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Project and Photos By: Chelsea Fuss Have a 4th of July picnic, summer shower, or casual outdoor wedding to plan? Here's a red, white, and blue inspiration story from party planning expert, Chelsea Fuss! Outdoor Party Venue: Chelsea chose a shady spot on a farm - a spacious venue for an outdoor party. Foundations: She layered a red and white striped tablecloth with country-style patterned fabric for each place setting. Simple Blooms: You don't need a lot of stuff to create a pretty tablescape, just a few fresh cut blooms from the garden will do. Creative Glassware: Chelsea used glass milk bottles as vases, keeping with the farm/country vibe of the setup. Color Palette: Although Chelsea chose a summer red, white, and blue color palette for this inspiration story, you can take note of her simple layering concept and apply your own colors! Handwritten Charm: For place cards, she used handwritten name tags (which is a great idea if you're looking for ways to get your guests to mix and mingle)! Summer Days: This easy and inexpensive concept can be used for any number of sweet outdoor summer celebrations!
Project and Photos By: Mary Swenson There's no mistaking the lure of springtime and all of the colorful goodness it brings, but our take on a seasonal tabletop had us craving something a bit different than the ubiquitous dainty, candy-coated pastels of the season. Instead, we combined a heavy dose of garden green with a pop of color and ended up with an elegant combination, straight from an early spring garden! Our inspiration started with these beautiful, seasonal artichokes in the perfect shade of green. Their sculptural shape makes them the perfect centerpiece, and clustered inside a big wooden bowl, no further adornment was necessary. The green patterned runner and napkins accent the color of the artichokes perfectly, making green the base color of our table. Purple is an incredible compliment to green, and these tulips were the perfect way to add that bit of contrasting color to our table. Since our artichoke centerpiece was the focal point of the table, we opted for mini flower clusters to accent the table and each place setting. Silver votive holders were great vessels for our little bouquets! With the woods from the tabletop and the bowl warming up our springy palette, this tabletop is fresh and pretty!
Project and Photos By: Mary Swenson With just a minimal amount of elbow grease, you can turn old wooden boxes into rustic, one-of-a-kind centerpieces that will add a ton of charm to your tables! Step One: Scour flea markets, antiques stores, eBay, or Etsy for vintage wooden boxes or crates. Boxes will come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and conditions, so give yourself ample time to collect ones that appeal to you and work best for your table sizes. Don't worry if they don't all match - chances are they won't, and that's part of the charm! Step Two: We used a simple stencil and acrylic craft paint to put the table number on the front of the box. We recommend testing out your stencil technique on a piece of scrap paper first; using too much paint will cause the number to bleed at the edges, so it's important to first get comfortable with the amount of paint that will work best. Step Three: Once the stencil is applied to the box and has dried, insert a plastic container inside the box to hold the water for the flowers. Cut a piece of floral foam to fit inside the container, and fill with water. Now you're ready to start filling the box with blooms! Step Four: We loaded our container with ultra-pretty, cottage-y flowers and arranged them in a relaxed, casual way - a lovely contrast to the simple, rustic wood box. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that this centerpiece will add something special to your tables!
Project and Photos by: Jennifer Kirk Materials: Wood veneer edging Hot glue gun Glue dots Duct tape Cloth you don't mind staining Small can of wood stain (I used Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut) Small can of water based Polycrylic Protective Finish Two sponge brushes Paper towel Popsicle stick or some other type of stir stick Scissors Glass votives (I found Darice 'Roly Poly' glass votives at the craft store for 50 cents each) Various succulents Small spoon for scooping soil Flat piece of cardboard, kraft paper, paper bag etc. to protect your work surface To Put Together Mini Succulent Garden: Step 1: Prepare your succulents. Using a sharp pair of scissors, trim cuttings from a larger plant and let cuttings sit indoors, away from direct sunlight for 1-2 days. The ends need to dry out and callous, otherwise the ends will rot or take up too much water. Step 2: Add a couple scoops of potting soil (I used the soil already in my succulent pots) into the bottom of the votive. Step 3: Gently flatten the soil with the backside of the spoon but don't pack the soil tightly. Step 4: With the handle of the spoon (or another thin object) poke 2-3 holes in the soil. Step 5: Tear off a small piece of paper towel and moisten the end. Wipe the soil off from the inside of the votive. Step 6: Gently push cuttings into the holes you made in the soil. If the soil is looking dry, add just a bit of water. To Create Votive With Wood Base: Step 1: With a sheet of cardboard (I used a flattened cereal box) beneath, tape down a long strip of veneer. While duct tape has the strongest hold, you may want to place something heavy on the ends of the veneer strip to keep the strips from popping off your work surface. Step 2: Open can of wood stain and stir with a popsicle stick. With a sponge brush, apply a coat of wood stain. Let sit for 15 minutes, the wipe and rub off with a cloth. Step 3: Allow stain to dry for at least 4 hours or overnight, then with a clean sponge brush, apply a single, uniform layer of Polycrylic finish. Let dry completely, about an hour. Step 4: Wrap a veneer strip around the bases of the votive to determine the length of the wood base. Mine were about 8.25" long. Cut strips down to this size. Step 5: Glue ends of strips together with a modest dab of hot glue. Hold between your fingers (careful, this can be hot) for a few seconds until glue has set. Repeat for the remainder of the wood strips. Step 6: To attach the base to the votive, stretch a glue dot and stick it to the upper, inside rim of the wood veneer ring. Apply another glue dot to the opposite side. Step 7: Inset the votive within the ring and push down from on top with the flat of your hand to ensure a tight fit. Ta-Da!
