Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

So, my brother-in-law just got his college degree (congrats, Ryan!) so, naturally a party has to follow the ceremony.  And what better theme is there for a graduation party than the one and only Dr. Seuss?!  I have to give 100% of the credit for this one to my mom, Merrilee and my sister, Ashli.  You see, my mom really knows how to through a party. :)

The picture of the "hot air balloon" (above) was the perfect way to enter the party.  The over sized basket and huge bunch of balloons tied to it is totally "Seussical".  Include a copy of the book to really hit the theme home.

Lorax Tree Tutorial

I think the Lorax trees were my favorite part.  So, cute and easy.  All you need is:

  • PVC pipe cut 6'-8' long
  • Tissue Flowers (Merrilee ordered these online or can find them at a party store like Zurcher's)
  • Yellow Fabric (Merrilee made 9 trees and used about 6 yards of fabric)
  • Hot Glue or Double sided tape
  • Wire
  • Butter Knives (What?!  The point is you need the weight and length of he knife to anchor the pom pom into the pole, so either make peace with using a kitchen knife or run to the local thrift store and buy a few for $1)
  • Rebar

Start with covering the PVC pipe.  When you buy it (it's about a 25 cents a foot) have them cut it to the size you want if you don't have PVC cutters at home.  So take your fabric (Merrilee used yellow, but my pic shows brown) and tear it into 2" wide strips all the way down the length of the fabric.  You're going to cover the pole by securing the fabric with double sided tape or hot glue or whatever floats you boat, to one end and then wind the strip all the way up barber pole style.  The frayed edges give it personality, so make sure to get the cheapest fabric on the shelf!  It might also be fun to cover the whole thing in yellow and then wind a strip of black up it to give the pole a striped look.

For the pom pom flowers fluff them up and now you want to get them to stick into the pole without falling off. So you have to give them a knife handle that fits down into the PVC pipe.  This gives them stability and weight.  Merrilee accomplished this simply by using double sided tape and a butter knife.  She put tape on the blade part of the knife and put it up into the flower.  
Easy peasy 1, 2, 3sy. 

Now for the final step of securing it to the PVC.  Merrilee drilled two small holes into the top of the pipe to wind wire through to secure the pom pom.  Again, this is something the nice people at the hardware store can usually do for you if you don't have a drill at home.  PVC is super soft and easy to drill.  I suppose you could use some heavy duty tape instead but I don't think the result will be as secure.

And lastly, you need to plant them!  The simple solution is to contact your local Boy Scouts of America troop and ask to borrow their rebar for the day.  Every troop has flags and rebar they put out on holidays in people's yards.  Most would be pretty cool about you borrowing a few pieces and the driver they use to hammer it into the ground.  Then simply stick the tree down over the rebar, and TA DA!  You've planted a Seuss forest!

The tables were so cute!  Merrilee bought cute frames from Hobby Lobby, fitted them with polka dotted paper and then printed quotes from the books off and put them inside.  It was so simple and cute!

The first quote is, "Congratulations, today is your day!  You're off to great places, you're off and away!"

For the table cloths she used cheap and simple plastic solid colors and then made easy table runners for them.  She got two runners from 2 yards of fabric by cutting the fabric down the center long ways and making each 2 yards long.  Either finish the edges by sewing them under or just sew a straight line about 1/2" all the way around and allow them to fray.  So easy and cute! 

"On and on you'll hike, and I know you'll hike far.  And face up your problems, whatever they are."

Add some Gerber Daisies in cute little buckets (these buckets came from Zurcher's for $1) and the tables are cute and ready to go!

"And will you succeed?  Yes!  Yes, you will indeed! (98 and three quarters percent, guaranteed)"

 Food and drinks?  Of Course!  The food table was set up just like the eating tables, with color plastic cloth and then a runner.  Add to it a picture stand with the book and flower for decoration and you're ready to roll.

Merrilee is way into old stuff (she calls it vintage).  So the weathered wheel barrel full of ice and sodas was quite a charming touch.

The drink table was simple and cute with another framed quote, plastic cups that matched the colors of the party, flower and cute water stand, and there's something for everyone.

 Remember how Merrilee likes "vintage" stuff?  What's more vintage than a rusty old bike with flowers in the basket and a balloon for extra festiveness?  Actually, it looked really charming in the front yard and was a good signal that people were at the right house.  

I think that bike was around when Dr. Seuss was still writing Green Eggs and Ham!
 Here's a nice little planting tip, keep the flowers in the containers you bought them in and set them in the places you want them.  That way when the party is over you can put them other places.  It also protects them from being planted too early and freezing.

Merrilee got all of her Gerber Daisies from Costco.  She insists that you can use any old thing and make it cute with the right touch.  The box is just an old milk crate with the flowers set in it and pete moss to fill in the holes.

Congrats Ryan and Ashli!


Suze Reese said...

Makes me wish I had a graduate so I could use this! I'll have to keep it in mind for the happy day tuition payments stop!

All Things Fabulous said...

Ha! Right?! Shouldn't the state or the school be paying tuition for your smart kids?