In terms of DIY, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert. I take on craft projects on a need-to basis – when I need to make something, I figure out how to do it. And I could pretend that I am one of those super awesome creative people who came up with all the completely original projects for Heidi’s hen night all on my own, but I didn’t. I did exactly what most of you do. I found things I needed and liked on this here internet, and I adapted them. I learned by doing, and I made things up where necessary. It was time consuming, and fun, and crazy, and I’m pretty sure my housemate (who happens to be a beefy rugby player) mustn’t have loved the den of pink and girliness that our dining room table became (cheers, Mark!), but it was 100% worth it to see everything come together on the day. So I thought I would share my DIY inspirations and links, so that you can see how to follow and adapt them to create something YOU love. The best thing is that many of these can be used for other parties, or weddings – whatever takes your fancy.
This is where most of my DIY effort went – these babies were time consuming! I wanted to send out something that had a bit of the look and feel of the venue – pink and black and fun, and just on the border of a little kitsch. I have been absolutely loving the fabric invitations I’ve been seeing on blogs, from handkerchiefs to hand stitching, and I wanted to incorporate that too. I was just playing with a few ideas of what I wanted when one afternoon, the perfect DIY tutorial popped up on Wedding Chicks.
So I bought some floral fabric online, and I got to cutting and gluing. The biggest challenge was with the fabric glue (make sure you get good quality and work with clean hands!) and waiting for it to dry in between all the different stages meant that it took days to complete. I used different ribbon on all the invites, which I loved the look of, and chose to glue that round instead of tying it. Inside I put a little printed card with the details, and I posted them in silver envelopes that I’d given a hot pink lining, with a custom pink tiara sticker sealing them. I love receiving little packages in the post, and I wanted to create enough visual and tactile interest to get that same feeling. What do you think? Did it work?
The Wine Bottle Vases
When I was brainstorming details, a friend suggested I look to the chocolate and wine activity for the evening, which is when I hit on the idea of wine bottle ‘vases’. I’ve seen a few of these in recent weddings, and I love them with single stems (how gorgeous are those hydrangeas?). So I got myself some empty bottles and soaked them in warm water to get the labels off. I had the idea to spray paint them from this tutorial, and I liked the result so much that we’re collecting up bottles now to use this idea in some home decor! It’s a tough job drinking all that wine, but somebody’s gotta do it! (And just a note – I looked everywhere for normal spraypaint where I live, but I don’t know if they’re just hiding it from graffiti artists, as all I could find was spraypaint to be used on metal like barbecues or bikes! It worked absolutely fine though.)
I wanted to inject a bit of fun by adding faux wine labels that described Heidi and Oli – separately and then together as a couple) in wine terms, for example: “some cheeky fruity notes” for him, “complex sweet and spicy elements that make a real impression” for her, and “will mature well” to describe their relationship. Heidi loved them so much that she went back to fetch them the next day (sorry, Oli!). There are loads of label templates online, but in the end I just made my own, printed them out, and stuck them on with double-sided tape.
There were three little favours for each guest. One was a fun pink or purple tiara, which I bought online, and at each place guests could also find a little scratchcard with a coin for them to scratch them with. This was very last minute, so to be frank I just cut out and glued the little fabric pockets together, added swirls of ribbon and the “lucky in love” labels, and attached the coins with glue dots. Job done.
The chocolates were the second part of my “wine and chocolate” idea, and I was so excited about these, because I took the inspiration straight from one of my favourite photographers (and no doubt yours), Elizabeth Messina. I remembered that Elizabeth had the most beautiful custom labelled chocolates at her own wedding, and they looked amazing. Heidi and Oli always say they don’t have any nice pics of themselves, so I rounded up as many as I could find from friends and Facebook, and made these up into little labels with the note “After Dinner Mint-to-Be’ on the back. Cheesy, I know! I found the chocolates in the Christmas selection at Waitrose and replaced the labels with my own. This was such a simple DIY, but they were almost too cute to eat!
Again, this was inspired by a favourite wedding detail. A while back, Dog ‘n Bird posted a time capsule guest book from Martha Stewart, and I just knew I had to base this one on it!
First, I worked out the proportions of a normal envelope and applied this to the size of envelope I wanted to create (who says you don’t need your maths skills?!). I turned this into a little cardboard template, and then I traced around this on some hot pink wrapping paper I’d chosen to use for the envelopes. Much folding and gluing later, I had over 60 teeny tiny little envelopes! I made up the same number of little cards, and stamped them with the anniversary years (1, 5, 10 and 25) and then made up some cards for guests to write a note for now, also using a decorative stamp (that also usefully shows where to start!). I asked all the guests to send me a photograph, and then I stuck it all into an album. I must say, it looks very cute, and I hope will give the newlyweds pleasure to come back to on important anniversaries. And fortunately most of the ladies wrote in it early on, otherwise I imagine there would be some wine-induced ridiculousness in the messages! Hm, or maybe that actually happened… ;)
I hope this helps you to follow my own little creative process, and that it helps and inspires you in your own celebration. I really think the little details make a massive difference on the day, and it really doesn’t take much expertise to come up with something amazing!