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Summertime was always so much fun when I was growing up. Our backyard was our playground and oasis filled with backyard games and plenty of swimming in the pool. We used to beg to keep swimming, hours after our fingers were pruney, and we couldn’t get enough of being outside.
We played badminton, baseball with a wiffle ball, and my Dad always had some other creative game up his sleeve; egg tosses, bobbing for apples, wheelbarrow races, you name it, our family did it and I loved every second of it. It didn’t matter if we got dirty or sweaty in the Southern California sun, which we usually did, we were just there to have fun and run off some of that summer energy.
Now that I am older I have great dreams about being able to host fun get-togethers with our family and friends in our own backyard. We have been working on freshening up some of the backyard that was looking a little weathered from being out in the sun and my sweet husband tackled the job of recovering the palapa that covers the grill and outdoor island. It looks so nice now and has me in an island state of mind and feeling a little wanderlust.
We loved our tropical honeymoon in Turks and Caicos last year and I am hoping to go somewhere tropical again in 2017 – Hawaii, anyone? It doesn’t help that I also purchased all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ laundry detergent during a trip to Safeway; it smells like tropical flowers and makes me feel like I am sitting on a sandy beach. But for now, I will just have to be content with a tropical DIY party in the comfort of my own backyard and tropical smelling clothes in my laundry room.
The first thing I decided my luau needed was some bright and beautiful flower decorations. I love making kusudama flowers and usually make them with 3×3 squares of paper where the whole flower fits in the palm of my hand. In fact, this blog started with the kusudama flower project for Shauna’s wedding and you can see my embarrassing archives here.
I decided to try something a little different for this party and make giant kusudama flowers with 12×12 paper.
Showing how to fold these flowers can be challenging in photos with a paper that is the same color on both sides, so I wrote out the directions as well.
HOW TO FOLD KUSUDAMA FLOWERS:
• Fold your paper in half to make a triangle.
• Fold the base corners up to the top corner to make a diamond
• Fold the same flaps down so the center edge is flush with the bottom edge (it should look like a stealth jet)
• Pop up the flap and push flat to make a flag on both sides
• Fold the tip of the flag over the edge and crease to make a small triangle on both sides
• Push the small triangle into the opening of the flag on both sides
• Fold inward along the flag crease to make a square
• Add a tiny drop of glue to one of the flaps and glue to the opposite flap
• Allow to dry and you have the first petal for your kusudama flower
Pro tip: I use a small binder clip to hold the flaps together while the glue dries so I am free to start on the next petal and then start glueing the petals together.
I made my giant flowers for the wall behind my party table and then decided to make some smaller ones (with 3×3 paper) for the table as well! – because making origami flowers and watching The West Wing re-runs is WAY more fun than finishing my math homework.
We put out some mini corndogs (always a hit with my nephews), bowls of chips and popcorn, some rock candy, and a batch of my mom’s Pink Sherbet Punch for everyone to enjoy.
Remember how I said my parents always let us have fun and get dirty? The thing about this punch is that it is tasty but also really messy when the kids help themselves to the punch bowl. Luckily, we can keep the tropical theme going and bring the freshness of the tropics to our backyard with the trusted cleaning power of all® while still letting the kids have fun. We don’t worry about sticky punch clothes or grass-stains, all® contains in-wash pre-treaters for great stain removal.
Tell me how you are planning to have fun this summer and if you love tropical smelling scents as much as I do in the comments.
To find NEW fresh tropical mist in store near you, visit all®’s website and click “Where to Buy”!