Category Archives: How-To

More Miscellany

Another round up of projects completed!  First up, our card box:

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This was super easy to make.  It did take a little time, but I am happy with the way it turned out.  Unfortunately, I am a bad blogger who didn’t take any pictures of the process, but here’s a quick run-down.

DIY Cardbox
Materials needed:

3 boxes of different sizes—I bought plain cardboard boxes with removable tops from Michaels (found near the papier mache type stuff!), but you could really use anything you’ve got around the house 
Wrapping paper of various colors—try to keep a cohesive scheme, unless you’re not going for cohesive-ness, then by all means have at it!
Double sided tape
Glue gun
Cut-out letters (I bought some sparkly ones at Michael’s but you could make these, as well)

Begin by deciding the placement of your boxes.  Once you’ve done that, you will need to cut a large hole in the TOP of the bottom box and the BOTTOM of the middle box.  This is so that you have lots of room for cards to be put in the box.  You’ll also need to cut a slot for cards in the middle box.  I made a pretty wide slot to account for the wide range of cards—I know our cardbox will be well watched, so I am not worried about anyone sticking their hands in there to grab out cards (plus, I trust our guests.).  Next, wrap your individual boxes in the wrapping paper, using double sided tape so you don’t have any tape lines.  Then, using a glue gun, glue the boxes together.  Add some ribbon trim around any rough edges of wrapping (if you use boxes similar to mine, trust me, you’ll have them!).  Glue your letters on in a design you like, add some ribbon and a bow on top, and voila!  A cardbox! 

Next up, our guest book.  We went back and forth for a really long time as to what to do for a guest book, but finally decided on using a signature frame.  This seems to be really popular at weddings lately (we have gone to two weddings where this was used), but we really liked the idea.   Anyone who knows me knows that while I love design, home shows, and decorating…I feel I am kind of not good at it.  The decor of our house is something I will definitely be working on post wedding, and we thought a signature frame was a great way to add some fun artwork to our walls.  Here it is:

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I also made a little sign to go next to it:

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It says:

In lieu of a traditional guest book, please sign this signature frame.  We plan to display the artwork in our home, so that we have a constant reminder of the love and friendship you have shared by celebrating with us today.  Thank you for sharing our special day!

All that’s left to do is put out a little glass vase with some pens to go with it!  Here’s the photo we used—I like it because it’s a bit more artsy-fartsy than just a regular photo of the two of us:


And lastly:  I promised all of you a look at what our family photo table/wedding dress display will look like.  Of all the projects I’ve done, I think I love this one the most.  I think it will have a huge impact at our wedding and I am really proud of it.  Here it is:

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I had to show it as two different pictures because the display is so large.  We have over 25 photos from various family weddings and seriously?  I can’t tell you what the impact even is when you look at all of them.  It is amazing and I am so, so happy to have this at our wedding.  Here’s some close-ups:

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My mother-in-law’s dress

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My mom’s dress

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I am so, so happy with the way this turned out.  It was a lot of work and, let’s face it, a total pain in the ass sometimes, but now that it’s all together and completed, I am so glad we decided to do it.  Yay!

I’ve been feeling under the weather lately but I’m still trying my best to knock out tons of projects.  This weekend should be HUGE in terms of getting stuff done.  With any luck, I will have most everything completed!  I can’t wait to have the next two weeks to relax, do lots of yoga, and deal with any last minute things that come up. 

What are some of your favorite projects from your wedding?



Filed under Decor, How-To


*That’s “cute, yet unnecessary” in my blog lingo, kids.  Here’s another round of fun projects to add a touch of whimsy to the wedding weekend events!

First up, you’ll remember the cutesy surprise I made for my bridesmaids for the rehearsal? [BRIDESMAIDS: Don’t click!]  I had to make a cute surprise for our ring bearer and flower girl, too!

Enter, the practice pomander and ring pillow:

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Oh yes, I did.  These were easy peasy!

For the ring bearer pillow, I used a piece of styrofoam and a clear container I had leftover from random wedding gifts.  I glued a yellow ribbon around the styrofoam piece, then glued the whole thing into the clear container (to make it easier to carry!).  The last step was sticking in some lollipops!

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Eh voila, a practice ring bearer pillow:


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For the pomander, I used a styrofoam ball and some ribbon to create the pomander itself.  Next, I added some tulle flowers I whipped up using the tutorial I used for the first version of our pomanders.  Lastly, I stuck stuck stuck the lollipops and flowers all over the ball.

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And behold, a practice pomander!

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Cute, no?  I need to trim up the tulle on the pomander a bit, but overall, I am happy with how these turned out and think they’ll be fun for the kids to use at rehearsal.

