Alternative Guest Book

In a past, not too long ago life, I used to scrapbook.  For whatever reason, I lost interest and haven't scrapped in a long time.  During that time I created quite a few books.  Where are they now?  In a box in the closet somewhere, only to be taken out when I do a total reorganization/cleaning of the closet.  Knowing these books ended up as dust collectors, I did not want that to happen to my guest book.

I searched for ideas for alternative guest book ideas that I could put on display instead of in the closet.  One of my favorite books was the fingerprint version:


The problem with doing something like this was I would have to have someone to design it for me meaning I would have to probably pay a price for it.  Plus, there just did not seem to be much room for signing.

After my engagement pictures were ready to take a look at, I met my photographer at a local coffee house to pick my favorites.  While sitting there, I mentioned to him that I wanted something different for the guest book and something that would match our rustic wedding theme and eventually our rustic-y decor theme at home.

Enter inspiration:


It was one of the walls at the coffee shop.  I love the look of it and figured I could somehow replicate that look for my guest book.  It would just take some planning.  After about a day and a half of work, I now have something I am happy to hang on the wall


It was a pretty easy project and once it is time for people to sign, they can grab a pen and sign a shim.

Materials needed (for a 30″x22″ peice):

6-1x4x4 white wood pieces

4 packs of wooden shims

Freebies for your wedding

1/2 pint of Sunbleached Stain and 1/2 pint of Special Walnut Stain

Wood or Craft Glue

I lined up five 1x4s and cut them down to size.  The sixth board was used as a brace on the back.  I screwed/glued the brace to the back and let it dry.


I took the engagement pictures I was using and drew their lines on the wood so I knew not to place a shim in that area.



I started using wood glue to adhere the wood shims, but the wood glue would NOT cooperate.  I eventually switched over to the trusty graft glue I have and it worked like a charm

After all of the shims were glued and cut to size (not easy if you do not have a power saw), I started staining my color on.




I started with the Special Walnut stain and applied it lightly and randomly.  There was no rhyme or reason to how I applied it.  I then applied the sunbleached color (which looks very gray at first).  Then I just started using each color where I thought it was necessary.




I love how this looks!  It has so much dimension and is very unique.  I am going to have to find a pen that will sign the wood (not too difficult since I tested out different options on spare shims).  Most likely, I will place this on an easel and let everyone sign a shim.  I cannot wait to display this on my wall!  The best part:  I spent less than $30 to make this.

What will your guest book look like?

Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *