Friday, November 13, 2009

Papel picado progression

Decor follows food in the case of Georgzilla's and Jaxs' baby/family/housewarming shower.  They decided on Mexican, so I dubbed their event the Family Fiesta.  We had different teams to handle cake, drinks, favors, and activities, which left me as manager and director of decorations.

At first, Jax mentioned Mexican oilcloth tablecloths, which set the color scheme as "rainbow."  But to cover six long tables went out of my budget, so that idea was out.  (After considering many table covering options -- except for the disposable plastic ones, because they are 1) ugly and 2) un-eco-friendly -- including buying yardage at the Fabric District or using a Joann's coupon for a bolt of muslin, I went with the Ikea Knoppa flat sheet.  At $1.99, it's the downright cheapest reusable tablecloth ever!)

In an epiphany, I came up with a color scheme that I call "Modern Mexicana:"  shades of red and shades of green, with galvanized steel instead of terracotta.  Pink and green being Jaxs' favorite color pairing, I got an immediate thumbs-up. 

I ran to Chinatown to get varying sizes of paper lanterns in said colors, and grabbed a bunch of papier-mache streamers.  I also wanted to make a doily garland (tutorial on Project Wedding).

More than anything, I wanted to make this a really custom event.  It's my brother, after all.  I've been really into Mexican papel picado for a while, and this was my chance to design one of my own.  I was super-excited!  Once the big decisions were made, I began doodling and sketching and cutting out prototypes.

Initially, I was just thinking of making one, to put on the cover of their guest book and maybe another for their front door.  So I went crazy with details:


I definitely wanted the sheet to represent the entire event, so made sure it included their names, the date, reference to their Little1 (my niecephew!), their union (bells), and their home (see it in the middle?).  I also wanted it to retain a bit of the traditional papel picado motifs of flowers and doves, scallops and gridlines.

Then we went to Hawaii, and my design changed to incorporate a lot of those motifs because it was such a special trip for us.  I also wanted to make it simpler because somewhere along the way I decided that I wanted to make a papel picado garland out of tissue paper.


Pineapple -- the international sign of welcome; sea turtles -- because we swam with them; waves -- because Georgzilla is a surfer... with Little1 at the center of their heart and home.  But cutting out the bird feahers was still a lot of work.

So I simplified:


Larger numbers, thicker lettering, simpler flowers, simpler 'feathers'...


And here is the final cutout version.  Only two hours to cut each one -- sharp blade a must.


I cut about 60 altogether, in red, pink, and lime green tissue paper.  One of Jaxs' friends did the hanging up at the Fiesta, and here's what they look like, dancing in the sun and breeze on a clear day:

final and flyin'!

They were a hit!  Not only did the couple like them, so did the guests.  And I was a happy little helper, glad to have contributed something special to three people I love dearly.

No comments:

Post a Comment