Tag Archives: crafts

Wedding Crafts & Personal Touches

please forgive my brief sabbatical, i wanted to keep nana at the top of the page there for a while.

the irish blessing she read at our wedding was one of many personal touches i tried to incorporate into our day.  i wanted the wedding to say, even scream, “PETE & KATIE!”  i have been to too many weddings that scream,

“Hey, this is actually my parents’ party that just happens to be on our big day!” or

“I like the most generic and trite of decor because I had no idea what else to do!”

and i wanted ours to be a 180 from that bizniss.

so here’s some stuff i put my fingers on:

our cake topper.  a friend did the illustration, i ordered the laser cutout on acrylic, and i loved the result!  patsy got to be there on our special day, if only in spirit.

our wedding party.  hello, ridiculousness.  pete had 12 groomsmen, i had 11 attendants (10 bridesmaids, 1 bridesdude).  we could not have done this without any of them.  especially take absurd pictures.

signage.  my nephews carried this particular sign, which i freehanded using a word doc on my laptop and different fonts for inspiration.  i could just hear everyone “awwwwwwww”-ing when these two came down the aisle, and they were so dang proud to have this job!  i also did signs for our photo booth, candy table, and an Avett Brothers quotation that i thought perfectly fit the day:

Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”

including our bebes.  this was pre-finnigan, so these two got to get taken out of camp for a couple of hours to come be with us for our first look and some key pictures.  it wouldn’t have been a wedding day without our little boys!

ring pillow.  i hand-sewed this ring pillow that never actually carried any rings and was really just for show.  my nephew, luke, carried it down the aisle for us though!

my great-grandmother’s handkerchief.  my mom’s mom’s mom made this for my mom to carry down the aisle, and i got to carry it too – it has some yellow spots from age but you can’t beat this for “something old.”

our fire axe.  purely for show, this was our cake-cutting utensil.  it reads “ANDERSON” then the EMS/fire maltese cross, then “EST. 2012”.  i love that we will always have the thing we used to cut our cake hanging out on our wall.

centerpieces, table runners, and “chandeliers.”  as i went in to previously, i did the chandeliers by hand.  we used stitch witchery to make the table runners over an afternoon, and i ordered (and now own, anyone want one?) and arranged all of the centerpieces.  i wanted to alternate tall and low centerpieces, so the ones with willow are almost 4′ tall on the tables while the ones with yellow baby’s breath – who knew that existed? – are only about 1′ tall.

my backdrop, as previously discussed.  it looked so awesome in all of the pictures!  added the perfect touch i had hoped to achieve.

we also designed our own cakes, elected to serve moscato instead of champagne (i’m a sweet wine kinda girl), played some mega-important songs to our various friend groups like “rosanna” by toto and “like a prayer” by madonna, and reused all of the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces on our 2-person tables.  i’m actually pretty proud of how this turned out, and have to thank my photographers, Pablo Corona Photography, for these beautiful images (which p.s. are copyrighted by me and them!)!

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The Anderson Collection Candy Shoppe

another wedding craft i took on was our favors.  i loved the way a candy bar could incorporate your colors, some extra dessert options, and was just plain fun, so i decided early on to go with that.

several trips to tj maxx, ross dress for less, marshall’s, and target later (all over maybe a six-month period), i had a formidable glass canister/vase collection taking up space in our guest room.  some with lids, some without, different heights and volume sizes, to create as much of a visually pleasing tablescape as i could.

i am kicking myself now for not taking more in-progress pictures, but you would be surprised a. how slippery glass vases are when you are attempting to wrap them with ribbon, b. just how many hot glue spider web strings one person can create, and c. your inability to take pictures if you aren’t there during setup.

but hey, i have one picture of the final table, at least!:

step by step the process involved:

1. buying all the glass

2. ordering the candy…i used ACandyStore.com and wayyyy over-ordered – want some sixlets?  i have about 5 lbs of them!  after extensive research and comparison, plus just simple searching for stuff in my color scheme, i found this site to be the best deal and have the most diverse offerings.

3. ordering treat bags and monogram stickers…i got the treat bags (just simple silver paper sacks) from theknot.com, and we picked up some “A” stickers to close the bags with at Michael’s.

4. i wrapped each vase first with wide gray ribbon and hot glued it straight to the glass at the back, tucking the ends for a more finished look, then repeated with a slightly slimmer white ribbon.  using some textured yellow scrapbook paper, i created the little label medallions, cut them out, and hot glued them to the ribbon.

5. to make some risers (not so visible in this image, except just to the right of the sign) i simply took some super sturdy shoe boxes and wrapped them with silver dotted wrapping paper.

6. i googled for some old-fashionedy signage, and tweaked it a bit to paint our Candy Shoppe sign – a basic canvas from Michael’s, it just says “The Anderson Collection” “The Candy Shoppe” & “Sweets from Us to You.”  not perfect, but what is?

7. the table runners were a collaboration between me and my mother-in-law and her cousin, just raw fabric “hemmed” with stitch witchery.  the fabric was bought in bulk from JoAnn’s website – we had runners on every table!

8. fill the jars!  this was apparently done by my brother-in-law and some of the guys’ cousins, per my rather detailed directions.  i tried to spread the various colors around the table so we didn’t have all gray then all yellow, or vice-versa.  we ended up having: mango gummy bears, hershey’s kisses, white mints, yellow & silver sixlets, rum&butter candy sticks, licorice candy sticks, little yellow lollipops, and lemon sours.

9. eat the candy!  (which we are still doing, to this day…)

10. debrief (all by myself to the imaginary team of people in my head that are fighting each other to hear my opinion): next time (next party, not next wedding), remember: people don’t like licorice or rum&butter candy sticks (super unpopular), mints weren’t that great of a hit either, and however many sixlets you think you need, cut that amount in half.  and buy more chocolate hershey’s kisses, those were gone before we knew it!

and just as a cursory note, none of these stores have ever heard of me, except to fill my ginormous orders.  all store usage came after extensive research, review-reading, price comparison, and quality testing.

