Saturday, July 30, 2011

From Black and White to Splashes of Color--Wow!

Want to take those black and white or sepia photos and add a kick of color? Use Color Select Studios program and it's as simple as a few computerized brush strokes! Give your pictures a professional look! (Video Courtesy of

How to Do Your Own Wedding Makeup

The Dating Divas (one of my all time favorite blogs (what a creative group of women!) posted some great directions for doing your own makeup.  While this was not directed at doing wedding makeup, I think you'll agree that it gives you some great tips on how to do it yourself and not come out looking like a clown or washed out in your photos.  There just has to be a happy medium!  Head to the Dating Divas site (see side bar for link) to see the step by step directions on how to go from a blah BEFORE to WOW! AFTER.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Frugal 'I DO' Wedding Shoes

This creative bride on The Wedding Bee (under DIY) is marrying her high school sweetheart.  Since they attended their high school prom together she is recycling her prom shoes.  She has embellished them by covering scuff marks from previous dancing with black paint and then adding her own painted 'I DO' on the bottom of the shoes.  As she said, "why pay twenty dollars for something that's going to be stuck on the bottom of your shoe?" Genius! Complete genius!  And my cheap skate soul agrees too!

Napkin Folding--Makes Your Table Stand Out

There is one blog that is without doubt the tops as far as showing you how to fold napkins for a wedding or shower to turn your tabletop into a designer dream.  (Photo courtesy of Home Fashion)Visit Home Fashion-Be Different at their web site.  Home Fashion is the brand of Carl Dietrich GmbH. They produce napkins as well as table covers perfect for any occasion but especially your wedding or any parties leading up to it.  Head to their web site to learn all the details on how to make your table look gorgeous without breaking the bank!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

DIY Rum Balls in A Rainbow of Colors

These rum balls (photo and recipe on Visual Recipes' web site) are perfect for a wedding or shower sweet table.  Not to mention rum balls are some of my absolutely favorite cookies for any occasion.  These pretty and tasty cookies can be decorated with sugar in colors to accent your wedding colors and provide a feast for your eyes and your mouth!  Head over to Visual Recipes for the recipe for these goodies and lots more food to die for!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Making Your Own Appetizers

Watermelon squares, feta, and cucumber make cool and refreshing appetizers.  Just hollow out the center of the square, leaving a bottom to keep the cheese and cucumber from falling out and add chopped cucumber and crumbled feta--so good! SO EASY! Not to mention pretty--perfect for a wedding!  Recipe and photo from Katie Brown Home web site.  Katie also has recipes for
Watermelon Salsa with Cucumber, Red Pepper and Jalapenos, Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad with a Verbena Infused Vinaigrette, and more watermelon based recipes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DIY Doily Lanterns--Wow!

If you follow Veronica at My Hands Made It you've already discovered this treasure trove of great ideas for weddings, some DIY and or you may know her from Veronica Scheaffer Bridal Gowns and Accessories.  She's one very talented lady! But she also writes a great tutorial, so I've linked it for you to go and check out.  She also after finishing all the lanterns turned them into a chandelier for her wedding--you go Veronica! Veronica didn't just make the lanterns, she added tassels and ribbon accents, so typical of her work--it always has that 'something extra' other people would skip.  For other great ideas see My Hands Made It and if you haven't bought your wedding gown yet her bridal gowns are incredible!  Kudos Veronica!

DIY Chocolate Cups Filled with Fruit and Cream

How easy can a dessert be?  Buy some candy wrappers (1" size from Wilton that you can buy in any craft store or specialty cooking store, (they look like mini-cupcake papers).  Then use a small paint brush to paint the inside of the wrappers with melted chocolate (no licking your paint brush please!), and let it set until it's completely dry and formed.  Then carefully peel the paper off leaving you with a great chocolate shell.  Now comes the big decision--what to fill it with? Martha Stewart Weddings offers a recipe for a light filling that you can top with anything from fruit to edible flowers that we featured in a previous post on our cookie blog.  Any broken leftover chocolates are your bonus (snack for finishing the project, or just to keep you going!).  You can buy the chocolate dessert cups at a variety of specialty stores but that will up your cost considerably. 

