Saturday, September 24, 2011

Visit Food In Jars Blog For Wedding Favor Inspiration

Food In Jars! The Food in Jars web site is full of inspiration of gifts you can make for your guests. Jams, jellies, salsas, and the list goes on of gifts for your guests that you can make at home.  Homemade food gifts will wow your guests.

Who turned me on to a love of all things stored in Ball Jars? Philadelphia canning expert Marisa McClellan. Her web site "Food In Jars" offers suggestions on how to can almost anything. If you can't find the information you're looking for on her blog, visit her fan page on Facebook.  The Food in Jars Facebook fanpage is:

For your wedding you can make your jam (or other product of choice) ahead of time and put a personalized label on with the flavor of the jam and your names and the date of your wedding.  This is one wedding favor sure to go home with your guests. 

Visiting Marisa's web site will open you eyes to the world of canning. Even if you don't make your wedding favors yourself, your home pantry's contents will be forever enriched.

Marzipan Acorns, Perfect for Fall Weddings (Another AICDI Project)

Marzipan acorns! This creative idea that captures all the glory of autumn and was created by the DIY mavens on Martha Stewart Weddings web site.  You can make these pretty faux acorns to add to your sweet table to tempt even the most finicky guest. 

Tint the marzipan a pale green using food coloring and form into the shape of acorns. Don't forget to add the stems. (After you've made a few, you'll have it down to a science). Top each acorn with some bittersweet chocolate and dip them in chocolate sprinkles.  The bittersweet chocolate crowns help to balance out the sweetness of the faux acorn. 

Serve on individual faux leaves (available in most craft or home stores) (I purchased some at Home Goods) or serve on platters at your guests' tables after dinner.  It's always nice to have something sweet to finish your meal at a wedding or wedding shower.

Difficulty rating: AICDI (Any Idiot Can Do It).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Planning Your Color Scheme

Feeling challenged about planning your color scheme for your wedding? Can't decide what colors will compliment each other? Fortunately there are actually web sites to help you make those critical decisions, and best of all, they're FREE! (Free is my favorite word in wedding planning.)  You can also put together your own set of swatches if you don't like the options offered by the designers who have created color palettes just for weddings. 

Try ColourLovers.  I have to admit, this is one of those sites that sucked me into playing with it for hours! Between looking at what other people had created and looking for new colors for my web site, this site is a real bonus even if you're NOT a bride. Look for the specific areas for 'weddings' but check other areas too.  Color is color, and a palette that works for a business site might work for your wedding too.  Whether you're planning an elegant white tie wedding or you're a BOHO bride, this site will work for you

The other site Kuler is actually Adobe® Kuler™, (but since I don't want to have to add the Trademark etc. I'll just refer it it as Kuler.)  Kuler has a lot of options depending on your skill set.  If you're just looking for colors there is a part that looks like a combination of paint chips. You can combine colors or see what others have already done.  Love this for planning flowers and accents in bouquets. If you're more of a techie they offer other options for you to work with plus how to videos. (Way past my graphics abilities).

I'm sure there are other color planning sites out there, but I thought these would get you started! But be sure you start on a day you have a lot of time, you can spend hours looking at the creation of others and then trying your own.  It's kind of like a great bookstore--you just don't want to leave!

Rustic and Repurposed Seating Chart

Rustic, repurposed, shabby chic and beautiful, this seating chart by Etsy artisans from Beyond White is made from an old window (I can see the run on the repurpose warehouses now as Beyond White needs to scour the country to fill their orders). 

Beyond White has several different options for brides to choose from but this is my personal favorite.  The delicate bride and groom stenciled in the middle window are surrounded by panes painted with the table numbers and the names of guests seated at that table. 

Keep in mind you need one pane per window so most weddings will need two windows.  You can try to make this yourself but Etsy artisans are as close to DIY as you can get without getting your hands dirty! (My kind of project! Click and order and it looks homemade!)

