For a bridal shower or any special dinner, try decorating plain dishes with icing. Designs will be perfectly edible, and if you make a mistake while painting, just lick it off and start over. (Don’t tell anyone your tongue made contact with their plate.)
To make this “paint,” I mixed 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of water, and 2 drops of liquid food coloring. Apply with a paintbrush. If needed, run your fingernail around any wiggly edges to smooth them out before they dry.
*Note The Delysia website is hard to navigate and I could not link directly to the topper. Click hereOnce on the Delysia site click the shop button at top of page. On the next page click the molded chocolate button on the left side and it should take you to the topper.
Whip the cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds soft peaks.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of whipped cream into the bottom of the jars. Add a wafer. Keep layering in this pattern until you have 5 scoops of whipped cream and 4 cookies. Then pop them in the freezer (if you want to eat them the same day, then refrigerate for 4 hours before serving).
When you are ready to eat your sweet little treats, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw for 1 hour. Then grab a spoon or fork and enjoy!
Share them with wedding guests, friends and family or maybe enjoy one yourself.
* This cute idea was submitted by Cheryl T…Thanks for sharing!
Your wedding flowers offer ample opportunity to stretch your creative muscles and add a bit of originality to your wedding day, so don’t be afraid to design a floral scheme that bucks tradition. This list of our favorite ideas for bridal bouquets, centerpieces, colors, and other decorations is a great place to start designing a memorable decor scheme.
Play with Shape
Arrangements with a just-picked, unstructured look are replacing the tightly bound bouquet and centerpiece shapes of previous seasons. Ensure a modern, not messy, look by choosing the right flowers. Hearty blooms like roses, orchids, and amaranthus work well in looser arrangements because of the sleek shape of the individual blooms. Seeded eucalyptus will add texture without looking messy. Also consider incorporating non-floral elements like wheat, berries, and crystals to add interest and depth.
Believe it or not, pink is back. From bright, honeysuckle, and coral shades to classic, sophisticated blush tones, we can expect to see both in the 2012 wedding color palette. Many brides are daring to think beyond basic hot pink by incorporating the softer shades into their floral schemes with garden roses, peonies, and even mini-carnations, which offer great texture. Avoid chocolate brown (so last year!), and instead pair your brighter coral pink with tangerine and lemon yellow, while warm grays and gentle golds will complement the softer, rosey, champagne pink.
Look Beyond the Vase
Options abound beyond the basic floral vase for holding your flowers. Consider instead mixing and matching clusters of unique containers like old bottles, mason jars, vintage tins, pitchers, or milk glass to add interest and reflect your wedding theme. Some ideas: Fill watering cans with wild flowers for a garden fete, or cluster old apothecary jars with just one or two blooms in each each.
Candles, always a popular choice for centerpieces, are becoming even more popular as a budget and eco-friendly enhancement to traditional floral centerpieces. Ample candlelight lends the day a romantic, organic feel, while the natural resource saves electricity and drapes the setting with an intimate glow. A large cluster of votives in the center of the table will set things aglow. Using long, rectangular tables? Fill the entire center of the table with votives, in rows, pressed tight together.
Going green is easy when it comes to wedding flowers. Consult Mother Nature for inspiration and bring the outdoors in. Natural objects like stones, leaves or twigs can add an organic aesthetic to your reception décor. Place in rustic containers or place amongst pillar candles for added ambiance.
Make it Personal
Further seeking to personalize their weddings, brides are using their wedding flowers to call out specific interests by incorporating unique items into bouquets and centerpieces and creating a conversation piece for guests. For instance: Bookworms can use use intricately piled leather-bound books in place of floral centerpieces, and wine lovers can use wine bottles and decanters as centerpiece holders.
Tie it Together
The hand-tied bouquet continues its reign as the most popular bouquet style as brides opt for a tailored and natural look to their wedding flowers. A fresh bunch of flowers gathered and wrapped in a wide satin ribbon or lace presents the look of simple elegance, but brides wishing to up the glam of this otherwise simple look can embellish the bouquet with brooches, pins, and crystal picks.
A Single Bloom
Using a single type of bloom is a simple, elegant, and interesting approach. The texture of one type of flower can make for incredible, consistent texture. Peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and mums are a timeless choice for this technique, while mini-carnations and dahlias are unexpected but fun. Tulips and daffodils are stunning in spring, and lisianthus looks amazing alone because of the multiple blooms and buds on each stem.
