The Little Ones

I haven’t posted in a while.  Most of my DIY is done.  After all, I had a year and a half!

The past month has been filled with sending invitations, attending parties, and taking care of last minute details. Most of the gifts for the wedding party have been purchased/made, but I still needed gifts for the little members: two flower girls and our ring bearer.  They are all very young, ranging from 2.5 to 4 years old.  We purchased three small silver frames for their picture at the wedding as a keepsake.  But what 3 year old wants a photo frame?

I decided to go with activity totes, personalized for each child.  A gift, and something to keep them occupied and entertained at a nearly 100% adult wedding.

 

children's totes wedding gift

 

I had these black ones left over from my Vegas bachelorette (fun!) and used my Silhouette machine and smooth heat transfer material for the names and flower/car.  For the flower girls, I also glued on some fabric flowers for a little extra fun.

I filled the totes with the usual suspects, coloring book, crayons, stuffed animal, and some toys.

flower girl gift totering bearer gift

 

But what was so fun was making the little personalized coloring “books” for them.

flower girl ring bearer gift 2

 

I just used free-use clip art, some fun fonts, and my regular word processing program (Pages).  They are printed on standard 8.5″x11″ copy paper.  I quickly painted a piece of cardboard for the back (they may need something sturdy in which to color) and bound each with a piece of 3″ fabric folded over the top and eyelets to hold the whole thing together.  The ribbon is just decoration.

The books are 12 pages and each one is personalized with their name and a little story (sort of).

ring bearer coloring bookring bearer coloring book 22014-05-11 21.08.012014-05-11 21.08.34

flower girl coloring bookflower girl coloring book 2flower girl coloring book 3flower girl coloring book 4

 

They took maybe an hour to make all three.  Each one is unique and I tried to keep them “age appropriate” with words and story.  I can’t wait to see them scribble all over them!

Here is a link to the files in PDF form.  If you don’t have a PDF editor to change the names, you can simply put a text/caption box over them in your photo editor.

flower girl coloring book 1

flower girl coloring book 2ring

bearer flower girl coloring books

Happy gifting!

Random Acts of DIY

As the wedding approaches (only 3.5 months to go–Woot!), I have been organizing and packing away all the projects, decor, etc.  There are several projects that don’t really need a tutorial, but I wanted to include here anyway.  I actually use this blog in part to help keep myself organized.

A ring bearer box instead of pillow.  We will not be putting our rings in this, my grand-nephew will only be 3 years old.

diy ring bearer box

Supplies needed: unpainted wood or paper mache’ box, paint, ribbon, flower or other decor.  If you wish to decorate the inside (which may not be needed if you won’t have the rings in there), you’ll need  foam/styrofoam cut to fit the inside of the box and material or wide ribbon to cover the foam.

Total cost for this project was about $1-2, the box was $.90, plus a little ribbon, a few paper flowers, and paint.

ring bearer box

The flower girls will be wearing these tutus I made from strips of tulle and crocheted bodice.  They both will have a strapless slip underneath so that they have full coverage.

Each one is embellished differently so the girls will know their dress.  On their request, I added the crystal strands coming down.  They are 3 & 5 years old and want that extra sparkle.

[Please ignore the pillow and floor lamp I am using as dress forms 🙂 ]

flower girl tutus 1

flower girl tutu

flower girl tutu diy

Supplies needed. Lots of tulle.  If you buy it on a spool (6″ to 12″ wide, it will save you a lot of cutting), a tube-top like bodice (I crotched mine, but lots of people use headbands), embellishments.  Optional are the shoulder straps and belt sash.  I actually used chair sashes for both.  I had to make both of these last fall, and little ones grow fast.  So I took their measurements, added a few inches (everywhere) and made the whole thing adjustable with elastic and ties (you can see this in the back of the dress where the shoulder straps are weaved through). There are lots of tutorials available for diy tutus such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIsdx62Qtlg

Total cost for this project (both tutus) was about $20–most of that in tulle, but I wanted them very full.

The flower girl pomanders match their dresses (I used the same yarn) and was one of the first DIY projects I did.  I crocheted mini flowers (learn how here), beads and straight pins to attach to a 4″ styrofoam ball.  The littles ones can toss these around all they want with no damage, except for dirt.  The cost and supplies are: styrofoam ball ($2), yarn ($2), ribbon & pins ($2-5 depending on type).

crotched pomander

Bridesmaids’ jewelry which is not their gift, but for them to keep.  I’m still a novice at jewelry making, but I love how these turned out. Cost and supplies depends on the jewelry you are making.  For this set, about $5 using sterling silver findings and beads, and glass/crystal beads.

bridesmaid jewelry

When trying on my wedding dress, I fell in love with look of statement necklace with it.  So I made this one.  I still haven’t made the earrings, but I’ll get to work on that 🙂

I used Swarovski crystal pearls, crystals, and silver lined beads.  Total cost was about $10-15.

diy statement necklace

bridal statement necklace

My garter is another crochet project that I did early on.  I have a simpler one without the crystals for tossing. You need yarn, beads, elastic, ribbon/embellishments.  Total cost is about $3-5 (for both garters).

diy crocheted garter

And finally, our cake topper. Yes that is Barbie and Ken, but they were the right size (2.5″ tall –they were ornaments in a previous life) and they are higher quality than the little plastic ones in the stores.  Plus, they kind of look like us (fiancé is tall and thin, I have dark hair and bangs). I painted them to match our scheme, added a cat and hockey stick/puck to match our life.  They are mounted on a 4″ wood round outlined in flat-back pearls.  I blinged Barbie out a bit just because.

