DIY Paper Projects Perfect for Your Next Partycomments (54) May 15th, 2016
Pretty Up a Party with Paper
As a boy, I remember seeing a television show about Paris that featured, for a fleeting moment or two, a street artist doing hand-cut silhouette portraits of Parisian ladies in the gardens of the Tuileries. Using only a penny's worth of paper and small scissors, he created a beautiful picture in a matter of minutes (which he then sold for a few francs-not a bad mark up at the time). I immediately set to work trying to mimic his artistry only to discover that there was considerable skill involved in capturing a likeness of another person using only a cuticle scissor held tightly in my 10-year-old hand.
Nevertheless, once I started I never gave up cutting silhouettes. In the Midwest (where I grew up), Parisian ladies were difficult to come by, so I turned to my surroundings for inspiration. I thank all of my friends and relatives who, over the years, graciously accepted countless cut outs of cows, chickens, and flowers from me. While my skills may have improved (somewhat) since then, I still frequently return to nature as my subject.
As you'll see, I try to get my work out of the frames and off of the walls as often as possible. Take a look, and let me know what you think.
Tarting Up a Cake: Make a paper flower cake wrapper
To celebrate a friend's birthday, I recently baked her a cake and decorated it a ribbon of white paper wild flowers.
The party was a hit ,and the cake got photographed more than the guest of honor. The comment most often heard was, "How could you put so much work into something that's just going to get frosting on it and be ruined?" My answer was that only the back side got frosting on it (and even then, nothing that couldn't be wiped off) and the effect-the smiles from all who saw it-was worth an hour of my time.
Nothing's as Lovely as Fresh Cut Flowers
To carry the flower theme throughout the party, I also cut a slightly larger stand of flowers, which I then highlighted with watercolors. Be sure to notice that the flowers and stems abut, criss-cross, and overlap at regular intervals which lends strength to the piece and keeps the petals from flopping over, or "wilting on their stems." Keeping elements of your design connected to one another in this way also allows you to cut more slender and delicate looking stems.
Once your piece is painted and dry, add accordion-folds along the bottom edge to give it a zigzag base and help it stand upright. For my party, I used this piece as a beautiful decoration near the coffee service out on my porch.