Lose the Corsage
Modern brides are forgoing corsages and instead having the moms carry nosegays down the aisle. Besides the fact that corsages tend to conjure up memories of proms gone bad, there’s practical reason for this trend because it saves the dress – often made from fragile fabric – from pulling and tearing from the weight of the corsage.
Every bride wants to look her best for the wedding day, but with all the wedding planning to-dos, sometimes it’s tough to stick as closely as you want to your workout regimen. Luckily, there are a few easy shortcuts you can take to look trim in your wedding dress without hitting the gym every day or driving yourself crazy with diet fads.
Flatter Your Figure
Though alterations will ensure your dress fits, choosing a wedding gown that shows off your best assets (and camouflages your less-than-fab spots) will make sure it flatters. Trying to hide your hips? Go with a romantic empire waist gown or a strapless, full-skirted style. Want to suck it all in? A corseted ball gown is a great option to show off your bust, whittle your waist, and hide hips and thighs. And if you want to show off your curves (or create some), try a mermaid-style gown. A good bet for every body type: an A-line silhouette, which fits at the bust and waist with a skirt that gently flares out from the hips.
Get a Good Support System
Undergarments that fit well are key to a sleek silhouette. To avoid the dreaded bra bulge and create the right amount of cleavage (nothing that will scandalize the grandmas!), get a professional bra fitting to be sure you’re wearing the right size. Then, buy a few bras — check the store’s policy, but you can generally return them with the tags — so you can try them on with your gown and find exactly the right one.
If any part of the lower half of your gown is fitted, invest in some good shapewear. Our favorites are made by Spanx — they’re lightweight, breathable, and come in tons of colors and styles. They’re also available in different materials, so you can find garments that won’t cling to your gown’s fabric but will still nip and tuck you in all the right places.
Stand Up for Yourself
Proper posture can make a big difference in how you look — and don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to stand at attention all day long. A couple of simple tips can keep you upright and looking svelte. First, keep your shoulders back. If you find your shoulders slouching forward (totally natural if you’re tired or nervous!), shrug them up toward your ears a couple of times to loosen yourself up and shift your shoulders back.
Second, try to keep your back straight. Again, the secret is in your shoulders — you should feel like there’s a straight line dropping from them to your hips. If one starts to get ahead of the other, shift yourself and realign. Remember, it’s not about standing still all the time — that’s actually more likely to make you slouch! Instead, shift your weight as it feels comfortable to do so, keeping the position of your shoulders and hips in mind from time to time.
Give Your Height a Boost
We’re not going to lie and say they’re comfortable, but wearing heels is one of the simplest ways to appear thinner. Think about it: Say you’re normally five feet, four inches and you weigh 140 pounds. Put on a pair of two-inch heels and suddenly you’re five feet, six inches — but you still weigh 140 pounds! It’s not just about having longer legs; heels instantly trick the eye into reapportioning your weight over a taller frame. Worried about foot fatigue? Skip the spindly stilettos and go for something with more support, like a wedge heel, and don’t push it too high — no more than three inches.
Strike the Right Pose
Your wedding photos are how you’ll remember your wedding day, so ensure you’ll remember that you looked fabulous! Keep your shoulders back, and flatter your jawline by pushing your chin forward. If you can, keep your body slightly turned — you’ll look slimmer than if you’re facing straight at the camera. The most ideal look is to tilt your shoulders toward the photographer with your hips on an angle, which makes your waist and hips look instantly narrower.
Especially key for brides. Hold your arms slightly away from your body rather than pressing them against your sides. It can be tough (especially if you’ve been holding that bouquet all day!) but it makes a huge difference. While it seems like a lot to keep track of, don’t forget that you can practice! With all of those prewedding parties, you’re going to have your picture taken pretty often — take advantage so that on your wedding day you can give ‘em your best shots.
I am not sure if it’s just my paranoia but I find it incredibly uncomfortable when I go to the ladies room at a fancy club or hotel and find a very friendly bathroom attendant trying to hand me a towel for a tip as I walk out of the bathroom stall.
I am always left with the vague feeling that this sweet person was just assigned there to make sure guests wash their hands properly.
Being from the old school of what goes around comes around, I never know what tip is appropriate. Fifty cents hardly seems enough, a dollar probably about right…but then, of course, partly out of guilt or generosity I end up over-tipping.
I strongly suggest that if you do plan to offer this service at your wedding, please pay the bathroom attendant beforehand and have them refuse any extra gratuity.
How do you feel about bathroom attendants? Do you think it’s a luxurious touch or an awkward encounter?
