Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Behind the Scenes of Avery's 1st Birthday Party

Getting ready for the party...
Now that we've reviewed the party, let's take a behind the scenes look at how some of the projects came to be.

Like that picture to the left? That's me about 2 hours before the party, and although I'm smiling on the outside, you can bet I was stressing on the inside as I thought about all the things I still had left on my to-do list to get done before the party started. 

Does anyone ever have everything completely ready before their party starts? If so, please teach me your ways! I'd love to be just hanging out with a clean house, food all prepared, just calm and composed saying, "Well, hello. Welcome to my party, I've been waiting for you." Instead I'm rushing, still putting the finishing touches on things, and wishing the clock said a much earlier time.

One thing I did know to do for this party was to get all my big crafty projects done and crossed of the list before party day, so at least I didn't have that stress of that weighing me down.

I got these projects done so early that I even had time to take some pictures of them to show you exactly how I made them, (that was the planner-side of me!).  So in this post you will find my instructions on creating:
  • a no-sew fabric banner (or as I call it, "Those triangle things that hang down")
  • a monthly photo banner
  • tissue paper pom poms
  • a fabric-covered number one
  • dry-erase table signs (made out of bathroom tiles)
  • a wrapping paper table runner
I don't know about you, but I get pretty excited when I can make something on my own instead of buying it, talking about going green and saving some money! Granted it doesn't always save you time, but it does give you a nice little sense of accomplishment. (Score one for "Creative Ash!") Combine that with my love of details, and you've got one long list of detailed projects that I knew I wanted to create for Avery's first birthday party. So here are the projects I had fun planning, creating, and then displaying for Avery's party.

1. No-Sew Fabric Banner
Project guidance/inspiration: Babbling Abby: "Cheap and Easy: A No-Sew Fabric Banner Tutorial"

Supplies...I ended up not using the Liquid Stich (just so you
know, it left wet marks on the fabric)
Supplies Needed:
  • several "quarters" of fabric these were $1 at Wal-Mart
  • some ribbon, mine was 5/8 inch satin
  • although I originally got "Liquid Stitch"to start with, I decided on another alternative since it left a "glue mark" on the ribbon (maybe it wouldn't have been seen it I used grosgrain ribbon as opposed to satin).
  •  Stitch Witchery (an iron-on adhesive)

1. I traced this pattern from Little Blue Boo onto the fabric
using chalk and then we cut them out.
2. Next we measured the ribbon, lined up the Stitch Witchery
and prepared it to be ironed.
3. Then we lined up the triangles on top of the ribbon/Stitch
Witchery combo. We moved to the floor so we would be
ironing on my dining room table, we ironed on a towel to
keep the steam from the iron from getting the fabric wet.
4. After lining up the triangles, we held an iron on them for a
few seconds each and then moved onto the next triangle.
Like how I'm watching my "Craftin' Mama" work her magic?
I'm her apprentice.
Then we had our no-sew fabric banner!

  I had no idea I bought way too much fabric, but I put it to good use and made a fabric banner, not only for our porch (as seen above), but also our mirror in the dining room.

I also put one on Avery's high chair using Velcro dots.  But you can tell how long those lasted! Luckily she was done with her cupcake.

Avery, respect the no-sew fabric banner! ( :

Next time I would... use wider ribbon (mine was the exact same size as the Stitch Witchery) and I had to trim it a tiny bit so it didn't stick over the edges and possibly stick to my iron. Also, I would try a grosgrain ribbon to see if I could get the no-sew glue to work and not be visible.

 2. Monthly Photo Banner
Project guidance/inspiration: a variety of photo banners of Etsy.

Supplies for Monthly Photo Banner.

Supplies needed:
  • a variety of scrapbook paper that matches your party's colors or theme
  • ribbon (I found this cool package of ribbon scraps that gave me a nice variety of colors and styles)
  • hole puncher
  • some form of glue or glue stick, I like Elmer's Craft Bond Dot Runner
  • 4 x 6 monthly pictures from month one to eleven (I originally included "newborn" but it hung too low on my fireplace mantle, so I cut it from the project)
1. I glued the monthly pictures onto scrapbook paper, leaving
enough border around the edges to show while hanging.

2. Next I cut out the pictures.

3. Punched holes and thread ribbon through to connect the
two pictures together. I found a double knot was helpful.
4. Next I made some numbers in Microsoft Word with a border
around them and I glued them onto some scrapbook paper
to give it some more pop. I then glued these onto the pictures.
5. Next I used clear push pins to hold my photo
banner up on my mantle.

Next time I would...not put the "newborn" picture in that I originally included, there just wasn't room for it and it made the banner dangle way too low. Luckily I realized this before the party and the final product you see is just month one to eleven.

