Posts in the 'DIY' Category

Winning Wednesday: Glam Up Your Wedding withThe Rustic Wedding Handbook

Rustic weddings are gorgeous. Duh. There’s a pretty whimsical feel to them that helps make your wedding day a little extra special and romantical. And they tend to be pretty DIY-heavy, which adds a great personalized touch.

Maggie Lord, the schamazing mastermind behind Rustic Wedding Chic is kinda sorta the guru of rustic weddings. Remember when she did this rockin’ tutorial for us? Welp, that’s just one of many many beautiful how-tos. In her book, “The Rustic Wedding Handbook,” she shares even more how-to goodness, plus she gives some great tips and ideas on how to style your own rustic wedding.

Winning Wednesday Glam Up Your Wedding with The Rustic Wedding Handbook

And, of course, she wants to share with you, BABs! Get yourself in on the game by completing each task below to earn entries to win “The Rustic Wedding Handbook!”

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Real Bride Tiffany: Chalk This Up as a DIY FTW!

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One of the few wedding trends I embrace is chalkboards. Mostly because they complement our space really well; otherwise I would’ve shunned them like I do everything else. I originally liked the look of stained wood signs, but with our venue remodel we are now surrounded by a lot of awesome reclaimed wood. Which led to the official chalkboarding decision.

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Colorful chalk monogram from Green Wedding Shoes. Chalk wedding program from Style Me Pretty. And my own photo of the glorious reclaimed wood in our remodeled venue.

Once again, using my exceptional (and excessive) online shopping skills, I quickly came to the conclusion that holy sheesh sandwich-board chalkboards are NOT budget friendly. BUT WAIT. My mom is crafty! She used to toll paint in the ’90s! She hand-saws and everything! We could totally do this.

I reserved a weekend with her (because that is what I have to do so my other sisters don’t snatch her up) and sent her a few options for our DIYing. A simple one, and one that was a little more jazzy. The Friday prior to our DIY weekend extravaganza, mom went to Home Depot to get supplies so we would be ready to go. My youngest sister’s boyfriend, Logan, accompanied her and very carefully helped her choose all of the supplies we would need for the weekend.

And what happens next 1) proves that he is awesome and 2) saved mom and I a TON of time and stress.

You guys, he built them all by himself.

At first I thought, “well shoot there goes my DIYing.” And then I remembered that I’m not really good at DIYing and became totally thankful for Logan’s entire existence.

He didn’t just build one — he built four, as not to waste any supplies. My picture does not even do them justice, but we ended up with two large sandwich-style chalkboards and two small ones all for approximately $120, aka nearly the price of one of these bad boys on Etsy (yes, it would have been cheaper if we had used reclaimed would but ain’t no one got time for that).

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I am really bad at that whole “bloggers taking pictures of everything” thing. But this is his final masterpiece.

So my advice to you — not-so-DIY brides-to-be — make sure there is a handyman in the family willing to take on these projects for you. So you can tend to more important things such as jewelry shopping!

Now who wants to come hand-letter these for me? Anyone? Bueller?

Winning Wednesday: Toast To Love with Darby Smart’s DIY Etched Champagne Flutes

We’ve talked about my DIY skillz before (read: they don’t exist). If I were set out into the wild of crafting land (Michael’s), I’d have no freaking clue where to start, what kind of goodies to get, etc. I mean, it’s very likely I’d get caught in a vortex of “Oooh! Shiny!” and “Lookit all the pretty coooolllloooorrrrsssss!!!” and I’d walk out with paint and glitter and nothing to affix them to.

So, naturally, when I discovered Darby Smart and their very no-nonsense “We’ll send you all the shit, and instructions, and you just have to sit down and DO IT” approach to DIY and crafting, I was totally intrigued. Because I like making things and showing them off, but I kind of really need cut-and-dry instructions and no wiggle room to mess it up. Though, it’s very likely I will still find a way *foreshadowing*. And then looking at Darby Smart‘s website, and ogling at all the things I could actually like, do, the world very quickly became my wannabe-crafty-DIY oyster. Really, they got me hook, line and sinker with the animal figurines affixed to … anything.

So, of course, I hollered at them, and they happily agreed to send me a kit. I really wanted the Champagne flutes — they have two kits for Champagne flutes, and I didn’t really care which one, I just knew I needed to have them. A few days later, an adorably turquoise-and-chevron box arrived on my doorstep.

