April 28, 2020

Make A Balloon Garland For About $10

Balloons as party decorations has never been more popular
due to all the creative ways that folks have found to use them.

One of my favorite ways to use balloons that I have seen is 
as garlands. I had hoped to make balloon garlands to celebrate
my daughter's birthday on a family vacation to the beach.
I wanted to experiment making a balloon garland to see if I
 actually could. The internet has good tutorials on the garlands. 

Actually, I was amazed that the garlands were so inexpensive
to make with easily obtainable items. There are lots of different
creative ways to put them together. I wouldn't be writing this
blog post if I had not found another way to create the garlands
that is cheap and works better for me than the other methods.

I was in Dollar Tree getting balloons for my trial garland and
saw rug grip pads there. It struck me that the holes in the rug
grip pads might be able to hold the balloons for a garland. 

I got a couple of packs to try to use them to hold the balloons 
for a garland. They were cut into strips about 1.25"...keeping
 at least three holes across on each strip. 

The pads are 18" x 28". I got about 12 strips 28" long.
If you joined all the strips together, that is about 24 feet of
balloon garland base from one pad. 

To join the strips together overlap strips about 4 holes on each
end. Then use ribbon, fishing line, floral wire or other items to
 join the ends together by weaving through the holes and tying off. 

If you don't want to make your own base for a balloon garland
there are balloon strips available for purchase. Amazon, Party 
City and Hobby Lobby have them (probably lots more but those
are the places I saw them available). Here is the one from HL...

I did try this one from Hobby Lobby. It was pretty good but the
balloons tended to pop off of the strip more easily than the one
I made from the Dollar Tree rug grip. 

Here are other things that you will incur costs on in making a
balloon garland...mostly balloons.

For the balloon garland pictured so far in this post, here are the
balloons that I purchased. The white and pink balloons are from
Dollar Tree so $2 for 30 balloons. The lime green and purple 
balloons are from Hobby Lobby...25 balloons per pack for $1.59.
The confetti balloons (also HL) are 8 for $1.59. 

These things are optional but purchased from Dollar Tree so $1
each...balloon pump, two 3M hooks, double stick tape. I didn't
count these in the $10 cost. In reading other posts about balloon
garlands, some had suggested double stick tape to add small 
balloons to hide blank spaces. It did not work well for me. 

For my $10 tabulation I figured $6.50 on balloons, $1 on rug
grip pad (24 feet of base for garland), $1 for ribbon
(Dollar Tree) to tie the lengths of cut rug grip together. 

The non-fun part of balloon garlands...blowing up balloons.

Leave at least a foot of (whatever you are using as a) base of 
the garland free of balloons to be able to attach it to the 
surface where you are hanging the garland. 
Pull the neck of the balloon through the base you are using. 

For the rug grip base I used the middle hole to attach the 
balloons so it would be less likely to break than the edge holes. 
I actually never had a break. 

I learned this as I went along... after pulling the knot through
 one hole, pull the "nozzle" (very end balloon...rolled circle)
 through an adjacent hole also. That extra step in not mandatory
but I never had a balloon pop off after doing that.

Vary the colors of the balloons if you are using different colors 
of balloons as you attach them down the base. 
 Here is the first few feet of the garland as I started my trial...

The more footage I worked along attaching balloons, the
better it looked. You can also vary the sizes of the balloons
without purchasing different sizes by not blowing all the 
balloons to their maximum size. 

Whatever base you are using, don't use all the holes. 
Skip three to six holes between balloon attachment. 

There are probably other ways to hang your balloon garland when
you get it the length you want it but I used Command hooks.

Use the end of the garland base without balloons to attach to
the hook. With the balloon garland there is a lot of pressure
 from all of those balloons being so tight together. I did not 
have a helper but I would suggest you trying to get one for
 the hanging part.

You may need to use tape or other devices to keep the garland
ON the hooks, nails or what ever you decide to attach it to
the wall with.  My first hook ended up being a hot mess.

For attaching the other side of the garland I opted to use another type of command hook upside down. This one (used upside down) was able to hold the garland without using tape to keep it secure.
 I just pushed the hook through one of the holes in the rug grip base. 

For this garland I used a hook on each end of the mirrored
 screen to attach it. I made it extra long on purpose 
so part of the garland could drape down.  

Even if you have tried to vary the colors of the balloons as you
 are attaching them to the base, after you get it up you may have
 too many of one color showing to the front. After you have the 
garland attached, you can gently pull some of the balloons
 to the forefront of the garland to get the look you want. 

