Little Details, continued…

Napkin rings.  Not a big deal except I need them for 160 guests.  I thought of just folding the napkins at the place setting, but that would mean a portion of my precious set up time would be used up by folding napkins at the setting.

Napkin rings

Pros -fold the napkins, put in ring & store away in a tote.  Take it out, plop it at the setting. Easy. Can add to the overall decor.

Cons-How much does 160-ish napkin rings cost? If I DIY, how long will that take?

In my continuous pursuit to minimize the setting up process before the wedding, I said YES to the napkin rings.  I toyed with different designs:

The bling ring: 

bling_napkins

Now this one is easy, but the raw material (the bling ribbon) is pricey. Buy about 10 yards to do 100 rings (around $40). Using a piece of paper you’ve wrapped around your folded/rolled napkin as a template for length, cut the ribbon, glue the seams.  I recommend a higher end craft glue or low temp glue gun.

But I am not having a bling wedding.

The ring to double as wine charm triple as guest favor:

images crystall charms diy napkin rings

The most expensive and time consuming choice, but very pretty, serves extra functions (favor/keep track of one’s drink).  I will admit I made a few of these using just regular wire and a few beads on each.  They looked good, but not great, on the napkins.  If I were to do this, I would use memory wire for the ease of making them, taking them off the napkin/putting on the wine glass.  Memory wire will get pricey though, and the costs of these will be about $50-$100 for 100 depending on the type of beads you use.  They will also take the longest to make.  But this would be worth it since it may serve as a favor for your guests.

A few cons though for my situation–I already made favors (doesn’t mean I couldn’t have more though, right?), the rings would need to be different for each guest if they are to serve as wine charms (no big deal for me either since I’m not a fan of match-matchy). Many/most guests would leave them on the glass creating more of clean up headache at the end of the night.  We are at a DIY venue with rented china/glassware.  All the charms would have to be removed before packing the dirty glasses to avoid extra rental charges.

In the end, I decided the extra DIY time (and it is time consuming), the extra expense, and the extra clean up time was not worth it. (Well mostly the extra DIY time).

The Ribbon Ring –cheap and easy (but still pretty & functional):

DIY ribbon napkin ringsDIY ribbon napkin rings 2

Ultimately my choice 🙂  The ombre ribbon I used was/is the inspiration for my entire wedding color scheme -from the light warm ivory-apple, sagey-willow greens-to the near black.  Imagine the above setting on the table with willow (or apple green) table cloths, black satin runner, and of course my painted flower centerpieces.

Reminder photo:

painted paper flower

So much ado about this little detail.  But here is the quick tutorial on how I made these.  The total cost was the cost of the ribbon (about $15) for 160 napkin rings.  All the napkins are neatly rolled and ringed waiting in a plastic tote.  Easiest set-up ever.

Supplies:

Cardboard rolls –as in paper towel/toilet paper innards.   1 four inch toilet paper roll = 4 napkin rings.  Plan accordingly. You could also use strips of cards stock/thin cardboard–just add and extra step to glue them into a circle.

1 to 1.5  inch ribbon in chosen color/style.  Each napkin ring requires 6″ of ribbon, so 1 yard of ribbon = 6 rings, 160 rings = 27(ish) yards. You do not need wired ribbon for this project.

A combination of these (but you don’t necessarily need them all): glue stick, double sided tape, fabric tac glue.

Napkins (ha ha)-I purchased these lovely black satin pin-tuck napkins from a previous bride for $.25 each.  A bargain!

Steps:

1.  Cut the cardboard rolls to 1 inch thickness.  A guillotine cutter works well for this, but so would a decent pair of scissors:

diy napkin rings 2diy napkin rings 3

2 (optional). Quickly paint the inside of the cardboard tubes.  Why? So they blend with the ribbon and look less like a toilet paper roll.  Spray painted black for mine, took about 2 minutes to do around 30 or so.  Besides, laying them out like this is its own art form 🙂

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3. Cut your ribbon.  You need a little bit of overlap when covering.  For standard rolls, 6″ is perfect.  You can cut the ribbon all at once, or do as I did, cut as you go by just wrapping the ribbon around the roll and cutting off.  Notice the overlap below–

diy napkin rings 4

4. Fold over one side of the raw edge cut ribbon and secure with a small piece of double sided tape (fabric glue or glue stick works as well).  Cover the cardboard roll with glue stick glue (or again use double sided tape).  I caution against fabric glue over the whole thing as it may seep through your ribbon giving it water-like marks.  I used a regular (kid’s) glue stick and it worked wonderfully.