And then it sat on my table, and then under my table for a while. Because you guys, DIY is intimidating.

Until this past Sunday. That handsome guy of mine had to go into work for a while and I was kind of binged-out on Netflix and it was a fairly sunny day, so the light in our living room was awesome and my workspace was calling to me. So I poured some wine and got to work (yes, it was past noon, and no, DIY can’t be done without alcohol in the circles I run in).

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Much to my surprise — though it shouldn’t have been, because the instructions were like, stoopid-simple — it was easy. 

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1. Tape off design you want — the kit comes with stickers (shown on the “Drink” flute) and I used electrical tape for my own stripey design. I also taped off the top part of the glass where lips were to touch it, because I have this super weird thing about texture and the texture of etching makes my teeth hurt.

2. Slather on the etching glue. No, seriously, lube that baby up. Protip: Brush all in the same direction to give a smoother appearance. And watch out for clumpage, because that’ll also make it look, well, clumpy.

3. Let dry. Wait. Drink wine.

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4. Rinse with warm water. You’ll want to make sure all that clumpage I talked about rinses off.

5. Untape. De-sticker. Revel in your masterpiece.

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OK, so maybe they’re not some grand masterpiece (maybe I should have just etched the inside of the letters instead of the whole thing) but they’re still pretty freaking rad. And now I have Champagne flutes! Certainly those ladies with more DIY skillz than me will be able to conjure up some baller designs.

Oh, and hey, BABs, you can totes get in on this, because Darby Smart is giving away one of these Etched Champagne Flute kits!

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As per usual, each task earns an entry. Open to US residents only (sorry loves!) Good luck, BABs!

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Real Wedding: Courtney and Carli’s Sentimental, Intimate, Barn Loft Nuptials

You guys, ever since one of the brides, then the photographer, made contact with me about featuring this wedding, I was dying for the whole thing to land in my inbox. I knew it was a story full of love, but I didn’t know all the deets nor had I seen any photos yet … but I just knew it was one that would tug at my heart strings. And oh man … You can actually feel the love emanating from the words and pics. The wedding was held at 11 a.m. in the loft of the barn where one of the brides had ridden horses prior to their move to South Africa. Their sweet pup, Kobane, even joined Courtney and Carli — bedecked in a bow tie and all — for the reception. As conservationists, the brides had their wedding bands made from recycled silver and formed to resemble budding twigs. All of the decor was reminiscent of their relationship through the years, or was an actual piece of their history! So sit back, relax and enjoy all the love from this gorgeous Canadian wedding!

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Names: Courtney & Carli le Roux

Occupation: Conservationists

Wedding location: Rockwood Park Stables, New Brunswick, Canada

Wedding Date: 24 May 2014

Budget: $2500 CAD (~$2,305 USD)

How would you describe your wedding: A very intimate, quiet and special day full of small touches that are “us”; from the suitcase of letters we’ve sent each other, to books bound in twine that we’ve shared, hand written menu cards and an “our story” board.

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What was your favorite part of your wedding? We loved how intimate it was, and how every tiny element held meaning. Exchanging vows was the favourite part, because we wrote them in the same room at midnight the night before we were married, but didn’t get to read each other’s.

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What did you splurge on? Our photographer. Photos of the day are absolutely beautiful and we are a bit panicked even at the thought that we nearly didn’t have them.

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What did you save on? Food, venue, dresses, decor and rings. We self-catered everything in a brunch-style buffet. Our venue was the hay loft of the barn where one of the brides rides and was loaned to us for free, so long as we cleaned it out and set it up. We managed to find an off-the-rack dress that was not only 50% off, but fit one of us perfectly, and the other was handmade by Courtney’s mother. The décor was all handmade and items that we already owned – from old suitcases and books tied in twine, to an old typewriter and vintage camera with case, and we made our archway out of branches that had been broken in a recent winter ice storm. We used old tables that were already in the barn and covered them with inexpensive linen, and used items and dishes that we already had to decorate them. Our rings were handmade and found on Etsy, and were given to us as a gift by Courtney’s sister, Alishia-Marie.

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Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? We are really happy with how everything went together, but we really shouldn’t have spent so much time and energy worrying about the food. We stressed ourselves out about it and on the day, there was no need – we had far more than enough, and everyone who attended would have been fine even if there hadn’t been. The day was about us, not the food, the decorations, the dresses.

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What was your biggest challenge in planning? We planned everything in less than two months, and initially we hadn’t intended to use the hay loft and so trying to find a venue in such short notice was a bit stressful, until we were offered the loft. If you can, use a location that doesn’t require much decorating, and something that family or friends own – a nice, big yard, a cottage, a beach – it will save so much time and money.

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What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Whatever happens doesn’t matter – the day is about you as a couple, and nothing else. Anyone at your wedding will understand that. Relax. It isn’t actually as serious as it’s made out to be – the commitment you are making is, but the day itself isn’t. And have fun! The things that go “wrong” make wonderful stories.

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What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

1 – How intimate and personal it was.
2 – That everything in the room had some kind of meaning to us.
3 – That the place we got married at had so much meaning for us.
4 – I had a surprise FaceTime call from one of my closest friends, who was unable to attend because she is living in Korea.
5 – The ceremony itself. We rewrote the template ceremony given to us by our officiant, and it made it so much more special.

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Top 5 least favorite? We can honestly say that we have nothing to fill in here, other than we wish certain people had been able to make it.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? Have favours! Print programs! You need this … You need that …
Basically, people forgetting that the wedding was ours and ours alone, and that we were free to do whatever we pleased.

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The best? Just enjoy it, and it’s about you. When we would get stressed out or worked up about something that really didn’t matter on the day, we were reminded of that fact. That all that mattered was us, and that we were happy.

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Any other bits of wisdom? We know that so many people say it, but it really is not worth the stress. All that matters is that that paper gets signed – everything else is just for fun.

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Budget breakdown?
$1000 Photogtapher Alicia Robichaud of www.arfoto.ca
$350 Dress for Carli, that needed no alterations
$75 Fabric for Courtney’s dress, hand mande by my mother
$250 Food, self-catered (and delicious!)
$275 Officiant
$100 Marriage License
$100 Hair for both of us
$100 misc DIY decoration supplies, linen, dish and chair rentals, etc.
$250 Wedding shoes, which were riding boots that are still being worn by both of us
$225 for both recycled silver wedding bands, given to us as a wedding gift.
$2500 Total

Congratulations, ladies!

Do you have  a wedding you’d like to submit? Email info@brokeassbride.com for details. 

Real Wedding: Donna and Larry’s Kick-Ass, Family-Centric Kentucky Wedding on a Cliff

You guys, did you know that the unofficial state slogan of Kentucky is “Kentucky Kicks Ass”? Welp, now you do. And this real wedding (geez, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve had one of these hasn’t it?) does just that. The ceremony was held on a cliff, in Kentucky, and was full of family and love and general creativity. This is one broke-ass, kick-ass wedding for the books … and check out that sunset!

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Names: Donna and Larry Roseberry
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Wedding location: Pine Crest Camp Lodge, Beattyville, Kentucky
Wedding Date: 4/12/2014
Budget:* $3,500
How would you describe your wedding: Nontraditional with many ancient Celtic traditional elements such as a ring warming, hand fasting, and prayer circle. Our vows were ancient Pagan/ Celtic vows that spoke to us in a deeply spiritual way.

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What was your favorite part of your wedding? My sweet husband is a musician. He wrote a song especially for our wedding day and sang it to me during the ceremony while playing the guitar as well.

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What did you splurge on? Catering. We found a local couple who prepared a delicious dinner which included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, slaw, rolls, biscuits, tea and lemonade. They charged us around $ 650 but completely worth it.

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What did you save on? We used many found items collected during previous trips in our wedding. Our cake topper and table decorations were made from pinecones we collected on hikes. Our toasting glasses were souvenirs from a wine tasting we attended the week we were engaged. Many of our decorations were items we already had at home such a family pictures, we even took our favorite picture off the wall to include! Friends and family donated burlap, quilts, baskets, etc. We waited for items at Hobby Lobby to go on sale at half price and then purchased them. DJ and Videographer were free. We also saved money by hosting both the wedding and reception at the same lodge. We rented the entire 10 acre property all weekend for $950. After guests paid for their rooms, our cost was only $650. This included 2 nights’ accommodations, reception, hay bales, 2 kitchens, campfire, and an atmosphere that is unrivaled!

