Tag Archives: diy

Down to the Last Minute

12 Jan

At the time of this post, I was filling 143 photo frames with place names.

The end product is gorgeous.

Getting to the end product is another thing. My index finger and thumb have never been in this much pain in, like, well.

Ever.

After practically whining at my parents to help (since my previous helper, Groom’s Homie Oddball was still sleeping), Papa Bighorn suggested a screwdriver. I had my doubts. Previously, Mr Big had suggested the same thing, but because the metallic flat bits (I’m so technical) that fasten the back of the frame like completely flush against the frame; I didn’t believe a screwdriver would work.

However, Mama Bighorn decided to prove me wrong and grabbed the tiniest screwdriver in the world.

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The screwdriver, relative to my mouse and a normal-sized pen.

She then proceeded to unfasten those metallic flat bits with precision and ease.

And now my index finger and thumb hate me.

Lesson to learn in this whole thing? Listen to suggestions, no matter how doubtful you seem. So a shout out to Mr Big if he’s reading this – you rock, I love you, and I wish you could share in the laborious task of place card assemblage.

Now, on to the post at hand.

Last minute DIY projects! As Mr Big always says, who I think got it from his own De Papa, “if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!”.

I’ve been hinting at a whole number of these projects from day one, and by the time this goes up, most of these will be done. This post is basically just going through the relatively easy ones.

First off, the Xbox Achievement Sign.

You guys might remember this sign from this photo:

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I’m still in love with this photo. Even despite the shoddy paint job! / Photography by StudioSomething.

Now, back then, I had made a huge mistake with the chalk paint. The edges turned out jagged and well, the chalk marker we used was cheap and craptacular. I decided to leave that project on the back burner for a while.

However, as the months ticked down to weeks, I knew I had to get cracking.

With that, I set about making the Xbox sign with a new plan in mind. First things first, I painted over the entire sign, sans the Xbox sign on the left.

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This was taken after I had primed it, but you get the general idea.

I then primed it, which basically means grabbing some good ol’ chalk and scribbling all over it. Well, technically, Oddball primed it. She was excited to play with chalk.

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All primed. You can still sort of see where the old shoddy paint job is from the engagement photo shoot.

After it was all primed, I left it for a little bit.

You see, originally, Mr Big wanted to stencil on the words “Achievement unlocked, 100G”, but… that didn’t go as planned. The words were too thin and we couldn’t find suitable stencilling materials.

Also, I suck at stencilling.

And then I remembered Hive member, CakeyP, giving me a link to a tutorial on how to write on chalkboard without the added difficulty of free-handing. Fellow Bee, Mrs Orchard, also wrote about this method in this post.

Determined to get this sh*t sorted, I printed out the words “Achievement”, “unlocked”, and “100 G –” and cut them into strips. I then haphazardly scribbled white chalk on the back of the words, slapped ‘em on the sign, and with a blunt lead pencil, traced over the words.

With that step done, I lifted the paper and was quite pleased with the results. I don’t have any pictures, because I was in the zone and my phone wasn’t with me at the time, but the words looked pretty much bang on.

With my white permanent marker, I then traced over the words and was left with this:

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The final sign!

When I took this picture, I hadn’t fixed that dodgy looking ‘m’ in ‘Achievement’. It’s now all fixed up and presentable! The words are a little high, but that means more room for people to write whatevs they want!

And here it is when I fixed the sign a tidbit:

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The sign and my cheesy self. I sent this over to Mr Big whilst he was in Melbourne on business.

Moving on now to the gratuitous Wedding Hangers,

Like most brides out there, I decided I needed a hanger.

Thing is, I’m cheap, and don’t live in America. The cheapest bridal hanger I could find was $25 and I am not paying $25 for a hanger I’ll only use once. The cheaper ones are all in America, and add to that the cost of shipping, and it ain’t cheap no more!

So what did I do then?

I grabbed a pack of 20 hangers for $10 at the local supermarket, a sharp lead pencil and eraser, a black Sharpie, some nice coloured ribbon, hairspray, a small thing of sand paper, and then DIY’d that sh*t!

I did a total of 14 hangers, 15 if you include my very dodgy test run (I basically just scribbled all over my first prototype to get a feel of how the Sharpie would work on the wood).

