Thursday, March 15, 2012

Luck of the Irish (Babies)...Hadley's 1st Birthday Garland DIY

One of my best friends Hadley turns one on Saturday.  It may seem a strange obsession, but there are few celebrations I love more than a first birthday party.  While it's great fun for the kids, the real celebration is the parents' survival through their first year of parenthood.  In only a year, you and your baby (or babies) meet, instantaneously fall in love, move in together, cry together, laugh together and sometimes sit on the toilet together (just because your baby is crying doesn't mean you still don't need to pee), and at the end of it all, when you help your baby blow out that "1" candle, you feel like you may just have a handle on this thing.  At least until high school. 

Since my favorite Irish baby happened to be born on St. Patrick's Day, our plans for the holiday include nothing but Hadley's party, where we will sit around  and smile at that gorgeous almost-not-bald-and-toothless-anymore wonder we all love.  I wouldn't have it any other way, except for maybe throwing in a non-alcoholic beer and some corned beef and cabbage. 

I made Hadley a birthday onesie (which I'll share in another post) as well as this simple garland to first hang at her party and then in her new room.  I hope she likes it.  Avoiding the temptation to go too close to St. Patrick's Day I wanted to make something cheery and bright but not covered in shamrocks covered in glitter.  I saved that for her onesie.  So this is one of those "sort-of-themed-if-you-squint" projects, the O'Douls version of a St. Patty's day garland.  There are rainbow-ish stripes, gold cirles (or coins if you will), green starbursts and hearts for good measure. 

What You'll Need:
- assorted punches (like this, this + this), or you can cut them by hand
- scissors
- paper (I used plain construction paper + a "secret ingredient" - washi tape! More on that below.)
- needle + thread (or you can use a sewing machine, just backstitch into each shape as you go)
- letter templates if you're doing words (I just printed them out on my computer)
- a pencil


Using my paper punches...
I punched shapes out of my construction paper.  I knew I wanted a little shimmer, so I also folded my gold washi tape over on itself and punched holes out of it.  You could do this with patterned or neon washi...whatever doesn't come in a pack of construction paper.

Here are my assorted shapes for the garland.  Using scissors, I also cut strips of paper in four colors.  Pretty easy stuff so far.

I also traced my "HADLEY" letters onto my paper just using a little pressure with a pencil.  Then I just cut out along the imprinted outline.

Once all my letters were cut out, I began threading my shapes onto my white thread, making a little loop at the start of each shape to encourage them to stay put and not slide down the thread.

I made four separate strands of shapes garland, figuring it would be easier to tie them together in pieces later rather than wrestle with a giant, 6 foot long garland snake.  Then I moved onto the letters.  To keep them from spinning too much, I sewed through a few different points on each letter.
Then I just tied them all together, taped them to the wall and admired my finished product. 

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