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Monday, March 10, 2014

Party decorations - giant tissue paper flowers...

So before I get stuck into this post, can I just talk about the weather for one tiny moment - how amazing has it been here?! This last weekend I visited family and friends back in Kent and I didn't need my coat once, it was even warm enough to sit outside! I really hope this is genuinely Spring starting, the daffodils certainly seem to think it is :)

Anyway back to my original subject...

I was also in Kent two weeks ago to celebrate my Mum's birthday. It was a significant one so she decided to throw a big party in the local village hall. It was so much fun - we had mountains of sandwiches and cake for afternoon tea and then a barn dance in the evening. Now I'm a fan of cake, and barn dances are my kind of dance (basically I need to be told how to coordinate my body when dancing) but my favourite bit of the day was the preparation. We came down on the Friday and I spent the Friday and Saturday with my family getting ready for the party. There was a lot of baking, sandwich making, amazing cake decorating (by my sister), present wrapping and party decoration making going on. It was such a lovely time together - I love my family so much. One of the cutest moments was when my oldest nephew (he's 7) was allowed to stay up right to the end after the others had gone to bed, he was getting fully involved in tidying up, carrying lots of chairs and showing me where they were meant to go...he obviously felt so grown up - it was adorable!

See what I mean about my sister's awesome cake skills?!

I offered to make decorations for the party and spent the week leading up to the party surrounded by tissue paper...anybody visiting our home got roped into making things too. My Mum had decorated the cake stands with pretty white and pink orchids so I tried to stay close to the colour and floral theme. I decided to go with paper bunting, giant flower pompoms and pin wheels. Annoyingly I left my camera at home so here's my instagram shot.

These tissue pompom flowers were top of my list to make. I had helped to make them for a friends wedding and loved them! I wasn't sure of the layout of the hall but knew these would bring lots of colour and fun. It turned out we were able to hang the flowers across the ceiling which made the space feel a lot cosier and more intimate...I was so pleased with how it turned out!

Here's how I made them...

A note on buying tissue paper. If you're planning on just making one or two pompoms then it's probably easiest to buy the paper in your local shop. However, it gets really expensive very quickly that way so I ordered mine online from Blue Star (UK) on ebay. They were the best value I could find and free postage. The paper was softer than the shop bought paper but that actually lends itself to this project! If you're making the pompoms to the same dimensions as mine then aim to buy 75cm x 50cm paper.

1. First cut your tissue paper to size. For one large pompom you need 10 sheets of 38cm x 50cm tissue paper, for the medium pompom cut 8 sheets of 25cm x 38cm paper, and 6 sheets of 25cm x 19cm paper for the small pompom. Lay all the sheets (for that one pompom) on top of one another and position them with the short sides facing you.

2&3. Concertina fold the paper (approximately 1" wide).

4. Fold the paper in half to mark the centre with a crease and tie a long piece of string around the centre of the paper, with the knot on the edge of the paper.

5. Scallop both edges.

6. Now comes the slightly fiddly bit. Open the folds out as shown and start pulling the outermost layer of paper out to the centre, pull it out as far as possible and then move onto the next layer of paper. Continue doing this until all layers are puffed out on one side. Then repeat on the remaining half. It doesn't have to be perfect and don't worry if you rip the paper a little. Once all the layers are pulled out, adjust them until you are happy with the final look.

And you're done! Unless you're making as many as I which case you have 35 more to go! I made them up to step 5 at home and then puffed them out at the venue.

So pretty!

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