The result is this:

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Mr Big’s hanger – the boys just got their monograms on their hangers because it’s ‘manly’!

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My hanger! The girls hangers are all basically like this, but different coloured ribbon.

It was relatively simple to make these and I’m super proud of ‘em!

Next up to the plate we have the Bell Jar.

Mr Big and I bought a bell jar for 18 bucks, Mama Bighorn got a bouquet of roses, and we went about making a bell jar similar to the one from Beauty and the Beast.

First off, we got the base and we drilled a hole into it in order to keep the rose in the middle. I then grabbed two rose stems, one for placement and another for petals.

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The goods!

As a warning to those who want to try this one at home, be careful when disassembling the fake roses. I cut myself pretty darn badly on the wire at the base of the stem. Use pliers (like the ones pictured above) to ensure a clean cut.

Once the rose was placed in the centre, we then scattered petals in the base.

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TA-DAH!

We’ll be displaying this on the gift table at the front. I’d like to add some tealights around the table to give it some ambience! I’ve asked our event decorator what her suggestion would be, so we’ll see what she comes back with!

And that’s it!

I’d show you guys the place cards, but I stupidly packed ‘em all away in preparation for the wedding. Let me just tell you guys, stuffing 143 place cards in 143 photo frames is hard work and I thank my stars that I have a wonderful mother and little sister for lending a hand!

Who else is doing or did last-minute projects?

(All images personal unless otherwise noted.)

 

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DIY SKILLZ: Making Kaylee’s Parasol

30 Dec

Hello all!

First off, I’d like to wish the entire Hive a belated Happy New Year! It’s now 2014. The Bighorns are counting down the days to the wedding!

Over the Chrissy break, I decided to start (and finish) a DIY project I’ve been dying to do since Mr Big showed me a particular parasol. This particular project is very much connected to the “geeky” aspect of the wedding.

I documented it in the last post, but just as a reminder – folks, I wanted to make Kaylee’s Parasol:

kaylee and her parasol

Kaylee, the mechanic from the cult TV show Firefly, and her colourful parasol. / Image via The Verse – The Firefly/Serenity Costuming Club.

For those who aren’t in the know, Kaylee is a character from Mr Big’s Favourite.TV show.EVER. This TV show is called Firefly and was actually written by Joss Whedon, the guy who made the biggest superhero film of all time, The Avengers.

As documented in my last post, I could not find anyone who sold Kaylee’s parasol in Australia or was willing to ship it over from America for cheapsies. And so, with that, I turned to the DIY route. Before I begin, let me all just refresh your memories.

The parasol looked like this:

kaylee's parasol

Taken from When Geeks Wed.

First off, I purchased a relatively cheap plain white paper parasol.

plain white paper parasol

A plain white paper parasol purchased from Lantern Shop.

After I received it, I didn’t do anything with it for a little bit because I was scared I would fail and ruin it. During the Xmas break (NB: Merry belated Xmas from the Bighorns!), I sat down and began planning out what to do.

I won’t lie. I didn’t do this project on my own (everyone knows how much I fail at arts and crafts, right?). I got most of my advice from When Geeks Wed, but adjusted it to suit what I needed.

For example, I found that overlaying construction or scrap paper over the parasol and fastening it with scotch tape was much easier than putting it underneath the parasol. I would then trace around the paper to make the swirl needed.

I didn’t take pictures of this part of the DIY process because I had to adjust the swirl a lot before I was happy with it. I found it easier to do the swirl roughly and then just eyeball it until it looked just right.

DIY_kaylee_step 1

The crafting corner I had set up! At this point, I was ready to start painting. Unfortunately, I did the swirl lightly with a blunt pencil, so you can’t really see it unless you look closely.

I then began painting!

I started off as the tutorial instructed – the green swirl.

DIY_kaylee_step 2

As you can see in the picture, it looked rough! I had only put on one coat of green paint by that point. If you do intend on doing this project, I highly recommend a few coats of paint. After I was relatively happy with the green swirl, I moved on to the yellow one:

DIY_kaylee_step 3

Can you see the thickened green paint? Also, you can see the beginnings of the final red swirl!

I forgot to take a picture of the yellow swirl being painted, but it’s all the same anyway! J After the yellow one was done, I started with the red (as you can see above).

Like I said before, a few coats of paint really does do wonders!

Once I was happy enough with the coats of paint, I went over the edges with an “angular shader” brush (basically, a brush with angled bristles). You could probably do the edges with a fine-tipped brush, but I highly recommend the angular shader if you want a smooth finish.

This is what I ended up with:

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The finished product!

I’m quite proud of it! I’ve been getting tonnes of compliments on it and I can’t wait to use it on the day. Mr Big says that I did a very, very good job on it too. So smiles all around!

One thing to note though, when I closed the parasol I had to be careful to make sure it folded properly (don’t worry guys, it did!). The paint makes it a little bit bigger than it was originally when folded, but overall, not much change (other than the nice coat of paint, of course).

What do you guys think? Does anyone else intend on DIY’ing some of their own painted parasols?

(All images personal unless otherwise stated.)

We look like badasses. The sign’s ok too I guess.

10 Aug

On the outset of the wedding, I wanted to make an Xbox Achievement sign. For those non-gamers who are interested, this is basically a sign that pops up when you’ve achieved a certain something while playing on the Xbox (for example, completing a mission/level). Mrs Toadstool had the right idea:

Achievement Unlocked :  wedding diy obregon mexico tutorial Toadstool

 Image via this fabulous post from Mrs. Toadstool. Photography via Alberto Alcorta Photography.

Well guys – I made one! You’ve probably seen it pop up every now and then. My one doesn’t look as good as Mrs Toadstool’s, however, this was the end result:

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Photography via StudioSomething.

The sign was literally made the day before and the chalkboard marker we got for it was bought the day of the engagement shoot. I know guys, I’m crazy. Also, I’m disorganised. Also, I was in a country where I can’t drive since I don’t know where I’m going (and also, half the roads were closed!).

And now I’m making up excuses.

Basically, the above was a rush job and I was horribly disappointed with myself. If you look at the sign close up, you’ll be able to see the fugly edges on the chalkboard area of the sign (where it reads ‘engaged’).

Because I had to do it all at Mr Big’s parent’s house, I didn’t know where to look for certain materials, specifically, painter’s tape, otherwise known as masking tape. So improvising, I used a sheet of paper and sticky tape to make a ‘perfect’ rectangle. Unfortunately, the paint seeped underneath the paper, gooped up and tore some of the actual sign when Mr Big peeled off the paper. We did a quick shoddy job of using a marker to colour in those bits and just left it at that.

From afar the finished product looks great! I honestly don’t mind the mismatched blackboard area on the rest of the sign. But I really, really want to redo it! I’m such a horrible DIYer!

Talking about horrible DIY’ing, I recently sliced open my finger trying to do another DIY project. I’ll show you more of this project, but for now, here’s a picture of my injured finger!

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How do you take a selfie!? Like seriously. HOW!? / Personal image.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for a horrible DIYer? Can anyone give me an idea on how to do a blackboarded version of this sign without having to do anything too complicated?

I really should be working on my thesis…

7 Aug

Alternative Title: I am AWESOME at procrastinating!

So… I should be writing about political tactics and the influences of said tactics on workplace bullying… buuuuuut I can’t be bothered. Also, my brain has been on frantic-wedding-mode since Monday and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why! I was fine last week, working hard on my thesis and all, and then – POOF! – gone. No focus – no concentration.

It really sucks.

But it does mean I’m getting some wedding-related things out of the way.

For example, I’ve been putting off ‘ceremony wording’ for a while because I just didn’t want to peruse through the thick book of ceremonial suggestions. Yesterday, I buckled down and managed to write down our choices in cohesive order. It’s obviously not the whole ceremony, since that will be refined by our celebrant, but I’m happy to have gotten that out of the way. Now I just need GP to read through it, add his own revisions, answer some of the questions, and we can send it off to our celebrant.

Yay!

I’ve also been going through some DIY projects. Mainly, the simplest of them – personalised coat hangers for the girls. All I needed was a black sharpie, graphite pencil, eraser, ribbon and a wooden hanger.

Done.

My makeup and hair trial is coming up this Sunday. I’ve tried changing it to Saturday, but the hair and makeup team I’m with are a little… late to reply to things. I might text or call them.

Otherwise, I haven’t done much and there isn’t much else to plan apart from the finer details which are more-or-less dependent on guest numbers and the like.

