Stream On

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about our wedding, and I promised here to share details on the DIY projects that made the day happen.  So, in order to not break promises, today I thought I’d spill the beans on the  big focal point of our reception – the streamer backdrop.

I was actually inspired to do this pretty late in the game, with only a few months left ’til the wedding.  But, this project seemed so simple and inexpensive that I simply couldn’t resist.  First, I’ve got to share my inspiration.

Rachel’s (of Heart of Light) inspirational backdrop. Click on the photo to be taken to the blog article at 100 Layer Cake featuring her amazing instructions.

How beautiful is that?!  When I stumbled upon this photo, I was smitten and knew such a simple decoration would fit right in with our backyard reception, while adding some drama.  Rachel created this backdrop herself and provided very helpful instructions.  Please visit the  source article to view those instructions.

Rachel also directs folks to Oh Happy Day, where she learned to make fringey streamers.  This tutorial was also so helpful.  I also found that I LOVED this blog and fell in love with a number of additional articles featured there.  I highly recommend stopping by.

So, with both tutorials at my fingertips, I got to work.  I purchased my crepe paper from crepepaperstore.com per Rachel’s suggestion.  The online store had great prices.  My husband (or fiance at the time) was tasked with buying wooden dowels from the hardware store. We bought four, 5′ dowels for a total of twenty feet of backdrop.  I also bought silver foil curtains from Amazon (it was the same price on Amazon as at Oriental Trading where Rachel made the purchase, but I got free shipping on Amazon).  And I already had hot glue gun supplies.

After my supplies were gathered, I arranged my crepe paper and prepped all of my streamers.  Then I arranged them by color to make it easier for me to see which colors I wanted to use while I was applying them to the dowels.

My crepe paper ready for dowel attachment.

My crepe paper ready for dowel attachment.

I filled one dowel at a time.  I completed the first dowel at my home, attached the foil curtain to the back, wrapped it in a sheet and transported it to my sister’s house (the reception site) – all per Rachel’s instructions.  When I got to my sister’s, and we unrolled the streamers, we found that the foil backdrop had gotten extremely tangled and it took us quite a while to sort everything out.  I was so concerned because everything felt so delicate and I still had three more dowels to complete.  Then, my sister had a bright idea – why don’t I put everything together at her house.  Then we wouldn’t have to worry about transporting anything.  My sister – so smart!!

I spent the next couple of weekends at her house building the backdrop.  I think my favorite part about this project was getting the extra time with my four-year old nephew and ring bearer, Ricky.  He was very interested in what I was doing.  He was caught up in the excitement of the big event taking place at his house.  He assured me that he was going to have a wedding of his own and he was also rather interested in getting one of the streamer dowels installed in his bedroom.  But, of all of our conversations, I think my favorite went something like this:

Ricky: Auntie, you’re getting married.
Me: Yes, I know.  Are you excited for the wedding?
Ricky: Yes. And I’m going to look handsome and you’re going to be beautiful… Mommy said so.

I think my heart about burst out of my chest at that.

But, back to the streamer project.  We finished everything on time.  When deciding where to hang the dowels we discovered that the foil curtain continued to get tangled up whenever the slightest breeze blew, so I decided not to add anymore of it to the remaining three dowels.  My brother-in-law and his dad hung up the streamers the morning of the wedding and it was and is the hit of the party.

This backdrop helped create some of my favorite photos caught by our photographer.  It served as the backdrop for toasts and the dance floor and over all was the least expensive way to add drama, style, to our wedding celebration.

My favorite photo captured by our photographer.  My husband and I dancing up a storm with the streamer backdrop catching a breeze behind us.

My favorite photo captured by our photographer. My husband and I dancing up a storm with the streamer backdrop catching a breeze behind us.

My beautiful sisters, and matrons of honor, making a toast in front of the streamer project

My beautiful sisters, and matrons of honor, making a toast in front of the streamer project.

What do you think?  Do you have any similar backdrops that you’ve created for parties or weddings?

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A Homemade Valentine

Okay, I know this one is a bit late.  But, I didn’t want to post what I was working on until after I gave the gifts I created to their recipients.

