Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category


Part 1: Making of a cardbox

March 26, 2011

Some of my early ideas survived two years of wedding planning – some did not.

I can now add a spinning picture frame card box to the “Survived” list.

I provided the creative support – picking out frames and fabric, finding an online tutorial, and narrowing down the pictures. Otherwise, given it involves brackets, measuring, cutting, screwdrivers (sadly, not the drink) and a drill, this DIY project is ALL Randy. Everything is much safer with me behind the camera lens snapping pictures.

We used this tutorial on Road to the Aisle as a guide.

First, a supply list:

  • Four 8.5×11 picture frames (Michaels)
  • Four pictures of your choice
    • Ours are 8.5×11; however, you could use matting and 5×7 pictures
  • 16 3/4 x 1/2 brackets (Lowe’s)
  • 8 x 1/2 Screws (Lowe’s)
  • Lazy Susan
  • Drill with 5/64 bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Thick cardboard
    • The other supply list uses foam board. Randy figured a thick cardboard would work the same
  • Nice fabric (1 yard is more than enough)
    • I bought a diamond white satin from WalMart
  • Batting (Michaels)
  • Exacto knife
  • Ruler, pencil and scissors

Step 1: Measure and mark all sides where brackets will be:

Note: You will only need one centered bracket for the top and bottom of all four frames. Only two frames will need brackets on the right and left sides.

Step 2: Drill small “starter” (like my technical term?) holes using a drill and 5/64 bit

Is there something different about the picture on the right? Why, yes, there is!

At some point during this step Randy decided he needed his “geek” light:

And then he realized I was getting annoyed because it was affecting the pictures, so he covered it up:

Step 3: Screw the  brackets in place:

Done! Or so we thought.

Then Randy realized he only needed one bracket on the bottom – not two. He took them off, re-measured, and drilled a new hole. That’s when this happened:

The perfectionist in me briefly wigged out, but then I told myself, “No one will notice but me.” You can hardly see it under the fluorescent lights in our kitchen, so I doubt anyone will see it in the dimly lit reception hall.

Repeat Steps 1-3 (minus our mistakes ;-)) for all four frames.

Here is what a frame with just the top and bottom brackets looks like:

Step 4: Place one frame without side brackets face down on the table; line it up with one of the side bracket frames; use screws to attach them. Repeat for one other side. Make sure your pictures are all facing the same direction!

Step 5: Measure the inside, bottom of the cube to get dimensions for the cardboard. Measure and cut the card (or foam) board. Our square was 11 1/4 inches:

Step 6: Insert cardboard cutout into the bottom of the cube. Also, Randy noticed the board didn’t sit flush so he notched out spots for the brackets.

Step 7: Attach final frame:

Step 8: Celebrate! The toughest part is over.

Part 2 coming next week (I hope)!


Pretty ribbons

March 8, 2011

I channeled my inner Martha Stewart Sunday and made some ribbon wands.


They were super easy and it only took one episode of Jersey Shore to make 18 of them.

That’s 30 minutes, if you’re unfamiliar with The Situation, Snooki and the gang.

By my calculations, I’ll only have to sit through seven more episodes to finish all 125.


No, really, I actually didn’t hate making them. Maybe I can be crafty after all. 😉

Here were my supplies:

  • 18 12-inch wooden dowels
  • 9 yards of pink, frilly ribbon
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Hot glue gun

First I measured and cut two feet of ribbon:


Then I “melted” one end of the ribbon to keep it from fraying. Sorry, no picture of this step. I’m dangerous enough with the lighter … No need to throw a camera into the mix. Ha!

I didn’t trust myself not to get glue all over the place, so I used two boxes as a makeshift table.


After draping the ribbon over the box, I glued the wooden dowel to the “un-melted” end. I then rolled the ribbon over the dowel once, added more glue, and then rolled a second time.




And here is my stash:


I ordered more ribbon from Michael’s, but it won’t be here until April 1. As soon as it arrives, though, I plan on knocking these puppies out. I’ll just need to make tags for them … Probably with the saying:

As the bride and groom walk your way, wave your ribbon and shout hooray!


As they walk your way after saying “I do,” wave your ribbon and shout woohoo!

Let me ask you, though. If you found a ribbon wand with one of those sayings on your ceremony chair, would you know you’re supposed to wave them as we recess down the aisle? If not, what would you suggest to make it clearer?


Program Fans

September 1, 2010

I’ve neglected this poor little blog for the last week or so, but I’m happy to report I’m no longer drowning in a sea of two jobs, house work and other personal obligations. Wahoo!

Fellow bride blogger Jaime at WV Brides, who recently nixed the idea of programs for her ceremony, inspired me to write about another DIY project I’m excited about – program fans (Jaime even linked to the very template I plan on using)!

If next summer is anything like this one, the late June heat and sun could potentially be unbearable. Of course we have a contingency plan in case of inclement weather (not excluding extreme heat), but it’s a last resort. To help our guests stay cool, we’ll be offering a double duty program. 😉

I originally fell in love with this brightly colored fan from The Knot:

But I worried about printing on metallic paper, so I didn’t get attached to the colors. I still needed a template – and that’s when I came across Alyee Bits:

Oooh … pretty AND functional.

