Broke-Ass Tag: DIY

9/12

One of the trends I immediately fell in love with on Pinterest was the paper flower. I thought they were beautiful and were a great way to cut down on floral costs. So, after pouring over hundreds of pictures online, I decided that I wanted to use paper flowers to decorate the wedding arch and the sweetheart table backdrop. I am toying with the idea of using them to create a selfie-station as well, but I am still undecided.

To be sure that I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew with this project, I decided to have a trial run. I wanted to make sure that:

  1. I was skilled enough to make them, I didn’t want to commit myself to something that was beyond my skill level.
  2. The time and stress involved in making the flowers were worth the savings. If I’m going to be up all hours of the night stressed out, it might be worth it to buy them ready made.

So, this week I decided to embark upon my flower-making journey with a classic flower.

A rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet.

Now, normally I am not a fan of roses. Don’t get me wrong, they are pretty; but I prefer calla lilies, orchids, and peonies. However, I think roses transform perfectly into paper and would look gorgeous on my arch and backdrop. So, once I’d chosen the rose, I searched online for a template and tutorials on how to make them. During my search, I came across Pearl’s Crafts on You Tube. The rose that I saw her make in her videos were exactly what I was looking for. She also had some other flowers that I thought would be perfect for what I was planning for my wedding.

After looking through the comments, I discovered that she sells the templates for the flowers that she makes. So, I emailed her with a few questions including how much the templates were, and how and when would I receive them. Judy got back to me right away and was very sweet and helpful. Her templates normally run $13, which I though was reasonable. However, fate was smiling down on me that day, and she told me she was running a sale. So, I got the rose template plus three other templates for $25. And, the rose template includes a small, medium, and large version, so that was a great bonus.

Once I had the files, I printed the templates on 65 lb cardstock and mentally prepared myself for an evening of tracing, cutting and gluing.

No tools, no problem. Well… maybe it’s a little problem.

I knew from watching the videos, and from speaking with her that Judy used a cameo silhouette to cut out her petals. My sister has a Cricut, a similar machine, and she offered to let me borrow it whenever I needed it. Work was hectic this week, and I knew I wouldn’t have time to learn how to use the Cricut, as well as work on the rose. So, I decided to trace and cut the petals out by hand with scissors. I didn’t think it would be a big deal to cut out some petals. WRONG! By the time I got done cutting everything, my hand was killing me. I took a little break to massage my sore hand and kept on pushing.

Another tool that I was missing was the bone folder, which Judy uses to curl the petals of the flower. Now, she provides alternative methods of curling the paper, but I decided that I wanted to buy the tool. It wasn’t expensive, and I had a 40% off coupon for Michaels. (I love Michaels and their 40% off coupons.) Once again, I was too busy and unable to purchase the tool in time to make the rose. Rest assured, that I will be visiting Michaels before the weekend is out and my coupon expires.

After some moaning and groaning, I traced and cut out the twenty-six petals that are needed to make the rose. Now I was finally ready to start gluing

Petal power and folding finesse.

Once the petals were cut and folded, I glued four of the small petals together into a t-shape. Once I had two t-shapes, I began to roll and glue the petals together to make a cone. This would become the center bud of the flower. My bud didn’t come out exactly how I wanted, so I was a little discouraged. But, I continued to fold away until I was finished in the hopes that the finished product wouldn’t look so bad. Needless to say I wasn’t a happy camper at this point.

You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Next, I began to glue the twelve medium petals to the underside of the bud, two at a time. Once each petal was attached, I would bring the edges toward the bud and glue them down. This was kind of tricky as I didn’t want to have any ugly folds or ripped paper. I discovered that if I tried to force the paper where I wanted it to go, it would not obey. However, if I let it fold naturally it would look much nicer and give me less trouble. If you are kind to your paper, your paper will be kind to you.

Would you look at that, this paper is starting to become identifiable.

Once I got about halfway through gluing the medium petals, I could see the rose start to take shape, and I began to get excited. For the first time, I felt like maybe this was doable. Maybe I could make the beautiful flowers that I had seen on Pearl’s Crafts or Pinterest. At one point I got up from the kitchen to show my fiance my work. I felt like a little kid showing their dad what they made in art class that day, but I didn’t care. I was proud of myself, damn it!

The final step was to glue the six large petals. The petals were glued down side-by-side, one over-lapping the other to give the rose a finished look. Once I’d done five of them, I looked at my rose and I felt that the last petal wasn’t needed. I placed it on the flower, but it made the rose look uneven, so I left it off.

I earned my paper rose wings today. Yay! Now, somebody get me a drink.

I started making the rose at 9:00 P.M. I finished just after midnight. Yes, that was three hours of my life tracing, cutting, folding and gluing a single paper rose. Now, during that time I was also watching the tutorial, massaging my aching hands, and showing off my masterpiece. I’m sure once I get comfortable with the process it won’t take me so long. Plus, I’ll have the Cricut, so hopefully that will save me some time.  Having the bone folder will also save me some time as rolling the paper with a glue stick to curl the petals was awkward and time-consuming.

And the verdict is in…

Am I skilled enough to make the paper flowers on my own? YES. It was easier to make than it looked. Yes, I had some ugly fold lines, and I ripped the tip of a petal, but you can’t tell. The flower looks beautiful if I do say so myself. And I do.

