I'm not a big sports fan. I enjoyed watching my kids participate in karate and track when they were young, but that's about as far as it goes. If I'm looking for something to cheer for I usually turn to home shopping/improvement shows. There's always one side I can't stand (if she says she wants to put her own stamp on it one more time...) and it usually seems questionable whether their relationship will survive the episode. Someone always loses, which means they gave up their life-long wish to live in the middle of the city so the other could have the country home, even though they don't seem to have a clue about the maintenance that requires. Hmm, can you tell I've been watching too much TV lately? Time to get well...Read More
If that title sounds like an odd combination, I have a story to tell you that might change your mind about that. A couple of months ago, I was contacted through Etsy by a bride-to-be named Jill. She had spotted a coffee cup sleeve in my shop that she thought would be a perfect wedding day gift for her groom, who is a fan of both comics and coffee. Sounds like a good guy to me. She was also looking for a blindfold to have him wear for their first look before the ceremony. She wondered if there was something I could do to make both of those happen, and also add some embroidery to the inside as a special message to her guy. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while, you might realize my mind immediately went to my gallery of Coffee Sleeve of the Month projects. Bonus points if you can guess exactly which one without peeking.
When Jill mentioned she wanted it to be a mask, I thought this pattern would be a the perfect place to start. I made some alterations, like straightening out the top and rounding the bottom a bit more, which made it look less like glasses and more like the mask we were going for.
Because it would still need to function as a coffee sleeve when the wedding was over, I made it as I always do, with a button and small elastic loop. To create the ability to wear it, I simply tied a shanked button onto a longer piece of elastic and added a loop to the opposite end. Easy to add to the sleeve…
…and easy to remove.
Leaving it ready to wrap around a hot cup of coffee.
As I mentioned, I added a bit of embroidery at the bride’s request. It was adorable, but I’m going to leave that as a private wink between the happy couple.
A few days ago, I was thrilled to receive photos from the bride of the mask in use! With her permission, along with a gracious okay from her photographer, Studio A Images, I’d like to show them to you. Who doesn’t love a great wedding pic?
I think this shot is just adorable…waiting patiently for his lovely bride.
This one makes me happy. Aside from the mask, would you look at that gorgeous hair? Hers, of course, although his is pretty dapper as well.
I love my job. My goal is always a happy customer who loves his or her new accessory, and nothing is more satisfying to me than hearing that’s the case. But it’s not every day I get to work on something that’s going to be part of The Big Day. It was so fun, and I’m grateful to Jill and Studio A Images for allowing me to share the whole story!
My husband and I were married in 1991. After the wedding, my dress went into a box. It moved with us a few times, but I didn’t really give it much thought until I had a daughter. I pulled it out once when she was little and let her try it on, then back in the box it went until she announced her engagement. Neither of us had any plans for her to wear it, in fact I’ll skip posting the photo of her when she tried it on here so she won’t kill me. I wanted her to have the dress that reflected her, not me. However, it occurred to me that it would never have another good reason to leave that box if we didn’t find something to do with it. My daughter and I started with the veil. She wanted to wear it, but she wasn’t excited about the giant 90’s white satin bow and wanted just the long layer on the bottom.
That was an easy fix. I put a rubber band around the bottom layer just below the bow, cut it off and sewed it onto a comb.
She wore the bow and remaining short layer to her bachelorette party. To be funny, of course.
Then there was the dress. We had corseting added to the dress she picked out, so we needed a cord to lace it up with. We decided I would make the cord from some of the satin from the skirt of my dress. That meant cutting it up.
I started out by cutting away the underskirt. Then I stared at it for a minute or two. I had no qualms about it, right up until that moment. Making that first cut was weird.
And then it passed. Any anxiety I had about it just disappeared, knowing it would be a part of my daughter’s special day in a way that honored the past and left a clear path to the future.
I cut several strips to make the LONG cord we needed for lacing up the dress.
I was a little worried about the two whites matching, but it was perfect.
I used another bit of it to make the pillow that went inside the beautiful ring bearer box my son made.
That left a whole lot of long, lacey skirt. We eventually decided it would make the perfect table cloth for the bride and groom’s sweetheart table at the reception.
By the end of the night it has fallen victim to lemonade, tea and frosting. And it was glorious.
I have some of the dress left, which I put away for another project in the future. I couldn’t be happier we were able to use it for my daughter’s wedding. So much better than another 24 years in a box!
And with that, we can say goodbye to Wedding Wednesdays. I hope you all enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as I liked sharing it with you!
Remember when guest books at weddings used to be simple things? There was a book and a pen with a feather on it. Or not. But it wasn’t complicated. These days, there’s a little pressure to have something unique and creative for guests to sign when they arrive. We went through LOTS of different ideas before finally landing on the one that appeared at my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding.
