Broke-Ass Tag: DIY Centerpieces

11/12

Affiliate Disclaimer NewI knew BAB and I were going to get along when I saw the tagline “Creativity is our Currency.” Creativity is something I pride myself on, and when I can glean from the imagination of other awesome people, I’m usually set to create something truly impressive.

The hand-craftedness of the majority of my decorations was something that began as a ploy to save some major cash (oh, and save, I did!), but as the months went on, I developed what I can only describe as a deeper connection to my wedding day. When all of those projects and ideas came together in one place for one purpose, I was able to look out across this scape that I not only imagined, but crafted in many ways from scratch, and feel a whole new level of love. I remembered my now-husband peeking over my shoulder as I finished up signs, trips to Michael’s for more supplies and spending time with my family and friends making sure everything came together. There is plenty of love in any wedding regardless of how much you hand make, but for me, making something for someone has always been my highest level of love.

The largest DIY undertaking by far was the flowers. All of the flowers. Every centerpiece, bouquet and boutonniere started as a cardboard box FedExed to my house, before being unpacked, stripped of thorns (THE. WORST.) and eventually trimmed and arranged. It was an undertaking. There were tears. It was worth it.

Bridesmaids Bouquets || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

I’ve always been pretty big on flowers and having beautiful designs within my budget was more important to me than a lot of brides. The arrangements were a mix of cymbidium orchids, Picasso calla lilies, pink garden roses, Burgundy Moonlight carnations and dahlia (which was actually a substitute when the blooming kale didn’t arrive). Rather than purchasing wholesale greenery, I filled everything in with rich, ruffly kale. From the grocery store. $1.89 a bunch. Eight centerpieces, a bridal bouquet, three bridesmaids bouquets, six boutonnieres and a lot of flowers left over for miscellaneous decorating cost me just over $700.

Bridal Bouquet || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Of course my centerpieces were arranged in my very first DIY (not to mention what got me started with BAB in the first place): the faux mercury glass compote bowls that came out to around $4 each. I’m still in love with them!

Shannon's DIY Centerpieces || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photo

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

In lieu of traditional favors, we purchased boxes of 12 wine glasses from Bed Bath and Beyond for 10 bucks a piece, then I hand painted them with alcohol ink in several colors that complemented my palette. I bought four packages of three colors and those tiny bottles took care of 108 glasses and 18 different candle holders (did you see the fun video on Instagram?) BEFORE they got sent to a friend to help her paint votive holders for her wedding. Each piece had three colors that blended together to create a gorgeous (not to mention trendy) watercolor effect and there are guests STILL commenting on how gorgeous they were.

DIY Painted Wine Glasses || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photo

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Having a deep, inexplicable attachment to handwriting, I definitely wanted to do all of my signage. Keeping with the watercolor motif, I used a wet brush technique to create a splatter design on an easel canvas that’s slanted so it stands on its own before writing over in gold paint pen. If I had to do it over again, I would have used more muted colors so that the gold popped a little more, but I still loved the final product.

Hand-Painted and Lettered Signage || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Keeping with the handwritten, watercolor theme, I also hand-wrote my envelopes with a calligrapher’s pen, but swapped four watercolors for traditional ink. Yes, a great many of those went in the trash after they were opened, but the number of people hanging onto theirs for a keepsake makes me feel completely validated in spending all of that time and effort overachieving.

Hand-Lettered Envelopes || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Of course, there was the last minute DIY that I wasn’t expecting when I realized I’d messed up ordering my cake. It wasn’t planned and it was a total pain, but you know what? I kinda like the way they turned out. Gold, glitter and pearls make everything better in my world. After my amazing crew of helpers topped two cakes and a homemade creation with some of the left over flowers, I think they turned out wonderful!

Target cakes made beautiful! || Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

Credit: Shaina Sheaff Photography

If you love to create, create for your own wedding. It feels so personal and it’s an amazing bonding experience with those you love. If you don’t, talk to the people in your life who do. For most of us, the opportunity to contribute our talent is a real honor.

I’ll be back in two weeks with some step-by-step information on how everything was made. In the meantime, remember that creativity means a lot of things and it is totally a valid currency!

  • 1/19

    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