Many guests will bring sentimental, humorous or touching cards to mark the occasion of your wedding. The most popular way for a bride to keep track of those special cards is with a card box. Typically, this will be placed in an area near the gifts so guests can slip their cards in quickly and easily. DIY card boxes are a great idea; they're simple to make and much cheaper than pre-made card boxes. Below, you will find some great ideas for your own DIY card box.
Basic DIY Card Boxes
The basic way to create the foundation for your card box is to use a sturdy cardboard box. Simply tape it closed and cut a slit in the top for cards to slip through. You can then wrap it in attractive paper to match your wedding theme or colors. For instance, for a traditional wedding - use white paper to wrap the box and place tiny silver jewels in a decorative fashion over the paper. For a beach-themed wedding, wrap the box in taupe or sand-colored paper and embellish with sea shells.
Unique DIY Card Boxes
If you'd rather go with something a little more unique, there are countless options for creating DIY card boxes. For instance, an ornamental birdcage would make a beautiful card box. Simply affix flowers and ribbon in the colors of your choice to the cage and create a sign to place near it which reads, ‘cards.' For a vintage style wedding, try to locate a real vintage mailbox and decorate that. A tropical themed wedding could be gorgeous with a flower-bedecked basket to hold your cards. Use your creativity and in no time, you will have some wonderful ideas for DIY card boxes.
Tips for DIY Card Boxes
Depending upon where your wedding will take place, it may be necessary to have a trusted individual empty the box periodically and place the cards in a safe place - especially since many guests bring money for the bride and groom. Also, if you wrap the box in paper and place it on the gift table, be sure that it stands out from the other wrapped gifts at the table. This way, guests will immediately recognize it and will not mistake it for another wedding gift.
DIY card boxes can be as elegant or as simple as you'd like - and all it takes is a bit of inspiration and a pair of creative hands.
If you're like me, you enjoy the little details in a wedding. Take for instance, the wedding directional signage. I L-O-V-E this detail. It may be because the people I'm usually with are directionally challenged (shout out to the majority of my bridal party, family & friends) but I'd like to think it's because it ties in perfectly with our 'Southern Comfort' theme. I saw these signs & was determined to have them at our wedding!
They are 2-sided signs with the same phrase on both sides.
The best part about this project is that (not including supplies I had at home), the entire cost for one sign was $10. Waaay less than what I would've spent on paying someone else to create!
By: Jennifer Kirk
If you're gung-ho about DIYing a professional looking table number display, this one is for you! Here is the inside scoop into discovering gorgeous free fonts and whipping up something pretty in Adobe Illustrator.
If you don't already have Adobe Illustrator on your system, head here to download a free trial copy, then install it on your computer.
Download the free font Peoni Patterns and install to your fonts collection on your computer (make sure the font is 'activated' -- usually this is automatic when installing new fonts).
Start up the program Adobe Illustrator. From the menu, select File > New. A dialogue box will open up on the screen. Name your document. We chose 'Graphic Table Numbers.' Input the number of tables at your wedding in the field 'Number of Artboards' (We did 4 just as an example). Set the width of your artboards to 4 inches and height to 6 inches. Click 'OK'.
Your document should now be filled with artboards. Next, from the Toolbar, click on the 'T', or Text icon. Click in any area on the first artboard and hold down on mouse. Drag down and to the right to create a text box. Click inside the box and type the number '1'.
First locate the Character Palette, which is typically to the right of your artboards. Next, move the mouse over to the Toolbar and click on the black arrow at the very top, the Selection Tool. With the Selection Tool, click on your text box to select it -- you will see a blue outline around it. This is how you know an item is selected. Next, change the font and size of your number by choosing size and typeface options from the dropdown menu in the Character Palette. We used the free font Ultra for our numbers.
Note: If your text box is too small, your number will not appear if you size it larger than the text box. To make the text box larger, select it with the Selection Tool, then click and hold one of the tiny blue squares found in each of the four corners. Drag outward to make the text box bigger. Your number should now be visible.
When the number is to your liking, select the text box by clicking on it with your Selection Tool, then choose from the menu, Edit > Copy to create a duplicate, then Edit > Paste onto the second artboard. Change the number ‘1’ by switching to the Text (‘T’ icon) tool from the toolbar. Delete the number ‘1’ in the duplicate and type in the number '2'. Repeat this process for the remainder of your table numbers. When finished, make sure all the numbers are centered on each artboard. Use the Selection tool (black arrow) to move your numbers around.
