Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Disnerd Birthday Adventure, part 1: Decorations

My birthday party was AWESOME! I'm still kind of on a high from all the fun I had that night. Actually, I can't really think of anything that would have made the party better, other than having my family and other close friends there. In fact there is so much epic-ness to cover that I need to break this up into a few posts.

First we will begin with my favorite element of the party: decorations! (This is a long post but it's mostly pictures.)

Those of you who know me or who have been following my blog have probably figured out that I'm a bit of a craft nerd. So I held nothing back at the challenge of creating a Disnerd-ified space on a budget.

Here's what I came up with!
Everyone at the party kept asking me, "How did you come up with all of this?" Well, part of it was my own creative genius, obviously. But the other part was lots of time on Google. The Internet is pretty handy, I must say. ;)

I started with the idea that I was going to use Disney children's books purchased at Goodwill as my materials. I bought these 14 books for a steal, $25! (Sorry to Goodwill shoppers, there are no longer any Disney books in stock.) From these books I made garland, ornaments and coasters.
Materials needed: 2-inch hole punch, string, scotch tape

Basically I punched holes out of the paper and taped them along the string. It was pretty simple though admittedly took a very long time. In the end I think I must have made, oh I dunno, maybe 250 feet of garland? That's a rough guess. Before I put them up I laid it all out across my living room. But this is actually only a portion of it here.
I had planned on just making garland when I bought the books, but I realized I had so much paper than I should probably do some other stuff with it as well. After some Googling and browsing on Etsy, I found these two ornaments that were pretty easy to make.

Pinwheels (from here) 
Materials needed: paper trimmer, stapler, hole punch, string

I used two pages each cut in half lengthwise after trimming the ripped edges. I folded each of the 4 halves into twelfths, accordion style. This was the most time consuming, but I fell into a rhythm by first folding in half, then fourths, to make my folds even. Then I stapled one end together to make a fan.

After all four halves were folded, I stapled the non-stapled ends together to form a circle.

Then I punched a hole through it, tied a piece of string on, and voila!

Lantern balls (from here)
Materials needed: paper trimmer, hole-poker & self healing mat, brads, string
These were a little easier, though it took me a while to figure out that I needed to start with a square shaped piece of paper instead of a rectangle.

I sliced the square into 8 even strips.

Then I pierced two holes through all strips lined up together, about an inch or so away from each end. I fastened the strips together by putting a brad through each hole.

Then I spread out the strips and formed them evenly into a ball shape.
Then I tied string around the top brad, and voila!

I had a few board books (for babies) as well as all the hard book covers leftover. So I cut them into 3.5-inch squares and made coasters out of them! Since they have glossy surfaces I didn't need to laminate them. I did add cork board ($3 for a sheet) to the bottom of a few thinner pieces. These coasters were used at the party but I also gave them away as favors for guests. I still have a bunch left if anyone wants some!

A few extra things
I also printed out a small poster of my logo and made people sign it at the party, so I could record who came. And I put up the Tangled birthday banner that I got last year at my work birthday celebration.
The bottom line
Total cost for decorations: approximately $36. Not bad, I say! 

Total hours spent: unknown. :) I did this over the course of about 2 weeks. So yes, it took a long time. But seeing the impressed reaction of all my friends made it totally worth it!
Next up: food!


  1. your decorations look great and were definitely super clever! wish i could've made it but we didn't get back to madison until late that night. glad to hear that the party was epic!!

  2. soooo crafty. loved it! :)