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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 fiancé 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?

 

Otherwise Engaged with the Engagement Party May 11, 2010

Long time, no post. I’ve been busy. My fiancé was in town this weekend so I threw our own engagement party. My parents aren’t big on entertaining and haven’t really been following what is traditionally expected of parents of the bride (which really isn’t an issue; the fewer traditions, the easier a time planning we have) so I had to take the engagement party into my own hands.

I forgot to take a lot of photos so I just have a few at the end, but I do have one of the buffet towards the end of the day:

The buffet spread after the party.

It was quite spectacular but I only remembered to bring the camera out after everyone was full and most people had left. Big props to my friends and family; we put out an amazing spread. My sister made a lovely appetizer and homemade truffles; my mom made a Greek salad; my friend Anna made samosas and chocolate-dipped cookies; I started making bruschetta but my sister and Anna finished it; my MOH brought a fruit tray, a vegetable tray, and wine; my former coworker brought some delicious bakery donuts. To personalize it a bit, I made sugar cookies a few days before using maple leaf and star cookie cutters to represent both of us. The night before the party, my wonderful fiancé and I were busy baking cupcakes and the bride cake with a Betty Crocker mix. To keep it simple, I bought frozen spanokopita and mini quiches as well as pre-mixed cocktails (Pomegranate Martini and Mojito.) It saved a lot of prep-time, which was a good idea considering how busy our tiny kitchen was getting that morning.

I made the pom poms hanging above the table the night before the party while FH was watching playoff hockey. I used the Martha Stewart instructions for pom poms. They were pretty cute. Otherwise for decor I just threw an old tablecloth on and raided my parents’ storage room for cake stands and pretty glass plates. It was perfect for a low-key, intimate gathering.

There was some pressure for this party, I had a friend ask what games and events I had planned for it. Uhhh, eating, drinking, and conversing. In a long-distance relationship, it can be easy for friends and relatives to feel like they don’t know your significant other well, so the main point of the party was to spend time with loved ones and celebrate that we’re engaged. It was cute, casual, and full of food, just like my fiancé and me. We asked that no one bring gifts, we gave no favors, we had no written invitations. No fuss! The thing I keep repeating is that the point of all of this is to marry the man I love, not impress people. It was an excellent afternoon and, best of all, we’re still enjoying the leftovers.

 

Move over, Cake Boss April 30, 2010

Michaels is supposed to be a happy place where you’re capable of doing any craft and you can buy the materials for them with your handy coupons. When I went there to buy my Wilton Classic Wonder Mold, the cashier looked at it, looked at me, and asked, “have you ever made one of these before? They’re supposed to be really hard.” Thanks for your confidence in me, Michaels cashier.

I get that working with fondant would require a lot more skills than I possess, so I didn’t mess with it. I did my practice cake on the weekend and I’d like the Michaels cashier to take a look at this:

My practice Barbie bride cake

Not bad for my first try, plus I made it myself with a little help from my old friend, Betty Crocker. I used the Betty Crocker Cherry Chip cake mix (the little pink dots inside are so cute) to keep it easy. When I poured the batter into the pan I was very concerned that there wouldn’t be enough, but it does rise. I followed the directions that came with the pan and it turned out perfectly (except it required a knife and some prodding to get the cake out of the pan.) Since I wasn’t going to mess with fondant, I knew icing for a top wouldn’t fly, so I sewed one quickly out of a few layers of tulle. It doesn’t have to be super-sturdy, it won’t be handled much, but it does have to have some tapering because that doll pick has a SUPER skinny waist. I also made a little veil that I sort of sewed into her hair. You’ve got to be very careful with that, pulling too much of her hair in one direction can create a bald spot.

Close up of the Barbie bride practice cake

For the icing on the cake, I used Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese icing (I didn’t know Betty made cream cheese icing!) I went with whipped so that it’d be easier to deal with on the cake, and cream cheese to balance out the sweetness of the cherry cake plus the off-white colour matched the off-white tulle I had sitting at home (and my own ivory dress, actually.) It will never spread completely perfectly and smoothly, but I think that gives it a cute, homemade appeal. It’s not like my loved ones don’t know I’m not a professional cake-icer.

So my icing job isn't perfect, wanna fight about it?

Anyway, I’m pleased and I’m ready to make this for the engagement party. Trust me, if I can make this, you can too. Disregard whatever the Michaels cashier may tell you, you can do this.