 Also if you have spaces where the base/spine/strip shows
 through, you can use an extra balloon not blown up all the
 way to camouflage it.

If the little balloon does not stay in place by itself you can try
double stick tape or glue dots to more securely attach it. 
I actually had the best luck by using the tape or glue dots for
temporarily holding it and adding clear glue at the contact 
points for long-lasting attachment. 

Well...I did love my experimental balloon garland but 
I gave it to a neighbor girl to enjoy it, which she did. 

After my balloon garland success I got more balloons
but in ocean colors for the anticipated beach birthday party
 (which never happened due to the virus outbreak). 
 To try use the balloons, I started making balloon
 garlands as backgrounds for Zoom virtual birthday 
parties with my grandchildren. 

I ran out of time for the first Zoom birthday party. 
I only got the ends done...I call these balloons bundles.

That might be an option for someone that does not need an
entire balloon garland. Balloon bundles use the same 
construction concept but just shorter base and less balloons. 

For the next Zoom birthday party I did get the entire balloon garland done. I added in some pink balloons to tie in with the pink/red poster. It was only a vertical garland but it was festive.

I'm telling you...these balloon garlands have a lot of life...they 
are not easy to contain/lay flat. Just plan on some dimension. 

Here are the balloons for the grandchildren/Zoom/vertical
garland. Some colors are leftovers from the other garland.
No confetti balloons for this one. 

Here are the Command hooks used again. I used tape to secure
the garland to the hooks. Here you can see how flexible and
 strong the garland base is that is made from the cut up rug grip . 

To hide the hook and the base/spine of the garland I added two
partially inflated balloons. They stayed in place initially by 
adding glue dots to attach them to adjacent balloons (not 
trying to attach them to the base) but they were on the 
floor by the morning. 

 By pushing them in again and adding clear liquid glue at
 the contact points they stayed in place for over 10 days. 

Same on the other side of the garland/hook set up. 

If you have a blank space once you get the garland up, you
can gently pull/push the balloons to try to hide the base. 

Wonder how long your garland will last?
I needed to take the garland on the mantle down to put up
a more serious backdrop. Here is the garland after 10 days.

The balloons are still perky but maybe have lost a little
color. Tip...if you are making a balloon garland for a party, 
you can make it a couple of days ahead of time and it will
still look good for the event. 

I worked on the balloon garlands in spurts so I don't know
exactly how long it took me to make them. The first and 
longest garland was probably four or five hours.
 The shorter one was about two hours. If you have a helper
the garlands will go much quicker. 

This might be a fun project to try with the kids if you are
looking for an inexpensive activity at home even!

Here is an image you can put on Pinterest if you
want to save this for future reference. 

December 29, 2019

Most Viewed Posts of 2019

This post is going to be short because actually I did not do
much blogging in 2019. Amazingly, I did have two blog posts
that each had well over 30,000 views so I think those deserve to
be recognized in a end-of-year roundup of blog posts. 

Number Two Most Viewed Blog Post

This post showed how I attempted to inject more green color
into my home decor as we were moving from Winter into the
Spring season. Two other blog post that were an off shoot of 
this main theme that showed more specifically  how to use 
many views as the overall moss post but are good tutorials. 

Number One Most Viewed Post

This post shows a unique way of enjoying orchids top to 
bottom. I was attempting to "kopy kat" a magazine article
about displaying orchids but found that I liked the interesting
roots of the orchids as much as the blooms. This post shows
a way to be able to keep the orchid happy (temporarily) 
without covering up the roots entirely.

Thanks very much to those of you who have visited my blog
in 2019 even though I have been sporadic in posting. 

December 28, 2019

Make Little Paper Houses

For whatever reason you might want little paper houses,
here is an easy way to make simple ones. 

I wanted to make little paper houses initially as a cute way 
to gift Christmas money (putting bills on the roofs).

In the photo above I used a house template that I downloaded
 off the internet. The houses were cute but time-consuming to
put together. I did some more searching for something 
easier and came across instructions for easy paper houses
on the "Mac and Moof" blog. 

Those instructions are the ones I used to make more Christmas
 cash paper houses and even other size houses for various
Christmas decorating projects. You can spend a little time 
making them or embellish them more if you want. They are
not just for Christmas but any time of year for fun.

I don't know how to make line drawing templates to post
on the blog that you can download. These paper houses are
so easy that I'll just show you the measurements that I used
on top of pictures of the templates. You can take it from there
and make the size of paper houses that suit your needs. 

To make these paper houses... is the template...

Each side of the house is 2" wide (blue lines).
Dotted lines are fold lines.
Add a 0.5" tab to glue or tape it together. 
Total length of template/paper is 8.5".

