Wedding Craft Tour, Part Two

Back for Part Two of my wedding craft extravaganza. Are you sick of it yet? I’m not! (But let me confess.. oh my GAWD was a sick of it by the time the big day rolled around!)

I went back and forth on my bouquet forever. I always wanted to DIY them, but I couldn’t decide on a tutorial. At first, I thought I’d do the book page flowers we used in the centerpieces, but those were so labor intensive! I couldn’t imagine making 50 of them for the 4 bouquets I had to make. And what about boutonnieres? Corsages? I was knee deep in wedding craft hell when I finally saw this tutorial and felt a wave of relief pass over me: 

Fewer, giant flowers meant a big impact with much less work. Here’s what mine looked like. Because of the stage of the planning process I was in, I opted for bouquets for myself and bridesmaids and no one else. I don’t think they were missed: 

Side note: I managed to WAY over order the dark pink, light pink, and green crepe paper I used for this project. I’ve got like 8 rolls of it left and no idea what to use it for. So if you’ve got a project that could call for it, let me know. I will give them to you! Throwing a spring party? Want to make your mom a giant, hot pink bouquet that will last forever for Mother’s Day? Someone help me out here. 
Often, I found that an idea I thought was original had been used in many, many weddings before mine. And that was great because it helped me clarify details that were too hazy in my mind at first thought. We cleaned out the basement of the building Brett and I lived in when we were first engaged and there were all these old doors that appeared to come from a school. We snagged them to use before I even knew what I would do with them. They became the altar and helped create a “wall” in the barn as well. 

Here they are in the barn, with some other DIY decor: 

Fun fact- I didn’t have to purchase a single piece of vintage “shwag.” It all came from my parents house- mason jars, vintage boxes, old pop bottles. Major score. 

After we had our collection of doors, I found this image that inspired how I wanted to set up the ceremony: 

Our programs were another example of a not-so-original original idea. I had seen the idea of printing on brown bags for a Valentine’s Day project I did: 

It was easy to apply this same principle to our wedding programs.
Of course, lots of brides applied this principle as well! Our programs were basically the baby of these three ideas: 

My step-ma committed to making her delicious pie cocktails pretty early on and I won’t lie, the thought of them got me through on some of the tougher days! She picked up these fancy dispensers at Sam’s Club and I jimmied up some drink labels. 
I got the idea here: 

Our wedding night was unseasonably cold. Way colder than we expected. Luckily, we planned to have a bonfire all along and it provided some much needed warmth for our lovely guests. We also did up some s’mores for their frozen enjoyment! 

I loved these jars of s’mores goodies and made my own version above: 

Favors were another element of the wedding that I had a really hard time deciding. Should I buy them? Make them? Include them at all? My step-ma’s mom gave me a bunch of medium sized mason jars to use for whatever so we opted to create drinking glasses with chalkboard name tags. We painted the lids with black chalkboard paint, drilled a hole in the top, and tied them around the mouth of the jars with twine. Simple! 
I got the idea here: 

I looked at endless photos of barns. I loved the whimsy of putting up white curtains at the door.
I saw the idea here first: 

I wanted to include really personal touches to our wedding as well. I framed love letters and hung them on an extra door inside the barn. 
Which is an idea I saw here: 

We didn’t really want a flower girl or ring bearer because neither Brett nor I are particularly close to any small children and we didn’t want to include some random kids in our ceremony! My little brother and sister Ty and MaKenna were a pinch too old for those roles but I wanted to include them by carrying our “Here Comes the Bride” sign! 
There were lots of sources of inspiration for this. I liked this sign a lot: 

I did borrow one idea for our ceremony that I fell in love with. I’m so glad we included it because it made me feel incredibly close to our wedding guests and solidified their role in our married life. It was a ring warming ceremony: 
My entire wedding was a birth of so many creative ideas, so much help from my friends and loved ones. My dad and stepmom were incredibly supportive during this whole process and my stepmom Shawn did more for me than I could ever thank her for! 
I love my photos so much and it’s great to look through them and remember the story behind each and every project. Thanks for following along! 

