Category Archives: DIY
I love the Fall. Of course I love the colors, and the endless social gatherings, but the food is the real reason that I look forward to this time of year. Homemade apple crisp, eggnog lattes, Irish cream, and pumpkin everything. It’s when I really get excited about baking. I learned to cook from some amazing women. And everything was made from scratch. So recently, when my mother came to a complete standstill over the fact that I didn’t have the Pumpkin Spice Mix that she needed for her recipe, I was floored. She could not figure out how to make her dessert without my help, and I loved every minute of it. For those of you who rely on the Pumpkin Spice Mix as my mother now does, here is the breakdown. And if you ever find yourself in my mother’s predicament, I hope your daughter is more understanding than I was.
Pumpkin Spice Mix:
• 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
• 4 teaspoons ground ginger
• 3 teaspoons ground allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds (optional)
I think these are fabulous favors. You can place these instructions on the back of the tag: Add some spice to your life! Stir 2 tbs of cappuccino mix into 1 cup hot water/milk and enjoy!
You could personalize these bags by adding a custom tag or label with your wedding information (names and wedding date).
Okay, this one is just because I’m hungry. But these are so cute, bite size, no mess, and very Fall’ish.
Wouldn’t these be beautiful sitting in a tiered cupcake holder on your dessert table.
What? You’re drooling? Do you need a reason better than taste approval for your big day? I think not….
Here is a 5 star recipe for the most amazing Pumpkin Spice Cake: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pumpkin-spice-cake. I recommend a cinnamon glaze to top it off.
And just a little more inspiration…….
You can see more of this gorgeous cake here: http://cakesdecor.com/cakes/34802
Beautifully simple, and very simply beautiful.
By Keri O’Hara
Delaney Jewelry Designs
We went to my niece’s wedding a couple years ago and her dad had created some very cool DIY wedding favors using upcycled forks. To make the napkin holders he twisted forks with plastic coated heavy duty pliers and brute strength. He glued on a few rhinestones and added a tag with the couple’s names and wedding date.
At another wedding my friend commissioned me to make wire silhouettes and she stuck them into the cork tops of tiny glass bottles. In the bottles she layererd colored sand. You could do the same thing and make simple wire heart shapes to stick into the lids. You could also add a tag with the couple’s names and wedding date.
There are some other delightful ideas available on the Internet. I found this cute idea to give a mini apple crisp kit. Perfect for a rustic chic wedding theme.
I like the idea of the DIY bubble blowers. You can make your own and even form the pink pipe cleaner ends in to small heart shapes instead of circles.
I also love the idea of making your own jam and putting them in small personalized jars.
For the sewers and tea-lovers you can make simple re-usable teabags with cotton fabric and a simple straight stitch. You can print out “Drink Tea” or “Tea for Two” on one side of the tag and the couple’s names and wedding date on the other side. Fill them with some tasty bulk tea from a Specialty tea store or with herbal teas from your garden.
We ask the WedEclectic team a question, and post their answers each week…providing some advice, inspiration and insight into the person behind our shops. We hope you enjoy them!
Please reply with your own answer! : )
What was your favorite DIY project for your wedding? And your least favorite? Why did you take them on? (Financial reasons, your skills/ability, etc.) And did you DIY it yourself, or did you have help, and from whom?
I bought my dress and altered it myself. Bought it at the mall on sale and altered it again and still get to wear it when I go out sometimes. Made my own veil and flowers. did my own hair and makeup we eloped to Vegas. My best friend walked me down the aisle the best man for the job 🙂
One of my favorite D.I.Y. wedding projects was little white envelopes that held bird seed. There was one for every guest, and there hadn’t been a wedding in our family for 10 years, so there were hundreds of them. They were purchased completely flat, so each one had to be folded, filled and then a very small rose and ribbon were glued onto the flap to hold them closed. This was my favorite project because it was back when everyone was still throwing rice, and I took it on in an attempt to save some little birdies. It started out as my favorite project, but thankfully I had a lot of help, because it wasn’t long before I had burned every one of my fingers with hot glue. I passed it on to my wonderful auntie and she was still gluing the morning of.
My least favorite project was in preparation for the morning after. Since we had so many guests coming from out of town, we wanted to do something that would allow us to spend a little more time with them. We delayed our honeymoon for a couple of days. So my mother offered to host a very large brunch in her home. I was so grateful that I agreed to fill cheese blintzes for everyone. I wish I had asked her how many she wanted to make before I made the offer. lol It was a nightmare!