So yeah guys – I really should be working on my thesis…

LANDED!

15 Jul

Hello guys!

We officially landed in Kiwi-land on Saturday (13 July) and got settled in at GP’s parent’s house. We’ll be here until the 29 July, where I’ll try to update as much as I can. The weather here is WEIRD guys!

Okay… no, that’s a lie. I guess it’s NORMAL compared to Sydney weather. We landed on a BEAUTIFUL sunny day and then the rain started! There’s more hail here than in Sydney (granted, if there were more hail in Sydney, Sydneysiders would never drive…) and it can get pretty cold. This hasn’t stopped GP and I doing regular walks, although yesterday we cut the walk short ’cause it was pouring down with rain and one of my socks was soaked!

I’m only hoping we get nice weather when we meet with our photographers!

I can’t text or anything either, ’cause Telecom NZ doesn’t seem to like my iPhone. We’ll try to rectify this in the coming days and hopefully I’m connected to the world again! I like tagging myself at certain places!

As for wedding-stuff, I’m looking forward to putting up the pictures of our first completed DIY project – the Xbox Achievement sign!

YAY!

For now, I’m going to get back to doing thesis work! (Yeah – GP and I still have to work while we’re here – blargh)

As I’m typing this, I can barely feel my fingers…

24 Jun

It is well and truly winter here in Sydney…

So, how the HECK am I going to feel in Christchurch!?

My hands are freezing!! I know for a fact it gets much colder over there.

I’m looking forward to it otherwise. 🙂 We’re getting closer and closer to the e-session and I’m SUPER excited! So is GP! We’ve been thinking about what to do there and we’re left scratching our heads. GP suggested the Antarctic Centre, which would be awesome since we’ve… well I’ve… never been there. And also, GP loves penguins 😀

Thing is, that means we won’t be doing the “co-op of a lifetime” idea. Logistically, it was going to be pretty hard, but I love the idea and am pretty bummed we can’t do it.

Talking about gaming, we’ve officially ordered our first “DIY’ project. I know – how can you ‘order’ a DIY project? Simple really – make it in Photoshop, put it in Vistaprint, and then get them to print it, hahah! I had a coupon for $20 off the cart price, so my order went from $40 to $20, YAYYYYY!

Pretty much how I felt. (Image (c) http://gifstumblr.com/)

When it comes in, I’ll have to cut it to size and then alter it with the blackboard paint. Then we officially have a writeable Xbox sign!! More on that later, promise.

In other news, this Wednesday I’ll be shopping with Mandy! Which means I’m one step closer to getting my dress. DOUBLE YAY!

Cue Disney gif!

 

Anyway… this post was pointless. I just though I’d give you guys an update.

First DIY Project!

2 Apr

Hello all!

I mentioned in an earlier post how I was planning a whole bunch of DIY-ish projects. Well, we started one yesterday!

This project is for the reception, and involves us cutting wine bottles using a bottle cutter specially designed for cutting bottles (it’s got knobs to adjust for heights and everything!). We bought  it for $40 from an Australian website (http://www.etchingindustries.com.au/g2-bottle-cutter/ – the G2 bottle cutter!). The bottle themselves were provided by the lovely Lou from Tamburlaine, our wedding reception coordinator. She’s been so awesome throughout the process, and providing us with bottles has saved us SO much time!

As for the project itself, we’d been putting it off for some time, but because Monday was our “stay at home and be lazy mofos” day, I got restless.

Seriously restless!

I asked if GP wanted to try cutting a few bottles to make sure our DIY project would work. So we started with two bottles – the Sparkling Scarlett Bubbles bottle and Verdelho bottles from Tamburlaine Organic Wines.

It was a failure.

Let me explain…

A few weeks prior, I had removed the labels by soaking the bottles in a bucket for a few hours and then carefully peeling. The Scarlett Bubbles’ labels were difficult to peel (I had to use a scraper to get it all off), but the Verdelho bottle just peeled right off beautifully. I was happy and thought that this might not be as hard as I initially thought.

Now skip ahead a few weeks to yesterday night.

