How to Make Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

After I posted our gender reveal party, many of you wanted a tutorial on how I made the tissue paper pom-poms.  Well, today’s your lucky day– it’s tissue paper pom-pom making time, people.

Not only will I show you how to make tissue paper pom-poms, I’m going to show you how to get 5 tissue paper pom-poms (1 large, 2 medium, 2 small) out of one $.99 package of tissue paper.

These are really easy to make once you get the hang of it.  It’s also a good mindless TV watching crafting activity.  But you have to “watch” something you don’t really have to pay attention to since you’ll need to watch what you’re doing with making the poms.  I “watched” old Grey’s Anatomy episodes on Lifetime while I made the majority of mine for the gender reveal party.

How to make tissue paper pom-poms!  GREAT tutorial!

Supplies:

•  tissue paper (I use 10 sheet, 20 inch by 20 inch)… Hobby Lobby
•  floral wire… Hobby Lobby
•  scissors
•  ruler

supplies needed for tissue paper poms

Flatten out the tissue paper.  Divide the 10 tissue papers into half– so 5 and 5 in each stack.  Set one stack to the side.

pom pom tutorial

Fold the tissue accordion style.

tissue paper pom tutorial

Once folded, cut the strip into two pieces.  One should be 6 inches.

tissue pom tutorial

And the other should be 14 inches.

how to make poms

Take the 6 inch piece.  Fold it in half hamburger style.

tissue paper poms-poms

Cut it along the fold, so you will have two sections with 5 sheets of paper in each section.  Since these will be the smallest pom-poms, I refold them, accordion style, only smaller than the original fold (see photo after the photo below).

making pom poms

Grab the other remaining section that you put to the side in the beginning.  Fold it accordion style.  Cut it in half so you have two 10 inch pieces.

In the end, you should have the following from one package of 20 inch by 20 inch, 10 sheet tissue paper.

1- 14 inch
2- 10 inch
2- 6 inch

tutorial on how to make tissue paper poms

The next steps are to be repeated for each section of tissue paper.

Grab your floral wire, center it in the middle of the tissue paper (use the ruler if you aren’t good at eye balling– no shame).

FYI, you don’t have to use floral wire.  I actually used 22 gauge jewelry wire for the pom-poms I made for our gender reveal party because I was out of floral wire and didn’t feel like running to the craft store for more.  Just make sure your wire isn’t too flimsy.

making tissue paper pom-poms

Twist the wire tight.

tissue paper pom-poms how to

Grab your scissors and round out the corners of the tissue paper.

how to make a tissue paper pom pom

The end result should look like this when fanned out.

tissue paper pom-pom directions

Start GENTLY, I repeat, GENTLY pulling the top layer of tissue paper up and toward the center.   Remember, this is thin tissue paper, not metal.  It will rip if you’re too forceful with it.  It helps to start pulling at the bottom of the tissue paper layer, not the tip.

pom-pom instructions

Bring the top layer of the other side up and to the middle.

tissue paper pom pom instructions

Repeat until all 5 layers are fluffed.  Bend the wire so the tissue paper pom-pom lays flat.  Cut if necessary.  Or if you plan to attach the poms to something, leave the wire the way it is.  You can just wrap the wire around whatever you’re attaching the pom to.

tissue pom pom instructions

Note:  If you happen to tear a piece of your pom-pom while making it, don’t freak out.  It’s not the end of the world.  A lot of the time it will just blend in.  I usually grab my scissors and cut it a little so it doesn’t look so jagged.

tissue paper pom pom how to

If you don’t care about having varying sizes of poms, just make 4 medium sized poms.  If you want fuller poms, use more than 5 layers of tissue paper.

Remember, practice makes perfect so don’t get discouraged if your first couple pom-poms don’t turn out correctly.

You can use the tissue paper pom-poms to decorate however you want.  I used them on our dessert buffet and as a centerpiece for our dining room table.  You can check out more photos of our gender reveal party here.

gender reveal party

Gender Reveal Party Pins

Today I’m sharing how I made the bow tie and bow pins for our gender reveal party.  They were super easy to assemble and didn’t cost less than $5 to make.  I thought they were a great way for our guests to wear their guesses.  I felt awkward telling people to wear blue or pink clothing so this was my compromise.  I will say, it was fun to walk around and see everyone’s guess.

How to make gender reveal party pins

Supplies:

•  paper cut-outs of bow ties and bows
•  pin backs (JoAnn Fabric)
•  hot glue

My friend, Jacque, was kind enough to help me make the bow ties and bows.  We used sturdy scrapbook paper.  Here’s the link to the Silhouette templates (bowties | bows), if you have a Silhouette or know someone with one.

