Posts filed under ‘decor’

Miles of Aisles

Mr Pretzel just informed me that “Miles of Aisles” should have been the title of my last post about our multiple aisle dilemma.

*Sigh* Babe I love you… but where was this idea when I was I writing my post?

I couldn’t let such a genius title go to waste, perhaps it is time to share how we are going to decorate the “miles of aisles”.

For a short period of time I was enamored with pomanders… who wouldn’t be with beautiful images floating around the hive like Mrs Quiche’s island beauties.

Photo by Ashley Colhouer

My obsession with poms went like this:

Lets have Poms made of pretty real flowers…$$$$ booo.  I could use fake flowers… wait I spy something shiny…what’s that?  Martha-esque tissue paper poms? ohh paper… I love tissue paper… oh wait…it takes how many folded paper flower things per ball?  That’s going to be a lot of work…  *Sigh* I wish I could have colorful orbs of paper that require very little work and assembly.

*Insert light bulb directly above my Pretzel head*.    “Wait,  colorful… paper… orbs… lanterns!”  We are already incorporating lanterns for our centerpieces. Genius! Click, click, click and  I added a couple of different lantern sizes/colors to my shopping cart and clicked the purchase button.  While I waited for my trial material to arrive, I busied myself with finding inspiration photos. I, of course, am not the first bride to think of this easy aisle decoration and these images showed me I’m on the right track.

Mrs Cherry Blossom’s inspiration photo

Love the red and turquoise

Love that Sushi style! (photo by Frank Amodo)

With great examples like these, I had confidence when I tore into my ribbon and lanterns.  Of course we had to put our Pretzel stamp on this simple project. Mr Pretzel suggested that we  use a couple of the 9 inch lanterns but also make some clusters of the small 3.5 inch lanterns that we are using in our centerpieces.  He also nixed tying the ribbon in a bow.  “Too distracting from the lanterns,” he said.  Okay… if you feel strongly about no bows, no bows it is. Working with these requirements I came up with two versions.

Style A: 9 inch lantern with neck-tie-styled ribbon

These will hang on the aisle chairs of the first four rows.  They hang nicely over chair backs, but not so nice on the end of pews, which is why we created the second style.

Style B: 3.5 inch lantern cluster

The “assembly time” on this project is minimal. The cluster versions did take a little “figuring out” but I think I’ve perfected my method which I can share later.  Right now I’m just basking in the glory of a simple and easy to do project.  Did I mention economical? Yeah, it’s totally economical.  I think we’ll have some mini lanterns left over from this project and the centerpiece project. Yay!

Have you re-purposed supplies from one wedding project for a completely different project? Any ideas for additional uses for the mini-lanterns?

March 31, 2010 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

Being a Salvage Bride

Mr Pretzel and I bought a townhouse this summer and then promptly got engaged.  While we’d love to do some renovations before I move in after the wedding, the likely-hood of us getting around to it is slim.   But in the meantime, we  discovered a couple of amazing home improvement salvage stores.  The RE Store and Second Use in Seattle are two of our favorite places to browse on a Sunday afternoon. They both stock reclaimed building supplies, doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, granite, fireplaces, light fixtures- you name it- diverting it from the landfill and offering it for a fraction of the price.  We actually already scored two full size lockers that we  are refinished into extra coat storage from the RE Store..

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Pretzel, what on earth does this have to do with weddings?  If I had been more savvy, I would have been keeping my eyes peeled for things that could be re-purposed for our wedding. Sure, we’re using milk glass and re-purposing old beer boxes, but  I could have been a “Salvage Bride”.

This weekend Mr Pretzel and I attended the “Salvage Bride Workshop” at the RE Store.  The event was led by Rachel Kate Bair who – in addition to having the coolest job working at the RE Store- is also is planning her own wedding.  She documents and inspires other brides as Stubborn Sparrow.  What does a salvage bride look like?  Never fear, I brought my camera…  mmmm OK, pro photographer I am not- so I was glad that  the lovely Eliza Truitt was on hand snapping pictures so I have some good eye candy for you (with some personal photos mixed in).

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Wanna see more detail?

Chalkboard cabinet door, concrete drain tile vase, house number table numbers… oh my!

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Alternative guest book and candlesticks from chandelier fixtures set atop a table made from old shutters.

The room was packed and I learned as much from the amazing brides attending the workshop with me as I did from Rachel- which is saying a lot. We shared websites and resources as well as tricks and tips. Rachel told us she wasn’t going to tell us to have a cheap wedding, but that we should have a “clever wedding”.  That concept stuck with me.  Mr Pretzel was particularly pleased to see other grooms in the room and happy that Rachel took a moment to remind us that we all have a partner in crime. That this isn’t us forging it alone- it is a conversation.  On that topic, one Seattle bride shared that she and her fiance had a discussion of their values for their wedding- rather than writing a list of words that describe what the envision. Values.  I like that.

