DIY – The Photoline!

3 08 2009

Hola everybody!

I knocked out another DIY project yesterday and I thought I would share with you guys, what I’m calling my Photoline!

You may remember this picture from my inspiration board:


I wanted to see what I could do to create something like this that I could put inside, maybe by the guestbook instead of a bunch of picture frames, and then we’re also going to have a digital photo frame doing a slideshow of pictures of us through our lives/relationship.

This was kind of challenging to me because I had to come up with something that could hold the poles up and would be appropriate for being inside… how far apart to make them, if it would still look good if it was much smaller than the one in the inspiration pic, etc.

This is what I came up with:

Here are the supplies:

2 Flowerpots

Floral foam (enough to fill up your flowerpots)

*not pictured* something heavy, rocks(?) to go in the bottom of your flowerpot for stability

craft paint/acrylic paint/whatever you have around

foam brushes/paint brushes

glue gun / glue sticks


saw / knife (Must be strong enough to cut the wooden dowel)

1 wooden dowel cut/sawed into 2 pieces, mine was 48″ tall, so when cut in half, they are 2 ft tall each. The one I used had a 7/16″ diameter

sandpaper for sanding down rough edge that was cut on the dowel so that it will stand flat


small silk flowers

2 wooden buttons (I used 1/2″ diameter ones)





1. Plug in glue gun with a glue stick in it, and make sure you have a piece of paper or something under the tip so you don’t get glue on anything.

2. If not already done so, cut dowel into two 2 foot pieces (1 for each flower pot), and use your sandpaper to smooth the rough edge down from where it was cut so that it will stand up flat in the flower pot. If this is not done, your dowel could lean. Also, wrap the sandpaper around the dowel, and then grab the dowel where the sand paper is and run the sand paper up and down the dowel a couple times to smooth the dowel and ensure smooth painting.Rub off any wood dust created from this step.

3. Put rocks/other heavy substance in bottom third of flower pot. (Important, this will create stability!) Then put your foam on top of the rocks up to about a centimeter from the top of the pot. You may have to cut your foam for it to fit into the pots, a kitchen knife or the saw will work well for this. If there are any big gaps between the foam and the wall of the pot, you can fill them with pieces you trimmed off of the foam. The foam doesn’t have to be perfect since you’re putting moss on it later.

4. Put a dowel through the middle of the foam and push it to the bottom of your pot, making sure the dowel is as straight as possible, mine wasn’t 100% straight at first, and I used foam shavings to compensate for the angle it was leaning at and that fixed it perfectly. Use your glue gun and put glue around the perimiter of the foam to keep it from slipping out of the pot, put glue at the base of the dowel as well.

5. Glue a wood button to the top of the dowel, push it down to make it sit as flat as possible. Paint your pot and dowel with one coat of paint, making sure to get the inside rim of the pot as well. You don’t have to paint the bottom of the pot if you don’t want to. Set aside to let the paint dry and follow steps 1-5 to create your other pot/dowel contraption. Once done painting the second pot/dowel, put a second coat on the first, and once done with that go ahead and put a second coat on the second pot/dowel.

6. Go back to the first pot (that should be dry at this point from the second coat of paint.) And put a good coat of hot glue over about 1/2 of the top of the foam. Put moss over the glue, and repeat glue/mossing for the second side of the pot. If you missed a spot, just put a spot of glue and a small piece of moss where you missed. Use your scissors to shape the moss as you like, mine was a little lumpy, so I trimmed the moss down so it was even across the top of the pot. Cut the heads off of some of your small flowers, leaving about 1/8″ of stem and stick them into the moss as much as you like. Repeat step 6 for second pot, and tie ribbons around each pot. I used some double sided tape to keep the ribbon where I wanted it.

7. Measure out 1 or two pieces of twine so when tied onto the dowels, they’re as far apart as you want them to be. Mine twine was 43 inches long and I had two pieces of it. Tie the twine tight into a knot around your dowel in the spot you would like it, and then find the corresponding spot on your other dowel to tie the other end of twine to creating your clothesline. Trim off any tails from the twine so you don’t have excess showing, if you mess up with the twine you can cut it off and do another one.Β  Repeat for your second line if you’re having one.Β  Tie bows of ribbon if desired at the top of each dowel. *note* Make sure if you’re having more than one line, that one isn’t tighter than another or it could make it easy for your pots to fall over!