Make sure to like BeyondWhite on Facebook to get information for current specials, coupon codes, and discounts!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nate Burkes And The Real Housewives-- Help You With Your Wedding

Can Nate Burkes help you with your wedding? Well he hasn't started Nate Burkes Wedding yet, but as I watched his show today I realized how many of his projects you could easily adapt to DIY wedding projects.  Or projects his guests have done that would be fabulous for your wedding day.  Today Jess and Monica, the creative minds behind the website "The Real Housewives of Bucks County" were on his show today.  (Love it when I see someone local featured on a national show)

Reclaimed Barn Art photo courtesy of The Real Housewives of Bucks County
as seen on The Nate Burkes Show and in their Etsy Store, RealHousewivesofBC

Several of their projects wowed me, but my favorite was made of some reclaimed barnwood art.  (Love people who repurpose!). But I digress. Jess and Monica took some real barnwood from a barn in Pennsylvania and turned it into a beautiful piece of hand painted artwork. After they painted the design on the wood they sealed it with some polyurethane.  Each piece is as different as the wood it's on and the design painted on it.  You can go to their web site and read their tutorial or head to their Etsy Shop called RealHousewivesofBC. (good news! permission to post their photo (see above), but if you want to see the rest of their creative projects be sure to visit their Etsy store above.)

Faking Louboutin -- With A Little Help From Michaels Crafts

Christian Louboutin's Deja Vu Sling Backs immediately caught my eye (oops! well you know what I mean, let's just say attention).  These patent leather high heels are covered with tiny eyes.  Yes, that's what I said - EYES.  If you're planning a black and white wedding and are looking for some attention getting shoes to wear these are it! But the price is a hefty $1500--Ouch!

But the good news is you can duplicate these shoes (or at least closely enough that no one but you will know! Face it, they're all going to be looking at your rockin' shoes, not checking to see if they're the real thing!)

You can find faux footwear at this site or run a search under 'peep toe platform sling backs.'  There's quite a selection, so choose the heel height and price point that fits your foot and your budget.  Clean the surface so the eyes will adhere.

Next head over to Michael's or your favorite craft store and pick up some packets of those little eyes (you know the ones, you see them on kids' crafts).  Attach them to the shoes and voila! Some fun faux Louboutin's for way under the $1500 price tag.  I

Want them to look even more like Louboutin's ? Add red to the soles. Paint is tricky to keep on, you might try something like those sticky shelf papers in Louboutin's signature red.  Warning, I didn't try this part out, but it's something to consider.  I'd try it on an old pair of throw away shoes to see how it works first. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You The Bride Of Frankenstein?

Planning a Halloween wedding? Looking for some unique (and they definitely are that) photos to use to identify your table assignments? The site, Wicked Halo, has a selection of Bride of Frankenstein photos from the historic to the off the wall. Why not borrow the pumpkin mobile above (found on Wicked H.) and drive over to Wicked Halo and see some of the other possibilities.  There's more than one post so be sure to check them all out.  There are old movie posters or TV icons (who will forget Marge Simpson as the Bride!) as well as cartoon characters. Whether you're into modern or historic brides there's something for everyone. Print 2 copies of each photo and spray glue it onto a hard backing, then place the second copy on the back and glue that in place, you then place these on tables. Make table assignments (OK we all know this is one of the hardest decisions you have to make but suck it up!).  Next add a tiny pic of the photo to the corner of each place card so people can identify their table. 

These likely won't appeal to the traditional conservative bride but you never know!  Halloween can bring out your spookiest inner fantasies! These are AICDI  projects (any idiot can do it)(should have made that AICDIEM (any idiot can do it even me) as long as they know how to print, spray glue, re-size photos, and download.  If you know of any other photos of the BOF post a link to it in the comment section.  Would you use these at your wedding (if it was a Halloween wedding?)--tell us all about what your plans are.

Digital Print Booties--They Aren't For The Faint of Heart

Want to rock your wedding day look with some wild digital print booties by Mary Katrantzou and Christian Louboutin? OK, they are a bit over the top for most brides but painting your own shoes with delicate floral designs and vines would suit even the most conservative bride who is looking for shoes she can really kick her heels up in on her wedding day. Or MK's design of booties with glitter and pearl studs (seen below) might be more up your alley--and easier to replicate.  If you're looking for handpainted shoes for your groom check out Alexander McQueen's splatter shoes.  The tutorial for those is on The Dandy Project

MK booties with pearls--Photo from The Dandy Project

I'll be the first to admit this is not my usual AICDI (any idiot can do it) DIY project.  If you aren't artistic to begin with you're probably better off purchasing you shoes from an artist who is. But if you want to try out painting your own shoes or boots read all about how to do it here at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply. I have to admit, I was entranced with the idea of putting my personal stamp on my shoes.  If one day you don't find any more posts on my blogs I'll probably be off trying my hand at painting shoes! 

