All posts by Steffi Cappel

About Steffi Cappel

Stef completed a doctorate in education and after 10 years in higher education, joined him in the family business (which is a lot more fun!). In 1990, Ray and his cousin Rich bought Cappel's Display from their dads, at which time they officially incorporated as Cappel's Inc. The cousins have successfully adapted to the changing party needs of the community and continue to evolve in retail, wholesale, and internet commerce.

Inflatable Costumes

Inflatable costumes are gaining popularity! These easy-to-wear Halloween Costumes are a downsized version of an inflatable mascot costume designed in the 1990s. One of the initial inflatable mascots was designed in 1993 for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The sumo wrestler, panda, and T-Rex inflatables have been popular during the past few years. T-Rex became especially well-known when a bride wore one to walk across a bridge to meet her groom. That video went viral.

Now there is also a Skeleton version of the T-Rex!

If you are an animal lover, the hippo ballerina inflatable costume is a fun reference to the Cincinnati Zoo’s baby hippopotamus lovingly named Fiona. This hippo jumpsuit features a pink glittered tutu.

I put on one of our inflatable hippo costumes and walked out of the front door of our downtown store. A woman was standing at the bus stop at the corner. She started dancing with Fiona! People were taking pictures. Someone blared music from their phone for us. We had a blast. Until the bus came….


Adult Halloween Inflatable costumes feature a full-body jumpsuit with a built-in, battery-operated fan. The fan draws air from outside and blows it into the costume to “pump you up!” Strong elastic at the wrists and ankles and a zipper up the back help keep the air inside. Some inflatables, like the Giant Panda, keep your face open and feature an elastic band that snugs up around your head, leaving you free to eat, drink and chat with friends. Others offer full head and body coverage and can be a bit warmer to wear, especially if you are out in the sun.

Some packages may include hand or foot covers that attach to the costume at the wrists or ankles with a Velcro-like closure.

The fans/blowers in these costumes typically require 4 AA batteries that are not included in the package. The fans we have seen with these costumes require the removal of one screw with a very small Phillips-head screwdriver.

Once you have the fan turned on and you are zipped up the costume will inflate very quickly. You will be able to see out of the mouth area of the head, or the open face.

Inflatable costumes are a great prop for a photo shoot! They are also lots of fun to wear to a party, sporting event, festival, or fundraiser!

Graduation banner Congratulations, Happy Graduation

Graduation 2018

Child Graduation Robe Cap Gown - BlackWhether your child is participating in a graduation ceremony from Preschool to Kindergarten or a Doctoral Hooding, it is a cause for celebration. Graduation is a milestone reached.

The ceremony is sometimes called a “Commencement” because graduation signifies the beginning of whatever comes next. It might mean beginning the next grade level or starting  a new job or career.

Sometimes, for birthdays and other celebrations, we like to come up with a “theme” for the decorations. There is no need for a special theme for a graduation party – it’s all about the mortar-board and diploma.

A few tips for hosting a great graduation party:

Invite, invite, invite!

Graduation Invitations and Thank You Cards

Fewer people than you invite will attend your party. So, invite more people than you want to be there. While event invitations are often simply posted online, this special occasion is worth sending invitations to each person or family on your list. If you know there will be young ones, be sure to plan some activities and entertainment for them!

Music, music, music!

Black Plastic Graduation Rings

Playing upbeat music encourages guests to talk, dance, and get involved in the merrymaking, not to mention that they won’t leave as quickly when the music is on. When you’re ready for everyone to leave – turn off the music!

Party Favors!

Graduation Sunglasses with Tassles - Assorted ColorsGiving each guest a mortarboard ring, hat or a diploma will connect them to your theme and set the tone for your event. If it is an outdoor daytime party these sunglasses in your school colors make a great giveaway!


Graduation Balloon Weight Centerpiece

Using the school colors, hang a banner, place a centerpiece on each table, and put a sign in a spot with good visibility. And of course, balloons brighten any space!


Black Grad Cap Cupcake Picks

Start with your guest of honor’s favorite beverage and snacks. Then add some crowd pleasers. If your party budget allows, include alcohol and non-alcohol drinks as well as a diet and caffeine free option. Don’t overlook coffee and dessert for a great finish!

Send a Note!