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Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have decorated with more inexpensive grocery store flowers. We placed spring blooms in old wine bottles, soda bottles and mason jars. It turned out to be one of my favorite, easiest and least expensive touches.

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What was your biggest challenge in planning? Putting together a wedding 5 hours away from the destination took more time and planning than I expected. The mere task of transporting everything to the Lodge was quite a task!

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What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Don’t buy into the idea that you have to make your wedding look like Pinterest! Make it your own and you won’t regret it.

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What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding? All four of our children were part of our wedding party, and my oldest son walked me down the wooded path to the ceremony site. Instead of a guest book, we took pictures of the surrounding area on previous trips, printed them on card stock and cut them out like postcards. We then asked guest to write us a note filled with advice or well wishes and had guests place the “postcards” in an old donated and rescued mailbox.

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Larry cut two saplings from the property and placed them in old moonshine jugs, once they were standing upright, we strung twine between the two tress and clipped old family wedding pictures to the “clothesline” with clothespins. Our cake topper was fashioned from pinecones we collected on previous hikes.Our wedding ceremony included ancient Celtic vows, a ring warming and a hand fasting. My father gave a prayer of blessing while our parents, children and ourselves held hands in a circle of love. Instead of buying a lot of decorations, we rented them from a local wedding planner … it was a win for everyone! A friend of ours donated 2 gallons of homemade strawberry wine. We placed it in a big Mason jar decanter and labeled it “smooch hooch” — guests were encouraged to have a sip before or after the ceremony.

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Anyone lucky enough to get a kiss from someone could ring the bell located at the “smooch hooch” table in celebration! Our exit song was “I’m Gonna Be (500miles)” by the Proclaimers, so when the music started, the kids, Larry and I just began to dance in celebration! Soon, everyone joined in the dancing and celebrating … right there on the cliff!

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Top 5 least favorite? Worrying about weather in an outdoor wedding is stressful. Although we didn’t need it, I wish I’d had a better back up plan. I had some issues getting the bust of my dress to fit correctly, and right before the ceremony, our officiate had to help me fashion a makeshift fastener to fix the dress! The day went by SO FAST! I wish I could have stopped time and enjoyed every second.

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What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? My mom told me I shouldn’t wear white because it was my second wedding. I just smiled and bought that pretty white dress anyway.

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The best? As long as you, your partner, the officiant, witnesses, and marriage license show up: everything else is fluff! Make the day your own! Be quirky! Have fun!

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Any other bits of wisdom? Keeping our wedding small and intimate was one of the best decisions we made. We enjoyed every person in attendance, the love was overwhelming, and the budget manageable.

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Budget breakdown?*
Dress and alterations: $360 (bought the dress off the Budget rack at David’s Bridal)

Groom’s suit: $115 (On sale at Kohl’s)

Bride accessories: $85 David’s Bridal

Officiant, Bride and Groom Flowers, Photography, Cake, Cupcakes, photography package through a FANTASTIC couple who run a wedding service called My Tiny Wedding: $930

Family and ceremony flowers $72 from local couple who run a small shop, Beattyville Horton’s Florist

Decorating rentals (lanterns, table runners, wooden slabs, candles): $122 , Simple to Elegant

Venue: Pine Crest Camp Lodge.

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Catering: $650 included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, slaw, rolls, biscuits, tea and lemonade. Provided by a local couple referred to us by the lodge owners, Everett Marshal

Beer/ Wine: $100, Sam’s Club

Invitations: $15, Sam’s Club

Programs, postcards: made ourselves at home: free

Favors: we purchased personalized honey pots and decks of cards using a coupon from David’s Bridal we received after purchasing the wedding gown. $75

Decorations: $100, Hobby Lobby

DJ: Free – donated by a friend

Videography: Free – donated by a friend

Cake topper: free –my daughter made them from pinecones we collected on a hike

Hair and makeup: Free – from a friend.

Total: $ 3225

Do you have a wedding you’d like to submit? Email info@brokeassbride.com for details!

