1/19 DIY or DIE: Winter-Inspired Centerpieces on an Uber Budget

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Guys, I’d like to cordially introduce our new DIY and style guru Whitney, who blogs over at A Touch of Whitney. Homegirl has a way with setting up super pretty designs and by awesome luck, she loves budget goods, too. Whitney will be posting new ideas for weddings every couple of weeks and sharing how she makes it happen on a broke-ass budget!

Winter Photo Blog Shoot

What if I told you instead of just a small simple centerpiece for your wedding to save money, you could have all this … and it still won’t break your bank account? Stick with me. I’ll show you the ways.

I had so much fun doing this centerpiece design and putting together this shoot with Danielle Angell Photography. There are a good number of items on the table, but they’re all very easy to score for practically nothing.

Winter Blog Photo Shoot Close #1A winter theme was obviously where my head was at. I began thinking of what reminds me of winter, and nature was the first thing that popped in my head. Wood, antlers, pine, holly berries, snow, fires … oh you get the idea. Here are the key components:

THE WOOD LOGS:

I unexpectedly hit the jackpot that sent me to my full design:  I drove by a house that had trimmed back their crape myrtle tree. And they had cut the tree into these perfect log sizes to put by the road with all the branches. They were there for the taking — read: free — and I did not even have to chop them. The even better part: they favor the beauitful birch wood that is so popular in design.  I know you all won’t luck upon free logs on the side of the road, so think about who you know. Do you know anyone who lives on a decent amount of land or anyone who has many trees on their property that would not mind trimming some tress for you? Be creative with your resources.Winter Blog Logs Close

THE MITTENS AND HAT:

After I piled the wood in the back of my car, I noticed my mittens on the seat. I knew at home I had a matching toboggan … score! (Side Story: my dad just told me recently only us southern folk call a winter hat a toboggan What??!! {Eds. Note: True Story. I never heard that term until I moved to Kentucky — and I’m from wintery Wyoming where EVERYONE wears hats.}) These items cost nothing to use, since I already owned them and were a perfect add to the winter theme. I love the soft texture they add to the design. Hit up Goodwill, thrift shops, yard sales or band your friends together and borrow their old less-often worn items.  Keep it cheap, use your resources, and never be afraid to phone a friend.Winter Blog Shoot Hat

THE ANTLERS:

Thank the deer on this one. They shed these beautiful pieces right off their body, free for the taking (check local regulations). Got some hunter friends? They’ll come in handy: They can grab these for you or may already have some just lying around,  or Pinterest has several how to’s for DIY antlers.Winter Blog Antlers

THE LANTERNS:

Being in the wedding business and having a stockpile of awesome stuff, I get to cheat and walk into my attic to my storage area for supplies and poof! Out I come with three lanterns. Check Goodwill or local hardware or gardening stores for some great options and plop a votive inside.Winter Blog Lantern

Winter Blog Lanterns

THE PINE TREES, PINECONES, HOLLY AND BERRIES:

Well this was easy, My clippers and I got the job done. Keep in mind pine trees are sappy, so either were gloves or consider your hands and clothes warned. As for holly bushes … ouch! they will poke you. Those gloves may come in handy again. These limbs are a bug’s home. Rinse everything off to avoid creepy crawlers coming as your unplanned wedding guests.

Winter Blog Shoot Snow Close

Winter Shoot Blanket

THE BLANKET:

Few things are more romantic than hanging by the fire snuggling with your baby and your favorite blanket, so naturally a cute fleece fabric is a great addition. I got this piece at Hobby Lobby and got a discount from a coupon spending $9  I got roughly 60 inches cut, then I added slightly more to make sure I had plenty.  And I wanted long enough to become a blanket for my home after the shoot.  Winter Blog Candle

THE FIRE:

Ok, ok there really wasn’t a true fire … but, there were candles. The candles give you a flickering flame, light, and the feeling of warmth on the table, which just adds to the ambiance.

Winter Blog Shoot Snow Close

THE SNOW:

No, I did not pay someone to come blow snow for the shoot. That would not be budget-friendly at all. And no I did not get lucky enough to get free snow falling from the sky … I made the snow! However, this is a story for another day … stay tuned.

So a quick list to sum it all up:

1. The WOOd: Free

2. The MITTENS: Free (bought long ago, so Free for the shoot)

3. The TOBOGGAN: Free (bought long ago, so Free for the shoot)

4. The ANTLERS: Free (borrowed)

5. The LANTERNS: $5 a piece (bought long ago, so Free for the shoot)

6.  The PINE, PINECONES, HOLLY, & BERRIES: Free (thanks nature)

7. The BLANKET-$9 total yardage with a coupon

8. The CANDLES: Average $10-$12 for at least 12  (overall price varies by store, coupons used, and sales)

9. The SNOW: $3-$4

I hope you find this helpful and just know this “discount winter wedding design” tutorial is not over!! I have two other possible designs to come and more on the candles/snow.  Can’t wait … TO BE CONTINUED

Meet Whitney Hairston, the visionary and brains behind atouchofWhitney. A good ol’ southern grown girl straight out of North Carolina (y’all) that has an undying need to beautify, craft, create and design to help others save a penny or two. Whitney is definitely no stranger to weddings and how to make events “beautiful on a budget”. From planning her own wedding from top to bottom in 2007, to starting part-time work in the wedding business a week after returning from her honeymoon, to two years later beginning her own side wedding business with her husband. She takes every opportunity to share her tricks of the trade and firmly believes that you can keep your life “beautiful on a budget”. It doesn’t only have to happen at your wedding! Join the fun on Twitter, Pinterest, <a href="http://instagram.com/atouchofwhitney"Instagram and on my blog.