Graduation Thank You Notes Ivory/Black/Gold

Finally, leave a wonderful impression with your guests by sending a Thank You note! Steps to a thoughtful thank you note include:

  1. Write “Thank you” for the specific item or gesture.
  2. Say why you appreciate the gift or the person or how you will use the item.
  3. Write “Thank You” again and sign the note.
  4. Mail the note right away!



Happy Easter Sign

Spring for Bunny Ears

Bunny Ears tail & bow tie set The Easter Bunny won’t be the only one wearing bunny ears this spring. Thanks to the friendly folks at Cappel’s, I’ll have little ones at my house with bunny ears, too.

Cappel’s has an inexpensive bunny ears headband, tail and bow tie set for just $5.99.  It can be worn by children or adults.

There are so many new items for spring and Easter. I’m ready to freshen up our look all through the house.

We could Silk Baby Breath Spray use some new floral arrangements in our home. Cappel’s has quite a display of long-lasting artificial flowers – even I can’t kill those. From Easter lilies to long-stem roses, silk flowers are perfect for a floral arrangement to brighten any room.

Deluxe Easter Bunny Costume You’ll find what you’re looking for at Cappel’s. Whether it’s for cellophane with an Easter Bunny print, an Easter Bunny costume, two-piece, plastic eggs, or beautiful new artificial flowers to brighten your home for spring.

What’s on your list?

Happy St. Patrick's Day Sign

Saint Patricks Day 2018

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day 2018!

Saint Patricks Day is celebrated on March 17th each year, the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Ireland. Falling on a Saturday in 2018, this St. Patrick’s day is a perfect opportunity for a theme party!
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Recipes: Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, Soda Bread (, or simply add a few drops of green food coloring to white cake mix or white icing and serve green cupcakes with green sugar sprinkles! Cupcake stand
St. Patrick’s Day Decorations

Typical decorations include Shamrocks, Leprechauns, anything green, anything beer related, Irish Flags, Pennants, Rainbow with a pot of gold.

Wearables for St. Patrick’s Day Costume Leprechaun Hat Beard Getup
Wearables include green wigs, green hats, red-haired leprechaun beards, green bead necklaces, beer goggles.
St. Patrick’s Day Music

I grew up in a very music-focused family. Every chance we got, we were all around grandma’s piano. We also had violin, flute, cello, guitar, and trumpet players in the family. Irish songs were always fun for a sing-along!

Here are the words to a few popular Irish sing-along songs:

My Wild Irish Rose

My Wild Irish Rose,
The sweetest flower that grows.
You may search everywhere,
But none can compare
With my Wild Irish Rose.
My Wild Irish Rose,
The dearest flower that grows.
And someday for my sake,
She may let me take,
The bloom from my Wild Irish Rose.

Danny Boy

Oh, Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling,
From glen to glen and down the mountain side.
The summer’s gone and all the leaves are falling,
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back, when summer’s in the meadow,
And all the valley’s hushed and white with snow.
And I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh, Danny Boy, Oh, Danny Boy, I love you so!

But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying
If I be dead, as dead I well may be.
Then come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.

And I shall hear, though soft your tread above me,
And o’er my grave will warmer, sweeter be.
And if you bend, and tell me that you love me,
Then I shall rest in peace until you come to me.

Galway Bay

If you ever go across the sea to Ireland,
Then maybe at the closing of your day,
You will sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh, And see the sun go down on Galway Bay.

And if there’s to be a life hereafter
And somehow I’m sure there’s going to be,
I will ask my God to let me make my heaven,
In that dear land across the Irish sea.

Just to hear again the ripple of the trout stream
And the women in the meadows making hay,
To sit beside the turf fire in the cabin
And watch the barefoot gossoons at their play.

A Great Day for the Irish

It’s a Great Day for the Irish,
It’s a great day for the fair!
The sidewalks of New York are thick with blarney,
For sure you’d think New York was ol’ Killarney!

It’s a great day for the shamrock,
For the flags in full array.
We’re feeling so inspirish,
Sure because for all the Irish,
It’s a Great, Great, DAY!

A Little Bit of Heaven

Sure, a little bit o’ Heaven fell from out of the sky one day,
And nestled on the ocean in a spot so far away;
And the angels found it, sure it looked so sweet and fair.
They said suppose we leave it, for it looks so peaceful there!
So they sprinkled it with stardust just to make the shamrocks grow;
‘Tis the only place you’ll find them, no matter where you go;
Then they dotted it with silver, to make its lakes so grand,
And when they had it finished sure they called it IRELAND!

