Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wedding Signage

Here are some of the signs I made for the wedding.  I love signs.  They are such a fun way to add a little personal touch.  I cut the above "Here Comes Your Bride" sign out of 1/4" mdf.  Mdf plywood is a great wood choice for a light, sliver free sign.  It is fabulous for when small hands will be carrying it.

After the ceremony was over we had Mr. Ring Bearer {Johnathon} flip the sign over to show the "Just Married" sign on the backside.  The total size of the sign was about 10x15".  I actually just used wood I already had to make this sign, so it didn't cost me much of anything to make it, but I would guess a $5 bill would cover your costs. 

 I have included prices for all the other projects below.  I figure if you are looking at making any of these things rather than buying them, you must be at least a little cost conscious.  

Next are the wedding favors I made for the reception.  Remember these?  I have to tell you, typing up and printing the name cards that go inside took WAY more time than I thought.  I guessed I could get them all ready in about an hour.  Nope.  It took more like 6 hours to copy and paste all 240 guest names onto the cards.  It was only that fast because Shelby had sent me a file that had the names and table numbers already typed and assigned.  I can't even imagine how long it would take to type them in from scratch too!

The favors were so cute sitting there on the barrels.  They were rustic, but so elegant.  Great choice Shelby and Chris!

As far as cost on this project, the tree branches were free, but I burned up a whole tank of gas driving around and collecting them after the ice storm.  So, $70 tank of gas, $25 for clippers and a hand saw to cut those branches so they would fit in the car, then 3 saw blades to get them cut down to size, $75.  I spent about $40 on Dremel blades to make 300+ of these, and about $50 on the wire for the love and the picture holder.  
Total, $260 for 300, about $0.87 each {the printed cards were a separate charge-not included in this price breakdown}.  Buying them would have cost closer to $6 each with the wire.  Don't you wish you had a crafter in your pocket to make some for you ;0}  

We had a photo booth set up in one corner.  My brother Chris found instructions for building your own HERE from Instructables.  He did a fabulous job.  We had to grab a couple of extra lights for inside, but other than that the instructions were spot on.  I take no credit for the making.  He said the cost to make the photo booth from that link was about $50 for all the pipe and the fabric.  The extra lamps were about $20.  Chris did buy the program mentioned in the link and I want to say it cost him about $60.  He had a laptop, monitor, and a dslr camera, so all he had left to purchase was the printer and a button, running about $100 for both.  Oh, and he purchased the ink and paper cartridges.  I believe THIS is the printer he used.  The ink and paper ran about $30 for 108 photos.  We used two of those packs.

I did find some fun wedding themed props for only $3 at Walmart, some goofy glasses at the dollar store, another $3, and made this little sign to go on the table, $3 for frame from Walmart and $.25 for the print.
Total for my portion of the photo booth, $9.25.

Photo booth all together, $300
To rent a photo booth runs $1,000 or more.

How is all that for a tidbit of information :0}

These are my darling cousins modeling the sign.  I have to say I was pretty proud of myself in making this sign.  I was so excited to get some of the clips to come together to look like the wedding favor.  

And here was an authentic photo booth print in the fiber.  SO FUN!  Yes Kallie, It's you!

This bad boy sign gave me a little bit of angst when I was trying to guess how big to make it.  We wanted it to be seen from anywhere in the reception hall, but not too big.  Finally, I broke it down into how big it could be to get either 2 or 4 out of one handy panel of plywood.  I used 1/8" hardboard {smooth on one side, bumpy on the back} because it is lighter and totally the cheapest plywood you can find.  Knowing how big the sign would end up, I didn't want to have it weigh too much or be too expensive to make.  Long story short, the pieces ended up being 16" wide and about 21" tall.  I bought 4 pieces of the wood, got three signs from each 2 ft x 4 ft segment, coming to about $22 total for wood cost.  