Have you ever thought about having a cookie buffet table at your wedding? This idea is a becoming just as hot as the ever popular candy buffet table. Both tables are full of sweet, sugary goodness. Whichever you decide, I highly doubt your guests would be disappointed with either option.
You could incorporate a table full of many different varieties of cookies, maybe even some that are native to your home town or country. You know, those cookies that you swear EVERYBODY will love if they just try one. Well, your wedding reception is the perfect time to give your wedding guests the opportunity to try some of your favorite cookies!
You could also keep it pretty simple and just offer a small selection of cookies but have them displayed in a eye catching way so your guests won’t even realize that there are only three options of cookies to choose from. If you want to keep it simple, pick some tried and true cookies that everyone will love.
I love the idea of offering cookies in beautiful array of cake plates. Also having a name card placed in front of each different cookie is a wonderful way of eliminating the many questions that would surely follow if the cookies are unlabeled. Clearly labeled cookies will prevent anyone with food allergies from eating something they shouldn’t.
The use of all types of plates, jars and dishes of varying heights will only make for an amazing cookie buffet table. The lighting nestled under the table linens is the perfect added touch for your table.
The good ‘ole fashioned cookie jar will never get old! Homemade labels are adorable … love them! This idea would be perfect for a country themed wedding reception.
The more elegant, black and white decor cookie buffet table is simple and stunning.
The hand-tied bouquet continues its reign as the most popular bouquet style as brides opt for a tailored and natural look to their wedding flowers. A fresh bunch of flowers gathered and wrapped in a wide satin ribbon or lace presents the look of simple elegance. Brides wishing to up the glam of this otherwise simple look can embellish the bouquet with brooches, pins, and crystals.
So you’re not a froofy-floral-arrangement girl – that doesn’t mean you can’t still have unique wedding decorations that wow.
Think outside the proverbial wedding-flower box with this list of blossom-free wedding decoration ideas:
Use interesting and ornate frames throughout your wedding décor. They can be found inexpensively at flea markets and spray painted to match your wedding colors.
Play with Paper
Add some color with fun paper poms. The poms looks amazing when strung high in the tent or hung all together among twinkle lights. Colorful pinwheels are fun and playful, while paper crane garland can be a beautiful and unexpected addition to your décor.
Fun with Fabric
Simple strips of patterned or floral fabrics can be used to tie things together, while simple ribbons can jazz up any space or tablescape. In addition, DIY fabric pennant flags that match your color scheme are super fun to hang throughout your venue or tent.
The Food Pyramid
Fill cylindrical glass vases with fruits and vegetables reflecting your colors. Lemons and limes have been done, so try for a unique, more contemporary look with texture-rich earthy vegetables like asparagus, cabbage, or artichokes. If citrus suits your color scheme and you’re using flowers, slice the lemons or limes and place them in the jar surrounding the stems.
A Library Look
Stacks of books intricately piled can work in a number of different ways. For sophisticates, choose antique leather-bounds and vintage classics. For a more fun approach, use books with bright spines and kitschy titles. Or, tie it to your wedding location – if beach-side, go with maritime classics like Moby Dick and The Old Man and the Sea.
Consult Mother Nature for inspiration, and bring the outdoors in. Natural objects like leaves, pinecones, and even twigs can add an organic aesthetic to your reception décor. Place them in rustic containers, or dip them in a gold or silver paint and scatter amongst pillar candles. This idea will nicely complement a fall wedding theme.
Glass cloches and pedestals can take a tablescape from average to amazing. Place small potted plants under the glass covers or top the pedestal with colorful fruit and place the cover over the delicious cluster. Or go green with the mossy terrarium look by filling jars, pedestals, and cloches with lush, live moss and lichen.
This simple balsa-wood heart is inspired by the minimalist, nature-inspired interiors I’ve been admiring lately. This heart is so, so easy to make and very versatile for display at your wedding reception or even around the home. Stick it to a wall, hang it in a corner, prop it on a shelf — it’s pretty easy to make use of it.
two balsa-wood strips (1/32″ x 2″ x 35″)
foam brush for staining
1. Remove stickers and any sticky residue from the balsa strips and stain one side of each strip. Be careful not to let any stain drip over the edges or get on the other side of the wood, and leave the strips in a well-ventilated place until the stain is completely dry.
Note: You’ll notice that in the process shots, the wood is not stained. This is because the wood was stained at the end, so you can see what the heart looked like completely untreated. If you are sure you want to stain, it’s best to do this step before assembly; however, if you want to wait to make the decision, it is relatively easy to stain the interior of the heart once you’ve assembled it.
