DIY Wedding: Decor & More

In the age of Pinterest there is a fine line between getting ideas and getting overwhelmed when planning your wedding decor. I’m an admitted DIY overachiever and can be overly ambitious when it comes time management. That being said, the bits of advice I have to share can apply to DIY’ers of all skill levels.

1. Pick and Choose: Some projects look great on your pinboard but will have little effect on the overall look and feel of your ceremony. Consider the impact each item will have before dedicating your precious time to it. Ask yourself if the item fits your theme or vision.

2. Prioritize your Projects: You may have to scrap a project or two in the interest of time, so consider your backup options. Does an Etsy seller create this item? What is their lead time? Which items add the most value to your ceremony? Can you delegate these projects?

3. Craft Early, Craft Often: The sooner you begin your project the more you’ll thank yourself when it ends up taking longer than expected. Finished ahead of schedule? Consider making a few more paper fans, tackling that next DIY item, or for goodness sake reward yourself and just rest!

With these pearls of wisdom in mind, here’s a few of my favorite projects from our San Francisco Wedding. All photos courtesy of our photographer Chaz Curry.

leggett-wedding-capes-flower-girl-ring-bearer

Super Ring Bearers & Personalized Confetti 

We transformed these shy members of our bridal party into heroes for the day, ensuring lots of smiles and even more priceless photographs. I enlisted my mother to sew these golden capes which they happily wore to the wedding and beyond.

We spread the good news with confetti crafted from Martha Stewart scrapbook punches in various shapes and newspapers from our hometowns (Detroit & DC) and our current home (San Francisco). Huge props go to our bridesmaid Lyndze for this deeply personal touch.

protea

Protea

I spotted these lovelies on Pinterest and could not wait to give them a try. They became a simple but intricate aisle decoration for the ceremony. The Ruffled Blog gives great step by step instructions on how to create them along with the PDF templates. The resulting flower was around the size of a golf ball, so I scaled the templates up to create a softball sized version. Luckily this article led me to the Etsy shop of sunny and stumpy where the artist sells pre-cut templates for this project along with other great paper flower crafts and templates. I’m dying to try the Ranunculus Ornaments from her in the future!

cake-topper

dessert-table

Cake Topper

Another Pinterest find led me to create a custom cake topper from a few wooden pieces and acrylic paints. I searched for wooden peg people at my local Michael’s, Joann Fabrics, and Home Depot but came up empty handed. Luckily I found a set on Etsy via SnugglyMonkey which I received within a few days and painted to a pretty darn good likeness of us (if I do say so myself). Wary of your skills with a paintbrush? Shops such as Goose Grease can paint a finished topper in your likeness for you!

vases-(1)

Vases

In my late teens and early twenties I took a number of ceramics courses and honed my skills as a novice potter. I had purchased a wheel a few years in and hit the jackpot one afternoon when my parents spotted a kiln in the newspaper at an estate sale. While my SF apartment does not allow for the space and electricity to use this equipment, my parents were kind enough to hang onto them for me in their North Carolina home, where a few times a year I get to leave metalwork behind and indulge myself in clay.

Usually during my trips to their home I spend the week creating half a dozen bowls and platters I will pick up after firing on the next trip. This is where I got the brilliant idea to throw our wedding centerpieces. It seemed simple at first, but that idea grew to having them become our wedding favors. I had two 7-day trips planned,during which I needed to make over 100 vases and somehow ship them across the country. Yeah, having seen that logic typed out now, I understand why you’re thinking I’m crazy. Luckily I enlisted my now-husband and both parents to decorate, glaze, and package with me.

vases-2

I had our florist fill them with an assortment of protea, succulents, and other textural flowers. A few of them were perforated and held electric tea light candles. I’m thrilled with how much our guests loved them. Family and friends snatched them up one by one and twos and threes until not a single one remained! It warms my heart knowing our guests took a little bit of us home with them.

Whether your wedding crafts are big or small, complex or understated, the most important part is that they’re a reflection of yourself and your personal style. The planning process can be stressful and taxing, so pick projects that make you feel happy as well as productive!

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