A Forest of DiY

I have about a million DiY ideas for the wedding (ARE YOU SICK OF THIS BANTER YET?  NO?  I DIDN’T THINK SO), so I’m going to take a minute to record them!

image1. Faux mercury glass votives with letter-stamped copper tags (just like my wordspell tags).  This brings in the grey and brown in our color scheme (okay, copper is NOT chocolate, but it’s the closest of the metals).  Best thing about this?  Decorations that double as wedding favors.  Needed?  Votives, mirror spray paint, copper sheeting, glue, and an ampersand stamp.  Expected total?  $50.  I can get about 72 of the votives with candles included for $40.  Spray paint will be about $10, copper I have (or can get cheap), glue and/or epoxy I have, and I have several sizes of ampersand metal stamps (and if I didn’t, sets can be purchased for as little as $10 at places like Harbor Frieght, including numbers!).  I think this is a delightfully classy item to give to friends and family in memory of the event, especially with the handmade touch of the tags.  So this is what it should look like in theory… Photoshop, ahoy!

image2. Centerpieces of dark chocolate bamboo in paper-wrapped ‘vases.’  Remember these bamboo reeds from the wall feature project?  I have TONS of them left.  I really wanted the pretty bunches of branches in vases as a decoration, but manzanita or other branches can be expensive to buy (and for some reason, the park behind our house is always mysteriously clean of any laying around…), and why waste those great bamboo reeds?  They are so perfect, and so FREE.  I also still have the dark brown paint left that we used on the box, and that serves perfectly for our chocolate.  The best part? The vases will not actually be vases, but sections of PVC pipe.  For pennies each, wrapped in old book paper and glazed with our robin’s egg blue color, they’ll be a feature that’ll cost us nearly nothing. Similar to the photo, it’d be a lovely, economical way to decorate our dinner tables.  I hope to add some decorative large letters to the head table – a B, &, and N, of course.

3. Antique book ring holder.  Since Nick and I are voracious readers (we got each other e-readers for birthday and holidays this year) I suggested we go the route of having a book instead of the traditional pillow for the ring bearer.  I sought out Ebay as a good source for vintage and antique books with that pretty, aged look and prayed for the right color… and I think I may have found it (bidding is in process, so I won’t link to it!)! We also went the direction of choosing specifically a Jules Verne book, since we both love sci-fi and fantasy and those make up the bulk of our reading habits.  Loads of blogs have instructions to DiY this project, and hopefully a small splurge of $15-20 won’t be stretching the budget too out of whack.

image4. Super simple baby’s breath bouquets.  This is the SIMPLEST bouquet I’ve ever seen, and I immediately fell in love with it.  It’s simple to create, can be done ahead of time – even with fresh baby’s breath – looks gorgeous, and will be really inexpensive.  This photo from the Sweetest Occasion really illustrates how beautiful, elegant, and timeless this look is.  I’d like to add just a few navy flowers of some kind to my bouquet (probably silk, as navy flowers do not exist in nature, according to the internet!), as navy is the color that Nick chose.

That’s just a short list… I think a lot more things will come up in time, but I also want to keep things simple.  I plan on making my own jewelry, as it’s such an important part of my own life, for one thing.  DiY for me isn’t just about saving money, after all, it’s about expressing who I am and doing what I love: creating.

What are your favorite wedding DiYs?

It’s true… love, that is!

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I expect to be perusing a lot of books and blogs like this one over the next year… that’s right!  Nick and I are engaged, and planning on a wedding in late spring of 2012.  Given my penchant for all things handmade, cobbled, frugal, and DiY, you can bet this is going to be a big time craft love fest!  I’m delighted about that aspect of personalizing our wedding, and looking forward to the event planning portion, as well.

Look for lots more wedding and reception planning in the future!

Oh, and what are your best recommendations for resources?

Thing-a-Day 2011

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Thing-a-day is a yearly creative sprint where participants commit to create one new thing a day, every day of February and post it on the collective blog.

Sign up now to get inspired and fight the mid-winter blues!  Registration opens Jan 21st and ends at Midnight on the 1st.

I hope to complete this challenge this year!  It may not be a big thing every day, but it’ll be a thing!  Hope to see you creating there, too!

Crafty Roundup!

I saw so much cool stuff on the blogosphere this week, I just need to share it!  Here goes!

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Remodelista has a great tutorial on an instant gold painting!  It’s gorgeous, bringing light and sparkle to any room.  What a statement!

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Fantastic DiY on how to make faux Depression glass, beautiful ruby colors!  Great for holidays or just everyday décor!

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And your dose of fashion, a great DiY on the stud cuff, a versatile and classic wardrobe statement!

I love all these projects and hope to try them soon!  What’s popped out at you this week?

A Fancy Package

I have finally had the opportunity to create an heirloom version of my Anne Boleyn replica necklace, and I’m delighted beyond words about it.  I put together a sterling silver charm and Grade A freshwater pearls traditionally knotted on silk thread for a perfect treasure to share.  I decided that such a beautiful gift needed a lovely package to arrive in, so I fashioned a little pouch to hide the main event, attached to a simple recycled-paper card.

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I hope the giver and getter both enjoy the surprise!  Also… finally took some photos with Nick’s fantastic DSLR!  I could get used to this!

What’s your favorite way to package up a gift or handmade product?

Initially, I thought it was a great idea.

Me, with the puns.  I know.

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These are my Anne Boleyn initial replica necklaces!  They’re one of my favorite little jewelry projects to work on, and several have marched through my Etsy store and the Charmedseed website lately (I wonder where that came from!  Did I make a blog I don’t know about?).  Sort of elementary cutwork, I saw each of these letters out of sheet metal, then polish and finish them.  Pair them with freshwater or crystal pearls and you have the iconic accessory of Anne Boleyn.

The best part is they’re really personal.  For example, mine is copper with mint-green button pearls!  Anything goes!  They make great gifts, too!  I know I’ve had at least one customer give one to a girlfriend, and she loved it!  I even have an “Heirloom” version done on traditionally knotted silk.  Definitely something to hand down.

Check them out, along with other handmade gifts for the upcoming holidays!  Thanks for supporting small crafters!

Two Peas in a Pod

So I mentioned a few weeks ago that it was Nick’s and my second anniversary, and I received a delightful (if a little late!) anniversary gift from him yesterday.

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It’s a Silver Peapod Necklace from Dancing with Silver on etsy.  They come in other counts besides two, and many colors of Swarovski pearls.  As an artisan myself, I appreciate the work that went into this little delight!  It’s a really charming little piece, and I love it!