Christmas Tree

032So I realize it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted. Okay, a very long time. I guess that’s what happens when you start a new job and get a puppy all in the same time frame though!

But here we are at that wonderful time of year again and I decided to take on our first Christmas tree; making majority of the ornaments by hand. What better place to find ideas than Pinterest right? I’m very happy with the outcome and I hope you will all like it too!

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I started by pinning some images of trees that I wanted to take my inspiration from. I like the rustic, natural feel so then I went in search of ornaments that lent to that.

My first item was the garland. I loved the look of the scrap fabric garland posted by Buenovida. It was very easy and my husband helped me cut fabric and tie knots while we watched a movie. I didn’t end up with a long enough strand though and would have doubled or tripled the amount I made. So if you take on this garland, buy 2 or 3 times the amount of fabric you THINK you need. The knots bunch up pretty tight in the end.

The second items I made were the orange slices. For these you’ll need a dehydrator. You can buy a decent one at Wal-mart for about $50 if you don’t have one already, and you can make all sorts of things with one. I’ve used ours for banana chips and strawberry chips, I’ve had fruit leather from a dehydrator and of course beef jerky, so trust me, you will make use of it if you’re a do-it-yourselfer like me. Anyways, back on track. I just sliced the oranges, pushed in cloves and put them in for 3 days until I felt they were dry enough. I had to add dabs of hot glue to the backs later to hold in the cloves since the oranges shrunk in some places and they were falling out, but otherwise they were a success.

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Probably my favourite ornaments are the paper mache stars (I made more than just stars but I like the stars the most). I picked up the forms at Michaels and bought all different shapes, some were wooden, some cardboard. Then took them home and mod podged pieces of a ripped up old book that I knew wouldn’t be read so re-purposed it. They were very easy and I LOVE the look.

I made a few different types of balls, all using Styrofoam balls but you could use old ornaments you weren’t wanting anymore too. I picked up some ribbons I     liked that looked nice together for the one type. I cut them in strips and started pushing them into the Styrofoam at the top and bottom, overlapping the layers. These were pretty time consuming. I didn’t use any glue, however I’m sure you could glue the strips down for extra security.

The next type were the twine balls. These ones were just as time consuming but a little easier. I used hot glue and just went around and around the ball until it was completely covered.

I then added some pine cones and cinnamon sticks wrapped into bundles for more natural accents. To add a bit of colour I bought some gold ribbon and tiny gold ornaments and metal keys from Michaels  as well (the only non hand made ornaments on the tree).

The final addition to the tree was, of course, the tree skirt. Anyone who’s looked at Christmas items will have seen the ruffle skirt (tutorial found on A Painted Nest) and I loved it from day 1. Many have pinned a no-sew concept, however I was concerned about the durability of a hot glued skirt, so I went ahead and sewed mine. It did take a few hours, but I am very happy with the end product. I simply cut the strips and sewed it around and around, bunching up the ruffles as I went. I would recommend to anyone who likes the look to try sewing it instead of glueing.

That’s everything! Yes, it takes a lot of work to personalize a tree, but in the end it makes it that much more special to look at, knowing that it’s yours and not the same ornaments other people picked up from the department store.

I LOVE my tree and if anyone else out there takes inspiration from it I’d be happy to hear it 🙂

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My DIY Wedding – Pulling It All Together

All these ideas, but how to piece them together…

That just comes down to the individual. Below are a few photos of how we pulled everything together and made it into my dream venue.

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Old frames, burlap, bunting, a little bit of draping sheets and you have yourself a head table.

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Looking from the head table towards the guest tables.

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Table setting. Old book, table number, spoon name plates, mason jar glasses…

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Who doesn’t love a candy bar?

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Drink bar

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I told you, lots and lots of burlap bunting.

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Lots and lots of mason jar lanterns. See how they set the mood?

My DIY Wedding – The Props

I think it’s long overdue that I post about my wedding. It feels like only yesterday, however it’ll soon be our one year anniversary and I can’t believe how time has flown.

Now as most of us know, Pinterest is populated by many many wedding ideas. We’re all dreamers and lets face it, Pinterest is used mostly by those of the female population, so of course there’s going to be lots about weddings! So naturally, that’s where I looked for ideas.

I’m a DIYer, if you haven’t noticed. I was also only formally engaged for 2 months (no, it wasn’t shotgun or anything like that, just didn’t see a point in waiting). But I still wanted to have the wedding of my dreams, so with a LOT of help and a LOT of work, we made it a success. Doing a DIY wedding is definitely not for everyone, in fact, if you have the money to buy most of the things that you love on Pinterest and don’t want to take a lot of time to make things, then it’s a good route to go. I basically spent those 2 months before the big day crafting, gluing, sewing, bending, painting, stapling, pounding and stringing during every free moment I had. If that’s how you enjoy spending your time, then join the ranks of us DIYer’s, but if you just love the look of it then there are many of us out there willing to make it for you!

