Making smart decisions in how to provide alcohol at your wedding isn’t the only we plan to save money; another way we are saving money is by making our own table numbers and signage. Since we knew we wanted a southern rustic feel, I knew chalkboards were going to be incorporated into our wedding and since we had almost 2 years to create exactly what we wanted, I knew we could save money by DIY table numbers and signage. This post serves as a quick tutorial on how to make chalkboard table numbers with your own splash of character, and avoid buying the $3.99 chalkboards the craft stores are selling today.
We wanted chalkboard table numbers, but at the same time, wanted something different than we have seen at other weddings. Luckily, my mom came across plain 4×6 and 5×7 chalkboards for $1 at AC Moore while browsing craft stores one day. Quickly, she grabbed about 15-20 chalkboards and we came up with some great ideas. It is important when undertaking a DIY project to buy a little more than you actually need to account for error. We will have 12 table numbers, so we needed 12 4×6 chalkboards, which allowed us to test out a few designs and make a couple mistakes.
First, we decided to stain the wood to give it a more formal look (my grandma had a bucket of stain so we were able to do this at no cost to us), and to make it flow with the wood in our venue. We used the “How to Stain” section on this website. Once the stain dried, we practiced writing on the chalkboards with regular chalk to make sure we had the look and feel we wanted with the numbers and sayings. We weren’t looking for anything too perfect or too messy (now I get why Goldilocks tried all the porridge!). I also wanted to incorporate the beach in subtle ways, since that’s where we met and where we got engaged. To do this I went to the craft store again and looked through the stencils where I found the perfect sized seashell. Once we knew the style we wanted, we then wrote the numbers with permanent chalkboard marker, as we didn’t want the numbers to erase and used white paint & a stencil to paint the seashells on some of the table numbers.
After we all had the numbers on the chalkboards and the paint dried it was time to incorporate my fiancé, TJ, in the project! We still needed a way for the cheap chalkboards to stand by themselves. TJ drilled a small hole on the bottom of the chalkboards using a drill bit that was only slightly larger than the dowel rod that I picked up at the craft store. Be careful not to drill through the wood entirely (but it will happen — this is why you account for error). Then cut up a dowel rod into smaller pieces and superglue the dowel rods into the hole. This will allow the chalkboards to stand on their own without having to pay an additional amount for an easel.
This simple task for the table numbers cost us $15 and they are exactly what we had in mind. Not only did they exceed my expectations, I also surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this task. This was my first DIY task in my wedding preparations and I discovered that these projects not only can save money, but allow me to create things exactly how I imagine them. I can’t wait to share more DIY tutorials in regards to our signs throughout the wedding, including the bar signage, memorial table signage, dessert and candy bar signage, etc.
What items are you DIY for your wedding?
Do you enjoy DIY or is it more of a hassle for you?
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.