Broke-Ass Category: Event Design & Reception Decor

3/3

Affiliate Disclaimer NewPlace card holders are a great way to dress up a place setting, but if your guest list is more than, uh, 20, it can quickly add. But creating your own diamond place card holders out of cement makes for a unique aesthetic. This simple DIY combines a couple of my favorite trends — the industrial-chic look and modern, geometric shapes. Bonus: They’re a functional gift once they’ve served their wedding purpose.

DSC_5962

There’s plenty of down time while the cement dries, so you can pop out a few sets over a couple of weekends without it feeling like a ton of work!

Here’s what you’ll need:

A silicone gem ice tray mold (This 3-pack will make 33 at a time for $8.99 from Amazon)

Heavy beading wire (16 gauge) and something to wrap it around (the handle on a sponge brush is perf)

Cement, concrete or plaster*

A mixing bowl that you never, ever plan on putting food in again

A piping bag (or zipper top bag with a corner snipped off)

Your choice of metallic paint (optional, of course!)

*A word on cement vs. concrete: cement is a superfine powder that when mixed with water creates a clay-like texture and casts a smooth shape. Concrete is essentially cement mixed with sand which has a slightly rough texture when dry. Either are suitable for this project, but for the demonstration I’m using TXI Type N Portland cement.

How to:

Make your life easier by starting with the wire coils that will eventually hold cards or pictures. Cut a 4″ length of the wire, then wrap it around your brush handle twice (trying to wrap as closely as possible).

cement diamond place card holders wire wrap

You should have a short “tail” to stick in your cement. Set those aside and save them for later.

Next, mix your cement. Your bag/box should have a ratio of powder to water, but hear me when I say this is only a guideline! Put the powder in your bowl, then add small splashes of water, stirring each time until it’s incorporated and you have a nice, smooth mixture.

cement diamond place card holders mix 1

You’re looking for your cement to be near the consistency of peanut butter. If you get it too thin, just sprinkle in a bit more powdered cement.

cement diamond place card holders mix 3

Once you’ve gotten a good consistency, load up that piping bag and snip off a small corner.

cement diamond place card holders piping bag

Make sure to twist the open end to keep everything coming out of the right side and pipe into the gem mold. This alone won’t fill the molds, so tap the entire plate on the ground or a countertop to help get air bubbles out. You’ll see your mixture settle and the surface get smooth.

cement diamond place card holders fill

Before filling them the rest of the way up, give the “points” on the bottom of the mold a few pinches. This makes sure the cement gets all the way into the bottom and doesn’t leave you with a bubble. Fill the molds the rest of the way and give them several gentle taps to work out larger air bubbles. If you continue to see bubbles rising to the surface, keep tapping.

cement diamond place card holders full

Once your mold is full, pop in your wires, titling them to one side. If they rest on the edge of the top opening, your finished product will be at a good angle to hold your card. Now we wait! Give them about 12 hours to firm up.

cement diamond place card holders set

Once they’re dry, simply push up from the bottom and they come right out!

cement diamond place card holders push

From here, it’s your choice if you want to sand the edges, give it some paint (I love the gold leaf dripped look) or leave it as is. Every piece will have its own unique characteristics and can be used for place settings, buffet descriptions or to hold your favorite Instax shots!

cement diamond place card holders gold

How will you use these little gems? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 1/31

    My Pinterest board is filled to the brim with ideas. I’ve considered everything from building an altar from used pallet boards to growing my own rose garden and assembling the bridal bouquet. It’s time for an intervention!

    I’ve known for years, well before I was officially engaged that I would be a “do it yourself” bride. Not just because of the cost savings but also because I am a crafty person — or at least I would like to think that I am. I just love the personal satisfaction of seeing an idea become a reality. My only challenge is that creating over 20 centerpieces for the best day of my life might be a bit more time consuming than the seasonal centerpieces that adorn my dining room table. With that being said and considering that I claim to be a time management guru, constantly on the hunt to find my balance, it’s basically required that I find the time to master all of my wedding DIY projects.

