One thing I knew I wanted for Eli's party were the 36" balloons filled with helium that you see all over Pinterest. I also wanted to make tassel garlands for the tail. While you usually you see them made out of fabric or crepe paper, when I saw all the fun colors the plastic table cloths from Dollar General came in, I figured I could find a way to cut those table cloths into strips and make some tassels on the cheap. (One dolla - holla!)
Turned out it is super easy, and they looked pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
Here's what you need:
- 8' rectangle plastic table cloths (each table cloth will make about 20-25 tassels)
- Rotary mat and cutter (optional)
- Hot glue gun
Open up your table cloth and cut it in half lengthwise.
Next, fold one piece in half like a hotdog. To make it go faster, you can then fold it over on itself several times like a hamburger, taking care to note where the folds are and realizing that they will be double the size, so they'll need to be cut again later.
Using the rotary cutter, cut one inch strips. I zipped through these super fast. It's totally okay if they're not perfectly even. Once you create the tassel, no one will notice.
Once your strips are cut, grab a handful (about 10) and criss-cross them, switching directions every other time. It's much easier to lay them out on a table or the floor than to try to do this with your hands. If you can't tell, experience is speaking here.
Then grab the whole thing with your hands ...
... and pinch it at the top - where the fold is.
Taking a strip of plastic that's about 5 inches, wrap it around the top, where you pinched it together.
Secure it with hot glue and you're done! To turn them into a tassel for the balloons, just hot glue them on to a piece of twine or pretty string every 5 inches or so, making sure to glue them to different sides of the string. Super simple!
A little background on the balloons - just in case you're looking to do the same thing. I found the balloons on sale for $2/each from the BigBalloonStore.com with free shipping - they're normally about $5/each, so I knew this was a pretty good deal. It looks like that company sells them normally for $2.50/each and that's the cheapest price I've seen anywhere. To fill them, I ended up ordering two Balloon Time Helium Tanks from Walmart.com, which was the cheapest price I could find for helium. Plus, I didn't have to worry about picking up or dropping off a tank, they ship it right to your door and the tanks are disposable. If you're curious, each tank filled about four of the 36" balloons.
But a word to the wise: After filling the balloons and attaching the tassel strings (which were about 6' long), the balloons wouldn't stay in the air. You can see from the photos that there was only about two feet of tassel on each of the balloons. That's because we had to cut off the extra so the weight wouldn't drag them to the floor! And the tassel strings were not very heavy at all. It was a bit frustrating to say the least, but there wasn't anything I could do, so I rolled with it. Another lesson for the future I suppose.
There must be some sort of trick to make the balloons stay up with more weight that I don't know about. If anyone knows it, please share!
They just kinda look like they're floating up there, right? Turns out the kids don't even notice that the balloons didn't have a "full length" garland. They still loved sprinting around the room with the balloons in tow and bouncing them off each other's heads.
So another lesson learned: DIY fails definitely do not affect the party fun.