Total height of template/paper is 3.25".
Leave every other (two) sections full height.
Draw a horizontal line 0.75" down from the top on two
 "sides" (non-gable) of the house. Cut straight across
these two sections. Their height will be 2.5"

Find horizontal center of taller sections. 
On this template that would be 1". Draw a line up to top.
From center top draw a line down to edge of adjoining 
sections (see red arrows). Cut these angled lines.

You do not have to add cut out windows and a door but
if you want to you can. It is easier to do while the paper house
is still fairly flat. Scissors work but a craft knife is better.

 Only cut the top and one side of the door to leave a "flap".

More time-consuming (but cute) is to tape or glue vellum 
paper over the cut-outs.

I made the big mistake of using regular glue on some of the
houses. When the glue dried the houses were warped. 
Only use glue that won't crinkle the paper. I used Zip-Dry glue
after that and it did not crinkle/wrinkle/warp the paper houses. 

Crease the house on the four fold lines. 
Join the ends of the house with glue or tape using the tab.
Place the tab to the inside so it will not show. 

Add a thin line of glue along the roof lines.

Place the roof (for this house a paper rectangle 2.5" by
3" crisply folded in half) on top of the house and glue.

Also not-necessary-but-cute is to place a battery-operated
 votive candle inside the house for a warm glow.

Here is the Christmas cash village in Brooklyn...

...and Chicago (money already spent)...

After I enjoyed making the money-gifting houses I thought
of more ways to use paper houses for Christmas. A wreath
that I remembered from a Martha Stewart magazine used
little houses on it.

The houses her staff used were more intricate but I hoped 
to achieve a similar look with the simple little paper houses. 

I live in Alabama where we do not have snow at Christmas
so I just left that part of the Martha Stewart wreath off.

I already had lots of little bleached trees and a borrowed 
wreath so all I needed was to make some paper houses. 

I made the wreath houses a little taller and narrower than the
money-gifting houses to make putting them on the wreath easier.

I could bend two tips of the wreath into a semi-circle to hold up
the light-weight and narrow paper houses.

Here are the dimensions of the wreath paper houses...

Total length of template/paper 8.6".
Gabled ends of house 3.75" (tall green line).
Sides of house 2.75" (short green line). 

Wide gabled ends of house 3" (long blue line).
Narrow sides of house 1" (short blue line).
Tab to join ends of house 0.5".

To make gable measure center of tall sections.
On this template 1.5" (yellow star).
Draw a vertical line from star to top of template.
From the red arrow at top, draw an angled line down
to edge of side roof line (two red arrows) and cut. 

Add windows and door as desired while house is flat.

Follow directions for folding and joining same as smaller
houses noted earlier in post. 

The roof dimensions for wreath houses are 1.25" by 
4.5". Fold sharply in center and glue on to house. 

I did not cut out the windows and doors on the wreath houses.
I just cut out contrasting paper rectangles to suggest them.
I did draw on the doors and windows for embellishment but
clearly not very well. Kinda wish I had left that off. 

To keep the paper house and bleached bottle brush theme
going in the dining room I made larger houses for the 
hutch behind the table. 

Since these are not going to be seen from behind (and I am
cheap...they only use one sheet of scrapbook paper) these 
houses are only three-sided. If you want to make them four-
sided you could tape or glue on additional paper to the length. 

Here is the template for the larger paper houses
(forgive the bone print card stock...I was trying to use up
paper that I probably would not use in the future)...

Front of house 6" wide, sides 3" wide (blue lines).
Gabled front of house 9.5" high (long green line).
Sides of house 7.5" high (shorter green line). 

To draw gable, find horizontal middle of center section
(on this template 3" at yellow star) and draw a vertical
line to top. Then draw angled line down from middle top to
 edge of adjacent roof line (red arrows). Cut along angled line. 

Use template to draw and cut house out of decorative 
paper. Fold along black lines to make corners of house. 

Cut windows and door or add paper rectangles as desired
while paper house is still fairly flat. 

Put glue on top edges of house and add a roof. For this size 
paper house the roof is 3.25" x 8" sharply folded. 

Different house...just showing backside...kinda like a
hospital gown. 

Using these houses as examples you can experiment and
find just the right size (paper) house for you.

I had fun making these paper houses and I hope you will try
them too sometime. They are cheap and easy and you won't feel
bad if they give some joy and delight and get tossed away. 

If you want to save this post to Pinterest, here is a good image...

© Miss Kopy Kat. Design by FCD.