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Project and Photos By: Victoria Hudgins Use fresh pears and simple flowers for easy reception centerpieces. Glitter stamp the fruit for a pretty finish and to incorporate meaningful words or monograms into your table décor. Glitter Stamped Pear Place Settings: These pears would also be a perfect place setting adornment for a long dining table. DIY Tip: Once stamped, the fruit will only stay good for about three to four days, so be sure to save time for this project (or enlist the help of relatives to finish it off!). Step One: Sourcing the Fruit For this project, you will need to collect a variety of pears. Contact your local grocer about a month beforehand to ask about what varieties will be in season and what options they have for ordering in bulk. Many will even offer a discount! Use rubber stamps to indent the fruit. It's best to buy a new stamp set for extra precaution, as guests might help themselves to eating this tasty décor. A gold dust baking glitter makes the perfect finish for your pears. You can find it available in the cake decorating section of your craft store. It is glittery and edible. Step Two: Glitter-fying Gently dip the stamp into the baking glitter, tap off any excess, and press firmly into the flesh of the fruit. DIY Tip: You can easily wipe off any extra glitter with a q-tip or clean finger.
Place the glitter stamped pears around your table with pretty flowers and hearty vases for a fresh and textured centerpiece.
Project and Photos By: Mary Swenson A black and white color combination is ultra-classy and and adds a formal touch to any event - especially a wedding. Our table embraces all that works so well with black and white, but with a few extra touches that take the edge off this tried-and-true color scheme. Plain white dinner plates and a crisp white tablecloth create the canvas for our table. A black and white gingham fabric runner, matching napkins, and empty, labeled jam jars add just the right amount of black accents. The finishing touch? Flat wooden ovals from a craft store that we painted black and personalized with a white paint pen. We love the black and white labels on these jam jars, and when filled with a few fresh, subtly-colored blooms, they make they perfect vessels for a casual, no-fuss centerpiece. The pale green flowers add just the right touch of freshness and don't compete with the black accents on the table. Line several flower-filled jars down the center of a long table, or cluster them in the middle of a round table for maximum effect. (Bonus: Guests can take them home as favors!) A bouquet for the bride or a bridesmaid can easily be made to match your theme - simply gather flowers into a tight cluster, remove any extra leaves, and wrap the stems tightly with a piece of gingham fabric. Put all of these details together and the result is a table that looks modern and sophisticated, with a homey touch!
Photos By: Jordan Ferney Materials to make a 12 ft garland: 3 bunches of lemon leaves ($4 each) 24 & 30 Gauge Florist Wire ($2 each) A small rope ($2) Optional: wired florist stakes (best for apples and other firm fruit) Optional: fruit or berries Go through the bunches of lemon leaves, cutting down the sections of leaves and leaving a 3" stem. Don't forget your rope! Keep cutting until you have enough to work with -- look at these neat piles! Start gathering your leaves into clusters. Cut an 8" section of 30 gauge wire. Gather two or three sections of leaves and wire them together. Leaving a 6" tail of rope take the sections and wire it to the rope. Repeat, cover up the previous stems with the new section of leaves. Continue, making sure the garland looks full and the wires aren't showing. If you would like to add fruit to your garland, take a piece of fruit and secure a piece of wire going through the skin of one end of the fruit using 24 gauge wire. Make sure it is on tight or you will have falling fruit! Wire the fruit onto the rope and tuck the lemon leaves around it to hide the wire. Voila! This pretty project can be done up to two days in advance of the event. Store it out of direct sunlight in a cool place and spritz with water twice daily. Furniture and linens provided by Bay Area Rental Company: Abbey Party Rents
Project Design By: Victoria Hudgins Photos By: Sam Pierson Having a wedding in the fall doesn't mean that you are stuck with a palette the colors of changing leaves. This project is a perfect example of a way to incorporate pinks, pearls and oh-so-trendy neon even in the fall. With a bit of glitter and ribbon, pumpkins make an excellent table number presentation. Step One: Cover each stem with tape or foil and spray the pumpkins with a matte white spray paint base. Once dry, use acrylic paints and a small foam paint brush to paint a color on. I used the pearlized paints from the Martha Stewart collection and they gave a gorgeous gleam to the finished pumpkins. Step Two: Gather a selection of textured ribbon to use as the table numbers. The wide gold glitter was my favorite. Using glue, mold each section of ribbon into a number. Do this first, on a craft board or table. It makes attaching them to the pumpkin much easier. Step Three: Using glue, attach each ribbon number to the coordinating pumpkin. Step Four: Creatively display a grouping of pumpkins on a tabletop. Use old crates and small bright pumpkins to complement the pastel colors. Tip: If you want your pumpkins to do double duty, you can turn them around so you don't see the number and adorn the front of your ceremony site! Be sure to enlist the help of a close friend to place the pumpkins on the correct tables during the cocktail hour. Voilá! Twice the design impact for one afternoon of work!