We cut 9” squares from home décor fabric (so it would be a little sturdier than quilting cotton) and provided fine-tip permanent markers for guests to write with. Guests got pretty creative with it, with a few following the chevron pattern with their writing. It gave them plenty of space to leave advice, notes and good wishes. The plan was to sew the squares together after the wedding to make a quilt.
We happened to find a quilt in the perfect colors to use as the table cover – no I didn’t make it. Because we wanted to save it from any stray ink, and to give guests a hard, flat surface to write on, my husband cut a piece of wood to lay across the front.
Rather than stack the squares up somewhere, we wanted to display them during the event, so we hung jute cord behind the table and decorated some clothespins with washi tape.
We had the escort cards for seating right next to the guest book table to make it easier for guests and my lovely nieces and my nephew’s girlfriend who served as our guest book attendants.
We didn’t really have a plan for what we were going to do with gifts until a couple of days before the wedding. It turns out a picnic table works beautifully to display the gifts at different heights.
Back to the guest book table – my big project was the sign. I cross stitched the words onto burlap in an embroidery hoop using this free software. Then I added a layer of batting behind the burlap and stitched together some felt squares and cut it to fit the embroidery hoop. I glued that to cover the back, since it could be seen from some angles. I added a few twisted rosettes, which I learned how to make here, and found a picture frame easel to hold it.
You might be wondering at this point how that quilt is coming along. Well, the mistake we made was not letting guests know that they needed to stay away from the edge of the fabric while they were writing on it. After the wedding we realized that much of the writing would be hidden, even with the tiniest of seam allowances. All was not lost though, as I just finished putting all the squares into a memory book where the bride and groom can still read them and remember everyone who shared their amazing day.
My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!
I didn’t know there was a term for it until we got into the process of planning one, but my daughter and son-in-law had a dry wedding. For those who haven’t heard that before, it just means we didn’t serve alcohol. We still wanted the beverages to be fun and not boring though. We decided on lemonade, iced tea and water, but with lots of options to mix in to take it up a notch.
It all started with the mason jar-style drink dispensers. Codi fell in love with them early in the planning process, so everything was planned around them. My husband built the stand from the same rustic cedar as the cupcake stands I showed you last week. He planned it at the perfect height for the drinking jars to fit underneath the spouts. I added the “Drink” with my new wood burning tool (which I LOVE). Then I made paper signs with my Silhouette to hang above so guests could be sure what was in each jar.
We made sure there was plenty of fresh strawberries, blueberries, lemons and limes for those who wanted to drop a few into their glass.
I also made a sign for guests who might not be sure what a normal syrup to liquid ratio would be. We had to do a little taste testing first.
The big factor in making the drinks unique and customizable was the syrups. I bought some of them, and made others. I found chalkboard tape at the craft store, and instead of writing on it with chalk, which could easily rub off with so many people and all that liquid, I cut out vinyl letters and stuck them on. It kept all the different bottles looking uniform. I already had an old Coke crate that was perfect for holding them.
With the giant mint patch out front, I had to make the mint syrup myself. Nothing else made sense. Codi also wanted lavender syrup, so we went with homemade on that one too. I kinda thought she was crazy until I tried lemonade with lavender. It was delicious!
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
Boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the mint. Cover. Let sit for 30 minutes, or until cooled to room temperature. Strain. Add food coloring if you’d like a brighter green.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh lavender buds
Simmer all ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain. Add food coloring if you’d like a lavender tint, as it comes out more of a light green.
I especially liked how this looked at the end of the dessert buffet. Another thing I’m already looking for my next excuse to use!
My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!
I had put Wedding Wednesdays on hiatus for the busy holiday season, but since we’re starting out a typically mild January, I’d like to finish out the series. I have a few more DIYs and amazing builds by my husband that just can’t go unblogged. I’ll be wrapping it up at the end of the month, but for now, lets talk cupcakes.
The bride and groom decided they wanted mini cupcakes rather than a traditional cake. It ended up fitting in well with the dessert buffet and the gluten-free requirement. They chose three flavors, but the biggest issue was what to serve them on. We considered round wood cuts, but my husband happened to find some rough cedar that made perfect stands, and took him little time to make.
He went with three stands – one three tier and two double tier. He cut the bottom piece for each 30 by 12”, the next piece 22 by 12” and the top for the tallest stand 14 by 12”.
He used giant nails to create the layers. These things were 12 inches long and 3/8” diameter. They almost looked cartoonish.
He marked a spot at the midpoint front to back and about 2” from the end on each side. Then he stacked the boards, making sure the top was centered over the bottom and drilled a hole, using a bit just slightly smaller than the nail, stopping about 2/3 of the way through the bottom layer. He repeated the process for the top step on the tallest stand.
He centered the holes in the top tier over an opening on his table saw and hammered the nails in.
