Category: DIY


Memory Boxes

January 19th, 2011 — 11:41am

As I’m sure you are well aware by now, I am a huge sentimental sap.  I keep old tickets, cards (especially this year’s Christmas cards!) photos, emails, text messages, pretty much anything that I can look back on and smile.  I know I was going to keep a lot of bits from our wedding and wanted somewhere to display them, so I added two memory frame boxes on to our gift list and we were very generously bought them.

In the first one I framed our invitation, our chalk board heart place cards, the wine charms, our save the date magnet and the clay hearts Has’ mom made to hang on our favour boxes.

The second one included dried flowers and petals taken from my bouquet, the lace that was wrapped around the stems, the pearls that were intertwined with my bouquet and the vows I said to Has.

I really love these boxes, we are moving very soon and I can’t wait to have them hanging on our walls.  They are such a lovely way of preserving special memories.

4 comments » | DIY, Our Wedding

Table Plan

January 6th, 2011 — 9:26pm

Like most of my crazy DIY wedding ideas our table plan was a challenge!  It all started with our tables being named after New York City landmarks, I had an idea of incorporating a NYC map into our table plan.  I searched online for a map we liked and couldn’t find anything that would fit our bill. (Budget, size, taste) So… I decided to draw a map of New York.

If I’m honest that wasn’t really the trickiest part.  I enjoyed drawing the map, it took me a while but I wanted to get the details just right.  Initially I had wanted to draw the landmarks we had named the tables after and link them to the list of names, but the map started to look too crowded and I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.   (I did leave the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge as we had tables named after them)

Of all the DIY projects I did for our wedding, our table plan was the one I liked least.  The trouble was I hadn’t really given much thought to how I wanted the plan to look and by the time it came to putting it all together, when my first idea didn’t work out too well I lacked the energy and brain power to start again.  Having said that I was still happy with how it looked,  I just wish that I had given more thought to something a little more imaginative.

Still, it served it’s purpose and I’m pleased to say all of our guests found their way to their tables easily!

Comment » | DIY

Sweetie Table

December 9th, 2010 — 9:00am

I have to admit, until we received our professional photos back from our photographer I had absolutely no idea what our sweetie table looked like.  From the minute we arrived at our venue with our boxes stuffed with wedding paraphernalia the staff completely took over the job of decorating the marquee.  They did a wonderful job and really paid attention to my comments and instructions (I wasn’t too bossy, promise!)  They didn’t set up our sweetie table until later and by the time the evening had rolled around I was too busy dancing to think about sweets!  We had loads of comments about how yummy everything was and there is plenty of Facebook evidence that the Starbucks sweetie holders were a hit.  The next morning all that remained were crumbs, empty vases, wrappers and the odd gummy lying around so I think from this I can assume it was a hit!

As well as a variety of sweets (Jelly Belly Beans, Flying Saucers, Hershey’s Kisses, Haribo and popcorn) we also had yummy mini vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from Blue Door Bakery and some delicious Lebanese sweets supplied from Has’ Dad.

Purple Sweetie Table

I was so thrilled when I saw the pictures, I loved how our little DIY painted letters looked on the table and the hanging felt “H & L” Suzie made for us.  Everything looked exactly how I had imagined it to.  I’d spent time before the wedding planning what vases would contain what sweets and how they might be arranged on the table, obviously this was time well wasted but it doesn’t matter – I loved how it turned out!

2 comments » | Candy Table, DIY

{Guest Post} DIY by Our Day by Design

November 24th, 2010 — 9:00am

Hi everyone, I’m Gaynor and you can usually find me over on my blog Our Day by Design, which documented my wedding planning and where I am currently writing my recaps {which do seem to be taking quite a while!} I came across Laura’s blog a while ago and loved her DIY items, especially those involving NYC, as it’s my favourite city in the world! I was delighted when Laura asked me to write a guest post for her, to be posted while she is away enjoying her fantastic honeymoon in the USA as a Mrs!

