Broke-Ass Tag: crafts


Affiliate Disclaimer NewReal Bride Lucinda: The Final Countdown

One thing is for sure — the last month before our wedding has flown by. It’s crazy to think that we used to we have to specify the year of our wedding date when people asked when the big day was, since it was so far away. And now it’s three days away!!

Surprisingly, things have been pretty calm around here except for the few last-minute ideas I had of things I could DIY. I was on the fence about having a veil at all for the wedding, but since everything came together early enough with my wedding dress I decided to give it a go. It was so easy to make — I think it took about an hour to cut out the bridal illusion, gather it, and glue/stitch it onto the hair comb. You’re going to think this is crazy … but I actually made another one!! I made a second veil out of English netting, which gives a less “poofy” look, and will decide after my hair is done on our wedding day which one I’ll wear.

Real Bride Lucinda: The Final Countdown

Another DIY idea I had was to make a photo backdrop in lieu of a photo booth — dude, photo booths are crazy-expensive, at least the ones in my area, and I was dead-set on having something at the wedding (I even tried getting a quote for an “event,” not a wedding, and it was still an outrageous price). Instead, we followed an easy tutorial I found on Pinterest to make a backdrop frame out of about $20 worth of PVC piping, and I made a quick backdrop with a pocket for the top of the frame with some funky fabric I found at JoAnn. What’s great about the PVC frame is that we can take it apart easily to store it, or pop it up in the kitchen in under five minutes to take silly photos, like you’re seeing above.

So what about the most important DIY of this whole wedding, my wedding dress?

Real Bride Lucinda's hair ideas

The most magical moment so far of making my wedding dress was trying on everything with the finished dress — the shoes, the belt, all of the jewelry, and putting my hair up. Oh my goodness … all of the planning, time, sore back from cutting out every single layer of fabric over three days, pricked fingers from tiny little pins and sewing needles, trial and error of finding the right construction techniques, even the absolute frustration and tears at times while making my wedding dress was completely worth it. There was a time when I worried that my dress looked like a nightgown, or that it didn’t look special enough for my wedding day compared to the dresses you see in bridal shops, but trying everything on together solidified in my mind that deciding to make my wedding dress was absolutely right for me as a bride. I wouldn’t have done anything differently over the past 10 months.

And now, on to the wedding!  But first, I have one more DIY to finish for my bridesmaids … because I’m a crazy bride like that.

  • 10/14

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewI have to say, I’m pretty proud of how my wedding invitations turned out. I didn’t realize invitations were even something I cared about … until I did. Here I had come up with a whole big list of priorities and not-so-importants to try and be sure that I properly focused my efforts, limited funds, and time, and suddenly I realized super late in the game that something that was on List Two belonged on List One.

    A shifting set of priorities isn’t always something that’s easy to acknowledge when you’re a Broke-Ass. It can mean you might be stuck paying more for something than you originally hoped and planned to. Our invitations were all set: They came with our wedding package from our venue. All we had to do was pick them out, send them our details and slap a stamp on them. Now, as we looked through the invitations available from our venue, and while they were all very beautiful none felt like us. If we didn’t use our venue’s invite, we had the option of receiving a credit instead, so we looked elsewhere but everything we looked at seemed to run in the thousands of dollars — way more than the credit we’d be offered. We seemed to be stuck. We’d have to compromise our vision.

    Then I remembered something: Way back when we purchased our memorial candle for the wedding, we went out right after the fact and grabbed a couple of sets of printable invitations in the clearance section of Walmart. They were $4 a piece with 50 invites in each box and contained the envelopes and RSVP cards. We had bought them just in case. We figured if we didn’t use them, we’d sell them in a Facebook Yard Sale. Time was getting short s,o we decided we’d just use them. Matt loaded them into our printer, we chose some some nice wording and after weeks of ironing out our ceremony details, we printed out the invites and the RSVP cards.


    When they were all printed, I realized that they didn’t really solve our problem: I still wasn’t really happy with what we were sending out. So I improvised! I looked around online for ways to dress them up. The simplest way seemed to be a pocketfold. I found a place nearby that sold them but couldn’t get to it before I’d need to send the invites out. It would’ve cost us about $70 more with them, but that’s not including the added weight that might’ve ended up costing us extra postage. Instead, I decided to take a trip to the craft store.

    Matt, one of my bridesmaids and I took a trip to Michael’s craft store after work one night. I was in a straight-up panic. I wandered in a frenzy through the aisles looking for anything that might dress the invites up just enough to stave off my mania. And then I found books of red cardstock. They were all different shades. I was a little bit iffy on using them … I mean you’re supposed to order your bridesmaids dresses all at the same time to make sure they’re the same hue. Shouldn’t it be the same with invites? But here’s the thing: Not all your guests will see your invites at the same time. Even the most eagle-eyed observer might miss the difference in coloring. So we grabbed it. There were 50 pages of cardstock in the book, and the book itself was $5.00. We got two. Suddenly a plan was forming. The cardstock wasn’t big enough really make a pocketfold, but we could mount the invites we’d printed on it and go from there. I still wasn’t satisfied though. My bridesmaid brought up the idea of putting a ribbon around it, and suddenly it all came together. We searched through the ribbon and found just the right one and bought some spools of it (when all was said and done, that cost us around $15).

