‘Tis the season for weddings! If you are about to wed – or know someone who is – today’s post will give you some creative ideas on how to DIY your own decor for your special day.
We spent months on the lookout for vintage pieces we could upcycle for our wedding day. Just before the big day, Hubs needed a break (from DIY, not me!). So he and his brother treated themselves to a weekend camping trip deep in the wilderness. I was beyond relieved when they made it back safe and sound. After all, what would I ever do with 70 rolling pins (you’ll see what we did to them further ahead).
Our venue was like home away from home – a grand old manor called the Heintzman House. It’s purported to have a ghost! I wasn’t expecting any wedding crashers but you never know with old properties!
Hubs and I love to upcycle. So it only makes sense that our wedding theme would be pulled together with vintage objects to fit with the history of the house. We also both love to cook, so what could be more perfect than a kitchen-themed wedding that combines both our love of the hunt and our love for food?
Retro Kitchen Theme
When we happened upon a garage sale and found an old hoosier table for only $5, we had the perfect starting point for a retro kitchen theme. From there, it was an easy decision to fashion all our floral centerpieces from vintage Pyrex coffee pots, tea pots, glass jugs, old blenders and even an orange squeezer!
Here are some of the Pyrex containers that inspired our centrepieces. We took them all to a florist to work their magic with beautiful flower arrangements.
We thought it would be fun for guests at each table to use disposable cameras to take candid shots at the reception. Because of that, we didn’t retain the wedding photographers after the ceremony. Bad decision. All the pictures were not only grainy, but unfortunately we didn’t get shots of the pyrex centre pieces that did them justice!
Right before our special night night ended we raffled the centrepieces off to one of the guests at each table to take home with them. Guests got to enjoy the flowers as centre pieces then use them again as originally intended to brew their tea or coffee!
Rolling Pin Place Card Holders
My favourite project has got to be our place card holders! The upcycled rolling pins that held our place cards did double duty too: our guests could use it to locate their table and then take it home with them after the wedding as a keepsake! One of our guests subsequently put it on her window ledge in the kitchen and used it to display a picture of the grand kids – so cute!
We found our mini rolling pins at the dollar store. A quick call to the store and they were able to order us in a box of 70 of them!
Hubs sliced off a bit of the rounded part to flatten it so it would sit on the hoosier table without rolling away!
Then he cut an angled slot in the opposite end to hold the place cards at an angle so they could be easily read. Hubs sealed the wood with clear varnish.
Orange is the colour we painted anything that was wood; i.e. the hoosier table base and the handles of the rolling pins. We actually used milk paint on the handles (which also got sealed). This is the assembly line of handles Hubs was painting in the garage:
Recipe to a Happy Marriage
I designed the place cards to mimic a recipe card using vintage blenders around the border (aptly titled “Recipe for a Happy Marriage”). You’ll see the actual vintage blender we used for one of our floral arrangements two pictures ahead.
All 70 rolling pins were set up before the ceremony in the hallway at the reception; they fit perfectly onto the top of the hoosier table to greet guests as they arrived.
Borrowed and Blue
Where there was old metal to paint, we picked a retro blue – our second accent colour. I guess we really took “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” to heart. Especially when we had to borrow a van to get all our finished projects to the site!
This is the painted vintage blender that inspired the motif around the place cards:
Here it is once again, arranged with flowers.
We used a Juice-King juicer to float one of many candles we lit throughout the house for ambience. I decorated it with silk flowers and organza rosette.
Glassware for Candles
Along with spending our weekends collecting enough Pyrex containers for the floral centerpieces, we were also searching for vintage glassware to hold floating candles for the head table. We ended up finding shrimp cocktail servers with liners (the bottom originally meant to hold ice to keep the shrimp cold).
We started off by adding an organza bow around the stem and a floating candle in the top compartment. The double compartments were perfect. Complimenting the floating candle, we added matching blue fish aquarium stone in the bottom.
To complete the vision for the head table, we also found hobnail relish dishes like the one below – which we also floated candles in.
To bring it all togehter, we added melamine rounds found in a Habit for Humanity ReStore and metal holders from the thrift store; all painted ‘wedding colour blue’ of course! We glued specially cut mirror rounds onto the now painted melamine to reflect the candle light. All the floating candle vessels were placed on top of the mirror. Organza flowers tied onto the shrimp cocktail servers fanned out and billowed around the perimeter.
Candles cast such a pretty glow! The mirror helps add a touch of sparkle when the candles are all lit!
Inject Some Fun
Because we don’t like to take ourselves too seriously, we added some whimsy to the ceremony itself with ‘bride and groom’ plant stands to frame the aisle. They were incredibly fun to make! A trip to our local value village garnered the ‘wedding dress’ (it was actually a train I was able to re-purpose) and tuxedo pants, a cummerbund and shoes for the groom. I added tulle underneath the framing support for the ‘bride’ so the fabric would drape nicely.
Being pressed for time (and money), we ended up using silk flowers to complete these – but they could easily have been planted up with fresh flowers using floral foam.
Scrap the Guest Book!
Instead of a guestbook, we wanted something unique. One way to personalize the day is to have an artist draw a charicature and matte it in black. Again, because of our limited budget, we hired a student to create the charicature! I think she did a fabulous job!
The purpose of the black matting was so we could have our guests sign a personal message in the margins of the board (we provided fine-tipped silver markers). I taped off a margin around the perimeter so no one’s message would get covered once it was framed. I also placed a piece of velum over the charicature (under the black matte) to keep it clean.
It’s a great keepsake of the day!
Our final project was the thank-you card. We scanned our charicature and created one-of-a-kind cards to send to all our guests. You can’t do that with a guestbook! It was a nice tie-in.
It’s Our Guests’ Turn to DIY
The one thing we didn’t have to upcycle for the wedding was our vintage Beetle. Our guests sure had fun adorning it with toilet paper though! If you know how that tradition got started, leave us a comment. My inquiring mind needs to know!
And We Lived Happily Ever After
There’s nothing like making your own do-it-yourself wedding decor; it’s so unique and a lot of fun to pull together. Quite honestly though, after all the DIY’ing, the actual wedding day was pretty relaxing for a change!
I thought my wedding day was the happiest day of my life, but in reality it only got better from there. I really did find my soul-mate, or as I call him, my ‘partner in grime’.
Although we gave away all the other decorative pieces at the wedding, we couldn’t help but keep the blender and juicer as momentos of the day. The juicer is now part of the decor in our bedroom, along with a vintage metal cabinet and heater painted the same colour. To this day we still call the colour ‘wedding colour blue’. Our bedroom is now long overdue for a refresh 😉.
I hope some of these projects inspire a few ideas for your own wedding day and beyond! Afterall, once an upcycler, always an upcycler.
Of course, our DIY projects didn’t end with the wedding! Once the honeymoon was over, we got right back to it! Go back in the archives and you’ll see this was just the beginning of our DIY ventures 😉.
For instance, we created this calming water feature by our front door!
Then it was on to building trellises for the front and back gardens: