It’s Party-time with a Giveaway and Tips From The TomKat Studio

The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio
The TomKat Studio

Kim Stoegbauer started her personal blog, The TomKat Studio, as a place to showcase all things pretty. She developed a loyal following and a high demand for her gorgeously styled parties which led her to first create a printable party collection on Etsy and then ultimately, the career of her dreams. For Halloween, Kim’s concept of a ‘sassy witch’ party has the perfect balance of whimsy and sophistication she is known for. Created using her new Halloween Glam Collection, we’re inspired to call over our favorite friends for an evening of girls-only delightfully wicked fun. Check out all the details on Kim’s website, but first let’s find out where Kim comes up with all these brilliant ideas!

How did you get your start?
I was in real estate, and with the downturn of the market, I decided to stay at home with my kids. I had never blogged before, but started a personal blog that became really popular. I have always loved all things to do with entertaining and decorating, and always wanted to include my original ideas. When I styled a lollipop party for my daughter’s 2nd birthday, it got picked up by Hostess with the Mostess and I grew from there.

I didn’t set out to do it, but I couldn’t be happier. It’s so rewarding to do a beautiful styling and then have a professional photographer capture it so well. We’ve grown tremendously and sales are crazy. I am self taught as a graphic designer, but people like the ideas and simplicity of the designs.

What’s the meaning behind the name TomKat?
When I first started the blog, it was only for personal reasons. We had an extra little room in the house and my husband gave me some money for Christmas to decorate it with. It was my “studio.” And TomKat is named for my children – Tommy and Kate. I had no idea what I was sharing would become a business!

What is your personal style and how do we see it in your designs?
Simple, clean and modern with a touch of girlish whimsy.

How have DIY printables changed the way we entertain?
The economy is forcing people to do so much themselves that printables have become a popular. Most moms like to go all out for a party, but most aren’t graphic designers. We give them that piece in the context of a whole styled party, they can use as much or as little as they want. A printables collection frees people up to be able to throw the type of party they want and have sense of accomplishment that they did it.

What is your favorite kind of party to style?
Anything girly. I love pink – anything pink! My new line is vintage princess pink, pink and white with a little black.

What are your tried and true tips for styling a Halloween party or gathering?

  1. Color scheme: begin with a clear color scheme. For the glam party I wanted something different and wanted it to stand out.
  2. Picking a theme: one year my daughter was really into Tinkerbelle, and though I love her too I didn’t want to style a character party, so that inspired a fairy garden theme. Take what your children love and find something that inspires you.
  3. Create one well-styled focal point: when you walk into the party, there should be something that you’ve styled that welcomes your guests and sets the mood, whether it’s the chair the child will open presents in or the buffet table. Many people are using the concept of a dessert table, inspired by Amy Atlas. It’s fun to make a full display and when the kids walk in the room and see a table full of treats they are literally like a kid in a candy store.

How can we use your ideas and products in our Halloween festivities even if we’re not having a formal party?
You don’t need to have a big party to use the printables collection. They can be used just for a family dinner to celebrate a birthday or holiday, and we also have items that are fun for when you’re bringing something to an event. For Halloween, there are candy bag toppers for taking treats to school or elsewhere. We also have popular collections with fall themes for Thanksgiving and gift tags for the holidays.

If we don’t have a theme that works for your event, we also doing custom work, where you pick the colors and fonts and we’ll match it.

Let’s get to know Kim better with a “quick-fire” round of questions:

  • Blogs I check daily are: project nursery, hostess with the mostess and Amy Atlas
  • My favorite color is: pink
  • My first job was: receptionist at a real estate company
  • I cannot live without: my family, coffee
  • The best advice I ever received is: be original and always stay fresh by coming up with new ideas
  • My favorite guilty pleasure is: cupcakes
  • A cause I care deeply about is: curing childhood cancer

It’s giveaway time: Kim has generously offered one lucky winner a $50 shopping spree on her site! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us about the most creatively inspired Halloween costume you’ve seen. Contest ends Friday, September 24th at 6pm EST.