8. Attach pictures using small clothespins or paperclips, and make sure they are evenly dispersed across your clothesline. Clean up any mess you made, have some cookies and enjoy your handiwork!

Yay! The photoline is finished!

Cost breakdown:

Pots – $1.50

Wood buttons – a bag of 18 for $1.00… and I used two.

Dowel – $0.84

Foam – $3.00

Glue $0.20 worth of glue sticks

Flowers – $1.50 with left overs

Paint – On hand – Free! (You can get the kind I used for under $1, and the foam brushes cost about a quarter)

Ribbon – On hand… I used about 1 1/2 feet of the small ribbon and about a yard of the bigger ribbon… so probably about $2.00 worth of ribbon.

Rocks – Free from outside (You can get a bag of vase filler rocks from dollar tree)

Sand Paper – $1.50 with leftover

Twine – $2.00 with lots leftover

So depending on what you have on hand… you could pull this off for about $13.00. Not bad for something super cute!!

See you guys next time!!



The INVITES – Part 1

30 07 2009

Hey everyone! I hope live and wedding planning (if applicable) is going well for you! Life has been uber busy for me lately, so I apologize for being a little MIA lately but I’m here armed with a new laptop to fill you in on what has been going on in the land of our wedding planning!

Today’s post is about our INVITES!!

Okay sooo if you don’t know, I’m a graphic designer. And what does that equal when added to a graphic designer’s wedding stationary? ULTRA PRESSURE OF DOOM OMG!!! High expectations from others? Maybe. High expectations from myself? OMG YES. I just can’t settle with ANYTHING. Nothing is exactly what I want… it’s like when your options are limitless… when you can make it look like whatever you want and it’s free… my head explodes. I have a kajillion ideas. I just have to make it work within our theme and somehow make myself happy.

So what did I come up with you ask? What is it that cured my crazy tendency to freak out over something that I could have easily bought a print at home $30 kit for and been done with???

HAH! You didn’t think it’d be THAT easy did you?! πŸ˜€

Here’s a teaser to hold you over until I get these babies printed up, and assembled.


DIY – Easy Save The Dates

20 05 2009

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately… I have good reasoning, I promise!! Firstly, I’ve been socking away at wedding tasks and secondly…

I GOT A JOB! This wont be a habit (not posting for a bit) I just have to get back into the swing of things. I have hit a pretty good stride with the wedding planning though!

Our babies save the dates are off!! I am so happy with how they came out! It was a super sweet experience and I learned some things that I will do differently for the invites.

Since I’m a graphic designer I have high standards for all of my wedding stationary. I have too many options because I can literally do whatever I want. I could do something fun, something whimsical, something flowery, something artsy, something different, etc. The wedding stationary has been the hardest decision of my wedding planning thus far. (I picked the first dress I tried on!) I only finally made my decision on the stationary when my save the date deadline was past nearing the last minute. (Let me live in my delusions that I haven’t been behind on anything for the wedding yet!)

So what did this graphic designer and her lovie decide to do? We went on a classic route. I went with Damask. I didn’t want to have the same exact anything as anyone else, so I actually designed my own damask pattern. I wanted something with a little less graphic approach than a lot of the damask I have seen, so I used thinner flourishes and whatnot.

I only needed 50 envelopes for the Save the Dates. I looked around online for teal envelopes but had no luck finding the color I had in mind in a quantity less than 500, so I decided to make my envelopes. Lesson #1. I will NOT be making my envelopes for my invites. While the ones I made are good, they took a LOT of time to make only 50, and I think it is a little bit of stress I would like to save myself a couple of months before the wedding when I’m making invites. If I make a birthday card or something in the future though, I would totally do it again. For the template for the envelopes I made, check out my envelope tutorial.

So without further ado, here are some pictures! (Cell phone pics, but they’ll have to do for now!)

photo(9)The outside.

photo(8)The back. – It says “Laura & Russell”

photo(6)The inside.

photo(3)The save the date.

photo(4)The save the date back. I decided to print the pattern on the back for added interest.

photo(10)The save the date in the light… the pattern on the back shows through and it is so neat! I love the added effect, and I did this all on my regular old desktop printer!

Supplies: 110 lb. Index Cardstock, printer, paper cutter, corner rounder.