We got married in Caesars in Las Vegas with 50 guests, my mother in law and myself found these cool over sized playing cards in our wedding colours. We took those and made them into our programs to direct the guests to the different locations that we needed to be that weekend.
Being a crafty and creative person, I did A LOT of DIY projects for my wedding. Back then (2003) one of the few that stands out, was I created fun gift baskets for each of the members of my bridal party and had them ready in their rooms. Our wedding was a semi-destination wedding, so I wanted them to feel special for all they had done for me. I got some super cute natural baskets and filled them with tons of goodies, created custom tags with each of their names, and worked on them a few days before the wedding day. It was a bit stressful to pack in another responsibility, but it was worth it when I found out that everyone appreciated all the treats and snacks at 2am when they got back to their rooms! :0) Probably the most dissapointing DIY project I had was creating the special seed packets that each guest was given to throw at us after our ceremony. Me and my team of bridesmaids worked hard to fill white paper baggies and stamp them with love quotes. Then we tied them up with pretty ribbon. No one felt like doing them, and they turned out not as cute as I had planned. The worst part: no one opened them up at the end of the ceremony! So it all went to waste 😦 Oh well, looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing! Laura
My favorite DIY from my wedding was the centerpieces because they were EASY! My colors were all citrus-y (lime green, tangerine, and bright yellow), so I just bought a crate of lemons, limes, and tangerines and arranged them around the middles of the table with greens (I used salal, because it went so well with the citrus fruit!) and baby’s breath from the florist where I worked at the time.
This would be such an easy/cheap way to dress up the tables for any season, because you could just switch out the fruit and types of greens. Also, your guests can snack on the centerpieces, so hopefully you won’t be left with crates of fruit after it’s all over… ;D
My favorite DIY project from my wedding was creating my cupcake stands. The bakery we used for the cupcakes wanted to charge me small fortune to rent their stands so my mom and I set out to find our own. We ended up purchasing some beautiful glass pieces in all different shapes and sizes from our local Goodwill store.
We turned some glasses upside down and used them as a base for some of our platters. We had some platters just flat on the table, some raised to two tiers and the one that held our jumbo wedding cupcake was three tiers high. The end result was eclectic and fun!
I wanted a table plan with a difference for my vintage themed wedding last year. An old steamer trunk as a statement piece was going to have to make an appearance somewhere in our wedding…so..we eventually tracked one down on Ebay, the poor thing needed some attention so with a little lick of paint, a bit of repair it looked alive again. My bridesmaids were dressed in 50’s style black and white polka dot dresses, so I found matching material and lined the inside. I then found a vintage fire screen from a thrift store and lined it with the same material..this is were the seating plan was put on. By filling the trunk with dozens of old books and placing the fire screen in it it looked amazing!! The whole look was finished off with a dozen long stem red roses and shabby chic signs hanging from the trunk!
We were on a tight budget while planning our wedding in 2009. (The economy was reeling at the time.) The only way I could create the wedding that we both wanted on our less-than-half-the-average wedding budget was to DIY as much as I could. Invitations, place cards, centerpieces, my veil and headpiece, and more…luckily, we had 18 or so months for me to create everything!
I received a bit of help from my Mother in law with assembling the cafe table centerpieces, and our friends and family helped decorate the hall the night before…hurray! And my friends were invaluable with their feedback during the creation process. : ) And my husband may have sworn quite a few times while assisting me with a few projects (he is not into crafting at all), but he did help a bit. LOL
My favorite project…our flowers. It was a long trial process, looking for alternatives I could create. But when I discovered clay flowers, I knew I had finally found the solution. : ) Unfortunately, there was a bit of friction from many loved ones when they heard what I was doing, but it disappeared on our wedding day when everyone finally saw what the bouquets and bouts I had created. And when my hairstylist, photographer and venue manager all told me that I had to continue creating bouquets for other brides, my shop was born. : )
My least favorite…was probably my veil. It’s a bit of a funny story. I wanted to reflect the scallops and beading in my lace dress, so I purchased a long plain scalloped veil, and sewed the crystals on individually along the non-so-straight edge. After about 7 hours of work, I was fluffing it out and making sure it was straight and not pulled anywhere…when our cat took one of its lives in its paws. He grabbed the end of the veil in his teeth, and made off with it up the stairs. (I think I screamed, but I am not sure, as I was the only human home.) Whatever I did, I believe I scared the bejesus out of him, as he dropped it and continued running…from me. (And he didn’t come back downstairs for a few hours.) After reviewing the damage, I found that he had torn the veil next to my cheekbone. <groan> It took another week to find a lace that worked with my gown, which I had to sew onto the veil at the top of each and every scallop…just to cover the one rip he made. I love my veil, but I-yi-yi!
What DIY plans have you planned to do, or have already completed? Do you have a favorite, or discovered in the process that you really don’t like creating something? : )
From Keri’s Kitchen, of DelaneyPhotoJewelry
Perfect Cake Pops
I have been in love with the idea of cake pops since I saw my first one a year or two ago at Starbucks. It was so pretty that I couldn’t resist; I had to have it. It was terrible. I have tried many since then, but I have only ever had one that I loved. I decided to attempt them myself for my daughters 6th birthday and couldn’t be happier with the results. Okay, I could be, but I received so many compliments that it made up what I saw as glaring defects.
These are the steps I took, but more importantly, what I would do differently the next time to make them perfect. You will need:
One box cake mix (your favorite flavor)
½ Cup creamy icing (your favorite flavor)
1 bag (14oz) Melting candy (I used white)
Cake Pop sticks (about 35)
Cake Pop stand
Start with your favorite cake mix (I used a very moist carrot cake) and blend it according to the directions on the box. Then bake it as follows: preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray one 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan with cooking spray. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, place it in a large bowl. Use your hands to crumble cake until no large pieces remain. You may just have to eat a few to make it perfect. Add icing and mix with hands until completely blended and roll into balls.
If you can roll a tight ball with your hands, you wont need a silicone mold. I will make mine slightly smaller next time (the size of a large marble) so that I can reuse my stand. But if you are using a stand that has the holes further apart then I would make them about 1.5” across. I used a scoop to make them all the same size and then, once rolled, I spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place them in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
Melt your candy according to the package. I used a small double boiler (shown below) to keep the candy deeper. Dip your sticks in the melted candy and place in the rolled balls. Wait until the candy has hardened before dipping the pops. I recommend placing the cookie sheet back in the fridge and taking them out 2 at a time to dip. They need to stay cool to harden the coating faster.
I found myself opening the freezer drawer and holding the pops in the cool air while spinning to keep them from dripping. You have a minutes or so to decorate before they harden completely. So once I felt the candy wouldn’t drip into my bowl of nonpareils I gently set the cake pop in them to coat.
I found this great, colapsable display and finished it off with a roll of hot pink glitter tape for a fun party appearance. My daughter squealed when she saw it. It’s the little things!
I highly recommend having your gathering at about 2 in the afternoon, in between meals when everyone is hungry. They will taste even better and the compliments will have you beaming. Lol
Scott and Jessica threw a DIY wedding at https://www.facebook.com/SycuanResortWeddings
Home made bird cage and table top bird pictures and hand painted frames. The bride and mom did this all themselves.
It was great to have Jessica’s father walk her down the aisle he has been battling cancer and this was the best picture
for me to see.
Jessica proved with a lot of hard work and thrift store shopping you can do your wedding on a budget ladies!
You can find here veil here for 20.00 https://www.etsy.com/listing/76132984/birdcage-wedding-veil-wedding-veil
she also made her hair flower it was a special order
Hope you enjoy Jessica’s wedding she looks amazing and so happy!
By: The McDonuts
One of my favorite wedding trends right now is the wedding favor donation. Favors donations are a truly meaningful way to give a charitable gift to a cause that is expressive of who you and your fiancé are as a couple – and all in honor of your wonderful friends and family! In order to find the most meaningful donation favor for your wedding it’s important to ask yourself questions, such as what interests or hobbies do you and your fiancé share? Are there certain causes that speak to you more than others? What kind of difference do you want to make in your community, state, or even the world as a result of your donation? Do you want to plant a tree, feed the homeless, save an animal, or promote education in third world countries? The possibilities are endless and it is important to find the cause that means the most to you.
(Photo courtesy of weddingshop.theknot.com)
Many brides budget a certain dollar amount per guest that they want to spend on a donation favor. For example, if you expect to have 100 guests at your wedding a $1 favor donation per guest will result in a $100 donation to the charity of your choice. Additionally, donations can often be made online to many not-for-profit charities within minutes – it doesn’t get much easier than that! Now, how do you let your guests know that you made a donation in their honor? There are so many unique ways you can let your guests know that you’ve made a favor donation in their name for your wedding. Creating a framed sign on an easel at the entrance to the reception with a personal note explaining that a gift has been made in honor of your wedding guests makes a bold, thoughtful statement. These signs can be printed out or, for the more artistic types, can be drawn on a chalkboard or even hand-painted. Another popular option I have seen is to place a personalized note on each table setting for your guests, where you would traditionally place a favor.
