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Author: justaddflair

I'm a mom of two who loves to craft, entertain and design great parties. Over the last 15 years, I have worked in a variety of areas, from advertising and public relations to professional hair and makeup styling. I love to create and make beautiful things.
Constellation Class Art Project

Constellation Class Art Project

Every year my daughter’s school holds a fundraiser wherein each class is required to create an art project for the live art auction. I find this to be very stressful!  You want to find a project that each kid can participate in, but you also want it to look like art that some lucky parent would want to pay a lot of money for.  This year I decided to try something completely new for my kindergartner’s class, watercolor constellations lit up with LED lights. Stars have been a hot topic in my house recently, so it seemed like a natural fit for a group of 5 year olds!

I looked online for an existing project that I could use for inspiration, but there really wasn’t anything out there designed to be a class project. I saw several LED constellation projects, but I needed to come up with a way for 23 students to contribute their handiwork. So I combined a variety of art projects into one that could work for a group of kindergarteners.

Project Materials

-Watercolor paper cut into 4″ x 6″ pieces

-Liquid watercolor in blue, black and purple and little salt for sprinkling

Small sticker stars

-Constellation templates

24″ x 30″ Painting Panel

200 LED Lights

-Glue gun

Screw Punch

-Velcro stickers

-Silver metalic marker

-Sandpaper

Once you have all of your materials, print out your constellation templates and size them to your watercolor paper. I used 4″ x 6″ pieces of paper but you can make them any size you like.

Then use a screw punch to make holes where each of your stars should go.

constellation templates

Give each child 1 constellation template, a sheet of watercolor paper, the star stickers, liquid watercolor in black, blue and purple and little bit of salt.

The students can use a pencil to mark where the stars should go on their piece of watercolor paper, then place star stickers over each pencil mark.  Once the constellations are laid out, they can begin watercoloring the night sky and sprinkle a little bit of salt on at the end to add some additional texture.

It was so much fun to see how each of them turned out, all completely different and absolutely beautiful! I had a really hard time convincing the kids to leave their art behind, they all wanted to take them home that day!

Once the watercolor is completely dry, you can easily peel off the star stickers. Then go ahead and draw in the lines for each constellation using a silver metallic Sharpie pen.  Use your screw punch once more to make a hole in each star for where the LED lights will be placed.

Drawing constellation lines

Start to design the layout of  your final art piece by placing the constellations onto the wood panel. I chose to paint mine a dark navy blue, but feel free to make yours any color you would like.

One thing you need to keep in mind while designing the layout is where the lights will be placed, and what is directly behind your frame.  Because there is a 1″ frame down the center and along the edges, be careful not to place any stars there. You also need to leave room behind the frame so that you can hide the battery pack.  Once the final placement has been decided, mark the wood showing where to drill holes for each star and begin your drilling.

After the holes have been drilled, sandpaper them on the front and back to create a nice smooth finish.

Now begin poking the LED lights through the back. When you are happy with the final placement, go ahead and glue each one using your glue gun.  Once the lights are glued in place, you can glue your watercolor constellations over the lights in front.

Attach the battery pack to the back of your art using velcro stickers.  (This makes it easier to change out the batteries whenever necessary.)

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The kindergartners were so excited and proud to show off their final artwork all lit up! Not to mention the fact that we also made the school a lot of money at the fundraiser this year. So it was a win win for everyone!

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions about this project!

Constellation class art project

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Design a One-of-a-kind Wood Cutout Christmas Display

Design a One-of-a-kind Wood Cutout Christmas Display

It’s About Time

After years of talking about it, I finally decided to design my own unique Christmas display this year!  And by the time I came up with a theme, Christmas was just over a month away, yikes!  Time to get to work!

When I was trying to decide on a theme for my holiday display, there were two things that I knew I wanted.  1) It had to bring joy to kids(and as it turns out many adults!). 2) And with all that was happening in the world at the moment, I felt the need to send a message of love and togetherness.  What theme could possibly fulfill these requirements, and not be so commonly used that you see it on every other holiday display!!?  The It’s a Small World ride at Christmas in Disneyland was what I came up with!

I began my project by searching the internet for images of the castle and the iconic children found in It’s a Small World.  Because I wasn’t going to be able to make all of the children with less than 4 weeks til Christmas, I focused on 7 of them for this year. Once I had selected my design inspirations, I headed to Home Depot to get plywood and paint.

