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sweet lemonMADE

Celebrate

EASY DIY PAPER GARLAND

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Spring is in the air and just about everyone I know is pregnant! So literally April will be the month of showers, in more ways than one. April showers bring summer babies! Haha. I love an excuse to throw a party, so naturally I’m the first to sign up to host a baby shower. So we’d thought we’d bring you along for the ride as we plan, prepare, and party. Stayed tuned all month long for all the fun details.

Today we are talking decor. I am a total Pinterest wannabe when it comes to party decor, I pin ALL THE THINGS. I’d like to think I operate on the values of simple and fun, but if I’m being honest half the time it ends up being over the top, time consuming, and pricey. The other half of the time the ideas never leave my brain or Pinterest board…always the best of intentions (can I get an AMEN?). So knowing that I have a couple of showers coming up I decided to get ahead of the game this time. Paper banners and garland are all the rage these days and I’d been eyeing a few up at my favorite party shops, but couldn’t bring myself to pay $10 for a 6 foot banner (that day–let’s be honest, there are plenty of days that I spend way more on way less because I’m too busy or lazy, haha). But I love the fun, whimsical look that paper banners can give. You can personalize them with letters or have a variety of shapes and colors to give texture and dimension. They are awesome. So I set out to try out making and sewing my own! I have seen and heard of people doing this, claiming “it’s so easy!” But I wasn’t really sure what to do. I figured there had to be a catch of some kind. You can’t just sew paper, can you? Well, according to the craft gods you can, and it really is easy! You don’t need a special needle or special thread. I just used what I had already in my machine and had zero problems. I was kind of amazed. Okay, so here are the details…

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STEP ONE: Cutting the Paper
I decided that I wanted to do multiple garlands in different shapes and colors, so I searched the interwebs until I found the perfect shape. Once I found the arrow shape I wanted, I printed it on cardstock, cut it out, and then used it as a stencil to trace the shape on to the colored cardstock. After I had a page traced I used some regular old scissors and cut them out….one..by..one. This definitely the most time-consuming part of the whole project! I felt like I was doing an elementary art project. Trace and cut. Trace and cut. Searching for encouragement and validation in my seemingly endless endeavor, I texted this picture to my blogging budding and crafternoon partner in crime, Ashley, to show her my progress. Rather than responding with enthusiasm, she responded with surprise. “Are you really cutting all of those out by hand?” she asked. Confused I responded, “Yeah, how else would I do it? They don’t make hole punches that big!” Her response was filled with many tear-faced laughing emojis as she reminded me about her Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool !! OH MY GOSH. Duh. I had totally forgotten she had one of those. I had literally spent hours tracing and cutting all of my large arrow shapes. Oh boy, if this isn’t the story of my life, I don’t know what is!! Haha.

She came over the next day and we used her fancy machine to cut out all the small triangles in no time at all. It was such a breeze I just shook my head in disbelief thinking of all the hours I had spent tracing and cutting the others the night before. So if you are going to do this, the only way for it to be simple and quick is if you have one of those fancy cutting machines!!!

STEP TWO: Sewing the Paper
Once all your shapes are cut out, arrange them in the color pattern you want them to be sewn in (if you are using multiple colors) and make a pile. Next, make sure your sewing machine is ready to roll–full bobbin and threaded properly. For ease I picked the most basic, simple stitch. No need to adjust the tension or mess with any other fancy features–just keep it on the basic, standard settings. If your sewing machine has a speed dial be sure it is on the slowest setting. Before you put the first shape under the presser foot to sew, allow the sewing machine to sew with nothing under the presser foot (take the bobbin thread and the upper machine thread once there has been a few stiches and gently pull it back to help guide the formation of the string). You will do this so your banner has a long section of just thread at the beginning and the end of the banner. This will make hanging the banner much easier. Once you are ready to start sewing shapes, take your paper shapes and line one or two up on the sewing machine in front of the needle and presser foot. Make sure the presser foot is down and slowly begin sewing the shapes. Advance the shapes, adding new ones each time. Gently pull the shape that has been sewn and guide it behind the sewing machine. If you want your banner shapes to be more spaced out, allow the sewing machine to sew for longer without adding a shape (just letting it sew the upper thread and bobbin threads together).
Tip: when you are letting the sewing machine sew without paper, gently pull the last sewn shape (now behind the sewing machine) to keep some tension so the thread you are sewing does not tangle.

