Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Church party decorations

The last time I posted, Baby Ben was one week old. Now he is 11 1/2 weeks old! Life has been busy and there have been a lot of things keeping me from posting, the biggest of which is that The Mister is gone and I am holding down the fort all by myself. Let's say he's on a very extended, overseas business trip. Some of you know his profession and can read between the lines and figure out what that means. He left when Ben was just shy of one month old and we hope he'll be home by Christmas. I'm not going to lie, it's been very hard and awfully lonely but we're hanging in there and trying to make the best of things on both ends.

With The Mister gone, I thought it would be a good idea to give myself some projects to keep me busy and keep my mind off his absence. I think I did too good of a job of that in March, as it was a crazy busy month and I was totally exhausted by the end of it! One of the projects I took on was helping with a dinner party for the women's organization in my church.
Photo source
This photo from Pinterest was my inspiration for the color scheme and centerpieces. I had originally wanted to do a color scheme of coral and mint but I couldn't find materials in those colors locally, so I went with a brighter pink and green with accents of metallic gold and a bit of yellow.

For centerpieces I really wanted to use fresh flowers. Trader Joe's just opened up in Denver and I love their inexpensive flowers! Fresh flowers seem like such an indulgence and I wanted the ladies coming to the party to feel like it was a special night that was worth their time.

For the flower vases I thought about doing a gold leafed treatment like the inspiration photo, but dismissed the idea because of the cost and effort that would require. Instead, I used this pin as my inspiration. I purchased plain glass cylindrical vases at the Dollar Store. I taped them off and sprayed the bottoms with gold paint. (sidenote: the spray paint was supposed to look like gold leaf but really didn't look a thing like it, in color or sheen. Disappointing but not a total disaster.) Once the paint was dry, I taped them off again and painted the bottom few inches of the vase with Mod Podge and covered the glue with sparkly gold glitter.

I purchased $35 worth of fresh flowers from Trader Joe's in shades of pink and yellow and used my feeble flower arranging skills to make six centerpieces for the tables. I think $35 worth of flowers + $6 worth of vases wasn't too bad at all for as pretty as they looked! They really brought a breath of Spring to the otherwise ugly church gym. The squares upon which the vases are sitting are two layered paper napkins from Target--one bright pink, one gold striped. I bought them (on super clearance!) for another decorating project that didn't work but this was a last-minute idea and I really like how it anchored the vases on the white tablecloths.

For the rest of the room my goal was to make the most impact for the least amount of money, since I spent so much on the flowers. I have long wanted to try making the tissue paper tassels I've seen frequently on Pinterest and this gave me a perfect opportunity. I used bright pink, green, metallic gold and green and gold tissue papers. The kelly green with shiny gold foil patterns was from the dollar store and I love how it looked with the other colors! I made four dozen tassels and strung them on jute twine. They hung on the sides of the buffet table.
I had plenty of tissue paper left over after the tassels so I made a whole bunch of tissue paper flower poofs in different sizes. To make them easy to pin to the wall, I only opened them to one side so the back was flat. We pinned them in clusters to the walls using pushpins. It's hard to tell the scale from this photo but the large pink flowers were about 16" across. I'm sorry that the color on these photos are so bad--the gym has terrible fluorescent lighting and I tried to color correct but they are still really off.
And one more fun and inexpensive decoration was these fringe garlands I made using dollar store plastic tablecloths. I was able to get 4 long garlands from 1 rectangular tablecloth and we simply swagged them on the walls and then added clusters of tissue flowers at the ends.

It's always a challenge to make our church gym look like it's not an ugly church gym and do it on a shoestring budget, at that. I am pleased with how the decorations turned out and made the event a little nicer and more special for the wonderful ladies in my church. I guess you could say that I enjoy the challenge of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear!


  1. The flowers, the decorations - gorgeous! I love those colors together.
    The Husband being gone for so dang long - well that just sucks!

  2. You are so clever and do SO much on a shoestring budget. I like that. I think of your sweet family every single day. Hang in there!


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