Broke-Ass Tag: DIY or DIE

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!

 

  • 9/13

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewWe love a good paper project, especially when that project can easily, beautifully and affordably replace a more expensive floral decoration. We’re huge fans of paper flowers as a broke-ass decor option, but that’s far from the only paper decoration option.

    DIY or DIE arbor decorationFor this project, made with the Cricut Explore Air machine for Cricut’s Wedding Campaign, “It’s Your Story, Make It Personal,” I found a beautiful lacy doily design in Cricut Design Space, enlarged it and cut multiple of the design (we’re talking about 16 here) and tied them together with twine to make a painfully easy arbor or archway decoration. The supply list for this DIY project is super minimal but the visual impact is huge. While I decided to use a design already available in Design Space, I also think a spirograph design (PicMonkey has a few) would be fun, or you could use cardstock in varying shades of the same hue to create a cool ombrè effect. After cutting the doily design, I added a little something extra with small flower accents. The options are limited only to your imagination!

    If you’re not familiar with Cricut and their cutting machines here’s the rundown: You know all those cool vinyl decals, precision-cut paper goods and unique lettered signs you’ve seen on Pinterest and moped over not being able to pull off yourself? Well, with one of these bad boys, you can. The Cricut Explore Air can cut over 60 materials, making it a veritable wanna-be DIYer’s dream come true (click here for a list of all the shizz the Cricut can cut). I was more than a little overwhelmed when I first got my machine, because, again: DIY-dumb. But after playing around with it (and feeling the overwhelming need to label my silverware holders), I got super giddy about all the stuff I could do with the machine. There are easy tutorials and instructions available on Cricut‘s site and YouTube, and there is pretty much no limit to the amount of creative awesomeness you can bring to life. Not to mention, Cricut is going to have some baller-ass giveaways and prizes every week this month — we’re talking wedding dresses, craft goodies, wholesale wedding flowers and even a honeymoon (OMG). Stay tuned at the bottom of the post for more deets.

    DIY or DIY: An Easy Arbor Decoration With Cricut Explore Air

    Supplies:

    Easy Arbor Decoration SuppliesCricut Explore Air

    12×12 Cardstock (I used 15 pieces, fitting an arbor about 4.5 feet wide, with 4.5 feet of decor down each side)

    Twine or Ribbon

    Standard Grip Cutting Mat

    Weeder Tool

    Spatula Tool

    Scraper Tool

    Wine and a Great Soundtrack

    How To:

    Step 1:

    Launch Cricut Design Space. Click “New Project.” Click “Insert Image” and enter “doily” in search box. Click on design so green checkmark appears and click “Insert Image.”Selecting Doily Design

    Step 2:

    When design is imported, drag it to the farthest upper left corner of the Design Space grid — this will help maximize the amount of paper used and ensure Cricut Explore Air cuts from the appropriate spot. Stretch the design to 11 inches — if you go all the way to 12 inches, it will be too large to cut.

    Placing Design in Upper Left Corner

    Stretching Design

    Step 3:

    Remove background layer from design by clicking on eye in lefthand sidebar under “Layers” tab.

    Removing Background from Design

    Step 4:

    Affix cardstock to the standard grip mat (ProTip: I had two mats at the ready, so as soon as one was done cutting I could load the next one, expediting the process.)

    Click “Go” in Design Space, make sure your Cricut Explore Air is powered on and open and follow the instructions in Design Space. (Hint: You can change the quantity of pieces you’d like cut on the instructions page.)

    Cutting Design on Cricut Explore AirStep 5:

    Pour some wine and set Pandora to your favorite station, because this takes a while.

    When each mat is finished cutting, carefully peel away outer border. Using the spatula tool, gently lift the design from the mat.

    Lifting Design from Cutting Mat

    Once the design is separated from mat, use the weeder tool to remove any small pieces that remain within design.

    Removing Small Pieces Using Weeder Tool

    Clean mat by using the scraper tool to remove small negative pieces left behind.

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 until desired number of designs are reached.

    Step 6:

    Lay out cut designs side-by-side in arrangement that will fit your arbor or archway. Gently tie designs together using twine.

    Optional:

    Affix additional decoration, such as paper or live flowers, glitter, etc.

    Tie Designs Together Using Twine

    Step 7:

    Affix finished garland to arbor or archway using nails, tape or twine.

    Step 8:

    Finished Arbor DecorOgle your handiwork!

    This Week’s Cricut Contest:

    Win $1500 in Wholesale Wedding Flowers from FiftyFlowers!

    Cut out the middleman with FiftyFlowers and get wholesale flowers delivered fresh from the farm to your door! FiftyFlowers prides itself on excellent customer service and delivering a wide variety of fresh flowers to DIY and budget minded couples.

    From peonies to roses to protea and beyond, couples can use the FiftyFlowers website to shop by color or flower type. And for those who want to forego the DIY, FiftyFlowers offers gorgeous pre-arranged centerpiece, gift arrangements and other specialty pieces.

    Fifty Flowers Badge

    Head on over to Cricut to enter to win $1500 worth of wholesale flowers from FiftyFlowers!

    christen
  • 8/23

    If you're anything like me, you've been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that's why I'm hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod…

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    7/26

    Ah, the craft store ... for the DIY couple, it can start to feel like a second home. There are paints and paper, ribbons and trim and if you really start looking, you may start to realize that a lot of this stuff is really expensive. When it comes down to it, craft stores and the supplies therein are usually marketed towards women. If you're…

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    5/26

    I cooked this fun little geometric garland project up for Little Wedding Extras, but this has all the makings of a great DIY or DIE project: A.) It's super easy. You trace, cut, fold and glue or tape. Painting is totally optional. B.) It doesn't have to be wedding-specific. I love a project that can be recycled for home use later. (Christen is using this for #babything's…

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    3/17

    Now that I've made my transition from Broke-Ass Bride to living the broke-ass married life, our BAB editor Christen and I have been helping couples in our area unlock their DIY potential while planning a wedding with sanity through Little Wedding Extras. Hoping to find a way to spruce up my home decor for the summer months, I tried and failed a few times until…

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    1/14

    Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and for good reason. They're a proven way to calm the hell down, which is a total necessity when you're planning a wedding. This DIY takes that coloring book idea, crosses it with some good old fashioned paint by numbers, then at the end you have a gorgeous display-worthy piece that will not only be a beautiful…

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    12/10

    Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography With time (and money) running short, I settled on three signs. I wanted to let guests know that we had agreed on a flash-free ceremony, that the little blank puzzle pieces were a guest book alternative and what our limited bar was offering. Many couples opt for directional signs pointing out the bar, photo booth or other fun things. Some have a…

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