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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in DIY (20)

Tuesday
Jul192011

A Planner’s Wet Dream….

OK, so remember that I told you about that nice lady I met from Watermelon Moon Farms? Well, I ran into her in this uber-cool showroom called Peacock Park Design.

But wait, I have to back up a smidge.

It has been a while since I’ve been to the Atlanta market. The last couple of years at my company, times were (obviously) tight and we had reduced our trade show attendance severely to save the travel budget. We used to go to Atlanta, Dallas and New York every January and July. At the end of my time there, we only went to either Dallas or Atlanta. Because the Dallas show is chock full ‘o lighting people, as the lamp guru, I generally went there. Lots has changed at America’s Mart, so I’m not sure if Peacock Park Design is new, or just new to me. Either way, it’s one of the showrooms that I had a major mind melt in. The creativity was just oozing from every corner. The best thing is that they let me take as many pictures as I wanted to! Generally, photography is a big no-no because everyone is afraid of Pottery Barn or Anthropologie coming in and knocking them off. And rightfully so. However, it’s generally the strong and solid designers who don’t feel threatened by little folks like me making innocent inquiries.

So are you ready for your own little mind melt? This stuff was just so gorgeous and creative and guess what? Totally doable. I mean, so much of the things here can be a part of any wedding décor, as long as you have just a bit of imagination! Check it out!

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OK, so the designer wanted to show off this wall sconce candelabra with something other than candles. What did she do? That crazy-creative bitch took sheet music, and twisted it into a tube and stuck it in the candleplate. Then, she took some tan tissue paper, crumbled it up and twisted the end to make it look like a flame. How brilliant is that? She had other larger glass hurricanes with the same tissue paper sort of crumbled and twisted to look like flames as well. It. Was. So. Cool. Imagine doing this at a venue that doesn’t allow open flames. Imagine it with color. Image it with vintage book pages. Or printed paper that matches your décor colors. I also love the way she tore and tucked paper behind the wall sconce. Imagine the same technique, just on a table. Cool, right?   

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I saw lots of paper garland all over the mart. Some was actually in strips that you could buy and DIY (examples to come later in the week) and others were clearly just a part of the showroom design as this is. Sheet music was used here, but a again, with a little imagination and application to your own wedding? Hot to death.

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The designer continued the sheet music theme throughout a ton of different applications. Here were some little paper flowers. It looks like craft paper that was printed with sheet music. I think these might have actually been for sale, but you know these could be a DIY project, in like a heartbeat. They are very rustic and crafty looking so technique wouldn’t have to be Martha-esque in order for them to look as sweet as these.

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Now this, I love. Black-eyed peas!! Come ON! I saw a similar execution with white northern beans as well. And we’ve all seen coffee beans used in a similar fashion. What else? Dried kidney beans for color? Black beans? Dried peas for a green pop?

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Loving this. Paper mache’d balls, mini paper lanterns and glass tray all in vintage-style tissue paper. They had the little vintage looking trunk with easy and cheap pearl beads overflowing and added silver sparkled sleigh bells tied with white organza ribbon as an accent. Here’s an idea: take any ol’ clear glass jar, votive, or whatever and paper mache it with any kind of tissue paper (On the outside, please. We don’t need any fires set!) and then when you put the candle in it, it will glow so pretty. Again, this is not a new idea, but one that can be incorporated in so many fashions.

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Oh my. Butterfly halos. Crowns. Printed paper ribbon. Waxy tissue paper skirts and burlap? Oh yes, I die.

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Love. Love. Love. Paper wreaths. I like how they had them just sitting around versus hanging. You know you could DIY the hell out of this, I mean how easy! Smooshed paper of your choice, a foam wreath from JoAnn’s and a glue gun. Ready. Set. Go! Paired with the vintage needle point chair was a nice touch.

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The execution of this was sort of random, but the idea is brilliant. Poms made out of sewing patterns! In fact, all the tissue paper items could be done up that way. Think of adding all sorts of vintage-y spools and scissors and you’ve got yourself a tailoring theme!

Now, remember the post I wrote just a little while back about vintage keys? Here’s another way to use them!

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All kinds of keys (none were skeleton-style) just linked onto  a piece of chain you know someone just picked up at Home Depot. Crazy cool key garland? Check.

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Here’s just another image of the garland and how they had it displayed. Love the old-timey British policeman’s hat!

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Now these little keys were boxed and for sale. They just showed them displayed with ratty, thick twine and string on a vintage velvet body form. Adore.

So that’s about it from Peacock Park Design. You know what’s crazy? All these pictures came from just one little corner of their showroom!

So are you as inspired as I am? Did this give you little wedding-idea-chill-bumps? I hope so, because it’s all I could freaking think of when I was in there. Enjoy! Let me know what you think. I’ve got more beautiful stuff to share, but if it’s boring the hell out of you, I need to know. DO tell.

