DIY Project: Hand-painted Parasol

just married parasol

A lot of brides have recently started a trend of buying or making their own custom hand-painted parasols for their wedding. They are a cute way to personalize your day and can be perfect for a photo-op and/or reception decor! What’s fantastic is how affordable they are to make your own and how easy they are to make too. They are generally under $10 a piece, but the more you make..the more you save!

Some brides choose to make only one or a few for their bridal party with their monogram, date, initials or even simple messages like “Love” and “Thank You”. The “Thank You” parasol in a photo would make a great thank you card for after the wedding 🙂 Another idea is making a small hand painted parasol for your flower girl(s) to carry!

Other brides make smaller ones for their guests as a favor. I’d only suggest this if you are having a small intimate wedding..or if you are really dedicated and have enough time on your hands to paint a bunch of parasols. (Which I doubt..you’re planning a wedding after all!)

You’ll Need..

  • Paper parasol in your choice of size – just make sure that the paper is slightly transparent to allow you to see your pattern through it, most brides go with a simple white parasol (See Paper Lantern Store or Oriental Trading (bulk purchase) to order online)
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Fine Paint Brush (Don’t go too cheap here, you’ll want a soft fine brush able to glide along the paper and paint intricate lines…In other words, don’t use the paintbrush from a kids watercolor paint set!)
  • Computer/Printer to print pattern
  • Optional – Embellishments such as swarovski crystals (and glue!)

Some suggestions for designs…
Just Married
Flowergirl
Bride
Groom
Bridesmaid
Groomsman
We Did!
I Do
Thank you!
Love
Your Monogram
Your Wedding Date

Making the parasols are extremely simple! Just gather your materials and steady your hand..here we go!

  1. Decide what you want on your parasol. You will want to prepare your pattern on the computer to use as a guide for painting. How you do this depends on the programs you have available on your computer, however most brides seem to use Microsoft Word to type out the words/letters they want in the font style of their choice. Enlarge the font size (or design) till you get the size you want – you’ll have to play with this (and test print) till you get the size you are looking for. If the lettering/design is small you may be able to fit a word per sheet of paper. Some designs may require one letter per sheet..and some designs (a monogram perhaps?) are so big they may require several sheets of paper taped together. When you’ve successfully printed the letter(s)/design(s) for your parasol in the size you want you are ready for the next step!
  2. Take your printed sheet and some scotch tape and GENTLY tape it to the underside of your parasol where you want the design on the sheet to be. The printed design should be face up so it peeks through the see through paper of your parasol – this is why your parasol -must- be see through to some degree and not opaque! This will act as a guide for painting onto your parasol.
  3. Gently trace the design with a sharp pencil using the pattern you taped underneath as a guide.
  4. Next, begin painting! Take your fine paint brush and begin painting your design using the pattern you traced. guide. Don’t rush this! Be very slow and gentle to fill in the pattern you traced. Some suggest using small strokes to avoid botching the design when you paint over the parasols ridges/bumps. If you are painting with more than one color, be sure to allow the first color (and each thereafter!) to dry before starting a new color.
  5. Once your painting has dried you are done! You may now choose to further embellish your design to further customize your parasol. (Some swarovski crystals glued in select areas of the design could be very pretty!)

That’s it! These beautiful custom painted parasols will be a gorgeous personal detail at your wedding. Make sure you send us pictures if you create your own custom parasol…we would love to see!

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DIY Project: Autumn/Fall Cascading Hanging Leaves Decor

My previous post I featured a project by David Monn, an event designer featured on Martha Stewart. This is another fantastic autumn project he created that would add some warm autumn colors from an unexpected place! Sure, you have autumn florals and centerpieces..but how about some fall decor cascading from the ceiling? These Cascading autumn leaves are extremely affordable and easy to create and would look stunning in a number of places on your wedding day! Hanging around doorways, above tables or maybe just above the cake table to make your autumn wedding confection pop out even more! Let’s get started!