Melanie | Permalink |

53 Responses to “It’s Party-time with a Giveaway and Tips From The TomKat Studio”

  1. tiffany H Says:

    the post inspireing costome ever is going to be my twins this yr they are identical twins red hair blue eyes 18 months they are going to be umalomas from charliy and the choc factory even if i have to make them by hand

  2. Deanna Sena Says:

    I was looking online as my daughter wants to dress as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz this year. Someone created for their daughter instead of just plain old Dorothy, created a tornado cloud to surround Dorothy….in the funnel were toy cars and trees and such…looked like the tornado swept up Dorothy and everything else in it’s path…it was adorable!!!

  3. hminnesota Says:

    At work, one woman came in her PJs and bunny flip flops. On her bath robe, it was written “PTO Day”.

  4. Maureen Says:

    I saw that someone is a playing card and then someone else was a hand.

  5. Kati Says:

    The most creatively inspired Halloween costume I have seen would be a mermaid costume which a girl designed herself in the Hooters pageant. The top of the costume, which was a bikini top, was covered in hundreds of sea shells. The bottom was a skirt made of sea shells as well along with brown netting. Very beautiful and inspiring!

  6. Liz Says:

    The most creatively inspired costume I’ve seen would be my son’s Max costume from last year (Inspired by Maurice Sendak’s book, Where the Wild Things Are) My mom and I made it ourselves with lots of different materialsL cardstock, foil, and fur for the crown – wood, styrofoam, foil & jewels for the sceptor – & the outfit was a set of furry pajamas that my aunt sewed a tail and clawed feet onto. It was great!

  7. dheim Says:

    Tea Cups from Alice in Wonderland. The Tea Cup was made from a laundry basket and covered with fabric.

  8. Tiff F Says:

    One year I saw a human disco ball. It was an entire outfit made of mosaic mirror tiles – hat/mask included!

  9. shanna Says:

    Not exactly kid friendly AT ALL, but when I was younger, my parents got a piece of foam and painted them to match Coors Light beer cans (one silver, one gold) and my mom hand painted the Coors logo and Coors Light logo on them and made them into cans with arm holes. They won a costume contest back in their day. I thought it was the neatest thing ever! And wished my mom would do coke cans too ha!

  10. Kelly Says:

    I LOVE TomKat Studio designs, they are always so pretty and perfect for so many occasions.

  11. Stephanie Says:

    At my old job we had a childs holloween contest and a Cute Lit’l Toddler was dressed as a Bubble Bath. She had cardboard covered in foil w/traps to hold it up on shoulders.(Metal Tub) White tights & ballet slippers, clear balloons blown up(Bubbles)& sewn to tube top.(?) A long back scrub brush, Yellow rubber ducky, & to top it off a CUTE FRILLEY shower cap.

  12. Lindsey Says:

    I once say a father/son pair – the father was dressed as an M&M package and the son was an M&M – so cute!

  13. Paula Wheeler Says:

    Saw someone dressed up as the game Operation.

  14. Steph Says:

    My inlaws always have a creative theme for the whole family each year. One year they were restaurant mascots. There was ronald mcdonald, Wendy, the burger king, the cow from chickfila, and colonel sanders. They looked adorable!

  15. diana Says:

    Last year I saw this little boy dressed up as red Lego piece. It was just to cute.

  16. Racheal Hollowell Says:

    Actually, the best creatively styled costume that I have ever seen was when my boyfriend (now husband) was participating in a costume contest. He went as a half man half woman. I didn’t help him one bit, he made the whole look by himself! From the half hair, half hat, half make-up half whiskers, to the single shaved leg with a high heeled shoe, and the other one in jeans and a boot. He looked great!

  17. Cheryl Marunde Says:

    Woman from the Alfred Hitchcock, “The Birds” movie. She had on a very tailored suit with little rips all over it, bits of blood and a couple of crows on her back and in her hair. So creative and a little scary! That is one creepy movie…..they don’t make ’em like they used to!

  18. cyndi hunt Says:

    Saw a group of people dressed as William Shakespeare characters…very dramatic and very well done!

  19. Lindsay Banner Says:

    I LOVE all of Kim’s creations!! Most creative costume- two fabulous male tennis players from the seventies complete with wooden tennis rackets, short shorts, sweaters around their necks, a polo and mustaches!!

  20. Suzanne Lafreniere Says:

    I like one that is a crayola crayon with siblings as different colors.