*This is not a sponsored post. These are just things and places I think are cool.

Friday
Jun172011

DIY Round Up!

I love DIY. It makes it your own and saves you money (sometimes). I try not to get too excited about certain projects because while they may look cool and easy, many times they aren’t (Hello, Martha? I’m talking to you!). Some may require certain tools and the investment in those tools may outweigh simply purchasing whatever you’re trying to make (unless you have REAL PLANS to reuse those tools).

The projects below appear to have the need for limited tools, time and effort, with the first project being the most difficult.

I think these I’ve found would be fun for weddings or just everyday things! Enjoy and Happy Friday!

 

Wine Bottle Centerpieces

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Check out this video by Dan Rojas. The dude is a little bizarre and the video is slightly longer than it needs to be (love his reaction to his cat), but with a $45 tool investment and a little time you can create this look. I do recommend goggles and gloves, which Dan decides to forgo.

 

Paper Fortune Cookies

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DIY fortune cookies? These would make an ADORABLE favors, using your own color scheme and adding special/personalized fortunes inside! Check out the instructions here. All you need is paper and adhesive. For reals.

 

Ring Bowl

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Don’t want to pay $50-$60 for a ring bearer’s bowl from Paloma’s Nest? You can make your own! This DIY tutorial is in German, but it’s so self explanatory, you can just follow the pictures on this tutorial. The supplies you need:

1. Nudelholz = rolling pin

2. Efaplast = Efaplast, modeling clay you can buy right here for cheap.

3. Pinsel = small paint brush

4. Häkeldeckchen = doily

5. Acryl = acrylic paint

6. Schmirgelpapier = sandpaper

7. Schälchen = bowl

The one step that I wanted clarity on? I figured it out by cutting and pasting the phrase using Google translate. Easy peasy! And you could totally personalize these! So cool. They might even make fun favors, if you've got the time and inclination.

 

Bird & Branch Centerpieces

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It doesn’t get easier than this. Find some branches in the woods, from your parent’s yard – wherever you can find them (but don’t cut them off of living trees, please). Spray paint them any ol’ color with any ol’ spray paint. Get little fake birds (or butterflies or raw cotton bulbs or paper flowers or…you get the picture.) and glue them on. Hot glue will work, but I don’t trust it on paint. I prefer Fabri-Tac (available like, everywhere). Birds can be found at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s or Michael’s – any crafting supply shop has them. You can find a whole crap load of them here in pretty colors for  good prices. What’s fun about this is that it’s fast, easy and you can use it for dinner parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas and yes, weddings. Imagine an all white table setting with white branches with white birds with little tiny tealight glowing throughout? Um, yes please.

So just a few cutie-pie things for you to get creative with. Do not fear the DIY. It’s (sometimes) easier than you think.

Thursday
Mar312011

BRAIDS!

I remember when I was a little girl, I had long hair. It wasn't nearly as curly then as it is now (why?) and I remember sitting in front of my mom's dressing mirror watching while she did my hair. I specifically remember a morning that was "picture day" at school. The night before my mom had painstakingly wrapped my hair in a bazillion of those squishy pink rollers so that by morning my hair would be ready for ringlets and the school photographer. After all the time and energy spent on that, she asked me how I wanted my hair: half-way up? All of it down? My reply? "BRAIDS! I want braids today!" The look on my mom's face quickly told me that braids were not going to be a part of school picture day and I settled into her brushing my curls around her fingers to make the long ringlets that were to be my 'do for the day.

So, have you noticed that braids are like, everywhere these days? I see all these plaited hair styles and it reminds me of that day with my mom all the time. You've got the Heidi-esque look that wraps around your head. You've got the new fish-tail braid too. Messy braids, big fat braids, lots of teeny-weeny braids - the options really are limitless. Last week  I tried my hand at the fish-tail braid. I used this tutorial from You Tube, mostly because I liked the girl's accent and  how she time-warped her camera speed so I wouldn't have to sit there and wait while she finished her big, giant "plait." Because my hair is not  blond or disgustingly shiny, my plait certainly didn't look like hers, but I got the job done. The top of my hair looked like ass (I also visited my colorist and stylist later in the same week), but I plopped on a hat and the cool braid became the focal point and I was good to go. Will definitely try my hand at it again some time. 

In the meantime, I spent some time on the interwebs checking out all sorts of fun braids and I've posted some of my favorites below. Not that there is a tutorial link on the first picture. You can also find some other DIY hair how-to's at Hair Romance and A Cup of Jo has some great ones too. You can always hit up You Tube for tutorials, but sometimes you've got to wade through a ton of crap to get a good one.

See the DIY tutorial for this look here.

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I wish my hair was this long and this color.

