Broke-Ass Category: DIY & Handmade Weddings

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!

  • 2/27

    20170207_171519

    Hair trial

    I have reached a weird point in my wedding planning. It’s March, and all of the boxes are basically checked. Venue, check. Dress, yep. Hair trial, been there. Vendors, nailed it. It’s basically empty nest syndrome for wedding planning.

    I keep glancing over my shoulder and looking around expecting some giant forgotten thing to come knock me on my ass. All you ever hear are horror stories about planning a wedding — how super stressful and nerve wracking it is. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some stressful, hair-pulling, tantrum-throwing moments in this whole planning business that have kicked my butt. But, my wedding is not until September and I’m pretty much done. All the things that are left to do are smaller decoration type things.

    So … now what?

    Yeah sure, I still have to make all of the wedding paper things like the program, escort cards, and possibly menus. The centerpieces still need to be finished, and some of the bases need another coat of paint. That will have to wait for warmer weather. The bridesmaids have to pick and order their dresses at the end of this month. I have my wedding dress alteration appointment at the end of March also. I have finally nailed down a officiant, the last giant outstanding item that I was stressing over.

    20170210_170320

    Wooden Roundabout Centerpiece

    I’m still working on the problem of Michael and I living in completely different states. Short of standing on a rooftop with a stack of resumes and a giant fan, I’m doing all I can to hunt down a job. I don’t want to start a large-scale project like making the programs, cards or the rest of the centerpieces and then suddenly get uprooted. I keep reminding myself that they are one more thing to pack. Any new projects I start, I make sure that they are easily stored flat or that they rate a place to live at my mom’s house until the wedding. A few days ago I casually assembled a roundabout and a ferris wheel while I was home sick with a fever. They both fit happily in a shoebox so they can go live with mom.

    20170210_201035

    Wooden Ferris Wheel Centerpiece

    I keep getting filled with the desire to tackle some large item only to realize there isn’t anything large left. I wonder if this is normal.

    Are any of you other brides experiencing this empty nest problem?

  • 1/31

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Project

    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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    1/9

    13768276_1718255775095750_1633439738_n(1)

    As I mentioned in my first post, I've planned to make my own wedding cake. I realize this is not an easy undertaking, and have been warned by multiple friends that this could add additional stress to my wedding day. DIYing is awesome, but making a cake is something you have to do basically the day before and can end in multiple disasters. However, I…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 8/10

    Real Bride Lucinda married Chris under sunny skies and amidst a gorgeous northern Massachusetts backdrop in a classic wedding celebration. After DIYing some seriously huge aspects of her wedding -- including her wedding dress, veil, signage and paper flowers for decor -- the couple celebrated with family and friends while the talented Maria Burton Photography captured their day. In a typically super expensive wedding market (about $40K on…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!