Wedding DIY Signage

One way to add lots of personality to your wedding day is DIY signage and printed pieces.

All you need is a creative mind and a printer! (And if you don’t have a creative mind there are loads of graphic designers looking to make some extra moolah.)

For the place settings I made my own namecards and table names. (Our tables were names after locations that were sentimental to us.)

I created a menu that was folded into the napkins by our venue. Having a menu is another way to add some graphic interest to your tablescape. (That’s a graphic design nerd sentence if I ever heard one.)

I bought a Martha Stewart punch and made scalloped edges on our menus.

We also created our own wedding Mad Libs and they were put at each place settings. I put them here in hopes of helping any lag in entrance time or meal time. We had a blast reading them after we returned from our honeymoon!

I also bought some large black pictures frames from the clearance aisle at Joann Fabrics before our wedding. (I also bought them with the intention of using them in our home post-wedding. Stretching the worthiness of the cost even more.)

Then, I made lots of “posters”, that matched our invitations and general aesthetic, and placed them around the room in key places like the favors table, the coffee bar, the namecards table, so on.

I also made lips and mustaches-on-a-stick for our photo booth! (As seen in the image above.)

I added some visual interest to the bar by creating signs for all of our Signature Drinks to encourage our guests to give our specialty drinks a shot.

(My favorite was “The Claymore”, as tasty iced coffee beverage.)

Lastly, I created these “luggage-style” tags to decorate our favors – bags of carnival kettlecorn.

While designing all these pieces took a bit of time, the result was loads of personality infused into our venue at a very low cost. Paper projects are a very easy and inexpensive way to turn a generic venue into somewhere that says “you”.

(I use this general principle at most parties that I hold – not just weddings.)

(And for any other nerdy graphic designers out there – I stuck to the fonts Market Deco and Fling.)

Custom DIY Wedding Garter

I’m going to squeeze in a few more August-wedding-themed posts before September arrives!

Many brides personalize their garter these days. Although we did not do a garter toss (I’m not a fan), I still wanted to wear one. Because, really, when else does one get the opportunity to wear a garter?

I bought a cheapy $3.00 garter from a craft store.

It looked like this one:

via

I (carefully) ripped off the lace and ribbon.

I had a piece of ribbon that matched my bridesmaids dresses (navy with white polka dots). You will want a piece that goes around your thigh a little more than one time (to account for the ruching).

I loosely pinned the ribbon to the elastic/satin band and just did a quick straight stitch. (You could probably even hot glue this.)

Then I used another piece of two small yellow ribbons and tied two bows. I hot glued one on to the front where I ripped off the little crystal, and then I glued another one right on top of it to get the double-ribbon effect.

Then I prowled the buttons and embellishments aisle. I found a few funny shaped buttons that pertained to our relationship, but I ended up getting a button shaped like a Moose (who would have though such a thing existed?) because that is my nickname for my husband.

I hot glued the button over the ribbon and – boom. Done.

The entire project cost about $5.00 and took an hour.

($5.00 is a steal. Custom wedding garters on Etsy range from $12-$40 plus shipping.)

DIY Wedding Buntings and Thank You Signs

Continuing with my August theme of wedding-related DIY projects (in honor of our anniversary) today I’m sharing my decorative wedding buntings and thank you signs.

Buntings are all over the place these days! For our wedding I chose to do square buntings to cut down on time. Cutting squares will always be faster than cutting circles. Also, I could fit more on to one page.

I used Adobe Illustrator and InDesign for all my projects, although I don’t see why you couldn’t do this in PowerPoint or Word.

I cut out each letter and mounted it on a square of blue cardstock.

(This step isn’t necessary, but I wanted to add more weight to the letters to they wouldn’t flip around in the breeze.)

Lastly, I laid out a long spool of ribbon and hot glued the letters, leaving room for the ends to tie.

I knew I wanted to personalize our thank you notes. We had so many people to thank!

I made these “thank you wands”, as I called them, in Adobe Illustrator. I spray mounted them to foam core with 3M Super77 and cut them out with a razor blade. Then I glued them to two kabob sticks (which were glued together for strength) and added ribbon.

(In hindsight, I would not have done the scalloped edges. Cutting that out took ages, although I was happy with the result.)

For our cards, I purchased Mohawk plain, white cardstock photo frame cards and matching envelopes from Dick Blick Art Supplies and ordered the photos from Shutterfly for 10 cents each. Doing it this was was MUCH less of a cost than ordering custom greeting cards from an online source like Shutterfly or Snapfish.

In hindsight, I should have ordered address labels too. But I didn’t. My fingers still hurt. ; )

Wedding DIY: Ceremony Accordion Wheels

In keeping with my August theme of wedding DIY projects, today I am sharing some of our ceremony decorations.

