#MyBestFriendsWedding Bonus Chapter – Bouquet Preservation Ornaments

Looking back on all the crafting opportunities my best friend’s wedding brought me has been incredibly fulfilling, and as the wedding craziness came to a close, there was one more project I wanted to tackle: preserving the bouquet.

This idea came to be because through all of my endless Pinterest perusing I kept seeing pictures of preserved bouquets, and so I asked Michelle if she had any plans for it and when she said she didn’t, I asked if she minded if I tried something, which she agreed to. I really didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I had a few options in mind from my favorite pins:

  • A framed “pressed” bouquet: I really liked this option because Michelle’s bouquet had lots of colors and a similar “spread” look, but I knew this one would be virtually impossible to make because hers was HUGE and shrinking it would take away from its original shape. Upon deeper research I also came to realize this preservation technique was no DIY and would turn out to be really expensive.
  • A paper weight: this option looked truly stunning with the added plus that there could be multiples made for the mothers of the bride and groom, etc. When I first saw it, I assumed I’d be able to do it myself with resin, but then I did some research and realized that the resin is a really strong chemical that would tamper the flowers and it would end up looking a mess.
  • A Christmas ornament: this was basically the only option that looked truly DIY-able, could also yield multiple items and was very pretty, so that basically made the decision for me and I got to work!

I brought the wedding bouquet home with me from the reception and put it in water so that the flowers would survive while I figured out the action plan and bought the materials. I read that silica gel was the perfect medium to dry the flowers, and when I went to ask about it at JoAnn, turns out they have actual flower drying crystals. Since the wedding was in the spring, there were no Christmas products in stores, so I bought the clear ornaments from Amazon. The two final touches to complete the look were a thin burgundy ribbon to cover the line where the ornament comes together, and some copper/rose gold jingle bells because if you thought I wasn’t going to add some sort of rose gold element to this final wedding craft, you haven’t been following this journey very closely…

Below a quick gallery look at the steps to get the flowers dry:

I handled the flowers and the gel with latex gloves to avoid any skin reactions or allergies. I placed a layer of the drying gel as a bed in a long Tupperware container. Cut all the usable flowers and pretty leaves from the stems, and filled them with the crystals. I used the entire container of drying crystals. The instructions said to leave them for two weeks, but since I was mid-moving, I actually left them in there for over a month. When I took them out they were all beyond dry and after I shook off the drying crystals, they were ready to go!

The process of choosing the flowers for each ornament was pretty easy, I tried to make them all different and as filled as possible. I ended up being able to make six of them, and I think they turned out really cute! Which, I should say here that the original stunning bouquet is a creation of Ever After Floral Designs in South Florida. I’ve been to two weddings where they provided the florals and they were INCREDIBLE. (Note to brides: their bouquets are extremely elaborate and heavy, and will give you the arm workout of your life!)

The last step was to find a container to give them to Michelle, and I ended up finding the PERFECT one by looking around JoAnn and finding an empty box of a product that I later spray painted, you guessed it – rose gold.

On the left you can see the variety of flowers and leaves I included in the ornaments to preserve the same look and feel of Michelle’s bouquet. In the middle are the rose gold box, jingle bells & burgundy ribbon, and on the right, the final ornaments!

Once the ornaments were done I did a trial fitting into the box and, guys – words can’t explain my excitement when I realized the ornaments fit PERFECTLY in that container I found in JoAnn, as if they were supposed to go in there in the first place. It was a total “eye-ball” guesstimation success. I added some shredded paper to cushion them and that’s all she wrote! The final product:

Have any of you guys done a bouquet preservation project? Drop links to your pictures in the comments, I’d love to see some more cool ideas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

Oh [Mini] Christmas Tree!

I absolutely LOVE Christmas, December, the Holidays, everything related to this time of year. Unfortunately, my family doesn’t feel the same excitement, so the past few years it’s fallen completely on me to bring the Christmas cheer to my house. I believe the last Christmas tree I put up was in 2013, but that’s also because I haven’t spent the holidays at home the past few years, so it didn’t make sense to put up a tree if I wouldn’t be here to light it/take care of it if it were real. Last year I hosted Friendsmas and tried to make up for the absence of a tree with the decor, which I think I got away with. This year, I will most likely not be home for Christmas or New Years, but I did want to have at least a bit of holiday cheer at home. Let’s get to work!

I bought a small white tree a few years ago when I was still working at an office to put up in my cubicle, and had mini ornaments in the colors that were “in” that year – purple, teal/blue, pink and green. I used that same tree last year at Friendsmas for the gift table so there was at least some semblance of the Christmas staple present, with a few red ornaments. This year, the obsession with rose gold has been extremely real, but my search for mini ornaments in that color had very little results… Until I remembered, “hey, I’m a crafter!” I found one set of mini ornaments from Target that were a metallic color scheme that included “caramel, silver, and gold,” and I decided let’s make this right. Since the pack was only $3, what did I have to lose?