Here is a list of the materials used:

-Plywood

-Latex paint/variety of brush sizes

-Clear acrylic paint

-Pencil

-Large roll of paper(optional)

-Scissors

-Jigsaw/sawhorses

-Sandpaper

-Pictures of It’s a Small World castle and the children you want to paint

 

Because plywood comes in a standard size of 2’x 4′ I decided to make all my children 2′ tall, that way I could get two kids per sheet of plywood.  For the castle, I chose to use two 4’x 8′ sheets of plywood.  The lovely people working in the paint department at Home Depot must have loved it when I asked them for 12 different paint colors in tiny sample sizes!

I began by painting the plywood for my castle all white in order to create a nice clean slate for my design.  I then painted the plywood to be used for the children the skin tone that I had selected for each one.  Next I sketched my children onto 2’x 2′ paper that I would cut out and use as a template on my plywood.

Once I had all my templates drawn and cut out, I started to sketch them directly onto my plywood.  My terrific husband then used his jigsaw to cut all the kids out for me. I was going to do it myself, but since he offered…..

Now the fun begins! Even my 5 yo got into painting the project!

Midway point in the painting(roughly)!

Almost done with the castle….

Six of my kids completed…

To create a ground stake for each kid, you can see that we used a metal pole attached to the back with a bracket.

Last but not least…the Small World clock face!

I should also mention that, in order to protect the wood and paint, we put two layers of clear acrylic paint over each of the pieces.

After several weeks of painting away in the basement, we have our final display and I couldn’t be happier!  Next year I plan to add on more characters and Disney holiday attractions! At least I have the next 11 months off!

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Make Your Own Jaquin Costume

Make Your Own Jaquin Costume

This year, for Halloween, my eight-year-old daughter decided that she really wanted to be a jaquin from the new Disney television show Elena of Avalor.  Great!  Under normal circumstances, I would be able to place an online order for the costume and wait for it to arrive on my doorstep.  Well, what I quickly discovered is that this costume does not exist, apparently the show is so new that the Jaquin costume for Skylar is nowhere to be found! Time to do what my mom always did, make it myself!  For those of you who may not know Skylar, here is a photo of our costume goal….

 

Jaquin Skylar

He’s cute, right!? The first thing I did was look on Pinterest for ideas on how to make wings and luckily I was able to find a few blogs with some great tips. I especially liked the instructions given for these parrot wings on the blog Makeit-Loveit. Here is what you will need to make your very own jaquin costume:

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-Yellow, light blue and dark blue felt(more of the yellow because you will use this for the frame of the wings and your tail)

-Mustard colored leggings, beanie, and long sleeved thermal(I found mine at Old Navy)

-Fabric shears

-Large sheet of paper to make a sample wing before cutting fabric.

-1/2″ black elastic

-Hot glue gun

-Sewing supplies

 

I started by creating a template for my wings by first drawing it on paper and holding it up to my daughters outstretched arms, just to check the size before actually cutting fabric. Once I was completely satisfied with the size, I cut out my wings using the yellow felt.  Then I made a similar paper feather template that I would use to cut out each feather.

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As I cut out the feathers, I pined them in a row starting along the bottom of my wings.  I decided that my character Skylar the jaquin, was going to have two rows of light blue feathers then I would switch to dark blue. After each row was pinned, I had my mother-in-law sew the row on(yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know how to sew…yet!)

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Before you sew all of the feathers on, you should attach your elastic wrist straps and shoulder straps.  You can see in the above photo that I used yellow felt to cover over where the elastic attaches to the underside of my wings. Here is how my wings looked with all the feathers attached, I actually attached the last 2 rows of feathers using my hot glue gun to avoid seeing any sewing lines.

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To finish the costume, I added spots to my leggings and the long-sleeved top using my trusty hot glue gun!  I also made a tail from the yellow felt and stuffed it with poly-fil and added feathers to the tip of the tail.  For the hat, I cut out two feather flaps and attached them to the sides of my beanie.

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I have to say, this costume was a huge hit with my daughter! In fact, I still have a hard time getting her to take it off before bed! Hopefully this inspires you to make your own jaquin costume! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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Make your own Succulent Wreath

Make your own Succulent Wreath

While discussing end of the year teacher gifts with several parents from my daughter’s preschool, I decided that we needed to do something extra special. Especially because this is my last year there as a parent (excuse me while I grab a tissue over that thought).

I set out to find something that was unique, and of course handmade! I started looking at succulent projects and became completely intrigued by living succulent wreaths….so I studied up on how to make one. Turns out it’s completely do-able even for beginners!

This first thing I had to track down was a sphagnum moss wreath, which I ended up finding on Amazon after visiting several local nurseries with no luck.  I decided to start with a 13″ wreath but there are a variety of sizes to choose from.  It is also recommended that you purchase a rooting hormone powder to help encourage new root growth for your succulent cuttings.

