I've been thinking about some DIY ideas that might be helpful to the pocket book (and who calls it a pocket book any more? I mean purse. Or just bag. Pocket book is so....grandma). I was thinking primarily about cupcakes. I made some last week. You know, the ugly ones. Then I started thinking about the really really really pretty cupcake wrappers. You know the ones...
These are from The Wedding Channel Store and cost $13.00 for 12! Add in tax and shipping and these are like $1.30 each! WTF? I don't think so. Most other laser-cut designs that I found were all around $.90-$1.15 each, which I think is high.
So I was thinking about what else you could use in place of these expensive laser-cut things. I thought about doilies. I thought that by some stroke of amazing luck I had come up with an original idea.
Pffft. I should have known better. I hit up Google and found a few cool things. First, if you're not suddenly overcome and obsessed with doilies like I am, you can still download a free cupcake wrapper template here from Skip to My Lou. Use pretty paper from a craft store. OR, if you want to get funky, use random wallpaper scraps. How? Here's what you do: call or go to a paint place that also has wallpaper books. Ask if they have any old books they want to get rid of. If so, take them and use the wall paper for a mixed palette. You might laugh, but when I was young and poor and all I had was a 1965 avocado green Sears sewing machine to my name, I'd do the same with furniture stores and their fabric swatch books. I took all sorts of crazy tapestry fabrics and patched them together into big pieces of fabric that I made into throw pillows and curtains. I actually sold a few "designer decorative pillows" for extra cash. It can never hurt to ask, folks.
Then I found these cute ideas. But then I realized I was getting away from the laser-cut thing and back tracked. I found the doily DIY action here. Basically, you just cut a 12" doily in half, cut out the center and wrap it around a cupcake with double-sided sticky tape. Booya, done.
Then I found all sort of doily ideas. Lookie.
Doily garland from Elizabeth Anne Designs.
More doily garlands from The Martha.
Doily place card holders? Apparently so. Only from The Martha.
Reception doily decor from The Knot. I'm not really loving this color combo, but the idea is cute.
Aw! Wrap your favors or bridesmaids gifts in doilies! From Elizabeth Anne designs.
Super pretty times two from The Martha.
Doily wrapped everything from The Martha. Here's the rub though: you need to make sure that you use doilies that are WAXED if you're going to be fancy with them. I was playing with the super cheap kind from Wal-Mart and they tend to shed and then kind of fall apart. I don't think you could do those wrapped numbers with the super-cheap kind.
So I did a little research for you and here's where I found some cute (and cheap) doilies.
Oriental Trading Company $5.99 for 100 That's still $.06 a piece and this is a limited use type of item.
Then I found THESE:
$18.95 for 1000 on MyPaperShop.com. These are 5" diameter, so a little small but are $.19 each!
$52.95 for 1000 - back up to $.53 each, but these are big and you could cut them in half. Also from My Paper Shop.
$96.95 for 500 or .19 each! These are 12" diameter. You could actually use these as pretty place settings with the right decor. You totally could. I would. Again, from My Paper Shop.
But then I was thinking I had to do something to make this a little DIY, right? Like my own Thirty-Something Bride twist? Well, I am not a fan of bright white. It's a little institutional for me and I certainly wasn't able to find paper doilies in cool colors (at least not yet, lemme know if you find any!). Doilies are antique-y, right? So maybe they should be antique looking? How does one do that? Tea staining. It's the best trick ever. You can generally tea stain just about any old, non-coated paper (like cheap-ass Wal-mart doilies) or even cotton fabric.
Boil yourself some water and bust out your Lipton cheapy tea bags. Poor the boiling water into a shallow pan that's big enough to hold whatever size paper you've got. Let the tea steep until you think the water is dark enough. The darker the tea, the darker the paper. The longer the paper sits in the water, the darker it will get. Cheaper, thinner paper shouldn't be soaked for more than 10 minutes or so as it will start to compromise the integrity of the paper. Parchment paper is super cool because you can PRINT on it, then tea stain it and it looks sooooooo cool. I've made labels for bottles using this technique and it turns out super-groovy.
Here's my steeping doily. Don't you love my Kmart Pyrex? For reals, it's Kmart. I got a set there for $20 when I was like 19. I still have all but one piece. And here's a little bit of kitchen safety for all you newbie cooks: Pyrex is NOT suitable for the stove top. You know what it will do? It will fucking explode. It will, and then the stuff that was in that pan will pour through all the nooks and crannies of your old old old gas stove and will douse the pilot lights in all the eyes AND the oven AND the broiler and then you will have to clean it all up and then light all those pilot lights with matches and scary invisible gas, hoping you don't blow yourself to kingdom-come all because The Martha told you that boiling water and dish soap together in a dirty pan would clean off the baked-on crud once and for all. It might clean that pan, as long as that pan isn't PYREX. The Martha failed to inform me of that part.
So I left my paper hang out in the tea for about 5 minutes, maybe less. Then I laid it on a paper towel to dry.
Once it's dry (thinner paper dries quicker), start cutting!
You could totally use the center to punch or cut out something. A hang tag or something cute, right? We're all out of cupcakes, so I totally had to use something else, so I used an apple.
Now this was using a mini-doily. If you use the 12" doilies, it will fit your cupcake (or your apple) much better. And don't diss on the apple idea. Look at this cuteness:
From here. How cute would these be for favors? Or what about using pomegranates for a fall wedding? Or oranges for a Florida wedding?
So, here's the point: DIY can really be fun and affordable. My apple doily took all of 15 minutes for me to do and it's okay. However, with a little thought, a little preparation and slightly more time, you could totally make our own cuteness, which is what DIY is all about! Right? Right.