He then lifted it over the bottom layer, inserting the nails into the holes. He hammered them in, making sure it was level and the nails were fully in the bottom layer without poking all the way through.
He was finished with all three stands in under half an hour. At that point in the process, time was getting short and anything that could be finished that quickly and come out looking so amazing was a win.
These stands were absolutely perfect for the mini cupcakes. They fit in well with the country décor and were even the right size. I haven’t had the heart to get rid of them yet. I might go buy myself some cupcakes just so I can use them again.
My daughter and son-in-law’s wedding was, obviously, as very DIY affair. In the early days, we thought we were going to do it all. As the planning process progressed we realized, for the sake of our sanity and relationships with each other, that we should consider hiring a few professionals. Now that it’s all over, I don’t regret a single one of them. So, as I frantically try to get ready to be a vendor myself at Siren Nation this weekend, it feels like a good time to give all of our wedding vendors the public and sincere Thank You they all deserve. I’ll start with the first person we hired, and the one you’ve already seen a bit here. Heather Fitch from Heather Fitch Photography was calm, professional and gave us photos that were everything we hoped for. She not only captured everything we expected to see, but the spunky, fun personalities that define these two.
I’ve mentioned before that the groom has celiac disease. Gluten-free isn’t a choice for him – it’s mandatory. After we decided on a dessert buffet for the reception, we also chose to make sure that the groom (and the bride, since she gave up gluten for his sake) could eat anything that was served without worry. That’s where the amazing Liberated Baking came in, providing treats that had me saying “Yes, I know it’s delicious and you can’t tell, but it really is gluten-free!” to guests all evening.
We thought it would be fun to have some popcorn on the buffet too, and so we ordered some from a local store called iCandy. I think it was the best cheese corn I’ve ever had, and everyone we’ve talked to there has been so sweet.
It was very early on that Codi proclaimed there would be cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. I think it had something to do with Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Bella Cupcake. The couple went in for a tasting and chose Raspberry Lemonade, Pumpkin Chai, Strawberry Shortcake and Salted Caramel. How was anyone supposed to choose which of those to put on their plate? To alleviate that issue, we went with mini-cupcakes so guests could sample more than one flavor.
Bella Cupcake also provided the adorable giant cupcake for the bride and groom to cut and share.
When it came to the bridesmaids’ and flower girl’s dresses, Codi knew what she wanted. And I knew I was capable of making them. However, just because I could didn’t mean I should and I decided that was a project that could be better accomplished by someone else. We went with BL Couture on Etsy. I’ll admit, I tried to talk Codi out of putting just the maid of honor in yellow and everyone else in grey, but it really worked. And the girls loved playing with all the different ways they could wear these.
Did you see all the amazing hair in that last photo? Codi wanted all the girls in different braids, and our regular hairstylist, Wendy from the Orient Barbershop, totally delivered. Not only did Wendy come to our house for the entire day and style all the girls hair, but she did their makeup as well. Thankfully, I was included in that because otherwise I probably would have been a mess. Wendy was a calming presence while everyone was getting ready and I don’t know what we would have done without her.
Another Etsy store we shopped at was for Codi’s garters. We talked about making them, but as we started looking around she spotted exactly what she wanted at BridalGoddess. All we had to do was attach the firefighter charm Codi wanted and she was ready to go. These were so pretty, and the quality was great.
One of the last things we held out on doing ourselves was the flowers. The closer it got, the more terrified I became, which was a good sign I should give it up to a professional. Fortunately, one of my closest friends has a sister who owns In the Garden, a floral shop in Redmond, Oregon. Kellie agreed to do them for us, even though she is halfway across the state from us and it was pretty close to the event. We emailed her photos of arrangements Codi liked, and when the flowers arrived we were all stunned. They were amazing.
We originally planned to set up a stereo with an iPod playing for the reception. We didn’t think anyone would really dance anyway. I am so glad we hired Dennis Marcellino to DJ instead. He had almost everyone out of their seats and dancing – my husband I were a little shocked. He was great at keeping everything running smoothly and made sure fun was had by all. He even sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” since he was a member of the band the hit belonged to, The Tokens! He also played the saxophone, which was a nice combination with the recorded music.
Last, but not least, is this lovely young woman – Savannah Gentry. She is one of the bride and groom’s friends from high school. Listened to her playing the songs they chose in my living room before the wedding brought me to tears. She provided violin music while the guests were finding their seats and during the ceremony and every note was gorgeous. Savannah is talented and beautiful, inside and out.
In addition to all these amazing vendors who made it a day to remember, I’d also like express my gratitude to all of our friends and family who went the extra mile (or several) to make sure we could enjoy the day without having to worry about anything. You all know who you are – THANK YOU!