Here is my darling brother David, sitting next to Shelby's brother Spencer.  Ahhhhh.  Family at last :0}

This is what the menu finally ended up looking like.  I cut out a sculpted top and bottom, then just stuck a board on the back as a support.  I had the menu printed out.  If you look close enough you can see it ended up just short {tee-hee}.  This is why my services are free LOL.  The poor guy at Office Max will live a long and happy life as long as he never has to look into my bloodshot eyes ever again.

Cost:  I used four 1x4's, one 1x8 and one handy panel of the hardboard for the back.  That makes the wood total about $25 plus some pocket screws.  The print was $6 at Office Max.  $32 for the menu.  Not bad.  We looked at buying one half the size from Hobby Lobby on clearance for $36.  I consider our outcome a success.

These signs were some of my favorites.  Shelby had asked if there was some way to mark what the foods were.  I cut these black signs out of 1/8" mdf plywood, painted them black, cut some of the extra logs with a "V" shaped notch in the top, then cut the names of the foods out of silver vinyl.

I am not sure what anyone else thought of these food markers, but I thought they looked awesome.  I might have to make a set for me :0}  I used scraps to cut out the whole project, so the only cost was about $5 for the vinyl.  Without a personal stash of wood, you could end up spending $20 or so on a set.

One last print for the bar sign.  Again, $3 for the Walmart frame, $.25 for the print.

OK, Last but not least, the yard signs.  I didn't get a picture of them in the daylight.  I was too busy running around like a crazy lady.  I did make my husband drag the driveway in the dead of night so we could see the signs before they were taken down though.  

This was on the way to the reception...

And THIS was on the way home after leaving the reception...

Sorry about all the blurry pictures.  Just remember, I warned you like a week ago that you were gonna see some.

And one last sign outside...
This arrow pointed up the driveway so you could see the turn from the road and not drive past the remote location of the reception.  I was so grateful for my husband for mounting this sign for me while I frosted cakes.  That was until I saw it.  I didn't want any of the pole to show above the sign...he wanted enough board above the sign so he could hammer the stake into the ground.  ALSO, he didn't want to use two poles.  This sign, small as it looked from the road, was a full 4 feet long and at certain spots, 24" tall {not counting the poles}.  I thought it would be too long for just one pole, but apparently pounding two poles into the ground on one sign is slightly impossible.  I am sure you don't want to hear the whole drama of the story.  To spare the rest of you, just email me at or leave me a comment down below with your questions and I will advise your further.  I will say this, if I were to make these yard stakes again, I would not use 1x2 firring strips as poles.  I would either use pipes as the pole, hammer rebar into the ground and slide the pipe over the top {husband's suggestion} or I would pick a hard wood to use as the pole.  The 1x2 wood totally splintered at the top making them very hard to use a second time.

Cost of the yard signs I showed you here, 1 piece of hardboard {long sign} and 4 2ft x 4ft pieces of 1/4" mdf {12 small signs}, $30, and about $12 for the poles made from 1x2 firring strips {which I would not use again}.  That made the wood about $42 for these signs.

OK, so let's recap the above prices:
Here comes the bride sign- $5 {free for me with scraps}
Wedding Favors- $260
Photo Booth- $300
Mr&Mrs sign- $22
Menu Board- $32
Food Markers- about $20 {but free to us with scrap wood}
Bar Sign- $3
Yard Stakes and Arrow Sign- $42

I used just less than two 20 foot rolls of black vinyl on all of the signs making the vinyl total for all of the signs $45.  Spraypaint...I went through 5 cans of ivory, 2 cans of black {food signs and base coating a couple of the other signs for effect}, all about $4 a can if you average them out.  That makes a total of $28 for spray paint for these projects.

