Broke-Ass Tag: DIY


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I’ve always been a sucker for details. Little extras. Special additions. Something nice turns into something great with a little extra oomph and as I prepared to send out my formal wedding invitations, I needed that little something extra, so I armed myself with another calligraphy pen, some awesome vintage stamps I purchased on eBay and the sweetest little way to add an extra personal touch: the Epson LabelWorks Ribbon Printer.

calligraphy envelope and Epson LabelWorks printed ribbon

Since there was no inner envelope (hello, extra $$$) in my invitation suite, I was looking for a way to band my enclosure cards together. LabelWorks lets you choose from a buttload of fonts before you add symbols, borders and special characters. The simple script font coordinated well with our invites, but you can go as casual, fun or professional as you want with the choices!

LabelWorks Script Font

The printer works with special cartridges that combine a half-inch ribbon spool with a coordinating color foil for writing. The gold on navy went perfectly with my suite, so after inputting our names and choosing a font and border, I hit print to test it out. The characters filled up about four inches of space and the screen tells you the finished print size when you hit start, but I needed the ribbon to be long enough to wrap around the cards with room to fasten in the back. All I had to do was hit the advance button twice before and after each print before pressing the easy cut button which leaves your ribbon with a nice clean edge. I just used a little craft glue to secure the ribbon and let them dry before stuffing envelopes.

Overall, this machine is incredibly easy to use. You’ll want to grab the instruction book for your first time, but the directions are simple to find and follow. One of my favorite features is the ability to save your work if you need to take a break. Your first design is automatically saved, but if you have multiple uses for the printer, you can switch back and forth with ease!

Epson LabelWorks monitor

The cartridges are a little pricey. A $20 spool yielded 26 ribbons at about eight inches long, so in the end, I chose to wrap the ones being sent to friends and family who would appreciate the extra frill. A short Thank You ribbon for favors will go a lot farther. It may not be a super Broke-Ass way to add a little extra shine, but after hand addressing over 70 envelopes (again!), it sure felt easy, and if you’re a regular crafter like me, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Are you looking for some special personalization to your wedding? What have you tried? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 7/7

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    My wedding is 35 days away and I am officially over Pinterest. At this point in the game when I open my Pinterest app I start to experience a major case of FOMO and start to stress. “Aw aren’t those centerpieces so cute?” I say to myself. “I love that wedding favor idea! Should I change my planned hairdo and go with this trendy braided top knot?” No! Stop! It’s too late for me now! And this is why I have taken a sabbatical from Pinterest and gotten back to basics. Through my wedding planning I never figured out what I wanted to do for table numbers and since I have gone a wee over budget I was on the hunt for cheap but creative.

    Michaels answered my crafting prayers and provided me with an affordable, easy and cute answer that I had been seeking. I found these sweet unfinished wooden plaques from (ArtMinds Heart Frame) with a heart cutout for a small picture — and best of all they were just a $1! After I went to TrueValue and picked up some chalkboard paint for $5, a couple $.50 cent foam brushes and metallic gold spray paint for $4. Lastly, I ordered a few sets of  wooden numbers that I liked from Amazon for $5.36 a set (Studio Calico 10-Piece Wanderlust Wood Veneer Large Bold Numbers Embellishments).


    The unfinished $1 frame! Ignore the wood burned “1” — I had a crazy idea that I was going to wood burn all the numbers on myself. Then I came to my senses and said effffffff that.

    The process of putting them together was really quick.
    1) Spray paint the wooden numbers with metallic gold and let dry
    2) Using the foam paint brushes, paint two coats of blackboard paint on the wooden frames (blackboard paint dries pretty fast so you only need to let the first coat dry for an hour before applying the second)
    3) Once the spray paint and blackboard paint has dried, super glue the table numbers to the blank area on the frame
    4) Cut out old cute pictures of you and your love and insert into the frame
    5) DONE!

    IMG_2208 (1)

    A sample of the finished product!

    I calculated each table number to have cost roughly $2.75. Not bad! My plan is to leave some chalk on the tables in front of the frame for people to doodle or write messages. I’ve already told a couple friends at different tables so people get it. I hope everyone enjoys my fun, function (and frugal) table numbers.

  • 6/30

    Photo by Andie Freeman Photography

    Name: Jessica Knowles and Andrew Long Occupation: Jessica - Sales and Marketing Manager for Housing Company; Andrew - Landscape Designer Wedding location: Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club, Macon, Georgia Wedding Date: May 16, 2015 Budget: Around $15,000. The amounts below add up to around $20,000, however my parents paid about $15K, I paid for photography, hair/makeup and rings. Groom's family paid for his tux and…

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    Being a crafty lady I wanted to do something fun and different for my escort cards. My wedding theme is basically summed up in five words: Vintage Victorian Lace and Burlap which goes nicely with our venue. We are getting married in a Victorian-style historic home that is decorated with fireplaces, beautiful pastels and intricate crown molding. In keeping with the vintage theme I found some really…

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    Yeah ... don't even think about it.  Photo by Cakes and Kisses As you get closer to the end of the aisle, one question starts to overwhelm all the others: "How the heck are we going to get all this stuff over there?? The favors, your escort cards, your wedding dress. Maybe you scored and you can bring in your own alcohol. Maybe you wanted to…

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  • 6/3

    We're a few months out from our wedding. So now it's time to dabble with some of the fun stuff, before we go crazy with seating plans and RSVPs and fittings (oh my). What fun things? Why, let me explain ... 1) Words, words, words At the moment I have a file as long as my arm full of poignant speeches, readings and poems. I…

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    We have talked a few times about saving money on your bar by cutting down to beer, wine and a signature drink. And sure, your signature drink could very well be whatever you and your beloved love to throw back from time to time (moi? Old fashioneds, all the way), or you can get all kinds of creative and make up an easy big-batch cocktail…

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    Shannon Calligraphy

    As I and many of my fellow Real Brides will tell you, DIY is a great way to save some dollars. IF you're crafty. IF you know where to get supplies on the cheap. IF you've got buttloads of free time. I tossed around the idea of designing my own save the dates, but when MagnetStreet was running a great sale (and they do that…

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