I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover

I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before.
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain,
Third is the roses that grow in the lane.
No need explaining the one remaining
Is somebody I adore.
I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before!

Peg o’ My Heart

Peg o’ my heart, I love you,
We’ll never part, I love you,
Dear little girl, sweet little girl,
Sweeter than the Rose of Erin
Are your winning smiles endearin’,
Peg o’ my heart, your glances
With Irish art entrance me,
Come be my own,
Come, make your home in my heart.

That’s an Irish Lullaby

Over in Killarney,
Many years ago,
Me mother sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good old Irish way.
And I’d give the world if she could sing
That song to me this day.

Hush now don’t you cry!
That’s an Irish lullaby.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

There’s a tear in your eye,
And I’m wondering why,
For it never should be there at all.
With such power in your smile,
Sure a stone you’d beguile,
So there’s never a teardrop should fall.
When your sweet lilting laughter’s
Like some fairy song,
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be,
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile,
And now, smile a smile for me.

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure it’s like a morn in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

Ultimate Spinner Fidget Toy with Gears

What is a “Fidget Spinner” and where can I buy one?

Have you heard of a “Fidget Spinner” yet?

In the past few weeks these ingenious little toys have captured the attention of a broad range of people around the globe.

Fidget Spinners - Unique Designs
You can buy a fidget spinner toy online, or at our Cappel’s locations

Yes, around the globe! Many companies in many countries are vying for the limited quantities of spinners that can be produced in a given timeframe.

While fidget spinners are not a new invention (they were created in the 1990s according to Wikipedia), they have just recently exploded in popularity. They are intended to help reduce stress  by giving you something to do with your hands (fidgeting), and have been advertised to help people who have trouble focusing.

Cappel’s is fortunate to have long-standing relationships with its suppliers. Our buyer has been in contact with toy manufacturers almost daily since we started selling the spinners. Worldwide, every buyer’s re-order of spinners, no matter how large or small the store or chain, had to be cut. Each manufacturer determined how to allocate the number of cases they would bring into the US and how many they would ship to other countries.

The bidding and buying begins way before shipping is even considered, though. Each part in the assembly of a spinner has a price that is held out for the highest bidder. Since the beginning of the fidget spinner “craze”, the price a Chinese factory has to pay for just the ball bearings has increased 5x its original number! Light-up spinners contain a chip or circuit board and battery that each require testing and certification prior to being accepted for transportation by an airline. Each of these elements has a price tag. Some American vendors are traveling to Chinese factories cash and paying them cash on the spot,  in order to ensure delivery to their stores.

We don’t see this “fad” stopping. If you are in your fifties or older you might remember when super balls first came on the scene. Some people thought they might be a short-lived fad. But the super ball, like the fidget spinner today, is something that appeals to boys and girls, men and women, old and young. It can be enjoyed in a small quiet space or used with a group. It can be made in a variety of styles to fit with almost any theme for school, the office, or family. And, in the case of the spinner, can be digitized to include styles that light up and perhaps one day even styles that play recorded messages, music, or display texts or pictures and holograms.

There are many possibilities still to be explored with this new toy. In the words of Chicago, this is “Only the beginning!”

Happy Easter Sign

“Wake up Easter Bunny!”

10 things to put in your kids’ Easter baskets besides candy!

Cappel’s has it – all year ‘round!

About 30 family members gathered in the back room of Cappel’s Costume store in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday evening.  We were celebrating a college graduation.Easter Bunny Rabbit Costume

The store was closed for the day. So, we put a box across the entryway from the back room to the store to give our little ones some boundaries. From there they could see a mannequin modeling one of our Easter Bunny costumes. Little Gabe and Lila kept yelling “Hi, Easter Bunny!” We tried to explain that it was just a costume. Gabe asked, “What is it doing?” Well, Gabe, it’s not doing anything, like when you are sleeping. Naturally, Gabe began yelling, “Wake up Easter Bunny!”

Are you looking for some cute little trinkets to fill Easter baskets this weekend? If you’re like me, you’ve been very busy with other things and Easter came sneaking up on you, all of the sudden. “Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, hopping down the bunny trail” and I don’t have the first thing for our baskets! Thankfully, Cappel’s has bins full of ideas and items that will make any basket look like we spent lots of time picking out just the right things.

