All posts by Diane Cappel

What to Wear to the Party

Ever look in your closet and think, “I have nothing to wear?” Either the clothes don’t fit right or are out of season, or don’t fit the occasion. On those days, I have a couple of never-fail pieces that I turn to and end up wearing over and over. They are comfortable and they look decent. Most importantly, I feel good in them!

Flapper Peek A Boo 20s Costume Now, what is the backup plan for the upcoming party season? You know what I mean… it starts with Halloween and doesn’t end until after New Year’s day. For Halloween, do you go with a full-blown, head-to-toe character work up with a wig, makeup, costume and accessories?

Or, do you take a minimalist approach by finding just that one item that does it for you? The main thing about party wear for me is that I don’t like to wear the same thing year after year, like I do with my work clothes.

Party wear is always something a little bit special. Especially when it comes to accessorizing my outfit: a hat or headband, a pair of earrings (the earrings matter as much as the shoes!) special socks, or tights.

How about you? What is your “go to” outfit for a party?


You’ve probably seen our website by now, but did you know we have five locations in the Cincinnati area open year-round? Do you need a last-minute gift idea? Don’t want to resort to giving a gift card again this year? Are you looking for something different, something unusual, out of the ordinary? Guess what? Cappel’s has more than Santa Suits, Christmas lights and garland!

For instance, Hollywood Nutcrackers™ are a collectible Christmas gift, conversation piece, and transformation of an age-old tradition into a new generation. Designed by artist Holly Adler, these wooden nutcrackers are highly detailed, whimsical creations depicting kings, toy soldiers, and guards. Less expensive than the classic Steinbach® brand, Adler’s

Hollywood Nutcracker King Soldier
Hollywood Nutcracker – great gift!

nutcracker designs depict modern visions snowmen, gift-wrapped packages, and Christmas candy.

The Holiday Season involves celebrating many family and work-place traditions. Why not make one of your family traditions a stop in a Cappel’s in Cincinnati? If you are too far away, check out our website,, and enjoy shopping with us for your gifts and decorations this year.

For those of you who have already stopped by or shopped at our website, thank you for another wonderful holiday season. We appreciate your business!

Halloween Makeup 101: Know how to take it off before you put it on!

Witch nose and chin
Do you know somebody who was stuck looking like this last Halloween?

Many an embarrassing story has been told about someone who put something on without a proper plan to remove it. Don’t be that person. If you need spirit gum to adhere a moustache, fake nose, or some zombie scars to your face, you should have spirit gum remover on hand when it is time to take it off. Continue reading Halloween Makeup 101: Know how to take it off before you put it on!

Vacation Bible School: An industry with a mission

Jungle Trees Backdrop for VBS
Jungle Trees Backdrop for Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School (VBS) programming has been around since 1894 when a Sunday School teacher in Hopedale, Illinois started to teach the bible to children during the summer. But, it wasn’t until 1923 that the first curriculum specifically for VBS was printed. It addressed elementary school children as do the curricula of 2014. Of note is that VBS is not limited to a specific religious denomination but focuses on teaching the bible to young children regardless of whether they have a church affiliation.

Today, there are organizations throughout the world offering a form of VBS. The most common VBS in the U.S. is a week-long experience for young children. The week typically follows a theme that uses aspects of our modern world to explore principles and concepts from the Bible. Curriculum developers, VBS leaders and staff put a lot of hours into selecting age-appropriate themes and making the lessons fun for participants.

A day at VBS often includes singing, craft time, physical activity, refreshments, and interactive bible-based games and exploration. The key difference between VBS and secular summer programs is that VBS is mission driven and focuses on discovery of lessons from the Bible. Children who attend often look forward to VBS every summer as a time to reconnect with friends and have fun.

There are several decorative styles for sprucing up Vacation Bible School environments this summer. Among the most popular decorations are:

Animal Props for VBS
Animal props for Vacation Bible School

While some VBS locations offer a completely new theme each year, others provide a continuing theme over several years.

Animal props for Vacation Bible School

For instance the Jungle Theme of 2013 is being carried forward in a Unique Animal Theme for 2014.

For all of your VBS decorative needs contact us at 513-345-2842 ext 110 or check us out on the web at

Gamemasters, Live Action Role Play (LARP), Interactive Literature – all new terms or not so new…

Hooded Executioner costume
Executioner Costume – Great for LARP or Halloween
Have you heard of Live Action Role Play (LARP)? This is an area of gaming that is part fantasy, part fact, part theater, all interactive. The origins of LARP, according to information posted on Wikipedia, are multi-national but in each country the games are based on participants’ desire to act out, in real life, episodes of life in another time. Some LARP groups focus on replaying specific battles, historic or futuristic while others establish rules based on games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

As important as the play actors, costumes, and weapons in LARP, are the Gamemasters (GM) who identify the setting, determine the rules, and handle recruitment and financial aspects of the events.

The oldest recorded LARP group in the U.S. began in 1977 with a focus on reenacting fantasy battles. Since then, this adult form of make believe is typically meant for entertainment, artistic expression, or educational purposes. LARP events may be as short as one or two hours, or may involve a great number of players and last several days.

Whether your involvement is as a participant, GM, or crew member, Cappel’s has great costumes, accessories, wigs, and fake weapons for your next LARP outing.

There ARE alligators in the NJ sewer system after all: Unusual use for a soft rubber squeaky alligator toy!

We’ve seen alligator bead necklaces, inflatable alligators, and even an Alligator King costume.

We’ve heard of Alligator Skin boots, purses, wallets, jackets and even car accessories. But, have you ever seen an alligator hat like this?

Alligator Hard Hat
New Jersey Sewer worker wears his Alligator Hat

Cappel’s customers in New Jersey have their own design and collection of Alligator hats using our 10” Alligator Squeak Toy.

A Project Manager, JB, adheres the squeaky alligators to hard hats as an initiation/recognition tactic for trainees in the NJ Water Environment Association. The trainees enjoy squeaking the alligators on top of their hats and so do other workers (who fondly remember wearing the hats when they were trainees).

Although the item is not as popular as some other squeak toys, it is readily available and among our many novelty and toy items.

JB wrote us a note when he sent a picture of this season’s successful trainees.

Hi Stef,

Thanks for your help. The New Jersey Water Environment Association is an educational service organization. We provide professional training and recognition to water professionals working in Sewage Treatment Plants and the water infrastructure. The folks you see in the pictures are operators, engineers, lab techs and the like.

Use the photos as you like

NJ Sewer workers with Alligator Hats
NJ Sewer workers, engineers, lab techs wear their new alligator hats

So, you see, even though it is refuted by many researchers and websites, there are truly alligators in the NJ sewer system after all.

Multi-location, large-scale, themed dinner events are no mystery to Cappel’s

“Cappel’s has consistently provided a variety of fun and exciting decorations that enhance the experience of the Themed Dinners for our residents. Their pricing and delivery logistics exceed the competition. We are very pleased with their service.”

Last year, Cappel’s Party Supplies received a request from a large healthcare company that needed some help. Trilogy Health Services (THS) is a senior-living-community management group. They are currently responsible for 80 senior living communities conveniently located throughout 5 states in the Midwest. Each THS campus hosts four themed dinner events per year for its residents. The dinner guests include all of the THS senior living community residents.

During the summer they were planning a September event with a mystery theme that would occur on each of their campuses. THS was struggling to find an efficient way to organize similar activities within 78 participating nursing homes and care facilities. In the past, organizing these events took a great deal of time, effort, and money.

Locating event supplies, decorations, and costumes, often through multiple websites and vendors, was costly and time consuming.

Sherlock Holmes Pipe
A Sherlock Holmes style pipe adds to the fun of a Mystery themed dinner
Cappel’s was able to solve many of Trilogy Health Services’ problems and made these multi-location events much easier. Cappel’s worked directly with the Purchasing Agent to provide top party supplies and decorations including themed decorations, stand-up cutouts, hats and other wearables as well as costume accessories such as Sherlock-Holmes-style pipe for the residents, and tableware.

Cappel’s took care of the following:
* Provided a large variety of supplies – decorations, tableware, hats, prizes, etc.
* Scheduled on-time delivery to each campus
* Shipped each set of supplies to the appropriate location – 78 individual care facilities
* Coordinated and helped organize supplies
* Offered low-cost alternatives.

Clown Shoes
Here comes the Circus and the clowns!
As a result of that initial, successful collaboration, Trilogy Health Services’ purchasing officer has returned to Cappel’s multiple times for their party needs. Recent dinner events Cappel’s provided decorations for included one with a circus theme and another with a casino theme .

It has been a great pleasure to work with the THS team to provide community-building events and entertainment for their residents.

Giant deck of playing cards
Giant Deck of playing cards – perfect for parties.

The feeling is mutual, as expressed by MaryGen Boley, Communications Specialist for Trilogy Health Services, “Cappel’s has consistently provided a variety of fun and exciting decorations that enhance the experience of the Themed Dinners for our residents. Their pricing and delivery logistics exceed the competition. We are very pleased with their service.”

Did She Say She Found the Sunglasses in Iceland?

Written by:
Stephanie Cappel

Parrot Sunglasses
She found the sunglasses in Iceland and had us ship them to Hawaii!

On February 10 a pleasant, well- traveled woman phoned Cappel’s in Cincinnati. Ms .R wanted to ask if we would search for an inexpensive way to ship three pair of sunglasses to her in Hawaii. Dave, in our shipping department, determined the cost for shipping anything up to 1 lb. and Ms. R. was glad to have found a way to get her hands on those glittered, palm tree and parrot sunglasses! Cappel’s has the shades in combinations of red/blue, pink/lavender, and green/gold. Ms. R. wanted the red/blue parrot sunglasses.

You see, she had recently visited a market in Reykjavik. There, in the cold but beautiful capital of Iceland, Ms. R. tried on a pair of glittered palm tree and parrot sunglasses and was enamored with them – but didn’t buy them!

When she got home to HER beautiful island of Hawaii, she really wished she had purchased the sunglasses. So, she looked online and found them at Cappel’s. Ms. R. was so happy with her experience with Cappel’s that she sent us a note and a picture of her wearing the sunglasses in the market in Iceland.

Here is her note:
“Stephanie Cappel,
Here (is a picture of me wearing) your sunglasses that I found at the flea market in Iceland! I am so excited that I will be able to have them now. Mahalo (Thank you) again for all your help. Your customer service is outstanding. A hui hou (Until next time)!” Ms. R.

When we asked Ms. R for permission to use her picture in this post, she replied, “Be sure to say how terrific I think all of you are.”

Having such wonderful customers makes our jobs all the more enjoyable!

Cappel’s mentioned by Downtown Cincinnati Inc.!


Football Field Cooler
Football Field Cooler

We are so grateful for how gracious the folks at DCI are about including Cappel’s in newsletters and other communications. This afternoon I was checking out some of the many things to do in Cincinnati that are posted on the Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) website. Guess what I found? They posted an article about Cappel’s during the week before the Super Bowl!!

Cappel’s has many ways to help downtown residents and businesses enhance their entertainment experience. When guests or customers feel they are participating in a theme, whatever the theme is, they have a more fun.

It’s Sure To Be A SUPER Weekend!

Denver Seattle logosIt doesn’t matter whether you’re a Broncos fan, a Seahawks supporter, or no fan at all, you’ll find it hard to escape the frenzy over Super Bowl XLVII.  The weather’s been awful, everyone has cabin fever; this is your chance to escape the humdrum that is winter.  So pick a side, pick some friends, and plan a party!  The game starts at 6:30, and if the complete game is a little too long, make it a Super Bowl Half Party.  The point is plan to have some fun!

It's Time to Play a Little FOOTBALL!!
It’s Time to Play a Little FOOTBALL!!

Select a casual menu that suits your style.  A buffet of appetizers, finger foods, and cold beverages works well, and allows guests to stay glued to the tube, or mingle with friends.  Regardless of which team you support, Cappel’s has your team colors and decorations to kickoff your Super Bowl party in style! Start with a “yard-line” table cover.  Serve your guests with Official NFL Super Bowl XVLIII plates and napkins. Colored cheerleader shakers allow guests to show their teams colors!   To really enhance the feeling of being there, give your guests a penalty or challenge flag to throw on the floor when they don’t agree with a call.

Team Colors:   Denver Broncos –orange & blue
Seattle Seahawks – bright green, blue, & silver


Celebrate The Winter Olympics

Taking The Olympic Torch To Sochi
Taking The Olympic Torch To Sochi



It’s not often we get to immerse ourselves in the excitement of the Winter Olympics!  Beginning February 6 with the Opening Ceremony, and running through February 23 the Winter Olympics will be packed with events both interesting and suspenseful.   These quadrennial games provide the perfect excuse to gather with friends and family for a party!  Build on the international theme by assigning each guest a country to represent.  Ask them to dress in some manner representing “their” country and to bring a dish or beverage to share which represents the country.

Set the mood by giving your home a cozy winter lodge look.  Hang snowflakes on the windows, a nice warm fire, and throw blankets will add to the feel of a mountain lodge.  Don’t forget to hang some flags from several nations to build the international theme.  Perhaps these could surround the food table, or TV area.

Team USA's Opening Ceremony Uniform... Is it me or is this sweater a candidate for the ugly sweater contest?
Team USA’s Opening Ceremony Uniform… Is it me or is this sweater a candidate for the ugly sweater contest?

It will be fun just to munch, drink, & watch the events; but to make it interesting, plan a competition or two.  How about your version of a curling competition in the hallway?  You could also have a Snowball Ring Toss, as seen on Make and Takes! Guests are simply asked to toss five marshmallow snowballs into each of the five rings in this easy but deceivingly tricky activity.  For those who simply want to sit and watch, put their minds to work with Olympic trivia!  Use this link to provide many fun and interesting facts to test Olympic knowledge.

Don’t forget to award medals to top contenders.  It’s not official without the medal!  Most importantly keep it simple, and have fun!

Up, Up, and Away!

temp0608Not so long ago, we thought maybe the simple helium balloon was doomed, it’s popularity cut short by helium shortages.  Today helium balloons are back, and their presence more welcome than ever.  One of the unexpected benefits of the helium shortage, was a product that we have come to use in all of our latex helium balloons.

The simple latex balloon filled with helium used to have a short life.  Typically we would not guarantee them to stay afloat longer than 12 to 18 hours.  Today, thanks to a product known as HIFLOAT, that life can be extended greatly.   HIFLOAT is a gel like substance that Cappel’s adds to all of our latex helium balloons.  It can extend the longevity of these balloons anywhere from 3 to 7 days or more.  In addition, it enables customers to have their helium balloons the day before a big event, and avoid the last minute rush.  There are enough last minute details to any large party, so this is a welcome improvement.  Our customers love the fact that their balloon bouquets can be enjoyed for more than just a night.

Balloon columns are a great way to bring color to larger spaces, or entrances
Balloon columns are a great way to bring color to larger spaces, or entrances

Balloons!  Just the thought of them brings mental pictures of celebrations, and fun times.  They are a part of our celebration landscape, and are often used in times of sorrow.  We seem to float with them as they are released, and our secret thoughts, often inserted in the balloon, float with them too.  Their color can add to the emotions we feel, or the theme we are trying to build. Three cheers for the simple latex balloon!

So Moustaches Are Cool?

There was a day when moustaches were so Moustache
seventy-ish. But lately, have you noticed the resurgence of interest in moustaches? They seem to show up in the least expected places. Namely, not on a male’s face. Of course, we’ve always sold tons of moustaches, but now there are moustache earrings, moustache suspenders, rings and bowties, to name a few. What is the reason for this sudden fixation with upper lip décor? After doing a little investigation I believe I have found the answer.

Thanks to the Movember movement moustaches have become mainstream, if only for a month each year. Never heard of Movember? Movember is celebrated every November, and is a challenge to all males, and their wives, sisters, and friends to raise funds in support men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancer. Men begin the month clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

Seems a little hairy to me.

Photo courtesy of Movember United States,
Photo courtesy of Movember United States,

Help! It’s A Rubber Duck Takeover!

Betsy Ross & Ben Franklin rubber ducks!
Who knew? Betsy Ross & Ben Franklin rubber ducks!


What has happened to the simple rubber duck?  The humble friend of Sesame Street’s Ernie has reinvented itself.  Once confined to the bathtub or festival duck pond, the rubber duck has gone through an identity crisis of sorts.  This little rubber creature has invented literally hundreds of iterations of himself.  Sounds like a personality defect to me!

But hey, it has really caught on.  People really love the little guy.  There are rubber duckies of almost every stripe; nerd ducks, ninja ducks, historical ducks, sumo wrestler ducks, super hero ducks.  You get the picture.  The little fellow even makes a guest appearance in rubber duck races across the US.  My hometown, Cincinnati, sponsors the Rubber Duck Regatta every Labor Day weekend.  Last year’s race featured over 100,000 of the little floating creatures.  The event will be 20 years old this year, and has raised over $4.6 million dollars for the Freestore Foodbank here in Cincinnati.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I guess the phenomenon is here to stay.
He’s a harmless creature, so what’s not to like?

MORP – What is it and do we want to go?????

MORP is PROM spelled backwards.  It’s a dance where the girls can ask the guys, where you wear crazy clothing instead of elegant finery, and everyone has a great time.  Everything about MORP is just the opposite of PROM.Prom and Morp

You could say it’s a sort of a backwards Prom or a boycott of the regular Prom.    It’s usually smaller than the regular Prom, costs a bunch less money to get your outfit and to attend, and you don’t have to be one of the “cool kids” or the “in crowd” to go to MORP.  As a matter of fact, it can be a great activity for students who may not otherwise have a lot of social interaction with their peer group.    It’s time to shine in your own unique MORP way.

Most MORPs have an 80’s theme to them including 1980’s Rock & Disco Costumes, the idea being that folks dressed a bit crazier in the 80’s.  Everything is mismatched, brightly colored, the more sparkles the better, and of course, the defining piece of your outfit (for a girl at least) is a Tutu or two.  Try wearing Glitter or Sequin Hats and Wacky, Wild, or Colorful Wigs!

Neon rules!!!!!!  Plenty of bright colors will help create a good MORP outfit.   Make sure your socks don’t match, your jewelry is funky and your Hair style is overdone.  Sunglasses are not essential, but can be the finishing touch to any MORP outfit.


And The Baby Is……. ?

Image courtesy of

These days if you’re having a baby, friends and family can help you celebrate in more ways than ever before.  Gone are the days when only ladies came to a “Baby Shower”.  Now you can invite everyone to a “Reveal Party”.  In case you haven’t heard, that’s a party where the gender of the soon to be born baby is revealed to the expectant parents, grandparents, relatives and friends.

Being in the party business, we have seen many creative ways to go about the “Reveal”.  Often the expectant parents want to know the good news first, so they can have a private moment to celebrate.  But if they are willing to wait for a general announcement, they can have the doctor or ultrasound technician write down the gender of the baby and seal it in an envelope.  Take the envelope to a party store and ask them to fill a large box with the appropriate color helium balloons and seal the box.  You can wrap the box in pretty paper and put a pink and blue bow on it if you like.  When you open the box at your Reveal Party, all will know the gender of your baby at the same time.  (Note:  helium balloons only last for a limited amount of time.  Be sure to get them right before the party to insure maximum “lift off” from the box.)

More ideas that I’ve heard are fun:  Fortune Cookies with the gender written on the “fortune”, a cake or cupcakes with the inside tinted in pastel pink or blue.  How about picking out baby clothes in pink and another outfit in blue, give the sealed envelope to a retail clerk and have them box the proper color outfit and put the other one back.

Image courtesy of

Which ever way you choose, having a reveal party is bound to be an event you won’t long forget!  Enjoy!

- Chinese New Year

It’s the Year of the Snake!

Chinese Dragons are central to every Chinese New Year parade

I’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year, but I have wondered about its traditions, symbols and their meanings, so here is a little bit about what I discovered.  This year it begins on Sunday, 2/10/13 and will be the Year of the Snake.  The holiday is celebrated every year, but the date varies according to the lunar cycle.

Always falling in January or February, Chinese New Year is celebrated from 3 to 15 days.  The eve and first day of the New Year are celebrated in the highest style.  Fireworks are an essential part of the celebration on Chinese New Year’s Eve to create an enormous and beautiful display.  Then on New Year’s Day, there is a fantastic parade.

It is tradition that most factories close during the Chinese New Year celebration so that workers can travel back to their hometown to celebrate with family.  Visiting family, and giving gifts of small red and gold envelopes containing money is part of the tradition.  The red and gold symbolize prosperity, and good luck.  Live blooming plants in the home are symbols of rebirth and new growth, while flowers are symbolic of wealth.  Written
couplets containing happy wishes are put on walls and doors.

Now that you know a bit about the traditions and symbols of Chinese New Year, perhaps you would like to have a Chinese New Year party to welcome in the Year of the Snake.  Wouldn’t it be fun to think of happy wishes, write them on pretty pieces of paper and
hang them around the house?  Putting up Chinese lanterns would be perfect for such an event.  Remember, red and gold as significant colors to use for their symbolism.  Of course, Chinese cuisine, complete with chopsticks is essential for this party.

Merci Mardi Gras!

Enjoying the good times at Main Strasse

Right now we are seeing lots of interest in Mardi Gras masks and party accessories.  One question we receive regularly is “When is Mardi Gras?”.  Since the date changes every year, this can be a confusing issue.  This year, 2013, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is Tuesday, February 12, which is the day before Lent begins.

The celebration of Mardi Gras in our area is typically a 12 day event, beginning two weekends before the actual date.  This gives everyone two weekends to party, and it mimics the celebration times in New Orleans.  There are many organizations sponsoring parties for Mardi Gras.  One of the most successful is in Main Strasse in Covington Kentucky.  Lots of fun indoors and out!

I think Mardi Gras is a welcome diversion from the endless days of gray, cold and overcast weather we so often experience in Cincinnati!  For additional Mardi Gras ideas and decorations, check out our Mardi Gras Costumes & Party Supplies at Cappel’s.


Santacon New York City 2011

It happens only once a year each December, but is remembered fondly throughout the year.  You say Christmas?   We say SantaCon!  Santacon has a long and colorful history, and is celebrated around the world.  Santacon is essentially a gathering of like minded individuals who wish to both get into the Christmas spirit, as well as spread Christmas cheer to their fellow man.  In 2012 Santacon events will be celebrated in just about every major U.S. city, and in excess of 20 foreign countries!  In New York City huge throngs of Santa-wanna-be’s will gather to spread good cheer and raise money for Toys For Tots.

Pub Crawl Santa Suit

If you are looking to join the fun, there are just a few rules.  First, find out the date when Sanatcon will be celebrated in your city.  Then, dress up!  Creative interpretations of Santa gear are welcome and encouraged.  Remember to address everyone as Santa, and most importantly, remember Santa doesn’t make children cry!

Trah La La La La!

One of the better traditions that has survived over the years is caroling!  There is no better way to get in the Christmas spirit! What is it about caroling that makes us feel so good?  Is it the camaraderie of being with friends, or the happiness that caroling inevitably brings to the lucky recipients.  Whether you organize a group of neighbors, the local youth group, or friends from church, the results are sure to bring smiles to all involved!

Don’t forget to add some visual effects to your group.  An old fashion top hat, or Santa hat will instantly identify the group’s purpose.  The recipients of your jolly efforts could be elderly shut-ins, nursing home residents, or even neighborhood families with young children.  Imagine the delight in their eyes to have a group of happy carolers entertain them for a song or two.   Merry Christmas!

It’s All About The Make-Up

Day of the Dead Make-Up

Halloween or anytime is a perfect time to become someone else for a night.  Why not do it up right with a costume, some makeup and maybe a wig to top it off.

Become a Werewolf, Vampire, Zombie or even a Beauty Queen.  Choose from a good selection of water based makeup to more professional grease paint.  We have Professional Clowns who come to us for their supplies all the time.  It’s so much fun to see them all done up in their brightly colored costumes, and hats.  I love it when they wear the
oversized shoes.  That just completes the whole picture .

We see some of the scary folks as well.  Some of the haunted house dwellers come in to
show us photos  of what they look like in makeup and costume.  Most of them like the Ben Nye and Mehron brand products, both sought after by discriminating customers.

You don’t have to be a professional to look great .  We have Disguise Sticks Makeup that is like using watercolor paints only much more highly pigmented.  Dip a brush or sponge in water swirl it on the Disguise stick and start painting your face, hair, body etc.  This is fantastic for your kids.  It’s non-toxic, dries so it won’t get all over clothes or furniture, and the kids can even use it themselves.  I can’t even count how many of our neighborhood festivals use these for face painting every year.

Go for that Best Costume Prize by adding the finishing touches like moustaches or how about  witch’s warts!  Put on some scars, blood and tattoos with some Zombie makeup and black Zombie Blood.  OOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhh  sounds yucky…and perfect.

Come in and check us out for Halloween or year round.  Cappel’s isn’t like those other stores that are here today and gone tomorrow.  We’re here for your makeup needs all the time.


Hats Off!

Here’s something that might make you stand out in a crowd! At least, it worked to get my picture on the scoreboard during a Cincinnati Reds game! I was wearing a bright red sequined fedora adorned with a row of blinking lights around the brim. So many Reds fans complimented me on the hat, but I was still surprised to see myself wearing it up there on
the big screen.

Fedoras are still a very hot item for this year, that could be why they chose to light it up and make it in solid colors, plaids, hounds-tooth, and all kinds of fabric.  Sometimes I think people don’t realize the immense amount of party hats available for fun use. I have a hard time grasping the range of hat materials (from felt to plastic) and the range of hat themes (from Western hats to food-themed hats, to top hats).

Miniature hats are also in vogue this year, adding a sophisticated touch to a lady’s costume.  Get creative with your costume… add a hat!


Party Like You’re Nine!

I was taking a trip down memory lane the other day, remembering my daughter’s 9th birthday party.  I had just started working for Cappel’s and was almost overwhelmed with so many choices for a party theme.   I thought about a princess party with tiaras for all the girls.  I considered a circus party with so many bright colorful cutouts, polka dot hats,
and I thought the girls would like the idea of doing clown make-up for each other.    I briefly considered a magic theme, but realized I’d be the one who had to learn the magic tricks!   (Too much to do for that.)   It could have been a Jungle party with cute little monkeys, or even a luau party with pretty flower leis.

Well, I chose the luau theme.  I asked the girls to wear something “beachy” and told them they were bound to get wet.  I gave each one a Hawaiian flower lei and off we went to the back yard.  I had surrounded  our deck with raffia skirting and hanging palm trees, and had  Hawaiian centerpieces  on the tables.  They were thrilled when I gave each one of them a grass skirt to wear.  Of course they all tried to Hula dance, each one trying to out-do the other. We had a water balloon toss that had them giggling and we played several more games.    Towards the end of the party, we strung up a brightly colored pinata that everyone got to smack until it burst and all the candies came rushing out.  The girls were quick to pick up the goodies, filling their loot bags.

A good time was had by all, (especially my daughter), and I’m pretty sure those grass skirts and floral leis were kept as reminders of the great time they had that day.


Destination weddings

Photo courtest of

Our niece will marry her soul mate next year, in June. We are all excited about the preparations & decorating plans. As usual family and close friends are planning to attend the wedding. But there’s something different about the location of this wedding from the weddings we’re accustomed to attending. For Racheal’s wedding, everyone will have to travel and stay in a hotel – and I mean everyone.

Rachael’s wedding will be a “destination” wedding. Have you heard of that before? What a special treat and wonderful way to begin a new life together. Their wedding will be at an island resort where none of us have ever been. In the pictures, it looks like a place we’ve only dreamed about.

I think a wedding like this is the perfect start to a new life together. I can imagine taking a long weekend vacation with my best friends and family and after they all leave my husband and I would stay a few more days for our honeymoon. Where would you choose if you could go anywhere in the world for a destination wedding?

Party the German Way!

Photo courtesy of

Every September the bountiful local population of Germans, and wanna-be Germans gathers in Cincinnati to celebrate Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, the largest Octoberfest in the country, and second largest in the world!  This year’s events will be held the weekend of September 22, and 23.  Not only is there plenty of beer, wurst and sauerkraut, but lots of opportunities for fun events.  The world’s largest chicken dance, beer stein roll, and the running of the wieners (dachshunds) are just a few of the acitivites scheduled for the weekend.  Visit the official Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati website for all the details!

Photo courtesy of

Whether you’re planning to host your own Octoberfest, or visit Munich for the original Octoberfest, Cappel’s has lots of Octoberfest party supplies; hats, lederhosen, flags, rubber chickens, and more.  Check us out!  The Germans are giving the Irish a run for best party-ers!

Super Heroes are Super Fun!

It seems like 2012 is the year of the Super Hero.  With the release of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” ,  “The Amazing Spider-Man” , and “The Avengers” there are plenty of opportunities to choose your role model.   It’s not just the kids that are looking to dress the part.   Adults are definitely interested in assuming a second identity.  Perhaps the fascination with many of today’s Super Heroes is the fact that many of them are just like
us, not perfect, which makes it more believable.

There are plenty of opportunities for the ladies to morph into Super Heroes as well.  My personal favorite is Wonder Woman.  A friend of ours gave his wife a Wonder Woman costume for Mother’s Day this year.  She was a little embarrassed, but the kids loved it, especially her 8 year old daughter who already owned a matching costume.  What a nice complement from her husband!

For years kids have known the pleasure of being a Super Hero.  Now it can be a family affair!

Balloon Ingenuity – Using Air Instead of Helium

Photo courtesy of Paper & Party Magazine

With the recent helium shortage, we are becoming more creative with balloons.  Balloon archways can be made with air filled balloons and suspended from the ceiling.  Balloon columns can make a grand statement in a room or at the sides of a doorway.  They also can be suspended from the ceiling using nylon suspension thread or PVC pipe.  When suspending, tie the balloons together in twos, twist together two sets of two, and wrap around the PVC pole or suspension line.  You will find that as you begin to stack them they will “nest” together, leaving no space in between.  Put two or more colors together and depending upon how you stack them, you can make a “spiral” effect.

View balloon recipes on-line at

If you are interested in a balloon centerpiece, these can be made using air filled balloons, balloon cups, and balloon sticks.  They will be colorful and bright, and on the plus side, they will actually last longer.  Combining other elements with air filled balloons, such as fluffed out mylar picks, colorful bows, and even smaller balloons can make for an interesting as well as beautiful centerpiece.   All you need when using air instead of helium is a way to keep them upright in a centerpiece.  That’s where the balloon cup comes into play.  Wind the balloon stem through the slits in the balloon cup and pull it taught.  Glue the cup with balloon attached to a balloon stick, a decorated styrofoam disc, or a balloon weight.  Cover the balloon cup if you like with some pretty ribbon, mylar paper or tissue paper.

The helium shortage may continue for a while yet so it makes sense to utilize balloons in other ways.  The possibilities are endless and inexpensive.  Just make sure to get a hand pump, or air compressor to blow them up, or you may have to recruit a lot of friends!


Partyin’ At The Pool

Getting ready for the big SPLASH!

Summer time and pool parties, what a perfect pair!  Summer is my favorite time of year, and If you’re fortunate enough to have a pool, you have the best of all worlds.

Set the mood for your summer pool parties.  I love the way paper lanterns look when strung over a pool, or around the patio.  If you have a covered area, the lanterns can enhance your pool area for months!  Whether combined with strings of lights, or by themselves, they add a festive look to any pool party.

Add a little music and a limbo party kit, and you have the makings of a very memorable
summer pool party.  Kids and adult will all want to get in the act.  After dusk, bring out the light up necklaces, kazoos, and maracas for a summer sing along.  Download some of the 100 Greatest Songs of Summer, and you’ll have everyone smiling and singing!  For
something simpler try these old favorite camp songs :

On Top Of Spaghetti
Down By The Bay
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

I wish summer would last forever!

Cincinnati Pigs are the biggest hams at the World Choir Games!

Chinese Tiger Pig Cincinnati, OH
Check out our new Big Pig Gig in Cincinnati, OH. sponsored by Cincinnati Art Works.  Starting in May 2000, the public pig-art project charmed everyone from Ohio all the way to northern Kentucky.  New pigs have been added this summer in anticipation of the World Choir Games.  You can see a few pig images on Cincinnati Pigtures and also see Big Pig Gig returning for World Choir Games.

Hamward Bound Pig Cincinnati Ohio
Hamward Bound Pig

The pigs were a great attraction throughout all of Cincinnati, and were especially enjoyed by visitors coming for the  World Choir Games.  Hope to hear about the concerts you attended and the pigs you saw!

Lunch on Fountain Square
Lunch on FountainSquare


Wiggin’ Out!

Sarah's bachelorette party with Cappel's wigs
My niece, Sarah with friends and relatives celebrating at her bachelorette party in May.

My niece, Sarah, recently got married, but not before celebrating the traditional Bachelorette night-out.  Sarah comes from a partying group of 6 siblings, and an abundance of cousins and friends, so we knew this would be a fun event.  The theme for the night was “wiggin’ out”.  All attendees were asked to wear a black dress, (because hey this was a sophisticated group), and a wig of their choice.  Turns out the black dress was the only thing sophisticated about the evening!

The evening started off with the usual embarrassing presents for the bride to be.  Sarah has a great sense of humor, and seemed to enjoy all the attention.  After that it was off to downtown Louisville for a very memorable night of dancing and enjoying life.  The colorful costume wigs added greatly to the fun of the evening, and of course let everyone know that we were celebrating a very special occasion.

Bachelorette parties and Bachelorette party supplies are new to my generation; but they are a good new!  They are certainly a lot more fun than bridal showers!

World Choir Games Countdown Clock

This Is Music To My Ears!

World Choir Games Countdown Clock
World Choir Games Countdown Clock - Counting Down the Minutes Till The Opening Ceremony

It’s almost here! Hundreds of choirs from 70 countries will be competing here in the first World Choir Games ever to appear in the United States.  Cincinnati has been waiting so long for the World Choir games to start.  Just last month 500 planters were positioned around town. These planters will point the way to the various event locations.

Fortunately for Cappel’s, these planters run right in front of our party store, as we are just a block from two of the venues.

Opening ceremonies begin July 4, and competitions run through till the closing ceremony on July 14. If you like music, this is the place

Tyler Davidson Fountain
The Tyler Davidson Fountain sits in the center of Cincinnati's Fountain Square

to be! Competitions cover every type of musical genre from great choral-symphonic works to pop music.

Cappel’s is preparing with international & music products as well as a special display window in front of our party store to welcome World Choir Game visitors in their native languages. We will be carrying flags from 30 countries, as well as international flag banners, and also some licensed World Choir Games products.

Cincinnatians wants to be certain that our visitors feel safe and have a great experience here. There are 5,000 local volunteers to assist with making our international visitors feel at home. Some 500 of these volunteers will serve as translators. Come to Cincinnati this July for a very special treat!

I Know Everything About Him – But What Do I Do for Father’s Day?

At our age, my husband and I are grateful to still be able to celebrate Father’s Day with our dads.  I am going to give you some insight into our 2 great dads.  Maybe you can give me some help for Father’s Days ideas.

My father, the Riverman caught a little mahi on a recent fishing trip with our friend Dave Roof aboard the Ocean Gambler.

My dad, the Riverman, likes to fish, garden and grill out.  He saved a young boy and several adults from drowning during his days on the Ohio River.  He can build and fix anything and everything.  He enjoys having lots of friends and family around and is always ready for a party.  He loves animals, is kind-hearted and generous.  My dad reads lots of books.  His favorite books and movies are westerns and mysteries.  He can join in on most country songs and turns the volume way up for Pavarotti’s opera voice or a Beethoven symphony.  And it’s still really hard to find a gift for him.  For my dad, I am thinking about a small get together with a fishing or western theme.  We have some fun western party accessories at Cappel’s that might make the atmosphere a little more fun.

A great father, Bill Cappel on his 97th Birthday
Ray took this picture of Bill Cappel on his 97th birthday.

Ray’s dad Bill Cappel enjoys talking about his farm, the garden and pond.  He likes animals and especially enjoys petting dogs and watching birds.  Their home on the west side of Cincinnati always had bird feeders to attract beautifully colored songbirds.  At 97 years old, he has many great memories to share.  He was a dedicated, energetic, tireless entrepreneur who from humble beginnings in a grocery store became a leader of the multi-location, family-owned party and costume stores, Cappel’s.  Known for his integrity and attention to detail, Bill is respected in the retail world by colleagues and vendors from New York to Las Vegas and from Chicago to Houston.  He taught my husband, Ray, the business from the time Ray was 8 years old.  And it’s really hard to find a gift for him, also!  Ray loves color so we might use bright plates and table cloths to make the room look more special.

If you have ideas for us, please let me know.

Kitty Cat Eyeglasses – Meow

Fun Eye Glasses
Accessorize your face with fun eyeglasses

During a national trade show, Ray came upon some really fun kitty cat eyeglasses and kitty sunglasses and kitty eye glasses with no lenses! Eye glasses with no lenses? You might ask, “What’s the point of that?” Well, they are a great accessory for your face.

We use make up and earrings, piercings, perfumes and lotions to accessorize our faces. Some very famous women would never be seen in public without sunglasses.  What about your own style? Are you into Hello Kitty ® brand accessories?   If so, this would be a purrfect accessory for you.

Cappel’s has kitty glasses with a dark lens, a clear lens, or no lens. The frames have a bow on one side and a cat paw on the other rim.

Tropical Parrot Sunglasses
There's lots of fun ways to celebrate, and eyeglasses add to the fun! I love these parrot sunglasses.

In Asia, kitty glasses these are already reported to be a strong trend. They move quickly and are sold by street vendors who are enjoying the fun of a hot new item.

Our glasses, sunglasses and frames are available in a variety of colors and would brighten up any wardrobe and provide a great conversation starter.  I also love the parrot sunglasses.

How do you accessorize your face?

What Can I Do On May 28th?

Patriotic Memorial Day Ideas
We hope encourage you to honor all our U.S. service men and women through memorable events & traditions. We found this image on

Like many, sometimes I forget the true meaning of Memorial Day, to honor those who sacrificed their lives for our country, and I wonder what I can do differently this year.   I want to remember that it is more than just a day off and time for a BBQ. As I gather with my family and friends on the last Monday of the May, I will hang a flag outside my home and try to convince them to attend our local Cincinnati parade honoring America’s soldiers who have fought to keep us all safe and secure.

Maybe I can convince them to go to the Blue Ash Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.  If you are interested, the parade begins 10:15 a.m. at Reed Hartman Highway and Cooper Road and ending at Veterans Memorial Park.   A ceremony will follow 11:30 a.m. at Blue Ash Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park at Hunt and Cooper roads.

I did a little research to help me get focused: Memorial Day (also known as Decoration Day) began in the United States on May 30, 1868, after the Civil War ended.    Flowers were put on the graves of fallen soldiers from both sides of the war in an effort to heal the nation.  Now we include all men and women who have died in America’s wars.

Do you have traditions or ideas to make Memorial Day more meaningful for your family?  Please share your ideas.  Of course, I will decorate for Memorial Day since I am part of Cappel’s!

written by Melanie Crihfield

Thanks for Dropping In

920 Elm Street Cincinnati, OH 45202

Welcome to our blog!  Cappel’s is a well known costume & party supply store in Cincinnati.  In fact, we own 5 brick & mortar locations in Cincinnati as well as our 6th store online:  Cappel’s has been run by our family since 1945, and at times, everyone in the family seems to have a part in it.  Ray Cappel is our primary buyer.  His wife, Steffi Cappel, will be writing posts for the blog as will Melanie Crihfield, one of our favorite designers at Cappel’s.  I hope to get many others involved in writing posts.  It’s amazing the great stories and ideas that we come across during a day’s work.  We hope to share with you some exciting and practical party and costuming ideas.  My husband Rich Cappel and I are very involved with the day to day activities of the business.  We are very proud of our stores and the people that work at Cappel’s.

Diane Cappel and her husband Rich are involved with the day to day activities of the business.

Our customers are always coming up with fun ideas, and we want to share these with you!  Maybe we’ll have just the right idea for an event that you are planning.  We’ll also be sharing the latest celebrations we are having in the Cappel family and in Cincinnati.  Our goal is to inspire you to enjoy and build great memories with your families and friends through fun parties and celebrations.

Diane C.