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Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

The coolest wedding signs since wedding signs were invented

In Decoration, DIY on July 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm
Courtesy of Ritzybee

Handpainted sign on wood - Courtesy of Ritzybee

Signs cost nothing but a lick of paint and a little bit of effort. Go crazy on signs, signage and anything vaguely arrow shaped to create drama and intrigue at your wedding. It’s a fact found in all good Wedding Encyclopaedias – cool signs at weddings = cool photos = cool memories of your wedding. See below for undisputable proof:

A boxing round card style cake cutting sign? That's so good I'm going to faint. On purpose.

A boxing round card style cake cutting sign? That's so good I'm going to faint. On purpose.

Get your bridesmaids to hold up signs letting guests know what stage of the wedding you’re at.

Utter brilliance. No need for cheesy grins when a sign explains your situation.

Utter brilliance. No need for cheesy grins when a sign explains your situation.

Whether on weathered wood or hanging from a tree or even both wedding signage looks best when it’s DIY.

A wooden sign? Hanging from a tree? Whats not to like?

A wooden sign? Hanging from a tree? What's not to like?

A wedding sign with personality - a rare thing.

A wedding sign with personality - a rare thing.

A classic wedding sign. No one would complain about this one.

A classic wedding sign. No one would complain about this one.

And a more controversial wedding sign.

And a more controversial wedding sign.

On buying DIY wedding flowers cheaply

In DIY, Flowers, Uncategorized on March 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm
Even the most DIY-allergic bride can manage putting a single rose in a vase

Even the most DIY-allergic bride can manage putting a single rose in a vase

The first rule of sourcing anything wedding-related is ‘never talk about weddings’. Mention the W word and suppliers eyes light up as dollar signs spin through their retinas. The same goes for sourcing your own wedding flowers. Avoid florists, especially bridal florists where possible. They’ll only charge you up the arse.

Here’s some thoughts on how to fulfil your DIY floristry needs:

2. Online bulk flowers – Post a rose does a dozen roses for £19, or even a potted white rose for £17.
potted_white_rose_bush_from_post_a_rose

Then there’s Tesco’s old flower supplier – Postal Bouquets – who do a hand tied bouquet of avalanche roses for £23.

£23 from Postal Bouquets

£23 from Postal Bouquets

Also DIY Flowers does 100 roses for £170.

2. Supermarket flowers – You could save yourself a load of hassle and get all your centrepieces delivered from Asda Flowers at about £22 a bouquet.

 A bunch of 10 roses and 10 freesias for £14 from Asda Flowers

A bunch of 10 roses and 10 freesias for £14 from Asda Flowers

2. Wholesale suppliers. If you happen to run your own company or know someone who does, you can register with your company number to order bulk flowers online at places like flowersforflorists.com.

And for the Yanks, Costco do online flowers at great prices, though they are known to be a little unreliable…

3. Flower markets – If you can deal with a very early morning a couple of days before your wedding, then this could be for you.

New Covent Garden Flower Market

New Covent Garden Flower Market

New Covent Garden Market, near Vauxhall, London is open early mornings every day but Sunday. Expect sneery looks, no advice but a huge range of boxes or big bunches of cheap flowers.

4. Buy silk flowers. They’ll pretty much never droop or wilt. Try Sarah’s Flowers.

5. Get bucketloads of water for when any delivered flowers arrive. They’ll be parched and on the verge of wilting, so make sure you top up the water as they drink it up.

6. Warmth opens. As a general rule to open flowers, give them warmth – so a steamy bathroom and buckets of warm water for closed buds; cold water and a cold room if they’re already ripe and open on arrival.

7. A drop of bleach in vases will keep them alive longer. Just a drop, mind.

8. The days before… For Saturday weddings, get the flowers delivered on a Thursday,make up the centrepieces on Friday, the bouquets later on Friday and buttonholes on Saturday morning.

Make your own invites

In DIY, Stationery on March 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Home-made invites don’t have to look like a sad child’s attempt to copy Blue Peter, full of splodgy glitter and badly cut out stars. OK, you’re not going to get letterpressing on your Epsom printer, but with a little bit of imagination and thought, they can look mighty fine. Here’s how to create that a non-rubbish DIY invite:

1. Create a moodboard of invites which tickle your fancy.

Invite moodboard by Credit Crunch Bride

Invite moodboard by Credit Crunch Bride

2. Question your abilities. Take an honest look at your design abilities. If you’re a bit wobbly on design, then use the K.I.S.S. principle – Keep It Simple Stupid.