Looking for more inspiration? Real couple’s share their favor donation stories and why they decided to have favor donations at their wedding: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-favors/articles/real-couples-wedding-favor-donation-stories.aspx?MsdVisit=1. Martha Stewart also has easy-to-follow DIY instructions for making personalized paper favor donation announcements for your wedding guests: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/227331/favors-heart.
(Photo courtesy of marthastewartweddings.com)
With so many great causes and non-profits out there that are facing critical funding deficits, the favor donation is a great way to give meaning and purpose to the gift you give your wedding guests. You are literally giving back to a cause in their honor. I can’t think of a more distinctive gift to give on your most special day.
Visit our shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mcdonuts
Doing it yourself seems the obvious choice when trying to cut back on expenses. BE WARNED, though, that sometimes going “DIY” doesn’t save you enough money to be worth the extra headache! Jennifer, from ClayBouquetShop, wrote a fantastic article about this very topic. She offers some great tips if you are planning to take some elements of your wedding day into your own hands! That being said, if you are artistic or good with your hands or just already know your own talents and limitations well enough, it can be a great way to save some money! So go ahead and ponder the possibilities, just know that you personally won’t have the time to do everything. Pick and choose wisely.
My real-life example, Julianna, wanted her bouquet to last beyond the wedding day. She also wanted something that was uniquely her. With a little craft-store savvy, she rounded up the elements that fit her vision, and came up with this gorgeously unique bouquet for around $20.
Looking for some more DIY inspiration? Check out these fabulous posts right here on the Wed Eclectic blog!
DIY Photo Booth (with Props)
As a child I learned to make beaded jewelry from my mother. When I was old enough to work in her book store I spent a great deal of time reading and learned a lot about the meanings for crystals and stones. Once I had started selling my jewelry, I felt it would be helpful for the recipient to know the meanings, and I tried to include it whenever possible. This knowledge was very beneficial during a period of time that I worked as a Certified Childbirth Educator for Swedish Hospital in Seattle. I noticed soon-to-be mom’s really connecting with one another by the end of the class series. Occasionally, on the last class, women would even bring gifts for the other expecting mom’s. These gifts were always something that was intended to welcome their baby, give them strength in labor or to use as a focal point during their labors. I was moved by this gesture time and time again, as were the recipients of the gifts.
This happened often enough that I started using a Birthing Bracelet idea for each of my classes. I asked every couple to bring one bead for each of the other expecting mothers in the class. I would bring the supplies and we would string the beads into bracelets that they could keep forever. Each participant handed out their beads and shared the reason for the bead they chose. Many times it was the color, or the healing properties of the stone, and often it was a charm that held a special meaning. Over the course of many classes I learned the properties of stones that I hadn’t even heard of. One day I ran into a woman that had taken my class years prior and she told me that she wore the bracelet on her second pregnancy as well, and that her youngest daughter occasionally wears the bracelet.
You can use this same idea to build a bride’s bracelet. A sweet gesture and a fun moment for a wedding shower. All the attendees could bring a stone or bead to contribute to the bracelet? One with a meaning, or a wish for them to take into their new married life. Whether they wear it, or keep it tucked away in a safe place, your wishes will be with them always. What a fabulous ‘something old’, or ‘something new’ to give a bride. You can add charms to an existing bracelet like these below:
Or suggest a color scheme, or a theme such as Vintage, or Pearls as in these next two.
If it ends up being something that doesn’t fit the bride’s style or color scheme, just make it long enough to be worn as an anklet under her wedding gown.