2. Take one strip and gently pull one edge until itoverlaps the other edge, forming a teardrop shape out of the strip. You want the edges to be almost exactly perpendicular to each other when they overlap, but then pushed to a slightly more acute angle, as you can see here. Put a big dab of hot glue between the edges, then press firmly and hold until the glue sets. Repeat with the second strip.
3. Once both strips are in identical teardrop shapes, hold them so that their bases overlap (similar to the way you assembled the strips in step 2). The right side of the left teardrop and the left side of the right teardrop should overlap each other and form a straight line until the shapes begin to curve away, forming a heart shape.
4. While holding the heart shape in place, put a dab of hot glue between the two bases and pinch firmly while the glue sets. Now your heart shape is firmly adhered and cannot be adjusted.
5. Snip off the overlapping edges with a sharp pair of scissors to clean up the bottom edge of the heart shape. If they fray a bit, you can easily clean up the edges with a fine-grit sandpaper.
6. Now your heart is ready to hang or prop up for display. The piece is so lightweight that you can attach it to a wall with adhesive or sticky glue dots, but if you wish to make the display more permanent, you can use a very tiny tack or nail through the base to hold it in place. You can also hang the heart or prop it up on a tabletop or shelf for a simple, modern display.
I love edible wedding and party favors, and Kelly Maron – mastermind behind Paper Stories – has sent us her quick and easy how-to for S’mores on a Stick! And even better, she has created three adorable printable tags for these goodies in two color palettes. Print either the “Love on a Stick” or “Yum! Yum! Yum!” tags on sheets of label paper, and wrap around the S’more stick, or print the “Gimme S’more!” tag on cardstock, punch a hole, and attach to your S’more with decorative twine. Voila – easy peasy S’mores favors! Thanks Kelly for sharing!
You will need:
Melting chocolate (milk-chocolate candy melts available at Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc)
Graham crackers, crumbled into a small dish
Lollipop sticks (I prefer the long ones) – available at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or online
Clear treat bags & twine for packaging
1) Insert the lollipop sticks into the marshmallows and set aside.
2) Melt the chocolate according to the package instructions. It is best to melt a little at a time in a smaller dish.
3) Dip and roll the marshmallow into the chocolate, covering the sides and top, then immediately roll side of marshmallow through the graham cracker crumbs.
4) Secure the stick into something that will keep it upright while the chocolate dries. I used a cardboard box with holes poked in it. A large block of styrofoam (the ones that come as packaging in boxes) work well too.
5) Continue steps 3 & 4 with the rest of the marshmallows. Melt more chocolate as needed.
6) When the chocolate has set, wrap the treat in a clear bag, wrap with twine and add desiredprintable tag. Voila! S’mores on a stick.
Cozy, soft, and romantic, Amy and Steve’s Chicago wedding is the perfect mix of vintage and modern. With the clean, modern feel as the backdrop, the tables were dressed with romantic arrangements of garden roses and hydrangea in milk glass vases, textured linens, elegant vintage china, and table names of quirky, vintage playing cards. Who wouldn’t want to be seated at Mischievous Monkey or Silly Goose? Playing off of Amy’s personality, the couple selected the name “Sassy Squirrel” for their intimate sweetheart table. This wedding has so much personality, so sit back and enjoy the beautiful images.
Decorating your tables on a budget? I’m head over heels for this easy-as-pie “DIY” idea of wine glass votives! Turn the wine glass upside-down, pop a fresh flower underneath (or acorns/leaves for a fall wedding) & top off with a votive candle. How simple is that?
What more festive way to adorn your reception than with disco ball accents! They send a fun celebration message to your guests and will sparkle in the light. You can make tiny balls and attach to escort cards, use them on favor boxes, or even make large balls to hang from ceiling
These disco balls were inspired by a pricey and gorgeous ornament I found this winter and I’m thrilled to have found a cheap way to make them in mass! Invite your bridesmaids over for an evening of wine and gluing and bust out a large pile of these in no time.
Styrofoam balls in sizes of your choice,
Clear drying tacky glue
Ornament tops or metals loops for tying/hanging,
Lots of 1/4, 1/2, or 1 inch craft mirrors (purchase them cheaply online in bulk or at your local craft store).
Four inch styrofoam balls work great for favor toppers or centerpieces adornments, while ten inch balls make for larger statement pieces.
Stick your ornament top or metal loop right into the ball, lift it just a bit and begin gluing the mirrors around in a circle underneath. Once you have two lines put a small amount of glue on your ornament topper and stick it down.
The ends might never be perfect, don’t fret about that and just glue in a circle. You will see some styrofoam between the mirrors. The end effect is so dazzling that your guests will never notice this.