3. Buy a border. Istock does all sorts of cute vintage borders.

Delicate scroll and leaf set from Istock

Delicate scroll and leaf set from Istock

3. Choose a typeface. Dafont.com is where all the beautiful free fonts go to hide. Pick up some beauties there and download them to your computer.

The King & Queen font, from DaFont

The King & Queen font, from DaFont

4. Choose your paper wisely. Atlantis art supplies, in London E1, has a big rainbowfest of colours and stock. It’s about 30p per page or envelope. Or, order colour envelopes from UK based Colour envelopes.

5. Get printable wedding invites. If, after hours of trying you realise you’re not the next Saul Bass, you could get an invitation template designed  for you at this Etsy shop to print out yourself. It’s kind of like half DIY invites.

Printable wedding invites

Printable wedding invites

Design your own wedding dress: copy the old Hollywood stars

In DIY, Dresses on March 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm
Dress by Adrian (Greta Garbos designer)

Dress is by Adrian (Greta Garbo's designer)

If you’re going to shell out for a beautiful dress, you might as well get the most beautifully designed one you can. And unless you’re an astoundingly talented dress designer, it’s probably worth taking some inspiration from some of the most beautiful classic long dresses known to womankind. In other words, if you’re going to steal, do it from Waitrose rather than Costcutters.

Joan Crawford:

Joan Crawford wears a streamlined dress as Letty Lynton in 1932, designed by Adrian. It demonstrates the fashion for classical drapery with its bias-cutting, draping and wrap details.

Joan Crawford wears a streamlined dress as Letty Lynton in 1932, designed by Adrian. It demonstrates the fashion for classical drapery with its bias-cutting, draping and wrap details."

Greta Garbo:

Greta Garbo

Greta Garb

Rita Hayworth:

Rita Hayworth in a pink and silver lame evening dress designed by the famed Hollywood designer Howard Greer.

Rita Hayworth in a pink and silver lame evening dress designed by the famed Hollywood designer Howard Greer.

Learn to do hair like hers here.

!930s designer, Madeleine Vionnet:

Dancer Irene Castle poses in a classical-style dress, 1922

Dancer Irene Castle poses in a classical-style dress, 1922

Then a little later, there’s Audrey Hepburn:

Audrey Hepburn in a 50s wedding dress

Audrey Hepburn in a 50's wedding dress

And for a more modern Hollywood icon, try Keira Knightley‘s amazing green dress from Atonement:

The green dress in Atonement

The green dress in Atonement

And if all this is too much and you just want a hint of vintage, try Circa Brides, London.

Bridal beauty on the cheap

In Beauty, DIY on February 26, 2009 at 12:50 pm

There’s a burgeoning industry in pre-wedding beautifying. First, you’re advised to have 6 months of facials, then there’s teeth whitening and tanning,not to mention fitness trainers to shout you into a smaller dress size. Brides get whipped up into a frenzy of panicky weight loss and facial masques and suddenly pre-wedding beautifying is a small event in itself. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to beautify without those beastly costs:

1. Water is free. Hydrate til your pee is like liquid diamonds and your skin glows like an Evian models’.

2. Dry brushing is the secret to being cellulite free. OK, it’s a bit like self-flagellation, but it does wonders for those dimply thighs.

Brush in long strokes towards the heart and think of England.

Brush in long strokes towards the heart and think of England.

3. Expensive body exfoliators are a waste of money – get the cheapest you can buy, or just use salt granules.

4. DIY Intense Pulsed Light hair removal – For the price of a few trips to Madame Bikini Wax and a little bit of patience, you can actually get your hair removed forever. Boots has just introduced a DIY non-laser Intense Pulsed Light hair removal kit, called Smooth Skin, for an introductory price of £250. That’s a great deal cheaper than salon hair removal, which can cost thousands, and means those mortifying trips for Brazilians could soon be a thing of the past.

Boots Smooth Skin takes 6-12 weeks to de-fuzz you

Boots Smooth Skin takes 6-12 weeks to de-fuzz you

5. Awarded high street products – Superdrug Instant Radiance and Boots No 7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum are prize winners.

