Monday, June 23, 2008

Baby's first DIY!

I have grand dreams of wedding craftiness: centerpieces/table number signs, pretty invitation mailing labels (my handwriting won't cut it, but calligraphy is just too expensive), throwies for the paper lanterns, out-of-town bags, table assignment board, cake toppers, chuppah, non-floral boutonnieres, and a few other things. I hope I'll be able to complete all of these, because I think they'll really add a lot to the meaning of the event - and, as a bonus, they might save some money. A little. And anyway, I'm going to make Tim do the throwies and the chuppah. Bwahahahaha! Also, since we have a farmers' market theme (more on that later, but I'm going for a sort of "rustic elegance" vibe), a lot of handmade touches will fit right in. Here are two pictures I found that I'd like to try semi-recreating:

centerpiece inspiration from The Knot; table assignment chalkboard - source unknown

Since I'm in a creative field, I sometimes get a little cocky and overestimate my abilities to create non-musical art. I do have a good eye for color and design, and I have very definite opinions. So that's helpful... at least in this instance! But the sad truth is that I'm klutzy, and I also have a tendency to rush through projects because I get nervous about how much time I'm "wasting" on them rather than practicing or cleaning or other "productive" things. My recently-implemented tactic (major props to my friend Amy) is twofold: start with the small/easy stuff, and more importantly, do things in small and manageable batches.

So far I've stained 25 mini chalkboards ($0.75 each at AC Moore for double-sided, wood-framed 5x7 boards) to put the table names/ numbers/ drawings on. (I think I'm going to enlist Tim, the resident cartoonist and doodler, to draw pictures of various fruits and veggies instead of having table numbers or written names. Is that too... um... corny? Ha! Sorry. Couldn't help myself. But really - too cutesy?) 

My other project a couple weeks back was to clean the labels off the 17 jelly jars I have so far (to put votives in), and wrapping the threaded tops with twine. I then tied the twine in a knot and finished it off by adding a thin purple-ribbon bow. I thought this would be really easy (and maybe it should have been), but my big ol' viola-player hands are not so dextrous when I'm trying to do delicate things. (Insert viola joke.) It was really hard to incorporate the bows into the twine without it unraveling and looking like a total mess, and I also had to figure out what length of ribbon to cut - I didn't want to skimp, but I also didn't want to cut off huge lengths in the end when I realized they were way too long. Little things, but it did take me a while to get into a rhythm. Here's the semi-finished product:

I had an idea for boutonnieres to incorporate drumstick allium and fiddleheads... cue "awwww." Unfortunately, those will both be out of season come October. So my options are:

 -order silk ones (kind of hard to find)
-use some of my grandma's bead flowers, some of which will also go into my headpiece
-use dried flora (just like Martha!)

similar to my grandma's. source

I'm actually shamelessly copying Martha on the "base" of the boutonnieres, but since my sewing skills are slightly beneath those of my cat, I cast my line into the Etsy universe. User KollectionbyKetura answered my Alchemy wishes and is making the leaves for me! Even better, she lives just a few hours from me, so I don't have to feel too bad about the environmental toll of shipping something so tiny a long way.

If I don't succeed in incorporating the allium and fiddleheads into the boutonnieres, fret not... they can still exist in all their cheesy glory on the guys' ties! We're having custom ties made by (you guessed it) Etsy seller Jes Switaj, who said she'd be happy to create a new silkscreen with that design. 

Are any of you obsessed with personal touches but less talented at carrying them out yourself? How are you incorporating these details into your wedding?

1 comment:

fitcat said...

Hey there, just found your blog and I liked it so much I decided to start at the beginning!

I went to a wedding in the south of France over their summer (my belgian "sister" married at the family's holiday house) and they had a whole south of France theme going. Each table was named after a food/herb (lavendar, strawberries, sunflowers, asparagus, etc, etc) and it was not at all corny, very elegant and it would fit well with your rustic elegance theme. She then had each table fitted out to that theme e.g. wreaths of dried lavendar, sunflower heads floating in a ball of water, piles of strawberries. It was cool!

They had an aunt paint table names but drawing them onto chalkboard would work just as well.