Bridal & Bridesmaids Hangers

This wasn’t something I had given much thought too.  But I do want the standard dress hanging photo the morning of the wedding.

I do not want a plastic or wire hanger though.

And with just me and two bridesmaids (matrons), I don’t think we need our name on them. I won’t be a “Mrs.” and I don’t need “Bride” spelled out because I think the white wedding dress makes that clear.

Just something pretty, a little girly.

In an earlier post, I had made these really simple, fast, easy ribbon/tulle/lace flowers. [Click here for that tutorial]

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Since these flowers have thin wire “stems” they were easy to wrap around a felt covered hanger.

diy bride hanger 1diy bridal hanger 2diy bridesmaid hanger

 

 

The wire gets covered up by wrapping flowers on each side.  You can also tie some ribbon, tulle, or a bow around the top.

Simple. Easy. Fast.  I think these will work just fine for the photograph 🙂

Bride hanger

 

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The (easy) fabric flower experiment

Lace, ribbon, organza, frilly sashay yarn, tulle.  Pretty material for pretty fabric flowers.

I have been pondering the fabric flower bouquet, but I still really love the idea of real roses for me to carry.  Of course that doesn’t stop me from playing around and experimenting with different techniques for fabric flowers.  They make beautiful hair pieces, belts, decor.  This morning I think I found the easiest way to make them.

I experimented with all types of ribbon, fabric, yarn, lace, tulle…

easiest fabric flowers 1

easiest fabric flowers 2

easy ribbon flowers 1

These are so, so easy to make.  No sewing, no gluing.

Supplies:

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Buttons, beads, pearls –anything that can be wired for the center of the flower

Wire–I used common 22 gauge silver wire

Scissors, wire cutters, round nose pliers

Your ribbon (or lace, or tulle…)

Step 1:

Cut a piece of wire about 10″ (longer or shorter is fine, it depends on what you wish to do with the flower). Wire your center button/bead.  Use just enough wire to twist enough times to hold it securely.  Cut excess off of the tail piece.

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Step 2:

Thread the other end of the wire through the end of your ribbon.  Then you will “sew” back and forth along the edge of the ribbon.  This will make the gathers/petals of your flower.

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For most of my flowers, I found I needed about 2 feet of ribbon, but you can decide this one for yourself.

Step 3:

Pull the ribbon up towards the center button/bead.  Mess with it so it looks pretty.  If you find you need more/less ribbon, add & take away at will (the beauty of no sew or glue).

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Step 4:

Once you’ve messed with it long enough and like how it looks, use your fingers to hold the lace tightly against the center.  You want the flower as flat as you can get it.  Take your round nose pliers up tight against the ribbon of the back of the flower & twist the wire into a loop.  This will hold the fabric/ribbon in place.  You can make two loops for extra security and then flatten them against the fabric.

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DONE!

Different fabrics & ribbons give completely different looks.  You can experiment with different types of gathers too.  The grey flower was done with sashay yarn.

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The little details

It’s football season, so time to tackle those simple projects that can easily be done while watching the game(s).  First up, dry embossed cocktail napkins.

If you have a Cuttlebug (or similar embossing machine), you can turn plain and boring $1-for-50 cocktail napkins into something a little bit more interesting.

DIY embossed napkins 1DIY embossed napkins 2

I found I could run 2-3 napkins through at a time, completing a several hundred napkins in about an hour.  All while watching my Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon.  Not too bad. Maybe just a little bit too easy 🙂

If you don’t have an embossing machine, you can still personalize plain napkins with a permanent ink pad and a stamp.  Make sure the ink is permanent/water proof (it will state it on the pad).

diy personalized cocktail napkins

How many do you need?  

For the bar/beverage station–

       -about 3 per guest  (150 guests x 3 napkins = 450 cocktail napkins)

For appetizer stations–

       -about 1-2 per guest  (150 guests x 1.5 napkins  = 225 napkins)

For dessert stations–

      -about 1-2 per guest  (150 guest x 1.5 napkins  = 225 napkins)

Better to have more than you need than to run out.  If your event is longer than 4 hours, add a few hundred more napkins.  They are rather inexpensive after all. If you do a general emboss design rather than a personal/wedding specific stamp/emboss (e.g., names & date), any that are left over can be used for future occasions.

Literally Tying the Knot

Hand Fasting Cords and Ribbon

As our Save the Dates state, we will be tying the knot with a hand fasting ceremony. Making our ropes/ribbon was a fun project, easy, and inexpensive.hand fasting rope ribbonshand fasting cords ribbon

From the notions department of my favorite craft & sewing store, I selected two cords, one in green the other in ivory, and purchased 1.5 yards (if you want a traditional 3 wrap with a knot, you’ll need 3 yards).  I also bought two small tassels and hand stitched in some green crystals.  I wrapped the two cords together and taped the ends to hold them in the twisted shape.

Next was the bling.  One small silver ribbon and one in black cut about 2 feet longer than the cords. Starting about one foot in, I strung pearls on the black ribbon  at roughly every 4 inches (with knots to hold them in place) and about every 5″ I strung crystals on the silver. Both of these ribbons were then wrapped & twisted around the cords, with more tape at the end to hold them in place.

