How to Have a Garden Party in February

I had intended on posting once every day this week, about the different crafts and ideas I used for Kara's birthday party. Nighttime is my blogging time, but alas, my children have chosen this week to be particularly rotten sleepers! So it sometimes goes.

One of the most fun elements of Kara's birthday party was most definitely the canopy over the dessert table! I was a little worried that I would get teased that it looked "wedding-ish"...and I totally did, by a certain big brother of mine that shall remain nameless... =)

But here's the thing....
For years I've dreamed of having a little girl to play dress-up and tea time with. I've imagined throwing birthday garden-parties with cute sundresses, flowers and pretty white-linened tables (think "Anne of Green Gables"...remember the picnic where Anne first meets Gilbert?). But, let's face it...with a home in Utah and a birthday in February, Kara will probably never, ever have an outdoor birthday party. So my idea for the canopied dessert table was my small effort to bring a garden party inside

And February or no, I still put her in a sundress! 
(And could that be my new *pink* chair she's sitting in?)

And the extra bonus: The canopy is perfect to hang in her room now that the party is over! I love party decor that doubles as home decor, and vice versa.

To make the canopy I used a large embroidery hoop (just the outside ring), ribbon, tulle fabric, and I finished mine off with a floral garland, but that is totally optional. The idea originated with something I pinned on Pinterest, where you could make a canopy using an embroidery hoop and two curtain panels:

One reason this idea really appealed to me for my dessert table was because I could use an embroidery hoop to create a canopy around my dining nook lighting fixture, which I wouldn't have been able to do if I had just purchased a canopy like the ones you place above a bed.  Since the embroidery hoop opens, I just placed it around the chain of my lighting fixture, using the chain as an anchor to hang the canopy! Plus, it looked so lovely when it got dark and the chandelier lit up the fabric!

I really wanted a sheer canopy made out of something like tulle or chiffon. I tried to find some sheer panel curtains, but I couldn’t find anything that was as long as I wanted. Plus, curtains can be expensive! 
So it occurred to me...why not just buy the material myself? So that's just what I did!
In my search for material I totally lucked out and came across an awesome website: eFavorMart.com! eFavorMart is geared largely toward providing supplies for weddings and large events, and they offer lots of discounts for ordering items in bulk, but they still have amazing prices if you only buy single items. I bought an entire 54 inch x 40-yard bolt of tulle for just $20! At Hobby Lobby tulle was about $5 a yard! And there is probably no way I would have found two curtain panels for as cheap as $20. Plus, I have lots of tulle left over to use for other projects! Imagine...you normally spend about $20 to buy a tutu, right? Imagine how many tutus you could make out of 40 yards of tulle! Plus, Efavormart has about any color of tulle you could want! 
Here I have to admit that I actually did very little to make the canopy myself...I have to give the credit to my crafty sister-in-law Amber! I came up with the idea for the canopy, but it did require some simple sewing, and I don't sew. At all. Yet. =) So I called up Amber and told her my idea, and she happily came over with her sewing maching. And not only did she end up sewing the fabric for me, but she assembled and hung the canopy as well, while I ran around taking care of other party details!

What she did was crazy simple for anyone with a little sewing know-how: she folded over the end of the tulle and sewed a simple hem, then we could slide the fabric over the embroidery hoop, just like a rod pocket on a curtain panel! The embroidery hoop isn't very wide, but the bracket part of the hoop where the screw is (I don't know what it's really called!) is a bit more bulky, and you need to make sure your fabric can slide over it, so you need to make the hem about 2-3 inches or so wide.

After she sewed the "rod pocket," she slid it onto the embroidery hoop and then we held it up where the canopy would hang to see where I wanted to cut the other end of the tulle, depending on how long I wanted it to be. I wanted mine to reach the floor. So she measured accordingly and cut each additional "panel" to be the exact same length. She ended up cutting/sewing 8 panels in all. 3 were draped over each end of the table and 2 were draped down the back. She also made a small stitch in a few places to "tack" some of the panels together, so they would stay in place. In the space between the groups of panels we tied 4 long ribbons, and then tied all four ribbons together at the top of the chain of my lighting fixture to hang the canopy.


I put floral garland around mine and loved it! It gave it such a pretty finishing touch, and it was perfect for hiding the bulky bracket of the embroidery hoop.

(It's right there, but you can't even see it!)

One more tip: before putting the tulle panels on the embroidery hoop, I wrapped my hoop in 1-inch pink satin ribbon. I thought that way it would look cuter since it would show through the sheer material, plus it ended up being very practical in avoiding snags as well...the wood of the hoop easily snags on tulle and could create runs. (You still need to be careful sliding the tulle over the bracket part though!) 

I I wrapped the ribbon around the hoop diagonally, and pretty tightly, using a dab of hot glue every 6 inches or so just to hold it in place and keep it from unraveling if I had to put it down for a moment. I ended up having a hard time making the ribbon lay completely flat all the way around, and it didn’t look perfect by any means, but when the canopy was complete I didn’t even notice!

I also ordered the ribbon and floral garlands I used from Efavormart...I ordered several rolls of 1-inch double-faced satin ribbon in different colors, and they were each just $5 for a big ol' 50-yard spool! The rose garland was $15 for 8 garlands, each about 5 feet long. I used 2 or 3 for the canopy and doubled up a few more to put on top of my mantle. They looked so cute!

The white tablecloth was from eFavorMart as well...I wanted a tablecloth that would reach the floor, and I paid just $15 for a huge 90x156 inch tablecloth. eFavorMart is definitely one of my go-to sites for party supplies from now on! I love that I will be able to use it for just about any party or gathering in the future.

There it is! This ended up being such an awesome success for one of my first real "crafty" ideas ever! But seriously though, I could not have done it by myself...I probably would have ditched the whole idea if it hadn't been for my awesome sister-in-law! Huge thanks Amber!

(Seriously: underlined, bold, italic!) 


Next up: A quick post on arranging the dessert table *beneath* the canopy (a little harder than I thought!) and where to get these crazy cute DIY frames!



Afton said...

Darci, everything came together beautifully!! I love all your elements, way to go! Thanks for all the cute ideas. Maybe I shouldn't be such a scrooge when it comes to parties! ;)

Christine said...

Absolutely gorgeous - thanks for posting! But MAN! That view out your windows is also absolutely gorgeous!! Without needing to be too specific, could you tell us what area is responsible for this breath-taking view?? Thanks!

Site Design By Designer Blogs