Is making the flowers myself to save money worth the time, effort, and stress that goes into creating them? YES. I am confident that I can significantly cut down on the amount of time it takes to make the flowers. And, making the flower wasn’t particularly stressful. Even though it took me three hours from beginning to end, it didn’t feel that long. I can definitely see myself making paper flowers for other events. All in all, it was a good experience, and I am excited to continue learning and to start building up my paper flower stock pile. Full steam ahead!

Next up, the dahlia. Wish me luck!

  • 7/17

    We’re in the home stretch for the wedding now. The countdown is at seven weeks. Last week, at the eight-week mark I had a mini panic attack about how close the wedding was and how much was undone. To calm myself, I sat down and tried to do two of the larger tasks that were left. I was finally able to tackle the program and the name cards for the tables.

    At first I had these grandiose plans of designing my own wedding programs. I wanted it to be sort of like a poster advertising the circus with each section being acts. So the officiant would be the ring leader, we’d be the main event, etc. I knew I wanted the programs to be attached to a wooden stick so they could be used as fans. I always get hot at weddings so I might as well make something that can be used well as a fan instead of a flimsy piece of paper.

    With these grand plans in mind I sat down at my desktop to see what I could crank out in Publisher and quickly realized this was a task for Photoshop. I dusted off my college laptop (the only computer in the house with Photoshop) and sat down to get to work. Then cried. I don’t actually have any serious design skills. I can dabble and do something simple, but nothing as beautiful as what I had envisioned. After a good hard melt down, I got onto Fiverr.com and Esty to see what I could find. Maybe someone had a template I could work off of or I could just find a pre-made program and to hell with designing.

    Program Template by Etsy Seller BirDIYdesign

    BirDIYdesign came to my rescue. After a fairly thorough, weeklong hunt I found a nice simple, not at all what I had originally had in mind, program that cost me $16. ($5.60 for the template, $10 for two color change). I’ve come to realize I have a price where I will pay for something that will take me hours, possibly days to make myself. If I can buy it under $30, its worth it. My time is my money.

    Ticket Template by Etsy seller Eudanedigital

    The name cards I was willing to spend hours of work on to create. I knew exactly what I wanted. I saw a pin on Pinterest of some name cards an Etsy seller made that I absolutely adored. I tried to find the seller again to see if they would make them for me, but they have vanished off the face of Etsy. So instead I found a seller that had a template for them that I was able to make my own. Eudanedigital makes some snazzy, stupid cheap templates for editing. I found this one and was able to use my limited Photoshop skills to make these name cards. 

    I’m stupidly pleased with these, they came out really well and only took me about four hours to pump out. The part that took the longest was editing the image of the ferris wheel to go in the background. There are so many nooks and crannies between the spokes. Each table will be a different theme like ferris wheel, carousel, dancing bear, etc.

    Getting tasks complete lifts a HUGE burden off my shoulders. I do still need to print up the programs and name cards, but I can’t physically print them until I have all the RSVPs in and I hear back from the officiant on her official title. Next up will be the ticket booth and signs for the wedding. I can calm down, these tasks aren’t nearly as daunting as I originally thought.

    How’s your countdown going? What big projects do you have left?

  • 4/11

    If you saw my last post, you know what I’m in the middle of packing and moving everything. I can’t find anything because most of it is already packed. A few days before I found out I was getting a new job and moving, I started doing trials on drying flowers. As a broke, DIY bride, I was hoping I could preserve my own wedding…

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    3/15

    There's long-held idea that a Broke-Ass wedding means a DIY, craft-filled fete. And sure, some of us are absolutely skilled at making the pretty from scratch, but others of us (like yours truly) don't have a single crafty bone in their body (for serious: I consider taking a can of spray paint to something a major DIY accomplishment) and are still totes focused on making our…

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    3/8

    It’s been really nice to take a breather from wedding planning for a bit. I feel like we’ve really stayed ahead of the game by scheduling roughly a task a month or so. It has always been a goal to make planning as stress-free as possible. I never wanted to look back at this experience as a frustrating or stressful time. It helps that my…

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    2/23

    If you caught my last post, life has been a little unpredictable lately, right in the midst of preparing for an industry talk at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and trying to DIY these Save the Dates. When I decided to make these myself, I knew that the industry talk was coming, but assumed I’d be able to manage both of those simultaneously. Our unexpected circumstances…

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    2/8

    Here's a big HELLO to all my ladies out there bride'n on a budget! I will start this off by saying that I am super stoked to be here sharing my journey down the aisle with y'all! My name is Heather, and I am a lady who knows how to pinch a penny when it comes to weddings! I have always kind of been obsessed…

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    1/26

    Our first official wedding correspondence is going out in a week or two (as soon as I get around to DIY-ing them) -- our Save the Dates. Everyone we’re close to knows that we’re getting married. It shouldn’t be a secret or surprise to anyone when they arrive in the mail. It’s also not as if our wedding and getting married doesn’t already seem real;…

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    12/2

    Name: Diana C. Vasquez and Tom McGovern Occupation: Renaissance Man Wedding Location: Ceremony: Central Park Conservancy Reception: Liederkranz Foundation Wedding Date: May 9, 2015 Budget: $14,000 Number of Guests: 80 How would you describe your wedding? Our wedding was a creative application of traditional concepts. What was your favorite part? My favorite part was having an unofficial first dance. I am an incredibly shy and…

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