You’ll need…

  • Monofilament (a fancy word for clear fishing line!)
  • Scissors
  • Pressed Leaves from your yard or faux silk leaves from the craft store
  • strong craft glue that dries clear

Now is to create these dandgling beauties!

  1. Take your monofilament and cut it into lengths you want the cascading leaf strands to be. Make them as long or short as you wish!
  2. Mark the monofilament with a pencil where you want each leaf to be spaced on the strand. Place a spot of glue in the center of a leaf, and then attach it to the monofilament strand where you made your mark.
  3. Add another spot of glue on the leaf now glued to the monofilament and push another leaf on top. Double facing the leaves will hide the spots of glue used when attaching!
  4. Repeat gluing 2 leaves on each premarked spot on your monofilament strand until each mark is covered.

That’s it! make as many strands as you wish and hang them at your ceremony/reception site to add rich natural warm colors of autumn from an unexpected place – the ceiling! I think they are an absolutely perfect add on to your fall wedding decor..Every little detail personalizes your big day!

Make sure you send in your pics if you use these leaf cascades at your wedding!

DIY Project: Autumn Leaves Pumpkin Centerpiece Decor

David Monn (a Nyc event designer) was on the Martha Stewart yesterday and he did a wonderful presentation of easy fall table decor that I thought would also work beautifully in some cases for a fall themed wedding! One of his wonderful creations was a perfect autumn centerpiece, a pumpkin filled with colorful autumn leaves. It’s an extremely easy centerpiece to assemble, and also extremely affordable this time of year – especially if you have rich autumn leaves laying all over your yard or park that can be used for free!

Here’s what you will need…

  • Low, Squat Pumpkin (if you want this to be a nonperishable centerpiece, the craft pumpkins would probably work from the craft store too as long as its low and squat and can be scooped out into a bowl!)
  • Fall leaves from outside, pick a rich variety of colors – reds, yellows, orange and green! (like with the pumpkin, if you want them to last you can use silk leaves from your craft store)
  • Carving knife
  • Floral foam (Oasis)
  • Floral Wire
  • 3 inch floral sticks

Now let’s start!

  1. Cut your pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and carve your pumpkin into a bowl.
  2. Cut your floral foam to fit inside your pumpkin bowl and push into your pumpkin.
  3. Attach five leaves of different sizes to a floral stick using floral wire to form a branch.
  4. Push your branch into your floral foam and repeat until the foam is completely covered. You will end up with a pumpkin bowl with an overflowing colorful abundance of crisp leaves.

Now just repeat as needed until you have the number of centerpieces needed for your reception! These would also look beautiful as randomly placed decor throughout your ceremony and reception. Maybe place one near the guest book, or a couple around your altar! It would bring the beautiful crisp autumn colors into your big day to compliment a wonderful fall theme.

Credit: Martha Stewart and David Monn for the idea and images!

DIY Project: Colorful floating tea light candles

These floating tea light candles are extremely easy to create, and so very affordable too! They would make a beautiful centerpiece addition, surrounding your main centerpiece..or even used in a group (maybe in differing heights?) to be the main centerpiece. I got the idea when I was watching Get Married this morning, tried it out with some of my chunky candle holders..and it worked beautifully!

All you’ll need are…

  • Small Clear Glass Candle Holders (Square, Round, tall, short..whatever fits the style of your day!)
  • Water (tap water is just fine!)
  • Food coloring in your choice of colors to fit your wedding theme
  • Small tea light candles or small floating candles (I used plain old tea lights!)

Now all you need to do is fill each of your candle holders with a bit of water and add a drop of food coloring. A little bit of color goes a long way, I only used one drop per holder! If you put in one drop and still want to go darker, add another drop and stir. If you add too much you can always pour it out and start over again!

Once you achieve the color(s) you like in each holder, gently place your tea light or floating candle into the water and you’re done! Just light the candles and they are ready to glow all night!

