Tag Archives: wedding decor

Ceramic vases and tea light holders

One of the things that was important to me when we were planning our wedding was an infusion of hand-made ceramics. In case you didn’t know, ceramics is my thing. 🙂

ceramic vase centerpiece

{image courtesy of Sheila Addleman}

I decided early on that I wanted to make ceramic vases for the centerpieces as well as some sort of small ceramic vessel that would both be decor and double as favors for our guests. For the favors, I was partially influenced by my parents’ wedding – they had an artist friend who made them over a hundred little wheel-thrown bowls with their wedding date glazed on the lip and the phrase “love endures forever.” These bowls decorated the reception tables – each with a single floating flower – and the guests got to take one home to remember the event.

tea light

{image courtesy of Sheila Addleman}

Rather than make bowls for flowers, I decided I wanted my ceramic favors to hold tea lights for a bit of ambiance at the tables.

ceramic lace tea light holders

{image courtesy of Sheila Addleman}

I really wanted to incorporate the lace from my mom’s wedding dress as a key element of the design. She had saved the left-over fabric from her dress, and I have been using it on quite a few of my pieces as of late. By laying the lace over a rolled-out slab of clay and then running my rolling pin over the top, I get an awesome impression of the lace.

ceramic lace vase - detail

{image courtesy of Sheila Addleman}

Both the vases and the tea light holders used the lace pattern, and both are formed by rolling slabs into cylinders. It took me a year to get them all done (well…since I started early I knew I could take my time!) and I wanted to keep it a secret, too, since they would be our gift to our guests.

all the tea light holders!

The tea light holders were a big hit with our guests, and many of my relatives who attended my parents’ wedding recognized the connection, which made me happy!

And there was one final touch that M and I made sure of: for our friends and family who RSVP’ed that they couldn’t make it to the wedding – the week before, we mailed out tea light holders to them (candle included) with a little note, telling them we would miss them and if they would light a candle for us on our special day and hold us in their hearts. We really wanted to include them in our celebration, even though they couldn’t be there in person.

tea lights for mailing

Lastly, an announcement! The vases from our wedding will be available in my Etsy shop! And ALSO, I will have a booth at the Renton Art Walk this Saturday, where I’ll be showing lots of my sculptures, as well as plenty of smaller items for sale (including the beautiful and unique vases from my wedding!!!!). Hope to see you there!

{image courtesy of Sheila Addleman}

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Filed under Etsy, Jadeflower Ceramics, projects, Wedding

DIY Paper Banner – update

You may remember last month when I posted about a large project M and I are working on. It’s a 6-foot by 10-foot paper banner collage made from old book pages and Mod Podge.
Well, this huuuuuuge canvas has just been rolled up and hanging out in our kitchen for a month, looking awkward and taking up space. We didn’t get to step two until this week.

The next step was to paint words onto our cool collage. We want three different excerpts, though at the moment we’re only positive about the one that will go in the center of the banner: a song lyric from one of my favorite bands, Cloud Cult.

May your lives be long, and may your wishes all be simple.

You can listen to the song here – it’s a haunting song, that builds and builds. This lyric is taken from the chorus, and I love the sentiment. M and I both think it exemplifies what we want our wedding to be about.

SO, to put the text on the banner, what we did first was choose a font, which is called Selfish (haha) and we printed out the words – large so they can be read at a distance. (Sorry about the blurry photo!)

collage banner - text layout

collage banner - text layout

After penciling in a straight horizontal guideline for the words, we used the ol’ “graphite on the backside of the paper” trick to make a kind of carbon-copy. By tracing the letters with a ballpoint pen, the pencil outline gets transferred onto the banner.

With the pencil outlines in place, I used a fine tipped paint brush and filled in the letters with black acrylic paint.

collage banner with one line of text

Don’t you love how the words really pop? I was afraid the text would get lost in the background, but it really works!

Here’s the banner with the rest of the lines in place:

collage banner with full text

banner text - detail

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Obviously this was an ambitious project due to the sheer size of our banner, but I think this could be a very fun small-scale project too! All you need is some book pages, something to mount them on (like another sheet of paper, cardboard, particle board, etc), Mod Podge to apply the pages, and then some kind of text or graphics to place over your background. You could paint on the letters like we did, or you can even get vinyl stick-on letters from an office store or stationery supply store. It’s a great project to get creative with.

As for us, the banner is rolled up and back in the kitchen :-p
until we get figure out the other two sets of text!

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Paper Banner Project

So here’s another project M and I are working on. A HUGE paper collage banner that we will paint a poem/song lyrics/etc on and hang in the ceremony space for the wedding.

I got the idea from one of Style Me Pretty’s Inspiration to Reality shoots.

the inspiration, from style me pretty

The idea of making a canvas from old book pages really grabbed me! It felt very vintage and DIY (both of which I love).
I had been trying to brainstorm ideas for a huge banner-sized something to cover up a window that will be a somewhat awkward feature of the back wall of the ceremony space.
My mom and I were thinking some kind of fabric to hang, but it would have to be BIG (it’s a 6′ wide window) and fabric can be expensive.

Raw materials: Vintage books!

I found these adorable children’s 1930s encyclopedias  at Goodwill – they were perfect! Lots of text, with neato illustrations and page borders. In addition to those I also grabbed an old paperback Romeo & Juliet for 69 cents.

cool vintage page illustrations

The process is simple –

I made a ten-foot by six-foot base by taping drawing paper together (like I said – BIG). From there, taking the dis-assembled book pages, slathering the backs with Modge Podge, and smoothing into place.

Modge Podging

smoothing down

We wanted a very un-gridlike final product, so we did lots of overlapping.

M - pasting pages!

Until we got the last page pasted and all the white paper underneath was covered up!

finished collage

The next step will be pencilling in our words to paint. We’ll probably do 2-3 different lines of text in large black letters of different style fonts.

One song lyric that I really like is from one of my favorite bands, Cloud Cult, and it goes:
May your lives be long,
and may your wishes all be simple

I really like that sentiment. And we’ll find a couple more to complement that. Check back later for the finished banner!

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Wedding

Custom Picture Frames

You can pick up picture frames at your local thrift store for a fraction of what they cost new, and therefore can be a major budget saver – either for your home decor or…as wedding decor. But finding coordinating frames as-is is not so easy. The solution? A couple quick coats of inexpensive paint in whatever color you desire!

Using color to tie together mis-matched items is really very simple. (Check out this post on Style Me Pretty – a mish-mash of items look seamlessly matched when they share a common color!) The paint department at any home-improvement store is a great place to search for just the right shade. Once you have your pot of paint, anything is fair game!

In my experience, after collecting various thrift store frames, the prep-work to paint is minimal – just make sure the frame is clean; or if the frame is very glossy, lightly sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper, and then make sure all the dust is wiped away.

It’s easiest to paint the frames with the glass and backing removed. If you can’t remove the glass, use masking tape to line the edges so you avoid getting paint on the glass.

Then, paint away! I found that I needed a few coats of paint for good coverage. Make sure you wait for the paint to dry between coats.

If you want to make your picture frame into a blackboard, this is also very simple!


You can get blackboard paint at most fabric/craft stores. You can paint directly onto the glass, or any other surface (cardboard, wood, etc). I recommend several coats with a really fine-bristle paintbrush; let each coat dry thoroughly, and sand lightly with a really fine-grit paper. This will ensure your chalkboard surface is smooth (a rough surface isn’t as nice when you’re writing on it).

It feels good to update old items to make them new! And for me, after they’ve done their job displaying info at my wedding, I’ll probably be painting them again to put in my home! Gotta love recycling and re-recycling. 🙂

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Filed under DIY, projects, tutorial, Wedding