This Valentine’s Day celebrate your favorites with a DIY Valentine’s Day party. Whether you are hosting family, a group of your child’s friends or all of your gal pals, these five sweet ideas will have guests crushing on your party. 
Decorate with Paper
One of the best decorating tools for a Valentine’s Day is a heart paper punch.; use one along with some of your favorite scrapbook paper to decorate your party without spending much money. One idea is to use gold glitter scrapbook paper and punch out several mini hearts. Turn those paper hearts into a Valentine’s garland by stringing twine though the top edges of the hearts. A second use for those paper hearts would be to make cupcake toppers. Tape the back of the hearts to a lollipop stick, place the sticks into cupcakes for instant cupcake toppers for a great Valentine’s Day sweet.
Serve Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
Pink, sweet and filled with fruit – Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream work perfectly for a Valentine’s Day sweet treat. Your guests will fall in love with this sweet little treats. 
Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
For cupcakes: 
1 box white cake mix
1 box strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup milk
⅓ cup canola oil
3 eggs
½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries, coarsely chopped
For frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with paper cupcake lines. Place cake mix, gelatin, milk, canola oil, and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Beat on low for 1 minute; increase speed and beat on high for 2 minutes. Fold in strawberries. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. 
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: Beat butter in mixer. Slowly add sugar, alternating with milk until it reaches the desired thickness. Stir in vanilla extract. Frost cupcakes once they have cooled completely.
Decorate Store Bought Desserts to Match Your Party Theme
If you don’t want to bake or don’t have the time, check your local grocery store for desserts that you can use. For Valentine’s Day, top bakery brownie bites with a dollop of frosting and a chocolate heart. Other store purchased cupcakes and cookies can be topped with heart shaped sprinkles or paper toppers. 
Serve a Simple Cocktail
One of the quickest, easiest drinks to serve at a Valentine’s Day party is a candy themed drink. Place pink cotton candy or a pink rock candy swizzle stick into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne for adults or Sprite for kids. 
Send Guests Home with Caramel Corn
Send guests home with a sweet treat to show them how much you love them on Valentine’s Day. Package caramel corn in a small plastic container or baggie and top with some pink ribbon and a paper heart. 
Caramel Corn
3 bags popped white microwave popcorn
1 cup butter
½ cup light corn syrup
2 cups light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Red or pink food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Pour microwave popcorn into a deep roasting pan, one bag at a time. Remove as many unpopped corn kernels as possible. Repeat for each bag of popcorn and place all popcorn in a large roasting pan once finished.
Mix butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt in saucepan. Place over medium heat. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Drop in food coloring, 1-2 drops at a time, until you achieve the desired color. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and baking soda.
Pour caramel sauce over popcorn, stir, covering the popcorn well. Bake at 180 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving. Popcorn can be stored for up to one week in air tight container. 


Posted on 2016-02-09 by Deanna Talwalkar, Party Planner Extraordinaire