Do It mYself: Decorating on a Budget

In just under two months I’ll be moving to Seattle (new food, new people, new ART!), and in light of that, I’ve been brainstorming on some home décor ideas. I currently have a theme started that centers around a grouping of Banksy canvas prints I have hanging, which inspire the rest of the room to follow a palate of essentially grey, black, and red. Now, if it were up to me—or should I say if it weren’t so up to my dwindling bank account—I would run out and order a few more street-art prints, maybe some ironic pillows from Urban Outfitters, and call it good; but, that’s not the case, and I’m stuck designing on a budget.

It sounds horrific at first (queue dramatic thriller music), but with the Internet, and an imagination that never really grew-up, I’ve become quite proficient in everything Do It Yourself. I love the movement—and I think Pinterest proves that it is definitely moving—I love what it stands for, and I love what it inspires people to do. You see, it’s not just the idea of having trendy-chic items in your home; it’s all about making them.

What I think this does (beyond just giving us freaking awesome looking houses), is remind people the value of hard work, dedication, and a final rewarding payoff. Technology has inspired in the world a sense of entitlement; an instant-gratification-generation of people who have forgotten the importance of the craft, of art. Even a simple home project (like the one I did today!) can exercise the artistic side of the brain and offer a creative outlet; all the while being a blast and giving a handmade, self-made product that you can be proud to show in your home. So why not? Go out and DIY!

As I said, the project I did was simple, cheap, but above all fun and rewarding. Allow me to introduce, the Tissue Paper Pom Pom. Now this is by no means a new craft (in fact, I did the same thing a few years ago in pink!), but it is always a favorite of mine, because these things look great when they are finished. A few tools, a few steps, and one super new décor item.

Photo: Flikr

The first thing you need is materials. You’ll need:

  1. Tissue paper, any color.
  2. Floral wire (as you can see my desperate lack of resources resulted in me using twisty-ties, it worked just the same).
  3. Scissors.

materials

Step one: stack eight sheets of tissue paper, cut to size (I recommend downsizing; I left mine as-is and they were really big!). Make 1 1/2 in accordion folds hamburger-side, making sure to crease with each fold.

step2

If your folds don’t line up perfectly, don’t worry! Mine were a bit uneven but at the end you can’t even tell. Make sure you are creasing well, because it adds to the charm later on.

Step two: take your floral wire (or in my case, produce ties), fold it in half, slip it over the paper to the center and twist.

Ties

Step three: cut the ends of the paper into either rounded, or pointed edges, depending on the look you desire. Mine are rounded, but I like pointy just the same.

Edge

Step four: this is the slightly challenging part (for me at least), but now separate the layers, pulling from the center one at a time. Just make sure to be gentle, because this stuff really tears!

Layers

Step five: fluff and finish; you’re all done! Now you can take some string, attach it to your wire, and hang your new custom decoration from anywhere!

Finish

These look great alone, but I like to make a few and hang them in groups, because it allows for variation and added color.

The whole project takes maybe twenty minutes, but what you get at the end is a lot more than just a new item; you gain a sense of satisfaction that can only be achieved through working with your hands, exploring your own talents and abilities, and coming out with the confidence of knowing that you are able to make something cute, artsy, and all your own.

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4 thoughts on “Do It mYself: Decorating on a Budget

  1. These are really fun. I was shadowing a dietitian for a bariatric surgery support group and one of the women was making these for her kid’s birthday party. She finished one and showed us. They are so simple, inexpensive, and fun! Thanks for sharing. Now I know how to make them! 🙂

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