My daughter’s wedding, like most these days I’d guess, was influenced by Pinterest. We had a secret board where the bride, the maid of honor and I could keep track of every relevant wedding idea we came across. We tried to be pretty selective, and cleaned it out once in a while, so it stayed manageable and ended up being an excellent tool in the planning process. In fact, she made it public after the wedding was over, so if you’d like to see what we were working with you’ll find it here. We didn’t use every idea on it, but I’m not sure how we would have managed without it.
Looking back at it, the photo I’m going to talk about today isn’t even on that board. But if you do a quick search, you’ll see pictures similar to this one our boys posed for.
The bride and groom are both big superhero fans. In fact, this is their car, which my daughter has been driving for about 4 years. The Batman symbol on the hood was not part of the getaway car décor.
The bride’s dad is a police lieutenant and the groom just graduated from the fire academy so as we talked about the superhero photo we realized it made complete sense to include those real heroes’ symbols among the imaginary. However, that meant we wouldn’t be buying the shirts already made. They went on my to-do list.
Since I was making them anyway, I thought maybe if we used all white the boys could just leave them on, hoping they would be covered by their vests.
It worked in the photos, but in person you can see a little color peeking out over the top of those vests. I’m still glad we use white though, because I love how it made the symbols stand out.
So, what about the girls? I had already planned to make robes for each of them to wear while they were getting their hair and makeup done, so I decided I’d make them match the boys, in the girliest way possible.
I made the robes using Simplicity 1720, the view in the upper left corner.
I added loops to the sides because I knew we’d find the belts everywhere later if they weren’t attached to the robes. When I was finished sewing them I decided they needed a little something, so I sewed lace to the bottom hem. You might recognize the fabric from the rug I showed you last month that I made for the wedding bathroom. It was a great way to use up those scraps!
To make the iron-ons for both the robes and the t-shirts, I ordered these printable sheets.
If you follow the directions exactly, these work beautifully. They survived washing just fine, and the colors were very vibrant, perfect for the comic book look we were going for.
This was definitely one of the more offbeat projects I did for the wedding, and one of the most fun!
My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!
When my daughter and son-in-law announced their engagement, and decided they wanted to hold the wedding at our home, my husband and I entered into what would be one of the biggest projects of our lives. I don’t know about you, but it isn’t every day we invite 200 people to our house for a little get-together. There were many things to be considered, not the least of which was the bathroom situation.
Without going into all the details of how our house is arranged, we have three bathrooms inside, none of which were going to be easily accessible for the ceremony and reception. We started looking at something we could rent, but the ugly ones were, well, ugly and the pretty ones would break the budget. Finally, my husband decided he would build a bathroom behind the barn. If you know my husband, you just nodded and said “Of course he did.”
My husband is the guy everyone calls when they need something fixed, so I can tell you the barn has absolutely nothing to do with animals. Tools, wood and left-over home improvement supplies don’t require feeding though. Pretty much everything he needed was inside that barn, and the entire thing ended up costing around $300. We could barely rent an ugly one for that and ours flushed.
For some perspective on how this was set up, this is what the area looked like where the ceremony and reception were both held.
Because the bathroom wouldn’t be obvious, I made this sign using my new wood burning tool. I need to find another excuse to use that thing – it’s fun.
We staked the sign near the back of the barn, and no one seemed to have any trouble finding it.
The first thing they would see as the stepped around the corner was a small wood deck, to the left of the white barn door.
The next thing our guests would find was a little hand washing area under an overhang.
The mirror was from Ikea, as well as the hanging bulb that my husband turned into a mason jar pendant light.
The sink and faucet, which I showed you how he made last week, were plumbed through a piece of rustic cedar. The day of the wedding we added a bouquet of flowers inside the watering can, some soap I chose strictly because it was the right color, and hand towels.
Beneath the counter were a couple of tin pails for trash.
Next to the hand washing station was a stall to house the toilet itself, complete with locking door. I love the red exterior barn wall serving as a background for all of this.
I already showed you the sign and rug I made, but I thought this extended toilet roll holder my husband added was genius. We slide several rolls on before the ceremony and no one ever had to refill it.
I think the reason I love this little bathroom so much is because it really captured the whole DIY, rustic, country feel my daughter wanted for the event. And I’m pretty sure no one has ever had one just like it.
Besides, when you have something so cute going on in front of the barn, you’ve gotta have something special in the back.
My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!
Are you all tired of hearing about wedding stuff yet? I hope not, because we just got the photos from the photographer last week, along with her okay to share them here, so I have lots more to tell you about! I have one more bathroom-related project I’d like to share with you before I reveal the whole thing next week. I know it’s weird to be so focused on the restroom, but it was just adorable, and this project was the biggest focal point.
We found the tub and watering can at Ikea last spring, so this wasn’t an expensive project at all.
It was important to my husband to have a unique handle for the faucet, so we visited a local antique hardware store and found the one on the left for about $5. He also needed a piece of 1/2” copper pipe and a drain, found at Home Depot.
