I spent months looking for the right wedding belt. I ended up making my own.
I absolutely loved the back of my dress…the keyhole back…the button details…everything about it really. When I was trying it on, I tried on a sparkly sash with it. I really liked how the sash broke up all of the lace on my dress, but I didn’t like the idea of a giant bow covering up the back details. I also didn’t like the $300 price tag on most of the sashes. For months I looked for a small, sparkly belt that WAS NOT a sash and had diamond-looking stones all the way around it. I couldn’t find anything. Next I started hitting up my typical craft stores looking for trim to make my own belt. I struck out there, too. Finally I found shinetrim.com. This website has many rhinestone bands for a fraction of the cost of the sashes. I purchased a yard of rhinestone band (so I had extra in case I messed up) and a rhinestone clasp to go in front. I simply cut the band to fit my waist and sewed it to the clasp. It was super easy and gave the exact look that I wanted.
When I started posting wedding stuff, I should have started with this. Immediately after getting engaged, I found this adorable pin and knew that I had to proposed to my bridesmaids. This doesn’t even really count as a craft. All you do is get a small box, fill it with tissue paper, a ring pop, and a note “popping” the question. I only got to give one away in person. I had to mail the boxes to my other two bridesmaids.
While searching for wedding things on Pinterest, I found many groom’s survival kits. Since I knit I really liked the idea of making socks for my groom, so he didn’t get cold feet. I put my own spin on the rest of items.
The typical groom’s kit list comes with a piece of paper that says something similar to the following:
Looking at the list, there were lots of things I didn’t like about it:
Socks–Loved the socks idea
Lifesavers–Neither one of us are emotional people. I’ve been called a robot by several people, and he isn’t any better. He got me a shirt for my birthday that says: “Feelings are boring. Kissing is awesome.” Lifesavers were off the list.
Small bottle of alcohol–I wasn’t sure when I would give this to him, and we got fined if we got caught with outside alcohol at the ceremony site. A small bottle of alcohol was off the list.
Mints–This implies that he NEEDS a mint. I didn’t want to imply that he had bad breath. That seemed in poor taste.
Ring pop–Apparently the essentials are that he buys my jewelry and/or candy? I didn’t like this one either.
That left me with one item. Socks. I decided to replace the items with different items that matched our personalities better. I wrote a note on a tag on each item. If you click on the pictures above you can see them. Otherwise, each note is listed below:
Socks–So you don’t get cold feet
Lip balm–For the perfect first kiss that tastes like me (I wear Burt’s Bees all the time.)
Flask–In case you need courage of the liquid variety (that won’t get us fined…he could fill it at the venue)
A bottle opener key chain that says: “I’LL LOVE YOU UNTIL THE ZOMBIES GET YOU”–So you know exactly how long I’ll love you
52 REASONS CRAIG IS AWESOME–So you remember where we began and why we are doing this
Each of the items (except the lip balm) was hand made, not necessarily by me:
Note: While this does not appear to be a wedding related post, it will become relevant in a later post.
This was in fact the first pin I ever brought to life. A couple of years ago I saw Pinterest start popping up all over Facebook. I understood it to be a digital pin board where one can organize his or her ideas. I don’t keep real notebooks or pin boards, and didn’t see the point of a digital one. One day I was bored and decided to see what all the hype was about. I was immediately hooked. There were SO MANY craft and recipe ideas.
I started using Pinterest about a month before Valentine’s Day. This would be my first Valentine’s Day spent with my now husband, Craig. We hadn’t talked about Valentine’s Day gifts. I wanted my gift to “match” his. I didn’t know if he was getting me anything. I found this adorable idea on Pinterest. I decided to make him this and bake something.
I took a hiatus from my blog immediately prior to and following my wedding. I got crazy busy, as I assume most brides can understand. Now that all of the wedding craziness is over, I have so many things to post! I made almost all of my wedding decorations and gifts. I’m still waiting on my mom to send me my sister’s pictures (she was instructed to take pictures of everything I made for my blog), but there are a few things I can post in the mean time. I plan to kind of go in chronological order as things were used during the wedding weekend. Hopefully I don’t miss anything that way.
