Visit Mee on my Website!

Visit Mee on my Website!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DIY - Shell Bouquet

Shell Bouquet

Are you planning a beach wedding? If so a shell bouquet could be an amazing choice for you. The great thing about non-floral bouquets is that you don’t have to worry about your bouquet dying or looking limp on your wedding day. It is always so sad to me how much money we spend on wedding flowers and bouquets to just have them die! This bouquet will defiantly bring the wow factor to a beautiful beach wedding.

Things you will need:
  • Shells!!!! - $1.00 a Bag!!!
    • So I totally lucked out and found a mixed bag of shells at Christmas Tree Shop for a $1.00 a bag! I almost screamed in the store when I found them…..LOVE Christmas Tree Shop!
  • 4 ½ “ Diameter Foam Ball - $1.50
  • Scraps of Felt - $2 a Yard
    • Tip: I always save my felt and fabric scraps from all of my project because you never know when you will need them!
  • Fabric (I used Organza) $5.00 a Yard
    • For this project you will need less than a ¼ yard….about a 6-8” strip of fabric to wrap the base of your bouquet.
  • Sewing Pins with Pearl Heads- $3.00 a Box
  • Thumb tacks - $3.00 a Box
    • If you can find thumb tacks with a flat head and a long tack you are in business.
  • Dowels - $2.00 for a pack of 10 @ 12” long
  • Lace Trim - $0.40 a Yard
  • Buttons - $3.00 for a “lot” on EBay
    • EBay is a great place to find cheap pretty buttons. If you search for “lot” of buttons many bags or 100+ button lots will appear. I use buttons for different project so it is nice to have extra cute ones around the house.
  • Gorilla Glue - $5.00
    • I love Gorilla Glue and there is now a new formula that dries 2X faster and white! But always be super careful using it because it expands when it dries and can end up places you wouldn’t expect.
  • Optional – Spray Paint
    • Any color of your choosing…use the texture of the shells and spray it one color.
Things from Home:
  • Hot Glue Gun
    • As you may know using generic hot glue is not a very durable hold. If you find hot glue for foam, wood, and ceramic it is more durable.
  • Good Old Elmer’s Glue!
    • I like to put a dab of Elmer’s glue along with the hot glue just to know it is going to get a good hold.
  • Pencil
  • Personal Touch
    • I had a pin/pendent that has a family photo from when I was 5 years old. I love this personal touch and it makes the bouquet extra special.

Step 1:
Make your handle. I took three 12” dowels that I cut into 6” lengths. You then glue each dowel together one by one with the hot glue gun. Before you glue the last dowel down glue down your lace trim. I cut my lace trim to be about 8” long to wrap around the handle. After gluing the last dowel down take an additional piece of lace and glue it to the ends of the dowels to cover the base of the handle. Now roll your handle so the lace is tight to the dowels and glue down the loose edges. On that seam of glue I glued down a few more shells and buttons from my random button collection.

Now figure out where the bottom of your foam ball will be and push the dowel handle making a hole in the foam. You can use Gorilla Glue to glue the handle down now or wait till after the bouquet is done. I waited because I wanted to sit the ball flat while I worked.

Step 2:
In my case the bags of shells I got were all different sizes and types, so I had to go through and collect all of one type which happened to be the Conckle shells. After doing so I cut strips of felt from scraps I had from other projects to about 2” lengths. I then glued the felt to the inside of each shell I wanted to use for the body of the bouquet. I also glued a thumb tack to the inside base of the shells so that there would be more surface for the shells to get glued into the foam ball. The more surface area you have on each shell that you can glue to the foam ball the more secure the shells will be. (NOTE: Only glue thumb tacks to the shells that will be the base shells – meaning the shells that will be glued directly to the foam. Other shells will be needed that have tabs only.)

Step 3:
Now that all your shells have felt tabs and some have tabs and thumb tacks….start pinning. Decide where you want your shells to start by the handle. Drawing a rough circle around where you want your shells to start will help you layer you shells evenly. Take your shells with thumb tacks and lay them out along the pencil line you drew. Using your sewing pins pin each of the felt tabs down and for extra durability put a small drop of Gorilla Glue where you pin and then push the pin into the foam ball. Then take your glue gun and place a drop of hot glue on to the thumb tack and then also push that down into the foam ball. Follow this step for the first row of shells.

Step 4:
Following step 2 pin down your second row of shells to alternate in-between the first row of shells but only pin them down. After doing so flip over row 2’s shells on their felt tabs and pin down intermediate shells which will fill in the two rows while row 2’s shells will cover the intermediate shells tabs.