  21. Sara Says:

    Love TomKat! I saw someone at a halloween party dressed as the exterminator with the large mallet from the TV commercials and his lady friend was a bug. Very cute.

  22. Michelle King Says:

    My parents once went to an adult only costume party back in the early 80’s and had seen what I still believe was the funniest costume for a couple. A couple came dressed as a set of thermometers – one rectal, one oral. The bizarro thing was that another couple had the same idea. I thought it was hilarious.

  23. Mary-Frances C. Says:

    The most inspired Halloween Costume I’ve seen was a Marie Antoinette costume. She had a beautiful handmade mask, fan, and an extremely tall wig. She attached a handmade wooden french-styled ship to the top. Beautiful!

  24. Melissa Says:

    Just found TomKat’s website & I am truly inspired by all her work. My favorite costume ideas(or lets say the most unique and memorable) has to be when an entire family dresses as a unit (all super heroes, all convicts, all vampires, or characters from movies) including the family pet. I think these costumes are so memorable because the whole family has created a scene. Last year I saw a family wearing the Incredibles (the father was even wearing the tights!). It may not be the most unique, yet I love seeing families work as one.

  25. Sarah K. Says:

    Train for the little boy – wearing a box decorated to look like a train and his mom was the tracks. She cuts strips of cardboard and used electrical tape to keep it together. Cutest thing I have ever seen.

  26. Nina Jones Says:

    The most creative costume I have ever seen was two of our friends came as starbucks cups that they made…lid and all…it was pretty clever! Love Tomkat…it the first blog site that turned me on to blog style parties-as I call them!!! Never thrown a party better than after seeing her blog!

  27. Jen Maselli Says:

    Love TomKat! I was just getting ready to order some of her printables, so would love to win this. My favorite costume is “hospital patient with visible butt cheeks.” You know, the gown, bandage around the head, slippers and then a fake butt peeking out of the back. Cracks me up every time. No pun intended. :)

  28. Amanda Says:

    My favorite costume was a little girl that was a chicken. She took a bunch of feather boas and sewed them to a dress, so cute.

  29. Margie P Says:

    I’ll have to toot my own horn here. My hubby and I are VERY passionate about Halloween and always make our costumes for a yearly party. One year, with a group of friends, we were the Wizard of Oz crew. My husband was the Yellow Brick Road. Hysterical. He had a HUGE piece of foam with a hole cut in it for his head. We painted it, cut the sides to resemble bricks and it looked perfect!

  30. krissy Says:

    A guy in high school dressed up as a tube of toothpaste. He used a lampshade for the “lid” and then just sewed a long white “dress” of felt with red letters reading toothpaste. So creative!

  31. Ashley Says:

    I was helping my cousin find a costume online for her 2-year-old boy, and stumbled across a personal website where the mom had made her boy into Colonel Sanders (from KFC), complete with white curly haired wig, white suit, and a bucket from KFC with a stuffed chicken inside. Adorable, if not a little creepy. Perfect for halloween, right?!

  32. Melissa Says:

    Last year a little girl we came across was dressed as a tooth fairy. Her crown was made of toothbrushes! She actually handed those out instead of candy! CUTE!

  33. Jennifer Says:

    The most creative costume I have ever seen was at a college frat party. One guy dressed up as a box of Franzia Wine and taped 5 bags of wine to the inside of his box. All 5 tabs were visible from the outside, and all the girls at the party drank from his box. It was hands down the best and most creative costume I’ve ever seen! And not to mention delicious!!!

  34. Mariah Says:

    One of my professor’s dressed up like Maxine, from the comics, one year! She looked so much like her!

  35. Erin Nay Says:

    I have been a fan of TomKat for forever! I recently purchased her lollipop collection for my daughter’s 4th birthday. I would love to get something for my sweet baby Charlie’s first birthday! The most original costume that I have ever seen was a bubble bath. It included a white sweatshirt and sweatpants, lots of small white balloons, a shower cap, loofah and rubber ducky hanging. Very cute! She smelled pretty good too!

  36. Jennifer McMinn Says:

    We have a team at my office that goes all out for the office halloween contest. Last year the theme was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. One person was Michael and the rest of the team dressed up as zombies. They did a choreographed routine to the song complete with lip-synching! It was awesome.

    And I would so love to win some TomKat dollars for my daughters birthday party!!!!