Another CYU project finished this weekend?  Chair signs.  I don’t know if I have spoken about this before, but we are not having a head table at our reception.  Instead, we are sitting with our parents and our best man and maid of honor, while our bridal party and their dates will be seated at two tables flanking us on either side.  I’ll explain this more in depth later this week when I discuss our seating chart, but needless to say, since we’re sitting at a regular round table, I knew I wanted to have special signs for our chairs!  I mean, look at all this cute inspiration:

Chair Signs 1

Chair Signs 2

Chair Signs 3
(Source via Source)

I knew I wanted to take a bit more “cheeky” route than these signs though…so, after perusing some more inspiration from the blogosphere, I created these:

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Oh, what’s that?  You can’t read them?  Here you go:

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Yep, I went there!  I used the same sparkly gold cardstock as our table numbers, mounted the signs on black cardstock, and finished with a ribbon.  I LOVE the way they turned out, and think that any guest who notices will get a big kick out of them.

What fun projects did you tackle in the weeks leading up to your wedding?

*All photos, unless noted, are mine.  Did you see that I also updated my DIY page?


Filed under Decor, Gifts, How-To

Tears of Joy, Revisited

I am DYING to show you our invitations…but alas, not all of our guests have received them yet and so I am going to wait until Monday to post them.  In the meantime, I have a little confession to make:

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Remember these?  My Tears of Joy Tissue Packets?

Well, my confession is that I didn’t really like how they turned out.  And they were difficult to open because of the wrapping procedure I used…which could lead to a very loud church ceremony when our guests attempt to rip and tear the packets open.  So, I re-did them!

What was once this:

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…is now this:

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I took a cue from some other DIY brides and decided to divvy up the Kleenex packets.  Using some cellophane bags I already had on hand, I slipped two tissues into each packet.  Then I printed a logo on some sparkly paper, mounted it to cardstock, and ran them through my Xyron using repositionable adhesive.  And voila!  A new set of tissue packets was born.

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I did a BUNCH of them—enough to fill our little basket.  I hope some of our guests will use them!

I also recently finished up a project that’s been on my radar for a long time:

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A flip-flop basket!  I watched for sales and bought the flops at Michael’s for $1 each.  It didn’t take much at all to put this together, and I think it’s such a cute touch!

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What are some DIY projects you’re working on now?  For your home, your wedding?

Side Note:  I am really behind on commenting on all your blogs!  I’ve been so busy lately that I just haven’t had much time.  I promise I’m still reading, though!


Filed under How-To

Quick & Easy DIY

Alternatively titled, “What Happens When Amy Becomes Obsessed with Envelopes.”

She makes tipping envelopes!

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These are the same type of envelopes I used in our rehearsal dinner invitation suite…and I just LOVED that they came in many different colors.  So, I decided to do a quick and easy DIY and make tip envelopes.

I didn’t take pictures of each step because these are just too easy.  Design your design in Microsoft Word.  Print, attach to cardstock with spray adhesive.  Cut cardstock to fit envelopes (or buy pre-cut cardstock, if you want!).  Measure the slits to hold bills or checks (I used a $20 bill for demonstration purposes here).  Cut the slits, and you’re done!

Close-up of the design:

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(The envelope is a melon orange, not pink like it looks in the photo!)

I made six of these, two of each color combination.  We’ll be using them to distribute tips to various vendors on the wedding day!

And here’s a new photo favorite of Dr. Groomy and I, at German Fest on the lakefront here in Milwaukee a few weeks ago:

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What are some quick and easy DIY projects you’ve done?

*All photos by me.  Once again, do not use without my express written consent.


Filed under How-To, Stationery

A Gorgeous DIY Gift

The DIY project train rolls on in this neck of the woods! Today, I want to show you a really easy and heartfelt gift you could give to members of your wedding party, your readers, or anyone that has helped you along the way.  This gift would be great for any occasion, really—birthday party, shower hostess thank you, anything!

**If you are one of our readers or my personal attendant, I made these gifts for you!  To keep the surprise, please don’t read any further…THIS MEANS YOU JILL C., JORDAN, SARA & ERIN!**







Ok, I think they’re gone now!  This gift was inspired by this post on WeddingbeeYep, I made my own hand-painted wine glasses!

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The original post writer used a Cricut to make hers, but if you search around on the site, you’ll see lots more examples of hand-painted wine glasses.  Here’s my tutorial!

Start by gathering your supplies.  For this project, you will need:

Wine Glasses – I bought mine at the Dollar Store!  They are great quality and perfect for a project like this.

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Acrylic Paint – Any kind of acrylic paint will work…no need to buy special glass paint.

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Next, you’ll want to create and print your design.  I decided to do a monogram on each of the glasses.  I found a font I liked (BlackJack from, blew it up until it was a pretty large size and printed each girl’s monogram.  Cut them out.

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Next, position the monograms inside the wine glasses at the spot you’d like them, and tape in place.

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Now you’re ready to start painting!  Start by tracing the monogram with your choice of colored acrylic paint.  I used black.  Don’t worry about it if they’re not perfect the first time you paint.  It definitely takes some getting used to, but you can use water to wipe away any mistakes you first make.

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Once you have the first coat done, let them dry a bit…then you can remove the monogram from the inside of the glasses and go about painting second, third, or even fourth coats, until you’re satisfied with how they look!  I did four coats total, just to make sure the letters were nice and black.

