Thursday, November 24, 2011

How to make a paper flower garland,
plus birthday party recap

I keep meaning to write a little something about Bee's birthday party, a small but agreeable affair involving homemade cake, some magenta paper roses, and a handful of friends, neighbors, and like-aged toddlers. Now that I get around to blogging about it, of course, I realize that the first sentence of this paragraph sums it up compactly and completely. What else to say, except that we had a sweet little time? And that I am a lucky mama for sure. It's going to be a beautiful thing, watching these little ones -- Bee and her peers -- grow big.

Now. As for those cutie-cute paper flowers. What happened is, I made a rose garland for an inexpensive party decoration. (I'll tell you how below. It is really no big thing.) Ridiculously, I failed to get an acceptable picture of the finished garland, but I do have these pretty a priori pics of the paper flowers pre-stringing. They will do, I say. They made kind of a charming decoration in the dining room that day, and, nowadays, the roses are strung around the perimeter of Bee's white wicker bedroom mirror, a cute birthday souvenir that she would chew up at the first opportunity.

Here's how to make a paper rose garland.

You need:
One package of colored tissue paper, the kind used for gift wrapping.
A roll of green painters' tape ("frog tape").
A pen or marker. It's nice if the ink is close in color to that of the tissue paper, but a bit darker, so that your lines won't be visible on the finished flowers.
Sewing needle.
Green or transparent thread.
2 thumbtacks.
  1. Unfold the tissue paper. Lay three or four sheets on top of each other (you're going to be maximizing your cutting by cutting through several sheets at once -- time is money, people!).
  2. Use the roll of green painters' tape to trace circles onto the top sheet of tissue paper. Trace around the outer edge unless you want miniature flowers -- in which case, use the inner edge. Trace as many circles as you can fit onto the top sheet.
  3. Cut out all the circles, cutting through all sheets.
  4. Assemble the flowers. Grab four little circles, hold them together, and loosely fold in half. You're not going for a crease here... just sort of gently hold the circles in a folded-in-half position. Grab the center and twist so that the circles stay together.
  5. Wrap about an inch and a half of green tape around the twisted part to make a bit of a stem.
  6. Fluff out the petals!
  7. After you've made all the flowers you can stand, thread the needle and sew through each of the flowers. They don't all need to go on facing the same direction. In fact, it looks better if they're not too meticulously arranged. Don't overthink it.
  8. Leave enough thread at the beginning and end of the garland that you can tie a loop at each end. Use thumbtacks to hang. Do enlist somebody (do you have a husband or something?) to help you carry the garland when you're hanging it up. One human being at each end, please! If the thread gets tangled, you're in for several minutes of pre-party cussing.
And, postscript, I think an esteemed board of some kind should award me a Crafting Under Duress prize before the end of 2011, because I did a significant portion of this silly project* while holding a snoring baby in my arms.
* Not the part with the scissors.


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