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Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

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.

Recycled wedding dresses? How terribly eco.

In Dresses on July 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm
2178424156_bdf0889c98

Deconstruct old clothes and turn them into catwalk pieces

Cover off “something borrowed” by walking down the aisle in a recycled wedding dress. It will keep your carbon footprint light and fluffy and your wallet with a few pennies left in it.

For East Londoners, Junky Styling are specialists at creating something new from recycled clothing. They can either scour second hand shops and jumble sales for you to find beautiful pieces of lace to make your dream eco-dress or alter and re-fashion a piece of clothing you bring in. Run by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager and a team of designers on Brick Lane, they’re immensely creative and admirably unpretentious. They’re not wedding specialists, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Here’s some they made earlier…

A little bit of rouging and a buttoned off-shoulder cowl neck

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Layers of vintage lace add interest to a simple silhouette

 Vintage lace gets a make-over

Vintage lace gets a make-over

Shortening an old wedding dress gives instant modernity.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

And if you’re really really on a budget, you can always fashion a wedding dress out of old white T-shirts…

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

Click here to see instructions

Click here to see instructions

The ultimate wedding cake bake-off

In cake on June 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm
Homemade wedding Cake from 2000dollarwedding

Homemade wedding Cake from 2000dollarwedding

The wedding cake. Expensive and often not that tasty. Certainly not as tasty as my mum’s cherry cake or my friend Suzy’s lemon drizzle cake. So why pay some baker to create you some white marzipan encrusted monstrosity? No, this is your chance to have (drum roll)… THE ULTIMATE WEDDING CAKE BAKE OFF.

Bring on the bake-off

Bring on the bake-off

Not only do you avoid astronomic wedding cake costs, but you create something totally individual, collaborative and a mini-event in itself. Ask close friends and family to bake and bring along their favourite cake.For extra competitiveness pitch the bride’s family against the groom’s family. May the best bakers win.

Finally, instead of a cake cutting ceremony have The Bake Off Awards. Award prizes to all the bakers (Best Carrot Cake Award, Best Coconut Cake with Lime Buttercream Award etc.) Appropriate prizes could be a silver cake fork or an apron.

Decorate cakes with flowers

Decorate cakes with flowers

One final advantage is Cake Diversity – you end up with lots of different cakes, so guests are likely to at least like something. Here’s the top ten most requested cakes according to the New York magazine:

10. Chocolate-almond cake, chocolate ganache, and mocha buttercream

9. Banana cake and chocolate buttercream

8. Coconut cake and lime buttercream

7. Hazelnut-almond cake, chocolate ganache, and raspberries

6. White cake, lemon buttercream, and raspberries

5. Chocolate devil’s food cake, chocolate ganache, and praline buttercream

4. Lemon cake, lemon curd, and vanilla buttercream

3. Yellow butter cake and chocolate buttercream and/or chocolate ganache

2. Chocolate devil’s food cake, vanilla buttercream, and raspberries

1. Chocolate devil’s food cake and vanilla buttercream

And to avoid last minute panics, encourage your trusty bakers to bake in advance. Once the cakes are cooled wrap them in clingfilm super tight, then wrap in foil just in case, then pop them in the freezer. Then the night before just defrost, add fillings and decorate.

Bake your cakes in advance, wrap tightly in clingfilm then defrost the night before

Bake your cakes in advance, wrap tightly in clingfilm then defrost the night before

Keep decoration simple. – There’s no need to get OTT about decorations. Some whipped cream for fillings, a little icing sugar on top, followed by a handful of berries or a flower can look marvelous.

Guest-generated wedding photography

In Photography on June 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

If formal wedding line ups make you want to hurl and paying a couple of grand for a wedding photographer seems just a little too much, then there are other ways to create fabulous wedding photography…

Bring on the DIY photo booth – it’s like the disposable camera thing, but with an upgrade.

Hang up a back drop with a drape and a piece of cord, and there you have your very own photo booth for guests.

Guests at Nathalie and Corey's wedding wrote messages on a little chalkboard

Guests at Nathalie and Corey's wedding wrote messages on a little chalkboard

With the aid of a digital camera on a tripod and a piece of string you can create your very own Helmut Newton style photo machine, in which guests trigger the shutter and flash with either a camera radio remote or a camera remote control cable.

For the ultimate wedding snaps

For the ultimate wedding snaps

Encourage curtseys and bows at your home made photobooth

Encourage curtseys and bows at your home made photo booth

To encourage true silliness with the guests, set up a laptop so they can review their shots. This does get a little more complicated, but luckily here’s a tutorial on setting up your own photo booth. And here‘s how another couple did it.

wedding photo booth DIY candid speech bubbles

And for ultimate dumb guest behaviour create speech bubbles for guests to write messages on.

And finally, once you’ve got millions of amazing user-generated shots, print your own album by uploading it to a digital photo book maker like Bob books.

Upload your own photos to create your own photo book at Bob Books

Upload your own photos to create your own photo book at Bob Books

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

Wedding catering for the frugal bride

In Food and Drink, Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Catering is the main cost of a wedding. Ironically, most wedding food is bland and disappointing. Perhaps it’s the difficulty of serving over a hundred guests something that none of them will hate or be allergic to, perhaps it’s a lack of imagination. Here’s some ideas on creating the gourmet effect on a Lidl’s budget:

1. Go ironic. Kate Winslet served fish and chips at her wedding, and somehow managed to still seem elegant and cool, on account of it being Ironic Fish ‘n’ Chips. You could also serve Ironic Bangers & Mash or even (for the very Ironic) Children’s Party Food.

Michelle & Noah's picnic wedding

Michelle & Noah's picnic wedding

2. Have a picnic. This is ultimately the same as a cold buffet, but everyone gets their meal pre-packaged in a little wicker basket, and you sit on blankets on a sunny lawn.

Everyone loves a good wedding spit roast.

Everyone loves a good wedding spit roast. Sorry, did I just make that joke? Yes, yes, it appears I did. Apologies.

3. The hog roast, or indeed a BBQ. A whole roast lamb feeds about 40 whilst a whole roast pig feeds more like 100. There’s also a certain drama in seeing a huge skewered animal being roasted.

4. Choose a theme. Like Italian or Mexican. Even the most gourmet pizzas or burritos will be cheap in comparison to your standard 3 course affair.

5. Go for a fork buffet. A cold one is cheapest. If you have lots of interesting salads, a delicately poached salmon and a joint of gammon can be amazing.

6. Choose less expensive cuts. Fillet of beef is more expensive than sirloin.

7. Don’t have a sit down meal. A shorter wedding with canapes and drinks can work as a lower key affair. Indeed canapes can be tiny works of art. Just make sure they’re suitable for ladies wearing lots of lipgloss and trying to remain elegant.

Here’s a guide to how many canapes you’ll need per person.

Wedding canapes often outclass the main meal

Wedding canapes often outclass the main meal

8. Do your own catering (ok, get your mum to do it). This pair actually did it, at their $2,00 wedding, so it is possible. Inevitably though, it would be a Big Stress, unless you are actually Nigella Lawson. However, there is no doubt it will save a great deal of money, plus there’s something sweet about having food cooked by the bride. If this sounds too ambitious, you could just cook the wedding cake or the puddings yourself…

9. Sweat your caterers. Get comparative quotes and make sure they’re not going to hit you for surprise extras, like charging you for providing the dishes in which the food is served or similar nonsense. If they think you’re a besotted bride whose brain has turned to financially-illerate mush, they’ll hoik up their prices.

Other posts you may like:

Wedding reception drinks on a budget

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

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.