Rachel’s example projects were quite inspiring.

Photo by Eliza Truitt

An alternative ring pillow

A succulent centerpiece made from a cedar rain gutter and aluminum flashing.  That’s a plant tag as table number holder

Photo by Eliza Truitt

An alternative guest book

Electrical Wiring Spool Cake Stands

You might be surprised to learn that the workshop didn’t include any DIY instructions on how to do any of these projects.  The focus was on opening your eyes and seeing what was around you that could be re-purposed or salvaged.  I just about fell off my chair when one of the other workshop attendees shared that her fiance collects old beer growlers (half gallon jugs) and that they were using them in their centerpieces. SWOON!

We left the workshop and searched the store for salvage booty.  For $10 we got two good size cabinet doors to make our own chalkboards for the wedding.  Mr Pretzel and I agreed that our pretend wedding, you know the one we plan in our heads alongside the real one, would be a salvaged affair.

Photo by Eliza Truitt

Are you incorporating any salvaged goods into your wedding?

Links from the Salvage Bride and workshop participants:

March 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Milk Glass Mayhem

Just like Miss Nachos I’ve turned to thrift stores to help piece together our centerpieces. In order to pull off our milk glass and lantern centerpieces I calculate that I will need 30 tall milk glass bud vases and 30 short vases for the Seattle reception and 45 tall and 60 short for the Midwest reception.  Milk glass seems to be plentiful at thrift stores such as St Vincent De Paul, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army.  I’ve been able to walk out with various patterns in 9 inch and 6 inch vases for less than $1.50 per vase.  But I quickly noticed that there are a couple very common milk glass patterns.  These patterns are plentiful and threaten my vision of mismatched vases.

The offending common milk glass patterns

After purchasing 4-6 pieces in each these common patterns I decided to put them on the “banned” list.  This is making my milk glass quest harder so I decided to expand my geography, enlisting MOH Tig and FMIL Pretzel.  Armed with photos of my “banned” vases and height requirements they have been stalking thrift stores in Denver CO and Fort Wayne IN.

Success! Both my FMIL and MOH have been finding unique and different vases to add to our growing collection. I love getting e-mails with photos of newly acquired booty.

Adding to our collection was Weddingbee’s very own Mrs Mouse.  She recently let me borrow three vases.  Woot Woot! Gotta love the Bee!

Not to leave a stone unturned, I also have scoured the internet to see what deals I could find.  I have to admit that this is one time when I’ve been disappointed in the internet.  I found multiple brides selling their milk glass collections but the prices are higher than what I can get locally.  In this case it pays to haul your butt down to the local thrift store every couple of weeks. For the most part, I’ve been able to score most of these vases for less than a dollar. I’m willing to pay up to two dollars for a pattern I haven’t seen before, but most of my buys are less than a dollar.

Mr Pretzel and I talked about what to do with all these vases after the wedding.  We agreed that we don’t want to sell the vases. We’ll keep a couple in some of the more interesting patterns and then return to St Vincent De Paul and drop the rest off as a donation. This way another bride can score some milk glass for her day at a great price.  Plus it’s like donating twice to charity.

What are you doing with some of your wedding items after the big day? Are you keeping, selling, or donating?

March 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

Centerpieces Revisited

There were two things that bothered about my mocked-up centerpieces.  The mats of ribbon didn’t lay flat and the dowel that the lantern hung on was very straight up and down. I know, not earth shattering but I was itching to fix these two problems.

It was easy to fix the ribbon mats. In my trial I used no-sew iron on fusing to tack the mats together. The heat of the iron made some of the ribbon crinkle and the interfacing refused to stick to some of the ribbon.  Ughh… it was a PITA.  I also used a couple pieces of wired ribbon- it refused to lay flat- grrrr.  To fix these problems, I removed the wire from the ribbon and used liquid stitch glue to tack the ribbons together. Easy- Peasy- Done!

The dowels however had me stumped.   If you remember, this is how they looked.

The blue dotted line is the dowel and the yellow dotted line is how I wanted the dowel to look.  If I could only put a slight bend in the wood.  Then Mr Pretzel clued me in on something I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t know.  You can easily bend wood.  What? You didn’t know either? OK- I feel better now.

So for those of you are in the clueless boat with me, here how you make bent wood lantern hanging thingies:

  1. Soak your dowels in water for a good 2 hours
  2. During that 2 hours build yourself a jig to hold the dowels in the shape you want them to conform to.  I used four nails and some scrap wood- it took like 5 minutes.  Spend the next 1:55 goofing off with the mister and exclaiming how dumb you feel for not knowing that you could bend wood like this.
  3. Place your wet dowels in the jig.  I put the dowels on the inside of nails 1 and 4 and the outside of nails 2 and 3. I was able to stack 4 dowels in the jig at a time.

  4. Let the dowels dry completely- I just left them in there for 2 or so days.
  5. Get excited that you “bent wood!” Sand the dowel smooth.
  6. Stain or paint (my original plan was to paint with bright colors but Mr Pretzel convinced me that the wood added another texture to the centerpieces.
  7. Spray with a clear finish Be sure to spray downwind or you will immediately get light headed- whoops!
  8. Let them dry for an hour.  Continue to exclaim how cool it is that you can bend wood this way.
  9. Using a glue gun, glue ribbon to the end of the dowel. Glue the other end to the frame for the paper lantern. Fabric glue didn’t seem to have the holding required, however, I burned my fingers on every one of these because of that darn glue gun. If you have suggestions of how to not burn your fingers, please PM me.
  10. Admire the fruits of your labor.

Much better!

Ohhh Color!

The best part? It packs flat for storage and future shipping to Indiana! YAY!

Now that I’ve got those two problems worked out I feel much better. Whew!

How much tweaking did you find yourself doing on DIY projects?

February 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

I Covet Ribbons, Lanterns and Milk Glass

When I started to pull together my vision of our centerpieces I had three distinct elements in mind.  It took a little time for these to gel into a integrated idea.

Like Miss Pencils, I’ve got a hankering to use ribbon on our tables.  I blame credit Martha in all her wonderfulness.  I saw this image in Martha Stewart Weddings and knew I must create a lattice out of ribbon.  Thanks Martha.

Martha Stewart Weddings

Being the budget conscious gal that I am, I also remembered reading that using bud vases on your tables is a good way to keep the cost low.  I’m hoping to use Dahlia’s at our Seattle reception and handmade tissue paper flowers in Fort Wayne so bud vases would be the perfect way to display 2-3 beautiful blooms.   Following Jessica’s wedding over at The Budget Savvy Bride is where I first spotted milk glass bud vases.  The crisp white was a clean contrast to colorful flowers and reusing vases seemed pretty earth friendly to me.  Checking in at my local St Vincent De Paul’s I found a wide assortment of milk glass ranging from $.60 to $1.50.  I quickly filed Milk glass away as a great budget saving option.

Source: The Budget Savvy Bride’s wedding

Source: Peter and Dianna’s Wedding on TBSB

The third element? Paper lanterns.  I love me some paper lanterns. L-O-V-E.  I already had filed these splashes of color away for reception decor and church decorations when Mrs Frenchie posted images from Head of the Table that made me stop dead in my tracks.



Umm… yes, I would like me some of that- with a side of ribbon and a tall glass of milk glass. Kay, thanks.

Suddenly I had an image of what our centerpieces would look like. The best part? I could easily reuse them at our Midwest Party and make them that much more affordable.  Ok, Ok, they are pretty darn affordable right now- under $12 per centerpiece.  Here is a quick picture of what I envision them looking like.

Style A uses fresh dahlia’s for our Seattle reception. Style B uses tissue paper flowers for the Midwest Party in November (when bright colorful flowers will be out of season). I love the different textures that this mix incorporates.

But would it work in real life?  I took the opportunity when Mr Pretzel and I were visiting his family over Christmas to work with my FMIL to create a mock-up. I discovered that the mini lantern holds a battery operated tea light perfectly!  Needless to say I was pleased.

High Ho High ho… in search of ribbon and milk glass I go.

How did you piece together the elements of your tablescapes?  Did you find inspiration in pieces or all at once?

February 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Reception Roundup

Before we were engaged, the reception and reception details were safe wedding topics for us to discuss.  We threw around all sorts of ideas and had a lot of fun getting inspiration without diving into wedding research.  Our list of  “reception must haves?”

Photo booth


We. love. photo booths.  I even initially suggested using one  for our Save the Dates- but am pleased that we decided against it. The idea of our friends and family hamming it up in a photo booth had our toes tingling.

Lounge Seating



We wanted our reception to have an informal feel and be full of mingling.  We thought that a section of lounge seating would help to create this vibe.  Like Mrs Pineapple, we found the modern ambiance that lounge seating creates very tempting.



Mr P has dubbed cupcakes “perfectly sized cake nirvana”.  He has a thing for the bite-sized treats.  When I mentioned that I don’t care for wedding cake he quickly said “we should have cupcakes!”  Sounds perfect to me- especially when I found out that cupcakes cost a fraction of the cost of wedding cake. SCORE!

We were pretty proud of ourselves. Being wedding novices these elements were, in our minds, completely groundbreaking and original.  Imagine my surprise when I started to do a little wedding research and found that these three elements are quite “en vogue” in the wedding world.

Oh well, Mr P and I aren’t the type of people to change our minds about what we want because other people are doing it.  Our excitement over these elements hasn’t been diminished by their popularity either.  As Mr P puts it- we have good taste.  *grin*

What wedding element are you planning that seems to be a wedding “trend”?

November 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

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