A week from today, my daughter will be One. Year. Old. *insert sobs here*.
I decided I was going to attempt a DIY Cake smash photo shoot with her, but I didn’t want to spend a lot on the backdrop. So, true to my crafty nature, I decided to make a tissue paper garland myself.
Packages of tissue paper are so inexpensive and you can get them in pretty much any color you want to work with your color scheme. We are going with a girly pink and gold floral theme for her birthday party, so I chose pink, cream, coral red, and a great metallic gold for the garland.
For this project, you will need:
- Tissue paper- I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but you can find it at any craft store, the dollar store, or here is an awesome multi-pack with 100 sheets.
- String-I used white baker’s twine, but any string, yarn, rope, etc. will work.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
In elementary school, my art teacher taught us to fold paper “the hot dog way” (lengthwise), and “the hamburger way” (widthwise). This has always stuck with me even into adulthood. So, first, fold your tissue paper the hot dog way, and then fold it the hot dog way.
Next, fold it once more widthwise…(you know, the hamburger way). Then in my case, you try and grab the tiny human who has suddenly become very interested in the project on the floor.
Holding all the folded layers together, cut strips into the paper, leaving about two inches in tact at the top. My strips were around half an inch wide. They are not perfectly straight, but that’s ok, it doesn’t really show once the tassels are all bunched together.
Once you have cut all your strips, unfold it until only the one lengthwise fold remains, cut down the center, leaving the top fold in tact. This will leave you with two fringe-y sections. (Yes, today fringe-y is a word.)
Unfold each of these pieces and carefully straighten out all the strips.
Begin rolling the paper, and try not to let the strips get too tangled up. It’s a good idea to gently run your fingers through them as you roll to keep them all in order.
Once you have the whole piece rolled, go back through and tightly twist the center section.
Fold the twisted part in half, and then twist it a little bit on itself again to form this little loop at the top. This is where your string will go. At this point, you can either use hot glue to secure it, or wrap a small piece of tape around the base of the loop. You could even use tiny colored rubber bands or patterned tape if you want to add more detail.
String all the tassels onto your twine, and you’re done! These garlands would be great in a nursery, as party decorations, as seasonal decor in holiday colors, or as a cake smash background! If you’re using this as part of a backdrop, I used a wide roll of kraft wrapping paper so I could tape it up high on the wall, and roll it out about five feet towards me. This gave a nice seamless background for the photos, and also protected my floors for easy frosting clean up.