Check out my video tutorial to see how I create the flower bomb above. These cost about 75 cents per flower bomb. And it takes about 5 minutes to assemble once you get the hang of it. Cheap and easy! Just like my best girlfriends. Kidding. Mostly. Moving on…
I have to apologize. The videos on the rest of the decorations did not turn out, and I took basically no pictures at all during the process. I will describe what I did and show you the steps that I do have documented, and then include a link to one of the many tutorials that exist out there in blogosphere.
Let’s start with the orbs…
To create these stunning little beauties, you need:
-Yarn (I used crochet size 3, if that means anything to you…)
-Paper clips or Christmas ornament hooks
-Newspaper, trashbag, or drop cloth
The BEST part about making these? Asking the 17 year old boy working at Michaels, “Hey, where’s your stiffy?” Because, yes, the “fabric stiffener” is a common craft store item, appropriately (but HIGHlariously) called “Stiffy”. See?
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA….Oh man, I have problems. I spend way too much time with middle schoolers.
Start off by setting up your work space. These babies are messy and drippy, so be sure to cover a large portion of your floor because Stiffy is some serious floor-ruining glue-like stuff. The orbs take 24 hours to dry, so you will also need a workspace that is out of the way so they can hang undisturbed. I suspended ribbon between the floor lamp and a chair in our spare bedroom. (You could just as easily use a length of the yarn, but I was paranoid I wouldn’t have enough.)
Blow up as many balloons as you need. I used small dollar store balloons, so I only filled them up about 1/2 way so they would have a rounder shape. If I were to make these orbs for a wedding (or a baby shower that wasn’t in my classroom…) I would definitely splurge on nicer balloons. I would have loved to use balloons that were truly round and use multiple sizes, but that will be next time (perhaps at your shower, Alicia??).
Next, pour the Stiffy into a big bowl and ADD A TABLESPOON OR TWO OF WATER. If you skip the water, the glue will be an unmanageable monster. The balloon will not destick from the yarn…ever. The glue will not dry translucent but white and flaky and gross. So please, take my advice and pass the bowl under the faucet for a couple seconds.
Now, the length of yarn you need depends on several factors. How big is your balloon? How airy do you want your orbs? How thick is the yarn you are using? I found that for my small orbs and size 3 yarn, I typically used about 4 feet of yarn. Sometimes I added a bit more if I thought the wrapping looked too hole-y, sometimes I added less if I tangled up the yarn and had no choice but to cut it. Play around with a few different lengths and see what works for you.
I measured out one piece of yarn at a time. After I cut the yarn, I placed it in the bowl of Stiffy. You have to be very delicate with this, because it is super easy for the yarn to get all angry and tangled. After a second or two, I picked up the end of the yarn and squeezed all the excess out. I then wrapped the yarn around the balloon–first horizontally, then vertically, and then every-which-way until I had just an inch left. I took the end of the yarn and wrapped it around another piece already flush to the balloon.
Then I stuck an ornament hook (but an open paperclip would work too) through the tie on the balloon and hung on ribbon to dry.
Wait a full 24 hours, and then pop each balloon using sharp scissors or a pin. Once the balloon is deflated, you might have to gently edge it out between the (now hard) strands of yarn.
While the orbs will be sturdy enough to hold their shape, they can easily be smooshed, so I recommend using a box (as opposed to plastic bags or the like) to transport.
For more photos of the process, check out this amazing/talented/beautiful blogger: http://www.meticulouslife.blogspot.com/2011/08/we-are-ballers-string-ballers.html
On to the medallions…
Sorry for the crummy pic, but I think you can get the idea. These medallions are super easy to make and really mod. All you do is accordion fold a square piece of paper…
Then, fold the accordion in half and glue it together…(I used elmer’s spray adhesive for this–the picture below is from the internet, not my photo)…
Repeat this process. You will have two things that look like this:
Now, simply glue the two fans together!
You can change the overall look by making wider folds, using a patterned paper, etc. The diameter of the medallion will be the same size as the square you start with. Head back to meticulouslife.blogspot.com for details on this craft, too.
And finally, my favorite, the little pom poms…
For this happy little guy, all you have to do is wrap a (loooog) piece of yarn around your hand (or oatmeal container, vase, anything round) 100 times. Slide it off and cinch in the middle with another small piece of yarn. Cut all the loops and TaDa! Pom pom! The directions I used are here: http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-make-pom-poms/
Now that you have decorations, all you have to do is open some booze and you are ready to party! Oh, maybe you should invite people, too. I’ll leave that up to you.