Posts tagged DIY
Posts tagged DIY
It’s getting cold outside and these modern DIY hot cocoa tube favors are sure to warm up guests at your wedding! Make these cocoa wedding favors for guests to take home; at the reception, have a hot cocoa or coffee bar to warm ‘em up and keep them dancing!
Today we are sharing a free printable “just married” banner – perfect for adding a little whimsy to your wedding reception decor, wedding photos or send-off.
We love this banner because it is easy to make and is versatile! You can hang it on a dessert table or hold it in a wedding photo to include in your thank you cards. Also, when we were looking at this template we realized that the letters for “Mr” and “Mrs” are in the words “just married” so you can also use printable template for a Mr. and Mrs. banner as well! We included the ampersand pennant for you to use if you want to spell out “Mr. & Mrs”.
To make this banner you will need:
• ribbon or twine
• heavy card stock
• scissors or an Xacto knife
• hole punch
Simply download the banner template by clicking the link below, and print out on heavy card stock. Trim each pennant, punch holes at the top using the guides and string together using narrow ribbon or twine.
*** A special Thank You to Elli Blog for sharing this printable with us.
I don’t know about you, but I’m forever looking for cute stationery! I love giving handmade cards with all my gifts. With a few printable templates you can create a whole year’s supply in one day.
Handmade stationery cards make charming gifts for bridal showers, housewarming gifts, or the holidays. Package your cards in special displays and viola…super cuteness! For example….
You could package your cards in this little wooden basket (from Hobby Lobby) with some pretty stripe fabric!
Or wrap your cards in a cute box
Here are a few charming hand-drawn printable greeting cards I found on an Etsy shop called Designed By Dani N which would be cute for a stationery gift set.
*** A very special Thank you to Designed By Dani N for allowing us to use their photos.
SPECIAL 20% DISCOUNT OFFER
You can see the entire Designed By Dani N line of printable cards and invitations here. To receive a 20% on orders of $6.50 or more please use the code MERRYBRIDES20 at checkout
I spend my days buried in wedding invitations. First I designed, printed, assembled, and shipped invitations to brides. Now I help brides create their own gorgeous invitations at home. DIYing your invitations is a great way to save money and it is much easier than you may think to get jaw-dropping one-of-a-kind pieces.
The DIY invitation process can be as simple as using a printable template to print, trim, and ship. Or if you are the crafty/creative/move mountains type of person your invitation suite can be as elaborate as your mind can dream up.
However you approach your invitations the following five tips will save you from a hand-made disaster and lift you into invitation folklore.
1. Splurge on fancy envelopes.
Splurge is subjective as spending a few extra dollars on good quality envelopes to coordinate with your DIY invitations is still going to save you a bunch of cash over more traditional invitation options. The best part of DIYing your invitations is you get them to look exactly as you want, and this includes not being restricted to the envelopes that come in ‘the set’. Buy envelopes in a coordinating color to your invitations or wedding theme. Envelopes come in every color under the sun, and all different paper finishes, from bold and sparkly, to ever so slightly nuanced. You will be amazed at how opening a luxurious envelope sets a positive tone for the reader.
2. Use a standout font.
I’m a bit of a font collector and love to come across a new and unusual font, particularly when the font is free! There are tons of free fonts available online and a quick Pinterest search on ‘free fonts’ will bring up collections of fonts to suit any need. Your font choices can set the mood as much as the graphics and envelope color. Fonts can be bold, daring, vintage, casual, personal, classic, and romantic. They can say punk, and gothic, or black tie affair. My rule of thumb is to use two fonts on your invitation and carry these throughout your invitation suite. Use a standout font for the bride and groom’s names, such as a handwritten, script, or vintage font. Use an easier to read font for the rest of the details.
3. Trim to size.
As a designer, this is the oldest trick in the book to take your invitations from looking home made, to looking professionally finished. You can create your invitation in any size (just make sure you can buy envelopes to fit), with the standard invitation size being 5×7”. When designing your invitations you can fit two 5×7” invitations on one sheet of paper (hello to saving on printing costs). Design the graphic to go just past the edge of the 5×7” border, this is called the bleed. Allow about an 1/8” bleed so that when you trim your invitations down you don’t end up with any white space around the border of your invitation.
