Packing a punch with paper | Week 43 | #52wonderfilledweeks

It's Monday night, so I am twenty four hours behind on this week's blog, but I'm going to give myself a pass since I hosted TWO pretty awesome parties yesterday.  More on those in NEXT week's blog but I wanted to share an old decorating standby that I used to dress up our living space for our Dia de los Muertos celebration.  As you may be aware, using marigolds and marigold petals on the ofrenda and when decorating your alter, are suppose to help guide our ancestors back to us.  I've used tissue paper flowers for several events I've hosted and while I love the ease (and the price) struggle with the fine line of them looking "cheap".  Regardless I knew I needed to drench our home in the bright orange color and using real marigolds was well out of our budget.  So I went revisited the old stand by and couldn't be happier!

I ordered this pack of tissue paper on Amazon and ended up only using about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the package.  I probably got just over 100+ flowers from the tissue paper I did use.

I laid out the paper with the long side at the bottom and cut the paper into 4" wide strips.  You can get 5 moving across the paper. 

Then I cut the short side in half, or 7.5".

What you have after cutting is 10 strips at  4" x 7.5". I stacked up to about 6 layers each time I cut so I got thru it fairly quick.

Next I stacked four sheets together and accordian folded them, just as if you were making a paper fan.  I tried to keep the folds around 3/4 of an inch...but this isn't an exact craft so experiment and truly it doesn't matter much if some are bigger or smaller.

Hold your folds together and staple the middle.

I used pinking shears to give the flowers a more realistic look.  If you have some cool scissor sets with different cuts it would be fun to experiment with them all and see how that effects the final look of the flowers.

I forgot to take pictures of the next step but you basically carefully pull the layers apart.  I found it helpful to work my way around the flower rather than opening up one side of the staple and then the other.  I wanted to add leaves to my flowers but I couldn't find anything that looked like a marigold leaf/stem so I grabbed a photo from Google, a quick trace and point editing and I had a easy file I could cut on my Cameo.  Then I decided to string the flowers together into long, bushy garland.  I used clear filament thread and a regular sewing needle.

I simply ran the needle thru the back of the flower and thru the leaves over and over! HA! I turned the flowers back to back to fill the garland and only added the leafs every 3-5 flowers.

The result is a real punch of color.  I (as were many of our guest) was impressed with how "real" they look and when you think it was for under $20 (actually less since I had the thread and green paper for the leaves on hand).  Super even wants to save these to use in the years to come.

I got these great web table runners at Target about a month ago, they were $3 each and I bought 3.  I cut one up and used those in the corners of our doorways with a few flowers sewn on.  (Sorry no great pictures of those!)

My sister, who was killed in a car accident Halloween many years ago was the inspiration for this celebration.  We loved Halloween growing up but her accident made it hard to celebrate.  P was born on the 14th anniversary of my sister's accident and it just seemed natural to celebrate our deceased loved ones in this way.

Our ofrenda. We invited friends to bring photos of their loved ones to add to our alter.  It was great seeing people's photos and hearing stories of their family and friends.  Electric tea lights were the final touch on all our Dia de los Muertos decorations (wait until you see pictures of the downstairs Land of the Dead!)


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