Bunting is widely used to decorate at weddings and parties and can really make your venue or setting look special. The use of bunting has undergone a bit of a revival in recent years, largely down to the booming vintage craze.
Whether you choose dinosaur themed bunting to string between trees in your garden for your children’s birthday party or floral bunting for your wedding reception venue, paper is an excellent medium to use.
Let’s have a look at how to make your very own paper bunting garlands.
You will need:
- Paper (preferably 7 X 5)
- Double sided tape
- Lay a piece of your 7 x 5 paper pattern side down on a flat surface. Use your ruler to find the half-way point across the top edge of your paper. Make a mark at this point using your pencil.
- Next, under your guillotine, line up the bottom right corner with the mark your just made and cut.
- This time line up the bottom left corner with the mark and cut. You should now have a triangular shaped flag. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for each flag.
- Now you need to prepare your flag for the ribbon. Lay one down, this time pattern side up, and run a piece of double sided tape across the top edge. Peel back the backing paper from the tape.
- Finally you need to attach your ribbon. Make your that you leave a number of inches ribbon free before attaching the first flag. This means that you will have something to tie the bunting up with. Line the ribbon up with the top of the flag and press it down onto the double sided tape.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each flag, attaching them to the ribbon approx. 1 finger width apart.
- At this point I decided to embellish my flags further by using a heart punch on the excess paper that I trimmed off earlier. I used corresponding papers and glued the the hearts on to the flag in the point.
There you go! Paper bunting is so simple to make and extremely affordable. If you are careful when hanging and taking down the bunting there is no reason why it can’t be used time and time again. For weddings, it makes a great keepsake for your memory box, so ask someone to take it down and store it for you whilst you and your hubby are on your honeymoon!
Vicky works with Fiona Cairns, a wedding cake maker in the UK. She loves crafting decorations, invites and favors for weddings. She also writes a handmade weddings section for a local wedding directory in Leicester on a regular basis.
A bridal shower is a time to lavish wedding gifts on a bride and show her how excited you are for her. If you have the honor of hosting the bridal shower, you’ve got a lot to think about. If you’ve never hosted one before and aren’t sure what the rules are, rest assured that many successful bridal showers have been given by people just like you who started from scratch.
Talk with the Bride
Today’s brides are super busy. So the idea of a surprise bridal shower may not be the way to go. Ask the bride when she is free and tell her you’d be thrilled if you could throw her a bridal shower. Ask her to look at her calendar and pick two dates that would work for her (one plus an alternate). Then discuss what sort of event she would like.
Types of Bridal Showers
Bridal showers can run the gamut from a quiet and sophisticated country club lunch to a rockin’ night at a favorite bar or restaurant. The type of shower you throw should depend on the bride’s tastes. If she is more mellow and reserved she may be horribly embarrassed by people making a fuss over her at a bar. If she’s very outgoing, she may find a quiet brunch a bit of a letdown. So consider the personality of the bride and base your shower type around that.
You can have your shower anywhere you like. It can be at your home or the home of someone else who offers, a restaurant, a private room at a hotel or club, a destination such as a spa or golf course. Really, there are no rules as to where you can’t have a bridal shower. Just make sure the place you select has everything you want. Will you have to bring in tables and chairs? A tent? The food?
Where you are having your shower will help dictate the meal options. If you are having it at a restaurant, they of course will provide the food, drink, tables, and chairs. If you are having it at someone’s home, you may need to rent chairs and either cater in food or have everyone volunteer to bring a dish. Your meal can be a very simple soup and sandwiches or a more formal sit down three- or four-course meal. You’ll also need to think about dessert. Do you want a tiered cake or just cupcakes? Anything you decide upon is fine, just plan it out in advance. It is customary that the person who throws the shower pays for everything, so if your plans are bigger than your budget, now’s the time to downscale.
Who to Invite
Here’s a bit of a tricky part. You don’t want to invite everyone in the neighborhood, nor should you have to. But you certainly don’t want to offend anyone by leaving them out. Here’s a good plan to follow. Most brides now often have more than one bridal shower thrown for them. They may have one at home, at the office, and at a special club or group they belong to or even at church. So, don’t feel you are obligated to invite people from all walks of the bride’s life. Start with your immediate circle. If you are part of the bride’s immediate family, invite the aunts and sisters and cousins who are closest to you. If you still have room left, start inviting other relatives. If you have important friends you couldn’t think of leaving out, invite them, too. And don’t forget that you must invite the girls who are in the bridal party.