What I’m going to show you are all of (or most of) the ideas that I took from Pinterest and used in my own wedding. I’ll let you know how successful they were, how much skill was involved and how long it took to do. Hopefully it will help someone out there in planning their wedding or add more photos to the dream boards of Pinterest 🙂

I’ll be posting this in 5 sections, so keep checking back for more updates!

First up,

The Props

Probably one of the biggest things people get into posting on Pinterest is all the cutsie things that pull a wedding venue together and give it a theme. These are the props. They’re also what takes the most work in planning where they go, exactly what to do with each item and making them (if you’re like me).

These post signs were really easy to do. They did take some time though because you want the words to come out just right and be readable. I used old pallet planks and sawed them into arrows then traced each letter out individually with templates cut on a Cricut.  I wanted to make sure each word fit and they were centered. After tracing, went back and painted in each letter.

 

This picture has 2 DIY projects. These are both easy as well. I love chalkboards, and with chalkboard paint, anything can be made into one! I saw somewhere in my Pinterest browsing silver trays as chalkboards and thought it was the smartest idea, so you’ll see throughout that I made a few of them and used them in different places. The other item seen in this picture is the seating chart on chicken wire in a colourful frame. Another easy project. All you need is an old frame, some spray paint, chicken wire and a staple gun. It’s a cute way to keep with the theme and still have a “formal” seating chart.

 

Table numbers…Oh the many way to do table numbers… I saw this one quite a while ago on Pinterest. I don’t believe the original pin was for wedding table numbers but I loved it and just had to have it! The hardest part of this project was finding the doorknobs and doorplates at a reasonable price. Because they are antiques you can spend upwards of $100 or more per set (meaning 1 door knob and 1 plate to go with it). I just wasn’t willing to pay that much so it took quite some time to find them. I bought all of mine off of ebay and they didn’t come in sets. I had to buy knobs and plates here and there, then piece them together afterwards. Another thing that will happen is that because they’re antiques again, they will most likely have some blemishes or even be strange colours. To remedy this and keep them all looking similar, I bought a metal spray paint that was bronze coloured and went to town. Voila! They all match. I’ve also seen on Pinterest ways to remove the paint afterwards, so if you’re concerned about “ruining” them, I wouldn’t worry too much.
The next hardest part about this project was getting the knobs to stay in place. They don’t have screw holes in the back, in fact they don’t even have round holes. The mechanism back then was square, so alas, crazy glue was my end solution. It works…but only for a short time. Don’t drop them or try to hang anything on them if you do it this way, they’ll break. Caulking could also be a way to go in adhering them to the plates permanently.
The last and final thing for this project is to chose what you’ll do for the numbers. You can buy house numbers if you can find them the right size or you can do what I did (the cheaper way) and use a router to drill in the numbers then paint them in.
Put it all together and you have a very attractive number for one table….oh, you have more than 6-8 guests? Well enjoy! I had to make 13 so I feel your pain. But they were worth it!

 

Next up is the use of a dresser and the poofs (as I call them). Lets start with the poofs. Great little things! They are so easy to do and they really do look great, especially as space fillers. We had our wedding in a green house, so I wanted to decorate up the walls as much as possible to give it a homey feel instead of industrial. Note: brown tissue paper is extremely hard to find! Who knew? But you know what works? Paper towel from the folded paper towel dispensers. You know the stuff, the old dispensers before they started doing rolls. You may think I’m crazy but they were my favourite end result. 2 pieces and you have the cutest poof ever and in a great colour!

 

I saw the use of a dresser as a prop once while scrolling through pins and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I just loved the way it looked. So naturally, it became the star of my dessert buffet (or was that the dessert? Depends on who you ask) Either way, it added so much to the theme. We found that the space was limited though and to actually have enough dessert for everyone you’d almost need 2 or 3 dressers. So instead, we put boxes into the drawers and pulled them out, adding depth, layers and more space! Dressers, just do it.

 

89 lanterns. I think that’s the number we had by the end of it. These make a great prop for setting the atmosphere. But would I suggest making that many? Probably not…unless you have a lot of time as I’ve said before. They are easy though! Just some wire and a mason jar. What else can I say about these little darlings? Not much, they kindof speak for themselves.

This next item was hard to place in the headings. It’s not a prop, it’s not a gift, it’s not really something fun either. It’s something that basically every bride wears and is second to the dress and shoes. Your veil. Trending right now is the birdcage veil. I looked into buying one and then saw the prices that bridal stores were charging. Ridiculous. Especially when these are so easy to make. You can find tutorials online and buy the material as well, I found mine material on Etsy. The hardest thing was making it keep the right shape, but a little blow drying and pulling to set, and it was done. I strongly suggest trying to make your own if you’re crafty, if you’re not, then many people who are can sell you one.