I won a contest to design and host a mini party at the Altitude Summit conference sponsored by Jo-ann Stores and Alt Summit. All ideas and opinions are 100% mine (and my co-hosts) alone.Back in October, I won a contest to design and host a mini party at the Altitude Summit blog conference in Salt Lake City. If you don’t know what Alt Summit is, don’t worry, I’ll have a recap up on the blog early next week. I submitted this photo and I was one of a few parties to be chosen! Woohoo! Because the parties were sponsored by Jo-ann Stores, you can bet there was a LOT of DIY! And luckily, I had a couple of co-hosts, Charity D’Amato of I Heart Cleveland and Kim Wardell of Design + Life + Kids, to help with all of the prep! And since we roomed with the amazing Meg of Meg Tsang Photography, all photos are by Meg unless otherwise noted.Above photo by Justin HackworthAbove photo by Justin HackworthWant to host your own cactus-themed party? I’ve got a couple of DIYs for you.Want to make these cactus letters for your own cactus themed party, fiesta, taco night, etc.? I’ve got the tutorial below.
- 12″ Papier-mâché letters
- Dark Green Spray Paint (I used Design Master Hunter Green)
- Medium Green Spray Paint (I used Design Master Holiday Green)
- Light Green Spray Paint (I used Design Master Olive Bright)
- Drop Cloth
- Clear Stretchy Cord
- Hot Glue Gun
- Drill Bits
- An Obscene Amount of Toothpicks
- Start by removing the stickers from the papier-mâché letters.
- Next, using your drill gun and a 5/16th drill bit, drill holes in the fronts and sides of the letters. You can make it random, I did single holes and groups of threes.
Above photo by me!
- Then, drill two holes in the top of the papier-mâché letters for the eyescrews used to hang the letters. Then “screw” in the eyescrews. They don’t really screw in, so do your best, and then use your hot glue gun to “cement” them into place.
- Then lay the letters out on the drop cloth upside down and paint the backs with any color green, just in case they flip around, you want them to be green. Once dry, flip them over, and, starting with the light green color, spray paint the tops and the sides, and insides. Then randomly spray the medium green spray paint, but don’t cover everything, think of painting layers. Then take the darkest spray paint and do the same.
Above photo by me!
- Look over your letters and make sure there aren’t any blank spots, if there are, touch them up.
- Once dry, the hard part begins. Take your obscene amount of toothpicks and start inserting them into the holes. If you’re using 12″ letters, the toothpicks will insert easily most of the time, but if you’re using the 8″ papier-mâché letters, you will need to snap the toothpicks in half.
- Once all of the toothpicks are inserted, the letter are ready to hang. I used Clear Stretchy Cord because it is clear and gives a little elastic wiggle room. But you could also try using 3M hooks or duct tape to attach to a wall.
You’re going to need the following materials:
- Temporary Tattoo Paper
- An Inkjet Printer*
- PDF of designs, you want to layout your images in order to utilize as much of the paper as possible.
*Note: an inkjet printer means a printer that does NOT heat the ink as it prints, so no photo printers. Pretty much the cheapest printer that is available in stores today is your best bet.
- Design your tattoos and lay them out in a file of your choice (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) and save them as a PDF.
- Then print your PDF onto the white Tattoo Paper.
- Let the ink dry, then take the plastic covering with the green backing and line up the two pages. Remove the strip of green backing and secure to the tattoo paper. Then, using a ruler, continue to remove the green backing and smooth the plastic covering on top of the Tattoo Paper, smoothing out air bubbles as you go.
- Don’t worry if you mess up that last step on the first try, it’s not easy to do, but you’ll get the hang of it.
- Finally, cut out your tattoos. Try to cut close to the border, but not too close.
You might be able to use a Cricut to cut out the tattoos using the Print then Cut feature, but I unfortunately ran out of time to test this.
And last, but not least, Charity D’Amato of I Heart Cleveland created these awesome cactus pillows using beautiful Nate Berkus fabric, available at Jo-ann Stores and online. Maybe she’ll do a blog post tutorial, and if she does, I will link it here.Are you throwing a cactus themed party? If you happen to re-create any of these Cactus Makes Perfect party DIYs or the pillows, please be sure to share them with us on Instagram, using the hashtag #cactusmakesperfect. Thanks again, Jo-Ann Stores!