So, let's say you don't have hoards of wood just sitting around begging to be sliced into pieces, the above projects would cost around $750 altogether {totally rounded off that number}.  I feel silly putting the prices on here, but I sure would have loved to know what to expect before I started.  $750 is a lot of money to me, and probably most of you, but the impact of each one of these projects individually made spending the money totally worth it.  In the long run, weddings are very spendy.  These are a couple projects you can whip up to save some bucks and still really add some dazzle to your reception.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I do cut custom vinyl, so if you think you want to make some signs and don't know where to get the vinyl, I can probably help you out.  I can cut the signs too, but we would want to check into the shipping from Minnesota to where you are before we dive into making up an order ;0}

Have a great night everyone.  Tomorrow starts a new week.  I hope it is full of crafting :0}

Saturday, September 28, 2013

On Loan

Just working on my lesson for tomorrow.  I am teaching about the principle of tithing.  This quote by John MacArthur really stuck out to me.

Here is a full page version that can be printed out for the class.  Want a copy?
You can download it for free HERE with dropbox :0}
Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wedding Cake

Hello!!!  I am finally back :0}  
The wedding was a total success and I managed to get out of there without ruining my mascara!  

I made it through the ceremony fine cause I was too worried about the cake to really think about my baby brother getting married.  After that I thought I was scotch free from tears until I caught sight of the slide show of so many baby pictures.  I am six years older than my little brother, and while I am not sure he remembers me taking care of him, I remember watching over him like he was my own little guy.  The slide show was just a primer though for the mother-son dance where the real waterworks began.

It finally dawned on me that the little guy, the one I played with in the wading pool and the kindergartner I dressed before school, the nerdy little book worm that always made me laugh with his crazy dry humor, that little kid was gone.  In his place was a grown man, pledging the rest of his life to the first girl I have ever seen him truly googly-eyed over.  

What a sweet day.

I was super excited to make their wedding cake...or should I say wedding cakes.

I made one three tiered wedding cake, frosted with fondant and decorated with fondant flowers and bridal lace.  But before that...

I spent an entire week baking and frosting 250 mini-three-tiered wedding cakes.  In all honestly, I didn't really think I could do it :0}  I was determined to die trying though.  The individual wedding cakes were pretty important to the bride, my new sister-in-law {LOvE IT!} so I just kept telling myself we HAD to make it happen.  

I purchased Fat Daddio's 6-Cup Individual 3 Tier cake pans on Amazon for $24 each.  At first I just bought one to make sure it would work and the cakes would come out OK, and then I went back and ordered three more.  In all honesty, with 250+ cakes to make, I wish I had ordered 6!  

One cake mix made about 14 cakes.  I baked two pans at a time in the oven using my altered cake mix recipe and baking the cakes for 25 minutes at 325.  Over two days I think I made about 25 batches of 12 cakes, each baking for almost a half hour.  It literally drove me crazy.  Luckily a friend dropped by for about two hours and babysat the cake process so I could get a break and get some last minute wood cut, otherwise I don't know if I would have made it.

I made a french vanilla cake with raspberry filling, an almond cake with almond cream filling, and a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache topping.

To fill the mini cakes, I just cut the bottom tier off, smeared on a Tablespoon or two of filling and replaced the removed portion of cake.  It worked like a charm.

Backing up to the baking portion again, it was torture.  If I could deter you from making any more than 12 of these darling little cakes I so would.  If you are crazy like me and decide you really must make these wedding cakes for all of your guests...first, tell yourself no...and if that doesn't work, email me.  I will try to talk you out of it :0}  Lastly, get ready for some labor.  

With each batch, I would grease the pans {more on that later}, mix the batter, fill the pans, put them in the oven, take the finished set of cakes out of the other set of pans, cut any excess cake bump off the bottom so they would sit flat, dump them on a cooling rack, wash each and every tier of the three tier cake pans for every cake spot, then dry each and every layer, then grease each and every layer, then transfer the baked cakes to boxes for storage, and then fill the next set of cake pans and start all over again.  I think typically I had about three minutes between batches to sit while I waited for the timer to go off and getting up to start all over again.  NOT FUN!

