a very Pinterest birthday party: polka dot garland and balloons on a string

This past weekend we had Audrey’s first birthday party at our house. I set out to keep it very low-key, nothing fancy, no big deal.

Then suddenly, Thursday night before the party, Maggie and I were busy at work on homemade polka dot garland. Then I threaded eleventy billion balloons onto string. I blame (thank!) Pinterest for giving me all these crazy ideas.

It was fun though. Maggie loves loves loves making crafts. Anything with scissors and glue is right up her alley. And really, once we got going, it wasn’t difficult or all that time consuming. Maybe an hour and a half total for the garland? And that includes the 2,718 interruptions from Maggie dancing and singing and getting distracted from her Helping Duties.

First- a quick peek at the balloons on a string deal. Not really a step-by-step tutorial needed for this one. Blow up balloons, thread on a string with a needle through the little tabby part after you tie the balloon shut. BOOM.

balloons on a string

balloons on a string

(Also: the party was 4 days ago and the balloons are still up. I love balloons.)

Now, for the polka dot garland!

What you need:
colored scrapbook paper
a large circle punch
a glue stick

Start by cutting out the circles from your scrapbook paper. I used a 2-inch sized circle punch I found at the craft store, but really any size you want will work. And any shape! As I was working, I realized there was a lot of room for creativity with the shapes and patterned paper for future parties… I fear I may end up with a polka-dot garland problem down the road. heh




I punched out a LOT of circles. I think I used 10 or so sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper, minimizing the waste as much as I could. HANDCRAMP.

Next it’s time for Maggie’s favorite part: THE GLUE STICK!

polka dot garland

Slather one side of one circle with the glue.

polka dot garland

Then place your string over the middle of the circle (I used old cross-stitch floss that I had upstairs, lots of fun colors- but any string will work, really)


Then take a second circle and place it over top of the glue/string side of the first circle- like a polka dot sandwich!


Do this a bazillion times until you have whatever length you need/want. Instead of hanging ours long and swag-style, we did shorter strips (2-3 feet or so, varying the lengths) and hung them from the doorways like a curtain, a few inches apart. But of course I forgot to take pictures of THAT final product in all the chaos of the party day. So you’ll have to use your imagination and be satisfied with this picture of Maggie proudly displaying our first completed strand.


And that’s basically it. As you can see, the possibilities are a little mind-boggling with color combos, patterns, shapes… so fun and way better than crepe paper, I think! Happy garland-making!свети георги


  1. Jesabes

    September 20, 2011 11:04 pm

    I need all the ideas I can get for all the scrapbook paper I have sitting around. I do all my scrapbooking online now.

  2. K

    September 21, 2011 9:26 am

    When I turn old and crazy and only wear tunics and stretchy pants and eat Werthers (YUM!), I am soooo having balloons in my house. All the damn time. I adore them.

    Iris turns two in a few months and I might be busting out some balloon garlands. Holla!

  3. Jennifer

    September 21, 2011 12:02 pm

    Where did you get those adorable polka dot balloons? My son is turning one in a few weeks (SOB) and I am trying to round up some *easy* decorating ideas like the balloon garland. Looks great!

    • Jen

      September 21, 2011 12:18 pm

      I found them totally by accident at our local Party City! I was actually going to make my own polka dot balloons with stickers or something, but then I saw those in the other aisle. They weren’t with the regular balloons, they were with the First birthday stuff. So maybe you’ll get lucky :)

  4. Kris

    September 21, 2011 3:08 pm

    I am so doing one (or many) of those balloon strings for my daughter’s bday next month. Those strings are awesome,

    And count me in on the balloon love, adore them, fun for all!

  5. Tracy

    September 23, 2011 4:16 pm

    Very Cute!
    I may have to steal Maggie when we make our crafts for Logan’s birthday. Think she would want to make a pinata and decorate it with 2×2 inch squares of tissue paper. Its going to take FOREVER ;)

  6. Robin Troxell

    September 26, 2011 6:23 am

    came over from Kidnapped by Suburbia – love your balloons and great polka-dots! Will try the streamers! and your curtains are all kinds of awesome!

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