Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reception Recaps: The Details

This is a very long picture-heavy post. I just got excited--sorry!

 Yesterday we decided to get crafty. After looking at inspiration pictures on Pinterest all weekend, I had some things I wanted to try making. I was somehow able to convince Thomas to head to Hobby Lobby with me, and it was magical. Well, Hobby Lobby was actually a pretty big bust. We found this cute little bird though, for just $5 (metal stuff was half off), so that was a success. 

 Now we just have to decide where he's going to live! I'm thinking the laundry room, but I'll let you know as soon as we decide.

Next we headed over to World Market, which is in the same shopping center as HL and Thomas actually loves it there. After seeing this inspiration picture on Pinterest, I decided it might be cool/cheap for us to find some fun fabric and frame it as wall art for the guest room.

Thomas is actually really good at crafting, and despite the fact that he sometimes acts like he hates places like Hobby Lobby, we always get inspired there. I come up with a general idea of what I'd like, and he figures out the details. While we were at World Market, which is much more our style than HL, he got the idea of using some of the cool wrapping paper that I always love to look at as framed art. The idea exploded from there, and pretty soon we decided on our project. 

We bought lots of different place mats, napkins, and wrapping paper (most of which were over half off) for just $15! We happened to have a ton of frames left over from the wedding/reception (which you'll see below) and Thomas got the idea of using them to make kind of a collage of fabric, sort of like the one I'd seen on Pinterest. Here's what we did:

Required supplies:
Assorted frames of different colors & sizes
Assorted papers/fabrics you'd like to frame
A cutting tool (I used a rotary cutter & mat)
Nails and/or double sided tape
Measuring tape
First, we gathered all the fabric. The long pieces on the ends are wrapping paper, but they're thicker and more durable than the average. Everything in between is a napkin or place mat (they were each around $1.50).

 I happened to have the tools already in my craft collection. My special FABRICS ONLY scissors, rotary cutter, and mat to cut on.

The only other supply required is frames of different sizes and colors. We already had and used 20, but we could have fit one more small one.

 First, I removed the glass from the frame and chose the part that we thought was the coolest on the paper/fabric.

Then, while holding the glass in place, I cut around it with my rotary cutter. 

 It worked out nicely that lots of our frames were little, but some were big. Because each piece of fabric had lots of different patterns, we were able to get anywhere from 2-4 frames worth (of different prints) from each paper/fabric.

For example, we used the "squids" (I think they're actually birds--whatever) pattern for a larger frame, and the swirly red/yellow pattern on the left for another.

After all the fabric was cut and framed, we laid the frames out on the floor and started trying different layouts. This part isn't exact...we just ended up choosing what we thought looked best. We left them laying on the floor for about 4 hours, coming back into the room every so often to look, move some around, and leaving again to re-evaluate later. 

 Jack was in charge of layout.
One of our main focuses was making sure the light and dark frames looked evenly distributed. I've been reading about quilting lately, and I discovered a quilting tip to lay out all your blocks and take a picture, then look at the picture on your camera screen to make sure there's no color clumping. That was very useful here as well.

Next we measured the height and length of the whole piece once we had everything laid out like we wanted. I taped pieces of paper together in the size of the whole arrangement, and hung it on the wall to determine placement (this is something I've seen my idols at Young House Love do and I would definitely recommend it).

We marked/measured where the corners would go, and we started by hanging those.

Since most of the frames we used at the wedding were small (2.5x3, 3x5), we used strong double sided tape on the backs instead of  a nail for every single one. 


After the corners were done, we moved up from the bottom left. We made sure each frame was level and as evenly spaced as possible, and just kept hanging (these photos were taken at night, so they don't give accurate color).

This morning I photographed the finished product in daylight. We're really happy with how it turned out, and we think it was well worth $15. Now we have to get some furniture to help fill out the rest of the room!

 Here's a view of the whole room (as much as I could see) for perspective.

Here are some closer up views of the different fabrics.

These are some of our favorites:

This is definitely my favorite. I look forward to using the rest as wrapping paper!

I love this one too.

Thomas really likes this one.


Now, for today's reception recap, I'll show you lots of the details. There are quite a few pictures of flowers that I just love and couldn't eliminate..so that's a lot of what you're going to see. I'm also going to do a lot more explaining than I have on previous posts, because this is where the majority of my DIY/hard work came in. And I want to talk about it. (Note: Unless otherwise mentioned, all photos below were taken by our friends at Cinderella Photography).

