Mini Rainbow Garland

Mini Rainbow Garland

This simple garland is easy to make and can be used anywhere…anytime. I recently used mine as part of a photo backdrop at my son’s birthday party. I used safety pins to fasten it to the side of a white sheet, and despite gale force winds that day, the garland never ripped or blew away! I like this garland very much.

Here’s what you’ll need and how to get it done:

Supplies: colored paper (I get mine at Staples), twine, double sticky tape, scissors

Step 1: Cut your paper width-wise into 2″ strips. Cut your strips in half so that they are now 2″ x 4.25″.

Step 2: Lay out your string on the floor or a long table, and organize your paper strips into whatever color scheme you like. My string was between 9 – 10 feet long.

Step 3: Put a piece of double-sticky tape on your paper strip, slide it under the string, and then fold it in half.

Step 4: Cut the bottom of your flags. You can cut them the way I did it, or into little triangles (or leave them square).

Voilà. So simple and festive. You could use scrapbook paper, too, for a patterned garland. Or newspaper, recycled art, maps, or fabric strips. So many possibilities!

xo Bar

{party photography by Alix Martinez}



T-Shirt Bunting

T-Shirt Bunting

With three growing kids, we collect a lot of t-shirts. Some of them end up in quilts, others I give to Good Will. I save many, though, because they are un-hand-me-downable. T-shirts from school walk-athons, soccer teams, variety shows…the ones that no one else would wear. The ones I use for projects!

Here’s what you need to make this bunting:

T-shirts {cut into 4 x 5 1/2″ pieces}

Twill tape in two colors {4 yard pieces}

Rotary cutter + board {or good fabric scissors}


Sewing Machine

For this bunting, I wanted a Spring color theme. I chose blues and light grays. I cut out about 50 pieces, but only ended up using 21. I laid them out on the table and arranged them in a random order. Then I carefully pinned each piece between the two different colored twill tapes. Using a wide zig-zag stitch, I ran the bunting through the sewing machine. Voila! I would say this project was very easy. You need the right supplies (a rotary cutter really helps, and also a sewing machine), but it is not difficult at all.

I love the end result. It is playful and colorful and I bet you will see it in future photos…lurking in the background. Start saving those t-shirts!


Handmade Baby Shower Invitation

Handmade Baby Shower Invitation

This week I’d been given the distinct honor of creating a baby shower invitation for my SIL, the esteemed Marysue Rucci of Simon & Schuster. Lucky me! After hours of late night thinking and scouring, I finally decided on a theme: Shabby Chic. I have had an obsession lately with rubber stamping, flag bunting, and washi tape. Combining these elements was soooo much fun. I knew the mommy-to-be would be decorating her baby girl’s room in yellows with a touch of pink, so the color choices had been made. Planning and execution were my biggest hurdles.

Here’s how it went down (I’ve included the bunting template for you)…

The type on this invitation was created entirely with custom made rubber stamps. The invitation copy was one rubber stamp. The envelope front and back were each a rubber stamp. And I even made a rubber stamp of just my SIL’s name so that I could create thank-you notes for her as a gift.

I designed the yellow flower cards and sent them out to be printed. I then used pink ink and stamped each card individually. It was quite a bit of work, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. But I really wanted an authentic hand stamped look, and I’m a little bit crazy, so there you go!

To create the flags, I did some measuring. The card was 4.5″ wide, and the washi tape was 5/8″ wide, so I calculated fitting five flags across. I created a row of triangles, each triangle measuring the width of the tape. I used a faint line so that you wouldn’t see it if my cutting wasn’t up to snuff (hopefully you can see it in these photos!).

Next, I cut out the strips and laid them beneath the pre-cut pieces of string. (This photo above shows one, but I actually did several at a time).

Then I very carefully placed the tape over the paper, making sure that it fit perfectly over the triangle, and going over the top of the string. After I taped all five triangles, I pulled up the string from the table and flipped the tape over to the back.

IMPORTANT: When flipping the tape over the back, make sure that the string is secured just above the paper, not pushed over to the back. This will be crucial when cutting.

Time to cut the flags! This was really fun. I just followed the lines of the triangles underneath the tape. I clipped as close to the top edge as I could without cutting the string.

Next, I got out my exacto knife and a ruler. I made two teeny nicks on the edges of the card, using the ruler as a guide and a straight edge. This allowed me to slip in the string and hold it in place. I then tied the back, trimmed the string, and I was done!

Creating invitations by hand is one of my favorite things to do! Especially when it’s for someone I love so dearly.


Recycled Postcard Banner

Recycled Postcard Banner

My sweet neighbor, Georgy, turned 103 last week. Yep! She was born in 1909. We visited her in her house that she built with her husband in 1939. She lives alone, but is loved and taken care of by many. She still cleans her own house and takes walks up the street on nice days. She goes to bed at 5pm and reads, listens to the news and does crossword puzzles until 9 o’clock. She is not only wise and beautiful and inspiring…she is a legend.

We wanted to bring her something homemade. She didn’t want a fancy party or any “fuss”. The kids made her a pumpkin bread, and I thought I’d make her a colorful, happy banner. I decided to use my old holiday postcards. The idea was to use the colorful backside of the postcards for the front of the banner with the letters. And then, as a bonus, the back of the banner (which would have been the front of the postcards) would have the kids’ faces. A reversible banner!

Because I am an awful planner, I usually think of an idea the day of the event. I am then forced to use what I have, as I don’t have time to shop for any supplies. The upside to my disorganization is that most things that I make use materials that I have lying around. I do love the recycled aspect of crafts! Here’s how I made this banner:

Recycled Postcard Banner:

Recycled cards
Paper of some sort to cut out letters
Exacto knife
Tape or glue
Hole punch

Start by cutting out triangles for the flags. Make one triangle, then use that as a template.

Next, cut out letters. I drew mine freehand, but you can use stencils. You’ll have to use an exacto knife to cut out the insides of the letters.

Arrange the flags in a nice, colorful pattern. Tape or glue on the letters. Punch holes in the corners.

When stringing the flags, I went back through the holes twice. This is not necessary, but it does give it extra stability.

Voila! Not hard to make, it took me about 90 minutes.

Baby Shower Invitation

Baby Shower Invitation

Handmade “Shabby Chic” invitation for my SIL. (It’s a girl!) I used custom rubber stamps and washi tape. See my post on how this invitation was put together.