Making your own wedding projects can be a great way of adding your own personality into your wedding and some say it also cuts costs. This is true, but for the inexperienced crafter. some things are harder than they appear and it takes more time to make them then it would for a crafty person.

As a crafty person a would like to share with you some of my top tips for making your own wedding projects so you know what to think about before you start racing out to the shops buying all those materials. It is great when you make something yourself. You get that sense of pride and satisfaction, but if you are not crafty, trust me –  pay a professional and do something else that you are better suited to.

Mel from The Crafty DIY Bride – ribbon wands here

Here’s my DIY Wedding Tips:


Make sure you have a time line of what projects you want done, and the date they need to be accomplished by, and stick to it.

Time to devote

How much time are you willing to devote to making wedding projects. If you are not the crafty type then limit the amount of projects you are going to make. It’s all great, thinking, ‘I’m going to make this and that’, but you don’t want to be sitting up making things on the eve of your wedding for your wedding day, when you should be getting some rest!

The test run of a project

Before you even make your final decision on making something for your wedding and run out and buy all the materials, try a test run making session and see how much time it takes to make one project and then times this by how many more you need. This is especially important if you have never made this project before. The seasoned crafter will probably make this in half the time compared to someone that is more inexperienced.

This is particularly important when making wedding stationery. Wedding stationery can be tricky, cuts need to be straight, wording needs to be spelled correctly etc, etc.


Know what you need before you go to the shops. Make sure that you have taken the time and written exactly how many of each item you need. If you have a photo of the project take it with you just in case the shop assistant can tell you of something you have missed. Also if you’re wanting something out of the ordinary for centerpieces like different bottles to use as vases, you will need to scour through many different second hand shops to find these items. Make sure you give yourself an ample amount of time to drive around the countryside looking for these items.

Costs of items

If you are wanting to do everything on the cheap remember the saying ‘you pay for what you get’. So expect things to be of lesser quality. You can get really cheap vases at chain stores but remember the glass is usually very thin. This is the reason to buy more than you need, as they chip so easily and it’s guaranteed it’s around the lip of the vase where everyone will see the chip! If you can afford to buy the better quality try to, as it looks better, feels better and presents better.

Ask for advice

If you are buying your supplies from a specialty store, no matter how good you are at craft, just quickly run it by the shop assistant and explain to them how you anticipate making this project. You never know, they may be able to offer you some advice on how to make it better, quicker or even see something that could arise as a problem.

Buy more than you need and make more than you need

Contrary to the point where I have said buy exactly what you need, always buy a few extra bits to allow for mistakes and breakage. What happens if you cut incorrectly and have no more paper? It means another trip to that shop for more material. Also what happens if the store has run out of stock and can’t get anymore of that paper? What happens if you break a vase that you were going to make your table centerpieces with? Always have an extra to use as a replacement.

Have a system in place for constructing

When the day comes to make your wedding projects make sure you put all the materials you need to make the project, together ready and waiting in one bag.

For example –  making wedding invitations – get all the paper, ribbon cut to size etc, get your self a pack of plastic lunch bags you can buy at the supermarket and place all the base materials in the bag and seal. Why? There is nothing worse than finishing one project and then starting the next project having to look for the three different types of paper, mum have you seen the envelope box, Susie can you pass the parchment paper? By doing all the prep work first it will eliminate all the mess. If you don’t finish the project on the day you started it doesn’t matter. Each day you can go to your project box and pull out one bag to complete the project.

Transporting your items

How will you get your items to their destination especially vase style wedding centerpieces? You cant just stack in the car. These will need to go in a box with cardboard or towel to separate each vase so they don’t move around and break. Take into consideration how you are going to transport your wedding items to your wedding venue and the size of the car needed to do this. Also make sure you have a helper – more hands make less work.


Where are you going to store all of these extra items while making them and where will you store them after the wedding? We are all guilty of starting a project on the kitchen table and then leaving it there for months, pushing it from one side of the table to the other side! Make sure you have a room to make your projects away from everyone. If you don’t have this, then at least a shelf or a good storage box with a lid. Once the items are made where will they go? In the spare room on the bed? Think again -when we have guests coming to stay this means they have to be moved. Find a space in the house where they can be stored for the next 6 months without getting in everyone’s way.

Alicia’s jam jar labels here

The wedding is over! What will you be doing with those twelve vases, or one hundred tea light holders? Well I am about to save you with some suggestions:

– Sell them on a wedding forum.
– Keep them for special occasions and if you’re having a summer barbeque spread them around the garden and light them up – they will look fantastic.
– If you want to keep them, store them properly where they won’t be in the way. Cover them properly so the dust doesn’t coat them and spiders don’t make new homes out of them.

I  have a craft storage cupboard in which I store the bits and pieces to re-hash for other occasions.

Finally have fun, invite a few friends get some snacks and drinks and have a making session. This is a great way for family and friends to feel as though they have made a contribution to your wedding day and something that you and they will remember forever.

Ms Polka Dot says: Nicole from Coast to Country Weddings has given us some really sensible tips that we may not have thought about in the excitement of planning our wedding projects. The best bit about DIY projects is that they can be so much fun! Thank you Nicole for sharing these tips with us.

Coast to Country Weddings, is everything you need to plan your wedding in regional WA. Our wedding services are divided into regions across Western Australia – Coral Coast, Goldfields / Esperance, Great Southern, North West, Outer Perth & South West / Margaret River wine region.