The next hurtle was frosting them.   I managed to round up three unsuspecting friends to come help frost as well as four family members to come intermittently through the first day of frosting.  We managed to get two flavors frosted in the first 12 hour day of frosting and filling.  The second day was just as long.  MORE TORTURE!  I made the vanilla and raspberry cake with squarish swirls, then pushed some edible pearls into the centers of the swirl to make it look fancy.  The almond cake was frosted in a messy style with a whipped frosting {delicious!}, and by the time I got around to the chocolate cakes I was totally tired of frosting!  Finally after a few failed attempts at different designs, I threw the towel in and ran to the store for the ganache ingredients.  

Mono-Board Silver, 3-1/4 Round with Tab, Box of 500 Pieces
We put the cakes on cardboard cake circles {ordered from HERE-the only place I could find them...make sure to get the circles with the tabs!!!}  You just put a dab of frosting on the cake board, then put your cake on top.  The frosting keeps the cake from sliding around during transport or while plating the cakes.  VERY IMPORTANT the frosting is.

I think I have stayed up a little too late tonight getting these pictures on here, so I am certain I am leaving out important information.  Just be sure to comment below or email me if you have any questions.  I would be glad to share anything I know if it will help you out.

Oh yeah!  Frosting!  I bought some five gallon buckets of frosting from Sam's Club.  I have been told that Costco will sell theirs, but I haven't found a Costco that would sell it to me.  I bought a bucket of butter cream frosting and got about 100 mini-cakes filled and frosted {by piping on the frosting}.  

That was my other point, don't try to frost these babies smooth.  My first test run of frosting 12 took about 2 hours to get the frosting smooth on all the layers of all the cakes like I would a big cake.  If I get a little time in the next week I will show you close up the best ways I found to frost these mini cakes.

Anyway, no matter how much work the cakes were, I would do it all again for these two!  I love them both completely.  Little Brother did a great job picking a wife.

Can I tell you how it warms my heart to see my little brother with such a happy grin on his face.  Seriously.  Great.  There go the water works again!  
I will be back soon with more wedding pics.
Have a great weekend :0}

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Menu Easel Options

OK, searching for easel ideas today.  I didn't get around to making the chalkboard menu easel on Saturday, so I am trying to get my pattern figured out so I can start on wood cutting in the morning.
The easel above is very similar to the one I saw for sale from Hobby Lobby the other day for $35.  The Hobby Lobby easel was a little too small for what we were looking for, but the easel above was posted by Dianna over at Our Vintage Home as a DIY!  Just thought I would throw that out there in case you were hoping to make an easel yourself :0}

Faux Chalkboard Scroll Top Easels
I was hoping for something a little fancier though for the wedding.  This Etsy listing by Laura at LHCalligraphy is beautiful.  I love the scalloped top.  It is for sale for $185 last time I checked.  

I thought about sculpting the sides too, kind of like Genia's Easel over at Art For You.  
Very cute.  

I totally LOVE the way the INSIDE of this easel is cut.  I like this idea more than shaping the outside of the sides.  If you want this one, by the way, it is for sale over at TheeVelvetGlove for $250.  Mine won't be any where near that nice.  I, as of yet, don't own a router.  

This chalkboard menu is also darling.  I think you could make one from a cupboard door or something.  So cute Katie over at Sweet Rose Studio.

I think this Crib-Easel transformation is amazing!  What a darling use of an old crib.  Not gonna happen for this wedding, but such a cute idea.

See, the top of this is more what I was envisioning.  This is a one of a kind find antique frame for sale over at Restoration Lighting Gallery for $399.  Sorry Shelby :0}  Not gonna be able to get that, as if you knew you wanted it.

And that leads me to vintage mirrors like this one over at

Well, I only have flat wood to work with and about two minutes to put it all together.  We shall see what my easel becomes...

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...