Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{D.I.Y.O.D. Wedding Wednesday} Lace!

There are few things in life that are more romantic than lace. That's a fact. So dainty, and sweet, it's impossible to be a hater of lace. Couple the romantic powers of lace with a wedding and you've instantly "had me at hello." (Cheesy romantic 90's movie pun intended). So, for today's DIYOD Wedding Wednesday I'm focusing on fun and easy lace decor projects. There must have been about 100 lacy tutorials that I wanted to share with everyone, but I settled on the below five.
Click on the description below the picture to be taken to the respective tutorial.

Try it Like This:

1) Heart Lace Garland 2) Lace Adorned Seating Chart 3) Lacy Envelopes
4) Lace Luminaries 4) Lacy Candle Holders
Buy it Like This:

Try as I might to find sellers of these lacy items, I was not able to. However, I figured I could at least provide some info on great places to buy the supplies for the projects so here we go:

Lace Trim for Heart Garland and Seating Chart: We have a running joke at work that if you're ever looking for something you should just google it and add ".com" to the end of it. In this case, it didn't work, but had I been looking for "Lace Heaven" I would have been spot on. And really, who isn't looking for a lace heaven?

Round Paper Doily for Luminaries: There a thousand shops that offer round paper doilies, but has a nice selection.

Square Doilies for Envelopes: I found square doilies on a number of sites, but I liked the variety offered by the set sold by Sur La Table.

Crocheted Doilies for Candle Holders: My suggestion with the crocheted doilies (if you're not going to make them yourselves) is to go on ebay and look for a lot of vintage doilies.

Monday, June 27, 2011

{Tutorial} Paper Stephanotis Flower - Free Download!

I know what you're thinking. "Really Sarah? Another flower?!" I completely agree, except I can't help myself! I see these pretty flowers and want to recreate them. It's a challenge to try and make them look as pretty in paper as they do in real life, and sometimes I'm fairly successful.

Anyone whose gotten married or knows their flowers, also knows that the stephanotis flower, a.k.a. "Bridal Veil" is super expensive. I think I bought 30 blossoms for my wedding and it cost more than I'd like to admit. But the shape of the flower itself is pretty basic, so I figured, after the ranunculus, this should be fairly simple! I used this picture to form the template:

And here is what I was able to come up with:

I mean, they're not perfect, but pin them in the bridesmaids hair, accent your bridal bouquet with them, or wrap a few up pretty in a boutonniere and I think nobody would be the wiser. And the best part is that you could make 30 of them for what it costs to buy a couple sheets of card stock! You don't need an electronic cutter for this project, but like with all paper projects, it sure makes it easier, especially since these blooms are real life size at only 1.75" :)

The Template
I've provided free access to this template to all subscribers. To become a subscriber you just need to "Follow" my blog through Google Friend Connect or your preferred RSS feed (you'll find the widget to join to the left of this post), then access my blog feed through your Google Reader or other RSS feed. Each post will have an additional link at the bottom of the post that says "Subscriber Only Downloads and Templates!" Click on this link and you'll be taken to a subscriber only page on my blog where you'll find the download links. One of the many benefits to being a D.I.Y. or Don't! fan!

**Note: if you have ANY issues locating the downloads, let me know, I'll be happy to provide you with the link! Also, the full template is provided in .studio format and JPEG format.**

How To Make

Materials Needed:

1 sheet cardstock
template (see above)
floral pin
floral wire
floral tape
electronic cutter or pair of scissors


1) Cut out the flower shape.

2) I've designed the flower so that there is a little slit at the base of each petal, this is because real stephanotis petals overlap each other slightly. Press the base of the petal to the left over the bottom of the petal to the right. You'll want it to look like this:

3) Gently fold each petal in half lengthwise so that there is a faint crease down the center. 

4) Now hold a petal between your finger and thumb, and with your other hand, gently brush your thumb over the edges of the petals in a front to back motion to smooth out the hard cuts of the paper. The goal here is to make the edges of the petals appear as though they curve towards the back of the petals, like they do in the real flowers. You'll see the effect of this step here:

5) Take a floral pin and add a dab of hot glue on the underside of it. Push the pin through the center of the flower and hold in place until the glue cools and the flower is stuck to the pin.

