Spring Party Decor On A Budget


This past weekend we celebrated my sweet daughter's 10th birthday (she's growing up too fast ... Oh my gosh!) and I tried to plan ahead but my girl kept changing her mind: at first, she wanted a Lego party (I pinned the heck out of Lego party ideas); then she wanted a Shopkins party, then she just wanted something with flowers and hearts because we ended up planning her party for Valentine's Day (the only day all the family could attend).

Of course that by the time she made up her mind and we chain-texted all relatives, it was a week from the date and I was still clueless. I don't know about you but I do like to get fun decorations for parties but they can be costly. Not that I am a cheapskate or major penny pincher but I can't bring myself to pay more than $40 on decor for something that will last for about 2-3 hours and that I can't reuse because I only have one daughter (and heaven forbid we do the same theme over and over).

SO, the day before the party I made a frantic run to Michaels and found this awesome paper pad:

My daughter picked it out, actually. So beautiful! Anyway, the regular price is $19.99 but I had a 40% OFF coupon so it ended up being around $12 + tax

I decided right away to do bunting. Then I had a bunch of paper scraps ... much too pretty to throw out so I reused it and made business cards and tags out of the scraps (win-win! I ended up with 81 business cards and over 100 tags in case you were wondering).

Then I also made some pretty flower decorations and a heart, since the paper had that soft watercolor look.

I used several other things such as string or yarn, hooks, watercolors, hot glue gun, wooden sticks and command strips (I have tons of craft supplies that I hoard so not necessarily something you'll have laying around) but all these decorations are easy to hang and you can use what you already have.

In all this was an easy and fast way to decorate for cheap, and it looked beautiful! Everyone was so impressed and I was like: "All I did was get some paper from the store..."

Here are some pics:

PARTY DECORATIONS TUTORIAL:

Materials:

- (12 in x 12.5 in) paper pad of your choice (I used Recollections® Signature™ Especial "Painted Fancy" paper pad). If you buy it at either Michaels or Hobby Lobby, always check their coupons because you might be able to save some money. I saved $8 on this one.

- Scissors

- Ruler

- Pencil & eraser

- Hole punch (optional)

- Hot glue gun and glue sticks

- Watercolors (optional)

- Black Sharpie or marker

- Command strips: the small kind with hooks (optional)

- Thread, twine or yarn (I used yarn for the bunting)

- Birch dowel 1/2 in thick (optional)

STEP 1: THE BUNTING

  1. Turn the paper (color side down) and draw two equilateral triangles on each sheet. The base should measure 8.5 in and it should be 8.5 in tall as well. Each sheet fits two triangles. Mark all the sheets you think you'll use. I used about 19 sheets and was able to cover two walls and my fireplace mantel with bunting.

  2. Cut the triangles and set your paper scraps aside

  3. Erase any pencil lines (or not, no one is going to know but you).

  4. Using a hole punch, perforate the two ends of each triangle at 3/4 of an inch away from the base (or whatever looks good to you)

  5. Measure your wall and cut your yarn/string to the lenght you want it.

  6. Thread the yarn through the holes in the bunting making sure to thread through the front, behind the back and then out through the other side. Here I used command strips with hooks to hang the bunting but I've used tape before and it held for about two days (test it in a small area, you don't want to damage your walls after all).

STEP 2: THE FLOWERS

  1. Tear one of the sheets of paper, preferably one that has an ombre or watercolor look (but use whatever you prefer) and draw the shape of a tulip (mostly a circle and then do the tulip shape at the top.

  2. Draw it in whatever size you prefer, I tried to cover most of the sheet.

  3. Take another sheet of paper with a contrasting color (I used a soft teal, almost green) and draw the stem and leaves of the tulip. I used the tulip from my Happy Flowers fabric (link to shop) for inspiration. I also did a heart shape because it was Valentine's Day, so why not?

  1. Cut the shapes and set your paper scraps aside (we'll use them in a minute, sit tight)

  2. Use a sharpie or black marker to draw the eyes on the flowers. Just think about semi-circles or "U" shapes. You can also do circles for the eyes ... use a compass if you have one to trace the circle or use a water bottle cap (that's what I used on the other flower and the heart) to trace the eyes.

  3. Add details like painting a blush on the cheeks, add details on the leaves, etc. if you want to. I used watercolors to paint the blush on their cheeks but this step is entirely optional.

  4. Use a hot glue gun to glue the flower stem to the flower's top. Repeat step for as many flowers as you decide to make.

  5. Punch a hole at the top left and top right of

  1. Either thread your string/yarn just like you did the bunting or use thread, hooks (I got ornament hooks from the Dollar Store) and a birch dowel (about 1/2 inch thick, not sure what lenght) to hang the flowers. I got my birch dowel from Michaels as well but you can even just tape them to the walls.

And that's it! Decorate and add as many details as you like. I still have 1/2 the paper pad, could've done so much more but didn't have time.

Now, I'm an illustrator and I'm used to just whip these drawings but I these are very simple shapes that you can do as well.

STEP 3: THE SCRAPS

IF you have time on your hands and hate to waste perfectly beautful paper (this one even has glitter!) then don't throw your scraps just yet.

All your scrap paper is in different sizes so start by taking each piece and see what you can get out of it (what fits). For example: on the picture on the left I had a rather bigger piece and I was able to fit 3 business cards and a couple of small tags.

A starndard business card is 2 in x 3.5 in. I used random sizes for my tags, just whatever I thought I would use so you have so many options. Just put your piece of paper blank side up and trace/draw your business cards and cut (if you don't have a steady hand or want a cleaner look use a paper cutter or an exacto knife on a cutting mat.)

Here's what I ended up with: literally hundreds of tags and 81 business cards, so beautiful! I already had my hot glue gun, hole punch and other stuff, the only thing I bought was the paper pad so I got 81 business cards, 100+ tags, 2.5 walls worth of bunting and flower decorations for $12 + tax. Not a bad deal at all!

Hope this idea helped you both save you a trip to the party supplies store and saved you some $ as well.

- Gina

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