It's no secret that I love reading, and we both love old books. Even though I'm a huge Kindle user/advocate, I definitely still appreciate the physical book as well (and I think it's absolutely ridiculous to argue about the means through which people read--but that's another topic). We got all the old books from the Disabled American Veterans, and they were around $1 per hardback, but the guys there cut us a deal and gave us around 68 books for $60. 

I love the mix of natural and delicate fabrics (ex. burlap and lace), because I think I'm kind of a mix of natural and delicate myself. Haha. Didn't see it going there. I used jute twine on the invitations, as well as to tie the books together, and Deana added lots of little touches of ribbon, burlap, lace, and other cuteness to the blue glass jars and bottles. She also got the tree slices (in keeping with the tree theme) for us from CA.

For the flowers, Deana was an absolute life saver. The original plan was to buy the flowers the day before the wedding, and for everyone who could help to start throwing together bouquets, etc. A few months before the wedding, Deana and my mom were talking and Deana basically volunteered to be an impromptu flower master/decor coordinator. She and I have really similar taste, and everything that I envisioned she completely understood and made come to life. 

The flowers all came from Market Street (ordered a month or so before the wedding) and I wanted them to have a bright, thrown together, wildflower feel. I love pretty much all kinds of flowers (except carnations--gross--and traditional roses), and I basically just wanted the jars to be overflowing with bright flowers. Two days before the wedding, Deana, my mom, and Lori got together and started making bouquets and stuffing the jars (props to Deana's husband Thayne for hooking us up with green house fridges for storage). 

Deana with my bouquet, in the works (friend/family photo).

 The flower committee (friend/family photo).

 I love sunflowers!

 The girls' bouquets were displayed at the reception.

 This was on the head table.

The night before the wedding, my girls, my mom, my grandmother, and Lori and I all stayed at the hotel and (thanks again to Deana) had a labeled box for each table with the necessary frames, flower bags, books, etc for that table. That way, all that had to be done in the morning was bringing in the jars of flowers!

Now, for my true opus, the cake topper. This was one of my first wedding projects, and one of my favorites. I saw cake toppers exactly like this one on Etsy--but they were $180! I knew it was a very personalized, detailed, and time consuming project, but I wasn't ready to spend that kind of money, so I looked up a tutorial and made my own. If anyone is interested in the exact directions (I ended up doing it my own way), I'd be happy to do a post on it. Just ask!

I used lace trim for my dress, and scrap fabric (on sale) for Thomas' suit, my veil, and the ribbon.  The other items were all found in the wood and miniatures sections at Hobby Lobby. I hand painted the flowers and the base, which I then covered in moss.

 I was realllly pleased with how this project turned out. All told, it cost roughly $30. Plus, now I have tons of parts left over (like 30 wooden hearts and 10 wooden bodies--useful, right?)

For our favors, I decided to send some of the flowers home with our guests using personalized cellophane bags. I love flowers, but I hated to waste them. I knew we'd be leaving for our honeymoon the next morning, and I wanted to be sure the flowers got the use they deserved by giving them to other people. 

Finally for one of our favorite and easiest DIY projects, the Woo Hoo flags. We recruited Thomas' sisters, Gracie and Janie, and Gracie's boyfriend Bush, to help with the flags. The girls were in charge of cutting (because only girls can be trusted to cut) and the boys were in charge of hot gluing the flags to the sticks. It was a fun--although last minute--project, and made for cute send off pictures. 

The flag makers themselves.

 Flag ninjas (friend/family photo).

 My parents led the exit train.

I love this picture (friend/family photo).

 Woo! (by the way, we walked out to Love Shack by the B52s).

Sorry this was so super long winded and stuff. Today I was passionate about both my topics, so I had a hard time getting a hold of myself. We're almost done with wedding pictures, and tomorrow we're finally to the pictures of just us together, and my bridals. There are some great ones, so get ready!

-T, K, J, & C


  1. Many thanks to Deana for being the flower master - the whole event was sheer perfection!
    hugs to all,

  2. Love love love your frame project!!! Brilliant!
    (...and such good supervision by Jack...)
    All the details at your reception were so sweet & personal...it was wonderful.