Charming Chalkboards for a Handmade Wedding

theDavisons_web-365This is the third post of a series about my handmade wedding. Join me as a revel in the joy and craftiness of it all! And click here to see more!

theDavisons_web-098Once I discovered chalkboard paint, it was pretty much over for me. I just can’t get enough of my DIY chalkboard projects. I adore their charming look and love the challenge of penning different fonts by hand. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I used chalkboards as an integral part of our wedding decor.

quote_RSVPsIt started on our invitations. I used a block stamp and a thin tip Sharpie to create small slates on the invitation and RSVP cards. We asked our guests to write their favorite quote about love or marriage on the back of the RSVP cards.

theDavisons_web-086theDavisons_web-087I wrote each of our guests’ quotes onto small slates that we created by getting thin plywood boards at a local art store and painting them with chalkboard paint. I primed the chalkboard surface with real chalk and then used chalk pens to do the writing. I found that the regular tip, not the thin tip, pens worked the best.chalkboard_collageWe incorporated those quote boards into the decor by placing them on tables, nestling them in bushes, and hanging them from trees. It was so neat to have all of your guests’ favorite quotes about love and marriage surrounding us on our special day. 

theDavisons_web-091I made some other small chalkboards to take care of logistics too. Our wedding was not a formal one by any means and we knew we wanted our friends and family to sit together for our ceremony. One of the chalkboard signs propped up on a chair ended up being a super charming way to communicate that to our guests.

theDavisons_web-089Since we got married in Los Olivos, California in August, during the height of summer heat, we wanted our guests to be comfortable. My old water bath canner was the perfect thing to hold the fans we bought for our guests to use.

Chalkboard_SignsI used little chalkboard signs to place next to each dish we were serving in the BBQ dinner buffet we served. Eric also made me a bunch of chalkboard signs to point our guests in the right direction.

A few months after the wedding was over, after we got our incredible wedding photos back from our photographer and were able to make some custom thank you cards, we began working on thank you packages for our guests. This is where everything came full circle. Our guests sent their favorite quotes to us on their RSVP cards, we used them as decor in our wedding, and then sent the special boards to our guests. We included a thank you card and CD of the special music we used during the ceremony and reception. We had so much fun at our wedding and so much fun putting these little thank you packages together for our friends!

I’ve got one more post of wedding goodness for you, my friends! Stay tuned!

Farm to Table Wedding Reception and Seating Chart

theDavisons_web-344If you didn’t see the first post in this series, click here to see all the colorful bunting I made for my wedding. In today’s post, I want to show you what I did for the reception tables and how we directed people to their seats. It’s one of my favorite parts!

theDavisons_web-101When you’re planning a wedding and you’re on a tight budget, one of the first things you have to do is figure out what your priorities are. For me, one of my top priorities was the flowers. I knew I wanted summer blooms  to fill all the antique jars and containers I had collected and I knew I wanted to arrange them myself.

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theDavisons_web-009I spent the months leading up to my wedding carefully crafting and organizing all the details for the wedding. Then, the day before the wedding, I spent the entire day nerding out over my flower arrangements while I simultaneously delegated jobs and had my girlfriends finishing projects I had created and transported to our wedding location in southern California. I loved every minute of that chaotic day.  I loved losing myself in the beautiful blossoms we got from a wholesale flower grower while people around me bustled in preparation.

theDavisons_web-087theDavisons_web-081Much like the bunting, I chose flowers that were white, yellow, and red. The red blooms were strategic though, only where we needed a pop of color. Each table got a trio of bouquets – an antique blue quart Ball jar, a tall 1 1/2 pint mason jar, and a random antique bottle or vase from my collection. There were an abundance of yellow and white dahlias and beautiful, big sunflowers.

theDavisons_web-383For our sweetheart table, we had an antique pitcher filled with my favorite flowers. My mother-in-law made the burlap table squares for all of the tables, with blue stitching to match.

theDavisons_web-392For our champagne flutes, we used two that are treasured in my family. These champagne flutes are the same ones my mom and dad used at their wedding. My dad etched their names and their wedding date on the glasses. When my sister got married, my dad etched their names and wedding date on them and they toasted with them too. Of course, for my wedding, daddy etched them with our names and date. Toasting to our marriage in those special glasses was magic!

theDavisons_web-395My best friend, Radhi, surprised me with a gift a few hours before the ceremony. In the package of goodies were these adorable Mr. and Mrs. forks, which made their way to our table for the meal. I felt loved with every bite.

theDavisons_web-387As an alternative to a guest book, we put markers and fun questionnaires on the tables for people to complete while they ate. I got the idea after filling out said questionnaire at Radhi’s wedding. When planning for my own wedding, I asked her if she had an extra copy that I could use and she surprised me by saying that she had stashed a bunch away (enough for our whole wedding!) so that I could use them when I got married. She knows me so well! They were so much fun to read!

theDavisons_web-388Our botanical seating chart was absolutely perfect for our party. At each round table, we could sit eight guests. I bought one set of seed packets for each table. For example, if there were four couples at a table, I bought four packets of peas for the table. I labeled each seed packet with the couple’s names.

 

IMG_4052We bought a couple rustic barn wood frames and stapled chicken wire to the inside of each one. Eric built a small stand onto the back so they stood up. We used small clothes pins to clip each seed packet onto the frame. When it was time for the reception, our guests went up to the frame, found their name, and discovered what table they’d be sitting at.

