Broke-Ass Category: Wedding Inspiration


Affiliate Disclaimer NewDIY or DIE: Easy Ink-Stained Wine Glasses

Last time, I shared some of the DIY Details of my elegant, jewel-toned wedding, so now I’m back to give you the low down on how you can make some of those projects work for you. One of the easiest (promise!) and most fun projects I tackled was turning plain, inexpensive wine glasses into gorgeous, favor-worthy works of art with alcohol ink.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Multiple colored finished glasses

Actually, I used this simple technique on a lot of cheap glass to add pops of color all around the venue. Whether it’s a vase, plate or candle holder, any solid non-porous surface (glass, plastic, ceramic or metal) will do. (Did you see the Instagram Hyperlapse video from when I was very first doing this for my votive holders?)

All you need to get yourself going is some ink in your color scheme, a stamping tool with felt squares, and a glass of your choosing. Michael’s sells these inks in pre-matched sets of three, or you can buy individual colors from the manufacturer’s website. Three seems to be the magic number when trying to achieve a blended, multi-dimensional look. Too few and the colors blend together where you don’t see distinct colors. Too many and you start seeing colors you never wanted in there. The more variation in the shades you use, the more dimension in the finished product. For demonstration purposes, I’m using the “Farmer’s Market” package with Cranberry, Eggplant and Lettuce ink.

Optional step one: find a workspace your cat won’t claim as a bathhouse.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Supplies

First, press a felt square onto your applicator tool.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Applicator and felt

I like to leave a small edge hanging. It helps getting into tricky areas like where the stem meets the base.

Apply ink to the felt.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - ink color one

I like to start with the lightest color first, as it’s the one most likely to be overpowered by other colors. In this case, I squirted the green “Lettuce” shade in a haphazard design. There’s really no wrong way to do it, but swirls, rather than straight lines, tend to give you the best mixing of colors. Just a drop will soak into a large area. You want your felt to be well-saturated, but not dripping with ink.

Add your second color.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - ink color two

Fill in any gaps with the third.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - ink color three

When working with stemmed glasses, the hardest part is where the stem meets the globe and the base. I like to start with those, using that overlapping edge to get into the joints. Simply press the felt to the glass and give it a rolling motion along the curve.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Applying ink

You’ll immediately be able to see the color distribution. If you’re looking for more of one color, go ahead and add a few more drops and try again. The color already on the glass will blend once it comes into contact with wet ink.

From there, keep using the rolling motion to cover the portion of the glass you want colored. Every time you press the felt, the colors will blend a little more on the pad. If you see distinct patches of darker colors you don’t want (the Indigo shade is the worst about this), keep pressing to blend or try adding more of one of the more subtle colors to the felt.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Applying more ink

I like the ink to taper off toward the mouth of the glass. To get the faded effect, tap (don’t roll this time!) the applicator lightly all the way around the glass at the edge of the existing ink. It will leave a clear demarcation at first, but we’ll fix that in just a minute.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Fading ink

To blend the pattern, keep tapping the applicator into the existing ink. Introducing new, wet ink will further blend what’s already there. Keep tapping until you’re satisfied with the coverage.

Real Bride Shannon Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass Tutorial - Finishing touches

The ink dries almost instantly and is water resistant, but will rub off with a little scrubbing. Using a food-safe sealant will keep those pretty colors in place!

Some tips and tricks to keep in mind before you start:

Complementary colors will blend into brown if over-mixed (like the red and green above). If you want to avoid earthy tones, stay away from combinations of purples and yellows, greens and reds, and blues and oranges and stick with red-purple-blue, like this combination of Currant (a deep purple-red), Eggplant and Indigo or other analogous colors.

Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass- Eggplant, Indigo and Currant

Be stingy with blue. This glass used Indigo, Slate and Eggplant, but the blue overpowered the gray and purple.

Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass- Indigo, Egglplant and Slate

There’s no need to change your felt between pieces if you’re not changing colors. Just like on the glass, adding more ink reactivates what’s already there.

The more ink you have on your applicator, the more smooth the blending will be, but the more defined each stamp will look. This glass was painted in Cranberry, Currant and Eggplant and you can see the large, rectangular applications of ink.

Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass- Cranberry, Currant and Eggplant

Likewise, the drier you let the felt get, the more spotty the application becomes. If you’re looking for a more “bubbly” texture, let the felt sit for about two minutes after you’ve dampened it with ink. This glass has well-defined dots of Indigo, Eggplant and Cranberry.

Alcohol Ink Stained Wine Glass- Indigo, Eggplant, Cranberry

If you’re nervous, practice on plastic! Grab a sleeve of disposable plastic tumblers and have at it! You’ll quickly learn what colors work best and what techniques give you the look you’re going for.

Don’t try to make them all look the same. It’s virtually impossible in the first place, and the true one of a kind nature of these hand painted beauties makes them special!

Above all, have fun. Whether you’re planning to use these pieces in your wedding decor or maybe just looking for an awesome DIY holiday gift, let your creativity guide you as you create something unique and gorgeous!