You can throw a very unique and fun shower once you get comfortable with the basics. Add your own personality to the bridal shower favors, foods, decorations, and games you will play. All that’s needed to make the day special is an open mind!
Bridal showers are festive occasions. One trend that is adding to the festivities is a bridal shower towel cake. Never heard of one? These are darling centerpieces that are made entirely of towels that the bride can then use in her house. They’re displayed much like a regular cake, only they’re accented in silk flowers and ribbon.
You can make a bridal shower towel cake yourself very easily. There aren’t too many things you’ll need to gather, and you can even make it at the last minute if you have to.
You’ll need wash cloths, hand towels, and bath towels in the color the bride has registered for. Plan on having several towels in different sizes on hand so you can vary the circumferences of the cake layers. You’ll also need pretty ribbon in the bride’s colors or the colors of the shower theme. Some silk flowers will decorate the top of the cake. Choose a color that blends well with the theme or the bride’s favorite colors. You’ll also want a pedestal on which to display your creation.
First, fold each towel in half. Then begin rolling them the long way so that they look like cinnamon buns. You’ll do this for each size of towel. The folds for the bath towels will be a little tricky, but you can do it. You’ll want each towel to be approximately 6” in width when they’re rolled.
The trick is to gather each towel and form it into a roll. You’ll put all the rolls side by side to form each layer of the cake. So, starting from the bottom layer, you’ll take the largest towel rolls and stand them up next to each other until you have formed a circle. This will be the base of the cake. Secure with a length of ribbon that fits snugly around the outside layer. Tie in a bow.
Work up for the next layer. This will be the hand towels. You’ll do the same thing with the rolling and placing of each towel side by side, this time on top of the bottom layer. When you have the circumference you want, tie it off tightly with ribbon. Continue up the cake. You may want to stop with three layers, or go larger. Of course, if you want more layers, you have to start with a bigger base layer.
Add silk flowers by tucking the stems into the folds of the towels. Display on your cake stand.
If you go with white towels, the cake will look more like it is a frosted wedding cake. But you can just as easily make a lovely bridal shower towel cake with grey, brown, blue, or any color towel the bride has put on her registry. Be sure to get good quality towels so the bride and groom can actually use them and they won’t be scratchy. Top with a bridal tiara or flowers.
A bridal shower towel cake is such a lovely addition to the shower table. Display it as a centerpiece for the food. Or place it where the bride will open the wedding gifts. No matter where you display it, it will be a cute touch to your decorations that the bride, and all the guests, will just love.
More Bridal Shower Ideas:
Each member of the bridal party has his or her own specific duties. If you’re the bride, you’ll want to let each person know what you’ll need them to do. If you’re in the bridal party, you’ll want to find out what might be expected of you so there are no embarrassing omissions. Traditions have dictated over the years what each role means, but today’s brides and grooms are customizing everything, so be sure to check where you’re needed.
Maid of Honor
This lady is the first mate to the captain, the bride. She’s in charge of making sure the bride has everything she needs to get ready on the morning of the wedding including her makeup and hair products, her dress and accessories. She’s also traditionally the one to throw the bridal shower and offer up the bachelorette party supplies. There are expenses that you’ll incur as the chief bridesmaid. If you can’t afford to pay for the parties as well as your dress and shoes, think about either declining to be the Maid of Honor or asking someone to share expenses for the parties with you. Often, the other bridesmaids will step in.
The Best Man typically throws the bachelor party. On the big day, he is in charge of getting the groom to the church on time. He’s the one who drives the groom to the ceremony. He will usher family members to their seats and walk the Maid of Honor down the aisle and escort her out after the ceremony. He’s also in charge of holding the wedding rings until they are presented during the ceremony. Often, he will sign as a witness on the marriage certificate. He’s also on the front lines scouting for any problems that may creep up the day of the wedding. He may be asked to hand out checks to vendors who have to be paid such as the restaurant, pianist, etc.