I made all of the stationery items for my wedding including the save the dates, invitations, order of service’, table names, table plan, menu’s, placecards, favours, guest book, painted letters and bridesmaid thank you cards {you can see everything else here}. The final thing I made was the Thank You cards for our guests. I haven’t had a chance to share them with everyone yet {since I’m still writing recaps} so when Laura asked me to write a DIY guest post, I knew exactly what I could write about!

I will admit that I wasn’t the quickest at sending out my cards, I think I finally got them all sent between 3 & 4 months after the wedding, however that wasn’t because I couldn’t be bothered, it was just the way I chose to make them! I have had nothing but lovely comments from everyone who received them, including our suppliers, so I don’t think anyone noticed the delay!

Here is the list of all of the items I used to make my Thank You cards, and where I found all of my supplies:

Card – Colorplan Col25 Amethyst Single Creased (140 x 140mm) – PDA Card & Craft;

Paper – Cryogen White Iridescent (274 x 134mm blank insert for 140 x 140) – PDA;

Ribbon – Smoked Grey 3mm from Berisfords – Swift-Hart Boxes;

Envelopes – White (150 x 150mm) – PDA;

Tools – Fiskars Drops corner rounder; Fiskars hole punch – John Lewis;

Glue – Double sided permanent transfer tape from Stix 2 – PDA / Hobbycraft;

Photos – 5×5” (127 x 127mm) Pro thick Matt – Foto.com

Photo Cards – Business Cards (84 x 55mm) – Moo

I knew I wanted to use some of our professional pictures on the front of the cards, so that those who couldn’t make it or those who very kindly gave us gifts but weren’t invited, could see some of the day. It took me a while to decide whether to get cards made up from somewhere like Moo or to make them myself to tie in with the rest of our stationery. In the end the photo cards worked out quite expensive and I didn’t think they would be as nice as I had already decided that I wanted to use square cards, like the invites, and only one company I could find would print square cards {everywhere just does 6×4 or 7×5 etc}.

So once I had made the decision I had to wait for our professional photos to arrive and also had to find somewhere that would print square photos, again they are all usually a standard 6×4 or larger. In a flash of inspiration I remembered that I had gotten a thank you card from a friend last year who had put a square photo inside so I got the name of the company from her, Foto.com. Once I had my professional photos and had decided on which three images I wanted to use; I did the layout in Photoshop, uploaded it to the site and got a trial picture printed at 5×5″. They came out brilliant so I ordered the 110 of them that I needed and at the same time ordered a whole bunch of other prints at 6×6″. I’m planning to put them in the 10 square photo frames that I painted purple and used for our table names!

At the same time I ordered everything I needed for the actual cards, from the website PDA, which is where I got the rest of our stationery previously. I used pre-cut and pre-scored 140mm cards as well as pre-cut sparkly insert paper since you can’t really write on the dark purple card! I also ordered another roll of the 3mm grey ribbon we had used to hold the menu’s and order of service’ together, which came from Swift-Hart Boxes.

Once everything arrived I decided that although I wanted to hand write the cards, I wanted to write something on the insert paper since it would have 4 sides! I used the same as we used on our invite bellybands, just our names & the wedding date in the centre of the first page then I put Thank You on the other side of that which left the last 2 sides for me to write on.
Then it was time to get everything together and get started on the assembly; printing & folding the inserts, using the drops punch on the insert corners, folding the cards, punching ribbon holes at the top & bottom of both the card & paper, threading then tying the ribbon in a bow then finally sticking the photo on the front.
I also wanted to put little cards inside each card that would tell everyone where to find our wedding pictures online and our Flickr site information, where they could upload any photos they took themselves. I ordered business cards from Moo and they are fab, I didn’t really want to give them all away. We did end up with a few extra for me to keep! I chose Moo as they allow you to put the same text on the back of each card, which we needed, but then choose as many different images as you want for the front. The business cards come in packs of 50 so I ordered two but I also ordered one of their free packs of 10 business cards, to get the 100+ I needed. I ordered the free pack first to check they all came out ok. I didn’t want the Moo advertising on them so I did pay £3 for them. If there were any photos the guests were in, like the picture with all my friends, I got that picture card for them. This meant that around 35 of the first pack were all personalised; then rest I just choose a mixture of our images. We didn’t get that many photos uploaded to our site, as many people sent us images by CD, but it was still worth doing to share the photographer’s site link.