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!
Photos by This Love of Yours... Photography
PRESENTATIONUse a color scheme that matches your wedding palette: wedding colors aren’t just for the flowers and bridesmaids dresses! Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established can enhance your candy table’s presence, and bring cohesion to your entire reception. Create depth and height in your display: with simple boxes or even phone books, you can sculpt a beautiful landscape on your table. You can wrap the boxes in decorative paper, or even leave them bare and covered with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing cascade. Take advantage of your centerpieces: whether they be flowers, candles, or tiny little goldfish, using an extra centerpiece or two will not only tie into the rest of your reception, but it can also add life and freshness to your candy table. Don’t be afraid to use trimmings: details like good quality linens, ribbons, and paper can add nice touches to your overall display. Less is more: trimmings are definitely your friends, but don’t go overboard! Too many space fillers can potentially clutter your table and cause sensory overload! Consider the table: where will it be located? Will there be a nice backdrop or wall behind it for pictures? Or will it be open so people can access it from all sides? Will it even have sides, or will it be round? These are all good questions to ask yourself before deciding on a set-up design.
CANDYColor is key: as mentioned before, having a specific color scheme can really make your table pop. Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant. Make sure to consider different hues and shades – for example, if your colors are red and brown, don’t be afraid of using different shades of reds and pinks. If using primarily dark colors, try to use trimmings in lighter shades to bring energy to your table. Check the weather: Will it be hot or sunny? Will the table be indoors or outdoors? If indoor, will there be AC? If you’re worried about warmth, save the stress and avoid candies that could easily melt (unfortunately this includes most chocolates)! Fruit seasons: if you’re planning to use fresh fruit on your table (e.g. chocolate dipped strawberries), make sure you consider if they are even in season. Strawberries in the winter might not be as sweet as when they’re at their peak in the summer! Not just candy: if you’re open to treats in other forms, consider mini cookies, kettle corn, or spiced nuts as sweet additions. Placing the wedding cake or groom's cake on the same table can add visual diversity. Be creative: candy isn’t just made to be eaten, but also to play with! Bundle large lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers, or skewer some marshmallows to simulate kabobs – the possibilities are endless. Keep it simple: having a variety of flavors and different types of candy can be satisfying to everyone, but don’t be afraid to go with a specific flavor profile. Whether it be a gummy bear bar or a chocolate truffle tribute, your guests will definitely enjoy the sugar rush! Don’t buy too much! It’s easy to worry about not having enough for everyone, but if you’re planning to include a meal and cake in your reception, guests probably won’t be stuffing themselves with extra sugar. A small portion of ½ cup (4 oz) or less is a good estimate per person. If you want to buy in bulk for a visual effect, save large containers for popular candies so you won’t have too many leftovers.
CONTAINERS AND SUPPLIES
WHERE TO BUY SUPPLIES
Project Wedding – the forums have a great Classified Section where you can buy gently used items from the community.
Online Candy Stores:
Local stores for candy:
- Your neighborhood grocery store: Safeway, Lucky, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.
- Bulk stores like Costco
- Michael’s: they have a special selection of wedding candies
- Ethnic grocers may also carry unique treats that can give your table a broader range of flavors.
Containers and things:
- Restaurant supply stores, like Kamei or East Bay Restaurant Supply
- Save On Crafts
- Furniture stores like Ikea, Crate & Barrel
- Thrift or second-hand shops
- Cost-saving stores like Target, Ross, or the Dollar Store
- Scoops and more scoops
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.