A similar trick can be used to make larger bowls using small balloons and chocolate.  Ghiradelli Chocolate has a recipe on their web site and the photo above is theirs.  They do recommend using these the day you make them so it might be a better project to hand off to your favorite aunt and cousins or someone not closely involved in getting you ready for your wedding so your day isn't too insane.  They can also be used for wedding showers.  I'd check and see how long these survive in your freezer--some chocolate recipes will last a couple of weeks in the freezer.  My friend Debbie E. turned me onto this idea and the chocolate nests below--kudos Deb! These are a great option--for any party any time! 

The following video from YouTube can give you visual learners a fun way to watch and learn the art of chocolate balloon bowls too!

There are lots of ways to make chocolate dessert bowls on the web--here's another one from the Deluxe Chocolate Melter web site.  A reminder to all--only fill with cold items--you can imagine the results if you filled them with a hot filling--ych! Suffice it to say--BIG MESS!

Another chocolate dessert option Debbie suggested is chocolate nests filled with ice cream or sorbet, whipped cream and some fruit.  For step by step directions and a recipe you can't beat Kitchen Table Scraps recipe and directions.  Sometimes someone else has just done it way better than you ever could and you need to acknowledge their mastery! Kudos to the writers at Kitchen Table Scraps for great directions and photos.  Head over their not only for this recipe and additional 'how to' photos but also for other great ideas to add to your recipe box.

Decorative Washi Tape and Candles

This idea is courtesy of the creative group over at Martha Stewart Weddings! What is Washi Tape? It's pretty and decorative masking tape from Japan (or if you're looking locally check out Pretty Tape at  It comes in a variety of colors and designs some of which are sure to suit your wedding decor.  Vary the heights and diameter of the glass containers and add votives and voila! This is Wedding Queen easy! The hardest part is putting the tape on straight and/or choosing the tape to use--indecisive is my middle name! If your venue doesn't allow you to light candles pick up some battery operated ones.  Be sure to use Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons or some for other stores to keep you costs down.  And test out the glass you are using to be sure it won't break when you light the candles (and leave them lit for five or six hours).  Some glass just won't take the heat.  Good luck!  And check out Martha's web site for lots of other great ideas for your wedding-there isn't anything they don't cover there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Love, Art and Your Living Room Wall

Love is Art is a kit by the company of the same name that I found in my email sent by Daily Candy.  What is it you ask?  It's a kit that comes with everything you need to make your own piece of abstract art -- while you are--uh... being intimate with your loved one shall we say.  The concept is based on the performance art of Andy Warhol and the abstract expressionism of Yves Klein. 

You get a roll of canvas, a special kind to your skin paint and something to help clean the paint off with after the fact.  I have to admit the whole idea made me laugh--I can just see me blushing as I do NOT explain to Great Grandma or the parents the 'where it came from and what it is' which is sure to be asked! You get custom slippers (to put on after you've finished your art of creation) and a body scrubber to get all the paint off.  I can hear my husband now...we're WHAT!!!!!!!!????? But it's all in the name of love.  After you finish 'painting' (wow I'll never use that word the same way again!) you shower, let the paint dry, and then take the canvas out to be stretched onto a frame and hang it proudly on your living room wall.  You are the next Andy Warhol! 




The Stairway to Heaven?

I have to admit, these steps blew me away! What a great way to decorate the stairs, especially for the steps up to your wedding ceremony!  Of course it requires having the requisite stairway...almost tempted to find a way to put one in just to do this! Seen on Crafty Chica and The Cherry Blossom Girl. (look under New York).  Even if you don't want to use them for a wedding, why not use your favorite sayings or songs on your basement steps? (Alas, the only place in my house I could get away this!) But how fun! If anyone comes across the source for this photo let me know, and I'll happily post it.  WOW! DIY project sometimes just blow me away! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

DIY Jordan Almonds

The Taste and Tell web site has a recipe from "A Field Guide to Candy" (available by following their link on and (Which sure beats a Field Guides to Birds or Sea Shells!).  It's for DIY Jordan Almonds.  Whether you are serving these as part of your candy buffet or using homemade Jordan Almonds for other candy favors, making them yourself is a nice personal DIY touch for your wedding.  The photos above are from the Taste and Tell web site.  Head over there for the recipe for making your own Jordan Almonds (and a lot of other interesting reads!) Taste and Tell also gives you pointers on the easiest way to dip the almonds.