  • 11/19

    Real Bride Lucinda: Paper Flowers are Better (and Cheaper)I’m a lover of flowers, but there’s one thing I don’t love — the price tag associated with floral arrangements. When I started venturing into the world of wedding planning, one of the first things that jumped out at me was the exorbitant cost associated with buying flowers for a wedding — centerpieces, bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony decor … you get the idea. It also was one of the wedding expenses that I kept seeing over and over again most brides regretted spending as much as they did — ugh. Being that our wedding is a “modern French garden party” theme, finding an affordable floral solution for decorating and all of the bouquets seemed impossible at the start.

    Luckily, looking for ideas for floral alternatives online was easier than I thought. I ended up stumbling across a beautiful site, A Petal Unfolds, and was truly amazed that the flowers I saw were made out of crepe paper. Crepe paper, of all things! Here’s the thing about paper flowers: not only are they cheaper than real flowers, they won’t die and you can use them around the house for decorating after the wedding or give them to friend and family as a keepsake. No worrying about preserving your bouquet post-wedding, and no waste!

    I tried my hand at making some crepe paper flowers this weekend to see if it was something I wanted to go forward with, and was pleasantly surprised with how easy they were to put together.

    Lucinda tries her hand at crepe paper roses

    Real Bride Lucinda tests out the viability of crepe paper flowers

    Three rolls of crepe paper (pink, cream, and green) set me back only $25 and I should get several flowers out of the rolls. By my estimation, I’ll need to make 30 large blooms for our table centerpieces (three per vase, 10 tables total for the reception), so I’m looking at spending no more than $100 for table decor not including vases and  table numbers. That’s a win in my book and our bank account!

    If you’re looking to try your hand at making paper flowers, here’s some great places to get started:

    Crepe Paper Peony Tutorial – takes a lot of paper, but the blooms are large and beautiful

    Crepe Paper Rose Tutorial – this one is my fave and the tutorial I used for the pink flowers pictured in this post, we’ll probably be using these the most for our decor

    Paper Hyacinths – a little more time-consuming, but they look so real!

    Paper Ranunculus – make these in fall colors for an autumn wedding or light colors for a spring wedding, a very versatile little flower

    Painted Peonies – if you’re feeling adventurous, try dying your own crepe paper for a watercolor effect

    Giant Paper Flowers – I love how whimsical these flowers look! They may be a little too bold and distracting to use as my bouquet, but these would be an awesome decorative touch during the reception

    Of course The Broke-Ass Bride has its own treasure trove of paper flower tutorials, too.

    The crepe paper I used for my blooms is from Carte Fini — they have a wide array of colors to choose from, and the paper is a heavier weight than what you’ll find at your local craft store.  This paper is actually made for floral crafts and molds into petal shapes very well.

    You’ll also need some basic flower-making supplies, such as: good scissors, hot glue gun, wire cutters, 18-20 gauge floral wire, and floral tape. Happy flower-making!

    Have you considered paper flowers for your wedding day? What other floral alternatives have you discovered?

  • 11/17


    Things are clicking, you guys! I mentioned previously how enamored I was with Relics Vintage Rentals and what an amazing resource they were for cool, vintage décor rentals. We made an appointment a few weeks ago, and have finally started making some decision on items and I couldn't be happier seeing this coming together. The first thing we knew we wanted was chalkboards. We chose two…

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    Shaina Sheaff Photography

    I knew BAB and I were going to get along when I saw the tagline "Creativity is our Currency." Creativity is something I pride myself on, and when I can glean from the imagination of other awesome people, I'm usually set to create something truly impressive. The hand-craftedness of the majority of my decorations was something that began as a ploy to save some major…

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    Hi all, So we totally got married! Us, being all married and weird. Image credit: Matthew Haydn Jeanes And it was just the most brilliant day ever. I'm awaiting the official photographs from our photographer Stewart McPherson (who was an utter trooper and worked phenomenally hard all day long), but a few friends and family also snapped a bit on the day so I can…

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  • 10/30

    Five for Friday Winter Wedding Dresses Under $500

    Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! I've been thinking a lot about winter weddings (it's coming, after all!) and I'm totally loving the idea of gorgeous, shimmery, non-traditional gowns set against the crisp white of winter snow. Winter weddings are also a great way to save some skrilla -- it tends to be a bit of an offseason (save for the weeks around Christmas and New Years, as…

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    Real Wedding: Elizabeth & Bryce's Traditional, Romantic North Carolina Nuptials

    Photo:Jon Black Photography In my last post on sewing my wedding dress, I mentioned that I found all of the fabric I need on a recent trip to the garment district in NYC. Hooray! I would be lying, however, if I said it was an easy shopping trip and picking out the types of fabrics I wanted was a breeze. One of the biggest challenges…

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    FullSizeRender (1)

    I have to say, I’m pretty proud of how my wedding invitations turned out. I didn’t realize invitations were even something I cared about ... until I did. Here I had come up with a whole big list of priorities and not-so-importants to try and be sure that I properly focused my efforts, limited funds, and time, and suddenly I realized super late in the…

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  • 10/12

    Well, BABs, I guess I've officially entered the drama phase of wedding planning! This past weekend marked the one-year countdown to our wedding! We just so happened to have a venue visit scheduled to really start planning. When we originally visited our venue and booked our wedding it was the middle of winter so the property was covered in snow and some sites were not available…

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