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“Set Sail” Graduation Party Decoration

DIY Projects, Styling and Text by Hostess with the Mostess

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Invite your favorite grad to “set sail” on their bright future with this playful, nautical-themed party decoration. Many graduation parties happen during the summer time, so a celebration inspired by sunshine and sailboats is especially fitting. This generously-sized DIY decoration features two oversize balloons and is sure to make a BIG splash on your dessert table, drink station – or anywhere else it “docks” at the party!

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  • Balloon Time Helium Tank
  • Gold Crescent Moon Mylar balloon
  • 36-inch yellow balloon
  • 12-inch white balloons
  • Fishing wire
  • Foam board
  • Printable graduation sails
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • Hot glue
  • 3D adhesive dots
  • 36-inch wooden dowel
  • Sand
  • Small floral container
  • Floral foam
  • Gold number stickers (optional)
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  1. Print and cut out the graduation sails on an 18×24-inch pdf. TIP: Print the sails as color engineering prints, which only costs a few dollars for an 18×24-inch print.
  2. Use spray adhesive to mount the sails onto foam board. Align the straight sides of the sails with the corners of the foam board so that you only need to hand-cut the angled side on each one.
  3. Cut the sails from the foam board loosely (leaving some excess board near the angled edge).
  4. Use a straight edge ruler and craft knife to trim off the excess foam board from the sails. You should end up with two finished, sturdy sails.
  5. Set up your base: Insert a tall dowel rod into a small vase or container filled with floral foam. Pour sand over the foam to cover it and add weight.
  6. Fill the crescent balloon with air and use glue dots to attach it to the front of the base. Hot glue the sails to the top of the dowel rod.
  7. Fill the giant yellow balloon with helium and attach it to fishing wire. This will act as your sun. Fill five or more 12-inch white balloons with helium to represent clouds.
  8. Personalize it! For the finishing touch, use gold number or letter stickers to add the guest of honor’s graduation year or name to the giant sun balloon.
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Note: Adult supervision is required when using balloons. Please read all warnings and precautions on the Balloon Time carton.

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