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Why (and How) You Should DIY Backdrops for Party Decor

 

DIY backdrop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

Anyone knows that throwing a party gets expensive quick, Right?! I am sure I am preaching to the choir here. The decorations, the food, invitations, favor bags, and the list just goes on. I love to throw parties, but I also like to be cost effective when I do it, but I sure will not let style or the finished product suffer. This is why I am sharing my entire DIY Unicorn Theme Party Series. Many of these tips and tutorials can be applied to any party theme too! Sweet! Double bonus!

OK, so today, we are going to chat about backdrops. If you haven’t noticed, the new ‘it’ thing at parties are fancy dessert tables and photo booth stations. Both of these look amazing and honestly, really deserve a beautiful backdrop to set the scene perfectly and pull your party together.

It is important to think about the theme of the party and the mood that you want to convey. A few thoughts to keep in mind as you design your background:

  • What is my color scheme?
  • What scene is this backdrop setting?
  • How big is the area that you are covering with your scene setter?
  • How will I display the backdrop?

Once you have answered these questions it is time to set out on creating the scene setter. For my party, I had a few criteria that I just would not compromise on after I thought about the above questions.

  • I wanted my scene setter to be once continuous piece. This meant using fabric was not an option as I was covering an area that was 6ft x 8ft and would result in having to seam the fabric.
  • I wanted my scene to represent a nice inviting soft sky. I looked at options of tasseled party backdrops, but that wasn’t going to convey the image I desired for my dessert table. Although, I did decide to use them for the smash cake session (DIY Tutorial on that Coming Soon!)

Well, that really limited my options. So as Winnie the Pooh would say ” I sat down and I THUNK, THUNK, THUNK!” And then it came to me…well actually it came to me on one of the many wonderful family trips where my daughter and I are gleefully drug through Home Depot for what seems like no apparent reason for an eternity (did you sense a little sarcasm there?!) Yes, the mister loves to go to Home Depot.

Anyways, I totally digressed, as I was ‘joyfully’ walking around the store I found myself in the paint section staring at canvas tarps. Did you know that canvas tarps come in HUGE sizes? And are relatively inexpensive for the amount of fabric you get? And are essentially a blank canvas? Oh yeah, and are designed for paint? Yes, it was an epiphany. The angels sang, and I grabbed up a 6ft x 9ft tarp for 15.00 dollars and a can of sky blue spray paint for 3.99.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

I was able to make my backdrop for under 20 bucks and it was going to be EXACTLY what I wanted. SCORE!

I was so excited, as soon as we got home, I set to work. Let me share how you would go about making a backdrop.

Easy Steps to DIY a Background or Scene Setter

The first step, which I skipped (and highly recommend NOT skipping) is to throw your new tarp in the dryer to get all the fold wrinkles out. If you are not doing a basic solid color backdrop then this is even more important!

Next, set up a painting area. Dry, dust free, well ventilated, and something on the floor under your tarp to catch the over spray.  It doesn’t have to be pretty. As you can see in my photo below, I have some ugly black foam that has paint on it. Talk about silliness, that is usually what the tarp is for 🙂

Spread the tarp out so that it lies flat. No matter what you are putting on your backdrop, you want to start with the overall prominent background color(s). For me, it was super simple, as I was just using sky blue.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

 

Start at the top of the canvas and spray small areas about 2ft x 3ft. I worked across the top in this size section and once I completed a row I moved down to work on the next row.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

I did not want even coverage because I was going for a soft whimsical sky for unicorns to flutter through. If you want full solid coverage you will need to do a few additional passes over each area.

Once the entire tarp is covered, allow it to dry for at least 2 hours. This was my stopping point because I was going to use it just like this, with some white puffy 3-D clouds hanging in front of it.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

If you want a more elaborate scene setter this is the time where you can go in with additional spray paint and add details or use acrylic paint and brushes. An example would be to spray the entire tarp, with 2/3 blue and 1/3 green (for step 1). Then go back and paint little flowers and cute woodland creatures in the green area and a sun and some fluttering butterflies and a few clouds in the blue area. This would be perfect for a spring photo booth backdrop or an Easter brunch table background. Really, the possibilities are endless… let your artistic skills and imagination lead the way!

Make sure once you have completed your design you allow the tarp to dry for at least 24 hours prior to mounting it. I mounted mine using rainbow glitter Duck Tape. I had planned to use it from the beginning. It does two things. It acts as a frame, helping to pull my whole dessert table area together, and it also holds my backdrop in place securely to the wall.

The key word is securely. You need to make sure you attach or hang your backdrop so it won’t fall down. The last thing you want to happen is for it to fall on your desserts and crush them. That would be sad after all your hard work. I am delighted with how mine turned out!