Replacing the faucet handle with the older one was as simple as unscrewing the nut, removing the one it came with, putting on the antique and screwing the nut back on.
He pushed the copper pipe into the spout on the watering can just hard enough to make a small indent in the bottom.
After that, he drilled a hole at the point of the dent…
…large enough for the pipe to fit through.
He put a piece of wood under the tub and pounded lightly on the bottom in the center to create a recessed area for the drain.
He drilled a hole in the bottom that was slightly bigger than the diameter of the pipe. After the hole was drilled, he hit it a few more times with the hammer to flatten the rough edges.
He removed the rubber gasket and nut from the bottom of the drain. He pushed the drain into the drilled hole, adding some sealant to the underside. Then he threaded the gasket and nut back on, tightening it with a wrench.
With the drain securely in place, installing it involved some plumbing skills I won’t get into here.
It turned out even cuter than I pictured when my husband suggested it. And it worked!
Next Wednesday – the big bathroom reveal!
I mentioned last week that I had a few components of the bathroom my husband built for the wedding that I wanted to share with you before I show the whole thing. This sign is one of them.
We had a blank wall at the back, so I decided to make a sign to fill the space. I had a bunch of burlap-looking canvases I found at a sidewalk sale that were the perfect size.
I read that in order to make vinyl letters stick to these, you should give them a few coats of Mod Podge. Nope, nope, nope. It left me with a rough surface that the vinyl hopped off of like it was on fire. On to plan B.
I taped off lines using blue painter’s tape and painted between them. I was afraid the paint wouldn’t stick either, but I had no problem with it.
My husband cut a piece of wood for me, and I got to try out my new toy – a wood burning tool. That thing is so much fun. I made a few signs for the wedding with it, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it again ever since. To make this one, I just printed the phrase out on the computer, traced it onto the wood using carbon paper, and burned the letters. Bonus points if you know where this quote is from!
I hot glued the wood onto the canvas. My daughter suggested the upholstery tacks in the corners, which I thought added a nice detail. The flower was one I had made while I was experimenting with a pattern, and I’m glad it found a home. This sign was perfect for its spot, and it’s even better in the newlyweds’ home.
Join me next Wednesday, and I’ll show you how I made that puffy flower, along with a couple of variations!
As you know by now, since I haven’t stopped talking about it yet, my daughter’s wedding was held in the small field between our house and our little red barn. Because we were holding the whole thing outdoors, one of our first considerations was a bathroom.
We looked into renting a port-a-potty style, but frankly nothing about those says wedding. We saw some beautiful trailer-style restrooms to rent at a bridal show, but they would have obliterated our budget.
Being the handy guy he is, my husband decided to build one onto the back of our barn. He ended up using mostly repurposed or left over supplies, and the whole thing cost us about $300. On top of that, it was adorable. I’m not going to show you the entire thing yet, because I’d like to share some of the things we made to go into it before the big reveal. I’m starting with this unassuming but foot-friendly little rug.
I made each of the bridesmaids and the flower girl grey knit robes, and a white one for the bride, so they would have something to wear while they got ready.
Making six robes left me with lots of scraps, so I used those to make this. You could also cut up t-shirts.
I cut strips that were about 1” wide and 6” long. If my notes are correct (forgive me, a lot was going on) I ended up with 1092 grey and 185 white. I didn’t use all of them. I’d recommend counting the holes to get a good estimate of how many you’ll need.
For the base I used the same type of mesh used for latch hook rugs. You can buy it by the yard at the fabric store. I cut mine 16 by 24”. I happened to have some of this on hand, so this project cost me nothing out of pocket!
To bind the edges, I cut strips of knit that were 2” wide by the length of each side, plus a few inches. Starting with the short sides, I overlapped the strip so it was covering the edge and stitched through all three layers on the sewing machine.
For the long sides I did the same, only I turned the ends under about 1/2”.
The corners should overlap.
I used a pointy stick to push the ends of the small strips up through the holes from the bottom.
Both ends should come up through adjacent holes.
I only tied these once, rather than a square knot, because I found it was too bulky otherwise. The knit holds well and none of them have come untied.
I skipped a row of the mesh so only one strip of fabric is in each hole. I also skipped a row when starting the next. Again, it was too bulky if I didn’t. This is what the back ends up looking like.
Because of its size this rug is pretty heavy, but it’s great to stand on because it’s so thick. It held in place well on the wood floor of the bathroom at the wedding, but slides around a bit on some tile. The newlyweds are still using it in the bathroom at their new apartment!
I’m still trying to locate some photos of many of the things we made for the wedding. We were so busy that day, and the days leading up to it, we didn’t get a chance to take pictures. Unfortunately, I’m starting to think some of it will have to live on in our memories and I won’t be able to share it all here. While I wait it out a little longer, I thought I’d tell you about a fun thing we did that was a hit with the not-quite-tall-enough-for-a-rollercoaster crowd.