I attached the tassels on either end (more tape), and then used wired ribbon wrapped around the end to cover the tape.  It looked a little “bare” to me, so I beaded in some pearls on the end as well, stringing about 3 and then a stitch to hold them in place.

I knotted an extra black & silver ribbon onto the tail and then braided them, and then a few green, crystal, and silver beads to finish it off.  I wish my photos could capture the sparkle.

I’m sure there was an easier way, but I just made it up as I went along.

Save the Date

diy save the date

We debated on the need for these, but realized that with almost half of our guest out of state/country, it would be a good idea to send them some advance notice.  Cost is always a factor, so I borrowed the “knot tying” idea from others’ posts and looked at this video tutorial.

The cards are 4″ by 3.3″, which allowed 3 cards per sheet of 8.5×11 card stock.  I created the cards on my iMac in Pages, but have created a Word and PDF template if you wish to use the design (please note that Word changes some of the formatting/shadows on the letters, so you may need to adjust).

Card outside template:

save the date generic template outside PDF

save the date generic template outside WORD

Card inside template:

save the date generic template inside PDF

save the date generic template inside WORD

Print onto cardstock using double sided printing (or do it manually).  I used a laser printer for a sharper image. Cut out your cards (2 cuts using a paper cutter).

Before adding the string, stamp or embellish your card.  I just added a few stamps with silver ink on the front and trimmed the corners with a punch.

From the picture, you can see where to position the hole punch.  Cut the ribbon/string about 4-5″ longer than the entire length of the card.  Knot one end, thread through the  front hole, tie a loose knot (add the rings if you like inside the loose knot), thread through the back hole and knot off.  Cut off any excess.  Test it out and make adjustments. Also, if you use ribbon, lightly sear the ends with  a flame to prevent fraying.

Done.

These cards will fit easily in a 3.5 x 5 inch envelope and require typical postage.

What Can You do with 1000 Cranes?

So after I finished folding 1000 cranes, it was time to wire them for the centerpieces.  This took as long as the folding, which I didn’t expect.  Rather easy, and I really, really like the look.

1000 cranes centerpiece 2013-05-28 11.22.14

Some are wired to go up the curly willow-ish stems, while some are wired to drop down & out from the vase.

This is what they look like in my centerpiece (still a work in progress):

Paper flower and crane centerpiece1000 crane centerpiece 2

[the large paper flower tutorial is here]

The Materials:

crane centerpiece tutorial

Origami Paper Cranes   (can be less than 1000 🙂  )

Floral wire in desired color (I used silver and green)

Craft beads in various sizes (be sure to buy ones that will fit your wire!)

Sticks-I tend to use ones from my yard, but curvy willow looks nice too.

Tools: round nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutter, round object like a pencil (to form the curls in the wire between cranes)

{{{The cat is optional}}}

The Process:

[Note: these are the directions for the dropping down cranes, the process is reversed for the “up” cranes]

Cut your wire to length.  I found that every 3 feet of wire gave me about 1 -1.5 feet of curly strung cranes.  This is a bit trial & error depending on the look you want and how many cranes you are wiring.

Using your round nose pliers (or round object) make a decorative end to your wire.  You will need at least a loop to hold the bead.

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String a few beads and then your  smallest size crane. There is a natural hole at the bottom of the crane, but you’ll have to poke the wire through the top. It felt like I was killing them.

diy crane centerpiece 3 diy crane centerpiece 4

String another bead and then using your round nose pliers make a loop as close to the bead as you can to hold everything in place.

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Using your round object, twist the wire around so you have 3-4 loose loops and about an inch of space. I used two different sizes for my loops to add some interest.

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Again using your round nose pliers, make a closed loop.  String another bead, crane, bead….repeat until you are about 8 inches from the end of your wire.

diy crane centerpiece 7

To finish off, make your loops with a round object, a closed loop with the round nose, string a few beads, and then secure with final closed loop.  You should have a few inches of straight wire left to attach to your stick.

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Quick DIY for that “Personal Touch”

Here are two very quick, very easy, and very inexpensive DIY projects for the wedding.

Send-Off Ribbon Wands:

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ribbon wands 1

 

For the ribbon wands,  buy craft sticks at least 12 inches long (e.g., round dowels).  I bought them at a craft store in packages of 20 for  $0.70 a package.  Cut ribbon in your colors so they are a few inches longer than the dowel and run the edges over a candle flame (quickly) to melt it slightly (this will keep it from fraying).  Simply  tie 2-4 ribbons near the top of the dowel.  Use a dot of hot glue to secure the ribbon to the wand.  You can add bells by threading a thinner ribbon through the bell before tying off.  I also added a small bead (hair braiding bead) over the ribbon knot for decoration only.

Cost:  Under $15 for the sticks and ribbon for 175 send off wands.

Time: If you have cats, about 6 hours to make all of them.  Without cats, about 2 hours.

BTW: Cats love the ribbon wands.  And–There is no mess to clean up at your venue.

