Broke-Ass Tag: DIY Projects

8/7

So, one thing I wanted to wrap my head around before I got into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning was my list of DIY projects. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to do a test run for each project so that I could determine if:

  1. I had the skills or could learn the skills needed to create the item. I consider myself a crafting veteran, but I haven’t done EVERYTHING.
  2. I had the time needed to create all of the items before the wedding without pulling out my hair from the stress.
  3. I will actually save money by doing it myself, or if the money and time would be better spent on buying it ready made.

I’m lucky in that I have a lot of family and friends who have offered to help with my various projects. But of course, I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity. So, while I have the option of outsourcing various projects to my loved ones, I want to use that option sparingly. My wedding isn’t the center of their life, and I don’t want to stress them out with a million projects.

I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills.

So, with that said, I sat down with my wedding binder and wrote down everything that I could possibly DIY. I’m not going to do all of them, but I wanted to see what my options were. Once I wrote everything down, I started moving items into two buckets:

  1. DIY Projects – these are projects that I felt my fiancé or I could take on ourselves.
  2. Outsource To Family & Friends – these are projects that I have asked people to take charge of because it involves a skill set that they already possess.

I love making lists, it’s a sickness.

Putting my inner crafting goddess to work.

I’ve always loved decorating for parties, from my mom’s 50th birthday to my daughter’s 1st birthday and everything in between. I love, love, LOVE it! Therefore, decorating for my wedding was a no-brainer. Immediately, I placed ceremony décor and centerpieces into the DIY projects bucket. Next, I added stationery to include: Save-The-Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards and Thank You cards. I made the invitations for my daughter’s baptism, and I felt with enough time, they wouldn’t be a problem. Then, I added the backdrop for the sweetheart table. I’ve made backdrops before, for personal use and work events, and I felt that making one for the wedding was doable. 

Lastly, I stuck the selfie-station and the paper flowers in this bucket as well. I’m a little worried about making all of the paper flowers I need to decorate the ceremony and reception space. So, I might end up making some and buying some, or swap them for something else. We’ll see how the test run goes. As for the selfie-station, I haven’t decided what that will look like yet, so I have more work to do. However, I know I want to make it myself.

Next at bat: my fiancé.

I chose two projects that I had my heart set on, but doubted I could do them by myself. Since my fiancé is a whiz at building things, I asked him to build the ceremony aisle arches and door-frame ceremony entrance. I know you are probably asking yourself, what the hell are those? I wanted to give my ceremony aisle that wow factor, by adding some arches draped in fabric. Something you don’t see often. Since we plan on the ceremony being outside, I wanted to create the illusion of “entering” the ceremony space. Hence the doorframe.

My blueprint for the ceremony aisle arch that my fiance is going to build.

Outsourcing: No need for references.

The first project I added to this bucket was the wedding cupcakes. At first, I was going to do them myself. I used to work in a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator so I knew I could make them. But, I was worried about the timing and being stressed on my wedding day. One of my bridesmaids was also a cake decorator, so when she offered to make them I said, hell yeah! She’s going to do a tasting and everything, just like going to a bakery. I can’t wait. 

Next, I added the wedding signage to this bucket. My sister/ bridesmaid got a Cricut last year for Christmas, and it has upped her crafting game significantly. She doesn’t want to be “in charge” of the signage, but she can take the lead. Then, when she is busy, she can pull me in, which is just as good. If I had to do all of the signs by myself, I probably wouldn’t do half of them.  

Finally, I added the ceremony canopy where we will stand while we say our vows. My future sister-in-law/ grooms-maid is going to knock out this project for us. She is also handy, like her brother, and I thought she would do a great job with it. We are going to tag team it, she’s going to make the frame, and I am going to make the drapes.

My plan for the centerpieces, this is an early draft.

Don’t rush me, I’m still thinking about it!

Now, there are three projects I’m still mulling over, and I go back and forth on them:

  1. Flowers – I don’t want to make my bouquet, but I am unsure about doing the flower arrangements. If I can get some reasonable quotes, I would prefer to hire someone to take care of them, and not have that hanging over me. If I had more experience with flowers, I wouldn’t worry so much, but I seriously lack a green thumb.
  2. Favors – I want to have some type of edible favor, but I don’t want the stress of baking something in the days leading up to the wedding. That’s why I outsourced the cupcakes. I am mulling over the idea of using candy, and have to hit up Pinterest for some more ideas.
  3. Bridesmaid tank tops – I like the idea of my bridesmaids having matching tank tops on while we get ready the day of. I love those pictures and think it would be fun. However, I don’t know much about making them, and I haven’t researched ordering them, so they are still an unknown at this point.

Commence with the crafting parties!