1. Print Save the Date front, at this size (4.25×5.5) You can do two to a sheet if you want the pattern to go all the way to the edge like mine, if you don’t have a pattern to the edge, you can do 4 to a sheet. Turn printed sheets over and print on the backs if you want a pattern like mine. Remember to print a few extra in case you mess up on the cutting!

2. Cut the cards out using your paper cutter. Make sure they fit in your envelopes, trim them if you need to so they fit comfortably. Round the corners using your corner rounder.

3. Address your envelopes. Put cards in the envelopes AFTER you address them, You don’t want the ink to seep through the envelopes onto your save the dates, and you don’t want to have to take the save the dates out of any envelopes you mess up addressing. I also made stickers that said “Laura & Russell” to go on the back of the cards. Once I stuffed the envelopes, I sealed them, put the stickers & stamps on and they were wood to go!

photo(2)I also made little magnets using one of our engagement pictures. On the top is: Laura & Russell and our wedding website, and on the bottom is a calender of the week of our wedding with our date circled with a heart. It also has the city we’re getting married in on the side.

Supplies: 1/2″ adhesive backed magnet strips cut into 3rds (you don’t need that much magnet on the back of each.) So each magnet once cut was about 1.5″ long.

Steps: Print out your designs on cardstock, cut them out, corner round them, peel off adhesive backing on magnets and stick to the back of your magnet cards.

I really love these. Making them was a special experience because Russell helped a LOT with cutting, magneting, corner rounding, gluing envelopes, placing stickers, etc. He goes, “I can watch TV doing this! This is nothing!” He was very insistent on helping and it meant a lot to me. In fact once I was done printing, cutting, and addressing… he was still working on his part and told me he would finish up and to go take a relaxing shower. I totally couldn’t. I was so in awe of HIM doing the wedding task while I was doing nothing that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I paced the apartment watching him in sheer amusement. lol

I was so nervous putting these in the mail! We worked hard on them and it really was like putting a little piece of us in the mail. I hope everyone gets them okay!

DIY – “I DO” letters

28 04 2009

I Do Letters

Hello! Sorry it’s been a little bit since I last blogged. I’ve been fighting off an allergic reaction grouped with a lovely case of hives from something I ate last week, and the medicine knocks me out so I haven’t been up to blogging!

Today I would like to share a ridiculously cheap and easy DIY project of I DO letters. I actually wasn’t planning on doing these but I came across the letters at Michael’s and they were so cheap, I grabbed them up and took them home.



I DO letters – wooden is best for durability, but styrofoam is okay too, just be careful with them. 99Β’ each at Michael’s for 4″ wooden letters.

Glue – Already on hand, Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue. Any craft glue should work, but if you don’t have any, you can get a small bottle of Aleene’s for 99Β’ at Michael’s.

Glitter – Any color. I already had some I got on clearance without a purpose in mind knowing I could use it for something. It had 5 shades of blue for 97Β’ at Michael’s. Check the dollar bins, they might have your color of glitter in there.

Foam Brush – 30Β’ – I used a 1″ one.

Piece of paper folded in half and unfolded to catch glitter – on hand – free. Use a piece of junk mail if you don’t have any paper.



1. Add glue to letter. It is best to do them one at a time so the glue doesn’t dry. Use foam brush to spread it around. Make sure you get it in all the crevices of the letter. *note* I used more glue on the letter than pictured here. πŸ™‚


2. On top of the piece of paper, sprinkle glitter liberally all over the letter. Make sure to get it on every bit of the letter. Look at it from all angles. Tap letter to remove excess on top of the piece of paper.

3. Set letter aside to dry for a moment. Carefully pick up the paper, and fold it along the crease so that the glitter gathers in the crease. Put glitter container up to corner of paper where the crease starts and carefully pour the glitter back in the container.

4. Repeat for remaining letters. Set aside all 3 letters and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes while you catch up on Whose Wedding is it Anyway? or Bridezillas.


5. Touch up letters with glue and glitter on any spots you may have missed. Set aside to dry. Once they’re good and dry, put each letter in a ziplock, and then put all 3 ziplocked letters into another ziplock for storage until your wedding. The ziplocks are so that they don’t bump into each other and mess up the glitter, and also so they don’t get glitter on other things while they’re being stored or transported.

6. Be happy with your crafty self and finish up your wedding shows. Oh.. and give the fiancΓ©e some kisses. πŸ™‚

Oh! And if you make a base for the letters, I’m sure you could use these for cake toppers too. Another idea would be for Mr. And MRS. letters.




