it's the little things {everything you wanted to know about our DIY wedding}

    thanks everyone for your sweet well-wishes yesterday! a day off is just what i needed and i'm feeling much better now. that means, more wedding posts!

    i had so much fun designing and making all the little things that went into making our backyard wedding personal and charming. sure it took some time {and a lot of hard work by me, dannon, laura, and other friends!}, but in the end, it was a really easy way to make our wedding more us. since i know several of you are currently engaged, or may be soon {... ! ...}, i thought i would share our decorations and all the DIY stuff i did for the wedding. a lot of them would work well for birthday and holiday parties too!

    * hanging backdrop with fabric poms: for the backdrop i really wanted something soft and pretty, so i cut about a million 2” fabric circles, or at least that's how it felt in the end! i took 5 circles, folded them, and sewed the bottoms together. i then knitted nine 6 ft cream strands {there were only 2 stitches per strand} and tied a flower every 6 inches. dannon drilled some holes in a dowel where we tied each strand, then hung the whole thing from a high tree branch. it should be noted that when i saw "i" i mean me and laura {you were a lifesaver laura!!!}.

    {olga, my stepmom's hearing dog was front and center!}

    * trees {or at least pieces of trees}: i really wanted to include the rustic look in our wedding garden so i asked my dad to bring me some pieces of trees in varying sizes {he lives in idaho}. the small discs were coasters for the flower jars and signs, then the bigger logs we used as flower stands and pretty decorations. it turned out beautifully - thanks dad!!!

    * real live flowers: honestly, the flowers were my last concern {along with my shoes} when it came to the wedding. the garden was gorgeous and full of roses, lavender, moonflowers, and various others, so it was essentially already decorated. but i did want some flowers to go in jars around the tables. one of my new cousin's friends volunteered her services and went to the los angeles flower market the morning of our wedding to pick up some wildflowers. for the "vases" we just used mix-matched jars which we had been saving over the months from jams, milk, frappuccinos, et cetera. it all looked so pretty in the end!

    * books: one of my favorite ways to fill my well is creating books, and over the course of our relationship, i've made dannon a good number of them. i decided to make a couple more to place in our living room set ups around the yard. the blue "Love" book is just photos of us through the years with our favorite love poems and song lyrics. the comic book is the story of how we met, got engaged, and everything in between. then the flip book is something i made for valentine's day after i saw the tutorial here on color me katie.

    * paper birds: these were a super easy project! i simply drew a silhouette of a basic bird and wing, traced it onto pretty paper, cut them out, glued the wing to the body, then sewed a strand of embroidery thread through the middle {in a place which kept the bird balanced and hanging upright}. on the wedding day we just hung the thread from branches in the bushes. piece of cake!

    * paper fans: i found some really pretty free wrapping paper on the blog lovely design. i printed the image on heavy cardstock, cut out a little fan shape, then hot glued them to giant popsicle sticks - and by me, i mean dannon. thanks dear!

    * signs!: i wanted to have some signs that let our guests know exactly what fun they could be having at each station. we thought about chalk, windows, and boards, but all of those things cost a little too much for us and we simply didn't have time to do the work, so i made paper signs with a bit of an art-journal flare. dannon took some paint stirring sticks and painted them white. then we filled glass jars {pom and milk jars we had saved} with pebbles from our yard and placed the whole sign in the weighted jar. it was easy, cheap, fast, and ended up looking perfect for the backyard garden aesthetic!

    * embroidery: i had never tried embroidery before, but i thought that look was really cute, so i gave it a whirl! i have no idea how to actually embroider correctly, but i managed to trace the images onto the back of the fabric, then sewed it in by hand. i also took two embroidery hoops and simply covered them in pretty fabric, with fabric flower embellishments glued on.

    * free love cards: i wanted to help my guests pass on the love from our wedding, so i set up a stand with cute and cheeky love cards i downloaded from kind over matter. you can get yours for free here!

    * baskets, menues & tags: for our wedding dinner we had pre-made picnic baskets. dannon, several friends and family made the food which we packed into boxes and parchment paper. then we packed about a dozen picnic baskets, which we had borrowed from our friend's mom {thank you!!!}, for 4 or 8 people to share. i simply used a free download {a border image, but i can't remember where i found it online - sorry!} as the border and photoshopped in the menu. i made the number tags the same way.

    * welcome banner: i wanted something that was scrappy and colorful for our welcome banner, so i cut out big fabric letters and hot glued them to soft fabric squares. to keep them from being to flittery in the breeze, i glued a piece of cardstock on the back. then i took several strands of yarn and threaded them through holes in the tops of the letter squares.

    * wedding maps: i wanted to have something that was a little more fun than your typical program. i mean, our wedding was far from traditional, so i came up with the idea of a wedding map. it was more conceptual than literal map, and included all the fun things our guests could find throughout the ceremony and reception. on the back we wrote our families' names, the names of the people involved, and our thank you's. i drew everything you see here, scanned it in, and printed 60 out. who says you have to pay a lot for programs?!

    {click to view larger}

    *pinwheels: these are another super easy DIY. i used more of the lovely free wrapping paper for a pretty design. i printed out a different design on each side of the same paper then followed the directions here to make my pinwheel. i sewed some pretty buttons {which i already had in my sewing box} on with embroidery thread to decorate the middle, and used the excess thread to tie them to the banner and branches.

    * kazoo books: what began as a silly brainstorm session ended in success! we knew we wanted everyone to play music and be giddy as kids, but we weren't sure what that meant when it came to 50 people of varying comfort levels with music. so we went with kazoos! we found kazoos at a party store and patiently counted out 60 by hand {the poor clerk! they really should sell them by the box}. then i typed out the lyrics to some fun songs that everyone would know and added the kazoo "lyrics," which were simply "doo-doo doo-doo-doo" and so forth. it was actually pretty hilarious and i cracked myself up the entire time i was typing them. the covers of the books were printed out of the free wrapping paper i used for the fans, then i sewed each down the spine with my sewing machine. voila!

    {click to view larger}

    * pillows and furniture: we totally lucked out with the furniture! i wanted little living room scenes set up around the yard, but we definitely did not own the right kind of furniture. luckily the woman who owned the rental house had plenty of great pieces, and told us to use whatever we wanted. what a gracious woman! for the blankets, we borrowed most of them from family and friends. a couple of them were just large pieces of fabric that we hemmed {thank you laura}. i also bought some cheapo pillows from the fabric store and sewed simple covers for them. the yard felt so cozy!

    * paper poms: these are super easy to make, they just require a little patience. martha has a great tutorial here, and i just experimented to get the right size. during our family night everyone made a pom or two, then i tied them to yarn and hung them high above the garden.

    you know, typing it all out like this is really enlightening as to why i was so stressed before the wedding. pretty much all of this was done in a single month between moving from san francisco and the wedding day. i couldn't have done it without the help of some others - especially laura, who spent the week before the wedding working hard on my behalf and slipping me stress-relieving cocktails.

    more to come from our wedding day, like our ceremony and reception, soon {and now you'll know how i did all the fun things you'll see in our pictures}.


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it's the little things {everything you wanted to know about our DIY wedding}

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