Glue down row 2’s shells and then the intermediate shells on top of rows 1 & 2’s shells. When gluing the intermediate shells use the hot glue only where the shell will meet the shells in rows 1&2. You don’t want to have glue showing so be careful. I also used Elmer’s glue to fill in spots where I thought the shells could come apart. Doing this will also make the bouquet more stable.
Follow this method of alternating rows to you get to the top of your bouquet. This layers effect will create a denser more dynamic bouquet.

Step 5:
Making shell flowers. Take a scrap piece of felt and start laying out small shells to create a flower. In my case I used smaller Conckle shells and glued them top down onto the felt creating a flower. On top of the flower I glued another shell facing top up. Then I trimmed off the excess felt and had a little shell flower for the top of my bouquet. After I had 7 shell flowers I glued them on to the top of the bouquet.

Step 6:
Glue your handle into the hole you already made in the base of the foam ball if you have not already done so. Take your fabric of any color and cut a strip 6-8” in width. Depending on how full you want your fabric to be cut your strip wider or narrower. Don’t worry about how long the fabric is you can always fold another piece in to make it look like one continuous piece. Fold the fabric strip in half to hid any frayed edges and start pinning the fabric down and folding it at the base of the shells. Then do the same at the base of the handle. The fabric will cover the base of the foam ball and give a soft look to the bouquet.

Step 7:
Personal Touch! I happen to have a pendent pin with a family photo from when I was 5 years old. It just so happens to be the perfect touch for the bouquet and I just pinned it to the fabric at the base of my bouquet. I love this idea so much I am going to do a tutorial on how to make an easy one so everyone can have a family photo on their bouquet! Tutorial to come!

Step 8: Optional
Using a spray paint can give you a smooth look to your bouquet. If natural shells are a little too natural try spraying it!

Your done! You not only have a unique beautiful bouquet… have a bouquet with a personal touch to it. You can’t ask for much more!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Make Your Own Shell Bouquet

Alternative non-floral bouquets are amazing because you can keep them forever. They could become an heirloom or a keepsake to remember your beautiful wedding. Here's a sneak peek of a shell bouquet tutorial I will be posting in a few days! I love the idea of this bouquet for a beach wedding. It would beautifully go with a long flowing wedding dress. 

Unique DIY Bride and Bridesmaids Hangers

Unique DIY Bride and Bridesmaids Hangers

This tutorial shows a few quick ways to dress up a hanger for a bride and her bridal party on her wedding day. Since you put so much time into picking out the dress, trying on the dress, and fitting the dress…shouldn’t your dresses hanger be special for your big day. Not to mention these hangers will look great in pre-wedding pictures. Also if you make a unique hanger for each of your bridesmaids they will feel bad for calling you bridezilla behind your back for all those months….hehe!
What you will need:
  • DSMeeBee Free Hanger Organizer Pattern
  • Wooden Hangers – From my closet but you can get them at any big box store.
  • Felt - $2 a yard
  • Trim / Ribbon / Lace – $0.40 a yard
    • Your local fabric store should have some cute options for you hanger.
  • Acrylic Paint – Any color you want
  • Foam Brush
  • Large Eyelet Kit – $3
    • I got mine from my local fabric store.

  • Sewing Machine – Brother SE400
Things you will need from home:
  • Scissors
  • Hammer

Step 1:
Take your hanger(s) and paint them your desired color. Have a place step up where they can hang out to dry.

Step 2:
Get your trim out! I love trim and luckily the fabric store down the street from me has tons of them! From these two hanger examples I am using a soft rose trim and a woven trim with pearls sewn into it. All of these trim were bought from the store as they appear in the pictures. All I had to do was measure the length and cut!
Step 3:
Get your pre-measured trim and glue your trim to your hanger and let it dry laying flat. I use a mix between Elmers and hot glue because the hot glue will hole the trim down faster and the Elmers glue will hold the trim longer. Now you already have a beautiful hanger for your wedding dress for bridesmaids’ dresses. But if you want to finish the look follow steps 4-9.

Step 4: Optional
If you so happen to have a Brother SE400 sewing machine then you know embroidering a bride's or bridesmaid's name is super easy and fast. If you don't have this machine I totally suggest investing in one. The machine is $265 but totally worth it if you plan on doing your own embroidery.

Step 5:
Print out your DSMeeBee Free Hanger Organizer Pattern and cut it out and punch out the holes for the eyelets. Fold the template in half and cut it out of a piece of felt. If you embroidered the felt already cut the Organizer pattern out of the felt you already embroidered.

