Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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Paper Carnations December 9, 2010

I love carnations and I love paper flowers. Combine the two and you clearly get paper carnations. These can make great decor at your wedding; you could carry a paper flower bouquet, put paper wreaths up on walls or hanging off of chairs/pews along the aisle. Not only can you prepare these as far in advance as you like, they’ll last much longer than fresh flowers as a memento of your big day.

Martha Stewart's cupcake liner wreath

I was watching Martha Stewart this morning and she made this wreath out of coffee filters or cupcake liners (personally, I liked the larger, softer folds of the coffee filter version, but the photo shows one made with cupcake liners.) While they didn’t mention it, I found that it bore a striking resemblance to carnations. This is not only gorgeous hanging on a door, but it would be adorable hanging with a long ribbon in your wedding colors along your aisle.

You can also create these adorable tissue paper carnations from Folding Trees. These would be super cute in a bunch as a centerpiece or even held as a bouquet.

My wedding flowers were all carnations so I want to make these paper flowers as a sweet reminder of my wedding and as a nice piece of decor. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have you tried either of these crafts or have another way to make paper carnations? Let me know in the comments!

 

Ribbon, Ribbon, Ribbon Part 2: Favor Boxes August 11, 2010

Filed under: decor,diy,etc,paper things,Uncategorized — clln @ 6:23 pm

Have you ever thought of your guest favors as decor? You should start. Let them be the gift that keeps on giving. Depending on your favor, there are many ways in which to display the items, but this project works with items that are boxed. This DIY project is super simple, incorporates the ribbon theme I’ve been going with, and can be customized to any color and many degrees of detail.

Let me give you a little background on this as this project came out of necessity. My future mother-in-law told us she could get 200 crystal butterfly ornaments for free. We don’t like them, we wanted to make a charitable donation in lieu of favors, frankly we’re kind of embarrassed to give these out and FMIL wouldn’t take the hint, so long story short, we’re concealing them in their boxes. Well, they’re going to be at the wedding, so why not make them pretty? The original plan was to wrap them in sage green wrapping paper so that it could add to our green theme, but sadly we couldn’t find any sage green wrapping paper. That’s when my amazing future sister-in-law came up with the idea to wrap them in ribbon!

Super-easy ribboned guest favor.

If you also have a boxed favor, you can achieve this incredibly easily and it will look great placed on everyone’s plates at the reception. Wrap the boxes in paper in one of your wedding colors (or even patterned would look amazing), then cut a piece of ribbon in another one of your wedding colors long enough to wrap around the box (in whichever direction covers more of the tape from wrapping,) then use a glue gun on either end of the ribbon, wrap it around the box, and affix the glued portions of the ribbon to the bottom of the box. By not tying it, you save a lot of time for yourself and make it harder to unwrap, hopefully keeping the boxes wrapped during the reception so that there isn’t crumpled wrapping paper littering the floor.

You can add a little bit more detail by making a bow and gluing it to the top of the box (although it will be harder to transport all of the boxes to the venue as they won’t stack as nicely.)

Just remember, you can add a little but of ribbon in a lot of places to jazz up anything. Stay tuned for another ribbon craft.

 

Ribbon, Ribbon, Ribbon, Part 1: Money Box August 9, 2010

If you love white satin, lace, beads, tassles, quilt batting, and treasure chests, then you can easily find the money box of your dreams for your wedding. However, if you’re like me, you’re looking for something simpler that allows for customizable colors, feast your eyes on my DIY money box:

My DIY ribbon money box

Not only do I think it’s prettier than the money boxes I’ve seen in stores, it was cheap! The box was $14.99, and the ribbon was $1.99 and $0.47 for the rolls of the wide and thin ribbon, respectively. Approximately $17.50 definitely beats the $44 for which the puffy white treasure chests are going.

This is the first of my many DIY ribbon projects that I’ve been doing for this wedding, the photos of the others will follow soon. Ribbon is practically our wedding theme now. It’s pretty, it can be reasonably inexpensive, and it comes in a plethora of colors (so you can match it to your wedding color palette.)

Here’s how I did it (and how you can do it too!) I used one cardboard craft box (tips on choosing one can be found below,) two styles of ribbon (one thick and one thin, in different shades of green), a hot glue gun, and an Exacto knife.

I got an oval-shaped cardboard box from Michaels. They have a wide variety of shapes and sizes and they typically come in ivory or the traditional cardboard brown color. Make sure it’s a big box because one ill-placed card can take up a lot of space (they don’t all fall in perfect formation, unfortunately.) I went with ivory so that I wouldn’t have to decoupage or paint it, but these are options. Tissue paper could be torn into pieces, coated with hodge-podge glue, and attached to the box to give it any color you wish.