Bloominous Makes a DIY-er Out of Even the Most Brown of Thumbs

*Brought to you by our friends at Bloominous*

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Flowers. I like ‘em. They sure look and smell pretty. I didn’t have them at my first wedding. But the logistics of that (budget, especially) were kind of a nightmare. I know a lot of BABs tend to opt out, or opt for less, due to budget constraints. And to that end, florists tend to be out of a broke-ass’s price range while DIY takes up too much time to make it worthwhile.

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Which is why, when I found out about Bloominous, I shrieked in broke-ass delight! Here was an opportunity to not only try my  hand at DIY, but try my brown thumb-riddled hand at floral DIY. I mean, I — me — this girl right here who once killed a cactus (true story) could actually work with flowers, making them pretty and arranged … and I wouldn’t even have to worry about the long-term care! Bloominous has an in-house florist in charge of curating the directions and designing the overall aesthetic.

Of the four collections, the Bohemian Desert spoke to me the most (color!!!). I made my pick, and sat back and relaxed. A couple days later, a large box arrived on my doorstep and I got prepared (read: beer) to get my hands dirty. But, since the flowers come cut-to-order, trimmed and de-thorned, there wasn’t really much dirty to get.

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The first step is to get a big ol’ bucket — or similar vessel (I used a trash can) — of water and dump some flower food in there. Then you cut the stems and make sure there are no leaves that might get drowned when you let the flowers rehydrate (4-12 hours, the longer, the better). I let mine sit overnight so they could drink up all the waters!

Just draining in the sink, like a BOSS.

Just draining in the sink, like a BOSS.

Once the flowers are all boozy from libation, organize and lay out the stems in front of you, based on which project you’re going to tackle first. Lucky for people like me who are pretty flora-dumb, there are great photos and illustrations to go along with each stem and step.

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Metro Kitty judges my DIY skillz.

Arrange the bouquet, centerpiece or boutonnière based on the instructions. I mean, it’s really easy at this point. The Bohemian Desert collection features a succulent that has to be stuck with pins and wrapped with floral tape to attach it to a dowel and then shoved in the bouquet, which was the most complicated part for my clumsy little hobbit hands. And even that was easy. Of course being the picky, indecisive Libra I am, I rearranged the bouquet and centerpiece about 30 times until I was satisfied that there was balance.

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I didn’t trim the stems because, well, I’m lazy. I call this look “lazy chic.”

I love that the bouquet came with the pearl-topped pins, which always remind me of buttons on the back of a wedding dress and harken to a v. special wedding-y kind of elegance. I was also impressed with the vessel for the centerpiece, as it was a simple black plastic vase, but was dipped or painted in gold for an added oomph. Because, you guys, it’s in the details!

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All the color! And I did it mah-self!

Here’s the thing, you guys. This whole process was simple enough that I’m tempted to order a centerpiece once every couple of months just to have in my house. I know, for a fact, that my next wedding (not that I have a ring … yet) will be using something by Bloominous. The customer service was phenomenal and it actually gave me a sense of confidence in a DIY area that was hugely overwhelming for me. Plus, a little birdie told me that they’ll be adding two new collections soon … and those may just have to adorn various surfaces in my casa! And since you avoid the whole 300% markup deal that comes with using a florist, it’s super budget-friendly ($5 boutonnières, $40 centerpieces, $50 bouquets).

PSSSTT: Stay tuned between now and May for a special deals and news from Bloominous!

 

DIY or Die: Sparkilify Yo’ Wedding Shoes!

Based on the number of sparkly shoe pins on Pinterest wedding boards, a lot of you guys are interested in dancing the night away in some sweet disco ball kicks. Unfortunately, some of those babies can cost you multiple thousands of dollars because shoe manufacturers enjoy taking refreshing swims in pools of your tears. Today, we take the power back!