Even my mother recommends this

Even my mother recommends this

6. Sleep costs nothing. You’ll always look like poop if you’re tired.

7. Beauty schools – get all your beauty treatments done for a song, by nervous but enthusiastic students.

London Esthetique run a student salon in Margaret St, London W1.

£12 for Galvanic cellulite treatment?  Happy days for your orange peel.

£12 for Galvanic cellulite treatment? Happy days for your orange peel.

8. Shop around for beauty products. Otherwise, you just pay lazy tax. Jersey Beauty Company do tax-avoiding Dermlogica and Saint Tropez products. You can normally get a third off or more for any product on ebay (unused, obviously).

9. DIY Facials – According to You and Your Wedding, here’s how to do it:

Mix two teaspoons of fine oatmeal with enough natural yoghurt (for oily skin) or almond oil (for dry skin) to make a paste. Leave it on for 20 minutes then wash off.

10. DIY make up – No need for an expensive bridal make up lady, or the pre-wedding make-up trial. Learn how to do your make up better yourself. It’s cheaper, plus it’s a skill you can keep forever. You can get a free make-up advice in most department stores. If you ask the nice lady her advice, and don’t mention it’s a wedding she’ll surely help you out. Alternatively, teach yourself with Lauren Luke’s YouTube make up tutorials. There’s endless make-upstyles to choose from:

Lauren Luke’s Bridal Make up

Alternative button holes (boutonnieres)

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Found on Thoughtful Day

Found on Thoughtful Day

If you can’t afford to spend on the big things, at least make the little things brilliant. So, you may have a reception in a draughty cowshed, but at least the ushers’ buttonholes (or boutonnieres) will be fabulous. Michelle Ragu made these beauties.

The autumnal button hole

The autumnal button hole

Make your own fabric boutonierres here:

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

And finally, LaLaLaurie from Etsy has some mad aunt inspired boutonnieres, full of buttons, feathers and birds.

Would look a treat on your most butch of ushers

Would look a treat on your most butch of ushers

Button holes which are a little less girly

Button holes that are a little less girly

Finding a boutonniere which isn’t effeminate can be an arduous task. A shell boutonniere is all very well for a beach wedding, and yes, silk boutonnieres will last forever, but they’re not exactly manly. What about a neatly folded pocket square? They set all the chaps suits off, are useful for wiping away tears and might even be used again. Learn how to fold one beautifully here.

The silk pocket handkerchief, perfect for an English gent.

The silk pocket handkerchief, perfect for an English gent.

Supermarket wedding flowers

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm

You know it makes sense. If a supermarket stocks them, they’ll be cheap and hardy. Here’s some ideas for those who wish to embrace Tesco’s Finest:

1. Re-doing a mixed bunch. Buy one of those mixed bunches from Asda, bin the excess foliage, remove any clashing colours, cut the stems to length, secure with wire, wrap in ribbon, bang in a few pearl headed pins, and wham bam thank you ma’am – Bouquet a la Supermarche.

Before

Before

After

After

2. Now for table displays, mums and daisies are easily available and work wonders if you’re looks for a sunny yellow theme.

Making the sun shine at Sainsbury's

Making the sun shine at Sainsbury's

3. Meanwhile a mix of irises, statis and carnations kicks ass if you’re doing a blue or lilac theme. There’s a guide to supermarket wedding flowers at Real Simple.

4. Pink carnations, a.k.a Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite are as ever, a winner. Mix them up with copious filler flowers.

Mix carnations up with lavender

Mix up your carnations

How to do a carnation display, according to Martha Stewart:

Hide distracting sepals and stems by clustering the blossoms into a tight dome. Soak five blocks of floral foam in water until saturated. Line up three of the blocks in a shallow bowl. Center another block on top of those three. Cut the remaining foam block in half, crossways, and place half on either side of the stack. Trim each carnation stem to two or three inches. Working your way from bottom to top, stick each carnation’s stem into the top foam block. When you’re finished, trim or rearrange flowers to fill out the dome and fix “bald” spot.

5. Tiny vases – This is a bit like the small plate principle when you’re dieting, except this is more of a floral diet. Even a tulip can look grand and imposing in a miniature vase.