Once the box is the color you like, you must make a hole in the lid that can accommodate standard card envelopes. Use a few of your engagement and bridal shower cards, as well as a standard letter envelope, to test the size. Make sure the hole will be wide enough to accept a fat envelope (have you seen some of those cards in the card store with all kinds of pretty things attached to the front? Those envelopes aren’t thin.) Mark your desired hole size with a pencil, then take an Exacto knife and cut it out. Push your knife in from the top of the box lid instead of the bottom. In case the paper covering the outside of the box rips, it will be hidden on the inside of the box.

Now to the bow. For this, I cut one piece each of the two styles of ribbon I wanted to use in the same length as the circumference of the lid. I used hot glue to place a few beads of glue on the wider piece of ribbon, then placed it around the lid, trying to center it. I recommend placing the ends of the ribbon on what will be the back of your box (so that no one will see it.) Once that was glued down, I did the same thing with the thinner piece of ribbon but glued it on top of the wider ribbon that had been previously glued down.

The bow is optional; the box looks pretty sleek without it, but the bow is the way to go if you want cute and sweet for your decor. I cut a piece of ribbon from each of the ribbon styles I wanted to use (the length will depend on how big you want the bow to be, you can figure it out before cutting by tying a bow with ribbon that is still attached to the spool.) Place the thinner ribbon in the center of the thicker ribbon, then carefully tie a bow. You can ensure that the thinner ribbon will stay centered by gluing it in place in the middle of the thicker ribbon before tying the bow. When your bow is done, glue the bow in the center of the ribbon that encircles the box.

There you go, there’s the money box. If you have any questions or any suggestions for variations/improvements to this, share them in the comments. Stay tuned for more ribbon wedding crafts in the very near future!

 

Christmas Came Early July 16, 2010

I’ve relocated to New England and I’ve discovered Christmas Tree Shops. I thought they sold Christmas decorations year-round, but I was pleasantly surprised to find tons and tons of items for wedding decor. My FH and I went in for tissue paper and came out with tons of affordable decor ideas. It takes a creative mind to start putting everything together, but definitely worth it. We’re talking cheaper-than-Ikea-centerpieces here.

We were feeling pretty challenged by the centerpieces because our venue doesn’t allow any open flames and we aren’t willing to pay for floral arrangements. FH and I agreed not to pay anything extra for colored linens, so the centerpiece must follow our green color theme. Then we found this:

Our Christmas Tree Shop lantern centerpiece

Yep, that looks like a candle, but it’s actually a battery-powered candle. It even flickers to give the illusion that there is a real flame. Here it is “lit”:

Our centerpiece with the candle on

The best part is the price. The lantern is $3.99, the candle is $1.99, and a bag of sea glass (of which we only used half) is $1. That brings our total cost per centerpiece to $6.98 (if we use the entire bag of sea glass on each one by spreading the remaining glass around the table, or $6.48 per centerpiece if we only use one bag of sea glass for every two centerpieces.) Another option for filler in place of the sea glass was green sand with thick grains, which is also $1 per bag. There were signs around the store that said if you need a bulk amount of everything, you should speak to the service desk at the store. I don’t know if this is just so they can get you a box out of the back room, but I’m hoping it’s so that they can offer an extra discount. I’ll update on this.

They also had bags of sea shells and starfish that we might get to spread around the tables since each lantern is kind of small (they had other sizes of lanterns, but we preferred the small one, at least for our sample.) We didn’t have a theme until we went into the store and saw the sea glass; now we’re trying for a green, minimalist beach. We’ll see how this plays out and if we actually stick with it.

With the extra sea glass from Christmas Tree Shop and a small candle holder and battery-powered tea lights from Dollar Tree, I made this little arrangement:

Sea glass and tea light centerpiece arrangement

I think these could go on the head table between the bridesmaid bouquets, along the bar, or on the guestbook or escort card tables. I created them by putting the tea light at the bottom of the candle holder (turned on, of course,) and then piling sea glass on top. It looks like glowing rocks, so I’m still undecided on whether to use this. I feel like a more blue-ish LED light would be better suited to this project to maintain the green tones in the sea glass.

Our last decor element that I’m working on right now is white versions of the paper spider mum flowers that I started in my last blog post. I’m thinking that we could put them in green paper cones hung over the last chair in each aisle at the ceremony site, or they could be in a vase at the reception… Ah, decisions, decisions.

White paper spider mums

Yes, they’re in a Tostitos salsa jar right now, I’m just storing them in there for now. Don’t worry, they won’t be in that vessel at the wedding.

We’re going to the venue for a meeting to hammer out the menu and everything this afternoon, so we’ll figure out exactly what needs decorating. I think that will really help us to figure out exactly what we’re going to use. It’s getting close, we need to get on this. Wish me luck.