Next was the fun part!  I visited several nurseries in order to find a good variety of succulents in different shapes, colors, and sizes. I can’t really say that I stuck to one color pallet, or had any specific technique other than I like to start out with one larger “signature” succulent and build off of that one.  From what I also read, it is best to prep your cuttings and let them sit for a few days to callous over, this helps prevent rotting at the root when you place it into the moss.  Right before you start putting together your wreath, it is important to soak it in water for 10-15 minutes.  I placed mine in our kitchen sink then put it onto a cookie sheet to use as my work station.  Once you are ready to start placing your cuttings into the wreath, I found using a pencil to create the hole worked best for me.

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New roots take approximately 4-6 weeks to grow. Therefore, unless you used floral pins to attach your cuttings, the wreath should not be hung until new roots have been established.  I currently have these two beauties below sitting on my outdoor dining table and I have to say, they also make beautiful table centerpieces! As far as future waterings are concerned, I have read that you can soak the moss again every 1-2 weeks, or you can use a spray bottle to water.

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Succulent wreaths are beautiful…because succulents themselves are just fabulous.  So don’t be afraid to try creating your own, there really is no such thing as a bad succulent wreath!  Have fun designing your own, and soon you’ll be just as addicted as me!

Thanks for stopping by, let me know if you have any questions in the comment sections below!

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Transforming an Old Wood Pallet into a Rustic Flower Garden

Transforming an Old Wood Pallet into a Rustic Flower Garden

I have been wanting to try my hand at upcycling with reclaimed wood for quite some time.  I am still such a sucker for the rustic wood look, then you mix that with beautiful flowers and succulents, I’m in rustic heaven!

Luckily, my mom so happens to have an old barn with plenty of wood pallets looking for a new purpose in life. I should also mention here, that I’ve read several articles about how dangerous it can be to use wood pallets for repurposing due to possible chemical exposure. And like the one I used from my mom, they can be dirty from years of being used in a barn.  For this reason, I chose to create something that would live outside and I purposely did not plant any edibles on it.  Ok, now that all of the not so fun facts have been covered, back to the project!

Here is the lovely pallet I reclaimed from the barn, gross right!? If you don’t happen to have a barn nearby, I have heard that sometimes your local grocery stores are willing to give them away. It’s definitely worth a try, and far less dirty than barn pallets!

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I read a great article on the blog Not Just a Housewife about how to clean and sanitize reclaimed wood.  Because I’m not planning to have my pallet inside, I didn’t feel the need to follow her instructions completely, but I did scrub this pallet using soapy water.  Once it was dry, I used sandpaper to clean it and prep it for staining.  The way I achieved my final look was though a mixture of staining and watered down paint.

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I used dark walnut colored Minwax and a foam brush to stain the wood. After about 5 minutes, I wiped off the excess stain using an old cloth towel and began adding the watered down light gray paint.

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I used a mixture of 1 part gray latex paint to 3 parts water.  Basically I brushed the watery paint onto about 2 boards at a time, then I used a damp cloth to blend it into the wood.  Once it was dry, I had my husband attach boards to create the bottom of my planters and drill holes for drainage. IMG_3619

Now time to plant!

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Of course I had to do a row of succulents as well as some cascading flowers that I hope will fill in nicely over time.  There you have it, from barnyard junk to backyard beauty!

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Thanks for stopping by, let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below!

 

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A County Fair Birthday Party Comes to Town

A County Fair Birthday Party Comes to Town

Last year, my daughter Brynn asked me if she could have a petting zoo at her 4th birthday party.  We had already done a barnyard party for her 1st birthday, so I decided to make the theme of this one a county fair!  And I’m so glad I did, because this ended up being one of my most favorite parties ever!  As a kid, I always looked forward to our little county fair each summer. From all the 4H farm animals, to the midway games, fun rides, art shows and bad carnival food, I just loved the feeling of being there. So I hoped to find a way to bring a little of that same nostalgia to Brynn’s party!

There were a few things that I knew we had to have right away… games, cotton candy, a craft station, hay bales, and really fun deserts!

