Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Paper Pom-poms and other Party Decorations, by Juliet Carr. Review.

Paper Pom-poms and other Party Decorations

35 step-by-step projects to make with tissue, paper, and card

By Juliet Carr

Cico Books, September 2015

Paperback £ 12.99


Star rating: ****

Juliet Carr, the author of this fun new papercraft title, lives the dream. Five years ago she set up her own company, PaperPoms UK, and now she makes handmade papercraft flowers – event decorations for glamourous clients like the Queen and Madonna. In the book, the author shares her passion – and design know-how – for making  papercraft decorations suitable for weddings and other festive occasions.

As you would expect, tissue paper pom-poms are the core project. Because they are made of tissue, the pom-poms are virtually weightless and can be ginormous in scale, which makes for a visually stunning super-sized party dec. The basic design is made of pleated tissue paper layers which fluff up to look like carnations or snowballs. 

The book is chock full of easy-make yet fabulous ideas – each a combination of scissors, paper, and ingenuity. Example: the floor-to-ceiling Horizontal Fringe Twists, shaped like strands of DNA, are show-stoppers – yet they are only twisted lengths of fringed crepe paper. Other projects include honeycomb balls (fun-to-make paper lattice), and a Top Hat Piñata (piñatas are always a great party choice). 

As you would expect, there’s a section on Garlands and Buntings. The Snip Shape Streamers are a fun-to-make dimensional lattice cut from patterned giftwrap. Also on hand – some simple-cut papel picado banners (tissue paper crafting has a Mexican papercraft legacy). 

There’s fun to be had with some super-sized blooms. The Giant Daffodils and Rose are surreal and great fun. As to the scale – you’ll think yourself a Borrower. I am not surprised to read that the author is branching out into set design!

Another winning project – the waxed floating water lilies, magical when illuminated with water-resistant LED tea light votives.

One of my favourite features of the book are the snippets of papercraft historical info – such as the Mexican papercraft roots and pom-pom popularity in the ‘70s. As for the how-tos – there are text + photographic step-by-steps for each project and full-size templates back of book. There’s also a handy list of suppliers.

Juliet Carr, the author of Paper Pom-poms will be on hand at Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair, at Hampton Court Palace, 18-20th September. PaperPoms is at Stand 116 (West Tent), and Juliet is teaching a daily Pom-Pom Panache class at 12.30.