Wedding Craft Tour, Part One

My wedding was nothing if not a labor of love. It was months and months of pulling down favors from friends and family. It was gluing and painting and cutting. It was beautiful and I loved it.

I became a master at distinguishing at a glance the difference between a tutorial that would be inexpensive, high impact and thus totally worth it and one that would be expensive, a pain in the ass, and cause more trouble than I could handle.

One of the reasons we decided to use Katie Day [photographer, designer, mother extraordinaire] was her attention to the small details of a wedding. I wanted to remember each paper flower, each hand painted sign, each strand of lights. She did a marvelous job.

I’ve already waxed poetic about the pros and cons of Pinterest inspiration in terms of wedding planning, but I will say this- virtually every element of the wedding (less the ceremony itself) was pieced together from other people’s ideas. In spite of that, my wedding felt like it was a total reflection of Brett and I and our relationship with each other.

Here is a (probably incomplete) walk through of the DIY elements of my wedding with sources and inspiration linked.

I got lots of comments on my sweater.. This was easy. I just cut red felt and sewed it on the elbow spots. 

These signs were simple and added a fun, rustic touch. Dad had lots of plywood laying around. He cut these and I hand painted the lettering. 

We had a pretty casual wedding, but I still liked the idea of escort cards. Here are mine: 

Inspired by this: 

My step-ma’s mom snagged this great vintage suitcase (see how I repurposed it here.) She added the “Cards” letters and found a nice lacy fabric. 

I was inspired by these: 

I’m pretty sure my dad and step-ma came up with the idea of the guest quilt. We went through several incarnations of the idea, and ended up with this. An antique lap quilt- 

Loved how it looked here: 

I became a little obsessed with putting together the perfect centerpieces. When I saw this photo on Pinterest, it became my ultimate source of inspiration for the rest of the wedding. I went back to it time after time: 

Here are my centerpieces. My handsome hubby Brett helped me paint the numbers on the books: 

I hit farm wedding jackpot when I found boxes of vintage agriculture text books at a local thrift store. I probably would have gotten in a fight with anyone who tried to wrestle one from my grip! 

The book table numbers were inspired by this photo: 

My flowers were a real group effort and can I just say THANK YOU again to my awesome bridesmaids who made so many of these things? Mary (and Michael) made all the book page flowers and Amanda (and Andy) helped with the coffee filter peonies. Kimberly sported red hands for weeks after she helped me dye some of them pink. These girls kicked bridesmaid ass… 

Flowers made by these tutorials: 

Side note- If you are looking for big impact, low cost, low effort flowers, I highly recommend the coffee filter flowers. So inexpensive and very easy to make. 

If you’re getting married in the Kirksville area, let me say I totally recommend Amie of Amie Cakes. Her prices are great and she did an amazing job with my beautiful wedding cake:

Unfortunately I can’t find the exact pin I sent Amie, but I showed her several styles like the one below and we both really loved the one with the artichoke “flowers.” It was beautiful, without being what I thought was too girly: 

To keep this post from getting too long- I’m splitting it in two parts! Back tomorrow with part two!

Day 9: Handmade Christmas Cards

Day 9 of our advent activities was to make each other Christmas Cards. I was looking forward to this one. It turned out as amazing as I expected. Brett hauled down our art supplies and we went to town. 

You’ll notice we were NOT messing around- mod podge, glitter, crayons, paper cutter, etc.

My card was inspired by this pin.

 My Christmasy living room:

Another advent activity was to have a Moser Family Band Christmas Sing Along. I didn’t take any photos (or recordings, oh my gah) but here is Elvis with one of my absolute favorite Christmas songs (and some nice winter/holiday imagery):

Also, in case you are wondering, I sing exactly how I think you’d expect me to sing- not that good, but not that bad either.