MK boots w/glitter

Manhattan Wardrobe Supply gives a great step by step tutorial guided by Anthony Hoffman, a professional shoe painter who has done shoes for Broadway shows like Wicked, Shrek and Hairspray. OK, I know for sure my shoes will be outclassed by his but what the heck!

Alexander McQueen Splatter Shoes For Men 2010 collection
The tutorial is easy enough not to scare me off (even if it probably should) but is complex enough that it helps shoe artists and would-be shoe artists at all levels. 

Anthony's final suggestion is an acronym from journalist Don Hewitt: “KISS” = Keep It Simple, Stupid! That bit of advice is one that I plan to follow.  (Wow, I think that's the most different  acronyms ever used in one of my posts!) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Care and Feeding of Your Orchids

Did you buy orchids in pots for your wedding? Have some left over that have stopped blooming or you're just not quite sure what to do with them? If you're interested in learning how to get that left over orchid blooming again, Harcum College in Bryn Mawr PA is offering a 2 hour course to help you learn all the ins and outs of orchid care. The class is open to alumni as well as the community. The course will demonstrate how to repot an orchid and if you bring in your "problem orchid," the instructor will give you tips to cure what ails it. Gail Sklar, a member of the Harcum Faculty and President of Master Gardeners of Delaware County is presenting the class on October 22, 2011 from 9:30am to 11:30 am. Gail has won ribbons for her orchids at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The cost of the course is a bargain at $20.  Pre-registration is recommended.  Register here.  If you can't make the class or live in another area of the country the Penn State Extension Services has YouTube videos that might help you out. Nothing like turning your black thumb into a green thumb.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cupcake Box Templates -- Where to Get Them

Looking for some incredible looking (if time consuming) boxes for cupcakes or truffles for your wedding? Visit Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs.  This site provides you with step-by-step directions and templates for making these gorgeous boxes yourself.  This site also offers lots of other great craft ideas to come back to after the wedding.  Be sure to bookmark it for future use.  Great job Kelleigh!

Are these for the craft-challenged?  I'd say no.  But they aren't so difficult you couldn't master them with some work.  Just don't expect them to be the easiest project I've ever posted.  You can purchase the template here. (Well worth the cost). It contains files for Digital Die Cutting Machine software or your home printer.  You can make your own templates (if you're very techie and DIY savvy) using Photoshop however that will just add to the difficulty (and time needed) to complete the project, not to mention purchasing Photoshop.  Not only is Kelleigh selling templates for the cupcake boxes below but she has a template for cake slices you might want to check out. 
If you want to test your ability to make boxes, try this site.  The Toymaker shows a variety of paper toys, some of which are paper boxes.  These are fast to download and will give you a good idea if you want to tackle the project at Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Light Up Your Look For Your Wedding Day or Pre-Wedding Festivities

Benefit Cosmetics is one of my favorite brands! But these highlighting products are perfect for the bride looking for a glow that rivals the stars on the red carpet. Visit your Benefit Cosmetic counter and test all these products out or just order them from their website. For the last ten years (when I first discovered Benefit Cosmetics) I've been a loyal customer. Love their Dandelion Brightening Face Powder as well! But everyone will have their favorite products from this versatile brand. 
Learn more about every product at the Benefit website or from their associate at your local department store (I am partial to Macy's). Let me know how you like their products and which are your favorites.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rustic Floating Candles And Flowers

Looking for a new way to use candles and flowers that works in for a DIY wedding with a rustic theme? Try these! Float the candles on top of flowers in glass.  This allows you to use inexpensive flowers since each bloom doesn't need to be perfect, just colorful.  Great for a DIY tablescape or for lining an aisle.  Just be sure your glass won't explode from the heat of the candles. I've seen this happen, it's not a pretty site!

This project is simple to execute by even the least talented DIY wedding crafter--my favorite kind!  I'm sure some of you whizzes out there could ramp this up even more, but I like this simple look, especially for a rustic wedding. Comments welcome, even from the whizzes--who can always show me up!  Photos courtesy of this site, check it out, it's full of all sorts of inspiration for your wedding day.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blue and Purple Succulents For Your Wedding

I couldn't decide if I should post these on my DIY blog or my blog about flowers, so I'm going to post it both places (sorry if you read both, but I wanted to be sure all my readers saw it.)  As many of you will have noticed if you've been following the wedding sites, succulents are an important pieces for centerpieces, bouquets and wedding favors.  If you use this project you can combine your favors and centerpieces and save some money. Talk about more bang for your buck!  Not only that, you can grow these babies at home if you're really into saving money.  (I have a black thumb but I know most of you don't.)