Remember to keep your text well within the 5×7” border though. It’s also worth noting that postage varies by invitation size, so it might be worth a trip to the post office with your invitation mock up to get an accurate price for your budget.
4. Paper quality matters.
The endless possibilities of paper for invitations will put you in a tizzy. First I recommend using a heavier card stock than your standard printer paper. I find 65 lbs to 90 lbs works well and can be handled by most home printers.
Second, get creative with your paper choices. Don’t just think white or cream, though if you have a colorful design to print these are probably your best bet. If you have a neutral color design play up the paper color.
A black and white design can be printed for pennies at your local copy shop, and can look fantastic on the right paper. Also consider doubling up your paper. Use a colored, patterned or textured backing card cut to 5×7”, and print your design and details on a slightly smaller sheet of plain paper that can be adhered on top with double sided tape. Corrugated card, vellum, and scrapbooking paper all make good backing cards.
5. Check, check, and re-check.
Before committing to print your entire invitation suite print off one copy and look over it for alignment issues, spacing, spelling, dates, grammar etc. Have a second set of eyes read over to catch anything that you may have missed. Then read over it one final time before hitting the print key. There is nothing worse than printing off 100 copies only to find instead of May 23, you typed May 2. Who wants to have a wedding three weeks earlier?!
Invitations set the mood to your wedding, and with a little bit of patience and planning you can create a custom suite without the custom price tag.
*** A special Thank You to Michelle, owner of Insite Creative Designs for allowing us to use her photos. You can see their entire line of Printable Downloads Here.
You don’t have to be a master seamstress to construct this swanky ring pillow.
You Will Need:
Download this "Bow Tie Ring Pillow" template and print two copies. Cut out the shapes along the lines with scissors.
Lay the templates on the back side of the fabric. Trace with a white pencil, and cut out the shapes with scissors.
Pair up each up shapes front sides facing inward, and pin along the edges.
For each shape, hand sew along the edges, leaving 2 inches open in the narrowest part of each bow shape. For the band, leave one of the shorter ends opens.
Turn each bow and the band inside out.
Stuff the bows loosely with batting.
Stitch the bows closed, and stitch the band closed, too.
Stack the bows on top of each other, the smaller one on top.
Wrap the band snugly around the center of the two bows. Trim it to fit and stitch to the bottom of the connected bows.
Turn the bow over so it’s facing right side up, and loop a matching cord under through the band and use that cord attach the rings to the pillow.
This homemade white hot chocolate recipe from Gimmie Some Oven will be a welcome treat as the temperatures drop and the days grow shorter.
Stir together milk, vanilla and chopped white chocolate in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer. (Do not let it come to a boil.) Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.
* If you are filling your balloons with helium, so they float, you’ll need to make sure you do not add too much confetti to the balloons or they won’t be able to stay up! It’s best to sacrifice one balloon as a tester so you can see how much confetti it can handle. If you’re just filling these guys with air and letting them bounce around on the floor, then the more confetti the better!
Take your inflated balloon and paint on the decoupage glue to the bottom of it. You need a thin but even layer. You can either paint a straight line around so you have a very defined confetti “dip” or you can make the top edge of your decoupage area rough so it looks a little less perfect. Either way, once you have your glue on there, go ahead and start dipping and sprinkling confetti on. I found the best way to do this was to hold a balloon over a large bowl of confetti and pick up a handful at a time and press it onto the balloon. Shake the balloon so all the excess confetti falls off, then let it dry.
The confetti stays on pretty well with just those steps, but for extra security you can also add another layer of the decoupage glue overtop of your confetti and let it dry. (It will dry clear.) If you do this, make sure you factor the extra bit of wait from that second layer in so you don’t end up weighing down your balloons!
Aren’t they just so sparkly and fun!? As I always say, confetti makes everything better.
*** Special Thank You to DIY Studio for sharing this fun tutorial. All photos courtesy of DIY Studio.
Homemade beauty treatments can be a lot of a fun and a great way to save time and money. However, you have to be very careful about the ingredients you choose. Some ingredients are safe for the body, but not for the face. Others are dangerous when exposed to sun, and yet more are best to be left to the professionals!
Lemon has many benefits from antibacterial to lightening, however, it is very acidic and can become phototoxic which means it can cause blisters or sunburns when exposed to light.
