Let’s Celebrate Part 3: Polka Dot Party & DIY Polka Dot Garland

“Let’s Celebrate Part 3: Polka Dot Party & DIY Polka Dot Garland”

Hey Everyone, I’m Megan, a regular guest blogger on Modern Day Moms. Every saturday for the next few weeks, I’ll give you the how-to for some of the party decorations that I’ve made over the years. Banners, invites, piñatas, garland and the whole how-to for throwing a polka dot themed double birthday celebration! Click here to see all birthday party posts.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I love making stuff for my kid’s birthday parties. I’m willing to spend a little bit of time making some decorations instead of buying them since I know I’ll get exactly what I want, save some money and get quality things that I can use year after year. I’ve already showed you my how-to for some traditions I have-a giant number for each year, handmade birthday invitations and birthday banners. This week: THE POLKA DOT PARTY!

My kids birthdays are only 17 days apart (with three years in between luckily!). This year my son turned one and my daughter turned four and I just couldn’t imagine throwing two parties for them so close together. Plus I couldn’t imagine making all the family and friends we wanted to invite come to two parties back to back. So I set out to throw one humongous double birthday party celebration that both kids would enjoy, the adults would enjoy and was special for both my munchkins. I decided to go with polka dot theme-pinks, greens and white for my daughter and blues, greens and white for my son. I knew that I could make a ton of different decorations in that theme and still have unique stuff for each kid. And I must admit, it was really nice to have only one partyJ

I started with a value pack of assorted cardstock from Joann. It’s a 50 pack of assorted cardstock in 8.5” by 11” sheets in different colors-only $4 and always on sale for less. I found the Botanicals colors for my daughter (light pink, light green, dark pink, crème and dark green) and the Cool Blues colors for my son (light green, light blue, white, dark green and dark blue). Then with a 1 ½” circle punch, I sat down and punched away. I honestly have no idea how many circles I punched, but I punched away while the kids ate all their meals one day and ended up with a huge stack of circles. I used around 5 sheets of each color and after multiple crafts, still had enough to scatter on the tables as decoration.


I used three circles on each of their invitations as balloons (my daughter glued them on and drew the balloon string! check out the how-to from a few weeks ago)
I decorated their giant size number 1 & 4 (check out my first blog in this series for the how-to)
I made a circle shaped piñata so that I could dedicate one side to each kiddo (stay tuned til next week for the how to)
Polka dot garland galore (see below)
Goodie bags for the candy from the piñata


Here’s what else I did for this massive double birthday celebration that I’ll be blogging about soon!

Bean bags with each child’s initial on it for party favors
Bean bag toss game (so they could enjoy their favor at the party!)
A special birthday shirt for each kid (made with polka dot fabric of course)
A happy birthday banner (see last week’s post please)

Super Cute Polka Dot Garland How-To:


– A circle punch: any size will do but I used a 1 ½” diameter one
– Cardstock in as many colors as you want: I used 5 colors for the two garlands I made
– Glue
– Ribbon, string, twine, curling ribbon, etc.
– Ruler


Cut out as many circles as you would like using the punch.

Lay out as many circles as you want to work with at a time (I stuck to 5 so that I could keep a pattern going with the 5 colors I chose).

Using your glue, make a thin line of glue across the middle of each circle.

Set the ruler above or below your circles so that you can space them out evenly (I spaced mine 2” apart).

Lay the ribbon across the circles along the glue lines. Glue around the outside of each circle as well as across the middle (I made a ‘S’ pattern and it went really fast).

Lay another circle on the top and lightly press to seal them together. Now repeat, repeat, repeat until you have the desired length you want.

I did 6’ on each garland because I wanted to hang them from my windowJ You can always make them shorter or longer-just measure the space you want to put them and don’t forget to take into account whether or not you want it to hang down a bit. Just think about where and how you would put up regular streamers and the garland would work there! It doesn’t take that long and after you do a little bit of it, you find a good rhythm. My kids both eat like snails so I would eat breakfast and lunch with them and then work on the garland until they finished eating. I also worked on it a couple nights after the kids went to bed while I watched tv and hung out with my husband.

*click to enlarge photos*

Here are examples of where I hung mine:

Hanging vertically from my dining room window

My fan

An ‘A’ for Audrey above my daughter’s bedroom door

You can also string them from corner to corner in the room like streamers, let them hang on the side of a table, hang them from the mantel, decorate the front door so the party guests walk through them upon entering the party, or anywhere else you need a little polka dot party spirit!

When the party was all said and done, I carefully removed the garland from the house, laid it carefully in a shoebox, and put it away in the attic until next year. I also threw in a few extra pieces of paper so that if I feel like making more next year, it’s all ready for me. Now I have garland to decorate year after year and it can work with tons of different types of decorations.

It is possible to throw a double birthday celebration as long as you plan ahead and do unique decorations for each kid while staying in one theme. Of course, it all works if you are just throwing a party for one kid too! Stay tuned til next week when I show you how I made a piñata that would celebrate both my kids’ birthdays. It only cost a couple dollars (minus the candy of course!) and took me less than three hours. Plus I’ll give you the how-to for some polka dot themed candy bags.

Today’s post is brought to us by Megan. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their two little ones; Audrey and Owen. Up until a year ago, she was a pre-school teacher and has a degree in Early Childhood Education. Now a (lucky) full-time mom, she enjoys spending her days teaching the kids through play, cooking, yoga and creating. In her very spare time she is an artist and has her own line of little girls skirts.

www.inbetweendreams.etsy.com or In Between Dreams on facebook



  • Jessica on August 13, 2011

    Great post Megan! LOVE the polka dot garland! I assume it would be great for holidays too! :) The color possibilities are endless.

  • via Facebook on August 13, 2011

    Will be trying this in fall colors as well as christmas colors! Great for more than just birthdays :)

  • Emily on August 13, 2011

    Cute garland!!! Love it.

  • Lisandra Grotheer on August 19, 2011

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

    • Meg on August 23, 2011


  • Sonia Clark Foster on August 20, 2011

    Megan, your blogpost definitely caught my eye. I love your polka-dot streamers and Polka-Dot Girl is the name of the children’s book that my daughter and I wrote together after she was teased at school. In the story, there is a polka-dot party so when you mentioned that, I knew I wanted to make you aware of this uplifting book that is well-loved by children and adults. You can check out our facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Polka-Dot-Girl/201865536522084


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