Here’s how:
I demonstrated on a pair of Converse as they had excitingly sparkly sides but boring toe caps, and as a person with child-size, hoof-like feet, my pants tend to cover up the majority of the shoe other than the toe cap, so clearly said toe caps needed to be kicked up a notch, namely to “Super-sparkle-unicorn-fart-SHAZAM” levels, but you can use this method on anything that’s not currently alive. Take the item you want to funkify, and clean it until  there’s no more dirt and grime or gross buildup. Rubbing alcohol works magic on white shoes. Get some Gem-Tac or E-6000 (both work well, but the E-6000 is super stinky so I prefer Gem-Tac), a china marker, and an approximate buttload of flat-back rhinestones in the color of your choice. You’ll want to make sure you’re buying glass rhinestones rather than acrylic–even though glass is more expensive, it’s also more reflective and plastic will get scuffed up easily and look cheap, rendering your item ugly and your time wasted. Get more than you think you’ll need; you can calculate the approximate amount you’ll need here. A rule of thumb for crystal estimation–to fill a square inch of space with an 7ss stone, you’ll need 144 crystals. To replicate the sparkliest of shoes, you’ll need somewhere in the realm of 30 gross (or more!), which is why I suggest buying them all at once from an online store that gives you bulk pricing, because the small packets in the retail craft stores are a total rip. To take a shoe from plain to drag superstar isn’t cheap–prepare to spend around $100 on rhinestones…but it’s still significantly cheaper than a pair of Louboutins! You can use whatever size rhinestones you want. The smaller the stone, the more more sparklicious impact the project will have and the more luxe it will look, but bear in mind it will be fussier and require many many more stones per square inch, driving up your costs in time and materials. I used SS16 (4mm)on this project, for example, but on something smaller like a cell phone, I’d want to use a smaller stone.  Spread some Gem-Tac on the area you intend to cover (it’s easier to work a bit at a time than covering the whole surface with glue, because it dries relatively quickly.) and pick up and place the rhinestones with the tip of the china marker. You can use tweezers instead if you’re a fan of frustration, I won’t judge. Rinse and repeat until you’re done. Once you’ve let the glue dry, you’ve got a piece of eye-searing sunshine on your hands. Take that, manufacturers of overly-expensive shoes!

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BLAM. Sparkle time!

You can create a more high-fashion look by mixing a variety of stone sizes like I did on the lenses of my gaga-esque sunglasses. Just place the stones randomly in a way that looks good to you, working one small area at a time. It’s ok if there are small gaps, the glue dries clear, and if it bothers you, you can always put a tiny stone in the gap later.

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Use this power wisely. Or go nuts! But when everything you own is covered in rhinestones, don’t say I didn’t use the word “moderation”, because I did, just now.

BONUS: If you’re looking to make a pair of wedding fauxboutins, you’ll want to get your red sole in place before doing any crystal work.  Here’s how you do that:

*Carefully tape off all the areas on the shoe that you don’t want to be red. Don’t skimp on the tape, buy the best stuff you can find as your edges need to be crisp to look right. If you’re taping on lace, I’d recommend wrapping the shoe in cling wrap and then taping over that so you don’t risk damage to the fabric from the tape, because even delicate surface tape is intended for tougher stuff than lace.

*Prime the sole with a multipurpose primer. Aerosol primers and paints are great but make sure you have covered every single surface on the shoe you don’t want painted or you’ll be very upset.

*Paint the soles the red of your choice. You can use spray paint, house paint, auto paint…the original runway Louboutins were done with red nail polish! Keep your coats thin and even, with a minimal amount of brushstrokes for the best results. If you want to coordinate further, go with an orange based red if your wedding incorporates warm colors or a blue based red if you’re going cool. Just like with lipstick and teeth, orange reds make offwhites look more yellow, and blue reds make them look more white, so keep that in mind if your shoe is not pure white.

*Let them dry thoroughly before doing anything else. Don’t poke, prod, lick, wear, or otherwise touch the shoes for at least 24 hours. I mean it!

*Use a surface sealant to make the color last longer. Again, aerosol works fine.

Your red paint job should look great but it’s not entirely impervious to scuffs and scrapes–after all, you’ll be walking and dancing in these babies on a variety of surfaces.  Be careful when walking on your new soles, they can be slippery! If you want a flash of red on the heel but to keep the grip of the sole, tape off the toebox when you’re doing your paint job.

May the crafts be with you,

On the Cutting Edge: Craftsy Offering Free Knife Skills Course

 

Whaddup, BABs? This wintery weather has me cooking up a storm (soups, pastas, even a pot roast!), but sometimes I’m a little slow in the prep area because I’m so cautious with how I handle my knife. I take FOREVER slicing and dicing to perfection. And with the amount of veggies I like to pile into my dishes, the cutting often eats up the vast majority of my time in the kitchen.

So when I saw this nifty little email touting Craftsy’s class, Complete Knife Skills with Brendan McDermott, I got uber excited. And of course I couldn’t keep it to myself.