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

OK, so remember, making a backdrop is easy and not expensive. You need a tarp, some spray paint, acrylic paint (optional), and your creativity! The sky is the limit!

Now, its your turn. In the comments show me your DIY scene setters, backdrops, and photo booth stations. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates.

 

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How to Easily Create Awesome (and Cheap) Dessert Platters and Cake Stands

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial

Have you  gone shopping for a cake stand or dessert platter recently? Well, I did since lil miss was turning one…and I HAD TO HAVE A PARTY 🙂 because that is just how I roll. I scoped out Target, Walmart, and Amazon. You know what…not one had a dessert platter or cake stand for less than $15.00…and you can bet it sure did not match my décor scheme. Oh and with that price, I couldn’t buy multiples either, which I would surely need for my dessert table plans I had in mind 🙂 That means I had some seriously big dessert plans!

This is where I took matters into my own hands. I came up with a way to make 5, yes 5, platters for a little more than 3 dollars each. And this was with buying cans of spray paint, which will last for many more projects to come. If I already had the paint at home, or if I actually calculated the price to make the platters based on the amount of paint I used from the can, the price to make each platter would be even lower! Oh yeah, and even better, these platters matched my décor and color scheme perfect..

Where to Buy the Most Economically Priced Materials to Build Dessert Platters and Cake Stands

The first thing you will need to do to whip these little guys up, is take a trip to the dollar store. I purchased candle holders, and platters. Another good place to find large, good quality platters is Michael’s or A.C.Moore, especially after holidays. I scored some platters from their Christmas clearance. They were a buck each, and really ugly, but I didn’t care because I knew I was going to paint them anyways!

I then took my endeavors over to Walmart. It is the cheapest place I have found to purchase spray paint. You can customize these platters in a variety of ways, just by the paint you choose.I got the colors I wanted, which happened to be bright spring colors. Rustoleum has some awesome finishes, like metallic if you are after a faux metal look, or the looking glass finish, which provides a mirrored surface! Both super cool. See, the possibilities for your platters really are endless!

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial supplies

 

Step-by-step Guide to Creating Designer Cake and Dessert Platters in Less Than 15 Minutes

Now that we have our supplies, the most important step is to prepare the items for painting. I used rubbing alcohol and wiped down each platter and candle holder. They need to be very clean so the paint will adhere and there are no little texture bumps. Items from the dollar store can be dusty some times, so this step really is critical to obtaining a beautiful finished product.

Next, I go down into the scary cave below my house, OK, actually its our basement! I have set up a board as my painting station. It is not anything glamorous, as you will see in the pictures, but it does the job. Not to mention, it is going to get covered in paint. 🙂 Make sure your work area is clean and free of any dust particles, dirt etc. Also make sure you lay a painters tarp on the floor under your work surface. Let’s just say, I may have forgotten to do this in the past one or two times, and the mister was not very happy about my over spray….

Place the items to be painted on your work surface. I started by spraying the candle stick. Apply an even coat of paint. More the spray can in a wisping motion. You do not want to make thick layers of paint. That gives the potential for drips. It is much better to do multiple thin coats. I walk around the candle holder as I paint it to make sure I have painted all the crevices. You only need to paint the exterior of the holder.

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Once the first coat of paint on the candle holder is complete, spray the platter, either the same color or an accent color. Whatever is your preference. Again, use the same wisping motion for the paint application Thick coats of paint are not your friend! I am talking from experience here people!

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial painting

Now, go back and do another coat on the candle holder. Repeat, going back and forth between the two pieces until a total of three light coats of paint have been applied. Do a final once over and make sure the items have even coverage. If there are any thin spots add a little more paint.

Let the items dry, at least over night. You could go back and paint the bottom side of the platter now if you want. No one was going to see my bottom side, so I did not bother to do that.

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial drying

Once everything is dry, put hot glue on the top of the candle holder and place the painted platter on top of the candle holder. Make sure the platter is centered. Firmly press the platter onto the candle holder and continue to hold for about two minutes.

Set your platter aside and let the glue cool completely. I recommend not to use your  platter for at least another hour, however, it is now fully assembled and ready for use.

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial painting

 

Display and Usage Tips for Your New Cake Stands and Dessert Platters

I have a few platter tips that I want to share with you since you are making these bad boys to help up your platter game even more!

    -Use a doily to dress up the platter and make it look a little more fancy

    – A doily is also great if you have concerns about the food directly touching the painted surface ( I recommend serving

      things that are already in wrappers on these platters, such as cupcakes, mini pastries, cakes, etc)

    -To create the illusion of various height platters, place Styrofoam blocks under some of the platters. I was able to do this

     and hide the Styrofoam in my decor so no one even noticed I had given them a little lift.

