madison’s DIY hand dyed coffee filter garland

1 madi grad party05madiparty18madi grad partymorning friends!

last weekend we celebrated madison’s highschool graduation! we used a home that our church owns and celebrated with two of madi’s life long friends. it was such a special evening!

i wanted to share some of the decorations madison created.  shown above is a hand dyed coffee filter garland that madi created. i used it for some product shots for carol & company and feel you can see the color variation a little better. the day of madi’s party is was super overcast & time was of the essence…so i’m recycling some earlier shots up there.

so here’s ( albeit not the most fabulous shots) a quick little run through of how madison made her garland. you of course can be uber creative and choose different colors and different color combos. the sky’s the limit really.

first up are the tissue pinwheels she created.

you start by folding, accordion style, your tissue paper.

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fold down the center & add a drop of hot glue.

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this will then form one side of your pinwheel. once you hold these up, being tissue paper, they sorta droop. so she went back in along the center where all the folds are and added hot glue to help them stay together. if you’re using thicker paper you wont have this problem madi just wanted to incorporate some of the same hand dyed color to white tissue as she was using in her garland.

repeat with matching tissue color & then hotglue those two folded/glued tissue peices together & allow to dry. she used ticky tack to adhere them to the windows once we arrived.

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for the coffee filter garland, she lined up several. her garland was quite full & fluffy. she thinks she used approximately 300 filters. whoa. sounds very time consuming but if you sit in front of mindless tv, you’ll feel quite productive after one hour of keeping up with the kardashians. or fox news. which ever your choose. ha!

madi took a couple small water bottles & added a few drops of red & yellow food coloring.  for the tiny little bottles shown below, she used 2 drops of red & 1 of yellow=more orange, and then 1 to 1 to make them more pink. it’s totally up to you how strong you wish for your color to be. no right or wrong. she then heavily mists them. as they saturate, the filters will begin to flatten on their own.

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she allows them to dry. maybe an hour? if you’re in a hurry as we were, you may use your hair dryer. this fluffs them up for you as well.  as you’ll see, each one will have almost a tiedye look & fun variations in color.

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she then used a needle & threaded them on monofilament. she went back & fluffed them & sorta squeezed them to fluff once they’re on.

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we had a huge storm rolling in as we were leaving so getting all these babies in the car before the bottom fell out added a little extra excitement!

madi’s highschool colors are orange & blue. she found this dress at anthro~where she works and gets a discount!

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we had friends share bottles they hand painted for a wedding previously. since we had to move all the tables inside from the patio, we added a little lit branchy things to give that room a magical glow.

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we hung burlap & some of madi’s pinwheels up for a photobooth spot. madi downloaded fun props and glued them onto sticks as well. savannah did all the hand lettering for us.

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the food we served was all dessert themed – cream cheese bars, cake pops, brownies, chocolate dipped strawberries and a few salties. we added a coffee bar & big jars of candy for fun.

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madison made her favorite glazed lemon cookies which were delicious! she slightly tweeked a martha stewart recipe by using 3/4 c sugar but still used the same amount of butter.

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i’m so proud of madison. she was in school full time, working at anthropologie AND still made time to create most all of the decorations by hand! thankful for sweet friends & family who came out & loved on her! best wishes to sarah & emily as all three of them begin a new chapter this fall!!

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May 16, 2014 - 8:56 am

Brandi - Congratulations to your daughter and her friends. The party decor came together beautifully and the sweet treats look delicious. Thanks for sharing. Such a great picture of your family too!

May 16, 2014 - 10:11 am

wynne - so fun! what a fun way to celebrate!!!

May 16, 2014 - 10:18 am

sheri slowey - This is awesome! But I have to tell you – we have been dying coffee filters for a month. THE.HARD.WAY. Had no idea you could do it the way Madison did. We have been dipping in water, baking in the over and then stringing. Wow! She is so beautiful and I wish her much success. xo

May 16, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Natalie - Congratulations to Madi! And WOW! Her creativity and diligence to get it all done… amazing! Really beautiful! And what a fun time celebrating her accomplishments! Love to your sweet grad!

May 16, 2014 - 7:34 pm

Andrea - Congratulations to sweet Madi!!!! The party looks lovely!

May 17, 2014 - 7:36 am

Jackie - I love all of these ideas!! That Madison is so fun and creative!! I know you’re loving every minute of celebrating her. Congratulations, Madison! And an extra squeeze to you, too, Mama–I know the emotions that flow with this big occasion. xoxo

May 17, 2014 - 8:18 am

mollie's mom - Wishing Madison all the best in whatever she chooses to do from graduation on… she will do well. She has talent and style ( not to mention that smile and I know from a sweet chat at Anthro months ago that she is gracious and kind!) The decor was awesome – she’s been soaking up some Anthro vibes to pair with her natural talent it seems!! Looks like a delightful evening. And I adore a chick who just decides what she wants her “space” to look like and then DOES it!!! Go Madison!!
Marcie (mollie’s mom)

May 18, 2014 - 6:50 pm

Lora - I love your blog — have been reading for years 🙂 Congratulations to Madi. I love her blue and white crops. Do you know where she got them?

May 22, 2014 - 4:43 pm

tara - wow.
in love with every detail.
especially that shirt you’re wearing and those shoes. :))

May 22, 2014 - 9:48 pm

Rachel W - Oh my, what a beautiful party!! Love that garland!

May 18, 2015 - 8:10 am

emily’s graduation party » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] celebrations have truly been 3 of my favorite days in all of ever!! you can see madison’s here ( she created all the decorations. so proud) and savannah’s […]