After the labels were soaked, peeled and gone, we used the bottle cutter to etch a line over the base of the bottle where we wanted it to detach. This is a lot easier then it sounds. All it requires is some gentle pressure and a steady hand. GP was able to etch two relatively thin lines in the bottle (although he made the lines slightly thick because of “re-etching” – i.e. going over the already etched lines. We later learnt that a thinner line makes it a lot easier to detach).

After we etched the lines we got two big bowls – a bowl filled with boiling water from the kettle, and a bowl filled with iced water. We then began dunking each into the water baths, making sure to keep them in there for 5-10 seconds each dunk. Our first effort was a complete disaster. The Verdelho broke off but was crooked, and the Scarlett Bubbles didn’t even budge.

Disappointed, we decided we’d try again, but this time only with the Verdelho bottles.

This time I did most of the etch (one solid, thin line from start to finish, except for one bottle which I thought I hadn’t etched) and GP did the dunking into the water baths. This time we used a pot over a stove fire on a low simmer to keep the water at boiling point. We kept the ice water bowl.

And it was perfect!

Let me show you a picture! 🙂

wine bottle centrepiece candle holder

It’s a little hard to see on the image, but the glass was smooth all the way around. We’re going to sand down the glass just in case because we don’t want any unwanted little fragments ruining our night and our project. But overall, the bottle were perfectly detached!

All in all, we’re both super stoked that it worked! I’ve soaked and de-labelled four more Verdelho bottles and we also want to attempt the Bubbles bottle again with our new technique.

Wish us luck!

E x

Apologies.

1 Mar

Hey guys,

I apologise for the post last night. I had actually typed out an ENTIRE post, but WordPress decided it didn’t like that idea. Hence it posted only three words and hadn’t saved ANYTHING I had previously typed. I swear if it does it again, I will KILL it.

Moving on, last night I couldn’t sleep and typed up an entire post explaining why.

Basically, GP and I had met our soon-to-be celebrant, Jenny Egan. She was awesome, and so super friendly! She gave us a lowdown of what we would expect leading up to the wedding in terms of legal papers and stuff, and also gave us a HUGE book for us to look through so we could tailor package our own ceremony. She also got to know us more as a couple and two individuals, which was just so nice of her.

My excitement on finding a celebrant for our wedding was also coupled with the fact that I had DIY ideas for the wedding. I’m not too sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but we have a couple of DIY ideas in mind. These are:

a) Making a wooden (less-than-three) [<3] stand for the front to sit between the letters G and E (or E and G, depending on where we’re sitting). This project has somewhat stalled and, once we’ve moved in with my parents, might get a little bit harder to do because they don’t have a shed to work in.

2) Making our own wine bottle candleholders for the wedding. We’ve tried it using just a glass cutter with no clamping attachment for the bottle and we found it rolled. A lot. So we’re thinking of getting a professional wine-bottle cutter (which is only about $AU40). We intend on cutting about 70 (that’s right, 70) bottles. They’ll be relatively smooth so we won’t need to sand them down. To make sure there’s no burn hazard from hot glass, we’ll be using LED tealight candles for the ambient lighting

d) DIY coathangers. This project is all mine, because GP has no interest on making special coathangers for his guys. I’ve got three ideas in mind regarding this project which are:

(i) binding ribbon of certain colours to the top of the hanger depending on the role the owner of said hanger plays (i.e. white for the bride, blue for the bridesmaids, darker blue for the maid-of-honour, red for my ma, and pink for my [future] ma-in-law)
(ii) putting initials on the surface of the hanger with hot glue and pretty fabric/paper/something-which-will-stick-to-wood
(iii) covering the hangers in ribbon ala http://www.ehow.com/how_2177593_padded-ribbon-coat-hangers.html

SO… those are the DIY projects. We haven’t really started on any of them. The only DIY project we’ve completed are the invitations, and that was more a half-DIY project. I’ll talk more on the invitations soon 🙂

For now, I go!

E

Ideas…

26 Jul

In order to avoid reading my texts for my Masters course, I’ve been trawling through ideas. I’ve come across a few cute things, but nothing that really struck out to me. This, however, has been something GP and I have been discussing for some time…

“You may now update your Facebook status.”

Yep. You guessed it. We want this done at the ceremony. Question is: should we?

I also found a cute place that tells you how to DIY packages for sparklers. Another idea that I think would be pretty awesome. Also, who doesn’t love sparklers? …well, I might know someone who doesn’t… but most people do!