Cost and supplies: the Barbie/Ken ornament was $5. I had the little ceramic cat. The hockey stick is a popsicle stick cut and sanded to shape.  The puck is a sweet tart painted black and sealed. The wood round is $1, paint, flat back pearls (about $1-2 if you don’t already have some), ribbon (I used one-quarter from a $3 spool).

DIY cake topperdiy cake topper 2diy cake topper 3diy cake topper 4

So it is all packed up, semi-organized and waiting.  If you want further details on any of these projects, leave a comment and I will answer the best I can.

DIY Photo Booth: Stuff & Stuff

So over the last few days I’ve knocked out the props and backdrop for the wedding photo booth.  Nothing too special here, just ideas borrowed from several people.  I loved the oversized paper flower backdrops I’ve seen.  I did ours with a twist. We are both sociology professors, so instead of all white craft paper, I used introductory sociology text books.  The flowers are glued onto a 4′ by 8′ foam insulation board.  The flowers–well I just made them up as I went along.  The pinwheels are the fastest to make, definitely.  You can click here for more instructions on making large paper flowers. This project took about 4 hours to complete.  I am still debating on whether or not we need two panels (?).

large paper flower backdrop

 

For the props, the Dollar Store is my best friend.  Oversized glasses, hats, etc.  I also made the speech bubbles and other facial accessories.  These are all made with foam sheets, construction paper, craft sticks, and tons of hot glue.  I just did these free hand, but there are many templates out there (like here, for example).

 

 

photo booth props diy.

 

I love the projects that are kid like.  These were both a blast and easy to do.

Crepe Paper Streamer Flowers


This is an easy paper flower made from crepe paper streamers.  I adapted this flower from the Brides Cafe which used sheets of crepe paper.  However, streamers are more readily available, less expensive, and it cuts down on cutting.

Supplies:

Crepe paper streamer in your choice of colors (be sure to buy green if you want to add leaves & stems).  It’s about $1 for two rolls, each roll will make about 20 flowers. Skewer sticks (or you can use wire). Again about $1 for 50 sticks.  White school glue.

supplies

Time Commitment:

About 2 minutes per flower, with some drying time.

Skill:

Have to be able to hold a stick.

Purple Pig Rating:

8 oinks out of 10.  A decent messy factor since I manage to get glue all over my hands and eventually in my hair.  Very easy and cheap.  They look great, but making a whole bunch can get tedious.  I recommend mini-flower making sessions.

Detailed Step by Step:

1. Cut about a two foot length of streamer.

2. Fold the streamer in half, then in half again, then again…until it is about 1 inch or so wide.  Cut a rounded “petal” shape along the top.  Unfold & lie flat.

3.  Lightly squirt some glue along one short edge and along the bottom for a few inches.  Place your stick (I used a skewer) about 1/2 way up on the edge.  Remember, this is crepe paper, so a little glue goes a long way.  You also do not need complete, uniform glue coverage along the bottom.

4. Roll the stick a few turns to make the inside petal.  How many turns exactly? Just until you like the look–but at least 1 complete turn so it will be glued to the stick when you are finished.

5. Add more glue to extend your glue line along the bottom a by a few inches more (you’ll keep doing this as you go) and start rolling the stick slowly while you use your fingers to gently gather the streamer to the stick.  Just keep rolling, gathering, and sticking the crepe paper.  Here’s lots of pictures:

When you get to the end of the stream, add glue along the short end and finish rolling/gathering.

6.  Pinch the paper along the bottom where it meets the stick to make sure there is good contact with glue, paper, and stick.  I add just a bit more glue around the bottom as a just in case measure.  Then you just need to let it dry (hang upside down while drying if you used a lot of glue along the base).

6a. (Optional Step) Stem & Base with green crepe paper streamer–Cut about 2 inches of green, fold in half, fold in half again (and again) cut a point on BOTH short ends.  Unfold & lie flat.  Then fold in half long ways so the point ends do NOT line up.  Glue along the bottom straight edge and roll onto the base of the flower.  You can then continue to wrap the stick in green paper if you like (or paint it).

6b. (Optional Dual or triple, or ? colored flowers): Do the same procedure as above, but cut some alternate colors and glue at the base.  I did this at random intervals.

And that’s it.  I could have made 10-15 flowers in the time it took me to write this tutorial, it’s that easy.