I ordered the ornaments as well as a gold star topper online and went to pick them up at the store. I have gallons of rose gold paint at home working on items for my best friend’s bridal shower/bachelorette/wedding, so I needed nothing else. I got creative with my placement of the items to spray with color, and got to work! I let everything dry for about an hour before touching it, decorated my mini tree, and placed it on my kitchen table. Voila! A little bit of holiday cheer is here, and Mariah Carey is on all day. I love December ❤

Last but not least, I found this set of copper string lights at JoAnn that were down from $19.99 to $11.99, and now my little tree is properly LIT! 😉

Halloween 2017 DIY – Two On The Run Costumes & Winter Is Here!

You know I’m ALL about the DIY life for Halloween costumes. Do you remember this one? I’m still super proud of those two costumes, but this year was a whole new ball game, on a much tighter deadline.

My bff wanted to keep it simple but cute, so she decided she wanted to be a unicorn, but like the chillest unicorn ever. Horn from amazon, and a shirt by yours truly that said “I’m a unicorn, DUH” for anyone who dared ask. Done.

Her sister went shopping for one idea, and changed her mind during the shopping trip. She came to me with a yellow shirt and some felt and wanted me to turn her into a pineapple. Done.

Cut up the shirt. Drew the peaks. Made a crown out of felt, a headband and some poster board scraps.

I had been thinking about my costume for a while, but decided to pull the trigger the week of Halloween. My red hair was finally in its full glory, and my Game of Thrones fever was (is!) as strong as ever. I also just happened to have a burgundy statement necklace and a newfound love for makeup. Melisandre, you’re up. DONE!

Red hair? Owned. Necklace? Owned. Makeup? Owned. Robe? $12 on Amazon.

And that’s all folks! Another DIY Halloween in the books. Start preparing early for 2018, for the night is dark and full of terrors and you don’t want to show up in the same costume as everyone else…

Hosting Friendsmas 2016!

Back in 2012 when the world was going to end, my friends and I decided to throw an end-of-the-world ugly/tacky sweater Christmas Party on the night it was all supposed to go down – December 22nd, 2012. We had a great time, and it was one of the last times we “raged” like college students – most of our party time nostalgia goes back to how rowdy we were in 2012, so that was the last chance we got to show it that year.

Funny enough, the party became an annual thing, but it has evolved a lot from that first rager-style party, to a more sophisticated dinner/gift exchange situation with close friends. This year, it was my turn to host, and I really love to host events at my house and entertain my friends. The best part is, last week during my office Christmas party, I won a $300 gift card, so I was feeling all types of ready to splurge on this party. Let’s look back at what I put together for this fun night!

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The invite! 😉

First of all, I decided not to put up a tree this year (again) because I’m leaving on the 23rd to Colombia, so there was no point in doing that, but that also meant I had to go the extra mile in creating the Christmas ambiance. Also, there were 11 of us total, and I was not going to move the big tables like I did for Friendsgiving two years ago, so with my newly acquired raffle gift card, I purchased a folding plastic table from Costco, which we already had one of. I also got an extra two chairs, since I had 10 at home. So sit down set up? Check.

This is crazy but, from previous set ups from other events years ago, I have two hollow cardboard columns in the garage that were already covered in red and silver fabric, so that decided my color scheme for the party. I brought out the two columns and put them by my mom’s room to block the door, and added a table there which would be where the gifts would go for the exchange. I didn’t put  up a big tree, but I did have a small white tree I used to use in my office cubicle, so I decided to add that to the table.

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I made “snow” out of packing peanuts! Also included the candle favors with a little ribbon ❤

Within my fabric collection I found a piece I did not even know I had, which was long enough to cover the length of both tables stretched out lengthwise, and it was a beautiful red with silver polka dots, keeping the theme cohesion throughout.

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For the silverware/cups/plates – I got the nice-looking plate set from Costco that is white with a silver rim and looks almost like china from afar, but it’s plastic. I got silver plastic cutlery, festive napkins, and for the cups I ordered these acrylic stackable stemless flutes from Amazon that were the hit of the party!

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For the food, since it was 11-12 of us, I decided to get Olive Garden’s buffet catering for 10 people (there’s always more food than necessary), and it was perfect. No cooking, they deliver and set up, all for $115.

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The delivery guy from OG did the buffet line set up and they included the trays, tongs, even brought plates, napkins and cutlery for all!

For the final touches, I got some white and red roses to create thin centerpieces, using some silver leaf stems I had from decor in previous years, and I also got a small candle favor for everyone that smelled like gingerbread cookies!

For the gift exchange, I set up our Secret Santa on Elfster (an amazing one-stop shop platform that does all the sorting work for you), and everyone walked out happy with gifts they had included in their wishlists. I’d say this Friendsmas was a total hit!

Christmas & New Years Without My Craft Room :(

Lately, when I leave my house I feel a little bit of anxiety… for being away from my craft room, out of fear I’ll need a tool or something else I may have in there while I’m away. Or if I have an order in progress, I’m afraid of my house catching on fire, not because of my house, but because of the order. I know, I need a therapist lol, I’ve just really grown fond of being there and all my crafty possessions.

With this in mind, you can imagine when I go on an actual trip out of town, I may or may not go as far as caressing the walls on the way out, a little bit like this…

So when I left to Colombia for my prince’s birthday and to spend the holidays with the family, I took some coloring pencils, all my sketch books, some photo booth props I pre-made (for the birthday, Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve), and that was it. Basically, anxiety to the MAX.

