Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DIY: Q-Tip Flower Poms

I have been meaning to share this for some time now, but I have literally not even had a free minute to blog! It's sad, but I'll explain more about the craziness happening in an upcoming post. 

In my recent bridal and baby shower planning, I found some fabulous inspiration on Pinterest and stumbled upon a super easy-to-understand DIY for Anthropologie-Inspired Blooms at Homemade Ginger. At first I couldn't tell what they were made of until I looked closer at the DIY. Q-Tips! 

I always love incorporating new elements into parties and I knew these would be perfect - My sister Vanessa and I took on the challenge and we had a fun time with it! Here is our experience, based on inspiration from the DIY -- 

We used:
Lots of Q-Tips, cut in half (we used almost 2 boxes for 9 flowers)
Styrofoam Balls
Scissors (strong enough to cut Q-tips)
Hot glue
Food coloring + water
Thick, wired stems from silk flowers (unless you plan to hang these)

We began by cutting all of our Q-Tips in half. Before we figured out a system, we kept getting a kick out of how they kept shooting off in different directions as we were cutting them.. I think one even shot into my drinking glass! 

We debated whether or not to use hot glue and decided to, since I wanted to reuse these for other parties, etc (I'm sure the project would have gone much quicker if we had chosen not to use the glue). Depending on the size of the styrofoam ball, we spaced them accordingly. It's totally up to you, how close or deep you want the Q-Tips -- We definitely found it a little more challenging to fit them when we placed them closer/deeper, since there was not much room for the ends to go. Another thing to keep in mind.. The more Q-Tips you use and the larger the styro ball, the heavier it is. If it's too heavy, the stem will have a harder time holding it upright.

I was absolutely too excited to dye these beauties to think logically - I filled a bowl with yellow food coloring and failed to add water. AH! I really wanted yellow, but without the water to dilute it (at all!), the dye was so severely strong, that it turned out orange. We originally planned to make 6 yellow flowers and I dyed 3 of hard-worked poms orange. I decided to do an additional 3 and save the orange ones for something else. Boo. I'll never make that mistake again -- Add water to dye.

For the additional poms, I wanted to pack the Q-Tips in. I loved the direction they were going. They turned out a bit heavy for the stems, but with the right vase, they looked pretty amazing! We ended up using these little beauties for my sister's Sweet, Yellow Bridal Shower and they were a big hit! My mom kept asking the ladies, "What do you think those are made of?? Huh??" and it was fun to see everyone's expression when they found out it was all Q-Tips. Definitely worth the time and hassle!

Thanks again, Homemade Ginger, for sharing a great tutorial!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jordan + Lanae's Sweet, Yellow Wedding

Another post, LONG overdue. I have been dying to share photos of my sister's wedding for over a month now! I was honored to help out with lots of the decor as well as work with a lot of great people while putting everything together - especially my parents, Jordan's parents and our families. 

Jordan and Lanae were married at the sweetest venue and a place I had never heard of until now - The Mystical Rose Gardens in Baldwin, Wisconsin. The atmosphere was oh-so sweet, including a gigantic greenhouse (used for her reception) and beautiful gardens and landscaping (used for the ceremony). The venue is maintained by a sweet and extremely accommodating family. 

We put a lot of work into making the wedding decor DIY-friendly and as affordable as possible. We made and used quite a few crafty projects - including a dozen more hollow yarn balls (just like the ones I made last December - DIY Fabulous Hollow Yarn Balls), DIY Ruffle Poms, DIY Cupcake Liner Poms, wedding programs, a fantastic escort card frame and farewell ribbon sticks - plus, I made over 600 feet of paper flag garland following her yellow, black and white + lemons inspiration. 

The outdoor decor was fairly simple. We suspended the hollow yarn balls between pillars on a patio overlooking the gardens. Instead of using balloons to make them, this time we used large, round kick-balls (ranging $1-$2.50 a piece). The escort cards were a little trickier.. Lanae found a huge frame which she painted black and she picked up. Coordinating her invites and programs, we printed out all of her guest names and attached them to matching paper used for the flag garland. After rounding all of the corners, I spent a couple hours trying to attach horizontally (and evenly!) for the cards to rest on with mini, black clothespins. And don't forget, alphabetizing all of the guests! It was worth the time.. It turned out absolutely adorable! We also suspended the frame (using ribbon) at a great height for the guests to pick up on their way to the reception area after greeting Jordan and Lanae. So perfect!

Their "guestbook" was one of the cutest, original ideas I've seen! I can't take any credit though.. Jordan's uncle helped make this happen, by printing Minnesota and Wisconsin "postcards" for the guests to write a message to J & L. After painting a mailbox the perfect yellow, it was mounted on a post and ready to go. I can't tell you how many times I heard "Aww, cute!" and "So cool!"

