Wedding day has come and gone, but while we’re waiting on our pro photos I will share some of our crafty adventures in DIY with you! I baited four close friends/bridesmaids with brunch & mimosas, and then roped them in for a good old fashioned craft-a-thon prior to the wedding. We worked from about 2p-8p and really got a lot done. Our guest numbers somehow crept up to 200, which meant a lot more time dedicated to DIY, and a little budget bump. Our main projects for the marathon craft day were programs, cutting runners, and assembling favor bags. I had Bridesmaid Whitney take some photos, so these are actually nice to look at, as opposed to my usual ugly ones.
As a gift for my bridal shower, Whitney designed my programs. We used the wedding logo that we’ve consistently used on EVERYTHING (inspiration from Sweet Life Designs) for the front, then listed the ceremony information on the inside, and tied some bakers twine around the binding (these photos were taken before the twine was added). I spent about $105 on supplies total (stamp, paper, printing, ink, and bakers twine), which was roughly 50 cents each. Considering how great they look, I’m okay with this, and we saved ourselves $100 on the covers alone with the DIY option. Here are a few findings/details:
The Front: As a lot of you have probably picked up on, good quality printing on quality paper is EXPENSIVE! To sidestep this a bit on the programs I had a custom stamp made at Casey Rubber Stamps in NYC, and was extremely pleased with the outcome (I actually had two stamps made there for the wedding…keep reading). One of my bridesmaids, Rebekah, lives in Brooklyn and was able to pick up the stamp(s) and ship them to me. The stamp shop only takes cash or check, and I’m not sure if they ship things or not, but for our purposes it worked wonderfully. He charges based on the size of the stamp. The prices can seem a little high, but depending on the cost of the printing project and how often the stamp can be used on other wedding things, it was totally worth it for us. Because a stamp pad this large would have meant an extra $30, we bought an ink roller at an art store, used quality ink and an old cookie sheet to get the job done. For the cover I ordered 8.5″ X 11″ Kraft brown paper bag paper (65 lb. weight) off of Amazon and cut it in half myself, prior to the gathering. Sizing programs to fit 2-up on a regular sized sheet of paper saved us some money as well, and we liked the cute little size.
The Inside: Whitney took care of the design work (after I FINALLY rounded up all of the information that I wanted in there), and we were able to print 2-up, front & back, on a sheet of regular white copy paper. With the outside being higher quality, we were able to stick to black & white printing on the inside. For these, I just had them printed at Office Depot to save time (they were cheaper than Kinkos or Staples, and didn’t charge a set-up fee for double-sided printing), and we cut them ourselves.
The Binding: We didn’t have a long enough stapler, so after folding the cover and inside sheet, we just used a small dab of hot glue to keep the inner sheet in place. Next we added some green & white bakers twine with a cute little bow around the binding, which served to better hold the program together, but was also an adorable detail that I really like. I ordered my Baker’s Twine from Amazon also.
For favors I ended up ordering some flat brown merch bags online and ordering a “Thank Ya’ll” stamp from Casey in Brooklyn as well. I also plan to use the stamp on our “Thank You” cards after the wedding too. To go inside we bought mini Moon Pies (a Tennessee “go to”) and Spirit of Nashville postcard. Adding up my expenses, I spent right around $1 each. After a lot of researching, I ordered my mini Moon Pies from FavoritesOf.com in Gallatin, TN and bought my 50 cent postcards from various gift shops on Lower Broadway. While not the flashiest favors, I think they’re cute for especially the out-of-towners and we kept on-point with the budget.
I ordered rolls of burlap jute from Save-on-Crafts.com and it worked perfectly. The rolls were 14″ wide, so that saved us some cutting. If you’re planning on ordering these at any point (they’re a good deal), I would suggest starting to check very early. It took several months for them to have enough in stock for me to purchase. Our tables are 78″ wide, so we made our runners 96″ (you don’t want too much over-hang to where the runners will rest in someone’s lap while they’re eating). I had initially toyed with the idea of fraying and tying the ends, but they look just fine cut the way they are, and it didn’t seem worth the time investment. Jess cut the runners, measuring the first one (and using that as a guideline of length for the others), marking with chalk with a straight surface, and cutting very carefully. This is one job that I straight-up did not want!
It was a long day, but we got a lot accomplished and are still friends (maybe that’s thanks to the mimosas and food). I can’t thank the ladies enough for being such a huge help! Would you consider borrowing your bridesmaids for an all-day craft-a-thon?
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 pandemic wedding resources here.