Then, my family decided that Christmas Eve would be celebrated at my grandma’s house, where we barely have some lights here and there, but no tree, or nativity, or garlands, or pretty much anything to make it feel like the season. With very little time and zero knowledge of places where I could get supplies, all while trying to not spend much money, my mom asked me to transform the house into a Christmas town. Want to guess how long I had to make this happen? SIX hours. Want to guess how much I missed my craft room and supplies? Manic depressive mode FULLY ON.

So… I ransacked my grandma’s closets and boudoirs looking for possible decor, grabbed my coloring pencils and my agenda, ripped out some pages, and tried to make a semi-cute garland. On ruled paper. I died a little inside. But hey, true creativity comes not exclusively while in the optimal environment. On the contrary, the true test of creativity is when you “make do” with what you have. Chopped style!

Here’s a little gallery of the transformation I was able to pull off for Christmas at my grandma’s!

So all in all, thanks to some last minute rentals, my foresight to bring the props and some bibbidi bobbidi boop magic, the Christmas town transformation was successfully pulled off! But just imagine what I could’ve done with a tenth of my supplies?

Moving on to December 31st… For New Year’s Eve, we were going to my grandma’s sister’s house, so thankfully I wasn’t in charge of decorating, but I still wanted to pitch in for the festivities, so besides making props (which everyone really enjoyed!) I wanted to make a garland I had seen… where do you think? Pinterest, of course. I don’t know what possessed me to make the props yellow and black, but they seemed like a good color palette for NYE, and so I wanted to also make the garland in that combination so that it seemed orchestrated. I got some tissue paper and got to work (toggle over the pictures to see instructions in each caption!)

So that’s it! Even though I missed my craft room and supplies TERRIBLY and I wish I could carry my entire stash on me, Mary Poppins style, I’m still happy with what I was able to accomplish on the fly 🙂

HAPPY 2016 EVERYONE!!!!

 

Halloween 2014 – On a SERIOUS budget!

After my 25th birthday party, I decided to make my credit card take a sabbatical, because with December holidays so close by, I was sure the magnetic band would fall off at some point.

The thing is, Halloween was the following week, and my friends and I had spoken about throwing a party at one of our houses, and since I hadn’t done anything for Halloween for the past three years, I really had to make it happen this time around. On the other hand, my brother told me he wanted to dress my nephew up as Bam Bam because at his endearing 10 months, all he does is hit stuff. I looked up Bam Bam costumes online, but I wasn’t a huge fan of any of them. Naturally, I decided to make it myself! Both costumes came out great, and all for under $20!

My costume: Black Widow (Avenger) – $0

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We had agreed on doing a Superhero theme for the group, and from the get-go I decided to don the Black Widow attire for the night, partly because I was pretty sure I could pull it off without spending a single dollar. I wore black leggings, a black leather jacket, black booties (all staple items in any woman’s closet), and I gave my hair a serious curling to replicate her hair style in Iron Man 2 – but what really pulled it all together was the pose!

There’s a still of Scarlett Johanson mid-fight scene where she’s stretched out for a second before her next move, and I knew I had to replicate it to validate me as Natasha Romanoff for the night.

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My nephew’s costume: Bam Bam – $18.11

Since I’m not a full blown seamstress and I was making this costume without having his exact measurements, I decided to buy some sort of pants/shorts that I could cover in orange felt. My brother wanted him to wear a shirt even though Bam Bam doesn’t have a top in the cartoon, so we figured a tan or brown shirt would be the best option. I went to Walmart and I bought:

  • Bam Bam Making Of WCBOrange felt – for the shorts – $0.23 per sheet, used 3
  • Black felt – for the triangles in the skirt and hat – $0.23 per sheet, used 1
  • White felt – for the hair and bone holding his sash – $0.23 per sheet, used 1
  • Brown sweatpants – for the undergarment – $3.99
  • Brown shirt – I cut off the sleeves so it would be a little more rustic – $3.99
  • Orange beanie hat – $3.99
  • Tan infinity scarf – it caught my eye as a potential sash and it worked out great – $4.99

David Bam Bam WCB

I cut off the pants’ bottoms, sewed the orange felt around the waist line, cut off black triangles of felt and hot glued them to the bottoms, cut off the shirt’s sleeves, and glued little black triangles to the hat. I also used two cotton balls for the top of the hat, and I cut off two bone shapes from the white felt and filled it with some more cotton balls to make it look like a fuller bone. I glued the bone to the scarf, and voila!

The costume was a total success. The fabric was fresh and stretchy enough for my nephew to play around in, and everyone was happy. And now, for the cutest Bam Bam in history (who couldn’t keep his hat on straight… but who can resist that smile?!) Ta-da!

To close off, I had recently taken advantage of a JoAnn cardstock paper sale (5 for $1.00), so I had pretty much every color in stock. I used these to make some quick superhero themed photo booth props for the party. POW!

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Two costumes + photo booth props, less than $20! Halloween 2014 on a SERIOUS budget = success!