Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tangled Birthday Party: Decorations

Fiona turned four last week.  A girly-girl to the core, she loves the movie Tangled - her choice for the theme of her birthday.  Those of you know me know that I tend to go overboard with parties, and this was no exception (how far overboard I go is in direct correlation with how much I like the theme.. and I love Tangled).

I started over a month ago, working on decorations and creating party favors.  A few things were musts:  the purple banners in the village scene, a special Happy Birthday banner, and the Flynn Rider wanted posters.

The banners were pretty easy.  I have a Silhouette craft cutter, so I put that to work cutting out golden suns, while I used my regular paper cutter to make the pennants.  Make two slits in each pennant, thread some yarn or ribbon through, and it's done!  Of course, doing 50+ pennants does take a while..

The birthday banner was a bit harder.  I used the Blessed Day font for the letters with bright pink cardstock, and offset the letters in black.  Then I found some 3-D flowers in the Silhouette store and added those to each pennant.  Once all the pennants were done, I strung them up and tied some leftover tulle from Fiona's dress in between each one.

The Flynn Rider signs were fairly easy.  In the movie, they all feature different, funny noses, but I thought I'd give poor Flynn a break.

I'll admit to using one I printed out to trace my own (I would have just used the printed ones, but my printer is crappy).  I did draw the big one freehand, though, which I thought was pretty impressive.  The big Flynn Rider wanted sign was for a game, Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Rider.  I created a frying pan design on the Silhouette and cut them out for game pieces.

Something that I decided to do relatively last minute was the yarn lanterns that you can find tutorials for all over the internet.  Here's the one I used.  My husband and I spent two hours one night doing these, and I can tell you, they're a huge pain in the butt.  The glue mixture got everywhere and was next to impossible to get off our skin.  Then the lanterns had to stay strung up in our kitchen for a full 24 hours, which made preparing meals very difficult.  But they turned out well.

Another pretty simple decoration (albeit geeky on my part) was the magical golden flower that starts the story:

I got a bunch of similarly shaped yellow flowers and some glitter from AC Moore.  I also needed a little vase or bottle, and some decorative stones to complete the look.  It took me a few tries to get it right, but here's how my magical golden flower came out:

Other fun decorations to make (can you hear the sarcasm?) were the braids.  I wanted them long - at least 15 feet.  So I had to unwind skeins of yarn (several 1-pounders per braid) throughout my house.. then separate them into three sections and braid them.. all the while keeping the yarn untangled.

I swear, if I ever complain about brushing Fiona's hair, I need to remember how difficult it was to make good looking yarn braids.  They did turn out pretty well, though.

To continue with the hair theme, I strung a section of yarn from the deck, but I left this unbraided.. partly out of laziness, but also because in the movie, her hair is unbraided for most of the time.  Using so many braids kind of felt like cheating.

I also used some cheap decorations from Target's dollar spot and from the seasonal section.  The little tea lights above were great for holding gerber daisies, and the lanterns I hung from the canopy created a nice effect.  And for only a dollar each!

I wanted something to go on the front of the house, too, but there was no way I was making that long of a braid.  Online, I read the idea to use a roll of plastic tablecloth and thought that was a great idea.  I also copied another idea I saw online - a chalkboard reading, "Private Party," with a Snuggly Duckling sign attached.  I didn't want to buy a brand new chalkboard (they're expensive!), so my husband gallantly offered to make one.  He really impressed me this time.. in a day and a half, with no plans and only a picture taken off the internet, he created a large and incredibly sturdy chalkboard.  I did the Snuggly Duckling sign and we just taped it on, so we could have a regular chalkboard to use later.

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful family.  My husband helped me with a lot of the crafting (besides the chalkboard) - which is just amazing because he's not crafty at all.  My parents and my sister helped me and my husband with the set-up, as well.  I never could have pulled off this party if it weren't for them.  In fact, I was certain that we wouldn't get the yarn lanterns strung up over the table in time, which was so disappointing because I had this great image in my head of how it would look.  Well, with 20 minutes to spare, my dad and my husband got them all strung up perfectly.  It looked just the way I wanted, I actually got really emotional and cried.  I was just so happy to be able (with the help of my family) to create such a beautiful party for my amazing daughter.

Well, this has turned into an incredibly long and picture-intensive post.. I'll do another one to cover the games, food, and party itself!

**A lot of the items I've mentioned can be purchased through my Etsy store.  If there's anything you'd like but don't see, convo me!**


  1. Love the Tangled Party Rachel! Your yarn lanterns turned out great! They are quite messy but turn out so pretty. Thanks for linking to my tutorial! I did about 11 yarn lanterns for my backyard wedding reception, had them hung, everything set up & beautiful & 30 minutes before the guests rained! Like a Florida rain...hard & quick. It ended by the time everyone arrived but the lanterns slowly "melted." :( I cried. ;p Seriously though, great job! I'll link to this on my facebook page! <3 Heidi Rew from Parties for Pennies

    1. Oh no! I would have been devastated! Did you get pictures at least?

      Thanks for such a great tutorial, too.. love the warnings on how not to cut corners, 'cause I probably would have tried some of that, too!