Find the Layers palette on the right side of the screen. This is usually below the Character palette. All the table numbers are on Layer 1. You won’t want to accidentally modify the numbers you just typed in and carefully positioned, so create a separate layer just for the patterns. To do this, click in the upper right of the Layers Palette and choose New Layer. Name it 'Pattern' and Click OK.
Next, if you look at Layer 1 in the Layers Palette, you will see an empty box to the right of the little eye icon. Click in the empty, gray box to lock Layer 1. You should see a padlock icon now. This will prevent your table numbers in Layer 1 from being modified.
Making sure you are working on Layer 2 (should be highlighted in the Layers Palette), choose the font Peoni Patterns from the drop down list of fonts in the Character Palette. Next, click on the ‘T' or 'Text' tool in the toolbar. Create a new text box on your first artboard. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds with a specific pattern. Reference this chart for patterns.
When you find the pattern you want to use as your background, create a text box and type in the corresponding letter for the pattern (eg. type in ‘g’ for the scallop pattern). You will need to turn this pattern into a graphic (instead of an editable font). Do this by choosing the Selection tool from the toolbar, select the text box with your pattern in it, then choose Type > Create Outlines from the menu. Now that this pattern snippet is no longer an editable font, it will be much easier to duplicate into a pattern.
Select your pattern and adjust its color to by clicking on a Swatch from the Colors Palette, or use the Color Sliders for a custom mix. We created a palette of our own colors by drawing squares (using the Rectangle Tool from the toolbar) and adjusting the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) sliders for each one. You can then grab one of these colors for your pattern. With the Selection Tool, click on your pattern to select it, then press 'I' on your keyboard to switch to the eyedropper tool, then click on one of your colors.
When you're happy with the color of your pattern, click on it with the Selection Tool, then Edit > Copy to create a duplicate, then Edit > Paste in Place. Hold down the Shift key while moving the duplicate pattern to the right (using the Selection Tool) so that it stays horizontally aligned with the original. You can also nudge the two pattern snippets together with the left and right arrows on your keyboard to create a seamless pattern. Repeat copying and pasting in place to create an entire row, using the arrows on your keyboard to line the patterns up precisely. For more accuracy, you can zoom in by going View > Zoom In, or you can click on the Magnifier icon in the Toolbar.
When one row of patterns is complete, group it together (this will make it easier to move around) by choosing from the menu Object > Group Object.
Extra: If you want to scale your pattern down or make it larger, click on it with the Selection Tool, hold down the Shift key while simultaneously clicking and dragging outward (or inward if you want to scale down) the tiny blue box in the bottom right corner.
Copy and paste this entire group to create a second row. Move this below row one to create a seamless pattern. Repeat until the entire artboard is filled. Select all rows of patterns and choose Object > Group Object to group everything together. It’s okay if the patterns run past the edge of the artboard because only items within the artboard will print.
Now you can duplicate the entire pattern onto your other table numbers, or create a new pattern by repeating steps 7-10. When finished, choose File > Print to print your table numbers.
If you are having a vintage, romantic, barnyard or even a traditional wedding, these vintage frame table settings are a perfect accent to your special day. We even like these as gifts or favor ideas!
You will need:
1. Assortment of picture frames: You can re-purpose frames you may already own or look for vintage frames at second hand shops and flea markets. Look for a grouping that might share similar colors or styles but keep in mind that the eclectic and mismatched look is perfectly desirable. Medium sized frames are ideal for table numbers, while you might choose to use larger ones for signage.
2. Coordinating papers: Choose an assortment of papers to match the colors/theme of your wedding. Smaller prints are great for maximum legibility, but larger prints are adequate in a big enough frame.
3. Numbers: Get creative! You can find unfinished wooden letters at craft stores and paint them with acrylic craft paint (shown here for numbers 1 and 2). You can also opt to just cut numbers from contrasting scraps of paper (shown for numbers 3 and 5), or you can look for number stickers in the scrapbooking section of your craft store (shown for number 4).
1. Cut paper to size of frame using the frame backing as a guide.
2. Add a number. For numbers cut from paper use a glue stick to affix. Once dry, place in frame and replace backing. For three dimensional numbers you might have to remove the glass depending on the frame. A stronger tacky craft glue works best for attaching bulkier, wooden numbers.
Bunting is a very cheap and easy way to add color to your celebration. Whether you are planning a bridal shower or picnic reception, these little flags provide major impact with humble materials and a little elbow grease.
Materials: Tissue Paper, scissors, glue stick and string
Step One: Decide how large you want each flag and then cut out several sheets at once. You'll want to cut out pieces that are double the desired flag size so that they can be folded over.
Step Two: Once you've finished cutting you're ready to glue. With a fresh glue stick quickly swipe half the flag area. Lay string down halfway through and fold the tissue over the string. Be sure to apply glue to the middle area of the flag so that it adheres to the string. Repeat until you have enough for your event. (It can take a while to produce a lot so best to settle down in front of a movie while you work.)
Step Three: To safely store your flags wrap them around an empty cardboard gift wrap roll or paper towel roll so they don't wrinkle.