Craft Room Tour

So a really wonderful thing happened a couple weeks ago. After much debating and waiting (anticipating) Brett and I decided to pull the trigger on an Ikea purchase we’d been lusting over. Some new office furniture for our workspace downstairs, specifically. I’ll probably show off some photos of this later, but what I’m most excited about is what I’m going to show you now. 
I love to craft. I like to sew and paint and gift wrap and crochet and make wreaths and do all sorts of other projects that are potentially messy and awkward to do on the living room floor. However, as you might know, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. The other caveat of being a crafter is that you start to accumulate lots of supplies. While this tends to be a good thing because you don’t have to buy everything new every single time you want to complete a project- it also becomes a bit of a storage issue. 
I’d tried to create a reasonable storage space in our second bedroom closet by putting up some extra shelves and setting up a TV table for my sewing machine, but I’ll be honest, that just was NOT hacking it. Anytime I wanted to get something out, I had to unstack a big pile of stuff and it was cramped and awful and really not at all functional. 
For a long time our second bedroom has also been barely functional. It’s a quasi guest room, man cave, storage space, and headache. While it’s still sort of all of those things, we’ve decided to make it do all those things a little better. Brett is good at piecing away at furniture and decor that improves his space and makes it more enjoyable. I decided to take a page out of his book and create a functional craft space that I could use and love.  With the addition of some extra furniture, I was able to have space in the second bedroom for crafting, but not intrude too much on the other functions we needed it to serve (guest room, storage, Brett’s man cave). 
One of the wonderful consequences (intended purposes actually) of getting a new desk downstairs was freeing up the table we had been using. We hauled that bad dad upstairs (it is heavy!) and with the addition of two new Ikea shelves, suddenly my craft room was in business. Shelves make all the difference people. 

My sewing machine is always accessible and is available on a big, clean worktable. I’ve got nooks for each type of craft supply on my shelves and a big bulletin board for ideas and inspiration. 
At this point, it’s not that beautiful aesthetically speaking. I don’t have any cutesy bunting hanging up, or cute jars for my brushes and pens, or adorable animal figurines and so I’m really missing the hipster mark that I usually like to achieve with my general living, but IT IS FUNCTIONAL. And so we have a start. (Stay tuned for bunting.) 
Bonus Content for Readers Who Hung in This Long: 
Look at this cutie patootie. 

He was totally scoping out that Crate and Barrel mailer. “Two deers and two houses!”  (He was really just fascinated by the gel adhesive, but it was still cute.)

Christmas Printable Round Up

Still looking for ways to inject a little holiday spirit around your house or office while spending virtually no money?

Might I suggest the Christmas Printable!

Here’s the one that I have on my mantel, available here. (In other color combos, I might add)

These printables are great because you can just transform a frame you already own, use it for the season, and then swap back.

Here’s the print that I’ve had in the frame I’m using now, a quote from Da Vinci which is one of my absolute favorites. (I’ve posted this once before, here.)

Created by  My Best Friend Jules

Free printables are a dime a dozen on Pinterest and in that case, I say “AWESOME!” You can find a printable in every possible color scheme so there’s no way you won’t find one that will make your Christmas decor at least a *pinch* more delightful.

 Here are some of my favorites, so you don’t have to dig. (Note, click on the photo to navigate to the post where these printables are found. Click on the caption to navigate to the homepages of these sites.)

From AKA Design
If you click through the design below, you’ll also find some pretty adorable Grinch printables I’m fond of! 
From The Letter 4
I’m super partial to these vintage-style Christmas prints available here. These are a couple of my favorites. (Looks like lots of printables on the entire site!)
From Paulo Viveiros 
From Paulo Viveiros
From eighteen25
Here are a few other very simple ones with nice, clean designs from Printable Decor. (These can be downloaded to a much larger size in the original post.) 
From Printable Decor

From Printable Decor
Chalkboard printables are SUPER popular and will definitely fit in with any color scheme. Here’s a fave: 
From My Fabuless Life
lemon squeezy has some adorable printables all handily rounded up in “24 Days of Christmas Printable” posts from this year and last year! Here’s a favorite:

From lemon squeezy 
BONUS! Download these gorgeous printable gift tags (If I haven’t convinced you to make your own, that is.)