6) Take a small piece of floral wire and, using floral tape, fix the wire to the base of the floral pin.

7) Repeat steps 1-6 until you have as many as your little heart desires!

Where to Buy
6 Pearl Silk Stephanotis Flower Bridal Hair Pins WeddingI would love to say that I have found an awesome seller of these little flowers, but I couldn't for the life of me find anyone who sells the paper stephanotis flowers. I did find a place that sells silk ones though, you can buy them 6 for $20 from I personally still think that's an outrageous price! I tell you what, I'll sell 2 dozen of them, along with the center gems, floral wire and floral tape for $6 plus shipping if you're interested. You can find them in my Etsy store here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Supply Day! The Search for Feathers and Chiffon

Tomorrow I attend the Rammy's! It'll be my third straight year attending. For those of you who don't know, it's a restaurant industry event in D.C. where the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) hosts their version of the Grammy's. It's the industry event of the year where server, bartenders, managers, and owners alike get all dolled up and come together at a local hotel to receive awards, recognize each others awesomeness, and party... hard. It's often a total sh*t show by the end and I totally LOVE it! This year's theme is carnival and you bet we're going all out!

Here are some pics of previous RAMMY celebrations:
1) Credit 2) Credit 3) Credit 4) Credit
Due to a lack of time I bought my mask (gasp!) but it cost about as much as it would have if I had made it because I didn't have any of the supplies on hand.
My Mask
But, after actually browsing through some carnival pics, I realized I was going to have to do a lot better if I was going to represent.

1) Credit 2) Credit 3) Credit 4) Credit
I'm actually not sure where the mask thing came from, but all the women in my office that are attending are wearing them. I probably should have made a giant feather headpiece, but I'm also not wearing a sparkling beaded bikini, so I think I'll settle for being less than authentic:) 

So, here's my plan. I'll make a small feather headpiece, like on a barrette or something, and then I'll get some chiffon that matches my dress and attach it to wrist cuffs and the back of my dress. This will probably be very interesting, but I'll be sure to post pictures either way:)

My first stop, is at this incredible fabric store a couple blocks from my house, fittingly called "Sarah's Fabrics". One of the benefits of living in DC is the diversity, and I live in a very diverse part of the city. I'm guessing I live near one of the the largest African populations in DC, which means awesome Ethiopian food, and amazing fabric stores. The local Joann's Fabrics is just not going to cut it for the garbs that these talented women create. Last time I was there, I was so astounded by the selection and beauty of these fabrics, I had to take a video and send it to my mom (who's obsessed with pretty fabrics). Take a look at the massive amounts of fabric they have in just the back corner of their store:

I just love that place. I'm also going to be stopping my the Salvation Army quick, and, ultimately, Michael's, where I know I'll find feathers. Wish me luck! I'll be sure to share whatever comes of this trip:)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Featured!} LadyBirdLn

Ladybird Ln

I recently received an email from Carlee at Lady Bird LN informing me I had randomly been selected from her Link Up party to be the next "Blog of the Week" and she was wondering if I wanted to participate. I immediately responded "Absolutely!" What a special opportunity! The only "requirement" she had to be featured is to write a little something about my blog. Well, that's easy! Sit back and relax folks, because this girl can talk! hehe.

Though the blog is only about 2 months old the concept of "DIY or Don't!" was born in the cold early-winter months of 2010 while I was walking our then puppy Cooper. (He's no longer a puppy but a full-size cuddle bug.)

Hubby and I were recently engaged and, having always been a DIY kind of girl, knew I had about 1,000 craft projects ahead of me. I started realizing that there were some things that I was just going to have to buy, but I didn't really want to lose the hand-made theme that we were after. Enter Etsy. What a wonderful place! It's like a beautiful eternal craft fair full of artisans and crafters - like me - but for hire! So, I spent a good portion of my planning days bouncing between Etsy and conversing with sellers to custom make things for me, and the DIY sites with tutorials and inspirational ideas. Then suddenly it hit me. There should be a place where those who make (martha stewart style), those who inspire (DIY blogs and craftgawker) and those who buy (etsy style) unite. It was then that "DIY or Don't!" was born. The concept is actually much grander that what you see here, and I have some big things in store for you guys in the future, but for now I have a blog and try everyday to find balance between providing tutorials, inspiration and access to quality sellers.

And since we're it's what started it all (and I've secretly been wanting to find a way to share some of the pics with you anyways) here's a glimpse of our handmade/Etsy style wedding!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{D.I.Y.O.D. Wedding Wednesday} River Rocks

Wanna hear a little known fact about me? Once I tell you you'll all graduate to BFF status because only my closest of friends know this about me. Ok, here it goes... I LOVE rocks! Phew! That was tough! Yes,folks, rocks. I have an insane collection of rocks, including tumbled gemstones, polished river rocks, etc. I'll pick up a pretty rock on a walk, or at the beach, I'll even buy them if I see pretty ones in gift shops. That's right folks, I'm that person they keep those huge displays of tumbled gemstones in tourist trap gift shops for. I probably own about 50 pounds of rocks, which I kick around from one decorative display to another, so imagine my thrill when I realized it's acceptable to use these beautiful earthen artifacts in a wedding! Why do I find all of these great ideas AFTER my wedding?

Try it Like This:

1) Rock Guest Book 2) Aisle Runner 3) Escort Cards 4) Table Decor
Where to Buy

I generally try not to feature the same seller twice, but this seller just has some of the coolest things! ThePaperyNook was originally featured for her vellum luminaries, but I'm featuring her here again because she also offers river rock guest books and escort cards. I encourage you to browse her shop!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{Tutorial} DIY Wine Tags

In just a little under a month I have a date with three of my favorite ladies ever. I've known them since I was about 12 years old, and though we've faded in and out of each others lives, when we get together it's like not a day has gone by. I truly hope that each and every one of you has at least one person in their lives like that. Even though most of these girls have their own families now, and curfews that are significantly earlier than the ones we had in high school, they haven't forgotten how to have fun. These girls can party!!

In anticipation of our upcoming ladies weekend, I started brainstorming some party props and one thing led to another and I was cutting these fun little wine tags! Adorned with a few choice adjectives, I thought this would be a fun way to "label" your guests. Fill them out before the party, or let your guests choose which personality trait to highlight for the night. Keep it clean, or...don't! Have a bunch of friends who don't know each other coming together for the first time? How's this for a conversation starter. "Oh, your tag say's "Shy," is that true?" Hosting a party where teams are necessary for a game? Have guests pick a glasses when they arrive with one of 4 chosen words and then have all the people with the same tag's team up. The possibilities are endless with these cute little tags!

How to Make

The Template
I've provided free access to this template to all subscribers. To become a subscriber you just need to "Follow" my blog through Google Friend Connect or your preferred RSS feed (you'll find the widget to join to the left of this post), then access my blog feed through your Google Reader or other RSS feed. Each post will have an additional link at the bottom of the post that says "Subscriber Only Downloads and Templates!" Click on this link and you'll be taken to a subscriber only page on my blog where you'll find the download links. One of the many benefits to being a D.I.Y. or Don't! fan!

Materials Needed:
Template (see above)
Mod Podge
Un-patterned Cardstock (you can fit up to 12 tag shapes per 8 x 11 sheet)
Patterned Cardstock
eyelets and crop-a-dile
1 jump ring for each tag
1 hoop earring finding for each tag
pliers to close the findings

1) Using the template, cut out as many labeled tags (the ones with words) as you'd like on patterned paper.
2) For as many patterned shapes as you cut out, cut out the same number of blank shapes on the un-patterned cardstock
3) Also on the un-patterned paper, cut out the one small tag shape for each tag. These will the labels.
4) Using Mod Podge, glue one patterned shape ontop of an un-patterned shape (This step gives it stability). Repeat for each tag.
5) On each tag, using the mod podge, glue the label shapes just above the words. Be sure to leave room at the top for the hole.
6) Using your crop-a-dile or a hole punch, punch a hole the size of your eyelets in each tag. Be sure to punch the hole far enough down so that it's stable but not so deep that your jump ring won't close.
7) Fasten an eyelet in each hole.
8) Attach jump ring to each tag through the eyelet
9) Take a hoop earring finding and add a couple beads, thread through the tag, finish adding the beads and using the pliers, bend the fastener so that it latches. Et Viola!

