Thursday, September 29, 2011

DIY Birdcage Fascinator

My project for the past couple of days has been working on a DIY birdcage fascinator, complete with a flower, sparkles, and feathers!  Wikipedia describes fascinators as "a delicate, frivolous head decoration," and that's exactly what my turned out to be.  My fascinator may be delicate and frivolous, but it's definitely fun!

I will be wearing a regular veil for the wedding ceremony, but I tried on birdcage veils when I was dress shopping and I really liked them as well.  Since I like both so much, I decided I will wear a traditional veil during the ceremony and a birdcage veil/fascinator during the reception and dance.  Of course I hadn't budgeted for two veils, so I decided to make my birdcage veil and spend my budgeted money on a real veil.

Without further ado, here is the finished product:

Here's how I did it:

1) I bought a birdcage veil at Michaels using my weekly 40% off coupon for $8.99.  The veil came with a comb attached and rhinestones sprinkled across the netting.

2) I purchased one set of white flowers at the dollar tree for (the price on this one is a big surprise) $1.  I took apart the white flowers completely and used only the petals of the flowers.

3) I took a necklace Lee had given me for Christmas a few years ago and I cut off the pendant for the center of the flower.  I don't regret doing this because the necklace was made of nickle and was turning orange on some parts of it. Maybe I'm sentimental, but this is my favorite part of the fascinator. 

4) I stacked the flower petals from largest to smallest and glued them together using a hot glue gun.  I sewed on the rhinestone necklace pendant on the front of the flower, and on the back of the flower, I glued on a few feathers I happened to have sitting around. I then sewed the entire flower to the comb of the birdcage veil.

5) Using the stick-on rhinestones I had purchased at Walmart earlier this week, I added a few rhinestones around the pendant and added a few more gems to the veil as well.  You can never have too much sparkle! 

My grand total for the birdcage fascinator was $10.  I am calling it a birdcage fascinator rather than a birdcage veil because I don't want to wear the veil over my eyes during the reception and dance.  I don't want to feel like I have something in my eyes all night! 

Birthday Pictures from Walmart

As you can see, the birthday pictures Lee and I took at Walmart's portrait studios didn't turn out half bad.  :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DIY Garter for around $5

I never wore a garter for prom.  It seemed like most of the girls did, but for whatever reason, I did not.  My wedding will be the first time I will ever wear a garter!  And here it is!

The garter was a simple white garter I had purchased online for around $3.  It came with the ribbon on it as well as two little silver roses, as seen in the picture.  I decided it needed to be spruced up a little bit, and I bought rhinestone decals and small white flowers at Walmart.  I added two white flowers to the garter, and I placed rhinestones in the centers of all of the flowers.  I still have nearly 100 rhinestones left for other projects, as well as 4 small white flowers.

I am also going to buy or make a toss garter to give away at the wedding reception.  The toss garter will probably be narrower than this garter.  I also might add a bit of blue ribbon to the toss garter so I have something blue on my wedding day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Small Update

Here's what I have been up to lately:

  • Working on our wedding website.  It's not done yet, but it's getting there!
  • Booking blocks of rooms at 3 hotels for our guests
  • Continuing to arrange flowers (more pics to come soon!)
  • Taking just-for-fun cheap couples pictures at Walmart for my birthday.  They were just as hilarious as I thought (and hoped) they would be.   
  • Watching the movie Bridesmaids for the first time
  • Creating our Honeyfund registry
  • Making plans to attend the Rose City Bridal Showcase in Portland on October 8 & 9.  I like bridal expos so much, I will probably go to the Portland Bridal Show in January too!
  • Getting catering estimates from the Grand Forks Cold Stone Creamery to make my wedding ice cream dreams come true.  :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ode to Invitations

Wedding invitations are expensive little pieces of paper.  Soooo expensive.  When all is said and done, many people spend well over a thousand dollars on the invites, envelopes, RSVPs, save the dates, and postage for all of the above.  I have to admit, I have gotten little caught up in all of the glamorous wedding invitations out there. 

I have heavily debated having pocketfold wedding invitations.  They are aesthetically pleasing and hold each invitation item oh-so-perfectly. 

But they are EXPENSIVE.  I thought if I made the pocketfolds myself, I might save a bit of money.  Sadly, it would still be fairly expensive for the large sizes of card stock and the number of pieces of paper required.  Also, pocketfolds are frequently overweight and need extra postage. 

I went back and forth, but I decided pocketfolds are not worth the time with the number of invitations I need to make.  I'd rather spend my time making much less monotonous wedding DIY projects.  Plus, there is too much room for variation in the final product: an uneven fold/cut, pockets that won't stay glued down, or inserts that get stuck in the pocket tape or glue. 

So as of now, no pocketfolds.  However, there is still room for changing my mind if I fall in love with them all over again.  :)

Instead of pocketfolds, I am leaning toward a much simpler approach: a simple black and white 5x7 invitation on white shimmer paper, with the inserts and the invitation tied together using a turquoise ribbon.

Here are some of my inspiration examples:

Love how classy this invitation set is!  I'm in love.  :)

Above is an example of a thin ribbon tying the invitation pieces together. 

