Welcome to my first ever DIY!
Back in April my sister Bailey got married, you may recall my post about her bridal shower, Peacocks, Pencils, Recipes & Wine, it was a total DIY wedding from the flowers to the dresses to the favors, even the food!
Since we were providing the food we also needed to provide the dishware, we figured why not combine two into one? Mason Jars = Glasses = Favors! We didn't want to give just plain old mason jars so we had to decide on some way to decorate them, and we had to decide pretty quickly, the wedding was coming quick.
The first thing to do was to find the jars. Michael's and other stores sold them individually, it was going to take a long time and a lot of leg work to track down over 100 of these babies. Walmart sold them in cases, but only sold the cases in store, so again, leg work. After finding numerous places online that seemed cheap I'd get to the shipping price and find that it was close to the cost of the whole order, not worth it! Finally I found WebstaurantStore, we purchased eight cases of twelve glasses for $10.99 a case and it was only like $11 to ship! It was insane to see how cheap they could actually ship for, I'm so glad I kept doing the research.
A tip for you all, the WebstaurantStore is amazing, we got all the glasses just a few days later and the price could not be beat! With my wedding coming up in October I already have things bookmarked. I don't want to go with the fake china from our caterer (it just looks kinda tacky and doesn't match our wedding feel) I'm planning to order all of our plates, cups and utensils from them. It's amazing what all you can find on their site to help make your wedding a little more budget friendly! Definitely check them out if you have a chance!
So blah, blah, blah, right? Onto the DIY!
I did some more searching and read as many different tutorials on chalkboard painting as I could. I wanted to be sure I had as much information as I could. I took pieces from many different ones and combined them all together to make it work for me. There are a thousand different ways to do this I'm sure, but here is what I did.
1. Gather your supplies
To make the chalkboard along with the tag as I did you will need the following:
- Mason Jar
-Chalkboard Paint (Before you purchase, make sure that it is approved for glass!)
- Paint Marker (Again, make sure it is approved for glass.)
- Paper Gift Tags
- String, Twine or Ribbon (Whatever you want to use to attach the tag to the mason jar.)
- Ink Pad
- Rubber Stamp
- A Steady Hand
2. Prepare the mason jars
I live in Baltimore City, land of rowhomes and few dishwashers, so I had to do them by hand. Turned out it was actually better, I am an amazing mason jar washer now, but that's beside the point. I wanted to make sure that the jars didn't have any water marks on them, I know all about jet dry and all of that, but still, you get the occasional mark. Back to the internet (seriously, how did we accomplish anything before it?!) I discovered that hot water with some white vinegar added in would make your glasses dry almost instantly and prevent any sort of water mark. It was like magic!
3. Write your text & draw the heart outline
The first thing I did was grab a brush and start painting a heart, big mistake! I couldn't draw as perfectly as I could with a pencil and realized that just trying to make the heart shape with the brush was going to be the death of me.
Stroke of brilliance!
I already had the glass paint marker why not use it? So I went through each glass, drew my heart and wrote Bailey & Zack 4.13.14 on the back. This gave me consistent and (nearly) symmetrical hearts on each jar.
3. Chalkboard painting
The worst mistake I made was thinking that it would only take 1 coat to make the glass, what a bummer that was! However, once I got started it just turned into a kind of natural rhythm and I went with it. Before you begin painting, READ ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS FULLY AND COMPLETELY!!!! Apparently all chalkboard paints are not the same so make sure you follow all of the directions on the can.
I painted my first coat of chalkboard paint (above) on all of the glasses. I was supposed to wait 6 hours to do the next coat! This is where the patience comes in, and I honestly don't have it. I waited 2 hours and not a minute longer. Though I made it work out I quickly realized they give the 6 hours for a reason. While brushing on the second coat the first coat was coming off with each stroke. I quickly fixed that by dabbing on the paint instead of brushing it on. If you're pressed for time or are impatient like me that's how you can get around it.
You will also notice when you go to paint the second coat that any paint marker you didn't completely cover with the chalkboard paint is glossy instead of dull like the rest of the paint. You'll want to pay close attention to this and make sure to cover it completely.