If you search the Internet for blue and purple succulents you won't find these.  Why? They look real.  In fact they ARE real.  But they've been spray painted! I've never seen spray painted succulents, or any other flowers for that matter, but these rock!  The perfect way to coordinate their colors with to your wedding colors. 

You aren't just limited to these shades, you can use any any shade, any color, any succulent.  So versatile!  Pinks, metallics, yellows, and on and on.  I love the idea of grouping these great colored succulents as a centerpiece all potted individually, and then guests can take them home as wedding favors. 

So head to your local plant store or hardware store, pick up some succulent to use to test your painting skills, and grab some spray paint.  If you have an airbrush machine better yet.  You need a light weight paint and be sure it dries all the way. WATER WITH CARE!  Succulents don't have to be covered completely, but you do want good coverage so the colors pop. Save some paint to use for the succulents you add to your bouquet.  You're wedding flowers are sure to be unique!  Photos from Flowers by Bornay Inspiration.

Make Your Own Mini Tophats

For brides interested in having mini top hats as part of their wedding apparel, head over to Offbeat Bride for a great tutorial on how to make the three hats shown above.  I warn you, this is not an easy DIY project.  But if you persevere or if you are just plain talented at making crafts, this project is for you.  Would I have the guts to wear one of these?  Nope, I'm too traditional.  But I know I have readers who are looking for something else, so I thought I'd refer you to this great tutorial.  Also Offbeat Bride has other great ideas for brides who aren't looking for the traditional wedding, head on over and spend a day reading, they have lots of great contributors.

Looking for a pattern? Try this link to Hungry Panda Clothing to make the hat above.  This one looks easier to me--and uses a cereal box--talk about re purposing! You need a certain panache to carry these off, but if you've got it, flaunt it!  The key to many DIY projects? Read the comments of the readers who have already tried the project, sometimes they've solved a problem or answered a question you'll have!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lacey Looking Lighting--Perfect For Your Wedding

What sold me on this project? Sure it's pretty, feminine and would look great at either a wedding or wedding shower, but picture number 1, with a CHILD doing it sold me! As my readers know I'm not someone who can pull off  DIY projects that require major talent or skills.  My favorite projects require me to read directions (or better yet, just look at pictures), shop for or find items needed, and be finished in an hour.  No muss, no fuss.  Or at least not much.  Since this one looked like a child could pull it off I was sure it was 'wedding queen proof'--no way I could screw it up!  But just to be sure I put it to the ultimate test--my husband.  The man can wire the house and pull off all sorts of projects that I would never consider attempting, but give him a craft project--it better be easy for him to be able to do it. I'm happy to report, the Wedding King (his name is Bill btw) managed to pull this project off with ease! WTG Bill(and thanks for the help cleaning up)!  Aside from how easy this DIY project is, it re-purposes items you already have, perfect for the bride planning a green wedding.

For specific directions on how to manage to put together this great light effect step by step use this link.  If you have any problems executing this project be sure to read the comments on the original page, it may show you where you went wrong.  I guess we just lucked out first time around by sheer luck! These photos are from this link.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rococo Fan Template Download

Once again Download & Print has some new templates posted.  For anyone unfamiliar with Download and Print they offer some free downloads (YES, I said FREE!) as well as a download package of $24.95 for unlimited access to all their templates for a year.  Not a bad deal!  They have new templates available frequently and free DIY projects that are announced each Friday on Facebook.  They also have how to videos to help you with your projects. 

Before signing up for their yearly package they offer you samples to try to see how much you'll love their products.  There are sure to be printables for every bride's taste!  Visit them to try their free downloads and then sign up for their yearly rate so you can choose your favorite invitations and other wedding products.  Download & Print also offers free fonts for your invitations or links to where you can find them.  All in all a good buy, especially if you're planning a lot of printed materials.

To make the fans you'll need the following:

Paper: Prints on 8.5 x 11 or A4 Cardstock
Yield: One sheet makes one fan
Finished Size: 5.25 x 6 inches folded

- Template Files
- Color Printer
- 8.5 x 11 Cardstock
- Paper Cutter
- Ruler
- Xacto Knife
Wood Fan Handles