For my craft station, I decided to have the kids decorate tiny barns with stickers, moss, rocks, and flowers.  This was so much fun and a great take home item as well!  I found the wood barns at Beverly’s along with all of the other decorating items.  I painted the barns prior to the party so that all the kids had to do was decorate them, less mess!

barnyard craft project

 

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Brynn found some pretty amazing cupcakes in one of my magazines, and both of us agreed that we had to try these for her party!  I am by no means a baker, so these little beauties definitely challenged what baking skills I do have.  I would say that  the outcome was definitely worth the effort…

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carnivalcupcakes

One of my best childhood friends Katinka, happens to be an excellent baker and party designer!  When I told her what I was up to, she offered to make me fresh organic mini lemon meringue and strawberry pies.  Not only did they taste amazing, but she wrapped them up cuter than I could ever imagine!

mini baked pies

Any good midway includes games and ours was no different! We had a few different tossing games, and we were able to to track down a real horse saddle from my mom’s collection, so the little cowboys and cowgirls could try it out.

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And yes, there were animals, some of the cutest I’ve ever seen…IMG_2162 (1)

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We did a prize table that included popcorn and cotton candy. And I used our old lemonade stand from the basement for a kids refreshment area.  I knew there was a reason I didn’t get rid of it!

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Last but not least, we also had a little potting station for kids to plant flower seeds to take home.  I doubt that any of the kids had much success growing their flowers, but they sure had fun planting!

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Well, it’s probably obvious by now why this was one of my most favorite parties to put together.  So many fun activities for young kids at a county fair which translates well into a party theme.  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below and thanks again for stopping by my blog!

 

 

 

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My kid wants a book nook!

My kid wants a book nook!

Do you remember that post I did a few weeks ago, the one showing off my “Craft Cave”?  Well since then, my 7 year old decided that if I get this great crafting spot, then she should get to put together a fabulous reading space all to herself!  Clearly it was hard for me to say no, I mean the girl just wants a nice place to read!

So anyone who lives in an urban area knows, that most of us live in small houses, therefore, finding a spot for this book nook was a challenge all to itself!  It would require a great deal of purging and creative rearranging on my part to even find the space for it.   When all was said and done, we were able to carve out a small area to make this reading spot a reality.

As far as design, my daughter’s main requirement was that it have a blue wall, seeing as how blue is her favorite color.  So we took a trip over to Home Depot to look through color swatches where we decide to take two samples home to try out.

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She ended up deciding on the darker option, which I surprisingly loved more than I thought I would!

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After getting the wall painted I headed to Target, the place where spending money comes way too easy for me!  This is where I found the white shearling papasan, dark blue bean bag, hanging book rack, dog lamp(dogs are her favorite animal), white rug, the adorable sign that reads “This is my happy place”, and last but not least, that fancy throw pillow!  I found the little table at Ross and the book nook letters I ordered from Attic Journals.  They make all sorts or cool things from used books, which I happen to think is an absolutely wonderful idea!

 

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Well, there you have it, we now have a book nook in our house. Let’s just hope it actually inspires more reading! Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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A Garden Party Birthday

A Garden Party Birthday

This past weekend, we celebrated my daughter Brynn’s 5th birthday! Which also means that my next blog post will be something like “Oh my, how is possible that my baby is 5!” In the meantime, let me tell you about her party….

When Brynn and I were first discussing what she would like to do for her party, way back in December, she said that she wanted animals……again.  This would be the 3rd time Brynn has had animals at her birthday, the girl just LOVES animals. Luckily so do I!  Since we had already done a barnyard theme, as well as a county fair party, we decided to call this one a garden party with animals.

Right away I envisioned a beautiful canopy of colorful paper lanterns and streamers floating over the backyard.  My husband was a little bit less excited about this idea, seeing as how this project would ultimately become his job on the morning of the party. But in the end, he was a good sport about it and made it look fabulous!

Paper lanterns at garden party

I also found inspiration from a new party collection called Liberty Betsy by Meri Meri, definitely one of my most favorite party splurges. I ordered the large plates, the tiny Canape’ plates for cupcakes, small napkins, crowns and gift bags in this design.

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For invitations, I will often look to Etsy because they have such a variety of styles and they can be personalized and printed out right at home. I know most people use Evite these days, however, I still love the idea of sending invitations in the mail because I believe that they really set the mood of the party. For Brynn’s party, I chose a beautiful watercolor floral card with a bunny, and I think it represented our theme quite well!

As for food, I knew immediately that we had to have tiny sandwiches, any proper garden party would.  I decided on 3 different kinds, turkey/cheese, egg salad and cream cheese/strawberry jelly.  I cut them out in different shapes and created a key card showing which sandwich went with which shape.  I also made some lovely flower shaped fruit skewers using green grapes and watermelon, these were a huge hit with the kids. How could you not want to eat your fruit when it comes on a skewer?!  I also did berry cups, cheddar bunnies, edamame, a veggie tray, cheese/crackers and of course cupcakes!

