Let’s start this post with a confession. I am a planner. I have vision. I have resources to make that vision happen. I am NOT a crafty person – unless forced. And that’s where this story begins. As soon as my son turned 10 months old, I began dreaming up his first birthday party plans. The theme was, “R is Growing UP, UP, UP!” The decor was hot air balloons. The food was inspired by a picnic lunch. The setting was going to be a pavilion in our neighborhood park. Well, three out of four ain’t bad, right?
Not bad at all! Spoiler alert: I pulled it off (with help) and it was one of the happiest days of my life.
As I said, I started planning two months prior, but we had a crazy winter here in the DFW Metroplex so while my supplies piled up I had to wait until I could go outside to craft. Finally, we had a beautiful weekend two weeks prior, but I was sick. Really, really sick. Trip to the ER sick. One week prior, more bad weather. Two days before the sun was shining, my mother-in-law could watch R, and so it was time to get out the spray adhesive!
I had ordered supplies for the hot air balloons without Googling instructions. What?! Who does that in 2015? A non-crafty person with a very clear vision. “Oh,” I thought, “I can figure it out. I know how I want it to look.” Not recommended. I ordered a second set of supplies based on these helpful instructions:http://www.craftsunleashed.com/bridal-party/make-a-hot-air-balloon-vintage/
My goal was a dozen hot air balloons with tissue paper clouds and large blue paper lanterns to simulate sky. In the end, I made six hot air balloons and didn’t have time (or a good place) to hang the clouds and sky once the outdoor plan was called due to, yup, weather. But you know what? It was adorable!
While I’m very, very, very grateful for Vanessa at Crafts Unleashed, I did a few things differently that I think are worth sharing:
1. I skipped these, but more power to you:
- EK Tools Flag Punch – No time
- Acrylic Craft Paint – I used gold spray paint I had left over from another project
- Large Needle – Fingers and a pen work fine
- 1/16 Power Punch – Holes achieved with pen and a little muscle – twist and push
- 1/4″ Double sided tape – Nah
2. The tutorial link above instructs you how to make striped balloons. I started there then came up with other patterns such as polk-a-dots, zig zags, stars, etc. Each one was different.
4. Time saving edits to their second step: Cut four pieces of the baker's twine, each one approximately 4 ft. long. This is going to give you more than enough string to work with and you’ll have to cut off at the end. They say, “a ton” so I only did 3 ft on the first one and it was barely enough. Go with 4 ft. It’s not as wasteful as it sounds. Hold two strands in each hand and Tie them together with a knot in the middle of the strands and then tie around the hook in the middle of the lantern. You should have four sections of two strands arranged like a compass (North, East, South, West). Work your way around the compass tying the two strands together at each point where the tissue paper part of the lantern starts. Separate these two strands and then loop with the adjacent strands creating a net effect. You do not have to tie full knots. Just the starting loop will do. Repeat 2-3 times to all sides.
You can see they are not perfectly uniform or perfectly crafted, but if you’re pulling this off a day or two before the party then pat your back and slap a smile on your face and focus on the REAL reason you’re celebrating.
Now, I leave you with some foodspiration. Cupcakes by Cupcakes Cubed.
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