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Ethereal Cloud Backdrop – DIY

One of my favorite things about planning my wedding last year was actually planning and hosting my own bridal shower. It was something I had thought about for a long time and I knew exactly the type of décor and vibe that I wanted. For my actual wedding day I had planners and vendors who took care of every last detail, so the shower was my chance to exercise my need to be creative.

Though officially billed as a “garden tea party”, my shower had very little tea and was actually held inside. My goal was to create the feeling of being in a beautiful garden atmosphere, but with the benefit of central A/C. I plan to dedicate an entire post soon to all of the decorations and details from my shower, but today I want to share these amazing DIY clouds, one of my favorite décor items from the event! This DIY was the perfect way to bring the outdoors in, and I loved the ethereal quality they brought to the décor!

I cannot take credit for the idea of the clouds – I actually originally saw them on Pinterest and knew they would be perfect for my shower. Click here to see the original post and step-by-step tutorial I used from A Practical Wedding. The steps I outline below are extremely similar to the original instructions, with the only major deviation being the hanging methodology.

clouds diy

clouds diy

clouds diy

clouds diy

clouds diy

MATERIALS NEEDED

Poly-Fil stuffing – I bought a 10lb box and barely put a dent in it. This stuff seriously expands – a little goes a long way. I made a total of 10 large clouds and probably only used 2-3 pounds of stuffing.

Paper lanterns – link is for the exact ones I used. 

Hot glue gun – this project uses a TON of hot glue. Do yourself a favor and get a large gun that uses extra long sticks

Clear fishing line

Scissors

Command hooks and strips – link is for the exact hooks I used.

Ladder (for hanging)

STEP 1 – PREPPING YOUR MATERIALS

Set up your lanterns and determine how you want to structure your clouds. For round clouds you will just use 1 medium or large lantern. For oblong clouds you should hot glue a smaller lantern to 1 or 2 sides of a larger lantern in order to create an irregular shape. Using a combination of both types ensures the clouds do not look too structured or all the same.

STEP 2 – ASSEMBLING YOUR CLOUDS

Glue the stuffing to the lanterns one handful at a time. You will come up with your own system that works for you for this step. There is no wrong way to do this. I personally found it easiest to put the hot glue on my handful of stuffing first, and then put that onto the lantern. I found that this method increased the surface area I covered with each handful AND as each lantern got more populated with fluff, putting the glue on the stuffing rather than just the small patch of lantern I was trying to cover helped hold everything together better. But again, whatever works best for you. The key is to not try to be too perfect here, every cloud is going to be different. You should also not cover the metal hook on your lantern – you will need this for hanging later! I will also just go ahead and say that I burned myself A. LOT. during this step, so keep the burn ointment close by!

As far as timing goes, do not try to complete this step all at one time. It is more time consuming than you think! I made 10 large clouds and worked on them during the evenings for almost two weeks. The project can get tedious after a while, so I highly suggest having a glass of wine nearby and some Real Housewives on demand!

STEP 3 – HANGING YOUR CLOUDS

In my home I do not have any beams or pipes or other way to naturally hang the clouds from my ceiling. Instead, I turned to command strips to help with this step. I used the command hooks you see pictured below and positioned those on my ceiling using the strongest command strips I could find. I hung the clouds over my buffet table at my shower so I could not risk them falling – I think I used 5lb capacity command strips which was definitely overkill.

Once I had the hooks positioned how I wanted, I created loops of fishing wire at varying lengths so that the clouds would not all be in one straight line. I then placed one end of each loop on the command hooks on the ceiling, and hung each cloud from the other end of the loops using the metal hook on the lanterns. See below for photos!

clouds diy

clouds diy

clouds diy

clouds diy

clouds diy

Once you’ve hung all your clouds, you may need to make some adjustments. Some hooks may need to be moved over or the lengths of some of your loops may need to be lengthened or shortened. That is totally normal – but I do suggest completing this step the day before your event if possible in order to leave yourself time for adjustments. For my shower, I not only adjusted hook positions and hanging lengths, I also decided I needed more clouds last minute and had to whip up a couple the night before. After you have your positioning how you want it, just unhook the clouds and leave the fishing wire on the ceiling hooks until you are ready to hang them for your event. This prevents unnecessary strain on your command hooks and also keeps the clouds out of your way until they are needed.

And there you have it! It really is such a simple and easy craft! The finished product is sure to illicit lots of oooohs and aaahhhhs from your guests. They look so much more complicated and labor intensive than they actually are. As I said before, I used these over my buffet table but they could also be used as a really cool photobooth backdrop.

If you give this tutorial a try, please send photos – I would love to see them! I also created a tutorial for floral ice cubes (which I also used at my bridal shower) in this post!

XOXO

By Paces West

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