At a wedding, guests will often tap their glass with their fork to make that clinking noise as a signal the bride and groom should share a kiss. At the last wedding we attended before my daughter’s the newlyweds were driven a bit bonkers with glass-clinking. But because we were using mason jars and those silver-looking plastic forks, that wasn’t going to be an option. I wasn’t about to let them off the hook though.
I considering putting a small bell at each guests’ spot. I also thought about just putting one larger bell in the center of each table. As I mentioned last week, we had lots of kids in attendance, so I was afraid every parent there would hate me by the end of the night. Instead, we decided to go with one bell, and it worked out perfectly!
I made this sign using my vinyl cutting machine and some of the leftover grey vinyl from the glasses.
After a little searching, I found this bell on Amazon. I was surprised at how good the quality was, especially for the price, and I’m pretty sure you can hear this thing ringing for miles.
We hung it just above adult eye level to make it a little tougher for the kids to overuse it. It was adorable to watch two little brothers we know try to help each other reach it. We also added the “2 rings per customer please” to the sign to help with the ones who were a little older. Believe it or not, it worked, and I’m pretty sure everyone who wanted a shot at ringing it found a way.
We liked the bell so much, we hung it on one of the cedar posts by our front door after the wedding. Without the kissing sign, of course.
As if these two needed any encouragement.
We knew there would be lots of little ones in attendance at my daughter’s wedding. She really wanted to include them, but we were a little worried they might get bored. We bounced around ideas like some yard games, but they really couldn’t do that during the ceremony. We found a couple of cute kids’ coloring books for weddings on Pinterest, and once we decided to seat everyone at tables for the ceremony, we knew that would be a perfect way to keep the young crowd entertained.
My talented niece Keely drew the photo for the front to represent Codi and John. I love the way it turned out!
I made a word search using wedding and Codi and John-specific words for the first page on the inside, using this website from Discovery. I probably should have used fewer words because the letters were pretty small, but I figured it would be a good challenge for the slightly older kids.
The next page was just a simple cupcake outline, since that’s what we were serving at the reception, that could be decorated however the artist chose.
Following the cupcake was my favorite page, Wedding Guest Bingo. I was kinda busy at the reception, so I don’t know how the kids did on this, but it was fun to make.
The Wedding Mad Libs was a tricky one, because you don’t want the participant to see where the words are going when they choose them. I went with a brief description and lines for the words on one page…
…and the Mad Lib itself to fill in on the next.
I found this fun website that has mazes for all the letters of the alphabet in both upper and lowercase, so I chose an S for the newlyweds’ last name. I also added their little heads to show the start and finish points.
The back of the book had a spot for the artist to write his or her name, but I was stumped for a while on what else to add there. It finally occurred to me it would be fun to decorate the getaway car! They were taking my daughter’s Kia Soul, so I found a photo and traced it to create the cartoon car.
It would have been easy enough to just lay these on the tables, but we really wanted to take it a step farther. We put each book in a yellow bag and added a box of crayons, a small lollipop and a couple of glow stick bracelets for when it got dark later. I made labels with each kid’s name on them and a second label for the bottom with their table number so whoever put them out would know where each one should go.
It was kind of nice to have that pop of yellow scattered around on the tables.
These bags were a big hit with the kids at the wedding, and none of them were left behind afterward. I’m pretty sure those coloring books saved a parent or two’s sanity, if only for a few minutes!
I don’t remember how it started, whether my son volunteered or my daughter asked, but it came to be that my son, Tucker, was assigned the job of making something for the ring bearer to carry the rings in for the wedding ceremony. It seemed appropriate since Tucker was the best man and would have to remove them from whatever he came up with in front of a crowd of people.
Tucker took all the metals classes his high school had to offer, and threw in wood shop near the end. His dad is a wood worker, so he had a bit of experience in that area already. Recently, he’s also taken up leather working, so he didn’t have any trouble coming up with an idea for the ring box. He spent hours in the school shop, then at home after he graduated, lovingly turning a plain log into an heirloom his sister and new brother-in-law will treasure forever.
Once he had finished the box, we talked about what should go inside. He had carefully carved out a rectangular hole, which seemed perfect to fit a pillow into. He was planning to sew the pillow himself, but time was running short, so I took care of it for him. I’ll be explaining more about this in a future story, but I made the pillow out of a piece of my cut-up wedding dress and a leather cord.
The ring bearer, my nephew Greyson, carried that box like a champ. He’s a little hard to spot in this photo, but it’s the only one I have of him so far. He was the best ring bearer ever!
I was a little worried it would be hard for Tucker to unbuckle those leather straps when it was time to hand over the rings. I should have known better than to think he’d do that to himself.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my son work on something with such care for so long as he did this box. He and his sister are very close, and I know he wanted to make her something special, not only for the wedding, but as a keepsake to remember what a great day it was. He hit it out of the park.