8 04 2009

One of the best skills you can have as a DIYer … is aknowledging when something is beyond your skills, something is best left to professionals, you wont be able to meet the quality you desire, or when you just don’t have the time for it!

I am pretty darn crafty, and sometimes straight up MacGyver like… and then there are times when I try to make my veil 3 times and fail miserably each time. πŸ™‚ hehe
Well, maybe not miserably, but it just wasn’t coming out right. I found lots of good birdcage veil tuts online, and yes they were easy, but for some reason I’m super picky about how it lays on me, and mine just weren’t meeting my standards.

So starts the search online for an affordable birdcage veil that I love. I quickly found the haute couture Laura veil at Castle Bride. Her name was even Laura! It was MEANT to be my veil!

Laura Veil

They make lots of lovely veils and accessories and whatnot. The problem? Waaaaaaay out of my price range. I mean by hundreds of dollars out of my price range. The solution? My dear friend ETSY! Since the veil I found is kind of uniquely shaped, I couldn’t find one just like it, so I contacted YJ Designs. She makes some of my faaavorite veils on etsy, and is uber talented, so I asked her to make it. She agreed to do it for $45! and even though she is out of *Australia* she responded super quickly, and had my veil out within a day or two! Shipping took a little bit because I’m a cheapie and chose the standard post shipping and she’s on the other side of the world from me. πŸ˜€ I started to worry a little bit because it was nearing the end of the time frame she told me it would be here, and then BOOM! Right on the day she said it would be here, it was. πŸ˜€ I hastily but carefully opened the little box and squealed with delight!

Just look at this little beauty!

veil1Seriously… I love this veil. It kinda sealed the deal of reality to me. When I put it on, I heard the wedding march, and suddenly missed Russell a bunch and had to go give him kisses. I can’t wait to marry this man!

Giving in to not being able to meet my own picky requirements with my veil, really turned out to be a positive experience for me. I’m glad I gave in and let someone else take care of it. One less thing for me to worry about, and a little more time for me to spend with the Mr. πŸ™‚

Have you had a DIY gone wrong turn out oh so right? πŸ™‚

DIY – Envelopes & Liners

5 04 2009


Pattern Envelope Picture from Flickr

I am about to take on my Save the Dates, because they have to go out Friday. (Better late than never, right?) πŸ™‚

I haven’t been able to find an envelope in just the right color that I can get in quantities less than 200/250, and I only need like… 75, so I figured I would just make them. πŸ™‚ I’m not sure if there are a lot of other brides out there or not that are wanting to take this on, but this is an extremely good thing to do if you want a special envelope but don’t feel like paying shipping, don’t feel like paying an arm and a leg, or can’t find what you want!

I will update this once I am finished with our envelopes, but I thought I would share the template I made for envelopes. I have made 2 templates, and one is for an A7 (5.25×7.25) or Invitation size envelope, and the other is for an A2 (4.375×5.75) or RSVP/STD/Thank You Card envelope. I will also make liner templates for these too, but that will probably be tomorrow.

Firstly, I will show you how I made the templates.
envelope destruction

I took apart an envelope carefully and traced the edges on a flat piece of paper (8.5 x 11 paper.)

envelope tracing

I then closed it up, and traced the closed shape Β into the middle of the opened traced shape to show where the folds would be.

rough tracingI then scanned the tracing onto the computer.

A2I then made a clean version in illustrator, and wrote some directions for people who use it on the places that would be cut off so they wouldn’t have text on places that they would be using if they decide to print the template directly on paper.

envelopeThen I printed out the template I made, put that sheet of paper back into my printer and printed a light damask pattern on the side with no template so that when I put it together the template would be hidden. I cut out the template, folded it where it says to fold it, added glue to the side areas that needed to be glued, put a card inside of it, and glued down the top flap to seal it so I could address it and mail it.

This is a really cool thing because you can trace the pattern onto a piece of two sided scrapbook paper, cut it out, and fold it according to my directions, and then you have automatically lined envelopes! Or, you can print a pattern on the side without the directions so you can have patterned envelopes, etc.

The possibilities are endless!



A7 Envelope Template by Laura Grove

A2 Envelope Template by Laura Grove

A7 Liner Template by Laura Grove

A2 Liner Template by Laura Grove