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Monday, June 30, 2014

Colorful Bunting for a Backyard Bash

You work hard, try to provide for the family, and then, for one minute, everything´s good. Everyone´s well. Everyone´s happy. In that one minute, you have peace.
-While You Were Sleeping


summertime party decor, DIY bunting, backyard party decor, fabric bunting

Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of that one minute of peace.  Often it's at the wedding receptions I photograph, right after dinner.  People are full, happy, enjoying the decorations and atmosphere, surrounded by friends and family with just the right music playing in the background and people are exactly where they want to be at that moment in time.  A summertime, backyard party with friends usually evokes the same feeling.
 
To create those moments takes planning, sometimes!  Last weekend my friend Amanda had a backyard barbeque to celebrate her new house and birthday and I got to help decorate!  I looked at pictures online for inspiration and was drawn to colorful bunting and fun lighting. 

To make the bunting I pulled out all my scrap fabric and used this fantastic blog post from The Longest Year.  Start with a fat quarter, fold in half.  Measure six inches in from the top left corner and continue making triangles from there. 

Cut the pieces with pinking shears.  Sew the two long sides of the triangles together with a long stitch. 

Then I made my own bias tape, which I still find kind of confusing, but this blog by Made and this video helped me.


Then I just laid out the bunting, to make sure I liked the color/fabric order.  Don't look at the mess!



Then I sewed the bunting flags about 3 inches apart, making sure to leave several inches at each end to tie.


I loved the colorful, happy vibe the bunting added to the backyard party!

how to decorate for a backyard party, bunting garland



 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Felt Flower Wreath


For a future project I'm working on, I researched and learned how to make felt flowers.  I agree with the other bloggers out there - once you start making them - they're addictive!  This is the basic tutorial I used:  Little Bit Funky
 
 
 For this project you'll need:
felt sheets
scissors
hot glue gun
wreath form
yarn

I made a bunch of pretty flowers, trying different variations and colors and centers - and I wasn't sure what to do with them.
 
 

 
Then I pictured them on a wreath!  I had an extra Styrofoam wreath form sitting around (I bought it when I made this wreath, but didn't like how it looked) and some yarn leftover from this yarn star project, so I wrapped the yarn to cover the wreath form, using glue sporadically.  I went around the wreath form 3 times, each time covering a bit more. 



Then I hot glued the flowers onto the yarn-wrapped wreath (say that fast 3 times!) and I loved the result!

My friend Amanda recently moved and I thought it would make a cheery housewarming gift!

Monday, June 16, 2014

DIY Fabric Strip Backdrop

Making a backdrop for your event has gotten HUGE lately - there are endless possibilities to use them at events.  Weddings, graduations, showers, birthday parties...behind the cake table, behind the couple during the ceremony, as a colorful banner, as a photo backdrop.  I made this one for the Teddy Bear Themed Baby Shower for my sister Laura.

how to make a fabric strip backdrop, DIY fabric strip backdrop, backdrop for baby shower
 
Two challenges - they are somewhat time-consuming - not bad if you plan ahead, but not a last-minute job.  And they can be expensive.  Some people use ribbon, which I think would be very expensive.  Some people buy fabric, which also adds up.  According to other blogs, a small version costs about $16 and a large version costs $84.  Good news - the materials for my version costs $6!
 
I had the idea to look for fabric at Goodwill.  I was hosting a baby shower (my sister is pregnant with a baby boy) so I was looking for fabrics in shades of blue.  I found 2 twin size flat sheets and 1 table cloth that were perfect and were $1.99 each! 
 
I used my rotary cutter and mat to cut the sheets into 2 inch strips.  I did this while watching The Book Thief - if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.


 
Then I took some twine that I had on hand and decided on the width of backdrop I wanted and doubled the twine for added strength.
 
I decided it would be easiest to add the fabric with the twine hanging, so I used painters tape to attach the ends to my mantle.

 
To attach it, I folded each strip in half (and in varying lengths) and held the loop in front of the twine.  Then I brought the two ends through the loop.



 

It was fun seeing the progress.  For most of the strips, I tied them so that the two ends were equal, but to add visual interest, I varied some of the lengths.




 The pictures in front of the fabric backdrop turned out amazing!


My sister Laura and her husband Josh


My mom and my sister Laura
If you would love to have this backdrop for a baby shower or photo shoot or wedding or Frozen party, but don't want to invest the time to make it - it is available on my Etsy shop TheBurlapFlower!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Teddy Bear Themed Baby Shower

My sister Laura chose a teddy bear theme for her soon-to-be-born baby boy, so we thought that would be a perfect theme for her baby shower!

INVITATIONS


I designed the invitations, based on Laura's inspiration for her nursery - a teddy bear mobile.  I used an actual picture of it in the invitation! 
We decided to ask people to bring a book, rather than a card, to help them start their library (which made sense, as it is their first baby and my sister is an English teacher who loves books).  If I did it again, I would have made cute labels for the books and had the guests fill them out and stick in their books.  I also would have had my sister fill out an Amazon baby registry and to put plenty of books on there and that would help prevent duplicates.  Even if you don't ultimately buy it on Amazon, I believe you can mark it off the list to prevent duplicates.     
FOOD

how to make teddy bear cupcakes, bear face cupcakes, nilla wafer bear cupcakes


how to make a baby out of fruit, fruit salad

My sister Jordan was in charge of food.  She made the adorable bear cupcakes, which can be found on Pinterest (although these turned out cuter than the others I've seen).  We brought teddy grahams (on-theme) and crème puffs (a favorite of Laura's).  My mom made this amazingly cute fruit baby carriage, also Pinterest.  And we had cheese and summer sausage on skewers.  We had blue punch (the recipe where you add ice cream - we didn't love it) and iced tea.


GAMES

 1. You get two minutes to name as many famous bears as you can.  The person with the most, gets a prize!  Free printable for this game!

2. Guess the Size of the Baby Bump - Let each guest cut a piece of yarn in the length they think the baby bump is.  Remember to label the pieces with each guests name.  Washi tape and a marker work great for this.  Use a piece of yarn to measure the baby bump and then compare.  The person closest gets a prize!
3. Label 10 gift bags with the following letters: BABY SHOWER.  Fill each bag with a baby item that begins with that letter.  Let guests guess what common baby item is in each bag.  The person with the most right, wins a prize!

fun game for a baby shower, baby shower guessing game
Great prizes include candles, hand soap or lotion, notecards, pens, small gift cards, bracelets, chap stick, gum, candy, nail polish, cups, mugs, etc.

DECORATION

baby shower fabric strip backdrop

My sisters - both looking beautiful - posing in front of the fabric strip backdrop!
We had a few teddy bears around the room, crepe paper, balloons and the fabric strip backdrop - which will be explained in next Monday's blog post!

FAVORS
teddy bear baby shower

We made blue frosted sugar cookies for the guests to take home.

UNIQUE GIFTS
Two of my favorite gifts were a diaper carriage (made entirely of diapers and useful items) made by my mom:

baby shower gift, baby shower diaper carriage, diaper creation


and a scripture quilt from the baby's Aunt and her mom - I loved when they said, "your baby will literally be wrapped in the Word of God":

The shower was a success - everyone seemed to enjoy it and Laura and Josh were really blessed by the love and thoughtfulness of the guests!





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