I get the skepticism, really I do. I knew what it was going to look like in my mind, but I realize people don’t live inside my head, mostly because if they did the world would be a much more awesome place. It is a testament to the faith my loved ones have in me that they, despite their considerable reservations, spent hours (I’m lying, it was days. I warned you all in the last article that DIY means saving money by roping people into your crafty web, using and abusing their free labor and then owing them forever) tirelessly folding, cutting, stringing and poofing tissue paper. Each new person that joined the assembly line had the same look of doubt flash across their eyes before they plastered a smile on their face and got down to work. So yes, they are all gonna laugh at you, either to your face (hi honey!) or behind your back, but trust me, it will look awesome, they will eat their words and guffaws and really, who doesn’t like the sweet feeling of self satisfaction when that happens? I mean, look, how pretty did it end up?
I love being right.
So let’s get down to business. Making poofs is quite easy; I folded hundreds in the months leading up to wedding while watching TV at night. One thing to keep in mind- they do not travel well once poofed. We got married at my parents’, so we took all the poofs there, attached them to the lines, then puffed them out. I also suggest making varying sizes. It helps when you’re using them in different areas to have multiple sizes to choose from.
You only need a few basic supplies to make these. I suggest using www.papermart.com to order tissue paper. I know tissue paper is cheap at Target and the like, but it adds up quickly if you are making these in large quantities. Paper Mart sells supplies to stores for wrapping and packaging, so buying in bulk from them is a much cheaper option. I bought a 480 ($23) sheet pack in each color which was more than enough for the copious amount we used. I will also be using leftover orange tissue to pack boxes and wrap presents until at least our 5th anniversary. Trust me, it’s a lot. Plus, they are huge sheets that I cut down into different sizes so 480 sheets actually ends up being about 7,563 sheets. Or something like that.
The item in the top left is called a Zibra Open It! If you don’t have one yet, stop reading now and go get one. It is the most used and beloved item in the house, save for our Parmesan cheese grater. It is for opening those furiously frustrating hard plastic packages that are impossible to get open, but it has so, so many other uses, such as cutting the ends of poofs or gardening wire. I got mine from my mom, but you can get them at Bed Bath & Beyond or here-http://www.enjoyzibra.com/openit/features.html – seriously, this thing is a game changer. I love it, cherish it, and briefly considered marrying it before Jon and I got back together. You can use scissors to cut the poofs, of course, but this works so much better and doesn’t make your hand feel like it’s going to fall off after making a ton, as scissors will. Seriously, if you take no other advice from me ever, take this one, you will not regret it.
A rotary cutter is very helpful for cutting the paper down to size and a pretty useful item to have.
A self-healing mat is a good thing to have around for many different projects.
The green wire is actually gardening wire from the Dollar Store. You will find out soon enough that I am cheap and will try to figure out ways to make Dollar Store buys work for as many things in my life as possible.
Lay 10 sheets of tissue paper out on the mat or any flat surface. Rectangular pieces work best. Just so you know, I tried to take this picture 5 times and each one had some piece of the kitten in it, so I figured I’d at least introduce you to one of the foster kitties. Everyone, meet Sea Bass, full name Fat Ass Kick Ass Sea Bass, sister to Fuzzy Trout McGiantBalls. They were abandoned by their mom in a friends barn when they were about 3 weeks old. Sea Bass was about three times the size of her brother, hence the Fat Ass part of her name. He’s passed her up now, plus has giant balls (yes, he’s being fixed, promise, they have appointments in a few weeks). They are adorable and the most ill-behaved beasts I have ever had. If you have a cat that won’t leave you alone during the making of these, sporadically wad up sheets of the tissue into balls and throw them at them. Their righteous indignation at being accosted by the paper will fuel a long, drawn out battle that will keep them out of your hair.
Make a fold about 1.5″ wide. Accordion fold the entire sheet of paper. It isn’t necessary to be super accurate, but do try to keep the folds somewhat neat.
Cut a piece of the wire about 8-9″ long. Wrap it around the center and twist to secure. I like to use a little more than necessary because the leftover length will make securing them to a line later easier.
Hold one side of the folded poof in your hand and fan out the top half. Begin pulling the outer sheet away from the center towards the wire. Repeat on the next 4 sheets. Then pull the opposite 5 sheets on the other side. Some tissue paper is more fragile than others, so some ripping may occur. Don’t worry, it won’t be noticeable when it is fully poofed. The Paper Mart tissue is pretty sturdy which is one of the reasons I recommend it.
You now have a fully poofed poof. You can also do variations like this on the tips to make the end shape look a bit different-
The rounded cut is the one on top, pointed cut on bottom. I used the rounded cut on most of the poofs for the wedding.
These are great for all types of decorating for parties. I have used them at baby showers, wedding showers and birthday parties prior to the wedding. I have taken a bit of a break from using them lately because the word “poof” now has the power to send my friends into rage blackouts and my husband to weep silently in despair. Seriously, I think he developed a twitch watching me make this tutorial. Some may rightfully feel that I went a bit overboard with them, but again, look how pretty!!
Coming next week…
Flower girl tutus!!