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As for the animals, we really lucked out.  I was able to find the most wonderful owner of a small animal farm including a pony located in my area. She showed up with some of the most adorable animals I’ve ever seen, and when all the chickens sat on the donkey, I knew we were off to a great start!

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The birthday girl herself riding a sparkly pony in pink cowgirl boots!

Something else you will always see at my parties is a craft table. I love to have kids make a craft that goes along with whatever theme we have selected. For this party, I decided to have the kids decorate flower pots by covering them with tissue paper cut outs using Modge Podge. This is a fun and fairly easy project to complete. I have to say, in the end, I think more of the moms at my party ended up making flower pots than kids did!

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All in all I would say that this was a successful party. We started the party at 11am which made the set up time very early and a little hard on the set up crew (a.k.a. mom and dad) but we made it work. I should also mention that we hired a fabulous face painter which I highly recommend at any kids party if possible. I even got my face painted, because why not!?

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post, let me know if you have any questions in the comment section and i’d be happy to answer them!

Cheers!

 

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Designing a Craft Space

Designing a Craft Space

I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous whenever I saw photos of dreamy looking craft spaces in magazines or on Pinterest.  My crafting materials where located all throughout my house, some in the upstairs closet, others in the downstairs cabinet, a few stuffed in with my daughter’s craft containers.  I just kept thinking, someday I’ll actually get it all together and create one dedicated spot for all of my crafting supplies to live together in complete craft harmony.  Well, I’m happy to say that the day finally arrived!

After making some room in our garage, I went to work finding the perfect desk/table for my work space. Luckily, I was able to find exactly what I had in mind at Ikea, including the rug and table lamp. The great thing about this table, is that it raises and lowers easily depending on what kind of project I’m working on!

Craft Space

For the walls, I used peg boards from Home Depot and spray painted them a sea foam green before hanging them alongside the chalkboard.  I also purchased a variety of peg board accessories to hang all of my different art supplies.  I can’t explain how happy I am now that I can see all of my tools in one location, no more hunting through closets!

craft space peg board

 Right now I keep all of my paper materials in plastic storage bins on a nearby shelf, but i eventually plan to purchase a craft storage cabinet.  There is one in particular from the Martha Stewart Collection that I’ve had my eye on for a while.  Unfortunately, I must not be the only one looking at this cabinet because it’s currently not available for several months, but I can wait!

Another item worth mentioning, is my Cricut Explore Air.  At first I found this machine a little intimidating, but now that I’ve practiced with it using the trial and error method (more error than trial), I can’t imagine not having one.

Cricut Explorer

Here is a list of some of the other items that you’ll find in my craft space:

large paper cutter

self healing cutting mat

glue gun

embossing gun

Modge Podge

ribbon & twine

a variety of pens including gold metallic

scissors

paint

washi tape

hole punches in a variety of shapes/sizes

glitter and more glitter

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Paper Flower Garland fit for a Garden Party

Paper Flower Garland fit for a Garden Party

When my nearly 5 year old daughter Brynn decided she wanted an outdoor garden party for her birthday, I was thrilled!  This theme allows for so many beautiful design options so my mind immediately started racing with ideas.  One of the first things that came to mind, was this gorgeous paper flower garland I had seen in a magazine, and I knew that I had to figure out how to make one of my own!

The only way “I” could cut out enough paper flowers to make a whole garland was to use my Cricut machine.  I started trying out several of the different flower options available through Cricut and finally decided on this pattern.

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Cricut flower template

When I went to the craft store looking for paper to use in my project, I fell in love with a beautiful flower pattern that went with my garden party idea. So I decided to create a color palette based on that print.  I love the idea of matching but not matching paper choices, if that makes sense.  For instance, I mix polka dot patterns in with my floral and stripe patterns.  Here are some of the different papers I chose.

paper flower garland cut outs
Use a variety of colors and patterns

Once you’ve cut out your flowers, now comes the tricky part, rolling and gluing your flowers together.  This part took a lot of trial and error for me, the first time I rolled my flowers, I began on the wrong side and I couldn’t figure out why they looked so strange!  I quickly figured out that you need to start from the outermost circle and roll into the center, and the little circle in the middle is actually the base that you use to glue it all together.  I also found it handy to use the tip of some small scissors to begin the rolling process.

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Flowers that have been rolled and glued together.

My garland is about 16′ long using 55 flowers and spaced about 2.5″ apart.  I attached them to some gardening string that I found at Target, but jute twine or hemp twine should work well too.  In order to attach the flowers to the string, I put glue just along the inside of the outermost flower petals and pushed the sting down into the petals.

Paper flower garland
Attach the flowers to your string.

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Check back soon to see how this garland looks at my daughter’s garden party!

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