TOOTHPASTE OR MILK OF MAGNESIA
Toothpaste and Milk of Magnesia are often thought of as home remedies to zap a zit. These generally cause skin irritation, an allergic reaction and clog pores.
While tomatoes are commonly used as a lemon substitute in popular sugar exfoliating scrubs, adding a tomato will do more damage than good because it contains high levels of lycopene. When exposed to longer durations of sunlight or UV light, excessive lycopene can cause collagen breakdown, which is not what you want. Use alternatives like Jojoba Beans in your scrubs instead.
Lavender is likely to cause hyper-pigmentation because it contains Coumarin. If darkening your skin was not what you were looking for, steer clear of lavender oil in your homemade skincare mix.
This is a well-known ingredient for lightening and as an antibacterial ingredient, however it is very harsh on both hair and skin as it is photo toxic and can lead to blisters and sunburns. If used on skin daily it will prevent healing of the skin if repeatedly applied.
Sugar is a favorite exfoliant but it is much better for our bodies than our face because it is too aggressive and harsh of a scrub to use on our sensitive facial skin. A better alternative is jojoba beads for the face.
Some think that Preparation H will help cure bags under the eyes, wrinkles on the body, and even cellulite. This is simply not true. Preparation H is an inflammatory that is used to shrink hemorrhoids and any claim that it can shrink puffiness in or under the skin is not medically based.
Washing with alcohol cannot and will not remove blackheads. Using alcohol on your skin will result in excessive drying and may even increase blemishes. Try raw honey instead, it has endless skincare benefits.
Are you using olive oil as a cleansing oil? Stop. There is absolutely no benefit in adding this to your face, especially if you are prone to breakouts. A safer oil alternative is Grape Seed Oil.
Walnuts shells are often considered as a DIY skin exfoliator but this is a terrible idea because they may contain irregular shaped particles with sharp edges that can break capillaries in the delicate facial area.
Neon is a trend that’s still going strong. If it’s important that your life have more of it, consider printing your own neon DIY stationery set with this downloadable freebie.
Jessica designed notepaper and a matching envelope in two patterns: scallops and stripes. They turned out a bit Kate Spade-y, no? You can mix them or match them.
We printed the designs on sheets from a pack of Astrobright Neon paper I bought at Office Max. It’s a common brand available at most office stores. But if neon scalds your eyeballs or reminds you too painfully of junior high, use any paper you like. Brown kraft paper would be cool, too.
The document has four pages; print out the pages you need at 100%.
Trim out the notepaper sheets.
Cut out the envelope templates, score along the fold lines, and fold the flaps inward. Secure them with a glue stick. Mail a note to a friend. Or print up sets of these, tie them with black ribbon or neon twine (I spotted some at Paper Source the other day) and give them as small gifts or party favors.
Use your favorite ribbon and flowers to make the boutonnieres for your wedding day. You’ll be able to customize them how you want, plus you’ll save money.
You will need
Cut flowers down to desired length, approximately 4” to 5” is recommended.
Arrange the flowers as desired, and bind the bottom stems together tightly with plastic wrap.
Wrap the bottom of the stems with floral tape, covering the plastic wrap. Start at the top of the stem, about 1/2” underneath the flowers and work your way down to the bottom. Make sure to cover the very bottom of the stems, as you do not want to stain the suit or tuxedo.
Cut one or two pieces of ribbon approximately 10” to 12” in length
Tie a bow around the flower stems; cut off excess ribbon ends. Use Fray Check to prevent ribbon from unraveling.
*** Credits: Jess Abbott (Thank You)
1. Letterpress Invites: The first way to add a little fancy to your party is to create gorgeous invitations. Letterpress might be a little more involved than you like, but is sure to inspire.
2. Lace Pumpkin: For a fancier pumpkin, wrap yours in lace! Simply lay fabric over the pumpkin, cut a hole for the stem, and secure at the bottom with glue or tape (if you’re looking for something more temporary). Love the idea of making mini lace pumpkins too!
3. Festive Name Cards: A great way of combining a little class with a more playful tone is to make whimsical name cards. So cute!
5. Pumpkin Table Setting: You can achieve a more general fall vibe with a few Halloween touches by combining pumpkins with gorgeous red and orange leaves, twigs from outside, and other warm hues.