This week I'd like to show you something I did for myself for my daughter’s wedding that made my day much smoother. It seems like a small thing, but trust me, it was important.
Do your bra straps slide off your shoulders? It seems like no matter what style of bra I buy, this happens to me. It drives me crazy. Then I bought a dress with little loops to attach the strap to the inside and it changed my life. When I chose my mother-of-the-bride dress and it didn’t come with those magic loops, I knew immediately that I needed to add them.
All this requires is some skinny twill tape or ribbon, 1/4 – 1/2” wide, and two small snaps.
Cut the twill tape to 3” long. Fold one end over a couple of times and sew one side of the snap to it.
Fold the other end under a couple of times and sew it to the inside of your garment with the snap side down.
Sew the other side of the snap in the appropriate place on the garment so the snap sides will match.
That’s really all there is to it. Mine ended up in slightly different places on each side of my dress, but it doesn’t really matter as long as they can hook around the strap.
With your garments on, slip the twill tape under the bra strap and snap in place.
These tiny loops kept everything in its place all day long. I had enough to think about, so that was a HUGE help. I kinda want to do this to all my clothes!
Welcome to my first Wedding Wednesday! I made a list of all the different things I want to tell you about, and if I actually find photos and address one per week, we should be done somewhere around Easter. I’ll try to condense a little.
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I want to start with one of my favorite and most lengthy projects – the wedding favors. My daughter wanted to feature mason jars, so we decided early on that we’d use them as drinking glasses. From there it morphed into painting them with a little chalkboard paint so guests could write their names on them, to painting the names on with glass paint, to cutting the names from permanent vinyl and adding a lid with a grommet and straw and making them the take-home wedding favors. With about 225 invited guests and extra jars for surprises, it was an ambitious undertaking but one I was happy to take on.
Last winter, my husband decided I needed a Silhouette Cameo. I didn’t think I really did. I figured it would be fun to play with once in a while, but would mostly just take up space. Let me tell you, much of what I made for that wedding couldn’t have happened without it. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Silhouette, I’m just here to tell you that I’m a huge fan now. I found the software easy to use, the prices and selection for art very reasonable and the learning curve to get started with the machine wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. Commercial over, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
I set up a template page for the names and just returned to it each time I needed to start a new one. There were many, many pages. I bought grey permanent vinyl on Amazon, which by happy accident ended up looking a little like the glasses were etched.
I used cheap, clear vinyl over the top as a transfer medium, then cut all of the names apart. All that was left once that was done was to wipe the jars down with rubbing alcohol and apply the names.
While I was working on the glass, my husband was crafting the lids. After doing a couple by hand, he did a little shopping and found this contraption.
It was $65 on Ebay (you can also find them on Amazon) and came with some grommets. When you’re looking at making nearly 20 dozen of these, that cost is so worth it. To start, he drilled holes in the center of the lids with a 7/16” drill bit. He ultimately used his drill press because he ended up with smoother holes and it took less time, but a regular drill can work too.
He inserted the larger side of a #2 size (a tiny bit shy of 1/2”) grommet into the hole and slipped the smaller side onto the back.
A quick punch with the grommet-squisher…
And we had lids that straws fit into perfectly.
Of course, since the wedding colors were yellow and grey, we searched the world for yellow straws.
I couldn’t be happier with the way these turned out. They worked well for holding the tea and lemonade we served, and the lid kept out the pesky bugs.
We wanted to make sure guests understood that they could take these home, so I again used my Cameo to make a sign. We just used 1/8” hickory plywood that my husband cut to size, added the lettering, and I found that cute mason jar (with the word Love on it already) in the Silhouette store. I improvised the yellow vinyl straw.
These were a huge hit with our guests and a great way to help them find their seats. In fact, we only had one jar left behind at the end of the night!
Well, here we are. The wedding is tomorrow, and believe it or not, I think we’re actually ready for it. I’m sure there’s something we’re forgetting and I’m counting on a day-of disaster, but at the end of it all they’ll be married and we will have spent time celebrating that with friends and family. I’m just hoping that whatever happens makes for a good story we can laugh about later.
We spent a lot of time deciding on a fun guest book. I can’t say which idea won yet, but a close second is this Jenga Guestbook from Crafty Morning. You could reminisce about your wedding and guests every time you play it.
There are so many beautiful, unique wedding invitations out there. One that particularly caught my attention was this round version from Voyages of the Creative Variety. How fun would this be to receive?
Tables generally need centerpieces, and if you have a lot of tables that becomes quite a project. These little Candle Lampshades from Good Housekeeping would be fairly inexpensive, cute and provide a little mood lighting.
If you’re assigning seats, you also need numbers. We used some galvanized metal in my daughter’s wedding, so these Numbered Tags from The Country Chic Cottage caught my attention. It’s hard to believe these aren’t actually metal.