If you don’t have a machine that can cut out images, you can always trace and cut them out by hand.  Of course that’s very time consuming.  You can purchase cut-outs of these shapes on Etsy as well.  Just type in “gender reveal bow cut-outs” or something similar.

bow pins

Once you have your cut-outs, grab your glue gun.  Put a little bit of glue on the back of the pin back and press it onto the backside of your cut-out.

how to make gender reveal pins

I made sure mine were for right-handed people (don’t hate lefties– I’m married to one), so it’d be easier for the majority of people to put them on.  Right the gluing process until all of your cut-outs are done.

gender reveal pins how to

I set the bow ties and bows on our entryway table so people could put on their guesses as they arrived for the gender reveal party.

gender reveal party welcome table

I made about double what I needed.  We had around 20 people at the party so I made 20 of each just to be on the safe side.

gender reveal party 2

How To Make A Fabric Backdrop

One of the things I had to have for our gender reveal party was a fabric backdrop behind our antique buffet.  At first, I had planned to make a crepe paper backdrop.  But after doing a miniature mock-up I immediately nixed the idea and it popped into my head to make one out of fabric instead.  So off to JoAnn Fabric I went to debate over fabric for 30 minutes and scare other customers away by talking to myself about my options.  If you ever happen to run into me in public while I’m getting supplies for a project and I’m talking to myself just know it’s part of my creative process.

Anyway, today I’m going to show you how easy it is to make a fabric backdrop like the one I made for our party.

How to make a fabric backdrop!

Let’s start with the supplies.

I wanted the backdrop to be around 50 inches tall, and the width of the buffet is 68 inches.  After doing the math, I bought a yard and a half of each fabric.  In total I brought home a yard and half of eight different fabrics (4 pinks and 4 blues).  Since I was buying so much fabric, I was sure to buy fabrics that were on sale and use coupons, including a 25% off the entire purchase coupon.  I think altogether I spent around $30-35 on the supplies for my fabric backdrop.  And I had leftover fabric.

• fabric (yardage depends on the size of your backdrop)
• parachute cord (JoAnn Fabric– jewelry section)

fabric backdrop supplies

To cut the fabric easier, I folded it in half hamburger style so I would be cutting the longest section.  I cut my pieces into 4 inch sections, using my handy cutting mat and rotary cutter.

fabric garland how to

If you don’t own a rotary cutter, get one.  Be careful though, they can be dangerous.  I cut my finger while using it for this project.  But if you can be trusted around sharp objects, I totally recommend it.  It makes cutting fabric so much easier and faster.

fabric backdrop how to

Ahhh, look at the nicely cut fabric.

cutting fabric for fabric garland

fabric rag backdrop how to

Seriously, I think it took me 10 minutes to cut all of this fabric with my rotary cutter.

(I cut myself while cutting the blue fabric, so that took longer to cut the blue because I had to provide medical treatment for my injured finger.)

fabric garland backdrop

Once your fabric is cut, start tying it to your parachute cord.  I made a simple knot, like the first step when you tie your shoes.  After I tied the knot, I pulled on the fabric a little to fluff it out.

I made a pattern with my 4 different types of fabric in each color (polka dot, solid, gingham, solid).  Altogether, I think I used 22 strands of fabric for each side– pink and blue.

how to make fabric garland

We hung the fabric backdrop with our Ryobi Airstrike stapler, but you can use nails to hang yours.  If you make a fabric backdrop as big as mine, tape won’t hold the weight.

hanging fabric backdrop

I spent a little time adjusting the fabric so it would overlap just right, but that’s because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist.

FYI, I sold my fabric backdrop (along with the tissue paper poms and paper garland) because I had no need for it after our gender reveal party.  This is definitely something to consider if you’re making one for a party and you don’t think you’ll use it again.  I didn’t sell mine for a crazy profit– just enough to cover my materials and time spent making the deorations.

gender reveal

Think you’ll attempt a fabric backdrop?
Do you talk to yourself often?  I hear talking to yourself has cognitive benefits.
Can you be trusted with sharp objects?

Preppy Spring Wreath

The other day, I was waltzing down the ribbon aisle at JoAnn Fabric and this beautiful green and white striped grosgrain ribbon stopped me dead in my tracks.  Jackpot.  I knew exactly how I’d use it– to make the perfect preppy spring wreath.  And of course I had to go with pink peonies because they’re my favorite flower, and it’s no secret that I love the color combination of pink and green.  I mean, they were our wedding colors.  

Preppy spring wreath!  Costs less than $15 to make!

SUPPLIES

2 rolls of Offray green and white striped grosgrain ribbon (JoAnn Fabric)
14″ Styrofoam wreath form (Hobby Lobby)
Silk peonies (Michael’s)
hot glue
hot glue gun
scissors
small piece of ribbon

wreath supplies

I started by cutting some strips of ribbon.  I tried wrapping the ribbon without cutting it but I couldn’t get it to look how I wanted it to.  Then I just started wrapping each piece around the wreath and gluing it.  I would overlap the green stripes on the edges so the stripe pattern lined up.

green and white ribbon

To attach the peonies, I pulled them off the stems, cut the little plastic parts of them, and hot glued them onto the wreath.

how to make a floral wreath

pink peony wreath

For the hanger part I wanted to do something that would be mostly hidden and wouldn’t take away from the wreath so I grabbed a little piece of white satin ribbon.  I hot glued it onto the back of the wreath.