  1. Fake money
  2. Fake “winning” Lotto tickets
  3. Plastic bunny rings
  4. Glow bracelets
  5. Fuzzy or plush chicks
  6. Hair accessories
  7. Marbles
  8. Erasers
  9. Easter puzzles
  10. Key chains

Easter Basket Fillers

We found everything from small plastic Bible pencil sharpeners, to Easter Chinese Yo-yos, plastic bunny rings and glow sticks!Easter Basket Fillers

We have the cutest baskets, fillable plastic eggs, rubber eggs, small wooden eggs, and even several sizes of Styrofoam eggs!

Stop in the Cappel’s nearest you and pick up some non-candy Easter basket fillers, today!

Easter Basket Fillers Easter Basket Fillers


Cappel’s Prepares for Cincinnati’s Bockfest

Monk Wig BockfestAs is often the case, there is more than one version of how Bock beer got its name. One goes like this: Sometime during the 17th Century in Munich, Germany, German monk, who’d been drinking beer for its nutritional content during his Lenten fast, tripped and fell over a goat. The beer brewed by those monks became known as Bock, meaning goat, beer.Monk Robe Adult Halloween Costume

The other version is that 17th century Bavarian monks mispronounced the name of the city of Einbeck where the brew originated in the 14th century, calling the beer “ein Bock” which means “a goat.”

Regardless of which story you tell, a Cincinnati marketing promotion for Bock beer led to what is now the largest Bockfest in the world being held the first weekend of March, in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio. Supersoft Foam Halloween Mask Goat

The fun begins with a parade led by a “court” of people in costume, and a goat! Costume ideas for this parade include monk’s robes, monk wigs, Alpine or German outfits, Goat masks, and anything to do with beer, and sausage.



Later, a lucky woman will be named Sausage Queen, and someone, male or female, will win the beard competition. There is even an award for the best fake beard!Costume Beard and Moustache - Available in 4 colors

Tattoo Cover Makeup

Tattoo Cover: How to tell if it is going bad

Tattoo Cover-All Wheel
Ben Nye Tattoo Cover-All Wheel

During the upcoming season of weddings, anniversary celebrations, and sleeveless tops and dresses, tattoo cover will become a popular item. If you have some left over product, you might be wondering whether it is still in good condition. Here are some tips to help you figure it out:

Tattoo cover is a thicker, drier consistency then makeup or foundation. If you have used it before you already know to really load the sponge, brush, or your finger heavily with product before starting to apply it.

  • As your tattoo cover begins to dry out, the first sign that it is getting too dry to use is that a ring of separation will form around the outer edge. You will notice a gap between the inner edge of the container and the makeup. At this stage, the product is still useable but see tip #2 for another helpful hint.
  • The second sign of old tattoo cover is a dull appearance on the surface. Tattoo cover contains castor oil. As it ages, after a couple of years, castor oil begins to evaporate, taking the shine with it. At this stage, you could add one drop (yes, just one drop) of castor oil. You can use a drop of mineral oil, if you have it on hand and don’t have any castor oil. But remember, just one drop.
  • The final stage of tattoo cover going bad comes with a rancid smell. At this point, discard the entire container and go to your nearest Cappel’s store for a brand new Mehron, or Ben Nye tattoo cover. If you don’t live near one of our stores, you can order some from our website,

Cinco De Mayo – Cappel’s Theme of the Month

Fiesta Sunglasses With Moustache
This hat, glasses and mustache combo is perfect for a Cinco De Mayo celebration. Click to shop now!

In the United States, we celebrate the history and culture of Mexico, not on the date the country celebrates its declaration of independence in 1810 (Sept. 16), but on the 5th of May. The trend for celebrating Cinco de Mayo has been growing each year in the U.S. The date is marked with grand celebrations and parties of all sizes featuring Mexican flags, music, dancing, and traditional Mexican food. Decorations and party supplies for Cinco de Mayo often feature chili peppers or sombreros, while costumes include serapes, and accessories include maracas, and bushy black mustaches.

Cinco de Mayo literally translates to the 5th of May, in English. On this day in 1862, approximately 100 men who were loyal to Mexico lost their lives in a victorious battle against the French in Puebla, Mexico. The battle was a result of the Mexican government’s default on a loan from France. At that time Napoleon was ruling France and used the default to try to take Mexico under French rule.

