Our wedding was a DIY affair from top to bottom. With the exception of the food and our attire, we did everything ourselves. Our budget was modest, so I knew I'd have to do a lot of stuff myself if I wanted to have the wedding I envisioned. It was a fun and challenging and sometimes altogether daunting process, but in the end, I was thrilled with how everything turned out. With the help of Kyle and a few of my wonderful friends, and a lot of trial and error, we were able to pull off a wedding that looked exactly like I'd dreamed it would, on a budget that I wasn't sure would allow it.
A few of my DIY projects:
Antique blue mason jars are expensive. Especially when you need a bunch of them, and want them to exist in a variety of smaller-than-standard heights — which they don't. I had this vision for my centerpieces: six blue mason jars in varying heights, filled with flowers and candles and surrounded by moss. I needed a total of 90 blue glass jars. I knew that the only possible way I could get them was to make them myself. So my awesome bridesmaid, Adriana, and I hand-painted 90 clear glass jars with glass paint, baked them in the oven, and were left with a collection of blue glass that was so pretty, it might as well have been the real thing.
I bought my jars in Canada and couldn't seem to track down any clear Ball jars (the brand that makes most of the recognizable, antique mason jars), so I went with a different brand instead. They were about $10 for a crate of 12. Using Ball jars would probably cost slightly more, but would look even better and would make the end result a dead ringer for the real, antique version.
What I used: glass jars, Pebeo Vitrea 160 glass paint in "turquoise," Pebeo Vitrea 160 glass paint thinner, a fan brush, an oven.
How to: Dilute the turquoise paint with the glass paint thinner, in approx. a 1:2 ratio (one part paint, two parts thinner). Paint the outside and bottom of the jar in thin, even strokes. Let dry for 24 hours. Bake in oven for 45 minutes at 325 F. Done!
Time taken: Several days, for 90 jars.
These are two separate projects, but I didn't really have an individual shot of each of them. These were both elements that were floating around in my head almost from the very beginning of my wedding planning, and I love how they both turned out.
DIY place cards: I had this idea in my head of creating simple place cards reminiscent of short, typewritten lines in a script. I actually hand-drew this typewriter font, because I couldn't find one that had all the elements I was looking for. I know this sounds insane. It really only took me a few hours, though!
What I used: Kraft cardstock, corner punch tool, scoring board, custom bird stamp, gold ink, inkjet printer.
Tips: This is easy and pretty straightforward, I think. Oh, ignore my inconsistent font sizes in the two cards above. I completely forgot to make one for myself and when making it last minute, I made the font too small. Consistent size is best, regardless of name length!
Time taken: An afternoon.
DIY no-sew bunting: I wanted to make pink bunting to line the edges of the head table but knew that it would have to be at least 30 feet long to cover the entire length of our U-shaped table. Sewing was not an option, so my bridesmaid Adriana and I resorted to simply just cutting the triangles with pinking shears (the zig zag edges help prevent fraying), and adhering them to the ribbon with fabric glue. It was super easy and worked out perfectly! I probably wouldn't hang it in my house, because it has frayed over time, but it was perfect for one night.
What I used: three yards of silk (1.5 yards of light pink and 1.5 yards of darker pink), pinking shears, 30+ feet of grey ribbon, fabric glue.
Time taken: A few days. A perfect project to knock out while watching a few movies!
My labor-of-love (hate) invitations. I stamped all of the text on the paper by hand and then embossed it (raised it up) using embossing powder and a heat gun. The seafoam backing was hand-painted onto Kraft cardstock (that was the fun part!). Unfortunately, this picture doesn't really illustrate the embossing at all, but the text is all raised and the gold shines (our names are gold, even though they don't really look that way in this photo).
I love how they turned out, but they were an ordeal. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to DIY all paper elements of our wedding. I love the look of embossed invitations and started to wonder if there was any way that I could emboss my own, by hand. I stumbled across a tutorial on how to emboss a stamp — the tutorial was for a tiny little stamp, on an envelope, mind you — and thought, what if I try that for my entire invitation? I thought it would be a piece of cake. Famous last words.
It took me weeks to stamp and emboss these invitations. Hundreds of hours. They required such precision, and it was so easy to mess them up in several different ways. Plus, there was zero room for even the tiniest error because of how noticeable it would be. It was an incredibly frustrating project, to say the least.
What I used: Kraft cardstock, acrylic paint, paintbrush, cream cardstock, permanent tape roller, corner punch, two custom text stamps, gold ink, gray ink, clear embossing powder, an embossing heat gun, a tiny hole punch, 1/4 inch ribbon.
How to: This was a very complicated process that's probably too elaborate for me to get into in this post, but I can make a detailed post about the whole DIY at some point, if anyone is interested!
Time taken: Forever.
These little programs were probably my favorite DIY element of my wedding. They were as personal as can be and I loved the idea of creating a simple, pretty cover with a fun, visually impactful interior. Our little silhouettes may be my favorite part! These were truly a labor of love. They took a lot of trial and error, but I was so thrilled with the result. If I did them over, I'd probably make some changes to the fonts and layout, but I still absolutely love them and they remain my very favorite keepsake from my wedding day.
What I used: Kraft cardstock, scoring board, paper doilies, custom initial stamp, grey ink, cream cardstock, permanent tape roller, inkjet printer (a laser printer will not work well on the Kraft cardstock).
Tips: A project like this is completely up to your own customization. For attaching a doily to cardstock, I'd recommend using a combination of spray adhesive and permanent tape. The adhesive just did not do the trick and some of the doilies tended to peel up. I secured them with invisible bits of tape, hidden under the more solid parts of the doily, and it worked out perfectly.
Time taken: a good chunk of a few days.
I did several other DIY projects for my wedding, but thought that these four would be a good selection to share! If you have any questions about any of them, just ask away!
I honestly can't thank you all enough times for all the sweet, wonderful, and incredibly touching comments that you've been leaving me this week. I can't wait to check out all of your blogs over the next few days. Being able to connect with so many new, awesome people — whom I may never encounter otherwise — is absolutely my favorite part of blogging. I am so sorry if you've reached out to me but haven't heard back yet. (Emails included. I'm behind on those this week too, sadly.) Every single one of your comments makes me smile and means more than you know. Truly, truly.
I hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday!