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Tuesday
Jul122011

DIY Decorative Paper

Finally!

I'm so excited to finally be able to post about the individual projects that went into the creation of the bridal shower decorations from last week. Since I generally have a difficult time keeping secrets, it was very challenging to keep my mouth shut (or more like keep my lap-top shut), and not spill the beans!

Well, today I say, let the beans spill, and I'm starting things off with the DIY'd garland that I made using DIY'd decorative paper.  

One thing that I've found from my crafting experience is that decorative paper is often pricey.  Because of this, I made the choice to make my own decorative paper to use for the garland.

Anyone with a computer and printer can do this; and trust me, once you've finished reading this post you'll believe that statement too!

 I started this creation by typing up a few words in Microsoft Word:

Since this was a bridal shower, the words I chose were:

LOVE l marriage l companionship l FOREVER l you & me l FAMILY l  friendship l trust l HEARTS l devotion l she said YES l marry me

...and since Danneel's wedding colors are teal and mauve, I changed the font color on some of the words to add a colorful effect.

Once I had the words the way that I wanted them, I selected everything with my mouse, hit "Control C" (for Copy) and then filled the page like this...Paste / Paste / Paste / Paste / Paste / Paste / Paste...and on, and on, until the page was full, and it looked like this:

Once the page was full, I simply printed out several copies of the document, and then cut the pages into strips.

When the strips were ready, I folded them in half horizontally, and then folded them again vertically so that I could cut out the hearts in the center.

This took some time, and I thought about getting a heart-shaped paper punch from Michaels, but they were $7.00, and I was trying to put this together on the cheap.  So, instead, I put in a good movie, made myself comfortable, and cut, cut, cut.

...and then glued, glued, glued, until I finally wound up with strands of cute heart cut-out garland!

I used regular yarn for the string, because I found it to be the cheapest route, and I just used regular craft glue to hold the folded paper on the string.

At the shower, we strung the garland from one side of the room to the other, creating a canopy effect:

I think it turned out really cute, and the best part is that it was budget friendly!!

Another great part about this project was that I got more out of it.  Because I was already cutting out the heart shapes, I used those shapes to sew some heart streamers, and hung those streamers over the refreshment table.

I had to make a few more hearts to make it work, but to keep things cost-effective, I simply painted some watered-down craft paint onto newspaper.

This saved me the cost of buying colored paper, and I loved the way the words were visable in some areas.  It really gave the heart cut-outs some extra character!

 

Once all of the hearts were cut, I used muffin tins to separate them into groups:

I thought this would make it easier to sew, but since I was going for a random look, it actually slowed me down a little bit.  I didn't care if there were equal numbers in each of the strands, or if each strand had equal numbers of a particular color of heart, so eventually, I just dumped all of the hearts into a pile on the table and grabbed hearts at random...

...feeding them one-by-one through the sewing machine...

When a strand was finished, I taped them to clothes-hangers so that they wouldn't get tangled.  I also was careful to spread them out.

This saved me a lot of headaches because it made it easier to move the strands around, but I did find that I had to lock the strands in the pantry, since our cats assumed they were made to be their new toys.  Ugg!

At the shower, I simply placed the clothes hangers over the curtain rod, and then covered the rod with the paper "poofs," so that you couldn't see the hangers.  It worked wonderfully!

All-in-all, I spent less than $5.00 for both of these decorative items combined.  Pretty good, right?!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing more details on some of the other decorations from the shower, but have any of you made your own decorative paper before?  How did it turn out?  Would you rather create your own, or just buy some from the store?

For me, it just depends.  I like that it's more cost effective to make it yourself, but it definitely was more time consuming too.  Six of one, half-dozen of another, I guess.

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