6. Dessert Table: An easy way to add a Halloween vibe to a fancier party is at the dessert table. No one can reason a festive collection of treats.
7. Treat Bowls: For just a touch of Halloween class, decorate candy bowls using black tape or craft paper and turn them into clear jack-o-lanterns.
8. Baker’s Twine Pumpkins: More pumpkins! This time, wrap them up in twine for a soft, country vibe. For this project, cardboard pumpkins were used but you could definitely do this with regular ones. (Tutorial: Crafts Unleashed)
9. Silver Pumpkins: These couldn’t be simpler! Simply spray paint your pumpkins to create a silvery grayscale scene.
11. Mason Jar Cocktails: You can always count on mason jars to bring your party drinks to a new cuteness level. Love this bright orange drinks with black and white paper straws.
12. Pumpkin Party Cooler or Punch Bowl: Could also use as a punch bowl for some mulled cider!
13. Ghostly Ceiling Decor: If you’re partying in the outdoors, create some mood lighting by filling a water balloon with water, a glowstick, and then putting it in a stocking. Soooo spooky!
14. Skeletal Ice Cubes: For your cocktails, be sure to mix up some spooky ice cubes. These ones have little plastic skulls and bones in them!
16. Canning Jar Ring Pumpkin: If you’ve got a bunch of canning rings (mason jar lid rims) laying around the craft room or kitchen, put them to good use with this fun DIY pumpkin. (Tutorial: Simply Klassic)
18. Spider Infested Flora: Finally, when in doubt, you can always add creepy crawly spiders!
What you will need:
Paint one side with of the coaster with black chalkboard paint - let dry.
Paint the other side of the coaster with an accent color - let dry.
Personalize with names using a chalk pen. Note: you can write names with regular chalk but I prefer a chalk pen for a crisper neater appearance.
That’s it! Instant charm for your next party!
*** A very special thank you to Lia Griffith for sharing this fun tutorial with us
There are lots of container options for a welcome bag – anything from simple kraft paper bags to fancy gift boxes. My personal favorite is a customized canvas tote bag, because it doesn’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase, and it’s something your guests will be able to use again. I have a couple of these from weddings I’ve attended, and I use them at the grocery store on a regular basis – a fun reminder of a fun time!
Ask an artistic friend to create a fun wedding “logo” for you - or use some cool fonts to create your own – and use it to customize your welcome bag or other wedding swag (t-shirts, beer koozies, etc.).
If you go with a reusable tote bag, don’t feel like you have to fill the whole thing - your guests don’t want to lug a bunch of extra stuff home with them anyway. Or, think bulky-but-cheap: full-size bags of popcorn or boxes of crackers take up space without breaking the bank, and people will likely polish them off while they’re hanging out between wedding weekend events.
Confession: I remember the welcome bag snacks from the past three weddings I attended. Homemade pretzel Hugs (seriously addictive), Garrett Popcorn’s Chicago mix (even more addictive), and chocolate dipped coconut patties. So my snack bias is probably showing, but I think if you’re only going to include one thing in your welcome bag, it should be something edible. Preferably something sweet and something salty. Bonus points for something made locally. For this San Francisco-inspired welcome bag we went with a couple locally made treats (479° Popcorn and Poco Dolce toffee squares) and yogurt-covered pretzels. For the popcorn and pretzels, we bought large bags and repackaged them in smaller glassine and kraft paper bags, then sealed them with a big round customized sticker.
If you plan on packaging things yourself, glassine or cello bags are best for anything remotely greasy (chips, popcorn, cookies); kraft paper will show grease spots, so use it for things like chocolate covered pretzels or hard candies.
Don’t forget something to drink. Bottled water, soda, or sparkling juice are good options. Make sure you’re considering who your guests are before including booze in welcome bags – your college buddies might be excited to find something from a local microbrewery in their bag, but your fiancée’s grandparents might not. Or they might. Use your best judgment.
Welcome Letter & Itinerary
Send your greetings and gratitude in a little welcome note, and make sure to include an itinerary and transportation information – there’s nothing worse than traveling across the country for a wedding, only to realize you’ve left the invitation at home and have no idea what time the ceremony starts or how to get there! Depending on the location of your wedding, as well as how much of the weekend is scheduled, guests might have a little free time to explore the area. Give them a highlights tour with a list of your favorite things to see and do, and places to eat and shop.
