Tag Archives: Do it yourself

DIY Floral Shutter Backdrop

13 Aug

When thinking about my what I wanted my wedding centerpieces one of the first questions I asked myself was “What did my sister have for her centerpieces?” For the life of me, I couldn’t remember. I had to ask her.

Here’s what’s interesting: I spent hours hot-gluing rose metals to long sticks to make the unique and dramatic centerpieces my sister envisioned. Between that, and realizing centerpieces had nothing to do with the priorities Anthony and I set for the wedding, I opted to forgo the expensive floral centerpieces.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t want flowers at the wedding. I love flowers. If I were the type of person who could rationalize spending oodles on a wedding, I would have had flowers everywhere.

DIY Floral Shutters *www.gustoandgraceblog.com*

I found another way to incorporate them in the decor without spending a new piece of furniture, or an extra mortgage payment. I made flower covered gold shutters for a grand total of $60.

While I just used small shutters on a table, you could use large shutters (or even a shutter like room divider), for an altar backdrop. Or you could use them as an escort card display, sliding escort cards (folded like a place card), in the slats of the shutters. I think they would look great in a fun color with bright flowers, I chose gold and white to stay consistent with my metallic color scheme.

DIY Floral Shutters *www.gustoandgraceblog.com*

All images were taken by Jeremy & Kristin Photography.

What you need:

  • Shutters- I got mine from a used home supply store for $6 per shutter
  • Spray paint- I used 2-3 cans of Rustoleum for my 3 shutters
  • Flowers- I used about 200 button poms and carnations to keep it cost-effective
  • Water tubes- I ordered a pack of 100 from afloral.com

The process is simple. Spray paint your shutters and let them dry completely (See my husband helping me on Instagram). The flowers can be added a day or two before your event. Add ice-cold water to all of your water tubes, filling them about two-thirds of the way. The cold water helps the flowers stay fresh and keeps them from opening too early. If you add the flowers the day of your event, room temperature water is fine.

Trim the stems of your flowers to  approximately 4-5 inches in length, varying them slightly. With the slats of your shutters facing upward (see photos), slip one or two flowers through a slat, putting a water tube on the back side. Repeat this process until your shutter is pretty well covered. Remember that most flowers will open up more after you purchase them, so leave a little room between flowers.

Do any of my wedding guests remember my centerpieces?

Terrarium Tips from a First Timer

26 Oct

I have been itching to make a terrarium for awhile now. Besides the fact that they are adorable, I have heard they are easy to keep healthy. This is excellent news for someone like me, who can’t keep any plant alive besides the moss ball in the fishbowl on my desk at work.

I have seen incredibly creative ideas for vessels to plant these little ecosystems in, including necklaces, Christmas ornaments, and cake stands. I wanted a tabletop version. I feel in love with the geometric style of  Score and Solder terrariums the moment I saw them, but being unable to rationalize the cost, I searched for similar alternatives before discovering a small one from the new Urban Outfitters in Fort Worth.

Geometric Terrarium

When trying to figure out exactly how to make a terrarium, I found online guides to be plentiful. I found both  common threads and differing advice on the many sites I searched. All of the guides told me to make terrariums in glass or clear plastic vessels. This is what causes the greenhouse effect. Also, be sure to place it in a well-lit area, but avoid direct sunlight or you’ll scorch your plants!

I also learned that there are two types of terrariums: open and closed. Closed terrariums are exactly as they sound. Like mine, these are completely enclosed containers, whether with a hinged door or a lid. A bell jar would be another example of a closed terrarium. Open terrariums can be vases, bowls, or any other clear jars with openings. Open terrariums are better for succulents and plants that like drier soil, while closed terrariums are great for plants that enjoy the humidity.

It seems all good terrariums have layers. The first layer of your terrarium should be drainage. Drainage could be shells, river rocks, sea glass or marbles. Get creative! The second layer should be active charcoal. You can find active charcoal online or in the aquarium section of pet stores. Charcoal helps remove odors from your terrarium as organic materials decompose.

Some guides I found suggested a layer of moss on top of the charcoal to act as a barrier between the charcoal and the soil. Moss also keeps the soil away from the drainage. I chose to do this, but it doesn’t seem to be common advice. Since succulents like drier soil and I opted to put one in my closed terrarium, I mixed some sand in with my soil to create the next layer.

I carefully placed my plants into the sand/soil layer, and topped my little garden off with some more moss. Embellish your new terrarium with little figurines! I love the idea of having seasonal decor in my terrarium, so I will be adding a small pumpkin soon, and maybe exchanging it for a miniature ornament in a couple of months!

Suggested Reading: Free People’s DIY Terrariums with Terrain, West Elm’s Go-To-Guide, Better Homes and Gardens How-To,  and Sprout Home‘s Video for Design*Sponge.

DIY Adventure Map

9 Sep

Push Pin Map

When I got engaged I had this vision of blogging about  all of the beautiful steps of the wedding planning process. When starting gusto & grace I hoped to write of my favorites spots of each place I traveled and dreamed of posts about decorating and DIY projects. And then life happened. Since he “popped the question” last month, my home has sold, I have taken a trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto, and my fiance and I have both had a car issue or two come up. This of course is on top of the day job, driving 400 miles every other weekend, and planning the big day. I’d still love to blog about this fiancee phase of my life, but to this point packing boxes and trying on wedding dresses have been priority. Writing will happen, just not as frequently as envisioned.

Amid the fun-filled chaos, Anthony and I found time to do a simple DIY project during one of our Austin weekends. We’ve wanted a fun way to map our travels, so when we came across this great four dollar map at Paper Source (while looking for invite inspiration) I knew we had to pick it up and get creative. This project took about ten minutes and cost less than ten dollars.

What you need:

  • A map like the one we used
  • Foam board
  • A ruler
  • Xacto knife
  • Sewing pins
  • Wire cutters
  • Sawtooth picture hangers
  • Super glue

First, cut the foam board to the size of the map. I suggest running an Exacto knife along the edge of ruler. Then adhere the map to the foam board. You can do this however you’d like, but we chose the simplest method: buy adhesive foam board. Turn the board over and super glue on some sawtooth picture hangers. That’s it! You’re ready to put pins in the places you’ve been! Choose the push pins of your choice. We selected sewing pins and cut them in half with wire cutters because we liked the smaller size of their head. See the photo above.

I am so excited to add pins on the right side of our map after our honeymoon. The plan is to book a cruise that ports in Spain, Italy, and France or Monaco!

Coming soon:

  • My take on Niagara Falls and Toronto
  • Wedding planning progress.
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