    -For a different look, glue 2 completed platters together to obtain a multi-tier platter. These look great with mini cupcakes!

And there you have it. An easy 15 minute project that is easy on the wallet and creates designer looking cake stands and serving platters! The best part about this tutorial is I love how customizable these platters are, making them so versatile for all types of decor.

Oh, P.S. If you need to make those unicorn and cloud cookies (and don’t we all :)), the tutorial is here! And, the unicorn cupcake tutorial will be coming shortly, so stay tuned!

 

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Baby’s First Bumpkin Holiday Art

baby bum pumpkin art

Happy fall ya’ll!   I felt the need to make some seasonal art and I always love to incorporate tiny humans! Then it came to me, I will make a bumpkin!  What is a bumpkin, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!  A bumpkin is a pumpkin crafted by using the tiny bum of an adorable little human.

To make a fall bumpkin painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human bum
  • orange paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to that bumpkin (I used copics)
  • foam sponge brush (or your fingers)
Supplies needed to make Mistletoe baby art print.

I suggest executing this project in a place that is easy to clean.  since it tends to get little messy. Nakedness and orange paint on their bum, boy do they squirm! 🙂  I suggest you wear old clothes too! The mess factor is really up there with this project.

I do my baby art projects in the kitchen on the floor. Take the foam brush and apply orange paint to your tiny person. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush (or smear it with your fingers; lets be honest that is the easiest way). Gently dab the paint onto the cheeks of your little one. You want to stay to the exterior of the bum (don’t get too close to wear the cheeks meet). Once you have adequately applied paint to those little cheeks go ahead and sit your little one on the piece of paper. Lift the baby straight up off of the paper to get a nice bum print! Basically, you are using baby’s bum as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload.Yes, you have a bum print! Now make more! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! And also in the fact that when your tiny human is 16 you are going to have some awesome embarrassment potential with this little art piece.

Next, bath time is in order for that little person! Make sure you pay extra special attention to cleaning off that little bumpkin of yours!  While that fun tubby time is going on your bumpkin print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it.  I got a little crazy and added some crazy curling vines from the stem and a shadow, too! I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first bumpkin I  titled it with not only her name, but also that it is in fact her first bumpkin. You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s bumpkin below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own!

Now, you have a precious little bumpkin keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make a bumpkin I would love to see how it turns out! This is my all time favorite baby painting craft I have done so far. Baby bums are uber cute!

 

Happy Painting!

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Mistletoe and Holly: Baby Holiday Art

DIY baby christmas footprint art tutorial

Happy December! My favorite season is upon us, and what better time than to make a little holiday art using your tiny human. I want to commemorate my little darling and all her adorableness…so why not make some mistletoes?! What, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!

Making baby art is super easy and super fun. I used my tiny human’s sweet little feet.  My little lady loves it and giggles and laughs the entire time!

To make a baby mistletoe painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human feet
  • green paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to those sweet toes (I used copic markers)
  • foam sponge brush (or fingers)
  • baby wipes (to remove excess paint)

It is important to take on this project in a place that is easy to clean as it can get a little messy. Those little humans tend to be quite wiggly and I swear the wiggle factor increases exponential when they have green paint on their feet! 🙂  Also, make sure you are wearing old clothes and it helps to have the little one completely naked.

20161116_182002

I usually conduct this entire process while sitting on the floor. It makes it much easier and reduces the mess factor. Take the foam brush and apply green paint to it. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush. Alternatively, and to be honest, what I actually do, is just smear it on her feet with my finger. 😀 Gently dab the paint onto those tiny little feet (after you give them a few kisses of course). You do not want to use too much paint, as you will not get  a nice print. Once the feet are ready, place the baby’s foot onto the paper!  I find it easiest to do one foot at a time. Basically, you are using baby’s foot as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload. Eeeekkk! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! What an awesome keepsake, or holiday gift for a grandparent!

20161117_203145

Next, take that paint covered little human and go give him/her a nice little bath. We love tubbie time in our house. It is always filled with giggles, laughs and splashes!  Actually, the family fun that we have with this project is the best part! While that fun tubby time is going on your mistletoes print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it. I like to add holly and berries. I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first mistletoes (and Christmas for that matter) I also title it with her name! You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s mistletoes below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own! One of my favorite tips, if you are using baby as a stamp, make a few as they make great gifts for grandparents!

20161203_213557

Now, you have a precious little baby foot keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make some mistletoes I would love to see how it turns out! They are just the cutest little craft in my opinion!

Stay tuned, next week I will be posting another tutorial for tiny human holiday art! I can’t wait to share! Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and I am so excited to share my first Christmas with my tiny human!

Life is good! Enjoy every moment!

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