The groomsmen are there to stand up for the groom and offer him moral support. They help usher family and friends to their seats at the ceremony. They are also the escort for a bridesmaid and are partnered with her for the first dance at the reception. There is some expense involved in being a groomsman. You’ll need to rent a tuxedo and shoes. You’ll also need to travel to the site and be part of the rehearsal the night before. If you can't afford the hotel or clothing expenses, think about declining the offer.
After the Maid of Honor, you’re the ones who’ve got the bride’s back. Is she missing anything? Does she need anything to eat or drink? Does she want help with her veil? You’re also there to walk down the aisle in a procession before her. You’ll need to pay for a dress and shoes plus any jewelry the bride would like you to wear. It’s suggested you help pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party as well. At the wedding, you dance with the groomsman you’ve been paired up with and mingle so the bride sees everyone mixing and having a good time.
Often a niece of the bride or groom, this little girl dresses in a mini version of the bride’s gown and is the first to walk down the aisle. She throws rose petals from a decorated basket and stands with the bridesmaids. If she is very young, she may go back to her seat with her parents. Her role after that is just to be adorable.
This is the little guy who brings the rings down the aisle, typically with or behind the flower girl. He carries them on a pillow with strings attached to hold the rings. Often he’s given plastic rings and the Best Man holds onto the actual rings. Once he makes his entrance, he usually sits down with his parents. Then, he gets to show off his dance moves at the reception.
Don't forget the bridal party gifts. Find some fun ideas on Wedding Party Gifts.
You may be wondering what the rules are for the hosting of a bridal shower. The answer is, there are no rules anymore. Anyone can host a shower these days, but here are some guidelines to think about.
If you are the bride’s best friend and/or maid of honor, you might feel like you should offer to throw her bridal shower. If this is within your means, it is certainly one of the expected jobs of the head bridesmaid. First, though, you’ll want to check with both the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride to see what they had in mind. Although tradition dictates it’s the maid of honor’s call and she should host (and pay for) the shower, moms may assume they are naturally involved in the planning and cost-sharing. However, with so many nontraditional families these days and family members living farther away from each other, there are no hard and fast rules. Just be sure to check what the others are doing before you plan anything. If you get the green light, have a ball! If your means will only allow you to have a small number of close friends, offer to throw a friends night out shower at a local restaurant. Alternately you can ask the other members of the bridal party to chip in on unique bridal shower favors or food so you can include everyone that you’d like to. And if you’re financially unable to shoulder the cost of the party, be honest with others. They may offer to step in and cover the whole cost.
Mother of the Bride
Traditionally the mother of the bride does not offer to throw a shower. The idea being that it would look as though she were asking for gifts for her daughter, and that would be in poor taste. But often, she will be the only one available, or her home is the only place available to host it and that’s okay too. But where possible, a friend or someone from the bridal party should step up and offer to at least co-host and thereby split the cost. The bridal shower invitations should come from someone other than the mom. Traditional wording might say, “You’re invited to Laura’s bridal shower compliments of Suzie, her maid of honor, and held at Brenda, her mom’s house.” The mother of the groom is also exempt from having to throw the shower, although chances are she’ll want a front row seat in the planning. Depending on if there are step-moms in the picture, be sure to check in with everyone so feelings aren’t hurt.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Are co-workers of the bride expected to throw a separate shower? Yes and no. Co-workers are not required by any means to host an expensive off-site shower with the bride’s family and friends. That’s the job of the maid of honor. But, if you and a group of co-workers are very close to the bride, you might offer to throw a small bridal shower during lunch hour in the company break room. You can include everyone from your department (or those at work who are close to her). Simply purchase a sheet cake or make cookies or muffins and decorate with streamers and balloons. This will, of course, depend on the workplace atmosphere and protocol. Do as much or as little as you like. And if you feel your workplace is not the best atmosphere to host a small fete for the bride, offer to take her out for drinks or dinner with the people she’s close to at work and you can give her your gifts there. Sometimes, depending on how close you are to the bride, you will also be invited to the family’s shower. If so, you may want to keep it under your hat, as surely some folks from work will not be invited and you want to avoid hurt feelings.
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