Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Showered With Love (and two easy peasy paper pinwheel tutorials)

My girlfriends that helped so much to make the bridal shower and wedding a success.  Ignore the bad haircut... I, not so smartly, decided to get my hair cut and colored by someone new right before my sister-in-law's wedding and what you're seeing in this picture is the aftermath.  At least it was growing...
Like I've mentioned before, we have amazing friends that helped us IMMENSELY with our wedding as did our family members.  Another amazing thing they did was plan a bridal shower at my parent's church and a bachelorette party the weekend before the wedding.

First of all, I have some amazingly talented people that I hold close to my heart.  They came up with games to entertain people of all ages, helped decorate to make everything absolutely gorgeous, pulled together food and snacks, and showered us with a lot a lot of love.

Because we didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on the bridal shower, we used a lot of items that we could re-use for the wedding.  As you look through pictures, a lot of the wedding decorations were vintage thrift finds, Etsy scores, and DIY projects.

To cover the tables, I bought light blue plastic table cloths from Oriental Trading Company for about $1 a piece, then threw down lengths of burlap to act as a runner (purchased from Michael's) and used vintage handkerchiefs found at various thrift stores around town and on E-bay to add some color to the tables.  Patrick and I spent a lot of time wandering around thrift stores in the Iowa City area collecting items that we would be able to use for the wedding.  We found a TON of inexpensive glass and milk glass vases to use as our centerpieces for both the wedding and the bridal shower.  Here's where I'll tell you something that definitely surprised me - sometimes buying your own items is cheaper than renting them.  I was a little stunned to learn that it was cheaper for me to buy mason jars and own them than it was to rent them through our venue.  What?!  It certainly seems a little backward, but the best part is you can either make money off of selling them after your wedding, pass items along to your guests, or another person that might want to use the items at their wedding.  So a word to the wise - definitely check out how cheaply you can find items elsewhere.  In our case, it was cheaper to buy nearly everything, and we definitely lucked out that we were working toward a more vintage-y vibe to begin with.  If you're looking for thrift stores in the Iowa City area, we had luck at Goodwill, Artifacts, Stuff Etc, Houseworks, Crowded Closet, and Decorum. 

Table cloths, paper plates, and napkins from oriental trading company for cheap, cheap, cheap!  Also, a few of our thrifted cake stands and borrowed platters.

A few days before the bridal shower, my mom and I started working on some paper centerpiece ideas.  Again, if you haven't noticed, I'm all about strangely whimsical pieces, so we made a ton of paper pinwheels and flowers and tied everything together with paper flowers and vintage buttons my mom and I had hanging around.  I also made a few banners using hearts from a paper pack I bought at Michael's, a white Sharpie paint pen, a single hole punch and some twine.  Pretty simple, right?  Since I've used the same idea with any paper I choose by making a cardboard heart template first - to date I've used the template to make birthday banners, graduation banners, and a going-away banner.  It's a super quick and easy way to make a party a little more festive.

A glimpse at one of the pinwheel centerpieces my mom and I made using paper from Hobby Lobby, paper flowers, and a few buttons.  (A simple tutorial for how to make a traditional pinwheel is located at the bottom of the page.)

A different approach to the paper pinwheel.  (Tutorial posted at the bottom of the page.)

Like I mentioned before, I have a lot of talented friends, like Kelley, who made these scrumptious scones and cupcakes.  We were certainly well-fed that day!

Cupcakes made by Kelley
Amazing, savory brunch scones made by Kelley

So, if you're looking to make your own paper pinwheels for a bridal shower, wedding, or just for the heck of it, the steps are actually fairly simple.  First, let's start with the traditional pinwheel.


Decorative scrapbook paper (I found mine at Hobby Lobby) 
A wooden dowel rod, straw, pencil or object to hold your finished pinwheel 
Paper flowers (found in the scrapbook section at Michael's) 
Scissors or a paper cutter 
A ruler 
A pencil 
A high temp. hot glue gun 
Hot glue sticks 

1. Start with a square piece of paper.  I used an 8 x 8 piece, but any size will work - just remember that the smaller your paper, the harder the project will be to work with.  You will see both sides of whatever paper you use.  Since the back of my paper was white, I chose to use adhesive scrapbook tape to tape two pieces together. 

2. Using a straight edge and a pencil, faintly draw a line using pencil that connects two corners of the paper. Repeat on the other side.  You should end up with a "x" across your paper. 

3. Using a ruler, measure in approximately 1 inch from the center "x" on the paper.  Repeat on each line.  When you are done your project should look about like this. 

4. Using scissors, cut along each of the lines from the corner to the 1 inch mark.  Repeat on all four sides.  Once you are done cutting, you will see four "flaps."  

5. Put a small dot of glue in the center of your paper (where the x makes a cross.) Fold the left side of one of the flaps to the center.  Hold the end of the flap on the glue with the tip of the hot glue gun for approximately 30 seconds or until the glue sticks.  Repeat on each "flap," folding down just the left side. DO NOT fold down the right side.  I don't worry about being too neat with the hot glue because I always decorate my pinwheels with flowers and buttons, which typically cover up any unwanted goobers.  

6.  Attach any buttons, paper flowers or other decorations to the center of your pinwheel.  I find that these decorations dress up the project a bit more and also help hold everything together. 

7. Because I wasn't worried about whether or not my pinwheel would spin, I hot glued the finished product to a wooden dowel rod.  I did, however, recreate this project with a group of second graders using construction paper, straight pins, and cardboard straws.  After completing the pinwheel, we used carefully poked the pin through the pinwheel and both sides of the straw.  We then bent the end of the pin parallel to the straw.  I hot glued the pin to the straw so the kiddos would not poke themselves.  Make sure you leave a little space between the pinwheel and the straw and you should be able to make your pinwheel spin.

Enjoy your finished pinwheels!



Decorative scrapbook paper (I found mine at Hobby Lobby) 
Paper flowers (found in the scrapbook section at Michael's) 
A ruler and pencil OR a paper scoring board
A high temp. hot glue gun 
Hot glue sticks

1. Create a square with decorative scrapbook paper.  I used one that was 5 1/2" square.  Using a paper scoring board (or a ruler and pencil) score the paper in an equal pattern.  I chose to score the paper every 1/2", but depending on the size of your paper, you may choose to score the paper every inch or even two inches.  If you are using a ruler and a pencil, make a mark with the pencil in the same pattern. 

2. Following either the score lines or the marks you made with your pencil, fold the paper back in forth in an alternating pattern (just like folding a fan.)  Your paper should look like this:

3. Once your paper is completely folded, fold both ends together. 

4. Using your hot glue gun, glue the sides together to create a "fan" shape. 

5. Repeat steps 1-4 to create another "fan."  Depending on how squished or stretched you want your final rosette to be, you may need to create more than 2 fans.  For this project I used only two. 

6. Using your hot glue gun, glue the sides of the fans together to create one rosette.  You will need to hold the paper for a few seconds to make sure everything sticks.  

7. Decorate your fan using paper flowers or buttons. 

Happy crafting! 

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