DIY Holiday Bow Backdrop

For Party No. 12 I threw a BIG holiday-themed craft party! What more could you ask for in the final party of the year? Ladies, crafts, seasonal decor = my favorite kind of party. 

It had the biggest guest list thus far, and took place at my friend Becca's house. Her place has an awesome kitchen/great room for entertaining, and her dining room/living space was just right for the amount of people we had and the activities we planned. Plus, having her as a co-party planner was everything and more. 

Our theme was "HOLIDAY" everything. From red and winter white, with vintage and kitschy wrapping paper patterns, no amount of seasonal spirit was enough. It was nice not to stress about the colors or decor. Becca and I worked really well together, which I attribute to both going with the flow as far as planning went, and focusing on making the party fun. Team "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" for sure. 

Bigger parties, like this one, are a great excuse for a photo booth! Remember the photo booth from Party No. 1? Ah, gold and silver streamers. Michaels had a bunch of cute chalkboard painted props available on sale (in their DIY ornament section) that sold me on having one at this party. As far as the backdrop, I got the inspiration to include bows from this pin. Of course I thought, "How hard could it be? As long as I can find the bows for cheap, I'll be in business."

Not so fast. The dollar store had bags of 8 bows for $1 and Jo-Anns had bags of 50 bows on sale for $6ish. I wasn't sure how many bows I would need, but I knew it would be at least a few bags, which would put the price tag for this DIY at close to $20. I wasn't ready to pull the trigger just yet. I knew I could always cover the wall with pretty holiday wrapping paper if needed. Although, once I had this bow concept in my head, I had a hard time shaking it. 


While picking up baking supplies for the party at Target, I found these bags of red, white, candy cane, and black colored bows at 50 for $5. I still wasn't sold on the price, but I knew if I wanted to give this idea a shot, this was the best deal I was going to find. I grabbed 5 bags- that is 250 bows- and 2 foam core poster boards. 

I opened one bag at a time, and grouped same colored bows together to see how much space they would cover. I tried to make just two bags work, but quickly knew I would need to open a third. I started working on different patterns, leaving them for a few hours and coming back to see if I still liked the way it looked from up close and far away.

Thankfully, Jason was available to help figure out what looked best. Eventually, we made an executive decision and just went with it.

Teamwork makes the dream work! Once we nailed down the pattern, it all fell into place. Instead of taking the backing of each bow off and sticking them directly onto the poster boards, I decided to hot glue them into place. This way, I can pull off the bows and use them on gifts for years to come! And since I ended up using 150 bows, expect all presents that come from me for the next 10-plus years to come with at least one of these bows. (My future children just might get presents with these bows!) Luckily, I really love the colors: the reds are shiny, and the whites have texture. Target FTW yet again!

This is what we ended up with. The two poster boards didn't cover nearly enough space on the wall, so we added a black and white printed wrapping paper (my backup option if the bows didn't pan out). Jason was a HUGE help in setting up the camera, complete with tripod, flash, and timer remote. The lighting in the space was tricky, and the flash needed to warm up with each use. It wasn't perfect, but we were able to get it to a place that we were happy with, so I called it good and washed my hands of it. After 12 parties I have learned when it's time to walk away. This was the best I was going to get, since I installed the darn thing 10 minutes before guests arrived. 

But the pictures! The pictures turned out way cute! I got those headbands in the dollar section at Target, the tinsel was left over from Christmases past, as were those classic colored bulbs. Chalkboard props courtesy of Michaels. Check out the "best of" photo booth pics below!

My favorite photo from the booth. <3 I messed with the contrast and brightness on it, because I love it so much. Besitos Liliana!