Twine-Wrapped Initial Letters

Wrapping those standard cardboard initial letters with string or twine is a great way to spruce them up while adding texture. We couldn’t hang anything up at our wedding reception, so I painted extra original doors from my century home and placed them behind the bar. With the addition of a homemade ribbon garland (I tied strips of ribbon to a length of twine), poms and our initials, the doors transformed a simple bar top into a welcoming locale.

twine-letters

Photo courtesy of Wilmack Photo.

I followed this Yarn Covered Monogram Letter tutorial fairly closely, except instead of yarn , I used twine sourced from Home Depot.

Challenge: Because of the twine’s thickness and the shape of the letters, a different wrapping strategy was needed for each letter to prevent massive unevenness.

Solution: For the flat ends of the letters, I cut small strips of twine until I had enough to tape over the ends of the letter. Then I followed the tutorial wrapping instructions. My method left small gaps at the corners, but because the base letter and the twine were the same color, they weren’t noticeable.

Total Cost: $15

Light Columns à la Martha

My wedding planner found these fantastic light column instructions on marthastewart.com. Spoiler alert: this was an expensive project! But, I wasn’t allowed to hang anything in our reception venue, and for the price, I was happy with the unique visual element these added to our reception. I’ll probably reuse them for a homemade photo booth in the future, and the lanterns and lights can be used again and again for other purposes.

light-column-engineering

Challenge: Because our venue was inside, I couldn’t just shove some dowel rods into the ground. I needed a system that could adequately support the columns while keeping them upright, yet be easily disassembled for transportation in my car.

Here’s what I used: 

  • 3/4″ dowel rods instead of 1″ (I found dowels longer than 48″ at Menard’s),
  • Terracotta pots turned upside down for the base (the hole in the bottom is a nearly perfect fit for the 3/4″ dowel rod)
  • Pool noodles (another near perfect fit for the 3/4″ dowel rod!)
  • (32) 14″ lanterns sourced from Luna Bazaar for $60.60 including $11 shipping
  • (8) strands of white Bridal Lights

light-columns
Before the wedding, I:

  • Unwrapped all of the lanterns
  • Painted the pots
  • Cut the noodles with an x acto knife and bundled them together with masking tape
  • Miter-sawed the dowel rods to size and masking-taped the stringed lights to the dowel rods

My planner assembled the pieces at the venue and voilà!

Total Cost for 8 Columns: $200 (or $25 per column)

Embroidery Hoop Decor Spheres

spheresMy wedding planner found DIY instructions for decor spheres and recommended that I make them for my guest tables. It turned out to be a brilliant way to add texture, variety and more of my color scheme to the tables.

Challenge: I had trouble sourcing the embroidery hoops in the right sizes. Perhaps my local craft store had a swarm of embroiderists hit before I visited for this project because now they seem to have plenty of hoops in all sorts of sizes.

Solution: I ended up buying additional hoops online from Hobby Lobby for $0.99 each. To make 6 larger and 6 smaller spheres, I bought 12 each of 4″ hoops and 6″ hoops.

I followed the DIY instructions for decor spheres, using thumb tacks to secure the hoops, and painted the hoops instead of staining them. In hindsight, I think it would be much easier to paint the hoops before assembling the spheres.

Total cost for 12 spheres: $35

tablescape

Hand-Lettered Chalkboard Signage

Creating your own signage is a great way to spice up any party for minimal cost. Several years ago, I created a giant chalkboard by purchasing a whiteboard and painting it with chalkboard paint (I couldn’t find a nice large chalkboard at the time). I knew I could use all of that space to my advantage for signage at our wedding reception.

There are two tricks to a good hand-written chalkboard: (1) a chalk marker and (2) planning sketches. Regular chalk is messy and hard to control. A chalk marker is easy to use and will allow you to create precise clean lines. And, the marker erases almost as easily as as regular chalk.

My Plan of Attack:chalkboard-sketch-E

  • Searched “chalkboard lettering” on Pinterest and found several signs and lettering examples for inspiration.
  • Narrowed down inspiration to examples I felt I could somewhat replicate.
  • Sketched out my design in pencil on paper, adjusting until I was happy.
  • Sketched out my design and the letters VERY faintly with regular chalk onto the board.
  • Went over the sketch with the chalk marker, erasing the regular chalk marks along the way.

Final Results:

chalkboard-1-E chalkboard-2-E

A Blog Like All the Others

I like crafts. I find myself getting antsy when weeks lapse without a new project. It was the DIY decor part of wedding planning/making that I loved the most (screw logistics!). Once the big day came and went, I started itching for something to work on. Luckily, my matron of honor is expecting, and her registry has inspired me to DIY a couple of nursery accessories, which I hope to share with you later this year (if they aren’t total disasters). In the meantime, I have a few wedding-related crafts to kick off this new blogging venture.

What venture? Well, like gazillions of other women out there, I spend a good amount of time on Pinterest. Occasionally I find an idea worth exploring… and sometimes I even get around to making something. My process usually involves:

  • Trying to substitute materials I already have, instead of buying new supplies
  • Deciphering the original instructions, often by relying on additional info sources
  • Simplifying the steps
  • Solving problems caused by all of the above

And now I’m going to try blogging about it. Like plenty of other blogs before mine, this might be a passing phase that starts semi-strong and fades quickly or loses focus entirely. I’m going to try to develop it through the lens of what I would want to see if I were the reader searching for a decor, home or party-related craft. If I keep it simple, it might add some value to our overly saturated world of content, but no promises.