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5. Wrap the ribbon around the cardboard, line up the outer edges so they meet at the seam.  You can put a small dap of fabric glue on the overlap if you feel the double sided tape isn’t enough to hold the seam in place.

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Done.

In the time I wrote this post, I could have easily made a dozen, so it is very quick work.  The cardboard is just enough to make them really easy to slide on and off too.  These work well for bow-tie napkins to (see below), but we opted for a simple double rolled design.

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In the end, do people really care about the napkin rings. No, not really.  I just like the little details.  When you have enough of the “little things,” you end up with a cohesive overall look and design.

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DIY Boutonnieres

Or “bouts” for the spelling challenged (like me).

I was making these Kusudama origami flowers for our cocktail/social hour decor:

origami flowers centerpiece

and my fiance thought they would make nice bouts.  Always looking to do things in advance (and save a few dollars too), I happily agreed.

Here are bouts!

diy boutonnieres

DIY paper flower boutonniere  DIY paper flower boutonniere 2 DIY paper flower boutonniere DIY paper flower boutonniere 4

I was happy with how easy they were to make.  Just a few hours for all ten, and that included making the flowers.  The cost is under a dollar for each one–if you have to purchase everything.  It is less than that if you already have a few supplies on hand.  Also, I think they look great.

Supplies: 

supplies

Floral wire: 18 gauge for the “stem” of the bout.

Jewelry wire for wiring your beads (gauge depends on the size of the hole in your beads)

Beads for the center

Leaves, or tulle, or fabric/ribbon for the backing of the bout (optional)

Plastic Straws-I recommend the shorter/smaller cocktail stirrer/straws

Floral tape (or wasabi tape) and ribbon (the ribbon is optional)

Scissors & Wire cutters

Kusudama flowers (for a how to on making these, click here).  I used 2″ squares to make mine, except for the ring bearer’s bout–I used 1.5″.

Step 1: The Center

Assuming you already have the flower made, you’ll need to string your beads for the center of your flower. I chose these glass teardrop beads and thought five of them in the center looked nice.  Cut your jewelry wire about 2-3″ long.  You’ll need one wire for each bead.

diy bout 1

Thread the wire through the bead and bend over about an inch and twist your wire tightly to hold the bead.  Do this for each bead.

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Grab all five of the wired beads and keeping them even on top, twist the wires so they are all connected together.  You’ll then want to twist in a 18 gauge floral wire. The floral wire will be your stem.  The beading wire is just not strong enough on its own.

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Step 2: Assemble the Bout

With the beaded wire and floral wire all twisted with one another, thread these through the center opening of your flower.  Cut your cocktail straw down to the desired size.  The cut straw needs to be a tad shorter than the floral wire on the flower (see picture).  The straw will serve to thicken up the stem of your bout and give the tape/ribbon something to cling to.

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Thread the wires through the straw.  You should have some floral wire sticking out of the end of the straw.  Bend it up over the straw.  This will hold everything nice and tight.

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You may want to put a touch of glue at the base of the flower where it meets the stem for added stayputtedness (not a real word).  At this point, you wrap the stem in floral tape (or whatever tape you choose), just be sure to wrap tightly around the base of the flower and get all the way to the bottom of the stem.  With floral tape, I have to do in two parts.  I use about a 5″ section to wrap just the base, and then another 5″ piece to do the rest.  If you are as bad as me with floral tape, you can wrap the whole thing in ribbon when you are done and the tape will not show.

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There are lots of things one can use as a background for their flower. I found these leaves taking up space in my craft room.  If I didn’t have them, I probably would have cut a circle of tulle, or stole a leaf from a plastic plant, or even made one out of paper.