As you can see, the back of the wreath isn’t pretty, but no one will see that anyway.

ribbon wreath hanger

I’m not gonna lie– this was kind of a frustrating wreath to make.  It’s probably because I’m a perfectionist, and I wanted the stripes to line up just right.  But I love how it turned out.

green and pink summer wreath

 If you want to make a ribbon wreath like this and you’ve never made one before, I recommend using non-striped ribbon to ease into striped ribbon.  You can always make a striped design by layering a different colored ribbon on top of the base color.  If you’re truly ambitious and want to do exactly what I did, I suggest buying a third roll of ribbon– I barely scooted by with 2 rolls.

preppy wreath

COST
ribbon: $5
wreath form: $3
peonies: $6.50 (for the bunch)

TOTAL: $14.50
*I used 40% off coupons for the ribbon and wreath form.  The peonies were already on sale for 40% off.  Remember those coupons, people.

peony wreath

To DIY Or Not To DIY

Today I’d like to discuss do-it-yourself projects in your home.  Specifically, I’d like to cover things I’m comfortable DIYing in our house and things I’d pay someone else to do.

Clearly, I’m all for DIY (within reason).  There are some things Brad and I feel comfortable tackling in our home because of experience or skills we’ve learned from our parents.  We’re lucky enough to have a few skilled tradesmen in our family so if we have specific questions we can ask one of them.  Or, if we ask nicely, they will come to our rescue and help us out with big projects.

Here are some things we’re comfortable tackling in our house:
painting furniture makeovers
hanging photos and other things on walls
removing and installing toilets
unclogging drains and toilets
installing faucets
minor plumbing issues
minor electrical work (running wire, installing lights, replacing outlets, etc.)
installing thermostats
hanging and repairing drywall

I should add that there are some things we wouldn’t mind taking on, it’s just we haven’t had the chance to do it (e.g. flooring, tiling).

removing an electrical outlet

Things we aren’t comfortable tackling in our house:
anything HVAC we can’t troubleshoot by Googling
major electrical (we call in Brad’s electrician dad)
major pipe fitting and plumbing (we call in my pipefitter dad)
repairing major appliances we can’t troubleshoot by Googling (see here)

When our heat pump compressor and coil went out we enlisted my uncle (who owned a plumbing, heating, & cooling company) and his friend to fix everything.  Thankfully, we got the family discount.  My dad was kind enough to install our water softener and run the new plumbing to it over a year ago.

I’m the painter in this house.  Brad’s delicate hands have never lifted a paintbrush.  However, this spring I plan to hire someone to paint our great room and master bedroom.  Now, before you start judging me, I must remind you that we have vaulted ceilings in those rooms so certain walls are 12-13 tall.  I’ve done 100% of the painting in our house because seriously, painting isn’t that hard.  I’d much rather paint a room than pay someone else to do it.  But, we don’t own a tall enough ladder, and I’d rather pay someone to paint the rooms for me than rent a ladder or scaffolding and painting everything myself.  I should probably add that I don’t have the best balance when I’m not pregnant.  So there’s that.  Don’t worry– I’ll let you know how it goes.

living room picture ledges

For more DIY inspiration, check out my project gallery and the Homes.com (where I contribute) idea gallery.

What are you a pro at tackling in your home? What would you rather pay someone else to handle? Are you lucky enough to have handy family members or friends who can help with big projects?

Entryway Photo and Art Display

The other day I finished a little project I’ve been meaning to tackle for months– our entryway photo and art display.  It’s on a little sliver of wall you see when you enter our house, and it needed a little love.  And you know me and my affection for sentimental things, so of course, everything on the wall is meaningful to us.

two twenty one photo display

The watercolor reprint is something I picked up on the Caribbean cruise Brad and I took with his extended family in 2008.  I mention in this post the different things I like to pick up along the way while vacationing.  (Sorry, I don’t do corny vacation t-shirts.)

I had to work in an Indiana print.  I got this one from Brickyard Buffalo, an online pop-up market (seriously, sign up for their emails or follow them on Instagram).  The print is by CAPow.  I love how the state is formed from each county’s name.  Pretty and educational.

entryway art

This custom illustration of Brad, Jack, and me was another Brickyard Buffalo score.  It’s by My Little Buffalo.  I plan to have a new one done once the nugget makes an appearance.  Eventually, I’d like to have a wall of them showing the growth of our family.

The photo above the illustration is from our wedding reception.  We’re clapping along to the IU fight song (our alma mater) with our wedding party.  I thought I should mention that so you don’t think we’re clapping for ourselves.

entryway wall art

My next task is to add some more oomph to this little corner.  It’s looking better, but still meh.  Right now my mom’s antique copper boiler is hanging out there but that’s it.

I’ve been searching for a small bench to put under the photo and art display.  I’ve thought about adding a plant for more color (and life), but this area doesn’t get much sun so I think that’s out of the question.  I’ll definitely update you guys once I find the perfect pieces.

entryway photo wall

I teamed up with Kristen Duke for her Decorating with Pictures series for today’s post.  A boatload of bloggers are sharing different ways they decorate with pictures, so there’s lots of inspiration.  Oh, and Kristen has great giveaways going on daily throughout the series.  Check it out!

decorate_with_pictures

Stalk away!