~ Butterfly Party ~ Part 1
August 31, 2011
~ CLICK FOR PART 2 ~
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
On July 23rd I hosted a butterfly party for what turned out to be about 90 mothers and daughters. Many people have asked how I made certain projects, so I finally compiled my favorite pictures to share of the event and creating process. Like the party itself, preparing this post has been a mammoth task, but here it finally is in its humble entirety.♥
I couldn’t start this post without saying a huge thank you to every single person involved in helping make this party a reality. I say “I” hosted the party, but in reality it wasn’t just “I” but a dedicated “staff” of family and friends. I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you! Before you think that I am some sort super Mom who can have a party with this many people as effortlessly as wind blows through the trees, think again! I had 6 grown woman at my disposal, on the property, that helped before and with set up, as well as 3 husbands, and one brother. It was team effort to the max. I love events. I love coordinating. I love planning the details. But, yes, stress. It does take a number on your body and no matter how “fun” or “happy” the stress is. It is still present. As you can see in the picture, I got a bad patch of eczema from the stress of it all. Just my body's reminder to say, “Stop relying on self so much and just trust Me”. I want everything to be perfect, and my mind just can’t stop till its worked out each detail. This doesn’t mean I should rely on my strength, but on Christ who strengthens me! Two weeks before the party I came up with a master list and felt completely overwhelmed, but as time progressed, the projects were accomplished (I was amazed at how much on the list was actually accomplished…once again a big thanks to all my helpers!), and everything came together pretty much how I had seen it in my head. It was very special.
If you missed the party, I’m very sorry. I don’t think I’ll be doing anything this big for a few more years ;). Though you never know, I might just get that “itch” again. This post is for friends far away who missed it and want to feel a part of the fun, and for anyone seeking to get some ideas in case they want to have a Butterfly Party of their own!
So where did this idea come from?
Well, it all started when my friend Tayla was coming for a visit. She had come to Baker Creek the year before, a festival where everyone dresses up in turn of the century outfits and browses vendors with homemade crafts and garden produce. It’s a great event and worth going to, but it didn’t work out with her schedule. To console her loss, I told her I would do something that rivaled Baker Creek (not totally possible, as they have about 5,000 people…talk about a logistical nightmare ;), but I think we came close.
Nursing a baby gives me an excuse to browse a little bit more on the computer. So, when Philip was born 4 months ago, I had a little extra time to dream as I gathered ideas from some of my favorite craft/party blogs. I saw someone who had a Butterfly Birthday Party and thought that that would be a fun theme to work with. Not wanting to just have a party for party’s sake, I felt like I could draw some meaningful lessons from the butterfly. So, it began. One of my favorite inspirational party sights is called “The Party Dress” (http://www.thepartydress.net/blog/) It is party inspiration on steroids :-). Most of the “Greats” in the party world say to keep the part small, so you can focus on the details, but that wasn’t possible with a dear church family who loves life and happens to have lots of girls. “Oh, good, so glad you’re coming Smith family, so I’ll put you down for 7?” Love large families! My Mom always taught that it was more fun to have the whole family there rather then segregating, and I whole heartedly agree! It just means being creative, like having all the ladies bring food, and making a table out of a mattress and piece of spare plywood for about 20 girls when we ran out of table space. To see the look of delight on so many girls faces made it worth it & each little smile multiplied the joy in my heart that each one could experience a special girly day with their Mom and sisters.
So for anyone interested, here is the party complete with pictures and links. By the end, hopefully you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for one of God’s most beautiful little creations, the butterfly, like we all did!
These parties gave me the inspiration for the look of the party.
This party inspired much of the layout. Though I didn’t go with these colors, I think they are amazing! My budget just couldn’t afford 20 vases filled with amazing colored roses ;)
I picked lavender as the color scheme after seeing this inspiration board:
This canopy inspired in a very vague way the canopy we created to shade the yard.
One of the hardest parts of the party was to narrow down all the good ideas I saw. That is so tough for me. This is what I finally ended up with for the invitation. Butterflies can go many ways, and I opted out of the little girl “cheesy” butterfly, for the more “Paris” inspired style for the whole party.
I printed out the instructional part of the invitation and glued it on the back to save on paper.
You can buy downloads of all kinds of pictures on etsy.com. Once you buy the image you can reuse it for the rest of your life. To get my money’s worth, I used this image on other projects for the party as well, as you’ll see below ;). You can buy the image I used here (http://www.etsy.com/listing/72407626/digital-collage-sheet-french-butterfly?ref=sc_2) for $1. The possibilities are endless!
For the invitations and any sign that I printed out for the party I found these free fonts and downloaded “Parisian” to keep continuity in font. Loved some of the other free fonts too!
Decorating is more fun for me then cooking for a crowd this big…so I opted to have everyone bring food to share, and spent my time decorating. Here are some of the projects:
I have seen so many handmade topiary tutorials and finally tried one. The picture is bad, but it gives you an idea of how it came together. I used moss from Joanns.
Decorated with butterflies cut out using a Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch.
