Broke-Ass Tag: budget wedding inspiration

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!

 

  • 12/20

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewOur 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 be located. We discussed setting it up in the barn, which was our main reception area. It had the perk of being inside in case of rain, but we were afraid that there wouldn’t be enough room and it would be too dark. Fuji Instax cameras are cute and fun, but I wouldn’t say they take the most high quality photos. I had almost forgotten about this ugly wooden sign/bulletin board type thing that was right on the path from the entrance to seating for the ceremony, but when my mom reminded me of it we decided it would work. The location was great, and we could turn it from an eyesore to something pretty and useful.

    My brother Justin, who was also a groomsmen, took one for the team and made us an amazing ticket backdrop for photos — what a tedious and time-consuming activity!  It turned out even better than I imagined and I cannot thank him enough.

    Rachel's ticket photo booth backdrop

    Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

    Our volunteer Instax photographer, Cailyn, got situated before guests began arriving, and as they walked by she snapped their pic and they wrote a little note next to it in the book.

    Guests get pics in front of Rachel's ticket backdrop

    Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

    Cailyn snapping a photo of two of our guests.

    Rachel's guest book photo booth setup

    Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

    Once all of the festivities moved indoors, Cailyn brought the book and camera inside for more pictures. Toward the end of our reception, my bridesmaid Laura noticed that we had a bunch of film left over, so she manned the camera and got some gems of everyone dancing and having a good time. They are my favorite thing ever and are mostly unfit for public consumption. Our guestbook holds 104 photos, but we ended up with close to 140. They are the best.

    In addition to that, we also had a custom canvas made for our guests to color. I saw the idea on the Interwebz one day and knew I needed it, but I wasn’t going to pay like $250.00 plus shipping to order one from the only company I could find who makes them. Just, #no. So my mom, AKA the Queen of All Things Wedding, set about making one for us. She found a carnival print she liked, traced it onto transparent film and used an overhead projector — middle school style — to draw it on a canvas she bought. I will say, she got super busy with other wedding-related items, so she handed it off to my brother Justin to finish up. He did a fantastic job, and even ended up free-handing some personal touches.

    Rachel's custom carnival canvas

    Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

    That empty bucket was eventually filled with markers, I promise. Everyone really enjoyed adding names and colors all night, and we love the way it turned out, smears and all. I can’t wait to hang it in our office, where I can see it every day.

    Rachel's colored-in canvas

    I’ve talked a lot about fun being our main goal for our big day, and little touches like these really helped us make it an amazing and fun-filled day for everyone. The added bonus is that we have amazing keepsakes to look at whenever we want.

    What fun little touches are you adding to your wedding day?

     

     

     

  • 10/13

    With Halloween right around the corner and today being the 13th of the month -- an ominous day for the superstitious among us -- there's no better time to bring out this amazing Lovecraft-inspired wedding shoot by Casey Fatchett Photography. Many of the vendors fall within budget range for BABs (the dress is right around $1000) and even Casey himself -- as a photographer in…

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    6/27

    Oh hello there! Are you admiring my proud peacock feathers? I thought you might be! Why so proud, you ask? Well, aside from the lovlieness of my plumes (pfffft), its because my handsome hubby is a contributing editor to Destination Weddings & Honeymoon's Magazine in their super-sweet Groom's Room column every issue! We've always been huge fans of DWH Mag, and I had the honor…

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    6/25

    I love my job. It's a great gig. Think about it - I get to help people create one of the coolest days of their lives -  an atmosphere of fun and joy and love, with shopping, and food, and cocktails along the way.  I've made some great friends, had some great experiences, and I am never, ever bored. And when it's over, I just…

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    6/24

    We've hinted, you've waited, and we're finally ready to open up about a big secret! We've been slowly but surely talking with producers and TV networks about getting The Broke-Ass Bride on a TV near you!  Pinch my ass, cuz it feels like a dream, yo!  It's a long, slow road filled with unexpected bumps and potholes, but there's a stunning view on the horizon…

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