But that’s a lot of cutting. :-O

Then I saw where Michaels carries the Brides line of wedding program fans:

One nice thing about Randy’s job as a Dominion Post carrier is the extra papers (which means extra coupons ;-)). We used two 50% off coupons to purchase two 40-packs of programs. I opened one package up as soon as we got home and was SO disappointed.

The paper was very flimsy and it didn’t “fan” very well. On top of that, there was an oblong hole at the bottom for the ribbon; I wouldn’t find an eyelet to match that if my life depended on it. Back to the store they went…

Then I found something that would enable me to keep my child-like cutting skills under lock and key – Perfect Petals by Custom Programs. Those perforated pieces of paper are SO tempting, but I don’t think the price is right.

So, I’m back to square one. At least I exhausted the majority of my options. I figure I’ll have Randy make a template out of something heavy duty (wood, cardboard, etc.) and use a razor blade to cut the petals.

And, of course, finalize the program months in advance to leave plenty of cutting time. Ha!

BTW – We’re a little over nine months away. It seems like just yesterday we hit the 365 day mark. Wow!


Candy, candy everywhere

July 27, 2010

One of the material* wedding items I’m most excited about is our candy buffet.

I’m an equal opportunity candy lover (except black licorice flavored anything … ick). That’s probably why my teeth are more metal and porcelain than enamel and dentin, but I’d rather blame that on genetics. 😉

When brainstorming ideas for favors, Randy and I both agreed we wanted something edible. We looked at personalized M&Ms, endangered species-friendly dark chocolate bars, or creating West Virginia shaped iced cookies. I was 95% sold on the cookies when I came across this picture online:

All of that candy on one color-coordinated table almost sent my sweet tooth into overdrive.

I immediately began searching for the best candy prices (Bulk Foods with $5 shipping on orders over $75) and glassware (too expensive because of shipping) online. When I crunched the numbers, it seemed like pulling off this candy bar would be too expensive. I thought about it until my wheels became squeaky (as Randy would say) and finally quoted the famous Nike slogan: Just Do It.

I scoured several Saturday yard sales with my friend (and bridesmaid) Tania for glassware and walked away with 19 containers of various shapes and sizes for a fraction of the original cost:

I originally wanted to coordinate the candy with the colors of our flowers (pink, orange and green). That meant lots of peach rings, orange, strawberry and green apple jelly beans, boxed Nerds, and rock candy. However, Randy was quick to point out that sticking with those colors might decrease our options of candy people actually like.

Back to the drawing board.

I wanted there to be some sort of theme – not just a mish mash of candy thrown into glasses.

I realized the table would need some sort of decoration, but not necessarily flowers. I Googled candy buffets countless times hoping something would jump out at me. While I didn’t immediately find my muse, I did find some gorgeous and well-executed bars:

Somewhere along the line, however, I stumbled upon these gumball topiaries and decided two of them would make lovely centerpieces for the buffet (one of the craft projects I alluded to here):

It just so happens Michael’s was having a HUGE sale last week, so I made several trips to the store for supplies to take advantage of every coupon. I walked away with all of the candles for our reception tables, supplies for the topiaries and three of the four letters for the cake table decorations.

Not only will the topiaries serve as centerpieces, but they’ll also be the inspiration for the candies we choose – Runts, M&Ms, Swedish Fish, Nerds, Pixie Sticks, Rock Candy … the list goes on and on. 😀 I can’t wait to start gluing gumballs to Styrofoam and burning my fingers on the hot glue gun!

*These material items I write about (pictures, candy, cake toppers, flowers, etc.) are important to make the vision of our wedding come to life, but nothing is as important as exchanging vows and celebrating with our family and friends. Differentiating between the two is my way of maintaining perspective. Sometimes it’s difficult not to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of planning this huge party; however, at the end of the day you’re married – which is the only thing that matters. I’m sure the married gals reading this understand what I’m saying.


Bubbles or Ribbon Wands?

July 20, 2010

Since our ceremony and reception are at the same location, I figured we’d have to sacrifice the traditional greeting of the newlyweds (rice, birdseed, bubbles, etc). At every wedding I’ve attended, the ceremony was indoors with the receiving line in the church entry way. The guests greeted the families as they left the church and then waited outside for the new Mr. & Mrs.

For the life of me, I could not figure out how something like that would work when we’d be transitioning outside to inside. Then the light bulb came on.

Why not do something like that as we’re walking down the aisle after the ceremony? 😀

Since I liken birdseed to sand (you’re still cleaning it up days later), I figured we’d just use bubbles. They’re fun, carefree and often remind me of summer days as a child. They also make pretty cool pictures:


My brother and sister-in-law


Random couple

They also happen to be budget friendly.

But then I found cute pictures of people waving ribbon wands:

How cute are those? They almost make me want to take up rhythmic gymnastics. Almost. 😉 Since I’m not normally a DIYer, I’ve decided I to limit myself to two projects (and one for Randy :-P) outside the normal place cards, programs, signage, etc. I already have one (read about it later this week!), but these ribbons could be the second – especially after  finding this simple tutorial on Style Me Pretty. Even I can’t mess that up.

I like both ideas for different reasons. The bubbles because they’re easy, the ribbons because they’re different. But I can’t decide. So … I’m taking a poll:

Up Next: Candy, candy everywhere