Tutorial: DIY projects from Sheila's Shower

Last week, I posted about a bridal shower that Jamie and I styled, and that our client, Sheila, hosted for her niece.  As promised, here are the simple and inexpensive, yet super chic, projects that we created for her.

* Wrapping Paper Runners:  sounds crazy, right?  We have made these for oodles of parties and we get the same question every time: "this is really just wrapping paper?  but it's so pretty!"  Yes, it is really just wrapping paper trimmed in ribbon.  We took our inspiration from Martha Stewart Weddings, although I simplified the procedure a bit.  Green tip: assuming no one spills on it, you can reuse the wrapping paper runner as gift-wrap for presents when the party is over.

- What you need: One roll of wrapping paper; one spool of ribbon (grosgrain works best); one bottle Tacky glue.  (one roll of wrapping paper and one spool of ribbon will make two runners)

- What you do: cut the wrapping paper to size.  Cut the ribbon to size - one piece for each edge of the wrapping paper.  Starting at a corner, run a thin bead of glue from corner to corner.  Press the ribbon into the glue (don't bother wrapping the ribbon over the sides of the wrapping paper - it is way too much effort and it looks just as neat with the ribbon going to the edge of the paper).  Cut any overhanging ribbon.  Repeat with the other four sides.  Dry flat or lightly draped over a chair for about 1-2 hours until the glue has set.  Done!

* Congratulations Banner:  Another project using the inspiration of and template from Martha Stewart Weddings.  This one is really cute and can be used for any party.  Green tip:  Save the letters that you don't use.  You can use them on future banners and won't have to reprint.

What you need: full sheets of card-stock, skinny ribbon, hole punch

What you do: download the template from Martha Stewart Weddings (above).  Print and then cut the letters that you need.  Punch two holes in each letter at the top of the circle (tip: if you imagine the circle as a clock, you want to punch the holes at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock).  Thread the ribbon through the letters leaving plenty of extras on each end for hanging.

Paper Lanterns: Oh, how we love paper lanterns.   They are so pretty and festive, not to mention incredibly affordable, usually around $1 per lantern. And they fold down completely flat for easy storage!  Green tip:  as long as you take care when handling and hanging them, you can use paper lanterns for quite a few parties, saving money and trees.

What you need: paper lanterns (we've found them at Michael's, Dollar Tree and Save-on-Crafts, but we are a bit partial to those from Save-on-Crafts for selection, price and durability); ribbon, string, fishing line or twine (whatever you choose for hanging); thumbtacks or 3M removable Command hooks like these or these.

What you do: we think the most effective use of paper lanterns is hanging them in large clusters or over tables in a symmetrical fashion rather than random or sparse placement.  It looks dramatic and fun when they are hung in bunches.  This takes some time to plan out, and we highly recommend working with a partner so that one can hang while the other guides the placement.  We have hung lanterns using all of the above materials (ribbon, fishing wire, twine, string) and it all works - just depends on the look you're going for.  We really like those Command hooks for hanging because when the party is over, they come down lickety-split and won't tear off your paint or wallpaper.  We have also used thumbtacks to suspend the lanterns from wood beams too - as long as you (or the homeowner/venue) do not mind some teeny thumbtack holes in the wood, it is a very effective and quick way to hang the lanterns.

See how simple?  Hopefully you can use some of the ideas for your next party.  Got any easy and inexpensive ideas for decor? We'd love to hear!

See you swoon,

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