Ask your guests to share their photos from the weekend on Instagram, and to make sure and tag them with a custom hashtag – we used #lizzieandjames for our imagined San Francisco couple. You might even set up Eventstagram at your reception to display all the pics!
Consider including the phone number of your wedding planner or a friend or family member who can answer any wedding-related questions. You probably won’t want guests calling you or your fiancé for directions while you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Without fail, I forget to pack something important whenever I travel – usually toothpaste. If you want to go above and beyond snacks and a welcome letter, a little “Oops! Kit” is a thoughtful touch for your welcome bags. We used a fabric pen to draw a little red cross on small muslin bags for our kits (a rubber stamp would work well too), then filled them with trial size toiletries we think would be most useful: Kleenex, blister healing Band-Aids, Shout Wipes, Advil, TUMS, and mints.
(Note: Make sure to place a piece of cardboard or other liner inside the muslin bag before painting or stamping, otherwise the ink will bleed through to the other side.)
Drugstores should have travel size items, but they don’t always carry trial sizes. If you’re looking for a mini version of a specific toiletry, Minimus.biz is a great resource.
Depending on your wedding destination, you might want to include location-appropriate items that guests will be glad to have, like sunscreen or bug spray.
If your budget allows, it can be fun to include little tokens of the trip for guests to take home with them. Some ideas:
- souvenirs like a magnet, shot glass, landmark miniature
- postcards for your guests to scrapbook or send
- local treat to take home like a jar of honey, jam, or mustard
- playful, customized things like a deck of cards, beer koozie, temporary tattoo
- mix CD or thumb drive playlist of your favorite songs
If you include anything like local jam or honey, make sure it’s small enough for your guests to pack in a carry-on bag. It would be terrible to have your thoughtful gift get confiscated at airport security!
Avoid scented candles or soaps; the fragrance can transfer to edibles, making your carefully planned snacks taste like perfume.
So there you have it! Our tips for building an awesome welcome bag for your out-of-town wedding guests. Did we miss anything? If you’re doing welcome bags for your wedding, what are you including in them?
I love cookie favors! Especially when the cookies are homemade and delicious – like these chocolate chip cookies! I’ve made cookies from this recipe easily more than a dozen times. Everyone loves these soft, delicious cookies and I assure you that you will too! They would be perfect wedding favors and one of the highlights of your cookie table.
Not only am I giving you the recipe, but free downloadable labels for your cookie favors. All you will need to wrap these awesome favors are some white CD Sleeves, full sheet labels for printing out your free labels and scissors (scallop).
Chocolate Chip Cafe Cookies (These are like the big, fat, chewy cookies that you find in cafes – only better!)
Makes 18 big cookies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Cream together melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
Beat in vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy.
Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
Drop the cookies 1/4 cup at a time onto baking sheet. Cookies should be approximately three inches apart.
Bake for 21 minutes on non-stick pans or 15-17 minutes on regular cookie sheet. Cool on baking racks.
Print out your cookie favor labels on adhesive paper.
Cut out labels with scalloping scissors. Adhere to white CD sleeves. Voila! Your fabulous favors are good to go!
Filled with rich earthy tones, this whimsical, free-spirited collection of florals is perfect for the unconventional bride.
And your tools; a length of wire, an elastic band, a pin and some ribbons.
After your flowers are hydrated, organise and lay out the stems you will need in front of you. Be sure to wire your succulent prior to assembling your bouquet.
Create the base of your bouquet by combining the assorted greens with the limonium. For a more wild effect, keep some of the greenery longer than others.
Focal flowers are protea, rose, succulent and safari sunset. Tuck them in evenly inside the foundation you have built.
Accent pieces are the liatris and scabiosa pods. Keep the two stems of liatris at two different heights to avoid making it look like an antennae.
Bind your bouquet with a rubber band. Tip: use floral tape first to make it easier. Trim the stems according to your personal preference. We usually recommend 6”.
Wrap the bouquet with ribbon, covering the rubber band. Secure the ribbon with pins pointing upwards at a 45 degrees angle. Tie a bow with black and white ribbon and pin it into the bouquet.
Isn’t it gorgeous? And so blooming simple!
*** A special Thank You to Bloominous for sharing this great tutorial with us.