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So what do you think about the whole braid trend? Are you on it like white on rice? When wearing braids do you have an undefined urge to visit the Alps while sporting lederhosen and getting your yodel on? Do you consider that a bad thing? To plait or not to plait - that is today's question. Discuss.

Thursday
Jan202011

The Best of 2010, Part II

For all you DIY junkies, here's another Best of The Thirty-Something Bride 2010!

THe Graphics Fairy Rocks! Or a DIY Tutorial.

For all you DIY brides out in Wedding Planning Land (it's a magical, mysterious land), there are an incredible amount of resources out there to be inspired by. Please don't be limited to wedding only sites. The Graphics Fairy is just such an example of a go-to place for all craft-inspired beings, not just brides. She basically offers up freebies and tutorials. We likey! She shares mostly vintage artwork with very few limitations or copyright issues. Hell to the yeah. We likey even more!

I used one of her freebies for my match boxes and while I mentioned the project during my wedding planning, I really didn't give a great tutorial on it. I've decided to do that now, mostly because my match boxes got featured on The Graphic Fairy's Brag Monday yesterday! Woo! Hoo!

So here we go! First of all, there are lots and lots of templates out there for match boxes and match books. I printed out several different versions on-line and none of them quite fit. Most were too small. I found that odd and annoying. Maybe because I bought my matches in bulk at The Dollar Store? Did I have defective match boxes? Who knows. They were a buck so I adapted! I decided to make my own template. If you would like to use my blank Word template, you can find it here.

Do you not know how to make your own template? Well, I'm here to help. This is the way I set up templates. It might not be the best, fastest or easiest way, but for those of us who are PC users, who are NOT graphic designers and who don't feel like becoming proficient in Photoshop for stupid match boxes that for some reason you just have to have, this pretty much works. Here is a how-to on how to set up a template for custom labels in Word. Go here.

The original artwork that I used from The Graphics Fairy was this Sheet Music Frame:

 I do not know how to use Photoshop. I do know how to use ACDSee, which is like a watered down Photoshop. It's similar but slightly better than the dreaded and lame Paint application. I could probably have done this in Paint, but I might have had to drive nails under my eyelids since it's not the most user-friendly application. I basically used the following tools to re-create this label: Cut, Copy, Paste, Text Box, Clone.

Once I had this formatted as a jpg, I dumped it into my Word template (INSERT→PICTURE→FROM FILE), sized and centered  it the best I could (it was NOT an exact fit) and copy and pasted it into all the cells on the template. In order to account for the fact that it was not a perfect fit, I added shading to the background of the label (see tutorial) to fill in the white space. This ended up being a really good thing when I was putting these together!

Once I had them ready to print, it looked like this:

 I printed these out on regular 'ol paper. Nothing fancy needed. Then, I cut along the black lines to create the individual labels. You might be able to do this with a really sharp and accurate paper cutter (I don't have one of these). I used super-sharp, small scissors. Once I had all my labels cut out, it was time to glue. Oh, what fun! Here's what you'll need:

Take a label and lay it on the wax paper. Run your glue stick along the outer edges of the label, overlapping onto the wax paper to make sure you get the edges good and covered. You don't need to worry about adding glue to the center of the label. In fact, you'll want to hold the label down in the center while you glue stick the edges.

Take the glue stick and add adhesive to the center of the box body, along ONE of the striking strips and then on the opposite side of the box.

Place the label on the top of the box, with the top edge lining up next to the striking strip that does NOT have the glue. Carefully wrap the label around, smoothing it as you go, and lining up the edges. This is totally annoying and you'll mess up a few before you get into a groove. If you lay it wrong, gently lift it up as soon as you can and realign. The glue doesn't dry super-duper fast, but you don't want to let it set either.

Did you cut your label a little goofy? Is it a little too big? No matter. Once the labels are dry, go back with your super sharp scissors and just trim the edges up against the edge of the box. Because I had the darker background, any unsightly mistakes were hidden. Because I had an antique-y style label, my mistakes were well hidden. I'm not sure I could have done this if I wanted everything to be pristine and perfect!

This was a great project for sitting in front of the TV, watching House or American Idol or Desperate Housewives (God, I love those NY and NJ bitches-they actually make me feel totally sane and normal) or The Dog Whisperer - whatever your tele-poison is. Here's how mine turned out:

 

 Photos by Jonathon Campbell Photography.

Many thanks to Karen over at The Graphics Fairy for both the inspiration and the feature! Where have you found your inspiration? Share it - every bride needs a little help!

Wednesday
Jan052011

When Photographers Wed

Have you seen these yet? A friend sent this link to me and I could NOT resist sharing. I was hoping for a little DIY tutortial on these and if I do get it, will totally share. But until then, look at how creative! 

Seriously, some people's creativity just makes me angry. More specifically, green with a jealous rage.