GIANT mosaic numbers / letters filled with balloons - Party decoration idea - DIY How to make tutorial - 18th birthday

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I made these giant numbers and love how they turned out!
This project took me two nights. I made the templates first and cut the back of the numbers out.
The next night (day before his birthday) I attached the sides on the numbers and filled with balloons. 

For best results, I would recommend attaching the balloons the day of or the day before.

UPDATE: To use less paper - don't click CUT MARKS or LABELS when printing.
Some people lose track of how to lay the pages out but if you start horizontal across 4 pages and then start the next row below it. See photo of pages taped. 

PDF number file printed (poster format)
2- 30x40 inch foam board
5 - 20x30 inch foam board
UPDATE:  After making several numbers now (8, 6, 2, 0) I use approx 6 - 20x30 boards
3 boards for the back of the number and 7-8 side pieces. 
Ruler, pencil and exacto knife
Hot glue gun & glue sticks or white tape

I made the template in a PDF file by printing it as a poster. 
Adjusted tile scale to 500% and draft setting to save ink.

**Video shows step by step instructions on how to print**

I have the PDF for #1, 2, 6, 8, and 0. Just email me and I'll send the PDF file. I'll work on making all of them and post an update.

All the pages had a small white border. I didn't worry about all the pages matching up, only the edges of the numbers. 

Taped together and cut the number out.

I found 30 x 40 foam boards at Office Max for under $8. 

I used the larger boards for the back of the numbers. Since the numbers are much larger I also used an additional 20x30 smaller board to fit the entire number. 

Trimmed and attached the two boards with packing tape.

#3,5,6,8,9, and 0 are rounded at the bottom and a little taller than the other numbers. I used the #1 to measure how much to cut off the bottom of the #8. This worked out perfect to make the bottom flat to allow it to stand up. 

I used the 20x30 boards to make the sides of the numbers. Measured 6" strips and cut. Each board made 3 strips and I think I used 5 boards to finish out the 1 and 8. 

Dollar store sells foam boards!!! Same boards at Walgreens were $5.29 each.

I used hot glue to attach the 6" strips around the edge of the #1. The straight edges were the easiest. 

To make the angles you have to lightly score the foam board about 1" apart. 

Don't press too hard. If you do cut complete through, just use tape to re-attach. I didn't have that issue but could easily see it happen.

To make the point in the #8, I scored the foam board on the opposite side from the rounded edges. 

Busy working and watching TV.

I inflated all the balloons different sizes. 
7" chrome balloons - approx 35 
Green & white water balloons
3 random grey balloons :)
Glue dots

NOTE: Next time I'll purchase a bigger variety of sizes. More 7" and some 5" balloons.

I used a hand pump to inflated a bunch of balloons 2 nights before and stored in a trash bag. The rest were done during assembly. 

I would not assemble more than a day in advance. The balloons start to loose air and gaps start to form. For best result assemble the day of or day before.

I used glue dots to hold the balloons touching the board and other balloons. These dots are super sticky. I would only unroll to show one dot at a time to prevent multiple being attached. They don't come off.

I used 200 for the 1 & 8 but ran out and had to use double sided tape. It did not work well. I highly recommend the glue dots. 
I ordered some on Amazon - 3000 (30 rolls of 100). I figured I'll need them for the next birthday. 

I also found these the day after at Wal-Mart for $3.63 for 300.

I used water balloons to make smaller balloons to fill in all the gaps.

I added the same color balloons on balloon stands and placed on either side.

So impressive. Great centerpiece to a party or backdrop.

Since my son turned 18 I also made a banner with "18 things you can do now that you're 18."
Free instant download link above.

He loved everything!

I'm now planning for a baby shower, 16th birthday, and graduation!

I have three other video tutorials on how to make the mosaic numbers and one for USA letters. Each one shows something a little different based on questions I received from people. The 18 was my very first one to make.