From lemon squeezy 
Ultimately, if you want it (and you have a reasonably functional color printer) it’s out there for you for free. Prints, gift tags, invitations, cards and so much more! 

Christmas Craft Tour: Homemade Gift Tags/Ornaments

I read A Beautiful Mess pretty religiously. And while some of the projects those girls do stem from their natural artistic ability (which I do not have) some set the bar low enough that I can feasibly achieve some success. Such are these gift tags! Here is the original post for the project. You’ll notice that I’ve copied it very closely, right down to the designs themselves. I’m a wonderful copy cat and a piss poor artist. Anyway, here’s the process!
Sculpey Clay is available at Walmart for about $6. My package made about 30 small gift tags. If you want bigger ornaments or have more tags to make- go for two. 
I don’t actually have any round cookie cutters so I used the cap from a plastic martini shaker and a small, square hors d’oeuvres bowl. 

Here’s my drawing process. You’ll notice that most of my tags turned out brown, not white like the original project. This is because once again, I failed to properly read directions. (Noticing a pattern here?) I really over-baked them because I expected for them to harden while baking. In reality, they harden as they cool and I didn’t realize that until the last 6 or so that I baked. However, my wrapping this year is just some brown kraft paper and string and so it goes quite well.

The original post recommends using a paint pen, but I found a sharpie worked just fine. See? 

The crop of them: 

I rounded them up, took them upstairs, and started wrapping away! I’m still not finished wrapping the gifts I’ve purchased! 

I’m really happy with how these turned out! They make the plain packages look special and personalized. The tags are tied up with gold ribbon and can be used as ornaments later! A definite success in my book. Inexpensive, easy, and impressive. 

A Heart Attack

I spotted this idea on Pinterest earlier in the summer and KNEW I wanted to use it. I love sending mail and most of all, I like letting the people I love know how important they are to me.

What better way to say I love you than sending a Heart Attack? I picked up a gift box that I didn’t end up needing at Hobby Lobby so I decided a Heart Attack would be the perfect use for it. This one went to Brett’s mama and papa. We don’t see them as much as we would like and parents are pretty important people. You shouldn’t wait for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday to let them know how much you love them.

 The best part of this project is that you almost certainly have the supplies on hand. I just used several pages of scrapbook paper. 

 Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. I didn’t use a pattern. I just free-handed it. It took most of an evening, but I just snipped away while Brett and I watched Beverly Hills Cop. 

 Definitely write a love note at the bottom of your box! Dumping out the box really drives home the “attack” in my opinion. 

I wrote some simple instructions, closed the box, and sent it on its way! 
We hope they loved it as much as we love them! Don’t wait until Christmas- surprise somebody you care about with a heart attack! 

Christmas Craft Tour: Tree Skirt

In my quest to find projects to use up my wedding burlap, I searched Pinterest for “burlap crafts.” What I came up with was a wealth of adorable DIYs that were totally doable with my hefty stash! When I found this tree skirt project, I knew it would be on my list of Christmas Craft “to-dos.” I’ve only been celebrating an “Amanda” style Christmas for about 5 or 6 years now and in that time, I haven’t found a tree skirt that I really treasured. I really love this one and I was able to use an old skirt that my grandma gave me last year. The only material I had to purchase was the linen fabric and LOTS of hot glue sticks! In terms of time, it was a Rio + Sunday afternoon length! (I measure my projects in terms of how many movies I can watch while working!) 
I cut up my burlap and fabric into 3 inch strips. The cutting and first row of gluing took most of one evening. 

The first row of ruffles. The ruffle technique took me a while to get used to. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right or not!