One of the best parts of my work is discovering new sites to share with you--this is one you will want to follow!  Taste and Tell always has something interesting (and great tasting) to try out, not to mention taste while you make it!

Friday, July 8, 2011

How To Make Paper Flowers

I found these great paper flower tutorials on Knuckle Salad, a great site for food and crafting.  Kristina wrote the post for how to make these six different types of paper flowers--use them alone or mix and match, it's your call.  Be sure to read the rest of the site for other great entertaining ideas.  I just love it when I find someone who offers my readers a lot of great creative and/or tasty content, both together is a real bonus! There are specific directions for each type of flower as well as some follow up comments that really help pull the project together.  I suggest some trial and error testing with these to get just the right weight paper to suit the flower look you want.  Make them in any color to match or harmonize with your decor at your wedding.  If you manage to master these you'll save mega dollars on your flower costs for your wedding--or they're great for decorating for any party or just around your house.  Congrats to Kristen and Knuckle Salad!

Make Your Own Gift Bags

The Toymaker has several different designs for DIY gift bags for any occasion, but perfect for wedding or shower favors.  Yes, I know, it says Toymaker, but her graphics are great! and the PDF files at her web site are free and easy to use.  It will take a little time to put them together, but if you like crafting, it isn't hard to do.  We all know my craft skills are nil... and I managed to put together bags I wouldn't be ashamed to hand to a guest on my 2nd try...(yeah, I admit, it took me 2 tries, but I tried to shortcut the directions... I should know better!).  Visit The Toymaker and find several other designs, as well as some great designs for boxes (these take a little more work though). Her site also has lots of fun paper toys that you could add to a children's table to keep them busy.  Drop The Toymaker a note of thanks if you use her files.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rustic DIY Project Makes Food Pop!

ilene, from Come On, ilene! posted this great idea on Pizzazzerie.  It's a DIY slate cheese board.  For brides serving cheeses as part of their hors oeuvres this is an easy way to display them that will really make your appetizer buffet pop.  All it takes is a piece of slate and some self-adhesive felt pads.  Read more on Pizzazzerie's site (see link above).  Sometimes making your appetizers rock is all about display and this inexpensive and rustic look is the easiest DIY project I've ever done!

I debated over whether the hardest part of this project was turning on my computer, reading the directions or driving to the hardware store! So you can see, it's obviously not rocket science! And perfect for the bride who wants to do some DIY projects that it would be REALLY hard to ruin and that don't take up too much time.  Be sure to read the guest post on Pizzazzerie so you get the correct measurements for the slate. 

You can take a piece of chalk and identify your cheeses for your guests.  Ilene has really hit a home run with this simple but rustic and elegant look. I think this is the easiest DIY project I've ever done--so if you're a novice DIY'er--give it a try. Even if you don't use it for your wedding it would be great for entertaining or even for gifts.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fingerprint Wedding Guestbook Tree From Etsy

This isn't really a DIY but it's a 'have someone who's talented craft it for you project and then have your printer print it.'  This talented Etsy artist from Your Keepsake Co. designs all sorts of guestbooks to make your wedding memorable.  For this one you can change the color of the birds to match your wedding colors.  You can also make changes in the font selected.  This makes a great shower gift from a maid of honor or family member to provide the bride and groom with a unique memory of their special day.  Be sure to provide alcohol wipes for guests to clean their fingers after printing and provide high quality pens for signatures so they don't fade.  For further info check their web site on Etsy and read the fine print! I just love it when I find a product I fall in love with!  (Of course it helps that the wedding date on this one (well not the year but the month and day) is my anniversary!