Step 6:
Using a pencil mark where you will cut holes through the organizer template. After the hole are marked us a pair of pointy sharp scissors to cut a small holes where your pencil marks are. Also use a pencil and push it through the small holes you already cut.

Step 7:
Get your large eyelet kit and follow the directions on the back of the package.

Step 8:
Once you have cut out your felt and put your eyelets in. Sew on the lace with a sewing machine or with a needle and thread.

Step 9:
Hang the hanger organizer on the hook of the hanger and put the necklace the bride or bridesmaids will wear and poke earrings through the front of the organizer. All of the brides or bridesmaids’ jewelry and dress will be beautifully organized in this one of a kind hanger.
This hanger is not much effort and it defiantly won’t make or break your day but it is the beautiful little details that can make a wedding extra special! ENJOY!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

FAB Lace and Button Necklace

FAB Lace and Button Necklace

What makes this necklace so FAB is the price! You can make this necklace for $5 or less depending on where you get your materials and if you already have suitable glue at home – like most good crafters already do. What also makes this necklace so FAB is the versatility and endless design options. Depending on what lace and buttons you used they will completely change the look of the necklace for any occasion. This necklace is defiantly a statement piece and can be dressed up and dressed down.
Things you will need:
  • Lace or Lace Trim - $.039 a yard
    • I found this great lace trim at my local fabric store at $0.39 a yard I bought 5 yards but for this project you would only need about a half.
  • Buttons - $1.00 a pound
    • If you live in the Boston area Windsor Button in Downtown Crossing sells buttons by the pound. I love that store and can always find cute things but if you don’t live in the area and don’t have a local button shop, Ebay always works for me. The only problem is that the buttons I always like are from China and take awhile for me to get.
  • Satin Ribbon - $1 for a roll
  • Foam Brush - $0.50
  • Felt - $0.25 for a 8 ½” x 11” sheet
  • Gorilla Glue $5.00
    • Get the Gorilla Glue that dries white and 2x faster but be careful and use very small amounts of this glue because it expands when it dries and looks like foam – a little goes a long way!
  • Mod Podge - $4.00 for 8oz
Things from home:
  • Scissors
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Place to hang your lace to dry
    • I hung mine on a needle in-between two small end tables.
  • Needle / Thread / Sewing Pins
  • Iron
Step 1:
Take out your lace and roughly trim out a flower or in my case roses and leaves. Cut off the excess until you get your desired shape. This step is super easy because it is just like cutting out a picture in the lace.
Step 2: Optional
I say that this step is optional because if you are using a thicker more durable lace is I think you could skip this step. But if you are using a thin lace like I did using Mod Podge will really help with stability without making the lace super stiff. Layout your plastic wrap and put your cutout pieces of lace down. Using your foam brush put a good coating of Mod Podge on each side of the lace. I had thin areas of my lace cutouts and wanted to bulk them up so I added additional roses to those areas with Mod Podge. Find a good place to hang your lace and it should be dry in around 30 minutes.

Step 3:
Cut a half circle out of felt. My half circle is about 5” across but make yours as big or small as you want. I then covered my felt with left over lace and used the scalloped edge to overlap the hard edge of the felt. Holding the lace on top of the felt I then stitched them together.
Step 4:
By the time I had stitched my half circle of felt and lace together my lace had dried enough for me to work with it. Place the 2 pieces of lace over the half circle and pin them into the place where you want them to be. Check yourself out in the mirror make sure the necklace is sitting in the right place. Once you have adjusted the lace into the correct positions stitch them on to the half circle.

Step 5:
Measure the approximate amount of ribbon you will need to tie your necklace on. Make sure you give enough length for a bow and for the necklace to lay on your chest they way you want. Once you have cut your ribbon stitch one end to the end of your lace and then fold down the other end and press it with an iron. Fold the already folded end again and again press it with the iron. After you have your ironed edges of your ribbon sew on buttons on each side of each end. Using this technique will make sure that the ends of your ribbon will not fray and look messy plus it is a cute accent.

Step 6:
Arrange the buttons onto the center of the half circle and start to glue them down. Maybe someone out there knows of better glue but I am pretty happy with the results I get with Gorilla Glue. The only major issue I have with it is that it expands when you use it so you have to be very careful not to use too much.

Let the glue dry and when it does you have a lace and button necklace that will turn heads. It will look posh but the price tag won’t break the bank. LOOK BEAUTIFUL AND ENJOY!