    What’s the fun in doing it alone? There isn’t any, so I decided to reach out to my bridesmaids and host a party! Below are 4 tips to assembling your gal pals for a low cost and productive crafting session.

    Tip 1: Plan in advance. I can appreciate that the favorite ladies in my life are movers and shakers. I decided in November 2016 after several conversations trying to explain my wedding vision that it would be best to corral everyone in the same space and share all of the updates while tying bows and spray painting.  I created a GroupMe event with the date, time and location information for the January 2017 party. You should have seen the look on my face when my Matron of Honor who lives in Austin, flew to Atlanta and surprised me for the weekend. I guess that the pre-planning worked in my favor!

    Real Bride Ciji's Matron of Honor

    My Matron of Honor is the best!

    Tip 2: Be prepared, yet flexible. I have a general idea of how I want the wedding day to look and feel however I haven’t vetted every single idea and that’s OK. When I created the original plan for the day, I thought that we would spray paint over 200 vases. Well in order to do that I needed to confirm if we will have candles or flowers in the vases, what color should we spray paint them and where would we paint them considering that it was 30 degrees outside. So at the last minute I aborted that plan and decided we should de-label some wine bottles and focus on jazzing up the invitations. We didn’t finish every project but it was fun to brainstorm with my bridesmaids and they helped me firm up a lot of the ideas that were floating in my head.

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Project

    Soak, apply Goo Gone, rinse, polish and repeat.

    Tip 3: Snacks and drinks are a must. What type of host would I be if I didn’t have something for us to munch on and drink while we viewed “making a bow” Youtube videos? I invited everyone to come over after lunch but before traditional dinner hours, so I prepared a Crockpot queso dip and ensured that we had plenty of wine and ingredients for cocktails.

    Tip 4: Maximize the time! We didn’t finish every project and that’s OK. The best part about the day was hanging out with my friends! My Matron of Honor was able to meet one of the other bridesmaids for the first time, we spent quality time together catching up and swapping stories, we squeezed in some planning time for the rehearsal lunch and bridal shower and most importantly we were able to just hang out and enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment.

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Team

    The Dream Team!

    Do you have some big DIY plans? How are you going to wrangle your team to help? Share in the comments!

  • 1/10

    dinnercenter3

    I mentioned a while ago that we planned to use fake flowers when it came time for bouquets, bouts, corsages and decor. So that's what we did. Other than my bouquet, every other piece of flowery goodness was made with artificial flowers, and we were insanely happy with how they all turned out. We had two separate seating areas since dinner was outdoors, and dancing…

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    12/20

    RR-31

    Our wedding was the best day ever, so naturally we wanted some really fun ways to remember it. I talked about my way too expensive Instax guestbook a while back, and while it did cost a pretty penny, I am SO glad we ended up doing it. I am obsessed. There was a time when we had no idea where the guestbook was going to…

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    12/6

    cake

    On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing?…

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  • 11/16

    20161106_152338

    I have always planned on having different centerpieces at each table. I saw a photo of another bride’s wedding that had her escort cards as little ticket stubs with each person’s name on one side and the name of their table on each. I completely fell in love with the idea. Unfortunately, the Etsy seller who made her cards no longer makes them. I found…

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    9/13

    DIY or DIE arbor decoration

    We love a good paper project, especially when that project can easily, beautifully and affordably replace a more expensive floral decoration. We're huge fans of paper flowers as a broke-ass decor option, but that's far from the only paper decoration option. For this project, made with the Cricut Explore Air machine for Cricut’s Wedding Campaign, “It’s Your Story, Make It Personal,” I found a beautiful lacy doily design…

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    8/31

    confettipopper

    They add up! I mean when you buy things, they accumulate. Math was never my strong suit, but that is an easy one ... and holy shit. It's adding up. With under a month to go until our wedding, the time has come to concentrate on the little details. My mom and I collaborated on a giant list (109 items!) of stuff we need to…

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  • 8/23

    agate geode DIY display

    If you're anything like me, you've been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that's why I'm hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod…

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