Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Simple DIY Luau Decorations

Not too long ago I was helping come up with the decorations for another youth stake dance (this seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life, but I sure love it!). This time, the theme was a summer luau. Pulling ideas from Pinterst, past dances, the store, and the closet of old decorations that was passed down from previous youth leaders, we had more decorations than we had time to put up. 

Time. Now there was an interesting part to all of this. 

I was excited for this and headed into town to do my errands, pick up final supplies, and head to the church cultural hall to start decorating. I got all the way to Walmart (because that's our choice around here), 20ish miles away, and discovered that I didn't have a cent on me. My wallet was back at home. 

I couldn't really do anything without it, so back home I went and got the wallet. That was nearly an hour wasted. 

But finally I got the last supplies, got to the church and began unloading my car and searching the closet for any luau supplies (which there were buckets full...literally buckets). About half an hour after I got to the church, our President arrived and I went out to help unload her car, only to discover that I'd let the door close behind us, locking us out. See, being the only one at the church for just a little bit I'd only unlocked the one door long enough to get in and then closed it behind me. We were locked outside with no keys to get back in. Along with the church keys were our car keys and our cell phones. There was no way to get in touch with anyone who could help! 

So I went to a nearby house where I knew a church member lived hoping they'd have keys. And they were gone. We were getting ready to start canvasing the neighborhood when out of the corner of my eye I saw the missionaries leaving a back door of the church. We'd had no idea they were even in there! We dashed over there like crazy ladies (which we might have been getting close to at that point), and they let us in the door so we could get back in and decorate. More time lost. 

So in the end I didn't end up making the palm tree, or the palm leafy backdrop, or a few other things. But you know what...the kids had a great time, they ate almost all the refreshments, and it was a positive activity, so it's okay! 

I did get a few decorations made though! I want to share two of them with you because they are super easy and super cute! 

The first was our tiki pole.

I found this idea on Pinterest, linking back to the Design Sprinkles blog. Not wanting to ruin the paper bags, I used masking tape in a loop on the back of each face part to attach them to the bag. Beign in a hurry, I didn't make all the cool different shapes you see on the original bags, but these did the job well!

I had the idea to drop battery operated lights in them to make it a glowing tiki pole. Great idea, but it didn't work. The bags were too thick. I think next time instead of doing a tiki pole, I'll do tiki heads, luminary style with lunch bags so that they can glow all around the room. How cool would that look?!

We also found that if you stacked more than 4 of these up, it fell. So we ended up with 2 small stacks rather than one large one.

The other quick decoration I want to show you are our mini tiki torch lanterns.

These were a mini version of the lanterns found on the Design Sprinkles blog. I had a stack of 5" squares of scrapbook paper that I used for this. I followed the original instructions (folding in half to get a crease, and then cutting strips evenly around the paper, leaving a margin on top and bottom). Next I wrapped one margin end of the paper around a battery operated tea light and taped it in place. I couldn't find our scotch tape and didn't want a chunk of masking tape visible, so I stapled the tops closed. Not the smoothest look, but it sure did the job fast to use the stapler. These looked really cool out on the tables and glowed nicely!

After the dance we threw away the face parts of the tiki pole, but were able to keep all 6 of the bags for future gift giving, and the paper from all the tiki lanterns. It was all easy to put together and quick clean up!

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