Not familiar with Craftsy? Welp, you should be. Especially if you’re planning on DIY-ing shizz for your wedding day. Craftsy offers lots of free mini courses and many more full-length courses (the priciest I saw was $59.99 for a studio photography course) in areas ranging from knitting to cake decorating to paper crafts and more. So whether you’re planning on making paper flowers for your wedding decor or would like to create some bling for your bridesmaids, and you don’t really know how to go about it, check out Craftsy and learn how to do it all yourself.

Partner Love: MyOffers Serves Up Tips On How To Create A Truly Unique Wedding Experience

Oh, hey newly-engaged BABs! We know that starting to plan your wedding can be a bit overwhelming, and sometimes finding ways to create your big day that oozes your love for one another without murdering your bank account can be tough. But fear not! Our UK partner MyOffers is here to get those wedding wheels spinning with 8 fun, funky and outright fantastic ideas to make your big day truly yours.

Go Vintage:

Whether you go for a classic ‘50s look, run with the swinging ‘60s, or delve into ‘80s noir, vintage weddings are always en vogue. Delicate dresses, themed decoration and kitschy details turn these weddings into scenes from period dramas, or postcards from eras gone by. Planning a vintage wedding can also be easy on your bottom line by making your own decorations and rifling through thrift shops. There’s tons of ideas and inspiration out there, all you have to do is find what speaks to you and go for it!

Run Away Together:

Forget the stress of organizing every far-flung relative and friend; forget the potentially huge list of expenses; forget about worrying over the weather; forget about diplomatically creating seating plans; forget about getting married with anyone around. Find a country you love, and go there. Get married on a beach, under the stars, or in a church in a town you’ve never been to before. Have a quiet ceremony, tie the knot and when you’re ready, re-emerge into the real world, happy and married. Elopements can serve as a secret memory, an inside moment you and your beloved can share for the rest of your life.

Under the Sea or Up, Up and Away:

Dive under the seas if you’re a SCUBA pro, take a boat out, or simply go for a paddle: As long as you don’t mind getting your feet wet, a water-filled wedding ensures that you’ll have the most unforgettable day. If water isn’t for you, take to the skies! Hot air balloons, bungee jumping and sky-walking … the possibilities are endless when you decide to take your feet off the ground. Although you won’t be able to have many guests with you at the time, there’s plenty of opportunities for an aquatic or aviation themed party afterwards.

Guest Cameo:

Plant members of a band around your guests, a la the opening scene of “Love Actually” (Eds. note: This scene makes me tear up EVERY TIME), have missing friends flown in from around the world – or simply trot up to the venue on your beloved horse. Having little surprises like a dog, an old university friend or a hidden singer can bring a whole new element to a wedding, especially if it’s kept a secret from everyone.

The Theme Scene:

If you’ve got a theme in mind, run with it. Get your guests to dress up, decorate your venue accordingly and go all out when it comes to you and your betrothed’s wedding day attire. From Alice in Wonderland, to rock’n’roll – push the boundaries and see how inventive people can get.

Get Your Hands Dirty:

If you’re low on cash, or don’t fancy blowing your savings on one day, make the most of what you’ve got. Find a friend with a gorgeous backyard, go DIY on your decorations and trawl charity shops and secondhand stores for your attire. Get close friends and family to pitch in with their own elbow grease, and your day will truly be created by love.

Think Outside the Location Box:

Don’t just stick to churches or courthouses: There’s nothing stopping you from branching out and holding your wedding in your favorite place. From museums to libraries, and bookshops to barns, put your own stamp on your day by holding it somewhere new and meaningful. Love flying? Check out an airplane hangar. Got a knack for history? Preserved forts and homes often host events and provide unique locales.

Get Festive at a Festival:

Welcome your friends and family to a WedFest, and say goodbye to formal seating plans, three-course meals and rigid dress codes. Find a large piece of land, with room for camping, stock up on alcohol and easy-to-eat finger foods, and rally together everyone you know who’s been in a band, owns a guitar or fancies themselves as a DJ. Let the wedding fun begin!

Written in part by Ben Skinner of competition website MyOffers who offer wedding dresses and other accessories in their free competitions. Visit them online at www.myoffers.co.uk