Jimmies and WHAT? You Must Be Kidding Was My First Thought!

When I first saw this picture I thought it was just someone using colored sand--and thought 'big deal, nothing new there.' But then I looked a little closer and realized I was wrong--it wasn't sand at all! It was JIMMIES! COLORED JIMMIES! Still, I was skeptical at best.  I thought jimmies and what? CANDLES? Wow, what a bizarre combination!  But The Better Decorating Bible offers the DIY'er a new way to combine candles and of all things CAKE SPRINKLES (aka Jimmies) for great decorating accents for your wedding.  I must admit I would never have thought of purchasing sprinkles in bulk and using them to surround some candles in heat tempered glass.  But WOW it sure lets you easily adjust the project to fit the colors of your wedding and adds some zing to your DIY'ing.  Be sure to anchor the candles in the bottom of the glass as well as surround them tightly with the sprinkles.  While the ones shown here are in red, white and blue you can use any color combination that works for you.  For info on how to make your own custom colored jimmies visit Wedding Cookies, one of my other blogs for step by step directions. Be sure to buy slow burning candles so they last the length of your reception.  Or use candles that run on batteries just to be safe.  I admit, I'm still shaking my head, wondering how the heck they ever thought of this one!  Just goes to show in DIY'ing no product can't be used in ways it was NEVER intended to be used!  What's next?  I almost shudder to think!

NEW! DIY Save The Dates by Download and Print

Download and Print just posted a great new Save The Date template that includes a photo of the couple as well as all the pertinent wedding info you'd need to include on a Save The Date.  As usual Download and Print provides easy how to instructions that make these an easy DIY project for anyone who is at all computer savvy.  Head over to their web site and check out not only these new Save The Dates but all their other DIY stationary.  One of my favorite sites for DIY invitations on the web!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weddzilla Gives The Down Low on DIY Wedding Flowers

Phtoto courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes (head on over and see their great posts!)

The Flower Diva on Weddzilla has a great post about to do or not to do your own wedding flowers.  I can't recommend this post enough.  It's great reading and a must read if you are planning on doing your own flowers.  Doing your own flowers IS a lot of work.  You can't just pull it off the night before your wedding and expect to enjoy your wedding or rehersal dinner.  You can't do it alone--unless you plan to spend some time in the looney bin.  So read the article, it gives better advice very succinctly about DIY and weddling flowers than I ever could.  Also the author wrote "The Do It Yourself Wedding Flower Guide, a workbook with step by step instructions and (5) DVD’s explaining and showing you how to do ALL of your wedding flowers on your own.  Something you might consider investing in if you are planning to do your own flowers and have no pro experience or aren't a natural with flowers.  Don't take my word for it, but just do a trial run and test how long it takes to do just one--then make a decision about whether you think it's worth it to save the money. 

(I have no affiliation w/Weddzilla or The Flower Diva and get no money for recommending her book and DVDs.)

Fruited Ice Cubes

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice sent me this idea in my email, and I thought, 'WOW! how cool would these be for some pink lemonade at your wedding (or other pink drinks).  The recipe is a combination of Ocean Spray products and fruit--nice and healthy too!  Make some of these ahead of time and bag them in the freezer for your wedding day.  Use cool toothpicks in them to decorate your drinks even more! Thank you Ocean Spray for this great idea!  Also, I don't know about the rest of you, but I do love their juice products!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Decorating With Gum Paste

I was amazed as I was looking at cake decorating sites to come across these incredible peonies! I'm not saying these are EASY DIY projects--I'd say you definitely need some experience with gum paste in order to pull these off--but wow--they look great! Just like the real thing!  Of course the amount of work it takes to make them might make them cost as much as the real thing!  Louise at The Cake Journal shows you her second attempt at peonies--but she's a pro--these might be my 150th attempt if I'm lucky--but we all know my skill level at DIY projects.  But I was so blown away by these that I had to share Louise's incredible peonies with you, and if you are talented in this direction, give them a try.  She also has a great post about her favorite gum paste tools which is well worth reading. 