As with any project done in my house, it’s pretty critical to have the squirt bottle on stand by. Fatty is sort of a trouble maker.

Here he is, keeping a safe distance under the skirt-less tree. 

I will say, it does help to have a cuddly doggie near by!

One row done! I was pretty exhausted at this point. Bed time!

I picked back up with my row of linen fabric (and a brand new crafty work space! More on that later.) More folding and gluing!

Ta-da! I just trimmed my edges and fluffed. No tricks for finishing.

Here it is under the tree! It looks so at home. 

Here’s the tree and skirt in all its glory! I even had Christmas presents on hand for staging!

Merry Christmas and Happy Tree Skirt!

Christmas Craft Tour: Advent Calendar

I’m so excited to celebrate our first Christmas as a married couple, but I’m worried that it will pass me by and I won’t have stopped to really enjoy it. The holidays come and go so fast. The easiest way to make sure I enjoyed a special moment each day was to make this advent calendar!

If you haven’t done so, you’ve got approximately a day and a half to throw one together yourself! If you are doing one on the fly, let me recommend this one which cost approximately 5 dollars and took about 30 minutes. It couldn’t be easier.

I used this blog post as inspiration and searched Pinterest (and my husband!) for good ideas to put inside.

Here’s my calendar, hanging on my mantel:

And a close up of the envelopes:

Each envelope has an idea for a mini-date inside! It was a little tricky to come up with inexpensive, easy ideas that I thought we’d want to do every day. Want to see my ideas? Here’s a pdf with my entire slate of activities. If you live in Kirksville, you could pretty much just print this off and use it yourself! If you’d like to make your own, the fonts I used are Kingsthings Christmas, Christmas on Crack, and KG Eyes Wide Open.

I recommend checking out your community calendars and going to as many of the free events as you can!

Making the calendar itself was quite easy! I downloaded the labels that Bloom Design provided. Rather than spend EIGHT STINKIN DOLLARS on label paper, I just printed them on copy paper, cut them out, and used good ole Elmer’s glue to stick them to the treat bags I picked up at Hobby Lobby for about $2.50. I scrounged up some clothespins and we were in business!

I love how easy this project is, how great it looks on my mantel, and my hope is that it will help make our Christmas season even more special. Can’t wait to get into them!

Christmas Craft Tour: The Wreath

So I’ve got a nice manageable list of Christmas Crafts going to help us celebrate the First Annual Comfy, Cozy Moser Family Christmas in style. To my mind, this is where Pinterest thrives! I’m really looking forward to spending time crafting and using those crafts to make our home more comfy, more cozy, and more Christmasy! Want a sneak peak? You can check out my Pinterest board to see what I’ve got in mind this year! 

The first craft I want to show off is our wreath, inspired by this post, over at The Paper Mama.

I have lots of burlap left over from the wedding, but it’s already been cut into pieces so I’m trying to find creative, but smaller projects to use it up on. This wreath was a perfect fit. I followed the tutorial pretty closely, but used a few different materials.

 Supplies. This was an delightfully inexpensive project. I picked up a couple straw wreaths at Walmart this fall and had no plans for my second one. Using it for this was a no brainer. I picked up my ribbon and berry embellishments at Hobby Lobby last weekend. 
 The tutorial used a really wide burlap ribbon, but I just cut mine into strips. 

 Like the tutorial, I didn’t even bother removing the plastic wrap from my wreath. Just started wrapping and gluing my burlap. 
 I didn’t feel like getting another style of ribbon so I used the plaid to wrap around the wreath. A dab of glue was all I needed. 

 Hot gluing the fancys. I put mine in a spot where the burlap looked funny. 
 I had to follow the ribbon instructions carefully. I can’t tie a bow to save my life. 
Complete! You’ll notice I skipped the pinecones. I wasn’t against it, but they didn’t have any at Hobby Lobby and I just didn’t want to go out and look for them. You’ll find this to be a comfy, but lazy Christmas season for me! 
More Christmasy Crafts to come!