I also found this image, and I could imagine a thicker turquoise ribbon surrounding the invitations (horizontally, not vertically) with a small square of card stock with our monogram hiding the ribbon ends.  I also like the damask surrounding the monogram. 

No matter what invitation ideas I end up using, I for sure will be addressing the invitations with wraparound address sticker labels.  I have found a few DIY tutorials on the web for these, and I am so excited to make my own labels!  I think they look great and are a good way to quickly and easily address envelopes. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flowers Flowers Flowers!

I am SO excited about this post!  Almost more excited than I am for my birthday and the new season of Glee next week! 

Due to budget constraints, I had decided to do fake flowers for the bridesmaids, toss bouquet, boutonnieres, and corsages.  My bouquet and Lee's boutonniere will be made of real blooms and done by a florist.  Yesterday, Lee and I went to Michaels to browse the flower and wedding sections.  Lo and behold, flowers were 50% off.  We made some split-second decisions and decided to purchase the flowers we would need for the wedding.

We found an assortment of large roses for bouquets, small roses for corsages and boutonnieres, and small white cluster flowers.  We needed a few more large roses than they had in stock, but Michaels is nice and gave us a rain check.  When we returned home, I decided to take a stab at flower arranging. 

There are not many tutorials on the internet for arranging fake or silk flowers.  I looked at a few general bouquet arranging websites, and then I just decided to go for it!  Here is the end result.  I am so pleased.  :)

Here, Lee is modeling a bouquet.  We decided to wrap the stems in black ribbon to match the black tuxes with their black shirts underneath.  I wrapped white ribbon as an accent around the black.

 Another side view.

A view from the top of the bouquet.

Here's how the whole flower arranging process went: I started by de-leafing all of the flowers and cutting the cluster flowers into single branches.  Next, I grouped three roses around one section of small cluster flowers.  In the indentations made by the three roses on the sides of the bouquet, I placed another set of small cluster flowers.  I placed the leaves similarly.  

All of the flowers were secured to each other one at a time using floral tape.  I must note floral tape is the most difficult tape I have ever worked with.  As your hands warm it up, it gets gummy and makes your fingers incredibly sticky.  Not to mention, the tape does not stick to flower stems; it sticks only to itself.  

I covered the floral tape with 5/8" black satin ribbon.  I wrapped the ribbon around the stem so it overlapped and covered the floral tape completely.  I temporarily secured the black ribbon with a round pearl pins.  I then took 1/4" white satin ribbon and wrapped it around the black ribbon, securing the white ribbon with the round pearl pins where the ribbon crossed.  I made these crossings approximately 1" apart.  The placement of these pins also acted to further secure the black ribbon.

Tah Dah!  I have a bridesmaid bouquet.  Here's the best part: the cost for all of the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages will be UNDER $50!  Plus, I get to have fun making all of them.  I love being artsy-crafty.  

I have one final interesting tidbit for all of you blog readers.  I have had nearly 4,500 hits on my blog since I started it late last November.  Cool!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dollar Store Bride

If you know me well, you know I cannot resist a deal.  I am not afraid to admit I love freebies, coupons, and the dollar store.  Today Lee and I decided to visit the Dollar Tree to check out if they had anything to use for our wedding.  And of course they did! 

Lee and I first checked out the wedding "section."  (Did you know: not only the Dollar Tree has a section dedicated to weddings, Walmart has one too!).  Our first find was 300-count bags of fake white rose petals.  We figured we could use these either in the church aisle or to scatter on tabletops.

 We also picked out some white wire garland with little plastic hearts sticking out of it.  We think we could use it for tying back tulle, edging tables/doors, or wrapping around things.  Not very specific uses, but we are sure we will use it!  The garland pictured below isn't the exact garland we bought, but you get the idea.

We then went on to the candle aisle.  I decided I will be making our unity candle, so we scoped out the candle options at the dollar store.  They have two tapered candles for a dollar, so I am sure I will be back to purchase two of those.  Today we purchased two glass candlestick holders for the taper candles.  We will use a pillar candle in the middle.  I have yet to brainstorm how I will decorate the pillar candle...

Onward we went to the picture frames.  Although we did not buy any picture frames today, I know we will be back to revisit this section of the store to purchase frames for some of the projects I have in mind!

Then, divine inspiration struck.  Earlier this week I had seen a fabulous centerpiece on Pinterest.  Oh how I love Pinterest!  The centerpiece utilized fishbowls stacked upon each other.  When Lee and I stumbled upon small fishbowls at the Dollar Tree, I knew I would want to try to recreate this decoration.

All of the fishbowls at the Dollar Tree are the same size, but we decided we liked the look of the identical fishbowls stacked just as well.  We debated about what to put in the bowls, and we decided to put a candle in the top bowl.  In the bottom bowls, we decided we would put turquoise beads and a single white flower bud nestled on top of the beads (kind of like the picture below, except the flower would be white and the water would be turquoise beads). 

We looked through the store for blue beads, and we found a perfect substitute: air freshener gel beads.  These gel beads are the perfect color.

In total, we bought enough fishbowls to make one tower of three and two towers of two (7 total).  We also bought 4 containers of the gel beads.  We'll buy the flowers and the candles later.  We think we are going to use this decoration either at the guest book table or on the punch or cake table.

Last, but not least, I bought a package of white doilies.  I want to try making a craft like the one below: