Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Balloon-less Kiddie Parties: THE PAPER POM-POM

When I think of kiddie parties, my head used to automatically conjure images of a balloon-filled venue with cake, an awesome spread of food, little kiddie chairs, and checkered tablecloth. My own kiddo's party venue (especially the first one) was decorated mainly with balloons.

I love how they add color to any space, and they just bring out that child-like glee in me (and I'm sure the kids go crazy about them too).

Based on my own experience, getting a balloon decorator's package would cost about 5000 to 6000 pesos for a basic, over-all venue decor package. This would usually include 'balloonderitas' or balloon drops, a pair of pillars, around 10 balloon centerpieces, and perhaps a simple cake arch. Short of the story is: it can get pretty pricey.

If you have 'magic hands' like most mommies (or daddies in my case), you can also do DIY balloon arrangements, and that will cut costs by half. :) But of course, it also means you have to double the effort. :)

Don't get me wrong, I still adore balloons, and would still love to have them in my kid's parties, but I also learned that your party venue doesn't really have to be 'all-ballooned-up' for it to look fun, lively, and colorful. Days of browsing the net for unique party ideas (and decor), had opened my eyes to a number of ways that you can have a not-so-balloon-filled kiddie party. :)

In the next blog posts, I'll be offering a few ideas on how you can decorate your kiddie party venue minus the balloons. :)

For this first one, let me share about one of the discoveries I've had from the web - these dainty decor called PAPER POMPOMS which are perfect for almost any party. Materials needed are very easy to source, in fact, you can practice making one anytime! :) Basically all you need is: tissue paper/crepe paper, floral wire or string, nylon string or ribbon (for hanging), scissors, and a little loving care (both tissue paper and crepe paper can tear easily). You can find a number of tutorials online, just do a Google search on paper pom-poms. Here's one link though: http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/tissue-paper-pom-poms-how-to
         Here's a sample pic of it also from the Martha Stewart website

Find Martha Stewart's tutorial on this here.

They look easy-to-make right? Well, after a couple of practice tries, you'll surely get the hang of it. For me the trickiest part was making them look as full as the ones in the pic. The trick: Use the paper in its full size (if you want your pom-poms bigger that is), and use more than 8 sheets (say about 10). Also, make sure to handle the paper with utmost care. :) 

For those living in the Philippines, I'm sure you're curious if this is also being used in parties here. And the answer is: but of course, YES! :)

Here's a couple of amazing photos of a party shot by Karen Ilagan (photos below are from her website). Awesome work by the family! :) I love how dainty, clean, and uncomplicated everything looks. And it still reverberates that fun kiddie party vibe despite the absence of balloons! :) (Btw, thanks to SP mom Queenbee who led me to this link. I love all the pretty details of this party!)

Photo credits to: Karen Ilagan Photography
Photo credits to: Karen Ilagan Photography

If you're having a garden-themed party, these are absolutely perfect. You can hang them from the ceiling or from tree branches (like what they did in the party above). You can also use them on table centerpieces, or to accent your candy buffet.

There are also other versions of the paper pom-pom, like the ones on this photo from Kara's Party Ideas (party was done by Beth Kruse Custom Creations):

Photo Credits to Beth Kruse Custom Creations

So romantically beautiful right? You can find the tutorial on how to make the purple rose flower pom-pom here (would definitely try this one super soon), and for the white cupcake liner pompoms here. I'm sure at first glance, you'd think they must be expensive and complicated to make, but when I checked out the tutorial,the materials are pretty much the same as the usual paper pom-poms (except of course for the styro ball), and the steps are quite easy to follow.

The white ones are apparently made from cupcake wrappers! :) Imagine how awesome that is, and it's all basically just a glue-on kind of process to make one (I super want to try this one out too).

The purple one looks perfect for both kiddie parties and weddings too! This one is a bit more tasking to make than the white one, because you have to individually roll the paper roses, but then, look at how pretty the end-product can be!

These two versions of paper pom-poms seem sturdier for me than the first samples I mentioned, as they won't easily be squashed. :)

Now you might be thinking, how about your little boy's parties? Well of course you can use paper pompoms! Just make them in the color scheme you're using! Like if you're having a Disney Cars-themed birthday party, make pompoms in red and black, either in individual pompoms or combine them in one pompom! :) You can also use patterned tissue paper (but these are a bit pricier, and I've only seen them in National Bookstore, I bet other bookstores would have them too.).

Or......you can watch out for my next post, as I will be featuring: PAPER PINWHEELS! :)

Let me leave you with the image below from Kara's Party Ideas so you can start imagining just how awesome pinwheels are:

Photo from: Kara's Party Ideas

Please watch out for the next post! In the meantime, happy party planning! :)


  1. Dami talaga DIY na magagawa to decorate the party venue at mas makakatipid ka. Yun nga lang dapat matyaga ka at interesado ka sa ginagawa mo.

  2. hi mommy anney! :) I definitely agree with you! It takes passion talaga para panindigan ang pag-DIY, and the outcome is definitely worth it. Kahit hindi perfect, it gives a sense of fulfillment. :)

  3. hi..
    so nice and unique ;) ask ko lang kung meron din ba sya sa market? thanks!

  4. Super nice!! At madaling gawin. Excited to do this on my daughter's bday.. ��