The first homemade item to make an appearance was my rehearsal bow-quet. It’s been a long-standing tradition that a rehearsal bouquet be created from the ribbons from the wedding shower. I made one. I’m a little unhappy that this is going to be the first thing to go on the blog. I ended up not having a ton of time to work on it and quickly threw it together the night before the rehearsal. I do think the idea would be really cute if fully implemented.
My goal was to make a whole bouquet of ribbon rosettes and wrap any leftover ribbons around the stems. Since I was short on time, I only made three rosettes and wrapped the rest of the ribbons around. The rosettes were overwhelmed by the other ribbons.
Make the desired number of rosettes. (I used the same technique to make the ribbon rosettes that was used to make the burlap rosettes in my Burlap Roses post. The technique is described in Snug as a Bug Baby’s blog. I honestly don’t think I can do a better job describing the technique than she does, and since I did it very last minute, I did not take the time to take pictures of every step. For this project I used a needle and thread instead of hot glue. The concept is the same, simply stitch each “petal” in place instead of gluing it. The three rosettes turned out really cute. I just wish that I had time to make more of them.)
Wrap the rosettes in any remaining ribbon
Time Required: 10 minutes per rosette
Overall Experience: Good. I wish that I had time to make more rosettes
This wedding season, chalkboard signs are all the rage. However, they are quite expensive. I decided to make my own. I bought some 2’x4′ pieces of chalkboard for $10.25 per piece at Home Depot last weekend. My almost father-in-law cut them for me on his table saw. I’ve been working at lettering them this week. The larger signs will have frames around them eventually, but they are turning out too cute not to share!
Chalk, chalk pen, or white paint marker (I used a marker because I didn’t want the signs to smudge between Texas and Indiana)
Use PowerPoint to design your sign. PowerPoint has tons of great fonts already. There are a lot more available at dafont.com. Erin has some great font suggestions on her blog, How to Nest for Less. It’s easy to scale the signs to an appropriate size using the program.
Print your design and tape it to the board using masking tape.
Slide the tracing paper between the design and the chalkboard.
Trace the design using a normal ball point pen. You don’t have to be super exact with the tracing. I like the design to have some imperfections so it looks like it was handmade rather than printed.
Remove the tracing paper and design. You should see your design faintly in white transferred to the chalkboard. Using your chalk or paint marker, trace over the design again.
For my boyfriend’s (now fiance’s) birthday in 2012, our friend Cassie had the idea to try to recreate a piece of wall art he had been admiring at Crate and Barrel that was no longer available for purchase. She knew that I liked crafting, so she invited me over to help. The original piece was made of welded steel. Our idea was to recreate it using dowel rods. The lighting in the picture isn’t great, but I loved the end product!
Saw, Dremel, etc. (Anything that can cut the dowel rods)
Leaving about eight of the dowel rods their original length, cut the others into pieces of varying sizes
Arrange half of the full-length rods horizontally parallel to one another. These full-length rods will provide stability to your art.
Arrange some of the shorter pieces parallel to the full-length pieces.
Arrange the rest of the full-length pieces perpendicular to the horizontal pieces. Make sure that the full-length pieces extend from the top to the bottom of your art. These vertical pieces will provide stability to your art.
Place the remaining pieces vertically parallel to the other vertical pieces. Each individual rod should be supported perpendicularly in at least two places near that rod’s end. Adjust placement as required.
Hot glue each location where two rods cross one another.
Spray paint in the color of your choice. We chose a dark gold-like color.
Last year, I found a cute idea on Pinterest. Someone had created this adorable plaque. Unfortunately, the link attached to the pin didn’t lead to directions. I decided to make similar plaques for my parents and my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas. I detailed my improvised process below. Sorry for the lack of pictures!
Purchase your plaque so you are certain of the size.
Print out a state map and a small heart using your computer and printer. Make sure the sizes are appropriate for your plaque. I copied my state map into PowerPoint so that I could scale it to fit my plaque well. Also in PowerPoint, I superimposed the heart on the map over the cities where my parents and my then boyfriend’s (now fiance’s!) parents live.