Each year, I create little Valentine packages for our local nieces and nephews.  I will usually go to Target and pick-up a plastic bucket from the dollar aisle, add candy to it, et voila a completed valentine for the kiddos.  This year, the only thing I bought from Target was the candy.  I was determined to make my own receptacles for the goodies.

At home, I gathered my supplies:

  • Scissors
  • Colored paper (two shades of red, and a mint green for contrast)
  • Letter stickers
  • Tape
  • Brown lunch bags (of which I have hundreds left over from the wedding)
  • Cellophane bags (also wedding leftovers)

Then, I set to work.  I cut out multiple hearts in various sizes.  I would need enough for five bags (four for the nieces and nephews and one for my folks).

I arranged some hearts on a bag until I found the design I liked.  Then I taped them down.  I added letter stickers for the name of the recipient.  On a couple of the bags (for the older kids) I added a scrapbook sticker with a special quote.

An example of my first treat bag for our niece, Mary.

An example of my first treat bag for our niece, Mary.

Each of the bags only took about five – ten minutes and were rather fun to create.  When they were done, I lined them up and started to divide the candy.  Some of the candy – like Jelly Beans and M&M’s – didn’t come in individual packaging.  So, those went into a cellophane bag.  I ended up adding some other colorful candy to the bag as shown below.

Valentine shades look sweet altogether.

Valentine shades look sweet altogether.

I tied off each bag with a silver tie and added it to the brown bag.  The whole project could not have taken me more than an hour and as I said before was a lot of fun to work on.

Here are some shots of the final products.

Something special for Mary and Jacob.

Something special for Mary and Jacob.

Presents for my other Valentines, nephews Ryan, Ricky, and my folks.

Presents for my other Valentines, nephews Ryan, Ricky, and my folks.

So, what do you think?  Did you make any homemade Valentines?  What did you do?

Switcheroo

I guess I really caught the craft bug from all the projects we did for the wedding, cause I’ve still been creating.  Sometimes to more successful outcomes than others.

A recent quick and easy project was creating a fall wreath for our front door.  I bought a foam ring from Michael’s for less than a few dollars and gathered the rest of the supplies at home.

First, I cut burlap (left over from the wedding) into long strips while my glue gun warmed up.  Then, I wrapped the burlap around the ring, stopping to glue it down every few inches.  The only tricky part I encountered was finishing the last strip.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have purchased some tacks or pins to tack down the end of the last strip.  Instead, I went a little glue-happy and ended up with quite a blob of glue.  I just have to be cautious that the blob is at the bottom of the wreath (something I didn’t do at first – you’ll see in the pictures).  When my husband first saw the wreath he said, “That’s nice.  Is there supposed to be so much glue?”  Thanks, babe.

Three fall pom-poms.

Three fall pom-poms.

A bundle of wheat to accent the wreath.

A bundle of wheat to accent the wreath.

After the base of the wreath was prepped and drying, I got to work on the decorative items.  I selected three fall shades of yarn and made pom-poms.  I also wrapped some wheat stalks in excess burlap.  Finally, I used bobby pins to attach the decorative items to the folds in the wreath.  I found that the bobby pins actually held everything securely in place.

The final product.

The final product.

Once Thanksgiving was over, it was time for a Christmas wreath.  Instead of creating a whole new wreath (I just don’t have the storage space for that) I decided to update the fall wreath.  So, I removed the decorative items and replaced them with new ones.  Once again, I dug through items at home to see what was available.

Securing the ornaments with bobby pins.

Securing the ornaments with bobby pins.

First, I found a beautiful silver bow in our gift-wrapping pile.  I think this was recycled from my bridal shower.  Then, I selected a few Christmas tree ornaments that complimented the bow.  I once again used bobby pins to secure these items to the wreath.

The Christmas Wreath

The Christmas Wreath

I’m so happy with how versatile this wreath is turning out to be!  I’ve even gotten a compliment from a neighbor.  I’m already starting to contemplate what I’ll do once Christmas is over.

What do you think?  Do you have any recent quick and easy projects you want to share?