I am usually a hot glue lover, but for this project stick with tacky glue as the small pieces will really show any left over hot glue lines.
Allow time to dry.
Thread ribbon through the ornament topper and tie onto favor boxes for a festive and celebratory touch! Or, use them as escort cards, centerpiece adornments or hanging décor!
Valentine’s Day is just a month away – can you believe it? Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s full of pink, red, and CUTE! Miriam of Miriam Corona Events has sent us a delicious little Valentine’s tutorial – Cranberry Cookie Pop Tutorial. Whip up these cuties for Valentine’s day parties, treats for your loved ones, etc!
2 1/4 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1/2 TEASPOON SALT
1/4 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER
1 CUP [2 STICKS] UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
1/2 CUP POWDERED SUGAR
1/4 CUP C&H PURE SUGAR CANE WASHED RAW SUGAR
1 TEASPOON PURE VANILLA BOURBON EXTRACT
1 CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES, CHOPPED
1 CUP WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS
WILTON LOLLIPOP STICKS
1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.
2. Beat butter, powdered sugar, raw sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
3. Gradually add in flour mixture, beating until blended after each addition.
4. Add in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
5. Shape dough into disk, wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
7. Line cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.
8. Roll out dough to approximately 1/4-inch thickness.
9. Cut out heart shapes using a 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter. Re-roll scraps to make additional hearts.
10. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.
11. Twist Wilton Lollipop Stick into bottom of heart.
12. Bake 20 minutes and cool completely on baking sheets.
Traditional social etiquette limits which flowers are worn in the buttonhole for formal occasions, however I feel a man can wear any flower he so chooses as long as it doesn’t clash with the colors in his clothing.
Four of the most common formally worn flowers are the red carnation, the white carnation, the miniature rose (red or white), and the gardenia. Other flowers that can be worn are the white azalea, delphinium, dasies, lily of the valley, and even statice.
Starting top left, clockwise: red carnation, white carnation, gardenia and red rose
Any one of these should express a man quite well. If not, many flowers will do so ask a florist what would look good on you. The flower shouldn’t be too big, nor so small that it is not noticeable.
Boutonnieres should be worn on the left lapel (over the heart)
Use only fresh flowers (not artificial ones)
If possible do not pin the flower to the lapel. A pinned flower is on par with clip-on neckties and cardboard pocket squares. They are out there, but no gentleman with decent fashion sense wears them. The buttonhole is there for this purpose, so use it. If the hole is closed, refrain from wearing a boutonniere or simply have the hole cut open.
Approximately one inch below the backside of the button hole should be a little notch to attach the stem through to help hold it in place.
Pinning not only ignores the function of the lapel buttonhole, it is bad for garments. The pin can break threads and permanently damage a suit or sport jacket‘s lapel, just like wearing a tie tack will damage a necktie.
Wear the boutonniere with a pocket square. Well-dressed gentlemen agree that a suit jacket without a pocket square is naked. If you’re not totally comfortable with a pocket square either, try a white pocket square with a white carnation – these will go with nearly any suit/shirt/necktie combination.
If you wear a flower with a pocket square, make sure there isn’t too much going on with your look. If there is, remove the pocket square (fresh flowers won’t last long so wear the flower while it still looks its best).
A boutonniere is not a small bouquet. Keep it masculine and simple. Absolutely no Baby’s Breath
Using a mere four ingredients, these yummy Peanut Butter cups would make an inexpensive yet decadent wedding favor for your guests. Put a few chocolates in a cute box, tie a ribbon around it and viola instant smiles on your guests face. Don’t forget to make some for yourself also.
*I used bittersweet chocolate chips; feel free to use whatever type of chocolate you like — semi-sweet, milk chocolate or bittersweet. Bars and chips work equally well here, too.
1. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate in a double boiler. Alternately, you could do this using a microwave, melting the chocolate in short bursts. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the stove and turn off the heat.
3. Using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush, paint a layer of melted chocolate onto the bottoms and sides of the paper liners. Don’t skimp on chocolate here; coat the liners generously. Set the bowl aside with any remaining melted chocolate left in it.
4. Put the muffin pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you make the peanut-butter filling.
5. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, crushed graham crackers, powdered sugar and salt. Stir with a spoon until well combined.
6. Return the bowl used to melt the chocolate to the top of the double boiler. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chocolate and melt.
7. Meanwhile, divide peanut-butter mixture into 12 even amounts. (I used a cutting board while doing this to have a surface to rest the mounds on.)
8. Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator. Put one mound into each paper liner. Tap down each mound with your fingertips to “nest” it into the chocolate bottom.
9. By now, the chocolate added to the double boiler should all be melted. Using a spoon, dollop the top of each peanut butter mixture mound with a generous portion of chocolate.
10. Use the back of a teaspoon to smooth out the tops (alternately, use the spoon to make a swirl atop each cup).
11. Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator. Within one hour, your cups should be set, depending how cold your fridge runs.
12. Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Consume with gusto, or exercise extreme restraint and share with family and friends!
Doves are one of the rare wild creatures that mate for life, but their connection to love runs deeper than their devotion alone. In Hindu tradition, for example, they represent the infinite capacity the spirit has for love. Ohio baker Wendy Kromer placed elegant white gum-paste birds at opposite ends of a cake encircled in lush cream ribbon (also gum paste). The scene — two lovebirds have just finished stringing up ribbon in celebration of your romance — feels straight from a fairy tale.
Wedding Gown Inspired
An airy lace from 1900 is reimagined here as an uniquely contemporary cake.
Corinthian column-inspired tiers
Made of gum-paste flowers painted with gold luster dust, the wreaths, along with the Corinthian column-inspired tiers, turn this cake into a Greek fantasy. The tiers are encircled in real ribbon and topped with a champagne coupe bubbling over with a necklace, of course.
Chrysanthemum Wedding Cake.
Clusters of spiky “petals” of soft meringue top the layers of this cake. The same meringue, spread smooth, covers the sides.
Eyelet Wedding Cake
This eyelet “sampler” — with its cutouts, flowers, and pristine whiteness — evokes summer as prettily as a billowing cotton dress.
I love it when the most mundane items can be transformed into something useful and practical. Cake icing tips are one of those items! They come in all different shapes and sizes and can be transformed to coordinate with your wedding with just a coat of spray paint. Add your place card, and this project takes about 5 seconds to complete, shopping time not included. To add an extra element, gather up colorful glass containers and add some simple flowers. I bought spray roses, stock, hyacinth, and hydrangea all from Trader Joe’s.
Supplies: Cake icing tips (can be found at your local Michael’s or cake supply store), spray paint, paper and pen.
Step 1: Spray paint your cake icing tip and let dry.
Step 2: Write name on paper with a pen or paint marker.
I have to admit my favorite color is pink. However I used to think of a pink wedding as tacky and out dated. But now I’ve come around and think a wedding can be simply lovely with touches of light pink.
Everything old is new again—and white hot! Think bridal gowns covered all over in vintage lace; florals wrapped with antique family heirloom broaches that take you back to your grandmother’s favorite flowers; a bridal clutch handmade from your mom’s own wedding dress.
In a nod to “something old, something borrowed,” share favorite bridal accessories between sisters, moms and grandmothers. It is so personal and thoughtful to share these special details with guests in your wedding program. For example, on the last page: “Jada is the sixth bride in her family to carry her great grandmother’s handkerchief down the aisle, tucked into her bridal bouquet. Steven is carrying his grandfather’s pocket watch in his vest pocket, just as his father and grandfather did on their own wedding days.”
I’m a bit of a nut for tech accessories, especially pocket-sized ones. I can’t get over how awesomely small our entertainment devices are becoming; it makes traveling with them so much easier. But one issue I keep running into is how to neatly organize everything, especially the power cords and connector cables that accompany my favorite devices.
Rather than spend another plane trip rummaging through my catch-all carry-on bag searching for my headphones, bumping my head on the seat in front of me every time, I decided to make a small tech-accessory organizer using elastic ribbon and an old vintage book cover. This project can be sized up or down and customized in many different ways — the best approach is to gather all the tiny tech things you travel with and see how much there is. After that, it’s just a bit of snipping, sewing and gluing, and you’re on your way to a clean, organized carry-on. Enjoy! —
Vintage cloth-bound hardcover book with dimensions close to 6.5″ x 10.5″ x 1.75″ thick
Black rubberized fabric (I used a non-slip black drawer liner material from the hardware store, but a thin neoprene foam will work, as well.)
9 yards black elastic ribbon, 0.5″ thick
Sewing machine, pins, needle and black thread
Illustration board or thin mat board (same dimension as your book)
Elmer’s Glue and fabric glue
Ruler, X-Acto knife and cutting mat
Black photo tape (available at art stores)
1. Use your X-Acto blade to remove the cover from the book pages, keeping the cover intact.
2. Lay the book cover face down on top of your black fabric and trace the dimensions. Use your ruler and X-Acto knife to cut a rectangle 1/8″ smaller on all sides from the traced dimensions.