  37. maria k Says:

    Our town has a Halloween parade rain or shine every year. A few years ago there was a high school girl dressed as JANE HUDSON from the movie ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’. Costume was perfect from the droopy cardigan and smudged red lipstick to the silver platter with salad and a fake dead rat!

    For those of us old enough to know the movie it was hilarious!

  38. Brittney Says:

    An expectant mother dressed up as an oven with a bun baking inside!!

  39. Katie Waltemeyer Says:

    I’ve seen quite a few really great costumes, but my personal favorite has to be my first memory of my husband from when we were back in fifth grade. He was Where’s Waldo? and I thought that was just amazing. Love TomKat Studio!

  40. Jessi Says:

    Last year there was a boy in a triangle felt suit with flt boats on it. the next day i was shopping and i realized he was the Bermuda triangle. how clever

  41. Annette Says:

    The year Michael Phelps won all the gold metals, my 4 year old wanted to be Michael Phelps. So I found a loose fitting blue sweatsuit….ironed on PHELPS on the back of his shirt using white felt letters and he wore that along with a swim cap, googles and eight gold metals that we cut out and spray painted. Our 2 year old wanted to be a shark so my husband and I created a shark costume using a grey sweatsuit. We attached a grey foam fin to his back using gorilla glue, attached fins to his sleeves and pink and white felt along the hood for gums and teeth. The best part was that they both won the local Halloween contest….I think it had something to do with the shark chasing Michael Phelps on the stage while Michael Phelps screamed in delight :o)

  42. Heidi Says:

    I just discovered TomKat Studio this week, and I’m obsessed. Beautiful ideas. I love that fact that they’re very doable. Even someone like me can take these ideas and accomplish them! Thanks!

  43. cindy s Says:

    I love the halloween costumes that look like 2 people are involved yet there is only 1 person and 1 fake person attached. I have seen a few different ones. I like the mother and baby one the best.

  44. Robin Says:

    The most creative costume idea I have ever seen actually came from my daughter. When she was 6 she asked to be a Christmas ornament for Halloween. I loved the idea and we created a silver bulb costume. On her head she wore a silver round hat with a big hook coming out of it to look like the top part of the bulb. :)

  45. Brenda Says:

    Love the Halloween Collection!
    The most creative Halloween Costume I have seen lately was “a bunch of grapes”. She wore a green sweatsuit then pinned purple balloons all over her. She was Packed Full of Balloons! It was so cute!
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  46. Katie Says:

    The best costume I’ve ever seen was a group costume. About 4 people dressed up as tetris pieces and then ran around in the street lining themselves up so they connected! It was super cute and really funny.

  47. valerie Says:

    I have seen so many creative costumes, but the one of my most memorable costume memories was a family at our church who dresses up as the Fruit of the Loom gang. There wan apple, banana, pear and grapes. It was fantastic!

  48. amanda Says:

    the best ive seen is a dad dressed up as a cowboy and his son was a calf and the dad had a rope around the kid while they were trick or treating that was he wouldnt run off it was so cute and creative!

  49. april Says:

    One year I had my 3 yr old boy dressed as a cowboy (with real hat), then my 1 1/2 yr old girls dressed as little indians, and the family dog dressed as the horse for the cowboy! Soo cute.

  50. brittany polezcek Says:

    the best I’ve seen so far will be the costume my 1mth old baby girl will be wearing this year. I had a custom halloween tutu made of bright orange, green, purple, and black tulle. I also had custom made stripped legging to fit her little legs since she is only almost 8lbs. I also had some custom halloween booties made along with a custom onesie that says Daddy’s under my spell and some halloween bloomers that says “hocus pocus” and to top it off I had a custom tiny witch hat made to complete the costume out, I’m making her my lil tiny witch this halloween….halloween is my favorite holiday.

  51. Whitney Says:

    One of the most creative costumes I have seen is Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas. The Dad was dressed up as Willy Wonka and his 3 kiddos were little Oompas Loompas…so stinkin’ cute!!!
    Love TomKat designs!!!

  52. Rachel L Says:

    My mom made me into a grape when I was little, purple balloons, green tights and a green headband with a “stem,” it was one of my favorite costumes ever!

  53. rtyecript Says:

    I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

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