Jan 8, 2016

Sparkly Mermaid Seaweed | A DIY Party Decoration


Last summer I shared my niece's first birthday party, a fun and girly mermaid affair with plenty of sparkles, sea creatures, and seaweed. Tons and tons of girly, pretty seaweed. 


I threw seaweed on just about everything...the front door, chairs, food tables, chandeliers, the gift table. 


Large scale party decorations can often get quite pricey, but this seaweed turned out to be a simple and inexpensive way to make a big sparkly impact. It gave the entire party a whimsical feel. 


Materials: 
Fabric of your choice (1 yard = roughly 10-12 strands of seaweed)
Fabric Scissors
Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat (Optional)

The cost of the seaweed will entirely be decided by the fabric you choose (and how many coupons you have for the fabric store). I chose three fabrics: a glitter organza in Jade, a glitter organza in Dewberry, and a matte nylon tulle in Jade. The glitter organzas were by far the prettiest and my favorite, but are a little more expensive in the regular price $8 per yard range. With a coupon or a sale, these become entirely reasonable and worth the price. Each yard will get you roughly 10-12 long strands of seaweed. I purchased 2 yards of each of the glitter organzas and 3 yards of the tulle. 

To cut the seaweed, start by moving all your living room furniture so you can lay the fabric out on the floor. Oh wait, you probably don't live in a teeny tiny Bay Area house. In that case, just toss it on your cutting table in your huge and lovely craft room while sipping a glass of wine. A girl can dream, right? Fold the fabric in half (the long way).  Either with the scissors or with the rotary cutter/cutting mat, cut the fabric into 3" wide strips. There is no need to measure or be exact here, the seaweed is very forgiving.  

I will warn you, this next part does get a bit tedious. Grab your scissors, put on a few episodes of Fixer Upper, and get comfortable. (Insert glass of wine here?) You will be hand cutting the little notches in each fabric strip. With each strip still folded in half (cutting both layers at the same time), cut the end of the fabric strip into a V (like a tie). Then follow that same angle and cut up each side of the seaweed about every inch. Again, no need to measure. Be sure to only cut into the strip partway, leaving an uncut section of fabric running up the center of the strip. I also did not cut notches into the area of the fabric around the fold, leaving a section that could easily be draped or tied over a ribbon garland or chair. I think it would look fine if you did cut this section, you would just have to transition from one direction of 'notch' to the other. This is a little hard to describe so check the 'cutting pattern' below for pictures that help. You can download it for free here


Once the cutting is done, hold up the fabric strip and watch it 'curl' at the cut edges and start looking like seaweed! 


For ideas on how to decorate with the seaweed, check out the full party blog post here. One quick idea...get a few paper cut seahorses and wind them into the seaweed! 


Interested in the seaweed, but don't have the time? Check out my etsy listing here for the mermaid party pack while it lasts! 

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