Saturday, April 16, 2011

{paper flower topiary tutorial}

One of the decorations I made for Brooke's bridal shower was a paper flower topiary. I saw one on display at Robert's and bought all the supplies on a whim, thinking it would be a good craft to make while watching "Modern Family".

Well, I did make it while watching "Modern Family". And "Law and Order". And the entire Thursday night comedy block on NBC. It was much more time-consuming than I thought it would be, but simple to make!

To make your own, you will need a styrofoam ball, a glue gun with a million gluesticks, about 8 pieces of patterned cardstock (or solid, if you prefer), a dowel, a pot, and floral foam to put in the pot.

Each flower is made out of a circle cut into a spiral. I cut my 12 x 12 paper into 4 long strips and then cut each strip into 4 squares--so they were roughly 3 x3 squares. You don't have to be exact. Then I cut each square into a circle and the circle into a spiral, like this:

Starting from the outside, roll the spiral up as tight as you can, keeping the inside edge even. When you get to the middle, give the flower a little squeeze and then let go. It pops open into a perfect little rosette. I didn't use any kind of pattern or plan when I started gluing--I just went for it. As you fill up the ball, you'll need some smaller flowers to fill in gaps. Just roll them tighter and don't release them before you glue them down. Your fingers will feel like all of the skin has been rubbed off, but keep going, because you're almost done! Covering the ball took me a long time. Don't forget to leave a small open area for your dowel! When your ball is covered, insert the dowel into the opening on the bottom of the ball, then insert the other end into your floral-foam-filled pot. Now that it's finally finished, sit back and admire it. Then make your husband clean up all the tiny scraps of cardstock and strings of hot glue.

april showers bring may flowers

Today my sisters-in-law and I threw a bridal shower for the newest member of our family--my brother-in-law's fiance, Brooke! They are getting married in May, and since it has been raining here all spring, we thought an {April Showers Bring May Flowers} theme was perfect!

For favors, I gave out packs of flower seeds with handmade hair ties. I originally made the hair ties as napkin rings, but we ended up serving all finger foods, so I just put them on the seed packets. I was able to find seeds 4 for $1 at the Dollar Tree. The chalkboard and wooden box (which says "Fleurs" on it, if you can't see) are both decorations from Juno's bedroom. Please excuse this horrible picture--I took a picture the night before and meant to get a better one in the morning, but I forgot. I got everything on this table from DI (except the scrapbook paper). I asked all the guests to write their best advice for Sean and Brooke on scrapbook paper squares and then at the end of the shower I put them all in a 4x6 photo album for Brooke to keep, along with a copy of the invitation and a few of their engagement pictures that I had on display.
The sign says "Words of advice for the love birds". Don't you love love love that frame?? I found a set of 3 at DI!!

I can't claim credit for this absolutely adorable idea (I saw it on U-Create Parties) but I was so happy with how it turned out!!! I popped out of bed at 8 am this morning to do it. The lanterns are from Tempe and Helena's room and then I cut the "raindrops" out of cardstock and used fishing line to hang them.
The rainclouds are hanging over my kitchen island, where we put all of the food. I didn't get a picture of everything all set up, and I've been kicking myself about it all day!

I did the decorations, games, and invitations, and my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law did all the food. We had chicken salad sandwiches on yummy croissants, a vegetable and fruit tray, delicious cake mix cookies with pink frosting, mini red velvet cupcakes, oreo truffles, lemon water, and strawberry punch with frozen mixed berries. It was so good!

For our game, I had Brooke answer questions that Sean had answered for me beforehand, to see how well they know each other. She did pretty well!

We had such a fun time celebrating and welcoming Brooke to the family!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Helena's Wizard of Oz party

We celebrated my middle daughter Helena's birthday with a Wizard of Oz themed party. It was her first friend party and she had a blast (and I had a blast planning it!)

I created these invitations on our computer, then printed them out on normal paper and traced illustrations from a vintage copy of The Wizard of Oz (the book). Then I made copies on scrapbook paper and added sparkly red paint on Dorothy's shoes.

Here's our food table. almost all of the decorations are from DI, our local thrift store--the little red chair, the vintage book, the basket and Toto, the red box that the "Toto in a Blankets" are in. I made the cake stand out of a plate from Pier One and a pillar candle holder from Target.
The blue gingham cupcake wrappers are from Michael's. I made the cupcake toppers.
The birthday girl's cupcake needed a sparkly blue "3" candle, of course! I wanted to set it apart from the other cupcakes, but didn't have a cupcake stand, so I flipped this square glass vase over and set it on top, then added a blue gingham bow.
My mother-in-law let me borrow a Munchkin barbie. He was perfect to hold the "Over the Rainbow Fruit Salad" sign. The fruit salad was strawberries, oranges, bananas, kiwis, and blueberries layered in clear plastic cups to look like a rainbow.
Here is the book that inspired the party!
Helena was excited to dress up as Dorothy. The dress was a hand-me-down from a neighbor--it's Tommy Hilfiger. The shoes are from Wal-Mart.
One of our games was Pin the heart on the Tin Man. Simple, easy, and classic children's birthday party! We also played Wizard of Oz Says and did all Oz-themed things ("Click your heels together like Dorothy", "Melt like the Wicked Witch", "Spin like the twister", etc). Our arrival activity was painting little wooden house cutouts (from the unfinished wood section at Robert's) with sparkly red paint.
I was excited to find mini baskets at Michael's!
Inside the goody baskets were Glinda the Good Witch bubbles (inspired by the bubble that she came out of in Munchkinland), a handmade gingham hairbow, a strip of rainbow star stickers, and a few "bricks" from the Yellow Brick Road (yellow Starbursts).

This party was featured at U-Create Parties.