In bloom

It’s almost spring! You know what that means right?! Prom season is upon us! Ok, no. No one was thinking that. So random, I know, especially for someone who is well over a decade out from going to her own prom. But the reality is, there are thousands of teens in the Los Angeles area who will be shopping for prom this spring, and a good amount of them will struggle to find a way to get this “once-in-a-lifetime” experience due to lack of financial, social, or emotional support. And this is where The Princess Project steps in, to provide this experience for teens in need!

I stumbled upon The Princess Project when I was on the lookout for volunteer work. Luckily for me, The Princess Project Los Angeles was in need of volunteers for their site and staging committee for their dress giveaway events, and the timing could NOT be more perfect. Plus, anytime you can volunteer for a non-profit is even better if you ask me! Interested? I knew you’d be!

Going through all the planning and preparation and speaking with the wonderful people of this organization, I realized, it is damn hard to be a teen theses days! All the social pressures, amplified by social media galore. To be able to give them this special moment is so much more than outward appearance. It’s the promotion of self-worth, confidence, and youth empowerment that each person takes away from each giveaway event that is truly powerful.

Now, for the design aspect. Boy. OH. Boy. This has been one interesting challenge. Budget and materials were limited and primarily donation-based. I set out to make a photo backdrop, and this experience has taught me to be incredibly resourceful and to see things beyond its face value.

Out of the kind heart of a local craft store, the most bountiful decor donations I had to work with was a cart full of Christmas clearance decorations. But when someone says you can have something for free and you start with nada, then you better take it and go with the flow!

When I got home, it basically looked like Christmas had thrown up in my living room. I decided to dive in and remove any remnant of Christmas off all the decorations, and was left with a whole lot of these:

Having so many leaves readily available, I decided a garland of some sort was the best way to go! Also, since they were all fake, I knew they would be re-usable for future Princess Project events to come.

I pulled off the individual stems which came off quite easily! I had some twine at home and tied the ends, spacing them about 4 inches apart.

I bought three, 10 ft. PVC pipes at Home Depot, each for under $2. The dimensions were 7 ft wide, about 7 ft high and the base on each side was 5 ft long.  I was also lucky enough to find these pre-cut pom pom flowers at the dolloar store. Each pack was 6 pom-poms for ONE DOLLAR. 72 flowers for $12…..I wanted to break out in happy tears.

This project met all my goals and I couldn’t be happier. I stayed within budget while still being able to reflect my style. Not only do these flowers remind me most of peonies in bloom (one of my fave flowers!), but they are also symbolic of a flourishing time in every teen’s life that The Princess Project hopes to highlight. Special thanks to the hubs for helping me cut PVC pipe and unraveling some pom-pom flowers :).



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