Here are some of the meanings I have discovered (Alternate stones are listed in parentheses):
Capricorn (De c 22 – Jan 20) – Ruby
Aquarius (Jan 21 – Feb 21) – Garnet
Pisces (Feb 22 – March 21) – Amethyst
Aries (March 22 – April 20) – Bloodstone (Jasper)
Taurus (April 21 – May 21) – Sapphire
Gemini (May 22 – June 21) – Agate
Cancer (June 22 – July 22) – Emerald
Leo (July 23 – August 22) – Onyx
Virgo (August 23 – Sept 22) – Carnelian
Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 23) – Chrysolite (Peridot)
Scorpio (Oct 24 – Nov 21) – Aquamarine
Sagittarius (Nov 23 – Dec 21) – Topaz
Amazonite – prosperity
Crystal quartz – harmony
Jasper – grounding
Lapis lazuli – intuition
Onyx – balance
Pearl – purity
Peridot – health and wealth
Rhodochrosite – love
Serpentine – clarity
Sodalite – wisdom
Tourmaline – strength
Turquoise – peace
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine
April – Diamond
May – Emerald
June – Pearl
July – Ruby
August – Peridot
September – Sapphire
October – Opal
November – Topaz
December – Turquoise / Blue Zircon / Blue Topaz
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Bloodstone
April – Diamond
May – Emerald
June – Alexandrite
July – Ruby
August – Sardonyx
September – Sapphire
October – Tourmaline
November – Citrine
December – Turquoise
Wedding Anniversary Stones:
1st Gold (Peridot)
3rd Pearl (Jade)
4th Blue Topaz (Blue Zircon)
5th Sapphire (Pink Tourmaline)
6th Amethyst (Turquoise)
7th Onyx (Yellow Sapphire, Golden Beryl)
8th Tourmaline (Tanzanite)
9th Lapis Lazuli (Amethyst, Green Spinel)
10th Diamond (Blue Sapphire)
11th Turquoise (Citrine, Yellow Zircon)
12th Jade (Opal)
13th Citrine (Moonstone, Hawk’s Eye)
14th Opal (Agate, Bloodstone)
15th Ruby (Rhodolite Garnet, Alexandrite)
16th Peridot (Red Spinel)
17th Wristwatch (Carnelian)
18th Cat’s Eye / Chrysoberyl (Aquamarine)
19th Aquamarine (Almandine Garnet)
20th Emerald (Yellow or Golden Diamond)
23rd Imperial Topaz
25th Silver (Tsavorite, Green Garnet)
45th Sapphire (Cat’s Eye)
50th Golden (Imperial / Golden Topaz)
60th Diamond (Star Ruby)
65th Blue Spinel
70th Sapphire (Smoky Quartz)
Ever since I read the (spit out coffee thru nose on cue) web post about how to make a $10.00 wedding gown out of cheap T-shirts (and shared it for morning laughs with my network of professional fashion designers, stylists, costumers, and film and TV ardrobian friends) I always wondered who would do such an insanely risky thing? We have a cheeky saying in wardrobe land “If it doesn’t fit, it looks like S%*#”. With over 20 years experience I’m not even sure if I’d do it for myself!
Fitting oneself just to mark a silly skirt hem is a complicated act of contortion. Imagine looking in the mirror while balancing sharp objects and risking impaling oneself while seeing in reverse. Houdini would have had to practice! Looking glass land is not so kind, or she lies and the reality can be disappointing.
On the eve of my Garment Fit Class at our local sewing center, fit and how to achieve it has been on my mind. Students are always teamed up so everyone can practice working on a body that’s not their own, not familiar and therefore makes them focus on it’s imperfections. One of my students brought in her friend’s gown project for problem solving, she had reached a construction impasse and we were able to help her make it work and finish it so that she was as proud of it as we were.
A wedding gown is the singular garment that you are most photographed in during your lifetime. It’s not meant to look or fit the same way as every day clothing, it’s not constructed the same way and will be there forever in pictures for you to stare at. Do it right the first time and consult a pro. There are some of us who love a bride to bring in sketches and will love to help you make your vision into a reality! Ask around and look for reviews on sites like Yelp.com for custom designers with happy clients. Did you go for an appointment with a dressmaker and get a bad feeling in your gut? She’s not the only one out there, keep looking!
Cameras see everything differently from the naked eye and your wedding pictures won’t lie, they’ll tell more stories than you can foresee. There’s an art and a science to knowing what a camera is seeing that the human eye cannot. Hollywood stars take hours of prep to look good even if they supposedly just rolled out of bed. Seasoned designers also have this keen skill of knowing just how amazing a body can look in a dress.
DIY can be a great thing if you’re really good at something! First time tackling it? Give yourself an out if it’s not working and consult a pro. Years of experience teaches us how to eliminate hours of needless wasted materials, there may be a solution you just didn’t find on the Internet at 3am. Stick with DIY favors and a few decorations and let a professional take your dress ideas to a place you’ve never thought of!
While Googling “DIY Wedding Gown” for this post, some really gasp-able pictures popped up. Others are labeled DIY but the skill level in the pictures are clearly by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’re hell bent on doing it yourself, please buy a pattern and enlist a good friend who really knows how to sew to help you. Please?
The $10.00 T-shirt dress is likely something you are going to look back on and regret in a few years.
This post brought to you by Harper of SEAMS Couture
By Appointment: 978 473-3398
Winner of Brides Choice Awards from Wedding Wire & The Knot Boston!
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