Hi Everyone! We have another fantastic guest post from Nichole of Coral Pheasant coming up in just a bit, but first I wanted to pop back in to share a quick DIY project that I’ve had brewing in my head for the past couple of months. I thought these DIY Shibori-inspired watercolor placemats might be fun for outdoor celebrations over the long Labor Day weekend – or even for the holidays once we’re forced to move things back indoors. I love Shibori patterns, and I also love dyeing fabric, but the fabric dyeing process can be kind of intense and I wanted a bit more control over the results. So! I decided to break out my 30-color Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Box and see what I could do with watercolor paint and placemat-sized watercolor paper. These placemats would be a fun and unfussy addition to an informal dinner party (when you don’t necessarily want to bust out the fancy linens) or put a few together to create a colorful table runner!
I made two placemat designs: one inspired by the traditional Shibori triangle fold technique, and another striped design loosely inspired by the rubber band resist technique. The triangle fold pattern was actually inspired by my Shibori-inspired shower curtain that I picked up from Target a couple of years ago (of all things), and the striped pattern was inspired by the pattern on this chair. The two patterns work really well together, and I love the mix of cobalt and indigo blue. Also! This is a first for me, but I thought it might be easier for all of you to watch the actual painting process rather than try to photograph each and every step – so I made a video tutorial! Please forgive the video quality (it was just me and Hyperlapse on my phone), but it was so fun to put the whole process together, so hopefully I’ll be able to do more of these videos down the road!
3/4″ or 1″ Flat Wash Brush (I used a 3/4″ flat brush from this set)
To Make the “Triangle Fold” Placemats
Step 1. Using a pencil and the 12″ ruler, draw very light straight vertical lines at 3″ intervals along your paper. Then, starting in the top left corner and continuing across the page, use the 18″ ruler to draw very light diagonal lines to connect the vertical lines. Once all of the lines have been drawn, the paper should look something like this (I highlighted my lines in lavender so you could see them more easily):
Step 2. Using the brush provided in the Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Box or a Size 6 round brush, paint the lines a deep indigo color. Use a lot of the indigo pigment and very little water to achieve a deep, saturated watercolor paint color. I recommend working in small sections from left to right (or right to left if you’re left handed) – you’ll see why in the video, because I made a mistake and smudged the wet watercolor paint after painting too far down one of the diagonal lines! Apply different levels of pressure along each line to create wider and thinner sections of each line. Let everything dry completely, about 10 minutes. You can use the drying time to paint more placemats.
Step 3. Use the round brush to add a small amount of indigo pigment to a small cup of water. Once the placemat is fully dry, use the tinted water to go over each line to create a diffuse dye-like effect. Finally, add an extra dose of indigo pigment where the lines intersect. Let the placemats dry completely and they’ll be ready to use!
To Make the Striped Placemats:
Step 1. Using a pencil and a 12″ ruler, draw very light straight vertical lines at 3″ intervals along your paper.
Step 2. Using a 3/4″ flat wash brush, paint varying horizontal widths (mine were between 1/4″ wide and 1″ wide) along each vertical line and alternating between cobalt and indigo on every other line.
Step 3. Use the thin edge of the brush to connect the horizontal sections along each vertical line. Add a layer of tinted water over each horizontal width to blend and create a more diffuse dye-like effect. Let the placemats dry completely and they’ll be ready to use!
These placemats could easily pull double duty as place cards by writing the name of each guest in a visible location. Or, if placemats just aren’t your vibe, put a few together to make them into a custom table runner! I could totally see them providing a much-needed pop of color between a wood table and a wood or slate cheese plate. Or on top of a console table serving as a temporary bar or dessert station! So many options!
Photo Credit: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that we offered two signature cocktails to guests at Paper Party 2016. In the past we’ve offered an open (cash) bar so that guests could order whatever they liked, but I’ve always wanted to do a custom cocktail menu – after all, it is kind of one of the things we do best around here! So we finally did it! Andrew came up with two recipes that we thought worked well for both the time of year and the number of guests (we were estimating around 250 people): a Pineapple Mai Tai and a Lavender Collins. They’re both so, so good and perfect for summer get togethers! Today we’re sharing the recipes for both drinks, along with the cocktail coasters, stir sticks, menus, and matchbox favors that we made for the Paper Party!
First, the stationery! Sarah from Parrott Design Studio designed the gorgeous cocktail menus – I printed them at home using my Epson WorkForce WF-7610 printer (which can print borderless!). I printed a smaller 5×7 size to scatter around the venue, and a larger 8×10 size to display at the bar.
We also worked with Foryourparty.com to make some fun wood cocktail stir sticks in shiny lavender foil, coasters in shiny lavender foil, and – my personal favorite – Riviera matchbox party favors with shiny silver foil on lavender Color Plan paper. I just can’t get enough lavender these days!
Okay, so I may have gone a bit coaster crazy for the party this year, but after seeing this absolutely AMAZING hologram foil called Micro Glitter at Bella Figura when selecting a foil for the Paper Party invitations, I asked if they’d be willing to print up some coasters for the party. Can you blame me? The Micro Glitter hologram foil is just ridiculously awesome. It reminds me of a disco ball! How could I resist?
Okay, now on to the cocktail recipes! I wanted one of the cocktails to be fruity and tropical, and the other cocktail to be effervescent and refreshing (especially after a long day at the Javits Center). A Pineapple Mai Tai and Lavender Collins were the perfect fit! I highly recommend giving both of these cocktails a spin at home!
1 oz Silver Rum 1 oz Aged Rum 1 oz Lime Juice 3/4 oz El Guapo Orgeat 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice 1/2 oz Orange Curaçao
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled two-thirds with ice and shake gently. Strain into a lowball glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a mint bouquet. Enjoy!
One quick note about shaken drinks: If you’re making a large quantity of a shaken cocktail recipe in advance, chances are you won’t individually shake each cocktail in a cocktail shaker. But! Shaking a cocktail with ice adds water to a drink, so without it the drink can come out a bit on the strong side. When pre-mixing a large batch of cocktails in advance, you’ll need to add extra water to the recipe to compensate. We recommend adding about half an ounce of water per serving for these kinds of drinks.
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to host more dinner parties, which also happens to be the perfect excuse to buy all the party supplies I’ve been eyeing! Here are a few favorite party supplies for hosting the perfect dinner party! – Annie
True story: this entire post was inspired by a trip down the snacks aisle of my local grocery store. I have a MAJOR weakness for Rice Krispies Treats and couldn’t resist picking up a box while ostensibly shopping for the more appropriate items on my list. But I got to thinking about New Year’s Eve and how I always want a sweet post-midnight snack, so I thought I’d combine a few of my favorite items into a cute favor bag with a printable label that you can hand out to your guests on New Year’s Eve! Plus, Lauren created a beautiful fill-in card for you and your guests to record your New Year’s resolutions, giving us a perfect trio of New Year’s Eve party printables. Just add in some champagne (or a couple of signature cocktails) and you’ve got everything you need for a fantastic fête on New Year’s Eve!
I also found some travel size bottles of pain reliever tablets at the grocery store, and it seemed like a good idea to toss one of those into the favor bags for any friends that might, ahem, find themselves with a bit of a headache the next day. But pain reliever labels aren’t the cutest thing in the world, so I created a little label to use instead. You can find both printable labels for download below!
To make the New Year’s resolutions card, just download the template here and print onto text weight or cover weight letter-sized paper. Use a paper trimmer to cut the printed paper into quarters. So easy!