3. Take your elastic and cut it into short strips (the width of your closed book cover) and long strips (the height of your closed book cover). Cut enough strips to fill the entire dimensions (if they don’t fit evenly, err on the side of one less and space out the strips). For me, this was 12 long strips and 19 short strips.
4. Starting in the upper left-hand corner of the black fabric, begin pinning the long strips in a row along the top edge (don’t pin the bottom edge yet). Sew them down along the edge, securing them to the black fabric. Remove the pins.
Note that you aren’t covering the entire rectangle, just one half of the inside cover. If you want to cover both sides of the inside cover, you can.
5. Now begin adding in your short strips. Notice the pattern is not a regular in/out weave. You want to have several places where 2 to 3 adjacent strips are exposed to the top both horizontally and vertically — this creates thick bands where you can tuck in larger items. Pin down the horizontal short strips at both ends, and you may want to have the items you plan to store (wires, cameras, iPods, etc.) handy to test placement of the strips. (Please pardon the fuzzy picture!)
A note on tightness: Since you are working with elastic, be sure to pin the strips tight enough so there is just the slightest amount of pull, so that when the piece is flattened, the elastic will be tight and hold items securely (the weave also helps this). The fabric should curl slightly inwards on all sides once pinned but mostly retain its shape so that if you pulled the rectangle open and flat, the elastic would be taut.
6. Once all the short strips are pinned in place and you are happy with the layout, sew around the other three edges of the design with your sewing machine, securing the woven strips in place. Trim any excess elastic from around the edges.
7. Cut your illustration/mat board to the inner dimension of the front book cover. Use your sewing machine or an awl to poke holes around all four edges of the board. You can hand crank the sewing machine, which allows you to space the holes out a bit more.
8. Using a needle and thread, sew the board to the backside of the black fabric (behind the side with the elastic grid) using a blanket stitch. (If you are unfamiliar with that stitch, here is a tutorial; don’t worry, it’s super easy.) Be sure to pull each edge tight as you are sewing to stretch out the fabric and tighten the elastic grid.
9. Once your board is sewn to the backside of the grid and the grid is pulled tight, cover the three edges with black photo tape (or you can sew or glue on fabric tape if you prefer).
10. On the right-hand side of the fabric rectangle (the side that will cover the inside of the back book cover), use your X-Acto knife to cut a 3.5″ horizontal slit for the pocket 1″ from the edges (not including the width of the spine) and 4.5″ up from the bottom edge. I also cut two smaller horizontal slits 4″ above the pocket and inserted a thick band of the fabric to hold my phone, but you can customize this organizer however you please — you could even make a second side of the woven elastic grid.
11. Now your fabric lining is ready to be adhered into the book cover. Using Elmer’s Glue on the side with the paper board (left) and fabric glue on the side with just the fabric backing (right), spread a thin layer of glue on the back of the lining and the inside of the book jacket, then press the lining into place, lining up the edges evenly and pressing down firmly. Clean off any excess glue that seeps out with a damp rag, then place the book open on the floor, cover with a sheet of clean scrap paper and something heavy, like a large stack of books (I used a case of wine — worked like a charm!), and allow the glue to dry overnight.
12. Once the glue is dry, remove the book form underneath the weights and clean up any loose thread or glue spots.
13. You’re done! You can add a closing latch or use a large rubber band to hold the piece closed, or you can leave it loose like a regular book. Fill with cords, chargers and travel papers, and take a trip somewhere!
Q. How do I discuss my bridesmaid choices with a good friend of mine who’s not going to be in my wedding? We just aren’t as close as we once were, but I feel guilty for not including her, especially since I was her maid of honor!
A. This is tough! Prepare for hurt feelings, because unless she feels the same way you do (that you’ve grown apart and it would be awkward for both of you if she was in your wedding), she’s going to be upset and maybe angry. The best way to do it is to be completely honest. Maybe go out for coffee together and just tell her. Explain that it was a tough decision but you really felt like you should have the people you feel closest to at this point in your life standing up for you, and there are so many of those people (including her), that you had to leave out some very special ones. She may or may not understand, but at least you’ll have put everything on the table. A rule of thumb: Don’t ignore it. In this case, honesty really is the best policy.
I love 3D paper things. Love. And when I saw a little picture of what appeared to be paper balls in a CB2 catalog, I thought, “I am going to make those.”
So the other day while babysitting my nieces and I made some paper balls.
