When Kimmy Stolz, a former contestant on Cycle 5 of America’s Next Top Model and author of “Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I’ll Never Do,” realized that her fiancé’s birthday would be taking place during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, she knew that she had to think of a creative way to celebrate the occasion. 

“My fiancé’s birthday was during the lockdown and I knew she would have loved to see her friends and family,” said Stolz. 

Stolz took this information to heart and wanted to surprise her fiancé, Laura Hayward, with an unforgettable day. But how does one throw a birthday party and invite a bunch of people over to celebrate when it’s simply not possible to get everyone together?  That’s where Cardboard Cutout Standees came into play!

“I ordered cutouts of all of [her friends and family] and placed them around the house before she woke up on her birthday,” said Stolz.

Woman in living room surrounded by life size Cardboard Cutout Standees of friends & family.

Photo Credit: Kim Stolz (Instagram: @kimmystolz)

Stolz ordered dozens of cardboard cutouts of all the people that Hayward loves and scattered them around the house. Some guests greeted Hayward as she emerged from her bedroom upstairs, while the majority awaited her arrival in the living room. Stolz even made sure to invite her fiancé’s animal friends to the birthday party — two cats and a horse were present for the big day!

As for Hayward, she was definitely surprised by the thoughtful act. In a video that Stolz sent to us, Hayward and Stolz slowly make their way downstairs to see all the cutouts. Once they arrive in the living room for the big party, you can see and hear Hayward both laughing and crying simultaneously. 

“She was absolutely amazed by the cutouts! She couldn’t believe it!” said Stolz.

Despite having to stay at home on her birthday, it’s clear that Hayward made the most of her special day. She took photos with all of her friends and loved ones, and she and Stolz even played a clever game of “Guess Who” with the birthday party guests. 

Although Hayward’s birthday has since passed, she and Stolz continue to have fun with the party guests.

“Right now, they are still around the house, so sometimes we have a little dance party with them,” said Stolz.

Kimmy Stolz and Laura Hayward surrounded by life-size Cardboard Cutout Standees for a surprise birthday party.

Photo Credit: Kim Stolz (Instagram: @kimmystolz)

Throwing Your Own Covid Birthday Party

Kimmy “invited” the whole family, which might be a little excessive if you have a big family but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great birthday party by getting cutouts of your closest friends and relatives. Big head cutouts are another popular option and one of our best sellers.

And as Kimmy has mentioned, you can re-use your cutouts in lots of different ways in the future. You can bring your cutouts out for sports parties, baby showers, theme parties, bachelor & bachelorette parties, and as party decorations for really any sort of gathering where one of your guests isn’t able to come in person. Life size cutouts make great party props and birthday party decorations. To see how more great ways of how our others have used cutouts for birthday celebrations, check out our birthday party cutout customer reviews.

Make the best of milestone birthdays during COVID, or really any gathering, by bringing friends and family to the party while staying safe.

Life Size Cardboard Cutouts Make Memorable Gifts

If you want to surprise someone special with a memorable gift, look no further than Cardboard Cutout Standees. We offer high-quality, durable cardboard cutouts with fast shipping so that your loved ones can receive their surprise as quickly as possible. It’s easy to create your own custom cardboard cutout — simply upload your photos to our website, select your size and material, and we’ll get your standees shipped to you in a flash.

Ready to make someone’s day? Create your life-size cardboard cutout today!


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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