If you like, you can fill an empty gallon milk carton with water and add food coloring drop by drop to get the color you like. Then just bring the gallon(s) of colored water, candles and candle holders to your ceremony/reception site so you can quickly set your candles up there (or get your friends or family to do it! You’ll probably be busy getting beautiful.. 🙂 )

That’s it! Have any ideas to make this project more unique please comment! And, as always please send in your pics if you create this candle project.

DIY Project: Hanging Jars for Flowers or Candles


credit: ThalloDesign on flickr.com

Do-it-yourself hanging jars are an extremely affordable project you can incorporate into your wedding! Very few materials are needed, they cost hardly anything and they can be created in minutes. Once completed they can be used either with candles to make glowing lanterns or with fresh flowers to make hanging colorful vases. They can also be customized beautifully with ribbons and trinkets to fit your theme..and a multitude of items can be put into the jar to further add to the customization.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Jars (Any size will do as long as they have a rim. Any color will do too if it will fit into your theme!)
  • Your Choice of (choose one, or mix them up jar to jar):
    – Fine gauge metal wire, wire cutters and needle nose pliers OR
    – Ribbon/String/Raffia and Scissors
  • Tealights/Votives OR fresh flowers (daisies, dahlias, whatever you like!)
  • Optional: Fillers for the jar such as sea salt, gravel, marbles, dried peas, sand and shells, candy sprinkles, river rocks..etc. (Be creative but keep in mind – what you choose here also depends on if you are using the jars with candles or flowers… Salt would work wonderfully for candles, not so much with fresh flowers!

Let’s get started 🙂

  1. First, you will need to measure how much wire or ribbon/string will be needed to loop the rim of the jar and also create a loop for hanging. To do this, if you are using wire – wrap your wire around the rim, loop it up to create a handle and back down to the opposite side of the jar. Add an additional inch and cut. If you are using string/ribbon/raffia – Cut enough to wrap around the rim of the jar twice and leave you a handle of your preferred length. Add a few inches and cut.
  2. If you are using wire (skip this step if you are not!) – Wrap your wire around the rim of the jar just under the lip, forming a ring.  Using your pliers, twist the wire close to the jar to secure.  Be sure to leave a little room in the ring to allow for attaching of the wire handle!  Bend the excess wire  over the top of the jar and attach them to the metal ring  looped around the rim, securing with your pliers, to create the handle.
  3. If you are using string/ribbon/raffia – Wrap the string twice around the rim of the jar and knot tightly, making sure you have secured the loop beneath the lip of the jar. Loop the long end of the string up and around for your handle (the more you leave here, the longer the handle will be!), securing it tightly to the opposite side of the jar by knotting it to the loop you tied securely around the rim. If you have enough left over, wrap the remaining string/ribbon/raffia around the rim of the jar again for extra security, and knot. Trim excess!
  4. Now that your jars have secure handles, its now your time to customize. If you are adding candles, filling the jars with sand, salt or the like can look beautiful. River rocks or marbles with fresh flowers can look great too. Or, go even simpler and add a touch of food coloring to the water your flowers will be in for additional color. Another idea could be adding charms that coincide to your wedding theme to the rim with a ribbon or even taking some craft paint and painting little designs here and there on the jar..(little ladybugs would be adorable..or stars!)

That’s it! The jars will look fabulous any way you decide to use them. Hang them from shepherd hooks down the aisle, tree branches or even fake tree centerpieces IF the jars are light enough for the branches to support. (Think baby food jars with tealights!)

Note: Please make sure if you are creating the lanterns and lighting candles and using anything other than wire make sure the string/ribbon cannot catch fire. Safety first!

Please make sure you e-mail us ALL of your pictures if you use this project to create these beautiful hanging jars. We’d love to see your gorgeous creations! 🙂


credit: keri and kevin on flickr.com


credit: Mrs. Cherry Pie on WeddingBee


credit: the adventures of f & j on flickr.com


credit: ThalloDesign on flickr.com