I printed out some signs directing people decorated with some stickers. As many of the people had never been to my house before, I also printed out signs directing people to the restroom in the house. This worked out really well. Nothing like 90 girls needing to be directed to the necessary room. :-)
My sister alerted me to this wonderful blog (http://lessthanperfectlifeofbliss.blogspot.com/) a couple months ago. It seemed like she was using canvas drop cloths for painters at Lowes for everything. The natural fiber look and good price made me want to try some projects with it too. And, I’ll tell you…I fell in love with the stuff and always welcome a trip to Lowes to pick up another package. They sell them in different sizes in the painting section.
My first project was to make some bunting. What’s a party without bunting right? :-)
Close up on pinning to backing
I printed two images (click for link) on one “iron on transfer” sheet (you can get them at Wal-mart or craft stores). I’m not going to go into all the details of how to use them, as there are plenty of instructions out there. I cut around them and ironed them on to the little triangles I cut out for my top bunting piece (they are 3 layers). I love how they came out!
Here is where it hung…
I had to extra bunting triangles made up and thought I should turn it into a welcome banner.
I had an exciting epiphany when I was buying tape at Wal-Mart and walked by the paint display. You know, the pretty ones, with all those pretty swatch colors? Well, my eyes immediately clued into the lavender section. I pulled a handful out and was like, “I have no idea what I will use these for, but they are free and I’m sure will come in handy”. So I did. Most of my ideas are all knock off from other people’s ideas, so I was so excited to come up with this one on my own. I felt like a “big girl” :-). (I have since seen these used in other craft projects on other blogs, but I'll pretend I didn't notice ;).
I ended up cutting them into triangles and gluing two together, so both sides were lavender. Then I printed out “Welcome” using my Parisian font and carefully cut around each letter with scissors or an exacto knife. Then I glued the letters on to the triangles.
Welcome print out with paint swatches
With extra drop cloth fabric, I made a curtain for the kitchen. I was running out of time to take pictures at the end. So, here is the finished project.
I cut the curtain free hand and added tabs. Then I ran outside and spray painted a stick I found for the curtain rod. I basically kept the stick “as is”…though I did pull off as much moss as I could to make it smooth. Once it dried I threaded the tabs through. Voila~
I had the rocking chair on the porch for nursing Mom’s as I have a lot of friends who are nursing right now. Most people ended up nursing in the house because it was pretty hot out, but I did make a pillow with extra drop cloth fabric for the rocker, just in case any Mom needed it for her back. :-)
I used this image $3.25 (click for link) The kind lady even did a custom color option for me when I asked…of course it had to be lavender. Pays to ask!
$3.75 (click for link)
A Martha Stewart Idea. (http://www.marthastewart.com/273713/party-idea-wing-it)
I didn’t feel like cutting 100 out, so I used the punch once again. They were a little small, but worked!
I used clear plastic plates from Wal-Mart and printed out the design to put under it. I liked how these came out…though after printing 100 of them, the ink cost adds up/ :-)
$3.25: (click for link)
Arrangments + hankies
Clear glass vases are a dime a dozen at thrift stores. That’s where this idea came in handy:
I made a practice one and just pinned the stamped canvas on. That made it easier. My sister ended up finishing the rest of the 8 for me. I was hoping the Queen Anne’s Lace would still be in season to fill the vases with. They were at the very tail end. There were enough to mix with some greenery from surrounding trees and purple petunias from Danielle’s garden. It pays to have a sister in law with a green thumb! She arranged them for me and did a beautiful job. I loved the result! Thank you, Danielle!: I recently inherited Jordan's Grandmother's collection of white hankies that looked lovely under the arrangements. Thank you for blessing us Toody ♥.
Back of chair
Back of chair –cut outs
After cutting out all the butterflies for the straws, the silhouettes popped out, saying “please don’t waste me”. So, cutting around them, they were saved to tie on to the chairs to dress them up with the tulle.
Tayla tying ribbons
Our helper baby. :-)
Tayla cutting tulle.
Melanie tying them on.
Here is the make shift table we fit about 20 girls around. You could never tell it was a boxspring mattress with plywood on top ;).
The invitation image cut out and applied to the glass with “glue dots” from the scrapbook section at the craft store. Glue dots are very handy and come off easily.
I made some iced tea and called it “Butterfly Nectar.”
This is the only picture I could find showing the jar (bottom).
Butterfly on window
More punched out butterflies applied to the window with glue dots.
I’ve seen homemade chalkboards all over the internet and finally got to make one, using a frame I inherited from Jordan’s Grandmother (she passed away in May and left us with many precious things to remember her by).
Me and paint
I would have liked to make it magnetic, but the metal was too expensive at Lowes (just discovered oil dripping pans at Wal-Mart. Though I don’t know if they are cheaper yet or magnetic, we’ll see :-). I just painted right on the hard plastic that covered the picture.
$4 for the can with a coupon at Hobby Lobby (print them on their website). I have since learned that Wal-Mart sells them for $4 as well, if you don’t have Hobby Lobby.
This was the message of the party. If you take away nothing else, it is this, that the butterfly demonstrates through the process of metamorphosis what Christ does in our life when he takes our old man, un-lovely as a caterpillar, and transforms us into a beautiful new creation like the butterfly! Such a beautiful picture!
Be sure to check back for the final III parts of the Butterfly Party Post!
~ CLICK FOR PART 2 ~