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If life gives you garbage, make confetti!

Maybe it’s that I spent too much time on crafting this week, or maybe it’s just the natural cycle of things, but on Thursday my creativity crashed headlong into a brick wall, quivered a bit and then lay pathetically still. Just in time to put together this week’s blog post, naturally.

Discussing this unfortunate event on Twitter, I suddenly hit upon new inspiration. My creativity moaned and stirred and staggered to its feet to collect the scattered pieces of itself.

The scattered pieces were small, varied and entirely random, but also very bright and colourful. The result? Creative confetti!

So dig out all your paper scraps, items from your paper recycling, your chip packets and candy wrappers and bits of ribbon and whatever else you can find, and shred it. Then have a party!

Special thanks to Elomin Sha for inspiring new life in my crippled creativity. :)

What you’ll need:

  • scissors (or your bare hands, or teeth, depending on your mood and exact percentage of Neanderthal blood)
  • stuff to shred (flyers, bulletins, magazines, ticket stubs, food boxes, gum and candy wrappers, foil, colourful plastic bags, any kind of packaging – especially if shiny – ribbons, etc.) The more brightly coloured and/or shiny the better.

1) Gather everything up. I did this project on the road, which limited me slightly as I didn’t bring along any bits of ribbon or all the silver foil I’ve been saving for some future craft project, but oh well. I used old birthday cards (you can’t keep them forever, so enjoy them and then put them to a new use), a Twix wrapper, bits of scrapbook paper, a church bulletin, tourist flyers, plastic packaging, bus transfers, pages from a books used to make book purses, unused tax forms, an old bookmark, a pantyliner box (why not? The packaging for feminine hygiene products is almost always brightly coloured), junk mail flyers from Rogers and a plastic bag.

2) [optional] Sort your stuff into colour-themed piles. All blues and greens, maybe, or pinks, or yellows and purples, whatever you like. Or skip this and mix it all together.

3) Shred it. Easiest way for me was to cut stuff into narrow strips and then cut those strips into tiny pieces.

4) Combine your different coloured/textured/patterned piles into nice confetti mixes. I started with a neutral base, like bus transfers or old book pages, and added colour to that. Those pink tax forms make a really nice base as well, because they’re coloured on both sides. (Yes, I did my taxes, but they always give you extra forms. And it’s really really satisfying to cut them into small pieces and throw them at people – you should try it.)

If you don’t like the colour mix, just add some different colours. This isn’t like mixing paint – you can’t put too many different colours it. You won’t end up with mud hues.

One of my mixes wasn’t coming out as colourfully as I wanted, so I grabbed some touristy flyers from the BC ferries flyer rack, cut them up and added them in. Much better!

I also highly reccommend using some amount of shredded couple gum or candy wrappers, chip bags, plastic bags or packaging, aluminum foil, etc. – anything that has a bit of shine to it. This could be a great excuse to buy yourself a chocolate bar.

5) Put in some kind of secure container.

6) Now start a confetti fight! Or put a bunch in letters to friends and family (only if you’re confident that they love you enough to forgive you, though), or decorate your dinner table, or take it to W00tstock and throw it at the stage. If you’re reading this after W00tstock, that totally wasn’t me. I have no idea who started throwing bits of paper around like that, but I was on the other side of the auditorium. I swear.

Thanks to Ashley for her assistance in demonstrating the great joys of confetti-throwing, and to Jeremy, who was behind the camera. And yes, we littered. Just a little bit. For the sake of art and entertainment. We’re deeply sorry. We repent. We will never never never do it again, until the next time art and entertainment demands it of us. Children, don’t do this at home.

Leave a comment


  1. great post as usual!

  2. So, just leave the plastic wrappers (and definitely the aluminum foil) out, and it’s biodegradable litter. Problem solved. This looks like fun, and it might make all those junk mail credit offers just slightly less annoying.

  3. admin

     /  May 11, 2010

    This is a very good point. Everyone listen to my wise mother, and make biodegradeable confetti!
    Also, presumably one will generally NOT be throwing the stuff around on BC ferries, but in a more contained and clean-up-able area.
    You’ll all be happy to hear that due to the wind, most of it ended up back on the deck and not in the water anyway. (And we actually threw very little, but it spread out nicely and looks like much more than it is in the photos.)


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