With my birthday this week, I'm in hit-and-miss party planning mode. I know it's... unconventional... throwing your own party, but I love baking, unusual themes, seeing smiles, and knowing loved ones are there, stress-free, having a good time. To me, that's a gift.
But this year my budget is really tight. As in, virtually nonexistent. But it's okay, the challenge has forced me to get creative and transform things around the house.
For instance, would you believe the handmade puffs above were made from these humble offerings? Here, look:
Old packing paper from moving. Coffee filters. Straight sewing pins. Styrofoam balls.
I have tons of crinkled-up paper and tissue from moving. I had a trash bag full of paper that had been wound around glasses and crumbled in corners of boxes and wrapped around breakables. As I was about to toss it in the car last week, headed for the recycling drop, I scolded myself: find a way to use it for the party, then recycle it.
And a puffery craze was born. Here's what I did:
Find paper or tissue around the house. It can be anything: newpaper, old paperback books, magazines, catalogues, packing paper, grocery/fast food paper sacks, old lists, term papers, drawings... anything so long as it's clean. Cut the pieces into uniform circles in any size you like. I traced around a flattened out coffee filter (8-12 cup size) for my puffs.
Grab your paper or coffee filter- just one now- and pinch together in the middle as in the picture above. Give it a good little twist at the base of your pinch.
Pin it on your styrofoam ball. Just jab the pin right in. (The size of your balls will determine the overall dimension of your puffs, of course. I used grapefruit-sized balls for these, but am on the lookout for a few bowling ball-sized ones, too. Your preference.)
Continue pinching and pinning your circles. The closer you can get them, the fuller- and better!- the puff. Here's my packing paper puff with the top completed:
I estimated that I could pinch and pin a puff (say that fast five times) in ten minutes. Or a bit longer, if you were horsing around with your sister and jamming out to that song from the Subaru commercial during the process.
And certainly, you could spray paint these. Or use colored tissue. Or dye your coffee filters. Or use colorful scrap paper. Your imagination's the limit! I think I'm going to try a few with water-logged, vintage book pages and old Anthropologie catalogues.
Once they're done, secure a hanging ribbon using a touch of hot glue. Then hang to your heart's delight!
Truth be told, I think this will be my most favorite party yet. :) -Brin