OK, I admit, I am going to make an attempt at gum paste, but I don't think I'll start with these--I  need something easier! Let me know if you try them out and how hard they really are.  I'm hoping someone will write in and tell me how simple they are--but I don't hold out much hope! Enjoy all!

Savory Mediterranean Treats For Your Guests

Martha Stewart suggests this savory treat for a favor for your guests.  Certainly easy enough to execute--buy olives, sterilize jars, print labelsm tie them to the jars and you're good to go.  For the link for how to make these "Olive You' labels at Martha's web site just click the link

Invitations With A Personal Touch

Kimberly, a guest blogger on Snob on a Budget, and who has her own web page about her wedding and wedding festivities at Our Bermuda Wedding and Philadelphia Celebration, wrote about some parts of her wedding that she opted to do herself or with her family. 

One DIY or do it with help project Kimberly did was her invitations to her reception in Philadelphia and her Save The Dates.  They are a total work of art! Her great aunt is an artist and did the artwork on her invitations and Save The Dates.  Her mother designed stamps for her Save The Dates.

This is one example of why it's important to think about the skills of friends and family and see if they'd be willing to help with your wedding planning.  Kimberly's great aunt helped her make her invitations something her guests will remember and saved Kimberly the cost of formal invitations that would not have been nearly as impressive.  She also offered design tips along the way.  Her artistic mother (must run in the family) designed stamps for her Save The Dates using, again saving dollars and done with love. 

Paying someone to do what her great aunt and mother did for her out of love would wreck the budgets of most cost conscious brides(and who isn't watching their budgets?)  And the keywords in that sentence is 'did out of love.'  How nice to have parts of your wedding represent the love you and your family or friends have for each other.  I'm not sure what I liked more, the invitations and stamps themselves or the sentiment that was attached to each invitation and Save The Date Kimberly sent out.  They all said 'Kimberly and her husband-to-be are loved.'  What better message to send to your guests!  I hope all brides can send a similar message to their guests.  Kudos to Kimberly and her family!  They know how to celebrate what family is all about!

As a native of the Philadelphia area I'm familiar with the ship where she had her reception and the rendition of it is gorgeous! I'm sure other Philly brides are wishing they could adopt her great-aunt and her mom for DIY projects!

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall and a Bowl of BEER Candy?

Ali Berry the author at Three Baking Sheets to the Wind has a great post about BEER CANDY (not to mention other great things beer related!).  OK, I admit, I've never had beer candy before.  In fact I never knew beer candy existed, but I guess if you can add other liquor to candy why not beer?  I thought if you're having a reception where you're serving beer as your signature drink these would be particularly appropriate to provide for your guests.  Whether you put them out on your dessert table or just put a bowl on every table, or put them on the bar, this candy is sure to leave your guests talking about your wedding for years to come.  "Remember Jane and Joe's wedding where we had that great beer candy..." While it may not be just what you want your wedding remembered for (maybe how romantic it was, how much fun it was etc), but better that than "Remember J&J's wedding where the food was BORING!"  This candy guarantees your food will be unique.  A great idea if you are a beer brewer by hobby or just if you're a beer fan.  For the recipe head over the Three Baking Sheets to the Wind where there are lots of other fun recipes to try as well as this unique one.  I'll definitely be bookmarking the site for future reference and fun reading.

Rose Butter Coconut Truffles from Diary of A Mad Hausfrau

Rose butter truffles--rich, decadent, and totally perfect for your wedding day! The recipe and further photos are available from Diary of a Mad Hausfrau, one of my favorite sites to read and share! One of my favorite things about her blog is everything is just a little different--not the same old ho hum things you see everywhere else.  So I'm hoping this link will inspire you to new heights of truffle making!  I know the chocolate ones are great... but butter, who doesn't LOVE butter? And with the addition of the pink they go perfectly with so many wedding themes!  Imagine these stacked on your sweet table or boxed for your guests! Or in a bowl acting as the centerpiece for your tables!  My problem is making them JUST ONCE and not consuming them all myself!