Lay your flower and center it on your background piece.  Secure it with floral tape. Since my leaf was bigger than the base of the flower, I just pinched it in on both sides and then wrapped with tape.

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Congratulations! Your bout is done! You can add a few finishing touches if you like…

Step 3: Finishing Touches (these steps are all optional)

Since floral tape is sticky and I have cats, I finished off the stems with organza ribbon to prevent the bouts from being cat hair magnets. I just placed a dot of hot glue on the back of the bout (where the flower meets the stem) and wrapped all the way to the bottom.  A spot of hot glue on the tip of the end held the ribbon in place.

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I used a pair of small pliers to curl the stem of the bout as well.

Here they all are with cute little tags and their pins.  I love the little tiny one for the ring bearer 🙂

DIY paper flower boutonnieres

Not So Quick DIY…

…But a great excuse to watch a lot of movies (or hockey playoffs in my case).

1000 Paper Cranes!

up close paper cranes1000 cranes

The tutorial I used is here (I needed video to figure it out).

I used the left over paper from my pyramid boxes (see below) to make 3 x 3, 2.5 x 2.5, and 2 x 2 inch squares.

diy wedding favor 11

So according to Japanese legend, I can now make my wish and have it granted by the majestic crane.

The crane motif is used in weddings because the bird mates for life,  is loyal/devoted to its partner, and shares in all responsibilities.

My wedding seems to be taking on an Eastern theme.

DIY Petal Aisle Border

I saw this on Pinterest and said “Want.”

inspiration petal border photo 17a9733638

And roughly $15 and about 20 hours of labor later, I have what I want:

Photo Feb 02, 10 33 54 AM DIY whit petal wedding aisle border DIY petal runner ivory border

Supplies:

Bags and Bags of Dollar Store Petals (300 petals per bag)–I suggest starting with at least 10 bags.

Roll of masking paper for painting (like you get at a home improvement store)

Glue–I started with regular white craft glue, but quickly changed to my trusted low-temp glue gun

Scissors and tape

Dye for Petals (optional, depending on your colors)–I just tea-stained mine to make them off white/ivory

Purple Pig Rating: Easy, not messy, but has “WOW” factor . 9.5 Oinks because it is awesome.

Steps:

There are lots of tutorials for DIY petal runners.  The big difference with mine is that I didn’t use tulle for the base.  I was at the home improvement store in the paint aisle and notices a 125′ of paper masking (like craft paper) in green that was a perfect match to our wedding colors.  It was $4, so I had to buy it. Some diy brides discuss gluing petals on tulle and the glue coming through the tulle (making it hard to work with). I had no problem like that using paper.

1. To make the edges, roll out the paper and fold in half. Mine is in 12.5′ sections.

Photo Jan 29, 8 16 17 PM

2. Cut your design on the folded side.

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3. The curly design is a series of arcs cut and taped together.  Overlay both sides on top of each other when taping so they are match.

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4. Optional Step: Dye/stain your petals.  These white petals from the dollar store are white-out white.  I’m an ivory girl.  So I boiled a big pot of water and dumped several cups of strong tea in it and brewed up some ivory petals.  I pulled them out at various times for subtle shade differences, rinsed and put in a salad spinner (yes a salad spinner) to dry off quickly.

5. Glue on petals.  Keep gluing, get more petals, keep going.  Bored? Keep gluing.

Put just a dot of glue on each petal, and stick the glued part under the “flap” of petal next to it to hide the glue spot.  Glue in different directions, and on top of one another. But I also found it easier to glue the edges first and then work inwards.  The look you want is dropped petals.

Photo Jan 29, 9 31 57 PM

I started with regular white kraft glue, but it took too long to dry, so I switched to low temp hot glue.  You hid your glue spots by only using a tiny drop and sticking that part under the petal next to it.

This picture just has the individual sections (6 in all, two side sections at 12.5′ each, and the two curly sections) just laying butted up to each other.  I will use tape the day of to attach them on site.

DIY whit petal wedding aisle border

(please ignore the bad photo stitch for this panorama shot.  I have limits with my iPhone).