My friend Lizzie and I recently hosted an adventure-themed baby shower for our friend whose little boy should be here in just a few weeks. The main colors were red and aqua, with maps and hot air balloons thrown in. Lizzie made these swoon-worthy invitations:
I made decorations out of old maps. Austin has a great place called Recycled Reads, where the library sells off donated books, or books that have to be taken out of circulation. They also have a bunch of old, out-of-date paper maps. I scoured their collection for Austin maps, Texas maps and just plain pretty maps (good job, Colorado) and turned them into rosettes and pennant bunting.
Here’s a good tutorial for the rosettes. I used regular old white Elmer’s glue and some ribbon for my hanging loops. The pennants are triangles with an extra flap at the top that I glued onto twine.
I also made these light catcher hot air balloons out of old light bulbs. I loved the incredibly detailed ones I found on Pinterest, but the intricate lines are beyond my skill set, so I simplified. I sketched each pattern onto the light bulbs using a gold paint pen, with 6 lengthwise sections on the smaller bulbs and 8 on the larger ones, and varying where the horizontal lines and arches went, so that each bulb was unique. Then I colored in various sections using Sharpie brush-tip markers in red, blue and green. I’d never used these before – truth be told, I bought them because I could buy them singly at the craft store without having to buy a whole multi-color pack. Happily they were perfect for this project. They give a great amount of control and varied marker lines depending on how you apply them. The Sharpie ink actually looks quite pretty on glass. For clean lines, I went over my original outline with some gold paint and a brush (the gold marker worked… intermittently). To hang them, I hot glued a bead cap (similar to these) to the top of the bulb with a little twist of jewelry wire, then hung them on ribbons. If they don’t end up in the nursery, I think I’ll save these for Christmas ornaments!