Cocktail Stirrers for Champagne (Cocktail Hour)

DIY drink stirrersdiy cocktail stirrers duct tape

These were made simply from duct tape (yes, another use for duct tape) and plastic stirrers.  We’ll have 150-ish glasses set up on a table with champagne and pomegranate juice for guests to pick up immediately following the ceremony.  Probably raspberry and kiwi slices instead of blueberries though, but I take the picture of what I have.

Cost: $3 for a roll of duct tape, $1 for 250 plastic stirrers.  I still have lots of tape and stirrers left.

Time: An hour-ish.

Signature Cocktail Stirrers (for the reception):

So a brief explanation.  We decided to name our signature drinks after our cats.  We are NOT having a cat themed wedding, we just wanted a little personal touch.  Besides, their names are funny.  The Gatito Mojito (self explanatory), the Squeak (Vodka, orange juice, club soda, splash of sweet & sour, touch of grenadine), and the Cheechoo (non-alcoholic lime punch).

 

 

 

signature drink stirrerscocktail stirrers diy

These were even easier than the duct tape stirrers.  Just type in your sayings in a 2-colum table in your word processing program (in the first column) and your either your names, date, or in our case a wingding of a cat in the second column. The rows should be about .5 to 1 inch high, and the columns no more than 2 inches.  Print and fold.  Use double sided tape around the plastic or wood stirrer and clip the edges for the flag effect.  I made roughly 300 of these, enough to “flag” the first few drinks by our guests.  After that, I figured the novelty would wear off.

Cost: $3 for 300 plastic “deluxe” stirrers, roll of double sided tape (maybe a $1), about 8 sheets of linen paper

Time: About 1-2 hours depending on what type of paper cutter you have.

 

 

signature drink stirrers

 

The little wingdings are a good representation of our cats.  Pictured left to right: Cheechoo (dumb, simple, sweet), Gatito (prissy, elegant), Squeak (trouble-maker).

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Related articles

Wedding Card Pop-up Box

Photo Jan 27, 5 53 19 PMwedding card box 1

Photo Jan 27, 6 03 30 PM

It started the weekend as a mere cardboard box my karaoke machine came in. It is now our weeding card box -or- “mailbox” to be more descriptive.

I was browsing vintage mailboxes and got inspired. This may be the most fru-fru thing I’ve ever made. And just to make sure it reaches cute overload, I made a pop-up sign that says “Thank You!” when one opens the drawer to put the card in. Yes, when a guest opens the front drawer flap to put their card in, the sign on top will pop up and say thank you.  It’s sure be a hit with the kids at the wedding 🙂

I don’t have a tutorial, but basically:

1. Find a box.
2. Cut a flap in the front on three sides leaving the bottom attached. This will be your drawer front. Duct tape the inside of the bottom of the flap (maybe the outside too-you can cover it later) so it will have more strength as it gets bent (opened) multiple times.
3. Cut two drawer side pieces with an arc between the edges. Here is someone else’s tutorial on that. http://torispelling.com/blog/post/tutorial-kids-diy-mailbox
Attach side pieces with duct tape –after you make sure they fit 🙂Photo Jan 27, 5 57 02 PM

4. Punch three holes in the flap: one in center for the knob, and one in each corner for the ribbon or string.
5. Make your pop-up sign for on top out of card stock. Punch one hole in each corner of it for the ribbon. You will need two pieces card stock (the other piece get used in step 7). I recommend a thin piece of cardboard for the middle of the sign for extra sturdiness.
6. Sit the sign where you want it on top. Punch two holes in the box top behind the sign for the ribbon to feed through.

Photo Jan 27, 5 56 38 PM
7. Duct tape the sign to the box by running tape over the back of your sign onto the box (the tape is shaped like an “L” when the sign stands up. Use your other piece of card stock to cover the tape in the back of the sign. You will also want to attach a piece of wood, marble, or something right behind the sign. This will keep it from flopping backwards. I just use hot glue to attach some flowers.
8. Optional Step: paper mâché the entire box to cover all duct tape and to make a nice paint suface.
9. Tie thin ribbon (or string) to each corner of the sign, feed them through the holes on the top of the box, open the drawer (flap), grab the ribbon and tie to the corners of the front flap (where you punched the holes). Adjust tension of the ribbon as necessary so the sign pops up. Optional: glue washers where the ribbon feeds through the holes for looks and for strength.
10. Decorate your mailbox. I found that I had to make the sign top heavy so it would fall back down when the drawer was closed. So I hot glued on some flat sided marbles on top.

Sorry I didn’t take pics as I went. It was all trial an error for me. It went through several iterations. I took several pics of the final product, all painted. Hopefully, you’ll be able to figure it out.

Notice the flowers on top? They are my previous blog -Painted Paper Flowers. In fact all the decorations on my box are paper (except the knob & pearls).

Final list of supplies for this: box, duct tape, thin ribbon, hole punch, paper, paint, knob, 6 washers, flat marbles.

Cost: Well I had everything, so maybe about $5 of supplies.

Here are some more pics.

Photo Jan 27, 5 56 10 PM Photo Jan 27, 6 03 30 PM   Photo Jan 27, 5 53 19 PM Wedding card box

Photo Jan 27, 5 57 25 PMwedding card box pop-up collage