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.

 

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.

 

Yeah, I do graphic design too… March 18, 2010

I’m sticking my fingers in many pies for this wedding. Recently, I even dabbled in a little graphic design and now I have some DIY-designed, professionally printed save-the-date postcards. They arrived yesterday, I’m so excited!

I’m not exactly skilled in design, but my post-grad program involved a design course so I have a very basic background. I got to work with Adobe InDesign and I still have the program on my computer, so I put it to good use. I designed a simple postcard with our names, the fact that we’re getting married, the location, and the address for the WordPress blog we started (to act as a wedding site). I’m sure you’re a nice person who won’t stalk us, but still, I’m only posting the censored version for you:
Save the date postcard

I sent it in to Vistaprint. I’d been seeing a lot of people of bridal blogs saying good things about it and I’m impressed with them. They have pre-made save-the-date designs, but at about a dollar a piece (which is comparable to everywhere else I’ve seen), I was determined to submit my own design as a business marketing postcard and only spend $29.99 (plus design uploading fees) for 100. With taxes and delivery and everything, it came to just over $50 and was delivered within 2 weeks (even though I selected the slowest shipping option.) I was wondering why everyone was posting their own random link to Vistaprint on these sites. Turns out you get reward points or something for referring people and they get a discount. Well, I’d be giving them the good review anyway, I’m pleased with them and I’d use them again regardless of the future discounts (which they do have a lot of).

I figured postcards were great because they’re cute, fun, and I don’t have to spend more money on envelopes. Plus I love sending postcards, I try to send postcards from everywhere I travel. I feel like I’m including a little bit of me through the fact that I did it myself and that it’s a postcard. And it’s green, our wedding colour.

Here’s the but: as much as I’ve talked these up, if you don’t already have access to a design program and some background in it, I wouldn’t recommend this. The cost of Adobe Creative Suite is far more than you’d may for other save-the-date cards and it can take a little getting used to before you can use it without wanting to scream at your computer. But hey, if you have access to such a program or a designer friend, this is a great option. There are also plenty of pre-made options in plenty of colours. I just wanted to put this idea out there because I really hadn’t seen a lot of it (or a lot of inexpensive options) on the blogs so far.

Also, did you know they have clear mailing labels now? I didn’t. I am amazed by the advances in mailing labels since I was last down that aisle.

Now if I could just finish the guest list so I can send them out…