So, you are engaged, you are excited, and you have a Pinterest wedding board with endless DIY projects and decor inspiration pins that all look so fun and fantastic, and you have already started 4 of them simultaneously?
(Hey – that sounds like me!)
But before you get started with the embroidery hoops, burlap chair covers and hand calligraphed wooden signs, just stop and think for a moment. Am I able to make this look good in real life? Do I have the time, resources and concentration for this, honestly?
Unless you are a seasoned DIYer and creative, got some necessary tools in the shed, plenty of time and space to work and to store, chances are that the amazing DIY pin might make your wedding decor more or less wacky-tacky and painful to achieve. Save yourself from the frustration of having worked on something for months, then realizing the week before the wedding that it looks not only like it has been stolen straight from pinterest, but in a shabby in a not-so-chic way.
If you are doing your decor yourself in order to save cash, think again carefully. A lot of materials are not cheap to buy and sometimes hard to come buy – this would obviously add extra stress and take up your valuable time, not to mention create holes in the wedding budget uneccesarily.
Therefore, I feel the urgent need to curate this list for you, all the bold and beautiful aspiring bohemian-or-not-bohemian brides out there, because you actually don’t want your wedding to be over-styled and there is only so much decor that your guests can absorb and appreciate anyway. Don’t go wild with the burlap just yet, rather focus on a few co-ordinated statement pieces – less is more even when it comes to wedding decor you know – we don’t want weddings like a licorice all-sorts packet. Choose with sensibility and style in mind, do your carefully selected projects really well, as supposed too doing many in a maddened creative frenzy.
Then you should find your DIY-ing really fulfilling and fruitful! It can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your wedding preparation, if done cleverly.
DIY decor projects
That are actually:
-DO-ABLE even for those with clumsy fingers and no previous crafting skills
-CHEAP, but not tacky, and uses materials that you can find in nature, a supermarket or in your recycling box
-BEAUTIFUL not just on photo, will appeal to your guests whichever age and create the right rustic romantic atmosphere
-TASTEFUL and rustic but in an elegant and understated way. I’m all for rustic elegance when it comes to weddings.
-SUSTAINABLE. Reused. Repurposed. Recycled. What other words describe a perfect wedding day?
Not talented with free hand script writing? Block style print will look just as good, and be more readable for your guests too. A pallet will do the job if you don’t have a blackboard handy. Will work for any rustic, woodland, boho-chic, gypsy, festival, industrial, barn-style, beach, summer, eclectic, outdoor, backyard or any modern wedding theme. Bonus: reuse after to a coffee table project for your new home. Bang.
I can see this really working as leading the path for guests walking to the ceremony area. Head out to nearest woods, gather fallen branches from the ground, grab a few wildflowers then mount with glass bottles and twine. PS. Make sure the branches are securely fixed in the ground! Casting them in a bit of concrete will help with stability.
Two examples of rustic aisle decor than only takes minutes to assemble. Baby’s Breath flowers are so perfect for weddings – white, angelic and cheap. I like the idea of wrapping doilies into cones – you can do this for your confetti too. Images via juliehanandesign.com and Deer Pearl Flowers
What can I say? Scattered foilage on the floor. Lit block candles. A frame built of branches and greenery. It all comes together into ethereal, romantic and DIY friendly ceremony magic.
Ceremony outdoors and don’t have a wall? Well hang a long piece of lace in a tree and get married right there. Or you are handy with a hammer (or can get someone who is involved), three sturdy planks or branches will give you a beautiful arch to decorate with foliage, flowers and fabric.
(TIP: instead of buying new fabric, consider finding lace or plain curtains in your local charity shop and sew them into one long piece)
If you and your groom are feeling a bit on the wild side, or just want extra boho-vibes for your ceremony, consider building a wedding tepee!
For your confetti, why not take advantage of something that is abundant, free and biodegradable? Rosemary, olive leaf, or even lavender for a boost of fragrance and pretty colour. I love the idea of using book pages or musical notes to make the cones. Head to the garden store, a farm or a friendly neighbours garden. Easy and green!
You want something to create atmosphere around the venue where people hang out for cocktail hour. With branches, foilage, bottles and seasonal flowers you can easily make yourself a few ornaments that will wow without being wasteful of your time or budget, or mother earth for that matter.
Images from Wedding Chicks and Amazon
Are you into bunting but want to do it differently? Using bits of lace trim, (off cuts and scraps are relatively cheap at the haberdashery store) re purposed fabric or ribbon, you can make yourself a rather pretty garland. Paper doilies are also a sweet addition to any rustic or whimsical decor. Garlands can be used as a backdrop, chair decor or just above head to create an instant festive atmosphere.
Project instructions can be found here
Twine orbs: all you need is a round balloon or ball you dont mind destroying, a few rolls of twine and white glue. Anyone can make them and it doesn’t take long either, and they are very versatile. Can be mounted in different ways as suggested above, to create a dreamy and impressive installation in trees or suspended in the reception ceiling. You can also wrap some string lights around them for an atmospheric light decor later in the evening.
A great thing about twine orbs is that you can re-use them in your home afterwards; they create great chandeliers or decorative patio lighting for example.
Hulahoops are not only good for waistlines and entertaining kids for hours, you can also make the most stunning wedding chandeliers with them. Add string lights, lace, foilage of perhaps strings of beads, and you got a show stopper chandelier. All you need is a bunch of hoops, materials of your choice and a tall ladder. When the wedding is over and everyone has gone home, you can throw a big hula hoop competition for the wedding party. Or give the hoops as gifts to anyone with a sense of playfulness.
Image via Want that wedding and Free people
Backdrop making should not make you drop of creative exhaustion. Get your bridesmaid to tie freshly harvested flowers and foliage on twine the day before the wedding. Attach to another string or branch and use to decorate the walls, the photo booth, the ceremony or as decoration behind your and your grooms chairs.
This is originally not a wedding project, but I can see this really working as decoration on your gift or guestbook table. Grab a few bottles and jars from the recyling, prime with universal primer and then paint in colour of choice. The stencils can be found in an arts and craftshop, or with a home printer, a craft knife and some good finger work can be DIYed at home. Fab decor for your home after!
Who could guess that tomato cans or bean tins could look so pretty? Plan a few months ahead, save up your tins, find a spray paint in your preferred colour and some more of the lace off cuts or ribbons I mentioned earlier. With a few flowers, baby’s breath and/or foliage you can have yourself some really pretty and ingenious flower features to decorate empty areas of your venue. I’d consider using these as part of the table decor too. Upcycling at its best.
Im rounding this post off with some chair decorations for your ceremony, but could also be used for the reception part of the day. If one is truly minimalist, eco-conscious and budget orientated, the chair decorations could be skipped altogether. But sometimes, such as for weddings, one just wants to go the extra mile doesn’t one. So I hereby welcome you to do your DIY the simple, understated but oh-so-rustic-elegant way. Happy foraging!