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1 Pair Of Shoes 7 Ways

by | DIY Tutorials, Made


Alicia Parsons (Akimbo)

Being a bridesmaid is a great opportunity to go all out with fabulous accessories. But unfortunately those same items can often be left to gather dust without a suitable occasion. So what’s a fashion-conscious and considerate bride to do? Make shoe embellishments for her ‘maids, of course!

Shoe clips are a really effective way of transforming a plain pair of shoes into something special, and these examples all use basic materials and techniques.

Start with a plain pair of shoes:

Shoes before

And add your choice of embellishment:

Shoe clip materials

Some of them will require glue and shoe clip backings (I bought mine here).

Shoe with bow S

Hair clip bow
Take a hair slide and slip onto the side of shoe.

Shoe with brooch S

Pin a brooch directly over the bridge of a pair of peep-toe or strappy shoes.

Shoe with fabric flower S

Fabric flower
Cut out various sized circles out of satin fabric and sew together with a few contrasting beads. Glue a shoe clip to the back.

Shoe with ribbon bow S

Ribbon bow
Make a bow out of velvet ribbon by gluing two ends to form a loop then gluing a shorter piece around the centre. Once dry, glue the bow to a shoe clip.

Shoe with scarf clip S

Scarf clip
Clip a scarf holder directly onto shoe.

Shoe with feathers S

Feathers & clip-on earrings
Glue coloured feathers onto back of clip-on earring; clip onto side of shoe.

Shoe with diamante button S

Diamante button
Use a needle and thread to temporarily secure diamante embellishment to shoe. If you have a larger button you can glue it to a shoe clip instead of sewing.

Making use of shoe clips means your bridesmaids can purchase plain (read: usually cheaper) shoes which they’ll easily be able to wear again. Or if your girls are providing their own shoes, shoe clips will instantly give them a cohesive look.

These are just some ideas, I’m sure you can use your imagination to come up with loads more. So what are you waiting for? Dig through your nanna’s costume jewellery, your fabric scraps box or your favourite budget accessories shop for more inspiration.

Ms Polka Dot says: Who doesn’t love shoes? And to personalise them with your special touches makes them all the more unique for your wedding day!

Our ‘Made’ Contributing Editor, Alicia from Akimbo lets her imagination run wild with these sweet shoes ideas. Visit her blog where she writes about all things creative and cute ATypical Type A

I made these for my wedding this past August in Brooklyn, NY. These include over 160 hand-made cloth books which were mailed in boxes as invitations, a retro save-the-date postcard featuring self-timed photographs, surprise tissue programs, a hand painted ketubah, and more. I designed each piece myself and assembled everything with the help of my now, husband Eddie as well as other family members.

Each invitation consists of a hardbound book, with a white book cloth exterior, magenta flocked interior and milkweed speckled cover stock. Each of the 160 books was completely made by hand, including the design, printing, and binding. My husband and I trimmed all of the papers and book boards and adhered them with PVA glue. After we finished making the shells (an effort that took around 4.5 months), we adhered the interior pages.

The RSVP page had a fuchsia envelope, custom card with a thought bubble for writing the bride and groom a note, and a handcrafted label. It was enclosed with 4 black photo corners. When removed from the book, there was a surprise message to be found on the page. For directions, I adhered a black half moon enclosure with a folded parchment map inside. A simple “Pull Me” instructed guests to pull out the paper to see the hand illustrated map.

The imagery inside the book was inspired by old Victorian botanic encyclopedias. As the wedding was at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I wanted the design to reflect the illustrations. The final page has a silhouette of the bride, groom and their dog Chum Chum. The books were tied with a black silk ribbon and of course handmade stickers of an old Dahlia that was designed to match the books’ colors: black, fuchsia and the cream of the paper. The book was placed in a cream box with fuchsia tissue paper, then wrapped in brown paper and another custom label. Even the stamp was custom made–a photo of us at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in front of the Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom, holding a sign that said “Look Inside.”

For our Save the Date we shot 3 photos to give our vertical jumbo postcard an ‘old time’ feel. In each photo we held real signs with Victorian style type. The first photo was taken at Coney Island in Brooklyn. The second on the Brooklyn Bridge (Chum Chum is in the basket!) and the third is on a row boat at the Central Park boathouse. The website was designed to match the Save-the-Date and printed invitation. In addition, when it came time to send out thank you notes, we mailed out cards with the same sign, this time saying “Grazie” as we honeymooned in Florence, Italy.

Other pieces included flower pot favors that also acted as seating cards, table number cards (all having different antique flower illustrations), a hand painted ketubah, hand-trimmed and designed circular menus, and ceremony programs–each program had a different cover and in the inside there was a small pink envelope that enclosed an “H” monogrammed tissue for “happy tears.” In addition all of the materials for gift bags were designed and handmade. My mother decorated all of the yarmulkes by hand.

I created a PDF book to show how I made the invitations (click each image to enlarge)

Ms Polka Dot says: We were blown away when Shana sent this to us! The thought and planning, the care and the effort that went into creating just the right feel for these invitations, thank you cards and everything in between, is just astounding in its creativity. Click on the images, pour over them and enjoy them as we did! Thank you so much Shana for sending them to us and congratulations on your wedding to Eddie!