Friday, February 18, 2011

Party Decorations for a Grown Up

I'm old enough, now, that I don't really like to advertise my age, but I love to celebrate my birthday!  I have always had big parties for my birthday, and although my husband is happy to have a picnic every year for his birthday I like to celebrate mine with friends.  So as I have done in years past I am throwing my own party.

When I was twenty I made the mistake of decorating my house with paper streamers (not cool in Goa) and got some very strange looks form the party-goers, so this year (many years later :P) I decided to try some party decorations that made the house feel a little more festive, but did not scream "Little Girl".  (I really wanted a banner but decided that was too "young" as well, guess I have to wait for my future children's birthday parties.)

Of course I went to Martha for a little help.  I decided to make her Paper Pom-Poms.  They look great hanging over a table, but I have my chandelier so I decided to spread them around the house.
 I think they turned out pretty well.  When I have the house lit for the party with the lights turned down and candles burning I think that will look even better (I will be sure to get some pictures before the guests arrive).

How To:
The Martha instructions are here, but you may want to scrole down for some tips I have learned.
Tissue paper
White floral wire

Step 1:  Layer eight sheets of tissue paper (I found eight to be the magic number)
Try to keep the layers as even as you can, this makes it easier to do the next step.  I found that I didn't even unlayer the original layers, just counted eight at the corner and took the whole stack.

Step 2:
Fold 1 inch creases in an accordion fashion (like how you used to make fans as a kid)

Step 3:Twist a wire around the center making sure it is tight (this keeps the layers folded).  I made my wire pretty long so it would at least stick up past the fully puffed pom-pom (But you can see the wire, so you may want to make it a hair shorter and add fishing wire for the hanging part.)

Step 5:
Cut the ends to either a pointy or curved edge (I played with both and like the contrast).
Step 6:Martha simply says "Seperate layers, pulling from center one at a time" and this is ok, but I have some tips.
Separate each layer using your fingers to get the layers to spread at the center of the pom-pom.  Be careful not to separate them too well, otherwise the pom-pom looks a little sparse, you want the to be pretty dense in the center, it looks better (It took me to the fourth large pom-pom to figure this out).

Step 7:
(I'm adding a step here) Hold up your pom-pom and try to fill in any empty spots and generally make it look better.  If you have a willing friend (thanks Jeff) they can hold it for you so you can use both hands to "fluff".  (Jeff must have felt pretty silly last night when he was holding up my pom-pom as I fluffed it, what a good husband!)

Step 8:
Hang up.
Here are my pom-poms on the chair, not quite as exciting. (It reminds me of my petty coat from my wedding)
Close up of pom-poms on chair.  Very puffy!

These would be great at a baby shower.  I also have this vision of these pom-poms in all different sizes and pastel colors hanging from a tree with a table underneath.  That would be quite pretty.
This is my sideboard ready for the party tomorrow.

What do you think?  Are they worth the trouble (they are a bit "fiddly" as my mom would say)?

Overall I think they gave me what I wanted, decorations for an adult party (no streamers in sight, and sadly, no banner).
Keeping It Simple


  1. I want to hang these everywhere. OMG. So great.

  2. They are so pretty! I think you could get away with a banner if it was the right one. BTW this is my first time commenting, I LOVE your name!

  3. We're totally using pompoms for our Dallas baby shower - so pretty and easy! :-)


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