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Project Wedding: Photo Finish

How to craft a graphic backdrop for your party booth

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Photographs by Justin Gollmer

The backdrop thing is just a hobby. Sara Ewalt is really a piñata artist—no, make that a sculptress of all things paper, from tissue to cardboard and in between. She crafts sweets-stuffed sea creatures, ombre strawberries, striped hearts, and giant “&” symbols for clients of Pinyadayada (pinyadayada.com), and, with Hens and Chicks Collective (hensandchickscollective.com), builds immersive installations of origami and intricate shapes. Perhaps you encountered their holiday wonderland at Pacific Place?

Riffing on arrows and triangles—shapes that have thoroughly invaded the style and home décor landscape—the former fashion merchandiser (she used to produce displays for Anthropologie stores) crafted a color-blocked, multistrand backdrop that can be adapted to any color scheme and a variety of special interests. Ewalt likes to vary each strand’s direction for a sort of zigzag effect. You might even make enough to backdrop dessert and gift tables.

 

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Photographs by Justin Gollmer

Sew Easy 

Ewalt cut one-inch strips from inexpensive colored 8½-by-11-inch paper and then folded the strips in half to form V shapes. She then slowly fed the shapes through a sewing machine to create each long strand. (She suggests playing with the machine’s tension a little before you get started.) Be sure to leave yourself plenty of thread at the top of each strand for hanging, and consider tacking them all to a horizontal cardboard strip ahead of time for easy set-up at your venue. You can also experiment with suspending them from a rafter instead of having them flush against the wall, so that they’ll flutter and twirl. Literature buffs can cut Vs, or bigger shapes, from poetry books, tech types can take pages from coding manuals, and so on.

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Photo by Justin Gollmer

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