Where to Buy

If you're looking for fun, personalized wine tags and you don't want to make them yourselves, you have to check out Clinks! A seller based out of Seattle, they have both wine and beer charms and they're super cute! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

{Tutorial} Paper Ranunculus Flower - Free Download!

I am SUPER excited about today's post, and not just because I've been working on perfecting it for the past two days, but because i think I have something truly special to share with you guys. If you've been following my page,  or even if you've poked around a bit, you'll have seen that I have a number of tutorials on tissue paper flowers, and centerpieces, etc. I love tissue paper, and how easy it is to work with. Well, while browsing some of the many websites I frequent, I came across this post in Emmaline Bride that showcased paper ranunculus flowers made by Sunny & Stumpy. They are beautiful! Look at them! And they're made out of paper!

Naturally, my first thought was, I can totally make that! I looked online and was a bit disappointed that there weren't any templates to be found. This meant I was going to have to make one myself. So, I searched for a a good picture of a ranunculus that I thought I could duplicate. I found this:

And a couple templates and variations later, I came up with this:

That's pretty darn close if I do say so myself! And of course, I can't not share! Continue on to find the instructions on how to assemble this beautiful flower, as well as instructions as to how you go about getting the Silhouette template download.

The Template
I've provided free access to this template to all subscribers. To become a subscriber you just need to "Follow" my blog through Google Friend Connect or your preferred RSS feed (you'll find the widget to join to the left of this post), then access my blog feed through your Google Reader or other RSS feed. Each post will have an additional link at the bottom of the post that says "Subscriber Only Downloads and Templates!" Click on this link and you'll be taken to a subscriber only page on my blog where you'll find the download links. One of the many benefits to being a D.I.Y. or Don't! fan!  Template provided when you follow the link in the materials list!

**Note: if you have ANY issues locating the downloads, let me know, I'll be happy to provide you with the link! Also, the full template is provided in .studio format but I've also JPEG  the basic petal shape, which you can use to print in 7 different sizes to create a flower in your desired size. Recommended sizes provided for a 4" bloom.**

How to Make

Materials Used:
Ranunculus Template
4 sheets 65lb 8/11.5" cardstock
Hot Glue
1 Floral Pin
1 Floral Stem
Floral Tape

1) Using the Silhouette, cut out all four pages of petals and sort by size. There are 7 sizes.

2) Prep each flower by sculpting each petal. I kind of "roll" each petal between my fingers and thumbs from the base of each petal to the tip so that it curls inwards and then pinch the top of each petal together about 4 or 5 times. The pinching creates creases. Refer to picture to see what it should look like when you've "prepped" the petal.

3) Once you've prepped all the floweres, take the floral pin and apply a bit of hot glue on the underside of the head. Choose the smallest petal and stick the floral pin through it so that the petals curl around the head of the pin. See photo.

4) Now you're forming the inside center of the flower. Curl all the petals up towards the center, overlapping each petal in an over-under pattern. This means that one side of each petal will be over the petal next to it and the other side will be under the petal next to it. Hold the flower in place and carefully use a dab of hot glue under the overlapping side of each petal and press down so that the petals stay together in their shape. See photo.

5) Placing a dab of hot glue on the underside of the bud you just formed, slide on the next petal. This petal should be the same size as the first petal. Make sure to line up the petals so that the crease that was formed between 2 petals of the first cutout falls in the middle of a petal on the second cutout. In essence, you're attempting to stagger each layer so that the petals don't align with each other.

6) Repeat step 4 for the first 6 petals. After the 6th petal your bud should look like this.

7) The remaining petals undergo the same process, the only difference being where you place the hot glue. In the first six petals you were placing it under the overlapping petals so that the petals would stick down onto the petal next to them. After the 6th petal you'll be placing the glue at the base of the underside of the petal and pressing it up towards the center. Doing this will give the appearance of the flower in bloom and not in a bud form. Continue in the same "over-under" overlapping pattern for each petal. See photo (I apologize for the fact it's blurry, I was having a hard time holding the flower and getting a good shot of the glue).

8) After you've finished gluing your last petal on take your floral stem tape the end of the floral stem and the floral pin together. Wrap the floral tape all the way down the bottom of the pin. The strength of the floral pin adds stability.

9) Et Voila! You have now assembled a beautiful paper ranunculus. Make a few more, or stick it in a bud vase and enjoy!

Where to Buy

Shameless Self Promotion Time! I have added these flower kits to my Etsy shop! You can purchase for self-assembly or add on an assembly package and I'll put it together for you! Check out my shop here :)

DIY Club

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{D.I.Y.O.D. Wedding Wednesday} Pinwheels!

I realized this morning that yesterday was the "official" 10 month anniversary since my wedding. At this time last year I was filling every spare moment (and even stealing some moments earmarked for things like sleeping, eating and exercising) creating the crafted details of my wedding. I'll be honest with you, I kinda miss it! Luckily, my BFF just recently announced her long awaited engagement (YAY!), and it finally gives me a legitimate reason to continue obsessing over my favorite wedding blogs and creating wedding-focused crafts. Lucky me!

As such, I've un-originally decided to make Wednesday "D.I.Y. or Don't! Wedding Wednesday" (aka "D.I.Y.O.D. Wedding Wednesday")! I have so many things I can't wait to share with you all, and I'm collecting more every day. I finally have a reason to look forward to "hump day!"

The first wedding project I'm featuring, as you can see, is pinwheels! I love these things and I didn't even think to incorporate them in my own wedding (hindsight) so I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that my "Bestie" will decide to put a few in hers :)

So, this is how I'll layout Wedding Wednesday. First, I'll tell you guys where to find at least one tutorial on how to create the item (today I gave you 4!), then I'll show you a couple ideas for utilizing or incorporating it into the big day, and third, I'll suggest at least one awesome seller. Sound good? Awesome. Here we go...

How to Make
Pinwheel 1 / Pinwheel 2 / Pinwheel 3 / Pinwheel 4

Try it Like This!
1) Garland! 2) Boutonniere 3) Aisle Decor 4) Table Decor
Where to Buy:

I'm so excited to share this seller with you! Rule42, featured on StyleMePretty, has a large assortment pinwheels and her shop covers of all the above ideas. I promise, you'll love her stuff! Check her our here!!

What do you guys think?! Are you fans of D.I.Y.O.D. Wedding Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

{Tutorial} DIY Drink Coasters

When I saw this tutorial on how to make your own coasters in Hostess with the Mostess I knew I had to try it! I. Love. This. Project!! They turned out so nicely! I can envision these as being the perfect little favor at a wedding or a baby shower (see my attempt at baby shower themed coasters below). And would you believe me if I told you the whole project (all 8 coasters) cost me under $3.00?!

How to Make

Materials Needed:
4 tiles (I used 4" coasters, but you can use any size you'd like)
Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Felt or Cork for underside of coaster (I used self adhesive felt)
Polyurethane spray for finishing coat
Patterned paper of your choice (this can be scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, origami paper, etc)
Scissors or xacto knife

1) Trace your tile onto the patterned paper you chose and cute out. I decided to measure my tile and then use an xacto knife and a ruler because I seem incapable of tracing a straight line.
2) Working on one tile at a time, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge with a foam brush and apply one of the paper squares. Smooth out the paper flat so that there are no bubbles and that it has formed a tight seal. 
3) While the tiles dry, cut out your felt or cork pads to size. 
4) When the tiles are dry, spray on a couple of layers of the polyurethane coating (be sure to space out each coat about 5-10 minutes apart). 
5) After a couple hours, when you're sure the tiles are dry, turn the coasters over and glue on the felt or cork pads. 

That's it! As soon as they are completely dry, spread them around your house, set them out by the pool or give them out to friends and family!!

Where to Buy:

If you're short on time or patience and want a couple of these (or 100 of these if it's for an event) I found a great seller I'd like to recommend! Floridalisa has over 64 different coaster sets in her shop so you're guaranteed to find something you like! Check her out here!
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