 

More Paper Flowers June 30, 2010

It’s been a long time since my last post, I made the journey to visit my long-distance fiancĂ© so the packing took up a lot of my time. Well, I’m here now and I’m crafting.

Jar of paper spider mums

I’ve been long-intrigued with spider mums and fell in love with the Flowery Swizzle Stick craft on Martha Stewart Weddings. I’m not looking to make swizzle sticks (at the moment, maybe I’ll change my mind later) so I turned it into a faux flower by attaching the flower head to floral wire.

The materials are all available at Walmart and are very inexpensive. For crepe paper, I bought a roll of crepe paper streamers from the party section for $1.25. I purchased the floral wire for $0.77 and floral tape (in a 3-pack) for about $3, both in the floral and craft section. I cut each wire in half because they were much too tall, plus it gives me twice the amount.

The materials: crepe paper party streamers, floral wire, and floral tape

The one note I would make is that Martha’s directions don’t give a good idea of how much crepe paper to use. With the streamer, I used about 10-12 inches per flower. OK, I actually have another note. The thinner you make each cut, the more realistic the flower will look. Check out the work in progress:

The cut piece of crepe paper, ready to be wrapped around the wire


Wrapping the crepe paper


Wrapping the floral tape around the paper and wire


Fluffing the petals

I’m thinking these could be used as reception decor, perhaps as a bouquet or boutonniere if I perfect it. There’s still time, gotta see what else we come up with for decor and such.

 

OMG I fell in love again June 5, 2010

I just nearly peed my pants with excitement. As a crafty bride, I am so excited to have found the Intimate Wedding Blog’s list of tutorials. So many cute DIY projects!

I definitely want to try the paper or fabric fortune cookies, they’d make an adorable gift tag for a small gift in a Chinese food takeout box (which they sell at Michaels.) I’m thinking of packaging my bridesmaids gifts like this (once I figure out what those gifts are, of course!) I also really like the idea of informing guests about a charitable donation in lieu of a favor with these fortune cookies. Heck, I just like the idea of having random fortunes inside them and finding uses for them. Love it!

My other fave is the paper flowers made of cupcake liners. I love paper and fabric flowers and these look nice and easy, as well as cheap and quirky. I’m going to try these soon. They look like carnations, the flower I want to go with for the bouquets and boutonnieres, so perhaps I can make some cute side paper arrangements if they turn out well.

Carnations made of cupcake liners from Intimate Wedding Blog

There’s also a tissue paper version of carnations on Folded Trees.

So basically I’m super excited about this site! I can’t wait to post some of the projects I attempt from this list of tutorials! Have you tried any of these or similar projects? What is your favorite source for wedding craft tutorials?

 

Ikea, is there anything you can’t do? May 20, 2010

Centerpieces can get expensive. I’ve been looking at options, pricing it out, and I say dah-yum. I knew from the get-go that I wouldn’t go with a centerpiece made by a florist because of the cost, but outfitting 10 tables with something pretty can still add up to quite a chunk of change. So how about Ikea? Hear me out. They have more than self-assembled furniture.

One bride on Ikea Hacker created a centerpiece by using tall and short drinking glasses with candles inside and plumerias spread around. It’s low enough for guests to talk over, includes light, and you can sub in just about any flower (although I guess you’d have to make sure it wouldn’t wilt and shrivel without water.)

How about one of these lanterns (or a couple of the smaller version of the same lantern) with a block candle for a simple centerpiece?

Borrby lanterns from Ikea

They also have plenty of inexpensive candles and candle holders. If you want a candle plate, consider looking at their dinnerware. It’s cheap and there are plenty of colours available. Check out this green plate, for example:

Ikea Trivsam plate

I kind of want to find a way to use these pebbles, I’m totally feeling them. The bag of them is only $1.49.

Knaster pebbles from Ikea

A nice simple vase, some floating candles, and water would make an easy centerpiece as well. Apparently my FMIL has purchased a large amounts of square vases that I haven’t seen yet with hopes we’ll decide to use for the wedding, so this could be an option we’ll go with. Perhaps with a piece of bear grass wrapped within the vase, that’d look nice and spread our green theme.

My favorite part about Ikea centerpieces, aside from being cheap, is that your guests will be able to reuse them. The candleholders, glasses, vases, whatever you use, can be put to use in any home. Everyone will want to take it with them, any of those items would be far more useful than the oil lamp my parents brought home from another wedding. So go check out Ikea for some inspiration. Pffft, like you needed an excuse to go to Ikea. Have you seen any Ikea centerpieces? Thinking of trying one yourself? Have you come up with an ideal centerpiece from the Ikea website? Let me know in the comments section!