Now that I have my list, I can start testing projects. My plan is to do a few each month so that I have time to come up with alternative ideas if needed. I would like to have a game plan in place by the New Year, so I can create a crafting timeline. I will make an offering to the crafting gods, in the hopes that they will bless this massive endevor. Luckily, nothing is set in stone and if some projects have to go, then they have to go.

Wish me luck!

  • 1/31

    My Pinterest board is filled to the brim with ideas. I’ve considered everything from building an altar from used pallet boards to growing my own rose garden and assembling the bridal bouquet. It’s time for an intervention!

    I’ve known for years, well before I was officially engaged that I would be a “do it yourself” bride. Not just because of the cost savings but also because I am a crafty person — or at least I would like to think that I am. I just love the personal satisfaction of seeing an idea become a reality. My only challenge is that creating over 20 centerpieces for the best day of my life might be a bit more time consuming than the seasonal centerpieces that adorn my dining room table. With that being said and considering that I claim to be a time management guru, constantly on the hunt to find my balance, it’s basically required that I find the time to master all of my wedding DIY projects.

    What’s the fun in doing it alone? There isn’t any, so I decided to reach out to my bridesmaids and host a party! Below are 4 tips to assembling your gal pals for a low cost and productive crafting session.

    Tip 1: Plan in advance. I can appreciate that the favorite ladies in my life are movers and shakers. I decided in November 2016 after several conversations trying to explain my wedding vision that it would be best to corral everyone in the same space and share all of the updates while tying bows and spray painting.  I created a GroupMe event with the date, time and location information for the January 2017 party. You should have seen the look on my face when my Matron of Honor who lives in Austin, flew to Atlanta and surprised me for the weekend. I guess that the pre-planning worked in my favor!

    Real Bride Ciji's Matron of Honor

    My Matron of Honor is the best!

    Tip 2: Be prepared, yet flexible. I have a general idea of how I want the wedding day to look and feel however I haven’t vetted every single idea and that’s OK. When I created the original plan for the day, I thought that we would spray paint over 200 vases. Well in order to do that I needed to confirm if we will have candles or flowers in the vases, what color should we spray paint them and where would we paint them considering that it was 30 degrees outside. So at the last minute I aborted that plan and decided we should de-label some wine bottles and focus on jazzing up the invitations. We didn’t finish every project but it was fun to brainstorm with my bridesmaids and they helped me firm up a lot of the ideas that were floating in my head.

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Project

    Soak, apply Goo Gone, rinse, polish and repeat.

    Tip 3: Snacks and drinks are a must. What type of host would I be if I didn’t have something for us to munch on and drink while we viewed “making a bow” Youtube videos? I invited everyone to come over after lunch but before traditional dinner hours, so I prepared a Crockpot queso dip and ensured that we had plenty of wine and ingredients for cocktails.

    Tip 4: Maximize the time! We didn’t finish every project and that’s OK. The best part about the day was hanging out with my friends! My Matron of Honor was able to meet one of the other bridesmaids for the first time, we spent quality time together catching up and swapping stories, we squeezed in some planning time for the rehearsal lunch and bridal shower and most importantly we were able to just hang out and enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment.

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Team

    The Dream Team!

    Do you have some big DIY plans? How are you going to wrangle your team to help? Share in the comments!

     

     

  • 11/30

    Aite y’all, so I finished painting about half of the centerpiece bases before I ran out of warm weather to work in. How dare spray paint not be able to dry in weather below 30 degrees right?! Taping off bases After the first coat of white dried, we taped off the tops and the edge above the flaps. I found entire sheets of painters tape…

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    7/14

    Nick and I wanted to DIY a lot of aspects of our wedding, not just to save money, but also to make the day feel more authentically “us.” We’re both creative people, and wanted to use this opportunity to have fun with ideas and projects. I also define DIY success as being able to complete all our projects without having a mental breakdown – blood…

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    2/16

    I’m going to let you in on a secret about the wedding industry – it’s deceptive. And tricky. Wedding magazines and blogs show you amazing photos of the cutest weddings, and the whole thing was done on $3 and full of amazing DIY projects. You get sucked in, you find some how-to’s, you pin some things on Pinterest, and you think “I can do this!…

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    4/28

    Hey you lovely Broke-Asses! Wait! Is that really how I get to address y’all? I think I’m gonna love this gig. So let’s get right to it. I’m Tabitha and I like to make things from scratch. Pretty things. Edible things. Cheap things. Awesome things. And since I’m not currently planning a wedding, I was thrilled that Dana agreed to let me inflict my crafty…

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    9/5

    Today we're handing the reins over to one of our favorite ladies in the wedding blog biz -- Maggie Lord -- Founder and Editor of Rustic Wedding Chic, and author of a book, aptly named: Rustic Wedding Chic! She's got 3 fabulous DIY ideas to share with you that are absolutely perfect for fall weddings. Image courtesy of EE Photography The natural beauty that is alive in…

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