Cut out the map and the heart using scissors.
Create small rolls of masking tape and put the tape on the back of the map.
Place the map on the plaque in the orientation desired.
Line the paper map and heart with nails. I would suggest using a spacer so the nails are evenly spaced. I used a crochet hook. A pen would be an appropriate size.
After the paper map and heart are completely lined with nails, carefully remove the map.
Tie the end of the thread to one of the heart nails. Maintaining tension in the thread, wrap the thread around the nails alternating between heart nails and map nails. Wrap thread around each map nail once and each heart nail several times. When all of the nails are wrapped, tie the string to the final nail and cut the string close to the nail.
I was very pleased with the final product and both of our parents loved their gifts!
Time Requited: 2 Movies
Overall Experience: Excellent
About a month ago, I got an email from Uncommon Goods. They are selling almost the exact same plaques for $85! I wish that I had thought to paint the tips of the nails red for the heart. That was a really cute idea!
Shortly after Craig and I were engaged in December, one of my bridesmaids decided to throw us an engagement party. The location she chose already had a rustic feel, so she wanted to go with the burlap and mason jar theme so popular on Pinterest. I had pinned some burlap roses some time ago that I really wanted to try to make. My original pin didn’t include a tutorial, so I went searching for a tutorial and found a great one on Snug as a Bug Baby’s blog. The blog entry show step by step instructions for making beautiful burlap roses. Each step even includes a picture for clarity. If you choose to make these roses, here are my tips and suggestions:
I didn’t actually know where to buy burlap since this was my first burlap craft project. (I use it in concrete applications for research projects somewhat often.) I discovered that you can buy it fairly cheap at Lowe’s or Home Depot. This is very low quality, bulk burlap. I ended up using this as the tablecloth at the party. At JoAnn Fabric, I found all different colors of burlap and even burlap with different designs. I picked up small amounts of several different types for decorating at the party.
This project makes a huge mess. You end up with burlap “strings” everywhere. Be prepared to deal with that when you are finished. It also smells like burlap.
The tutorial does not explicitly say that you need to hot glue every petal. It says to glue where needed. Since hot glue does flow through the petals, I thought I might be able to get by with gluing every other petal. This was a mistake. Glue every petal. Glue liberally.
In the project, the crafter cuts strips of burlap. Burlap ribbon is a thing (although I’ve never used it). It might be worth trying the ribbon. This would result in less mess and cleaner looking flowers. I for one kind of like the “strings” coming off of the raw edge of the roses. They add to the rustic feel.
This is once again a project I decided to do before the blog idea came into my head or I would have posted more pictures. I love the way the flowers turned out. The were a big hit at the party. Many people came up to our table at the restaurant and asked where we got them. The official restaurant photographer even took a picture of them and added it to the restaurant’s Facebook page! After the party, I put all of the flowers in one mason jar and keep them on the coffee table in my living room.
Time Required: 2 Movies
Overall Experience: Good
Here are a few pictures of the party itself. I love how the decorations turned out!
I’m a big fan of the site Uncommon Goods. As the name suggests, the company carries fun unique products. A few months ago, I was pleased to see a cross-stitch item advertised. I rarely see cross-stitching anywhere and greatly enjoyed it as a child. The site offers custom cross-stitched portraits for the staggering fee of $175-$225. I was shocked at the price. The designs, while adorable, were extremely simple.
Two of my friends, Nathan and Lara, were going to be married so I decided to make them a cross-stitch portrait to add to their wedding shower gift drawing inspiration from the Uncommon Goods portraits. The pattern I developed is shown below. (Click on the pattern to make it larger.) The bold lines represent backstitching and the triangles are French knots. The other symbols represent cross-stitching in different colors. If you choose to follow the pattern, any color may be used. I chose colors that matched Nathan and Lara’s wedding colors (pink and navy).
The project is about as easy as cross-stitching gets.
Time Requited: 2 Movies
Overall Experience: Excellent
The project was fast and simple. Nathan, Lara, and everyone at the shower loved it.