Then when they were finally ready, I had to start writing all 100+ of them which also took a while but I’m really glad we did them. I loved how our cards turned out and all of our guests and suppliers loved them and have all commented on them. We were even at a wedding fair at our venue on Sunday {my sister is also having her reception there, in the other function suite} and our florist had it proudly displayed on her stand!

Thanks Gaynor, your thank you cards are so beautiful and incredibly thoughtful!

2 comments » | DIY, Wedding Inspiration

Gifts: Making the boxes

November 11th, 2010 — 9:00am

As well as spoiling my bridesmaids with lovely thank you gifts, I wanted to be able to present them beautifully – I had a number of ideas but my love of DIY and chalkboard paint made this the front runner.

I bought 4 cardboard boxes from hobby craft and 2 pots of paint in two shades of purple.  Darker for the older and lighter for the younger.  Back when the weather was a lot warmer Mom and I set about painting the boxes.

Once happy we then spray painted the lids with chalkboard paint.

It wasn’t long before the boxes and lids were dry and I was able to personalise them.

I wrote each girls name on the lid of the box, then they were ready for filling!

I loved the way the boxes turned out and I love the fact they can be used again – in fact in each box I wrapped up 2 pieces of chalk so the girls can doodle on their lids!

2 comments » | Bridesmaids, DIY, Gifts

Chrysler Building – Order of Service

November 3rd, 2010 — 9:00am

I though it only right that my last DIY post before the wedding was the project that has been the biggest challenge.  The Chrysler Building Order of Services.

It started out as another one of my “wouldn’t it be cool if we could just…” ideas and ended up with bruised fingers and last minute trips to Hobby Craft.

So without further ado – the finished article

I’m glad I stuck with my initial idea because I’m really pleased with how they look but boy am I glad they;re finished!!

2 comments » | DIY, Stationery

Table Names

October 4th, 2010 — 8:44pm

Considering I’ve just lost my job I have never been so busy!  In fact I’m wondering how I would have coped finishing off all the remaining wedding projects whilst still being in full time employment.

I have now managed to finish off all our table names using my handy glue gun.

I’m really pleased with them, and glad I had the patience to add the little pearls to the design as well… no matter how fiddly!

Our venue have tall chrome stands for us to borrow, I know it’s not the most exciting way to display table names but the tables will include a photograph of Has and I at that landmark.  Another job – done!

Comment » | DIY, Venue Decoration

Chalkboard Heart Placecards: Done!

September 30th, 2010 — 12:00pm

All our guests names have now been painted on to each heart, and I have to say I think they look pretty-darn-good!

Don’t just take my word for it… Look!

The making of my chalkboard placecards
The experiment, Part 1 - Drilling and mass spraying, Part 2 - Mass spraying the backs, Part 3 - Chalkboard paint, Part 4 -How will they look?, Part 5 - 90 chalkboard placecard hearts hanging in a line…! Part 6 – Ribbon up.

Comment » | DIY, Venue Decoration

Evening Invitations

August 31st, 2010 — 11:45am

Evening Invites are all signed, sealed and ready to be delivered.

They follow on the theme from our day invitations.

I wanted to add a separate sheet which had details of accommodation and the RSVP date and details, so I created a belly band to keep the sheets together.

The main invite has been printed in the same Ivory pearlised paper I’ve used everywhere and backed onto thick mauve pearlised card to give it some weight.  The guest information sheet has been printed on mauve paper and sits at the back of the invite tucked into the belly band.