Although they were seriously outnumbered and ill equipped, Mexican soldiers were led to victory over the French, on May 5th 1862, by a native of Texas, General Ignacio Zaragova. The United States was fighting its own Civil War at that time, but later lent Military support and political pressure to help bring an end to Mexico’s war with the French.

Check out all these other great Cinco De Mayo ideas too!

Cappel’s is your year round destination for costumes, costume accessories, party supplies, and decorations. For your Cinco de Mayo celebration, we feature a fabulous array of products reminiscent of Mexican culture and heritage.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Ideas for 2016!

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday. Shops are closed, bars and restaurants are open and packed from early on. Many Irish citizens go to church in the morning then meet up with family and friends to celebrate later in the day.
In our little corner of the world, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents form a Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee each year. The 2016 parade will be on Saturday March 12th at noon downtown. This will be the 50th anniversary of the event! Many Bars and restaurants here will have special drinks and dishes just for St. Patrick’s Day.

If you are planning to attend the parade or a party be sure to pick up
some shamrocks and other “greenery” to show your Irish pride, otherwise
you might get little pinch for not wearing green on 3/17!

Shamrock Tiara Headband
Shamrock Tiara Headband

Elastic White Pearl and Green Shamrocks Bracelet
Elastic White Pearl and Green Shamrocks Bracelet

White Cardboard Cupcake Stand
Are you planning to bake cupcakes with green icing? Here is a great cupcake stand!

Shamrock Toothpick Flags
And don’t forget these toothpick flags to put in the cupcakes.

Want to decorate on a budget? Here are some ideas:

Shamrock Party Tape
Shamrock Party Tape

Shamrock Cascade Centerpeice
Shamrock Cascade Centerpeice

Need a costume or accessories to wear to a party/event? These would work great:

Velvet Leprechaun hat with attached red beard

Shamrock Leprechaun St. Patrick Patty's Top Hat
Shamrock Leprechaun Hat

Jumbo Shamrock Eyeglasses
Metallic Jumbo Shamrock Eyeglasses

Shamrock Suspenders
Shamrock Suspenders
Star Wars Costumes, Star Wars Decorations

Star Wars Decorations / Costumes

Are you going to a Star Wars Premier or a Star-Wars-themed party? Would you like to be Chewbacca Costume, Storm Trooper CostumeChewbacca or a Stormtrooper? We have a costume for that.

Cappel’s offers a realistic-looking, licensed Chewbacca costume. It includes:  a furry jumpsuit, latex mask, latex hands, and a latex bandolier with pouch. It is available in two adult sizes.

This year, it’s been really interesting  to see the increase in nutcracker designs and stringed lights designs. Did you know there is a Star Wars collection of nutcrackers and lights? Just in time to give for Christmas 2015 or decorate for the premier of the new Star Wars movie, licensed Stormtrooper and Darth Vader  nutcrackers are available for purchase.Darth Vader And Storm Trooper Nutcrackers

These nutcrackers are part of a collectible series of wooden nutcrackers. Whether you are a fan of Star Wars specifically or simply enjoy collecting nutcrackers, an 11″ wooden Star Wars Nutcracker is a great gift for Christmas, birthday, or anytime.

The wooden collectible nutcrackers stand about 11 inches tall and weigh about 1.7 pounds! This is a solid decoration for Christmas or a theme party anytime of year! Each design is licensed by Disney.

The wooden collectible nutcracker stands about 11 inches tall. The 11″ Wooden Nutcracker is sold with the box intact – perfect for collectors. The box features images of three of the Star Wars Nutcrackers: Yoda, Darth Vader, and Stormtrooper.

R2D2 Light set
These R2D2 lights are officially licensed and make a great gift!

The Christmas light decorations are designed like either Yoda or R2D2. This is a ten light electric light set. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

R2D2 and Yoda are must-haves Christmas light-up sets for that person in your life who a fan of Disney’s Star Wars. Each official set is an authentic, licensed product.

Some facts:

  • Official licensed product
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • 120V AC 60Hz
  • Do not twist wire leads on light set bulbs or spare bulbs or these bulbs will not light
  • Ten light-up R2D2 figures

These don’t just have to be Christmas lights. The lights lights look great as decorations for a themed party, in a child’s room or as a Halloween Decoration.

Stop on by and get your Star Wars on!

In case you didn’t see it yet, here’s one of the latest previews: