It’s no secret how much I love Bangtel so for my first staged photo shoot it made total sense to have the shoot at one of their newest properties Aladdin’s Hideaway.

I was initially attracted to the space because of the vibrant colors and eclectic decor. The original owner was a world traveler and it was clear throughout all the hidden treasures and worldly trinkets. The tapestry on the wall and the antique furniture was just screaming “Kori have a party here” Not one to ignore the call of a gorgeous space, I decided to stage an event in Aladdin’s Hideaway.


To make Aladdin’s Hideaway come to life I enlisted the help of my friend Shelby Reinhardt. For this shoot, we knew that we wanted to play off the space. One of the first things I noticed were the various books that adorned the space.

The books were perched on shelves and on various coffee tables so a literary themed party seemed like a no brainer. Alas “Pages” was born.  What I like about having a book or literary theme is that it is incredibly cost-effective. All you  need for party decor are a few books and newspapers.  Voilà you’ve decorated your party for under $5.

Creating a Paper Experience

When we arrived to the space we focused on the dining areas. To set the table I created a table runner made entirely of book pages.  I specifically wanted smaller book pages mainly due to aesthetic. I think in this case smaller was definitely better. More pages creates a more dramatic effect that’s sure to wow your guests.  I put the pages together in a completely disorganized fashion just to give the runner more texture and character. While simple to create, this doesn’t mean guests won’t be as impressed. Trust me when I say that this is probably the easiest DIY craft that is sure to turn heads.

Next up, we set the table with some flowers.  We all know that flowers can get pricey which is why me and Shelby decided it would be a better idea to create our flowers. For the flowers I used book pages as well as construction paper. I prefer using the book pages, however the construction paper flowers were much sturdier. Both take a little work, but the results are worth it.

Prior to the event we tried various methods including the spiral and the wrap and roll. I would add that the wrap and roll method is difficult but it gives you the most realistic yet prettiest looking paper flowers. It takes a lot of patience and I probably watched this YouTube video about 20 times before I understood how to do it.

Shelby;s flowers included a method where she cut out petals. She then would manually put the petals in the shape of a flower. These served as great decorative accents on the coffee tables.

After we placed the flowers it was then time to set the table. We set the table with fine China that was already available in Aladdin’s Hideaway. Seriously, we couldn’t have asked for better China. I love how Bangtel properties already come party ready with the essentials.

Continuing the paper theme, I created paper fans with black bows on top of the plates. This was yet another easy craft that anyone can do. The fans added a nice elegant touch and I would definitely create more fans for future events.

Bangtel Aladdin's Hideaway

Fashionable Party Guests

No event is complete without party guests so I enlisted the help of a few of my favorite Chicago bloggers. My special guests were Paige Mariah of Paige Mariah, Raissa Gomez of S1mpl3, Michelle Arellano of The Native Stilo, and Kamerin Chambers from bSmart Guide. I had my party guests come in their finest Boho Chic threads and once everyone arrived we were ready to get the party started.


We kicked off the afternoon with some Moët Chandon. The mini bottles are perfect for a small gathering and they make great gifts for your guests.

You can’t have champagne without at least a little something to eat, so there was a small snack menu created for this event.

A Worldly Menu

To play off the worldly theme of the space, our menu would be centered on world travels with food selections from various countries. Thankfully, we had Try the World to help with this since they provided me with the Portugal Box as well as the Snack Box.

I’m glad black tea was in the box because I was dying to use the antique tea spot that was already in Aladdin’s Hideaway. For our tea snacks we used Portuguese lemon cookies, Swedish gingersnaps, Finnish dried berries, Moroccan Orientines and rice cakes from Thailand. These yummy treats fit perfectly in the home of the world traveler.

Try the World is highly recommended for a small gathering or soirée because of the unique food items. Think of it like traveling the world but through food. The boxes are specially curated featuring the best of the highlighted country. Plus, if you aren’t  sure what you can make with these worldly bites, the box comes with some easy recipes that’ll make you look like a world traveler when you entertain your guests. And if you subscribe this month you can have a taste of France with their specially curated France box. Hint, if you love charcuterie and macarons then this is the box for you.

In addition to our worldly menu, Shelby decided to create an array of truffles, which was the perfect sweet treat for everyone!Aladdin Photo 13If you want to have your themed party here are some key takeaways.

Quick Tried and True Tips

1. Play Off the Space – If you have absolutely no idea what type of theme you want for a party see if you can pull some ideas from the space. For “Pages” I saw books on a bookshelf and that’s how the literary theme was born. To infuse the literary theme with the property owner’s travels, we took inspiration from the decor and books from other countries.

2. DIY – If you are on a budget, I don’t need to tell you how much DIY is your friend. Research projects where you have to buy minimal materials. For pages, we just used newspapers and thrift store books but you’ll be surprised what creations you can make from just everyday household items

3. Don’t Over Do It – There is such thing as overdoing it, especially when it comes to a theme. We actually ended up making way too much paper decor but we saw that it cluttered the space. Less is always more and it holds true even with party planning. For the party, we mainly focused on decorating and setting up the main dining areas. However, since the space spoke for itself, we didn’t want to overpower it.

Those are my party planning tips for a paper themed/worldly themed party. Hope you found some takeaways for your next event.

Huge thanks to Paige, Kamerin, Raissa, Michelle, and Shelby and Matt for making all of this possible and thanks to Bangtel for letting us use yet another awesome space.


Photo Credit: Matt Daray and Shelby Reinhardt