I’m really pleased with the way they look, Mom and I spent Sunday addressing most of them so they are now ready to be posted and handed out.

We’re still waiting for a few RSVP’s from our day invitations but our deadline date is this weekend, So I won’t be nagging people just yet!

2 comments » | DIY, Stationery

So you’re going to DIY?

August 12th, 2010 — 4:08pm

Right from the word go I knew I wanted to make my own invitations.  For years I’d been making my own occasion cards and my job as a graphic designer made me feel like I was up to the job.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t plain sailing.  I struggled with my own standards and felt like our guests would be expecting something wondrous.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to create an invitation that wowed people.

With the number of brides undertaking the task of making their own invitations on the increase, I thought I’d share a few tips and words of wisdom I’ve picked up along the long road of DIY.

  • You can never start early enough.

Seriously, I started my invitations over 18 months ago.  Sure I haven’t worked on them continuously but giving myself enough time to work on them has meant they haven’t been rushed and I’m happy with the way they have gone out.

  • Trial and error

I created around 5 different versions of our invitation.  I designed, changed my mind, started again, tweeked and tweeked some more until I was happy.  I thought I was happy with the first design I came up with.  Looked at it again a week later and didn’t like it.  This goes hand in hand with my first point.  Start early and make sure you are 100% happy with your design before you place an order for 100 sheets of A4.

  • Create a mock up

Sure you can picture it in your head but until you see it in the flesh, sitting in front of you you’ll never know how it will really look.  It will also give you the opportunity to see how easy your idea is to make.  Doing a mock up will show you the best way to create the vision you have in your head.  Before you place a bulk order buy a few test pieces first.  You’ll be able to see the quality of the product you’re ordering too.

  • Ask for help

If you’re lucky like me before you even open your mouth to ask for help you’re bridesmaids, Mom, aunts, friends and various other members of family will have offered their sticking/cutting/folding services.  My advice to you… take it!  I had the idea of sticking flat-backed pearls on to our invitations.  Thinking I had already taken up too much of my bridesmaids time, I decided to tackle the pearls myself.  No word of a lie it took me 20 minutes to finish 3 invitations.  It was at that point that I decided to stop being so silly and take them up on their offer of help and within an hour or so all of the invitations were sitting pretty adorned with beautiful pearls.

  • Spell check…. now do it again.

Before printing anything off, run a spell check.  Once you’ve printed a copy, read through it again.  Now ask someone else to check it for you.  I can’t tell you how many times I have studied our invitations for errors but there, 4 days before we were due to send out our invitations, staring at me in the face was a spelling mistake.

  • Always make more than you need

When you order your supplies make sure you order over what you will need, it takes away some of the pressure of messing up – which is inevitable!  If you do make a mistake that can’t be rectified at least you have more card/ribbon/embellishments to start over.  It’s also nice to be able to keep one for yourself too.  My other reason for making more invitations than I need is in case somebody from our day guest list declines.  That way we can look at our lists again and see who we can invite to the day to keep the numbers up.

  • Number your RSVP’s

This was actually Suzie’s idea.  We didn’t write the names of our guests on our RSVP cards but have left a space for them to name of the people attending.  It’s bound to happen, so if anyone forgets to write on their name we have marked the back with a number which relates to the guest on a separate list allowing us to avoid any who-is-this-from-panics.

I have really, really enjoyed creating our invitations and I’m very proud of them.  Yes it’s been a lot of hard work and I’ve had quite a few strops and why-did-I-ever-start-this moments but I wouldn’t change a thing.  The feed back from our guests has been amazing!  So far everyone seems to really appreciate the time and effort we’ve put into them – so it really does make it all worth while.

My last tip for you would be to enjoy it.  If you do decide to make your own invitations you will be taking on a big task but as long as you give yourself enough time, have plenty of help and keep it simple you’ll have a blast and your guests really will appreciative this little bit of artwork you’ve put your heart in to.

Comment » | DIY, Stationery

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