From Toast and Tables

From Toast and Tables

6. No fear. It’s scary doing it yourself, but then so is ending up in years of pointless debt because of an outrageous floristry bill.

Watch this florists’s video on pros and cons of supermarket flowers – she says the quality is fine, the prices great, it’s just the arrangements that can be a little.. well.. common. However, with a bit of DIY rearrangment you’ll have flowers fit for a lady.

Other posts you might like:

The totally cheapest bridal bouquets ever – Part 2

The terribly cheap carnation bridal bouquet

The Totally Cheapest Ever Bridal Bouquets: Part 2

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 23, 2009 at 11:41 am

After the enthusiasm for The Totally Cheapest Bridal Bouquets Ever, it seems time to release Part 2. Ladies, put those floral worries aside, here’s some alternatives to the classic bridal bouquet:

1. The dried flower bouquet – it’ll never wilt and you can put it together yourself weeks before. Imagine the aroma of lavender wafting down the aisle.

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

2. The origami bouquet – if you are blessed with endless patience, this could be a route for you.

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

3. The Wire Bouquet – This one’s more for the rock chick bride. Make it barbed wire if you’re really alternative.

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

4. The Etsy bouquet – there’s always an alternative version of a bouquet on Etsy, which is an online marketplace for independent designers. Try The Storque for recent creations.

$105 for 24 silk roses, each with real branches

5. Balloons as your bouquet. Flower girls with miniature balloons? Whats not to like?

A bouquet of balloons

A bouquet of balloons

6. A fan. Blushing brides with fans are sexy, it’s a science fact.

7. Peacock feathers. A single one, or a fan of them.

The terribly cheap carnation bridal bouquet

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 22, 2009 at 10:06 am
Carnations can be delicate and elegant

Carnations can be delicate and elegant

The carnation is the recession-friendly flower. It symbolises love to your guests and a less badly dented wallet to you. They come in all the colours of the rainbow, are hardy and last days. Some say they are the flowers of petrol station forecourts. Some, like Charlotte in Sex in the City, call them ‘filler flowers’. Not I.

The power of a single colour. Kaboom.

The power of a single colour. Kaboom.

In single colours they have impact.

Two tone bouquet

Two tone bouquet

In two similar-but-different shades, they look as complex and interesting as George Clooney.

So many styles. Not sure about purple though, because purple is for crazies.

So many styles. Not sure about purple though, because purple is for crazies.

For glamour on an Audrey Hepburn level, add a brooch.

The monochrome bouquet

The monochrome bouquet

Martha Stewart shows you how to make a black tie carnation bouquet, with ingenious, but somewhat fiddly ribbon flowers…

Ribbon Flower How-To
For each flower, cut a 9 1/4-inch length of 1-inch-wide satin ribbon.

1. Measure 1/2 inch from one end; mark lightly in pencil. From there, mark 1 1/2-inch intervals five times (for five petals).

2. With matching thread, hand-stitch semicircles from mark to mark.

3. Pull thread to gather; knot.

4. Sew ribbon ends together, right sides facing, to make flower; snip off extra ribbon. For stem, stitch flower to looped and twisted end of white floral wire.

Making a splash with confetti

In Confetti, Decoration, DIY on February 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Confetti shouldn’t cost a thing. It is simply daft to spend any money on something that is literally going to be tossed on the floor. Some people release doves, or blow trumpets. Okaaay. Here’s some confetti ideas that are as cheap as they should be:

1. Rice. The classic option. I’d say long grain easy cook is a winner.

2. Hole punch confetti.

Simply hole punch a lot of coloured card

Simply hole punch a lot of coloured card

3. Dried petals, stolen over a number of weeks from your local park. For kleptomaniac Londoners, Victoria Park has a marvellous rose garden.

4. Bubbles. Also, very eco. Just make sure they wont stain your dress.

5. Lavender rice.

6. Brightly coloured popcorn. Sweet, not salty. Again, be warned about staining your gown.

7. Birdseed. Very eco (ahem, cheap).

8. The big balloon release. Very grand, very un-eco.

9. White feathers. No need to add tar.

Or, blow the confetti budget on.... ostrich feathers

Or, blow the confetti budget on.... ostrich feathers

10. Leaves. Not sure about this one.