    At home, we put our supplies together. I found some double-sided tape lying around (I looked it up, it would’ve cost us around $8 for what we used). We grabbed the paper cutter and some scissors and went to town. We set up an assembly line. Matt cut the border on the invites down and then cut the cardstock to fit around it.

    Julie's fiance hard at work on their invitations

    I put the cardstock and the invite together using the double-sided tape and then put the ribbon around it and secured it, also using the double sided tape. It was beautiful … but there was still something missing.

    Enter Real Bride Shannon’s post about her invites! Even before we had any idea we’d be in this position with our invitations, I had bought the Epson printer she mentioned in her post because I knew it would come in handy somewhere. Yes, another impulse buy but it paid off in the end. The machine prints out beautiful printed personalized ribbons and it turned out to be just the right touch to make me feel sated in my search for the perfect invitation. The small details do indeed pack a big punch. We printed out 4-inch ribbons using the spool of beige ribbon that came with the printer and stuck them on top of the ribbon that was already encircling our invites. Voila! it was suddenly exactly what I was looking for. We did have to buy a second spool of ribbon (we mixed it up and did red with gold lettering this time), but all in all it worked out perfectly. The total cost of the printer was $69.99 on Amazon, and the ribbon was $20 a spool separately, but we still have a ton of ribbon to use and a printer that we can use for other wedding items and beyond. Without these ribbons, our invites had cost us around $40 so far. The last detail we added were some business cards a friend of mine designed with wording I gave her. I got them printed up for around $15 on cardstock and cut them down to size myself. They included the directions to the church and a request for dietary restrictions. Depending upon what you count for the cost of the invites themselves, we spent between $85-$150 total for  gorgeous set of invites we could really be proud of.

    The finished product of Julie's invitations
    Our invites with the red and gold … a few details have been blocked out.

    Even more so than that, these were definitely our invites. We had slaved over them for hours (and my cousins helped out too!) and stayed up late working on them. We spent hours watching movies and stuffing envelopes (which were addressed using our regular printer, no need for calligraphy for us), coming up with a whole new set of inside jokes along the way. At the end of the day, it was a much tougher route than just getting them printed elsewhere. But we saved  a ton of money … and even more importantly we did it our way.

    Real Bride julie's invitation suite

    Our final product complete with all information! This one is a little less crisp than the other because it was actually a return to sender that got lost in the mail for a bit.

    Note the extremely important self addressed inner envelope! There is nothing more embarrassing than getting one of these bad boys back and realizing you forgot to include the stamp.

    Not having a perfect plan in place, or having your plan fall apart doesn’t have to be the end of the world or mean that you’re going to end up stuck spending  ton of money (or with something you don’t love). Sometimes having what you think you want completely fall apart is the best way to have things fall together. Now, the RSVPs are rolling in, along with the compliments on our invitations. I can’t help but beam with pride whenever I think of them … not just because they’re pretty, but because they’re something beautiful my fiance and I created together.

    Have you had any frustrations turn into beautiful results? Share in the comments below!

  • 8/27

    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…

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    Fellow BAB's, I have some awful news. Pretty soon, I have to start crafting. Yikes. No BAB wedding would be complete without a certain amount of DIY-mania, and ours is no different. There are three main things we are DIY-ing: 1) My bouquet and the button holes for the menfolk. 2) All the table decorations. 3) The flowers. That's right, we're growing and then arranging…

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    Thank you cards are an essential part of the wedding process -- people give you stuff, you say thanks. But man, it's a daunting process, too. This DIY or DIE tackles the thank-yous in a whole new way -- make 'em yourself! We love this idea for a MOH or bridal party who want to give their to-be-wed friend a gift that truly means something.…

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    BABs, I'm so excited about how rockin' the DIY or DIE projects have been lately, and today is certainly no exception. Nodlaigh, aka Daydreaming Bride, is in da hizzy to show us how to make super easy (and cheap!) personalized bunting. Guys, this could work for anything from your engagement party to wedding decor to a banner for a thank-you card photo to general home…

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    This  is our very last crafty guest post from the fabulous Autumn from Sugarflower Design! Did you miss Part I or Part II? Be sure to check them out here…and here!   I'm back for my third and (sniff, sniff) final installment on the ups and downs, dos and don't of DIY'ing your own wedding stationery. We've already covered the potential pitfalls of DIY, and ways to keep your DIY design fly. But,…

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    Oh, BAB readers, you are in for a TREAT. Today we have a special guest post from the uber talented, stationery-designing hottie behind Sugarflower Design! She's gonna clue you in on whether you're truly ready to get your DIY on or not - it may save you a ton of $$$, but it's not always a cakewalk.  Hello Broke Ass Bride readers! I’m Autumn. I…

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