how-to make a grad party

We wanted to show you how we made some of the cute paper decorations for our grad party.

Circle Pinwheels

We stuck these in the jars and in the flower centre pieces. They’re really easy to make. We made a ton of them since all you really have to do is fold paper and glue it together. You might need a large area to let them dry.

So here’s what you do.

First cut two long strips of paper. The width or the length don’t matter, we made three different sizes. (2, 2.5 and 3 inches).  Lay them on top of each other and accordion pleat them – this is important because you want them to be the same size pleats on both pieces of paper.  The width of the pleats again doesn’t matter, just experiment and see what you like.  We think the more pleats the better, so try and fold them smaller.

Take the two pieces of paper apart, and glue the overlapping edges, so it looks like one long piece.  Once it dries, take the two ends and pull them towards each other.  Find the spot where they overlap and glue it together.  We used little paper clips to hold them in place.

This happens a lot.  They like to flip in and out, so here’s how we anchored them.

Take a piece of paper with a different pattern and cut it into a tiny circle.  Put a big dot of glue on the back and stick it in the middle.  It will want to come apart, so hold it there for a few seconds until the glue starts to do its job.  Then place something heavy on top of it – like a mason jar or a book (it won’t get crushed, we promise).  Another amazing use for a mason jar.  Have you guys seen this one? This site used buttons to anchor the pinwheels, which would also look great.

Refer to our grad post to see how we used them, we stuck barbeque skewers to the back and put them in jars, stuck them in the bouquets that made up our centerpieces, and also laid them flat on a few tables as accents.  We also thought they would look nice hung in a banner – next time!


So our second set of pinwheels may look a little more complicated to make, but they are just as easy!

Cut a square of paper (again the size doesn’t matter), we did 5″ by 5″ squares.  Draw an X from corner to corner.  Use a thumb tack to poke a hole through the middle and on the right side of each corner.  Cut along each of the lines until you get about an inch from the center hole.

For the center anchor we used these little clasps (we can’t figure out what to call them), that look like the fasteners on manila envelopes.  They have metal two bendy ends that you wrap around the skewer. Push it through one of the corner holes. Bring the next corner toward the pin and attach them. Do this for each corner and attach them all to the center. Take a skewer and push the pin through the skewer and pull the two ends apart and secure them to the skewer. If you have trouble making a hole in the skewer, use a push pin to do this before hand.

These are so easy to make, and can be reused to liven up any corner.  Our friend Serena moved into a new apartment and stuck a few vases of these pinwheels in her bookshelf.

We made a few banners as well – they easily fill up an empty wall.

You can make banners from anything and about anything and they always look great. You cut out the pieces (triangles, circles, letters, shapes) and take string, twine or wool to string them together. The longer the banner, the more difficult it is to string. But the final product is always worth it!

We also used twine and clothes pins to put up photos from the past four years for our friends and parents to look at. They were a hit! 🙂

This is what Maggie’s floor looked like for the two weeks leading up to graduation, we had a crafting factory! Here we were working on the jars for our friends.  This is how we made the labels for the jars.

First we cut a bunch of little circles out of a different colored paper.  Using an amazing stamp set that we found at Michael’s (1$ each, we wish we had bought all of them…), we spelled out our friends names.  For the girls we mixed up the colors, but for the guys we used two different shades of gray. We took some thick string and simply stitched the letters together. And finally to keep the pieces from sliding all over the place we put a dot of Elmer’s glue on the back of each letter.

A week before graduation we emailed our friends for some memories and jokes which we prepared before hand.  We used our stamps from Michael’s and pretty scrapbooking paper.  We used some left over crafting supplies from our Valentine’s day surprise, and sewed little hearts onto some of the pieces of paper.  Also inside were some of the stars that Utts taught us how to make, and origami hearts. We tried to create instructions for how to make these hearts, but it was a little difficult. There are many ways to make these- here’s one of them.


About nosurefooting

Two Sarah Lawrence grads armed with their cameras, who have a penchant for making things pretty, following their eyes, following their hearts, even if they aren't always standing on their own two feet.
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4 Responses to how-to make a grad party

  1. Serena says:


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