We got married outside and had plain white chairs. To make an impact I wanted to put these pinwheel/accordion wheels on the backs of the chairs in the back row.

I went to Michael’s and bought a pre-packaged assortment of cardstock (that just happened to be in my general color scheme) for $8. (This is definitely the most cost effective way. I believe it was 50 sheets of cardstock.)

While I did not take any in-process photos (as I did this project over a year ago – sorry!) I found a great tutorial here at: I [totally] Heart Blog

For each wheel:

1. Take 4 sheets of the same color paper and cut down to an 8×8 square (You can make these at any size. This is just what I did.)

2. Fold the square in an accordion style – about 1 inch folds. I used a metal straight edge to fold.

3. Use a hot glue gun to glue them together into one long accordion.

4. When dry, lie flat on the ground and fold around into a wheel. Glue the seam and inject the middle of the wheel with hot glue as well. You will want to hold this for a good minute to let the wheel dry.

5. I sliced a small hole in the top and looped ribbon through it to tie around the chairs.

It was a great success and made a big impact! For $15 including glue and ribbon.

The only other ceremony decor we had was some aisle runner flowers. I got the shepherd’s hooks on clearance at Joann’s and our florist did the rest!

After the wedding these were hanging in our guest room. I couldn’t part with them, so they are waiting to be hung somewhere in our new house as well!

I feel like I should be humming “Here Comes the Bride” right now… but really I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. And I didn’t realize until this moment that they both start with “Here Comes The”.

Funny how that works!

I DO-it-yourself

Last summer was the summer-of-the-wedding. My husband and I were not only planning our own wedding, but were invited to nine others between May and September!

I was up to my ears in bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsals, ceremonies and receptions. And I can’t tell you how many trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond I had to make.

They were all lovely and, since I am in a serious relapse of wedding attending after last year, I thought I would share a few favorite ideas that I saw.

These favors were for an 80s themed bachelorette party, but could be tailored to any theme. Chocolate covered pretzel sticks were adorned with colored stripes or sprinkles. There were even a few “groom” decorated ones! This would be an easy and inexpensive DIY favor.

I loved this direction sign at my friend Kate and Andrew’s wedding. It was perfect for their rustic, barn wedding. The post had the direction and distance of sentimental places – like their favorite fishing hole, honeymoon location and their new home! This would take a little bit more advanced handiwork, but exudes loads of charm.

Tired of the same old wedding favors? They also had artisan salt in their wedding hue from Didi Davis Foods (www.salttraders.com). A hand embossed and labeled tag set the tone perfectly!

Looking for a post-ceremony crowd pleaser? My friends Emily and Brian had a homemade cupcake bar while they had their church wedding photos taken before departing for the reception! While we waited to see them off we munched on an assortment of mini-cupcakes and punch.

And finally, M&M favors! My friends Glen and Nikita had personalized M&Ms in their wedding colors with their names and faces on them! Too adorable! (This picture is not mine. I don’t have a good one.)

What’s the most number of weddings you had to attend in a short period of time?

What’s the best wedding DIY project you’ve ever seen?

Poms with a Twist (or pouf!)

You may remember how I posted my tissue paper pom tutorial here. BUT, I have just discovered a material to make them with!

Wait for it.

Tulle. Yes, tulle. As in 80s prom dresses.

But aren’t they fun? And so poufy!

I may have to try these out for my next party.

PS. Happy Mother’s Day to all : )

DIY Project: Cupcake Flags

Maybe you haven’t heard, but cupcakes are the new black.

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t experienced the cupcake fad explosion over the last few years. There are now whole stores devotes to selling cupcakes (Read about some tasty cupcakes I got for my birthday here) and The Food Network even has a new show, Cupcake Wars, devoted to the trend.

However, it’s “trend” status is morphing into “tried and true staple”. Many have questioned when the cupcake fad would end, but lately I’ve been reading how many event and catering specialists are now thinking it is here to stay. (Which I am personally quite glad to hear.)

Brides have been trading in the classic tiered wedding cake for trays of cupcakes in all colors and flavors. One wedding I went to this summer even had a “Cupcake Bar” (E – they were delicious by the way!).

Then the cupcake flag was birthed. See this beautiful example from (Hostess with the Mostess) below.

How did this begin? Perhaps hostesses wanted to combat the informality of the cupcake? Perhaps brides who had foregone the traditional “cake topper” wanted something special?

Just like “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop,” the world may never know.

Martha Stewart has downloadable templates for these flags, which are fine and dandy if you find one that works for you. But, what if you want your name on it? Certain colors? A theme? You might get some strange looks if the cupcakes at Cindy’s baby shower have wedding rings on them.

What’s a gal to do? Custom flags of course!

Many vendors on Etsy can create custom beautiful flags for you. BUT, I would recommend trying to make your own.

I made my own flags for our wedding. Moose wasn’t feeling the cupcake suggestion, so we ended up serving cheesecake. But visions of wedding cupcake flags had already infiltrated my crazy bride brain, so I invented…. cheesecake flags!

The best part about making your own is that you can have as many different kinds as you want. An Etsy vendor will likely charge you per design. With color and text variations, I had about  27 different kinds of flags. (Overkill? Yeah. I know.)

The other, and probably more enticing, reason to make your own is the fact they they are very inexpensive!

I made 150 of these flags. Can you guess how much I spent?

Toothpicks = $3
Hot Glue = $3
Printing Costs = $5 (This is if you go to Staples and not print them yourself.)

TOTAL COST = $11

I was able to fit 27 flags on a sheet by flipping half of the triangles around to create square shapes.

I used Adobe Illustrator. If you don’t have that you could probably use Microsoft PowerPoint or Publisher (it’s just triangles people! There are also lots of nice rectangle flags, like the one I posted above if triangles scare you.)

After that, I cut them out and hot glued a toothpick to the back. Bada boom. Three episodes of Smallville later, I had 150 cupcake (er, cheesecake) flags ready to go.

No one noticed that the back was blank. (*Seriously, wedding guests. Did you notice?) Heck, I wouldn’t have noticed. After I pulled that puppy out I would be eating that dessert with glee.

I hope this helps you make your cupcake involved event a little more celebratory and a little less expensive.

Cheers : )

Pssst… Images from (Hostess with the Mostess), and (FoodNetwork.com)

Distressed Photo Canvas: The Perfect Gift!

One of my best friends gave me this belated Christmas gift about a month ago, and I’m only just getting to posting about it now. It’s a distressed photo canvas! This is a photo from my wedding which she took and created this amazing work of art!

She is a fellow blog-reader and spotted this amazing project on another blog, Delia Creates. The how-to project is detailed here: http://deliacreates.blogspot.com/2010/03/distressed-picture-canvases.html

I can’t wait to try this out for myself! It’s a great gift idea or fun to do just for yourself. I love the textural results!

My brain is exploding with ideas! Distressed signs are very trendy right now – I could make my own! I love that bits of the image rub right off leaving exposed canvas throughout bits of the piece. The colors get a watery gradient going through them as well, so it almost feels like a watercolor painting.

For now, we have a great keepsake of a wonderful day. I love this photo. It was taken right after our wedding ceremony and looking at this picture takes me right back!

Delia Creates shows several examples of projects she has done so you guys can see a few more examples. I love that you can use this project for photos or artwork.

http://deliacreates.blogspot.com/2010/06/lemonade.html

Have you made photo canvases before?

Wills&Kate Pandemonium!

When the news started picking up about “Waity Katie” finally getting her wish, I paid attention. Like many other Americans, I am slightly obsessed with any kind of news regarding the British Monarchy.

Actually, that’s probably not true. I’m more than a little obsessed. When the news started picking up I read the biography of Princess Diana, “The Diana Chronicles” written by former Editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker magazines, Tina Brown. And this is where is gets worse. I was so engulfed by the story that I proceeded to read Andrew Morton’s original tell-all “Diana: Her True Story in her Own Words”.

Yes. I read two, quite lengthy, Princess Diana biographies back-to-back. I don’t think that makes me average.

And you can bet I’m ready to read the upcoming book by Christopher Anderson (releases on April 29!):

Since then, Wills and Kate, or should I say Prince William and Catherine Middleton have gotten engaged and begun planning their wedding. This paired with the fact that I think Kate Middleton and everything she wears is the cutest thing in the world, has launched quite the interest

Now begins the fun part. My whole reason for today’s post.

British royalty wedding memorabilia.

The Brits have a knack for creating tacky, hilarious, obsessive memorabilia. The china I don’t really understand. The last thing I want to see when I’m spooning up my mashed potatoes on Christmas Even is a weird faded out picture of Prince William peering out at me.

Seriously. Where do they get these pictures? Poor Kate.

Their official wedding china, I’ll admit, is beautiful.

Now this. This is hilarious. I remember getting Teen People issue featuring Prince William (in his pre-balding days) and he was a big cutie. Kate is a lucky gal. Prince or not.

Now THIS I would buy. I think this little pint mug was done so prettily!

And for the modernistas (Okay, I think these are kind of cool too).:

I could go on and on. Ugly t-shirts, more china (how much fine china can Brits possible use?) thimbles, spoons, plaques… There is a whole lot of ugly and amazing going on out there.

Now for my favorite piece. I would buy these in a hot second!

*Drum Roll Please*

Hah!! How cute! If I was going to wait for hours outside Buckingham Palace to catch a quick glimpse of the newlyweds, I’m sure I would want a pair of these adorable gloves.

April 29th is only a couple more weeks away!