Friday, November 22, 2013

DIY table centerpiece

Party decorations are so expensive!  Each year my kiddos ask for a big birthday blowout and of course pick the priciest items for decorations.  Im a big believer in using what you have.  For my baby's 1st birthday party, we did a moustache bash.  And we went all out.  But some of the things I just couldn't justify paying for, including those cheaply made tissue paper table decorations that last maybe an hour (or rip while you're putting them together).  So I got creative and made my own 'stache number 1 to display on the table and for her birthday pictures. 


The whole thing cost me $2.99 to make!  And it is sturdy enough to use again.  The cheap tissue paper ones cost between $6.99 and $19.99 (sometimes even more) and are destroyed quickly.  This is about a foot tall, a few inches thick and stands on its own.  So easy to make, too.  In preparation of this blog post, I made a number two (hahaha, my 9 year old would be cracking up if he read that!) and took photos to show you each step of the way. 
You'll need:
A large cardboard box with two large sides that can be cut into a shape. 
a box cutter
a pencil or marker to draw the shape
10-20 empty cardboard toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. 
a roll or two (depends on size of your shape) of duct tape.  You can find almost any color or design in craft stores. Look for coupons before you go.  I ended up finding a ton (24 rolls!) of colored and printed duct tape at CVS for 90% off at the end of summer, so I stocked up.  Michaels or AC Moore will have 30-40% coupons you can use. 
School glue

First I took a big cardboard box and drew a big 2. 
 I cut it out with the box cutter
 and then used the opposite side of the box and traced my 2 onto that side and cut that out also. 
 The two sides don't need to be completely the same, but they need to be as close as possible. 
 Lay the first side down, facing the exact way as your letter or number would read.  Cut the toilet paper rolls in half with the scissors and put glue down on your project.  Now line up the rolls side by side so most of the project is covered in toilet paper rolls.  (Cut the paper towel rolls the same size as the half toilet paper rolls.  One paper towel roll usually makes 3 rolls the same size as when you cut a toilet paper roll in half, with a little leftover for the recycle heap. You need them to be the same size for the number to fit together correctly.)

Make sure most of the number/letter/object is covered with cardboard rolls.
 Now cover the bottom side of your other half with glue place your opposite side on top of the cardboard rolls.  Make sure the two pieces are facing the same way.  Now let dry for atleast 6 hours.  I like to leave mine over night. 
After the glue is completely dry, start wrapping your project in duct tape.  I used plain pink, but you can use any color or print for whatever party theme you are doing.  Any color or design will work, depending on your design. If you want to do "HOHOHO" for Christmas, obviously a cute red, green, white, gold or silver will work, or you can use the Christmas stripes or designs.  A Thanksgiving turkey would be cute in brown and orange.  My son loves Superheros, and I've seen the Avengers on duct tape, so that would be perfect for him.   

 I ended up using about a roll and a half on here.  I overlap a lot, making the number strong so it can stand up and it wont necessarily dent or get ruined if it falls or gets dropped.  It is trickier using printed duct tape, you have to line it up perfectly as you see in the 'stache 1 above.  The plain colored tape doesnt have to be placed as strategically. 
My baby's 2nd birthday is in April, and she's a little obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba right now, so I made a pink 2 and can add Gabba stickers to it later on, or change it to whatever theme we decide then, or use Washi tape to make stripes or chevron. You can use your imagination and turn this into something super fancy or a basic one colored project. Now we have a large 2 that will be the centerpiece of her birthday table.  And I paid just over $1 to make it.  (and I can save it for other parties, too...... just cover over this tape and the #1 tape for when my kiddos turn 12!)

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