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 061 Now you add your embellishments!  I did burgundy and gold squares as my design, because I knew they would be easy to do.  Get creative!  You could even trace a design element if you wanted to.

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 060 Once they’ve dried a bit, they’re ready for baking!  Place the wine glasses on a cookie sheet and carefully put them into a COLD oven…THEN set your oven to 350*F.  Once the oven dings that it is preheated, set the timer for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, turn the oven off, but leave the door closed and let the wine glasses sit 10 minutes more.  After that 10 minutes, open the door and let the wine glasses set there (with oven door open), until they are fully cooled.

Note:  I then used a gold leafing pen to add my gold squares to the design.  There were warnings all over the label about the gold pen that said to avoid heat, and I didn’t want it to wreck the glasses if the gold leaf was heated up…so I added that later. 

Once they’ve cooled, they’re done!  Tie a ribbon on and you’re ready to gift away! (But be sure to remind your friends that they are HAND-WASH ONLY).

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 072 We’ll be giving each of our readers/attendant their personalized wine glass, plus a nice bottle of wine for them to enjoy.  I may also try and find some cute wine charms or a wine bottle opener to go with!

I loved this project—I sort of want one of these for myself, haha!  While it was a bit time-consuming, between the painting, drying & baking (it took me about two days overall to finish these, working maybe 1.5 to 2 hrs at a time), I really love the way they turned out and I think our friends will love the hand-made aspect. This project was inexpensive as well!  I did the whole thing for about $10, including wine glasses and paint. 

What are some your DIY projects you loved?

*All photos by me.  Again, do not use without my express written consent.


Filed under Gifts, How-To

Rehearsal Dinner Centerpieces

So remember when I said I had a lot of projects to blog?  Here comes round two…I finished our rehearsal dinner centerpieces!

I decided to use tin cans and fake flowers for these centerpieces…not only to save on cost, but so that I could get them out of the way now rather than later.  Plus I think the more casual tin cans go great with our fiesta theme!

Making these was really easy.

Step 1.  Collect a lot of tin cans.

Step 2.  Soak said tin cans in a sink full of soapy water, so the labels are easy to get off.

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Step 3.  Scrape off the labels on each can—this should be pretty effortless.  If not, soak a little longer!

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Step 4.  Rinse and dry the cans.  Soon, you’ll have them stacked on the counter like this:

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Step 5.  Print your design in Microsoft Word or the program of your choice.  I went with our casual monogram (seen here, here, and here) and the words “Amy & Brad’s Rehearsal Dinner” plus the date. 

Step 6.  Measure your cans and cut the design accordingly.  Run through Xyron or use another form of adhesive.

Step 7.  Attach design to tin can!

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Step 8.  Stuff flowers.

And that’s it!  You’re left with this:



As you can see I alternated colors on the design.  I also bought both red and blue flowers…I am thinking I might rearrange so that some centerpieces are just blue and some are just red.

What is/was your rehearsal dinner like?  Did you do a lot of hands-on decorating for it? 


Filed under How-To, Rehearsal

Ring A Ding Ding

I have been working on so many wedding projects lately that I have a swarm of DIY and fun craft posts coming up!  First up, I finished our ring bearer pillow!

The ring bearer pillow is more of a formality for us—our ring bearer won’t be carrying our actual rings down the aisle (not that I don’t trust him, but come on, he’s 5!  That’s a lot of pressure!).  I still want the little mister to feel like his job is important though, and I love the idea of a ring bearer pillow.  Since we first started planning the wedding, I knew I wanted a ring bearer pillow that looked similar to this:

Ring Bearer Pillow 
Oh Martha, you get me every time!

I decided to make this project semi-DIY.  I didn’t make the pillow, but I did create my own flower and design!

I started with a pillow I bought at Michael’s on sale.  It looked like this:


I ripped off the organza ribbon, rings, and decorations (they were just hot-glued on) and had a plain pillow to work with. 


Next, I took apart two beautiful red silk roses (also bought at Michael’s).


I stacked the petals on top of each other, tweaking and arranging as I went.  The reason I used two roses was because I wanted a nice full flower.  Once I had them stacked the way I wanted, I got out my needle and some red thread, and sewed them together through the middle.


After that, it was time to add some decoration.  I was originally going to use this brooch in my hair, but I’ve decided to go in another decoration.  I love it so much though and I want it to be used, so I took the hair clip off the back of it and hot glued it to the middle of my flower.


Next, I sewed the flower on to a piece of gold ribbon that matches our colors.  I also strung the fake rings that came with the original pillow on to a second piece of gold ribbon, and created a loop, like so:


A little arranging and a little more hot glue, and I was left with this:

A ring bearer pillow!  I love it and am so happy with the way it turned out.  Ladies, I am not a seamstress—if I can make something like this, so can you.  It was so easy!  Here’s a side view:

Love.  I am so happy with it!

Are you having a ring bearer?  What will he carry?


Filed under How-To