Hello color-loving friends!
Today I’m helping kick off the summer series over at Delia Creates and Kojo Designs.
We’re going to COLOR my SUMMER (and yours!) because summer feels a rainbow of never-ending fun. Swimming pools are open, flowers are in bloom, berries need picking, vacations are planned, the sun stays up late, and we celebrate our nation’s birthday with fireworks and friends.
So to color my summer, I’m sharing a rainbow-inspired party decoration that’s easy to make and fun to stream around the house:
Standard streamers feel like the oldest party decor in the book. But Ruffled streamers?…in multiple colors?….that can be used over and over? (if you’re careful when you take them down). Fun, right?!
I first spotted the idea two years ago on My Paper Crane and the colorful image was burned into my brain. So I finally sat down and made my own. And guess what, they’re easier to make than you’d imagine! (and they go perfect with napkin Wallflowers)
I’ve even got a tricky shortcut to help you go from standard crepe paper streamers:
to colorful ruffled ones! (no strings to pull!)
And then you’ll be ready for any party that comes your way.
Cinco de Mayo plans this week?? You’ve got the decor!
And hopefully the Lime Chicken Fajitas to go along.
Okay, let’s get started.
You need standard crepe paper streamers in a variety of colors. I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby for about $1.
Using two or three colors (or more), overlap them so they come together in the middle.
Then we’re ready to gather and ruffle the streamers.
Now, standard gathering is done by sewing one or two lines on to your fabric and then pulling the strings to gather up the fabric. You use your hands to push and shift the fabric down the thread till it’s gathered to your liking. It’s a good method. I use it often. But when you’re talking about yards and yards of gathering? UGH. NO THANKS.
First, set your machine to the longest stitch possible. Mine is a “5″.
Next, change your tension from normal tension to the strongest tension possible. Mine is a “10″.
Do a quick forward and back stitch and then sew right down the middle of your streamers (so that both layers are sewn together). As you go, watch the streamers ruffle up before your very eyes!
Now, this is not an exact ruffling science, obviously. Depending on the weight of your fabric and streamers, the machine may or may not ruffle up as much as you’d like. So here’s the other cheating tip….
Use your right hand to slightly hold the thread as you sew. This increases the tension even more and you’ll really see the streamers ruffle up.
I held the thread the entire time for my streamers–just slightly–and it was perfect.
One more tip that might save your sanity too…..
As you continue to sew and pull streamers from the roll, do not pull them up in a spiral or the streamers will constantly be twisted. Instead, pull them up straight or pull a bunch of streamers off the roll at once and let it sit in a pile on your table (or the ground). I know it’s silly to point out. But I was going insane when I first started pulling up in a spiral!
Another method is to use something to hold the streamers as you go (as seen on the Patriotic Streamers post). I used a small wooden dowel (you can also use a pencil or something similar) to hold the streamers at my knees. Then I easily pulled them out sections at a time.
And sewed them up!
When you’re done, you’ll have a lovely ruffled garland:
For 3 colors, overlap two colors as we did above and then overlay one additional color in the middle (so they’re all overlapped in the middle). Then sew down the middle!
It might feel awkward at first, trying to keep it all somewhat straight. But don’t stress. It doesn’t need to be perfect. These are streamers! Any messy spots will be hidden in the cute ruffles anyway.
In an hour, you can sew up rolls of colorful beauty.
Then you’re ready to decorate.
If your little helper is like mine, she’ll be more than eager to do her part–delicately laying streamers here and tucking them over there. She was in heaven.
Owen, however, was content sitting at the table chanting “Cinco De Mayo!” over and over again. It was the funniest thing he’d heard all day.
As you’re decorating, you may need to cut your streamers. No problem. But you need to place a piece of tape on each cut edge or the thread will start to unravel.
When you’re done with the party, roll them on up in a large roll, just as they were when you bought them and place a piece of tape on the end to keep it all together.
If you’re looking for a unique birthday idea, why not send a bunch of ruffled streamers to a friend so their birthday decor is extra special?
I actually packaged up all these streamers and sent them to my sister in California so she can secretly use them to decorate my mom’s house, since today is my her 61st birthday! Decor surprises are my favorite kind.
Thank you Delia for asking me to Color my Summer! Can’t wait to see what the other guests share throughout the month. Make sure you pop over to Kojo Designs too to see how they’re coloring things up.