the placement is correct. Then add a touch of hot glue to the bottom edges of the cups and attach them to the board.

Step 3: Place the sign on top of two boards to give it a little height. Drill a hole through the center of each cup and the board.

Step 4: From the back, gently pop lights into each hole. You may need to duct tape them into place so they don’t pop out.

Step 5: Plug lights in and voila, your marquee sign is complete.

These decorated mugs are a super-easy project Emilia came up with for her party. Note: The Painters markers do come off with water, so this is a cute project for a party that doesn’t have to be a permanent feature on your morning coffee cup.


Step 1: Make sure your mug is clean and dry.

Step 2: Simply write or draw on your mug with painter markers.

Want more reasons to gather together for the holidays? Check out our 31 Days of Party interactive calendar for occasion ideas.

Emilia McCool

Emilia McCool is the owner of Sweet Emilia Jane, a boutique event planning and design company based in Los Angeles. She is a certified wedding planner and coordinator with over ten years of experience in hospitality, production, and event services. Emilia was bitten by the crafting bug at a very early age and canʼt remember a time when she wasn’t creating through painting, sewing, dancing, building furniture, or designing jewelry. Her love for and expertise in both design and planning have helped her create a fresh and unique full-service event planning company.



Event Design and Planning: Sweet Emilia Jane

Coordinated by: Be Inspired PR

Photography: Captured by Aimee

Desserts and Cake: Hey There, Cupcake!