These sweet, little farewell "ribbon sticks" were totally a last minute project. We had played around with ideas of sparklers and other fun farewell things, but almost decided to skip it all together to save a little money and time. Using mini dowels/kabob sticks, Lanae began tying strips of ribbon to each one - about an hour later, she was done and they were so stinkin' adorable!

After a lot of trial and error (and time!), I helped Lanae design these fun programs. Over years of attending other's weddings, I always love saving programs and invites for inspiration. We came up with the design based on a few that I've saved and included a couple fun details of our own. Lanae hit the jackpot after finding a stack of clearanced, high-quality, yellow cardstock with just enough for her programs. We completed each one with wrapped, black twine. We endured quite a bit of frustration printing them evenly and efficiently.. However, the outcome (again!) was definitely worth the trouble.

Displayed with the sweet, damask invitation

Getting ready! Hair was done by Jordan and Lanae's friend, Katie Mikels - Embellish Salon.

It was fun to do makeup for Lanae's wedding as I did for Vanessa's last September! It hit me hard that my little sister was actually getting married.. I still can't believe it. 

Lanae actually embellished her garter! She designed Vanessa's for her wedding as well. How cute is that?!

Since I was extremely occupied with the Lanae, my mom and bridesmaid's makeup, I barely managed any time to get ready myself! Poor Katie threw my hair together in about 15 minutes and I had less than 5 to get dressed. As my getting-ready-chaos began, Lanae and Jordan saw each other for the first time in the garden for a really special moment.. Even though I could have only seen it from the window, I'm sad I missed it!

Flowers were done by a good family friend - Christie - who owns a shop called Kissing 2 Lips. The bouquets and arrangements were absolutely incredible. 

Lauren, Me (MOH), Vanessa (MOH), Lanae, Nicole and Kirsten

Each of the maids were given a different belt and jewelry as a gift from Lanae. I loved that our dresses had pockets - so cute!

The bridal party headed down the road to a wide-open field for some sweet shots!

The fam.
Ushers (including my hottie hubby!)

And for a little more decor..

This summer, Vanessa and I had conquered our techniques of sewing paper for Lanae's Yellow Bridal Shower invites. Our new motto quickly became: "You can never have too many flags!" and with that in mind, I began by designing and printing the table number-letters. Time began running out and in our frantic rush to finish everything, Vanessa ripped these babies through her sewing machine the night before the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, her sewing machine quickly said "NO!" and she - read it and believe it - hand stitched each string of table numbers by HAND. Poor thing! Luckily, there were only 12 tables, but still! We kept the table decor fairly simple by using cylinder vases wrapped in transparent, damask paper and twine and filled with a lemon and a half to work as a base for the dowels. It all turned out pretty cute, don't you think?? Runners were long, strips of heavy paper, made by Lanae's sister-in-law, Emily. 

View from the head table, you can see all the hard work put into all of the decor and setup! 

I made these little MR and MRS signs for the backs of their chairs.

For the bridal party, I made little name tag cards and tucked them into their forks. Favors were matching chocolate bars provided by Shauna Younge.

The dessert table was a gift from Jordan and Lanae's sister-in-law (and my new sister-in-law!) and photographer, Emily. The table was designed by Shauna Younge and was kept a secret from J & L until right before the ceremony.. Their faces were priceless! I had the honor to meet Shauna and be a small part of the plan, although I ended up being surprised as well! Very cute. 

Jordan and Lanae actually designed their cake (pineapple flavored!) and it was created and made by Cup-Cake

The dessert table was full of tons of yellow, white and black treats - including chocolate-covered pretzels, cake pops, macarons, cupcakes, popcorn, lemon candy, rock candy, truffles and sugar cookies.

Before we knew it, we were walking down the aisle. We walked to River Flows in You by Yiruma. 

I cried like I knew I would. Despite the bugs and chilliness, the ceremony was SO very beautiful. During Vanessa's ceremony I cried my eyes out and needed Lanae to continue whispering gibberish to me to keep me from losing it.. We still laugh today about her rambling, "Cowboys and rhinos..", "tacos and jellybeans..". This time, it was Vanessa's turn to keep me sane as she whispered the most random things she could think of. This time, it was, "Willie nelson riding a bike.." and "toejam" and "Jack Black forgot his wallet.." What?! Haha! I definitely laughed more than I cried!

The reception was sweet and charming, full of candles and twinkle lights. Everything turned out so beautiful!

Vanessa and I finally survived through our dreaded speech (I was terrified!!) and it went smooth. We kept ours light and fun, while the men went a much more sentimental and emotional route. The night went so fast with dancing and mingling.. It was great to see more people and relatives we haven't had the chance to visit since our move. The whole evening was so sweet and memorable.. I am so lucky to be a part of it all. Love you, little newlyweds!

Additional credits:


Related Posts with Thumbnails