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STEP THREE: Storing the Banner
After sewing the banner can get tangled very easy because the thread connecting all the shapes is so thin. After I had finished sewing I cut a flap off a large cardboard box (from my many Amazon Prime purchases…I’m addicted) and began to wrap the banner around the cardboard piece. Once the banner had been wrapped I used a paper clip or binder clip to secure the ends of the banner to the cardboard so they didn’t come loose or tangle. These store easily and keep the garland tangle-free until the next party!

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I loved the way the triangles turned out! It was a fun look and I really liked how they all didn’t hang the same way. The variations in the angles as the hung added great texture and dimension. So if you have a party coming up and know someone with a fancy electronic Silhouette Cameo or a Cricket, this project is definitely worth your time and will save you lots of money$$$.

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Create

Easy Dip Dyed Marshmallows

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Want to skip the hassle of boiling eggs this Easter? We have a super-easy DIY dip dyed marshmallow project for you! This DIY is a perfect activity for the little ones. All you need is JUMBO marshmallows, water and some food coloring. No need to wait around for eggs to boil or worry about cracked eggs. The kids (and even the adults) will have fun with all the different color combos and designs!

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Create

Easy Marbled Easter Eggs

We have the secret to making bright, marbled Easter eggs. Can you guess what it is? The secret is NAIL POLISH! We made these marbled eggs by using water and a variety of nail polish. Can you believe it? It’s so simple and easy, and they look beautiful.

So grab that stash of nail polish you have in your bathroom and get marbling those eggs just in time for Easter! We have your supply checklist and an easy guide with directions below: 

Supplies: Faux eggs (or room temp hard boiled), disposable plastic container, nail polish, rubber gloves, stir stick, drying holder, nail polish remover, room temp water.

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Sweet Picks

Spring Sweet Picks

March 2017 sweet picks

Bridget City Blooms Pillow on White: I have been in love with Caitlin Wilson’s pillows for a long time. I religiously follow her instagram and find myself “double tapping” her photos daily. Her design is simple and her patterns are a perfect balance of polished and whimsical. So when I was thinking about the perfect item for the Spring edition of “sweet picks” this fun, floral pillow popped into my head. It’s colors are bright and clean–without being too loud or over done. The pattern is a breezy floral print and the pillow itself is soft to lounge on. It makes a perfect edition to any couch or bed needing a Spring pick-me-up.

Now, these pillows aren’t cheap, but definitely worth the splurge for one or two (you can get Target or Home Goods pillows to fill in the rest). And if now isn’t the time for a pillow splurge, now you know where to look next time you’re in the market for the perfect accent pillow.
Image Source: Caitlin Wilson

Good Natured Soy Candle: The allure of Anthropologie gets me every time! I can never just walk past the store, I always have to go in and check out all of the amazing stuff they have even if it’s just to window shop. Which is hard to do because I usually want it all! This time I went in to window shop, but as I was browsing around I came across a giant display of cute tins of soy candles and had to smell them all! The one that caught my eye first was the Apricot and Basil one. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect this combo to smell like, but I was curious and oh my goodness! One sniff of this candle and I was in LOVE!! IT SMELLS SO GOOOOD!!

You need to make a trip into your local Anthro and smell it! Trust me, your nose will be in heaven! After smelling the others I kept coming back to this one because it smelt so delicious and sweet. I knew I probably wasn’t leaving the store without purchasing this candle. I held onto it as I browsed the rest of the store and as I was looking around, I kept catching myself opening up the candle just to smell it! You know it’s that good when you are walking around the store looking like an addict getting their fix whiffing the candle.
Image Source: Anthropologie

Artificial Plant in Stand Large – Threshold: I’ll admit it, I have a black thumb when it comes to house plants. I even somehow lack the ability to keep catus and succulents alive.  That’s why I have no shame when it comes to decorating my house with artificial plants. And you know what, I’m always in luck because my favorite go-to store (Target of course) always has really beautiful artifical plants that you would never guess aren’t real. This plant is my recent purchase and I love it. It’s very pretty, modern and fits in nicely with the rest of my decor. So if you’re like me and are lacking that green thumb, check out this plant and the others available at Target.
Image Source: Target

Home

One-Year Blogiversary

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Today we are celebrating our ONE-year Blogiversary! I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year! It’s been a great experience working on this blog together as friends and getting to do a lot of fun stuff.

This blog has been a great outlet for our creativity and we’re proud of what we’ve done, showcasing each of our hobbies and adventures. Thank you to our family, friends and readers who have supported us through this journey!

To celebrate and to show our appreciation we are giving away a $50 gift card to Alex and Ani over on our @sweetlemonmade IG and Facebook!