These are made from 12 slotted flower shapes that fit together to form a sphere. No adhesive needed; the only ingredient is paper. I made a template in Illustrator and cut out the shapes with my Silhouette machine (directly from Illustrator using a plug-in), but you could also print out the pages and cut by hand, too.
Use the slits to join petals together. Keep adding shapes, connecting as you go, so that every petal is connected to another on the neighboring flower.
If you want to hang your ornament, you might like to add the string before assembling the ball. I placed a piece of tape on the back of one flower so the hole wouldn’t tear, then used a needle to pull string through, forming a loop on the front side. I taped down the ends on the back side to secure it.
The colored balls are made from regular-weight computer paper (Astrobright from Office Max) and the white balls are made with cardstock. The big sphere is the size of a basketball; the little one is approximately a baseball. And the medium-sized one maybe a large grapefruit.
The topic of money and who pays for the wedding is one of the questions most commonly asked in the early stages of wedding planning. These days the division of who pays for what has evolved and changed to adapt to what fits each couple. This list as a starting point, but I strongly encourage you to take this list and make it work for you!
Bride’s Financial Responsibilities: • Groom’s ring • Gifts for your bridesmaids • A wedding gift for your groom • A gift for your parents • Medical exam for herself (as required by the state, and those to procure any desired contraceptives) • Bridesmaid luncheon, generally held the week of the wedding • Hair, makeup and beauty treatments on the wedding day and leading up to it • Accommodations for your out-of-town guests & attendants • If you’re having a destination wedding, accommodations for your bridesmaids
Family of the Bride Financial Responsibilities: • Save the Date announcements and Wedding Invitations • Engagement party (if they host one for you) • Wedding Planner • A gift for you and your groom • Wedding dress & all of your accessories • Wedding attire for all of the bride’s family • Lunch/brunch for you and your bridesmaids on the wedding day • Bridesmaid’s bouquets • Personal flowers (corsages) for all grandmothers • Ceremony site rental and associated fees • Other ceremony décor • Programs for the ceremony • Rentals for the ceremony and reception • Floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception • Music for the ceremony and reception • Reception location rental fees • Food for the reception • Reception floral arrangements • Other reception decor • Photographer • Videographer • Wedding cake • Favors • Transportation for the you, your wedding party and your family on the day of the wedding • Gratuities for any vendors above (see our handy tipping guide here) • Post-wedding brunch
Groom’s Financial Responsibilities: • Engagement and wedding ring for the bride • Bridal bouquet • A wedding gift for the bride • Medical exam for himself (as required by the state) • Gifts for the groomsmen and ushers • A gift for his parents • Cost of the marriage license • Officiant’s fees • Personal flowers/corsages for all women (excluding bridesmaids and grandmothers) • Boutonnieres for all men • His formalwear & accessories • Gloves, ties & accessories for men in the party • Honeymoon • Transportation for bride & groom at the end of the night • Transportation to the honeymoon • Accommodations for his out-of-town guests & attendants • If you’re having a destination wedding, accommodations for his groomsmen
Family of the Groom’s Financial Responsibilities: • Engagement party (if they host you one) • The entire cost of the rehearsal dinner • Their own wedding attire • Their own travel expenses • A wedding gift for the bride and groom • Transportation for groom & best man to the ceremony • Reception beverages • Groom’s cake • When applicable, the cost to ship all wedding gifts to the bride and groom’s home
Attendant’s Financial Responsibilities • Bachelor & bachelorette parties • Bridal showers • A wedding gift for the couple • Their attire & accessories (purchasing or renting) • Their travel expenses • Flower girl & ring bearer attire & accessories – their parents pay
Again, none of this is set in stone, but it gives you an idea of where to begin.
Things to keep in mind when tailoring this list to fit you:
• The financial situation of each party involved; if you’re in a position to shoulder more financial responsibility to make it easier for someone else, do it.
• More contribution means more involvement: the more one party is footing of the overall bill, the more influence they should have in the decision making process.
• Division of the guests: if his parents give you a guest list that makes up half of your entire guest list, it’s okay to ask them to contribute more.
• Your age and position in life: if you’re getting married right out of college, it seems more practical and acceptable for your folks to pay for the majority of the wedding. However if you’re in your mid-thirties, have a career and mortgage of your own, you should foot a larger portion of the cost of the wedding.
What’s the best approach to dividing up responsibilities? Talk to your honey first, then call a meeting where all contribution parties are present, and talk through it; it’s better for everyone to be clear and on the same page from the start, and it will save you on your Excedrin Migraine costs along the way!