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In the spirit of sharing more love and light, I wanted to share one of my summer projects that I am super proud of…
I had the honor of decorating for the wedding of a fabulous couple of friends this past weekend. Their vision was simple: incorporate their chosen colors green and brown (their invites had an owl and a tree so this was a sub-theme) and have centerpieces that served some function beyond just the wedding. And of course keep within budget. Other than that, I was free to exercise my creative muscles.
After discussing centerpieces, we decided to do something living so that people could take them home to enjoy after the wedding. After considering all of the possible vessels for a living centerpiece (terra-cotta pots, etc), I saw these burlap-covered buckets at the local City People’s Mercantile and was inspired to incorporate table numbers into the centerpieces themselves and give it a sort of french country flare so that when put to use later, they just look like cool vintage numbered pots and not table numbers.
In order to achieve my own version of these, I started with plain 5 1/2″ tall galvanized buckets from SaveOnCrafts. I should note that I looked everywhere to find some that were just the right height for centerpieces at a good price since I needed to make 13 of them and this was the best I found. Ikea does have some buckets that would work but the size was off. I also searched high and low for wide burlap ribbon and managed to find some 4″ burlap ribbon at SaveOnCrafts as well.
My first attempt to attach the ribbon to the buckets using adhesive dots was a no go, in part because of the angle of the buckets and in part because of the weight of the burlap. So, I decided to break out the Mod Podge!
First I figured out what length of ribbon I needed and measured out 20″ strips for each centerpiece. Then, working on one bucket at a time, I painted on the Mod Podge starting at the seam of the bucket. I carefully placed the ribbon down, aligning it with bottom rim of the bucket as a guide. Then, I slowly worked my way around, painting on more Mod Podge as I went. I didn’t worry about the Mod Podge flowing over the the ribbon at all since it dries clear!
The trick comes when you get to the end as you will see your ribbon ends at a funny angle (see #1 below). Just cut the ends to be somewhat even with the band of ribbon and then just slather on the Mod Podge. It’ll look messy (pic #3) but as you can see from the last picture below, it’ll dry and have a nice stiff finish and look like the bucket came that way (plus the ends won’t fray).
Once all of the buckets were dry, it was time to stencil! I chose to create stencils using my Silhouette. I initially considered making them out of vinyl but then decided that was a bit silly (ie. wasteful) given how many I had to make so opted for cardstock instead since then I could easily use each stencil twice (each bucket had the number stenciled on each side so 2/bucket). The trick with cardstock is keeping the centers of “o”s and things together so I used the knife tool in Silhouette Studio to create a true stencil. Then, I fit as many numbers (in the same font as the invites: Champagne and Limousines) on a 12×12 sheet and cut them out. Again, working one bucket at a time, I just used tape on each side of the stencil, stenciled on some Martha Stewart Crafts Paint in Vanilla Bean using a stencil brush. I didn’t worry if the paint bled outside the stencil a little since it just added to the rustic nature of the design.
Then came the herbs! Our hope had been to have them all be mint since it’s such a summery herb but alas the first weekend in August, there wasn’t much mint left at the nursery so I decided to go with an assortment of fresh herbs instead (none too pungent of course). After they were all planted in the buckets, I wanted to make sure folks knew what they were taking home at the end of the night and didn’t want to leave the silly little plastic sticks that came with them so I broke out my chalkboard vinyl and cut little flags that I wrapped around short skewers (the vinyl sticks to itself so it was perfect) and then labeled them using a chalkboard pen.
I love how they turned out! Totally what the couple wanted – brown, green and reusable – and very summer in Seattle! Stay tuned for Part 2 of the wedding – seating cards and a sweet little Jewish accent!
You are all so smart! Yes, indeed, when you combine PVC pipes, gold spray paint, yards of organza and iron-on seam tape, you get a lovely, easy-to-make, reasonably priced chuppah! For those that don’t know, a chuppah is a Jewish wedding canopy. It symbolizes the union of two under one roof and stands for their new home together as husband and wife. The chuppah is open on all sides, representing a dwelling in which family and friends will always be welcomed.
Today is my 6th wedding anniversary. Six years ago, in one of my earlier Jewish crafty moments, my husband (at the time my fiance) and I, (along with some help from my friend Suzanna), created this lovely chuppah that we were married under. My husband engineered the structural piece and helped me explain how he put it together:
The frame is designed around “3-way corner PVC fittings” available online: http://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=PVC-3-ways or at any big-box hardware store. The other materials are 1″ PVC tubing cut to the desired length and 1″->3/4″ threaded fittings to accelerate on-site assembly. In our case we used 4 ~7 foot poles and 4 ~5 foot poles. Painting takes longer than the entire design/assembly. Total cost including paint was well under $50. For the ceremony it was anchored using planters filled with rocks with flowers and greenery added. Although PVC production is not terribly environmentally friendly, our chuppah has been reused several times and is still holding up. Sometimes I contemplate setting up in the yard for an afternoon tea but have yet to follow-through 🙂
As for the fabric, the organza was purchased from one of my favorite supply places, Paper Mart, who has terrific selection and prices on packaging and party-prep stuff. Suzanna and I cut a roof and then made four panels that we attached using iron-on seam to tape. We then cut each panel in half so that two smaller panels came together on each pole. It was then tied to the poles using ribbon (in our wedding colors of course). We enjoyed the chuppah even more by putting our sweetheart table underneath after the ceremony!
Hope you’ve enjoyed my little trip down memory lane of our fabulous wedding at Lake Union Cafe with these lovely photos of our chuppah taken by Beautiful Endings photography. Happy 6th Anniversary to my mensch of a husband!
Did you make your own chuppah? What did you use? If you have a picture, and feel like sharing, please do!