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18th birthday - Decoration idea to celebrate the big day - "18 things that you can do now that you're 18" banner - Texas - free instant download/printable - DIY tutorial

I can't believe I have an 18 year old. Yikes! 
I made the jumbo mosaic numbers - tutorial HERE

I also thought it would be fun to make a list or decorate with all the things the happens when he's an "adult." In quotations since I still do everything. Lol. 
Check your state on some because I used Texas laws for a few. 
FREE download/printable below. 

I decided to use the same fishing line from our annual NYE balloon pop countdown to hang photos.  

BTW, this was not to encourage him in any way. It says, "that you can do now" but I'm hoping that some don't happen. :)

Each photo is a 4x6 that I trimmed and folded. I used a ruler for the width of the fold and used the back of the scissors to press the folded end down firmer. If you use your nails it could damage the photo.

It took just a few minutes to adjust spacing on the fishing line. 

These are not my graphics. I just found clipart online, resized/edited, and added text. 


4x6 size - 1 per print
Print at your local Walgreens, CVS, print lab or print at home.
(Click link below and right click and save.)

Get a tattoo or piercing (need to fix the file)
Go to jail (Adult jail) Sometimes at 17
File a lawsuit or get sued (need to fix the file)

And more.....
Run for public office
 Get a Costco card
Sign a lease/contract
Get a hotel room
Adopt a child
Go travel / take a cruise
Pawn something
No longer compelled by law to attend school
Stay out all night - no curfew

Ummm...I left these off the list. Lol.
Go to a 18+ strip club
Be a stripper
Buy porn 

See an R rated movie at 17
Donate blood at 17
Can't buy cigarettes until 21

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Fondue at home - Treats & fruit ideas - The Melting Pot copycat - oreo cookie & graham cracker covered marshmallows

We made a fondue tray as one of our NYE balloon pop countdown ideas this year. 
I tried The Melting Pot Oreo and Graham Cracker covered marshmallows. 
They were so easy and tasted amazing!!!

I also made tray for one and a larger tray for a Dungeons and Dragons session. 
The first to go were the marshmallows. 

Ziplock bags
Rolling pin
Cup/bowl of water
Oreo cookies / graham crackers

I only had mini Oreos. I used two bags but had a lot left over. I made 8 large marshmallows. 
 I would think 4-5 regular size cookies would be plenty for the same amount. 

2 graham crackers to make 8 marshmallows.

Remove all the center cream/icing from the Oreo cookies.

Place in a ziplock bag and remove the air.

Roll until almost a powder consistency.

Hold the marshmellow and use your finger to add a small amount of water to the entire marshmallow. Rub gently the water in and the marshmallow will become sticky. 

Drop in the bag of crushed Oreo cookies, hold bag closed and shake. Make sure the entire marshmallow is covered. Repeat. 

I made them and immediately served. They dry pretty quick. 
I'm not sure if you can make these in advance and store in a container. I would think the cookie coating would become stale. Let me know if you try. 

NYE tray
Angel food cake
Brownie bites
Rice Krispie treats
Oreo covered marshmallows
Graham cracker covered marshmallows

1. Oreo & graham cracker covered marshmallows
2. Strawberries & pineapple
3. Rice Krispie treats 

Individual tray
Rice Krispie treats
Oreo covered marshmallows
Graham cracker covered marshmallows


D&D session tray
Brownie bites
Rice Krispie treats
Oreo covered marshmallows
Graham cracker covered marshmallows
Mini Nutter Butter cookies
Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies
1. Oreo & graham cracker covered marshmallows
2. Strawberries (didn't eat the pineapple at all)
3. Rice Krispie treats 
They ate all the other cookies & brownie bites without the melted chocolate. 

Six boys and I gave them individual cups of melted chocolate.

I was lazy and just used bakers chocolate and melted in the microwave. 
Microwave: 30 seconds on high, stir, and repeat until melted.

If you are looking for a fancier chocolate recipe I think this one sounded good.

Other ideas to use for dipping:
Red velvet cake squares
Cheese cake squares

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