3. Tissue Paper Pom Poms 

Project guidance/inspiration: Martha Stewart Tissue Paper Pom Poms

Supplies needed:
  • 1 pkg. of 8 tissue papers (preferably in a rectangle shape)= 1 pom pom
  • clear fishing line (to hang them from the ceiling)
  • some type of wire...I had green floral wire, some suggest white floral could probably even use pipe cleaners
I found this package of tissue paper at JoAnn's Fabric
that perfectly matched the party and had more rectangular
Here is the clear fishing line I use to hang them from
the ceiling, and the green floral wire I use to wrap them

1. First I lined up the tissue papers and begin folding, accordion-style
about a 1 1/2 inches to the front, then 1 1/2 inches to the back.
It will end up looking like this.

2. Next I folded the strip in half and used scissors to cut a rounded
top to each tip of the tissue paper strip. (Left=rounded cut,
Right=not cut yet).  This part is tricky, because I can
never get mine to look as nice and curved as the
Martha Stewart instructions say, but oh well.
3. Then I cut a little v-shape out of the center of each side of the
strip to help the tissue paper open even more when
it's pulled apart. Sometimes it's hard to cut a "v" so just
cutting a simple slit on each side will do the trick as well.

4. Following this I wrapped the floral wire around the middle of the strip
 and twisted it to make it stay. I bent it like a hook so
it was ready for the fishing line to be attached.

5. Now I began separating each layer of tissue paper and fluffing
it up towards the top or the bottom.
6. Now I tied the clear fishing line around the green floral wire
to my desired length (some were short, others were long).

7. Last I hung them from my ceiling using clear push pins.

Here's how they ended up looking at the party in my dining

Next time I would...try using more sheets of tissue paper per pom pom, maybe 10 or 12 instead of just 8? Wondering what that would look like? Maybe it would look a bit more full? By the way these are tricky for perfectionists! We want them to look perfect, symmetrical, and even...but they never do. It's a good way to practice letting the little things (like unbalanced pom poms) go. Good luck to you. ( :

4. Fabric-covered Number One

Project guidance/inspiration: Nothing really, just had a bunch of fabric scraps and knew I wanted the number one displayed somewhere at the party...the end result was this project!

  • foam board
  • fabric of your choice
  • hot glue gun
One of the supplies: fabric scraps

1. First I traced the number one with a projector onto white
foam board and cut it out.
2. Next I wrapped various sizes of fabric strips around the one.

3. While holding the fabric tight, I made a strip of glue
with the glue gun on the back of the one. I then pressed
the fabric onto the glue...don't burn yourself though! Ouch.

4. The middle was easy peasy...but the top and bottom of the
number gave me a run for my money.

5. I just wrapped it up completely and added smaller strips
for the corners afterwards.
The end result

I displayed mine at the party on the mantle.

Next time I would...Clean up the back a little bit more...I planned on hanging it on the wall somewhere, so I kept the back messy with the scraps.  In the end, I liked how it looked on the mantle, but I wondered if  anyone noticed the not-so-clean shh! Don't tell! Also, next time I would either re-iron or just store the fabric scraps flat, the wrinkles came back to bite me a bit as I tried to wrap them around the number one. So smooth fabric strips would have been nice to have.

5. Dry-Erase Table Signs
Project guidance/inspiration: "Make Dry-Erase Table Signs for Entertaining" from Madigan Made

  • corner bathroom tiles (the post above mentioned counter top tiles, not sure if there is a difference between this and bathroom tiles, but I used bathroom tiles and they worked fine...only about $3-4 for the four I purchased from Lowe's)
  • dry erase marker
  • Jolee's Boutique dimensional stickers (what I used to decorate the edges...since I don't have a clue how to use or make anything with vinyl like the post above mentioned!)
Supplies for dry-erase table signs

 Steps...there's only one!

1. Place stickers on tiles and then write on them with dry-erase
markers! Just wipe with some type of fabric or napkin
to clean! So easy and fun.

Next time I more! So fun, easy, and reusable!

6. Wrapping Paper Table Runner
Project guidance/inspiration: my crafty Mama always decorates like this for birthdays so she came up with this one!

  •  roll of wrapping paper that matches your theme or colors
I chose this orange polka dot wrapping paper.

 Steps...only one again!

1. We rolled the wrapping paper the length of the table
and used tape to adhere it to the table.

2. You can see it went beyond the edge of the table as a
traditional table runner would, but with the tape in place...
it did not move one bit!

Next time I would...try this for more occasions! I love how it really made the table look so fun and festive. Go green with it, by reusing the wrapping paper on the table to wrap some presents with (unless you spilled food on it like I did...then you can just recycle it, since most wrapping paper is recyclable nowadays).

Okay so now you've got the info, go out and get your "craft on!"

Just make sure you don't have your baby too close to your crafts or this may happen...

Minutes before the party started, Brandon was holding Avery
and she yanked down one of my triangles...thanks girl! LOL.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I wondered across your blog! I'm planning a lorax party for my daughter's fourth bday! Loved your ideas! Especially the tip on cutting the v in the pom poms. I have been making these for years and this made it so much easier! Thanks so much! Looking forward to more posts!


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