More Party Decorations

In my last post, I showed the shell centerpiece I made for my daughter’s pirate baby shower.  (And I neglected to say, that I really wanted to add coral fans in to the arrangement, but I couldn’t find any.  But they would look beautiful.)

Here a few more quick and easy ideas we used at her showers, that can be adapted for any party theme.

fabric pennants

Pennants for a pirate party.

Pennants are a common party decoration, but the tutorials I found had you cutting out lots of little pieces of fabric, trimming them further, and then throwing the trimmed pieces away!  No quilter worth her thread is going to do that!  I also knew that in my small house, I was not going to keep these party decorations forever, so I made them in a way that would be easy to deconstruct and reuse.

fabric pennants

I used quilt binding and rick-rack along some of the edges.  It would have looked better if I used it on all of them, I think.  The raw edges started to fray a lot faster than I thought they would.

I cut 12″ squares, folded them into triangles (right sides facing out), and sewed a seam 1/4 inch from the edge.  Then I took some of the polyester-blend quilt binding I’ve had forever, and sewed it to the edge for contrast.  It also gave the pennants more body and stiffness.  On a couple, I made the design look more detailed by stitching a scrap of fabric to the top.  Since the pennants are made from big pieces, they will be easy to reuse in any quilt.


This is just a 12 inch square, folded in half, with an extra triangle stitched on top.

I was using fabrics left over from the pirate baby quilt, but I had a bright idea – or so I thought.  I made most of the pennants from co-ordinating  tone-on-tone fabrics, and then made just a few “accents” from the pirate fabrics.  I left a one-inch opening in the top corners of the pennants, and slid a long piece of bias tape through the tops of the pennants, like stringing beads.  My idea was that, for another party,  I would be able to slip them all back off the tape, remove the pirate pennants, add in a few pennants with the new theme (like cowboys, or baseball), re-string them, and voila!  another party-ready string of pennants, with a minimum of effort!

However!  The pennants did not stay spaced out properly, but slid all over the bias tape, into each other, and got all wrinkled. I spent at least an hour trying to quickly sew their corners onto the bias tape by hand, so they would look good enough to hang.  Big bright buttons sewed onto the upper corners would have looked really cute, but I didn’t have any.  So with the next strings of pennants, I just sewed quilt binding to the tops of the pennants, as in the detail photo above.  It was a a lot quicker, and the pennants stayed where I wanted them.

fridge signs

Don’t forget to decorate your fridge!

I had another idea for this party, that didn’t make it through to production the way I first planned.  I imagined how typical pirate sentiments would sound coming from a baby pirate, and created mini-posters in Photoshop Elements.  I thought I would print them out on transfer paper (backwards, of course) and iron them onto a table cloth.  But again, that seemed like something that would only be used a time or two, and that I have no room to store.  So I just printed the sayings out on card stock and hung them on that perfect gallery wall, the refrigerator.  Just as amusing, and a lot less work!