Streamer Backdrop

We’re all so excited for this tutorial! Rachel‘s super cute wedding really came together with her “statement” project… the streamer backdrop. We’ll let Rachel take it from here!

You will need:

- Wooden dowels, in the length you need to cover (we had two 5′ dowels and three 3′ dowels) – $5
- Hot glue gun + glue (already had the gun) ~ $10 on glue sticks
- Crepe paper folds (I used 27 packages for a lot of coverage) $40
- Additional fancy crepe paper (if desired) $50 (you don’t need as much as I bought!)
- Metallic gold fringe (if desired) $25

Step 1: Choose your materials.

I bought plenty of cheap crepe paper from this store and they ship really fast! They sell the Cindus brand of crepe paper that is fairly common online, so you can find it from other sources as well. In total, I ordered 27 packs (3 each of 9 different colors) and I used most of it but not all of it. With shipping, that came out to $40. Keep in mind that I was making a 10 foot backdrop for our ceremony (out of two 5′ dowels) as well as three 3 foot backdrops to layer behind the dessert buffet, so you might not need nearly that much. 

I wanted a little bit of additional color that was closer to our real colors, so I ordered some fancy crepe paper from Castle in the Air, which has a much wider range. The gold metallic fringe was from Oriental Trading Company.

Step 2: Cut your streamers.

With the cheap crepe paper, I used Jordan’s excellent tutorial on fringe-y streamers. So easy! You can also cut some straight pieces of varying sizes with pinking shears for a textured edge but no fringe. Just follow the tutorial but you only have to do the first step and use pinking shears instead of regular scissors.

As you’re creating your streamers, keep them in separate piles by color and shade. This makes it a little easier when you start assembling.

Step 3: Assemble!

Getting the dowel in a good place to work was the hardest part for me! I tied mine with fishing line and hung it right under the blinds in my apartment and then worked on a stepstool. You could easily work with it on a table (cover it with paper or something first!), and avoid the hassle of finding somewhere to hang it. Just make sure you step back once in a while and check to see how it is looking when you hang it.

Start with a single shade and glue strips to the dowel at random(ish) intervals. For each piece you’ll want to use the glue gun to put glue on the dowel and then carefully press the strip onto the glue. Carefully! The paper is thin, and you can get burned right through it. Wear gloves if you have a tendency to burn yourself with hot glue. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect at this point. You don’t want to use up ALL your paper right now, you’re just getting a good start on it.

Repeat with each of the remaining colors.

At this point, you should have a decent distribution of colors and you’ll just want to start layering and filling in as needed.

Step 5: Pack it up

Voila! You have a gorgeous, enormous, fluffy backdrop and now you have to transport it somewhere (unless you are getting married in your living room, which is awesome). I was totally befuddled at this point. The solution we came up, that ended up working beautifully, was to spread out a clean dropcloth or sheet and lay the backdrop on top of it, spreading the streamers out straight out so that it looks like it would if it were hung. Then, starting with the dowel end, gently roll the streamers up, leaving the sheet on the ground for now. Don’t try to do this too tightly, you’re just rolling them gently. They barely weigh anything, so you’ll just have a fluffy streamer cigar. Now take one end of the sheet and wrap it around the streamers, rolling it until it completely encases them. Tuck the ends under or tie them off (loosely) and the streamers will transport easily and fluff right back into shape for the wedding.

Step 6: Hang them

This will depend on your space, so make sure you work this detail out before you get started! We hung ours directly from the rafters at our venue, which meant all we needed was clear fishing line and a ladder. On the actual wedding day, we unrolled the streamers and tied the dowels to the rafters. We fluffed the streamers up and re-arranged them a bit and flipped some of the gold fringe over so that it was more visible in the front. Our ceremony backdrop was in a walkway, so we brought some ribbon and kept them tied back like curtains except during the actual ceremony, which made for a nice reveal when the backdrop actually came down (or so I assume, because I was waiting impatiently outside at the time!).

(Process photos by Rachel / Wedding photos by Happy Confetti Photography)