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Seed_Packet_CollageIf a couple had their name on a pack of beets that meant they were sitting at the beet table. Using medium-sized kraft-colored envelopes, I hand drew the vegetable for each table. I drew each one in a pair, for obvious reasons. I hand stamped the name of the vegetable up top and wrote a love quote on the bottom.

theDavisons_web-428Besides the fact that Seattle Seed Company‘s seeds are favorites of mine, their classic kraft paper packaging was absolutely perfect for our decor. I was happy to have a small, local business, a representation of our hometown at our “destination” wedding, highlighted at our wedding. The seed packets ended up being favors for our guests so they got to take a little piece of Seattle home with them.

theDavisons_web-252And of course, there were blue Ball jars for drinking. Would you expect anything less from me? Our guests wrote their names on the labels we tied around each jar so they could keep track of their drinking glass throughout the night. We put the jars and lids in a basket near the door so they could take one home with their jar when they left – another functional wedding favor!

Later this week, I’m going to share how we had our guests contribute to our wedding decor and I’ll show you all the fun ways I used chalkboards! Stay tuned!

When I get married, there will be bunting!

theDavisons_web-312Four months ago  last Tuesday, I married my best friend. I said “I do” with a heart full of joy, surrounded by our best friends and family.

theDavisons_web-153I knew before we even met that when I got married, there would be bunting. I knew I would handcraft every bit of my wedding and handcraft it I did. So many friends who were at our wedding said what they loved most was all of the personal touches, the thought that went into every detail. I couldn’t have been more pleased. It was, without a doubt, the wedding of my dreams.

theDavisons_web-202Since I only plan on getting married once, I want to revel in it for a minute by showing you how it turned out! This will be the first of a couple of posts that will highlight all of the handmade details that made our wedding so special. Today, we’ll start with my favorite part – the bunting!

theDavisons_web-008Type bunting into the search box of my blog and you’ll get various posts of bunting crafts I’ve made over the years. When I sat at my sewing machine sewing hundreds of feet of colorful triangles for our big day, Eric asked me, “So, what does bunting mean to you? What is it about bunting that you love so much?” It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I think I love it because it reminds me of life – colorful and full of joy and whimsy!

buntingFor the majority of the bunting that adorned the tables and draped across the main entertainment area, I used red, yellow, and blue fabrics. Many people make bunting with flags that are double sided, but considering the fact that I was planning on sewing 500 feet of it, I decided to go with a simpler option.

theDavisons_web-055My method was pretty easy. I created a foam board triangle that I used as a template for cutting. I cut the triangles out using a scalloped rotary cutter to give the edges a fun, finished look. I used double folded bias tape for the top. I simply slipped a triangle into the fold and used my sewing machine to sew a straight stitch across the top. Each bias tape is 4 yards, so I used that length for single strands and connected multiple bias tapes when I needed longer strands, like for the area across the pool.

theDavisons_web-084Right behind the cake table, we hung strands of some of our favorite pictures – childhood pictures of Eric and me and our favorite shots from our engagement photo shoot. The bunting on top was an afterthought (thank you, Radhi!), but it totally pulled the whole thing together and made it feel like an integral part of the decor.

theDavisons_web-407And of course, the cake had bunting! I love the little flag bunting I got from this Etsy shop.

theDavisons_web-090In places where I wanted some lettering, I sewed in natural canvas triangles, which I cut out the same way. I hand painted a letter onto each triangle. Since mom was with us in spirit, I made a “Mom” bunting strand to put on the chair we designated to honor her.

theDavisons_web-504In other places, I made bunting to decorate and designate certain tables at the wedding. We pinned the LOVE bunting I made on our sweetheart table. Our Mr. and Mrs. bunting adorned the DJ’s table. I also made ENJOY! bunting for the buffet table and CHEERS! bunting for the bar table.

theDavisons_web-375I made extra special bunting for a few choice areas. For the ceremony backdrop, our sweetheart table, and above the doorway where I walked out to walk down the aisle I made white bunting. I used five or six different white and beige fabrics. For a little extra good luck, I added something blue – light blue triangles that I incorporated randomly into each strand. These strands are super special and I hope to someday use them to make a quilt for the little one we want to add to our family.

theDavisons_web-080So much bunting to love! I can’t wait to show you more handmade details of our wedding! Check back next week to see what I came up with for the tables and how I used seed packets for our seating cards! Love and joy abounds!

* Photos by Alex Smith Photography

Crafty Faux Mistletoe

IMG_4848Life is moving quickly these days, yet somehow I find time to do a little Christmas crafting. It’s keeping my head sane and my heart happy during all of life’s craziness.

This was so incredibly easy to put together and looks so festive in the hallway. All I did was cut out leaves out of two different pieces of green felt and hand stitched them onto a piece of natural-colored ribbon. I added berries by sewing on a few white pom-poms. I put some white embroidery floss on a needle and pushed the needle right through the pom-pom to attach it to the ribbon. I topped it off my tying a red ribbon around the top.

imageOf course, no mistletoe (or any craft I create) would be complete without some chalkboard art! I created a little “Kiss me!” sign by putting a chalk board label onto a piece of cardboard and cutting it out to size.

The finished faux mistletoe looks adorable and will live forever. The fact that it will get me some extra kisses from my love is just the icing on the cake!