Early in our engagement, I became quickly OBSESSED with all things wedding. Researching vendors, brainstorming (and organizing) ideas on Pinterest, consuming every morsel of wedding blogs possible. It’s hard to say how many weeks or months passed before I looked up from my laptop one evening to see my honey watching me. I quickly realized that I was so dreamy about the wedding, I had lost focus on my relationship. For the next several months, I chose to be present with him and enjoy this unique time together.
That is until it was crunch time. There were many crafty touches to my wedding – let’s begin!
Paper Garland: One advantage to committing to a DIY project early is that you can keep an eye on craft stores to see when supplies go on sale. I was able to purchase my scrapbook “Ritz cracker” hole punch and colorful, palette-appropriate cardstock both on sale at Michaels. Next, I had a volunteer (thanks Mom) go to town punching “Ritz crackers” out of cardstock. Eventually it came down to Mom at her sewing machine as I “fed” her “crackers” and protected the garland from tangling. I will say the first batch did get dreadfully tangled, but I was proud of myself for letting go and tossing it, rather than spend ungodly hours trying to salvage the mess. We found the best way to transport the garland successfully was to wind it around a tube (in our case, an exercise foam roller), and wrap each layer with plastic wrap to prevent the separate layers from tangling. All in all, super cute and affordable. (We did toss the garland after the wedding).
Escort cards: Those who know me best understand that I have an affinity for rocks (a trait I inherited from my father, I suspect). Therefore it is only fitting that I find some way to tie this fascination into my wedding as well. This image from GreenWeddingShoes.com was the answer I was looking for. My version involved rocks smoothed by our dearest Atlantic, peach yarn, faux greenery, and a hot glue gun. Names were printed on cardstock (“Segoe Print” font).
Sweetheart chairs: Here is an image of inspiration I originally found on MarthaStewartweddings.com. Simple. Elegant. Natural.
I found our chairs on the side of the road… No, I’m not kidding. They had such a pretty silhouette, I knew they would fix up great. My advice:
- don’t waste your time with sandpaper – go straight to the power tools.
- buy more spray paint than you think you will need (3 trips to Michael’s later…) and
- don’t wear flip-flops while spray painting.
Directions: Our FANTASTIC venue was on top of a mountain. Literally. My goal was to have some sort of cute sign to help guests find their way. Here is one example I found on StyleMePretty.com.
In the realistic world of wedding DIY, you have to prioritize projects. This was one that we managed to squeak out, but just barely. This project looks easy as pie, but living in an apartment without any tools or space where you can really make a mess complicates matters. We used: (free) laminate flooring samples from Home Depot, wooden steaks, cardboard to make a stencil, white paint pen, and a staple gun.
Wooden place card holders: I still don’t know what to call these things – tree circles, wooden wedges, table name tag holders… whatever. Super cute.
This project is one I delegated to dear ol’ Dad. Thanks Geo! From what I understand, it was a bit tricky making the groove for the paper to sit just so. We were able to use Silly Putty to help the cards stand upright. (As you can see, we also named our tables instead of numbering them. And yes, I heart Harry Potter.)
Guest book: I knew early on that I didn’t want to take the traditional route with a guest book. Kinda boring, not too personal. I also knew that my bestie strongly disliked her approach with guests signing a matted picture (“Seriously, where the frig am I going to hang THAT?!” she would say – lol). My idea derived from the trending “wishing tree” where guests offer a word of advice, or other personal message of their choosing.
For our guestbook, I scanned/cropped/manipulated images into black and white vintage-looking pictures that represented Ray and I. These images related to design, cycling, outdoor adventures, nature, etc. Each card was cut to fit plastic sheets for baseball card collections. The book itself was a 3 ring binder (I got on sale) that my mom covered with linen and lace.
Ring pillow: Speaking of linen and lace, this image helped to inspire the design of my ring pillow. Thanks to Mom for putting it all together for me 🙂
Seating chart: I had loved the idea of incorporating oversized picture frames into the wedding. Whether these were used for general décor, photo-booth, or something else, I started looking early. Empty brand-new picture frames were more than I wanted to spend. It was a visit to my favorite Goodwill where I struck gold. The painting was an original on canvas with a solid frame around it. The frame had a few nicks, but those could be sanded/covered easily enough with paint. The painting itself was absolutely hideous. But! I only paid $2.99 for it.
The original plan was to use chalkboard paint to turn this ghastly painting into a lovely seating chart. Since we were short on time, we ended up with a flat black paint and white paint pen instead. The results were amazing! Anyone looking for a chalkboard-effect should definitely use the paint pen instead (trust me, I used chalk to make the menu). The paint pen is smoother, crisper, and doesn’t smudge. To help get it right the first time, I essentially used a carbon copy technique described in this Pin, with the paint pen as my final step.
I think that just about wraps up the majority of my wedding DIY projects. Hopefully you had fun and perhaps picked up an idea or two!