Monday, 10 June 2013

Graduation Prep Part 4 - Centerpieces

For those of you who are new, this series is about decorating for a school event (in this case, grade 8 graduation) on a very limited budget.  I'm a true believer that you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a nice event, and that a little effort can make those dollars stretch a lot farther than buying a bunch of cheap, decorations that make very little impact.

The tables we will be using for the event are your standard folding rectangular table (usually seat about 8).  I'm going to lay 3 pieces of ribbon (from my stash) lengthwise along the table, and then in the center, there will be one of these "lanterns":
along with a large pinwheel and a potted plant with a glittered pinwheel in it (groups of 3, right?).

 These are the little potted plants that the pinwheels will be in...they will be wrapped in matching paper the day or two before so that I can still water them for the next two weeks.
Originally, the plants were going to be significantly larger - I was thinking a nice flowering plant - but then something happened.  The money for graduation dinner (each family pays for their own dinner - the school pays for the students) and the money for the year end class trip was STOLEN!  The money was due, turned in, locked up, and the STOLEN all on the same day!  suspicious!!!  So, needless to say, the "decorating money" shrunk even more.  So instead, I dug these up from my front yard and potted them up in little pots I had in the shed, and will camouflage that with some pretty paper. 

I know most of my readers can tell how to make this little "lantern" just by looking at it, but for those of you who are new to crafting, here are the steps:
 Wrap a piece of jewellery wire around the jar (don't cut it yet) and twist it together tightly until the short end is all used up.
 Decide how long you want the handle to be, and then cut the wire (using wire cutters, not scissors) about 
1 1/2" longer.
 Add some beads to the handle - the beads you want for both sides...all at the same time.
 Slide the end of your wire under the piece of wire wrapped around the lid.
 Twist it together and then slide half the beads back over to the second side.
You can make them all the same if you want, but I was using up beads (white, black and blue) to match the party colours.  Then just add your sand (or rocks, or glass beads, or even coloured water) and add your candles.

Total tally for the 24 "lanterns":  $3 and change for a bag of sand
       -the jars were free - my family and friends have been saving spaghetti sauce jars for the past year or so
       -the beads were from my stash thanks to my dear sister
       -the candles I found at the dollar store ---25 candles for a total of $6.25

Total for the potted plants: $1.00 each roll for 2 rolls of wrapping paper that I am hoping will do all 28        plants, and some potting soil (about $3.00 worth) from a large bag.

The downside is that in the last month of school, the grade 8 class usually "pays it forward" by doing a fundraiser for next year's graduation.  This year, they are going to do 3, but all of that money will be used to replace the money that was stolen.  So, one person's actions have actually affected 2 years worth of graduating students at least.  On the bright side, the principal is hoping this will be a life lesson in "resiliency".

Linking up with: Keep Calm Craft On over at Frontier Dreams
                         Eco Kids Tuesday at Like Mama Like Daughter
                         Creative Friday over at Natural Suburbia

1 comment:

  1. Very nice decorations!! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope you will stop by again today!