It takes a brave soul to DIY a wedding cake, but it can definitely be done. I love the clever use of a common candy on this Candy Wafer Cake from Intimate Weddings.
Cake toppers have come a long way since I got married. No longer stuck with some variation of a bride and groom, people have gotten very creative. I love the use of vintage fabric on this Star Cake Topper from Project Wedding.
This entire wedding on OneWed is gorgeous, with bright color everywhere, but my very favorite thing is the colorful underskirt on the bride.
We’ve found decorating an outdoor venue is a bit challenging. Trying to find the balance between too much and not enough is tough. These Pom Pom Vines from Once Wed would be a great way to add some color without going overboard.
This Felt Wedding Bouquet from Something Turquoise is to die for, and they explain how to make every bit of it. In fact, if you’re in the market for wedding ideas, they have SO many good ones.
As long as we’re talking about a felt bouquet, why not also go with fabric corsages as well? Check out the tutorial from Little Treasures.
Wish me luck tomorrow…I’ll see you on the other side!
We’ll just go ahead and get the disclaimer out of the way first: I received these products from Uncommon Goods to review, however, all opinions are strictly my own. I’m going to gush a little here, and it’s for real.
If you’ve been around here for a while, you might be familiar with my annual birthday post. It’s similar to my Friday Favorites, but isn’t restricted to only crafty or tasty things. Over the years, there are a couple of retailers who’ve come up repeatedly, only because I really like their stuff. One of those is Uncommon Goods. They noticed, and invited me to review one of their products. After some extensive browsing, I made a selection that I couldn’t be happier with.
I’ve talked a lot about my daughter’s wedding lately, but this Sunday I’ll be celebrating 23 years of marriage to that sweet guy that pops up here once in a while and leaves comments that make me say “Aww, that’s sweet!” When I was searching for just the right product to review, Uncommon Goods’ collection of anniversary gifts, found here, was a natural fit. I landed on this set of personalized glasses, in part because we keep joking about the “after party” we’re going to have after the kids leave for their honeymoon. They’re also a great replacement for the toasting glasses from our wedding that were broken years ago.
These glasses arrived much quicker than I expected for a personalized item. They were also very well packaged.
That little paper on top was actually an explanation of who the crafter is, where she’s from and a bit about her process. I love that! I didn’t know much about Uncommon Goods as a company until they contacted me, but I like what I’ve learned. They are big supporters of artists and designers, with half the products they sell made by hand. They also donate $1 of each purchase to a non-profit of the customer’s choice, to the tune of $700,000 so far. That’s a company I can get behind.
I had high expectations for these glasses, and they did not disappoint. They’re much sturdier and heavier than I thought they’d be, and the artwork is beautiful. I especially loved that they could be personalized with our initials and wedding date.
The pilsner glass has a nice, heavy bottom and holds about 20 ounces of beer.
The wine glass has some extra frosting on the bottom in addition to the design, which is a nice touch.
Uncommon Goods has a huge selection of gifts that can be personalized, as shown here, which I spent hours looking through. I feel like I made a great choice with these though. I could definitely see giving them as a wedding or shower gift. Don’t they just look romantic?
These will be displayed in the window for the next month until my husband and I can share a “We Survived Our Daughter’s Wedding” drink together. Thank you Uncommon Goods!
Happy New Year! After I’ve hung the new calendars, I always spend New Year’s Day taking down the tree and putting away the Christmas ornaments. Yes, I intentionally leave them up that long. I mentioned putting them away early this year a few days ago and my husband looked at me like he didn’t know who I was. I guess that’s a tradition that’s pretty deeply rooted around here.
So, what can you expect here at Crafty Staci in the coming year? For one, I’ll be continuing my Friday Favorites series, which has featured over 1500 projects already. The round-ups are becoming popular on Pinterest, with my Gifts for Guys post being my most-repinned item in 2013. If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered, just let me know!
February will mark the fourth (!!!) anniversary of my blog. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but as always, there’s going to be a giveaway. I’m torn between an item handmade by me or supplies so the winner can make something herself. Any opinions on that one?
This is going to be a big year for my family as well. My son will be graduating from high school in June. My baby. Just…stunned.
And my daughter will be tying the knot with her fearless firefighter in late July. The wedding is going to be at our home but even though we’re going to be up to our eyeballs in DIY, you probably won’t see many wedding-related crafts until after July. I don’t want to give everything away before it happens!
I’ll probably be taking a month or so off from this blog and my shops when we get close to the event. Don’t worry, I’ll come back after I rest a little. Then I’ll leave again for a week in September for a family trip to Disneyland. After that, I’m all yours.
I’m looking forward to this year for so many reasons, not the least of which is the time I get to spend here with you. Thank you for coming on this crazy trip with me!