If I've seemed quiet for a while, it's because I am super busy working on handmade summer birthday party craft decorations for my daughter's upcoming birthday later this month. This is the first time she's actually having a party at home since normally we book somewhere to go. You may or not understand the sheer panic I feel at getting everything just right.
I have some experience at making decorations but none with birthday celebrations. I'm much more used to decorating for other times of year like Halloween and Christmas. The Internet has been a real help as I've hunted on pinterest, etsy and the big G for ideas on what to make. Here's where I'm up to so far!
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First up, I bought myself a Clover Pom Pom Maker (actually I ended up buying 4 in a range of different sizes since they're pretty cheap!) and these have been such a help in making up a ton of pom poms quickly and easily.
With a little help from my little girl, we made two very long garlands that stretch down the length of our designated party room. To make them up into a garland is easy, just thread your length of yarn onto a large darning needle and push through the middle of each pom. You can adjust the spacing when you hang them - but take care not to tangle these since I ended up re-doing one completely after the yarn got caught up.
I had some yarn that I really didn't enjoy crocheting with since it felt scratchy and horrid but it made some excellent poms. So you really can use yarns that you're not so keen on or leftover scraps to make these with.
You can Find the Pom Pom Makers Here. The large set is better for making garlands with.
Do you remember the traditional old method of using a pair of cardboard circles with a hole in the middle where you'd find it hard to keep pushing and stuffing the yarn or wool through the middle? I do - I spent ages doing this as a child and I remember the frustrations and how long it took.
I've also tried a method where you wrap yarn around chair legs so you can make several in one go - that doesn't work for me either since it's hard to get the shaping right.
But Clover have made the process really quick and easy with their makers where you extend out one pair of plastic 'arms' to wrap, then push down and wrap around the second pair. It's not fiddly nor time consuming - if anything, it's addictive! So watch out :)
Here's My Photo Tutorial for Using the Clover Pom Pom Maker
Once the pom garlands were made, I moved swiftly onto creating a wreath. I'd seen some cool celebration wreaths made for other occasions so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to achieve with the look and styling of this one.
A lot of this design is made from tulle that had been recycled from my daughter's old dressing up costumes. And I found yet another use for the Clover Makers by working out that I could also Make Tulle Pom Poms with them as well. You can see the tulle versions in this almost complete wreath.
Since I like to make things that will last, I made sure that I added my daughter's age by dangling the number from the back of the design so it shows through the middle section - this part is only tied on so I can take it off and replace it with the number 8 next year. That way, I can pack this away and make further use of it.
See How I Made the Birthday Wreath with a Photo Tutorial
I started crocheting some plain triangle pennant banner bunting after getting the gist of how this was done by increasing single crochet (dc UK) up from a point into a triangle shape. To neaten the edges, I worked a sc border around the two long sides.
The idea was to make plain flag pieces which I'd add some kind of motif to afterwards like flowers or something pretty. I also experimented with the striped version which I'm not happy with so I abandoned that idea after making just the one.
While all this was a WIP (work in progress) I picked up a copy of Simply Crochet Magazine #19 and found a glorious bunting pattern by Lucy from the Attic24 blog. So in no time at all, I changed my tune and whipped up 15 colorful triangles which are currently waiting to be stitched into a garland.
I chose colors that would work with the existing decorations which are pale pink, raspberry pink (looks a bit red in the photo!) gold orange, apple green and lilac. These are all really bright summery shades and ideal for a 7 year old party, I hope!
So that's pretty much where I'm up to right now. I have some large tissue paper poms from last year that still look good so I will probably re-use those and add in some new ones - I found some fab paisley patterned pink tissue paper in a local store for that.
So if I seem a bit quiet for a few weeks, you'll know exactly why. You can still keep up with me on my social media sites (right-hand sidebar) and I have just joined ravelry which looks awesome so I hope if you crochet and you're on there, you'll befriend me :)
Here's my Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/people/mariewj sadly, I could not get craftymarie since it was already taken. But I don't think that really matters. I hope you've enjoyed reading my craftymarie article today, thanks for your visit. You can leave me a comment or interact with me at any of the sites I'm at.
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