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A Big Reveal

so remember in that post i wrote oh, i don’t know, almost a year ago me telling you cryptically that i was punching a quadrillion circles for a wedding project?  and i was all teasing and like whoooo wait til you see this?!  and then never showed it to you, because i’m awesome like that?

let’s go ahead and rectify that situation.

this project was absolutely, without a doubt, the most time-intensive and potentially dumb undertaking i…undertook for the wedding.  it all started when i walked by a window of anthropologie, that perma-creative, uber-put together store that we all love.

i saw something handmade, something similar to this:

Wall Waterfall Paper Circles

and i thought dang, man, i could totally make that!  how hard could that be?  (answer: harder than wistfully dreamt.)  when the question came up of what on earth i would do with such a hanging, i realized that our ceremony space, however beautifully lit and wood floored and white walled it was, had nothing in it to designate an “altar” area since it was not so much a church as it was a ballroom.  so my idea of an altar-defining “wall waterfall” came into being.

after some cell phone snaps of the anthro arrangement, i set out to buy supplies: yards and yards of fishing wire and card stock. it was more difficult than i thought to find bulk yellow card stock, so instead of going the colored paper route i went all-white.  i figured in the dimmed lighting against a white wall, it would look nice and shimmery, adding dimension to an otherwise blank space.

as i mentioned previously, i punched the circles using a standard scrapbooking punch.  i probably punched a total of approximately 5,000 – 8,000 circles (i lost count), storing them in gallon ziplocks as i went.

the next step was assisted by my loving fiance, who donned latex gloves (for better needle-gripping skillz) and sat in the corner of our couch threading hundreds of circles onto pre-measured lengths of fishing wire (9’4″, to be exact) while watching “the walking dead”.  he used a standard sewing needle and would thread “a bunch” (technical measurement, here) on to a thread and then pass me the line.

from there i tied each line onto a regular old 3′ dowel from Michael’s, positioned one circle at the top of the line, and added a dot of hot glue to the thread/circle on the bottom of each circle.  i went down the line, spacing the circles each about 1.5″ apart.  dot dot dot, glue web threads everywhere, new stick of glue, dot dot dot, dot dot dot, that was how my nights went for quite a while.  i watched a lot of “gossip girl” during the work.

we decided to make the hanging 9′ x 9′, and with each 3′ dowel requiring 17 strings of circles, you can imagine the time involved.  finally, all the threads were hung by the guest windows with care, and pete and i set to untangling fishing wire.  if you ever wonder if you are going blind, try untangling fishing wire and you will know for sure, “hey, self, i am TOTALLY BLIND.”  once each line was separated, pete created an elaborate system of paper tubes, one per strand, to house each strand and prevent it from re-tangling with its brethren en route to the wedding venue.

a quick spray paint of the dowels, some drilling work, and about 1.5 hours of re-hanging later, it was installed at the venue:

of course, i had to dramatically and wistfully pose with my hours and hours of work, as it was up for one evening only and then into the trash it went.  it turned out beautifully and i loved how it looked behind our minister – i can’t wait to see the professional pictures of it (picture above via instagram via our reader, lauren!)!  here are some more uses of it:

creepy wellesley grouping…

beautiful new facebook profile pictures…

attempts to hide…

backdrops for cousin portraits…

sister cuteness…

and just genuine awesomeness.

i kind of wanted to bring it home for decoration in the house somewhere (after probably 40 hours of work, you would, too!), but it was deemed just too too much to repackage it, re-transport it, and re-hang it.  wah wahhhhhhh.  oh well, now i can say i’ve done it once at least, so take that, anthropologie!

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one of the biggest challenges when decorating a large event space is to decorate proportionally.  you don’t want a dinky little vase on each table in a room with 12′ ceilings, it gets swallowed up!

to bring my space into better harmony (who knows if i succeeded, this was just my goal) i decided to use what i called “chandeliers”  suspended from our ceilings to draw the eye down and create visual contrast against the dark ceilings and exposed brick walls.

so i first began with an armful of these – color me looking like a crazy crocheting addict wandering around michael’s with all of these hoops, i literally was asked what on earth i was doing with them all by one curious fellow-crafter:

[photo source]

take those plus spray paint, fishing wire, and a multitude of different supplies (handmade tissue paper poufs, chinese lanterns, other miscellaneous decorative shapes), and you get these:


as seen from below, pictured by friends nick and lauren via instagram (let’s face it, i’m not going to apologize for instagram pictures, i love em!).

from the side, they hung down about yea far:

oh hey, bridesmaids!  kate and katherine started working the room pretty early in the evening….or day (photo by lauren, again – good work, lady!).

my maid of honor and i put a TON LOAD ASS LOAD TRUCK LOAD of time into these tissue paper poufs and then resulting chandeliers – my couch was slowly consumed by tissue paper that i’m pretty sure bred behind my back.  but it was worth it, once my amazing (seriously, amazing, lemme know if you want a hook up!) day-of coordinator jonathan had them hung and pete’s aunt cricket followed after, re-fluffing.

i would estimate that each chandelier involved the following costs:

– tissue paper               $5.00
– chinese lanterns       $5.00
– accordion shapes    $5.00
– fishing wire                $0.50
– knitting hoop            $3.00

    TOTAL                        $18.50/each

plus about an hour of labor on each one, approximately.  this is all a rough estimate, though!

they were such a whimsical way to set the tone of the evening immediately – pretty, fun, in our colors, and handmade.  and there you have the end-result of one project, and you got a peek at our cake in the process!

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