My third coat was really just more for perfection than anything else. I did wait a full 6 hours for the first two coats to dry though, again, for perfection reasons. I went through and put one last thin layer on each heart, making sure to cover any lighter areas and any paint pen I had missed.
4. Break in the chalkboard surface
Since the instructions said to wait 24 hours before use, I decided that was how long I should wait before breaking in the surface. This step is THE MOST IMPORTANT! If you don't break in the surface before using it then you'll have ghosting each time you write and erase your heart.
To break it in is super simple. Just take the side of your chalk and rub it over the entire heart, then wipe it off with a soft cloth or felt eraser.
5. The tags
I picked up the tags, string, stamp and ink from Michael's for only a couple of bucks, I was so thankful they had a peacock stamp! Made my life so much easier!
The tags are without a doubt, the easiest part of the whole process.
Stamp the stamp on one side, write something on the other and tie it on your mason jar!
The finished product
The venue had an amazing tiered stand that we were able to display them on and they turned out perfectly! Since I was in the wedding I didn't get a chance to grab a photo of them before people started using them, thankfully Tyler nabbed a few amazing shots for me!
So that's it, my first DIY is finished. Have you used chalkboard paint on glass? How did it work for you? Do you have any tips I didn't share? Please leave them in the comments!
There is nothing on tv, unless you're one of those futbol people, which I am not, give me football, not futbol. And to cap it all off this is the first week without Game of Thrones now that the season has ended. Ugh...
Back in January I designed love cards based on the wedding vows, and two different Dothraki quotes from GoT. Over time I have received numerous requests for a larger version of the wedding vows, if you need a reminder:
Father. Smith. Warrior. Mother. Maiden. Crone. Stranger.
I am yours & you are mine.
From this day , till the end of my days.
So I'm listening! I've ordered fifty 17 x 11 prints of my GoT wedding vows poster. If all goes well, I could be persuaded to order some more ;) They are listed in my Etsy shop right now, click here to get it and fill that GoT void in your life!
The first poster mailing will be shipped out Monday, June 30, 2014 via USPS. Shipping is currently estimated and will be updated after the first mailing, significant overages ($1.00+) will be reimbursed the difference.
All three cards (below) are available in my Etsy shop. The first is the same as the poster. The second says My Sun and My Stars in Dothraki. The third says You Are the Moon of My Life in Dothraki.
An aquarium trip while on vacation in Florida seemed totally normal to Brandi Engstrom, but only because she didn't know what her high school sweet heart, Jeremy Westfall, had in store for her! After an engagement in front of otters, they seemed the only way to go when it came to the invitation package!
Proposal photos used with the permission of Brandi & Jeremy
I knew a quick Google search of otters was in store, so I got right to the task at hand.
BTW, if you're having a bad day, do an image search for otters, it's really impossible not to smile!
I mean look at these photos, imagine what else Google has to offer! Soooo adorable!
Illustration time! I COULD NOT get over the cuteness the whole time I was working on them! First I drew them based upon my Google image search, then I transferred the drawing into Photoshop to add color.
Next up was making my thumbnail design come to life!
They were also in need of programs so we took one of my previously designed wedding programs and switched out the information.
I loved the otters so much that I felt I had no choice, I had to frame them!
I sent the print with my close, personal friend (and their wedding photographer) Ashton to give to them on their wedding day. I was so excited when she sent photos of them holding it later that evening!
After the wedding I got the best FB message from Brandi,
Jer & I were SO EXCITED to receive our otter picture!! We absolutely adore it & always will. It is so very special to us. Thank you so much!! We will (hopefully) have lots of babies one day and will be using you for cool stuff with Ashton's pictures.
Brandi and Jeremy were such a blast to work with that I literally CAN NOT wait to work with them again!
Thank you guys again for choosing me, I wish you all the love and happiness in the world, happy one-month anniversary!!!!!!
To see Brandi and Jeremy's wedding in full photo detail please visit Ashton Kelley's blog.
Hanging with your dad this weekend aren't you?
Forgot to get a card again didn't you?
Don't worry, I've got you covered.
Click on a photo below to download a FREE 5x7 card for your Dad, Daddy, Grandad or Grandpa. From there just print, cut on the crop marks, fold and take it with you.
Happy father's day weekend to all the amazing dad's out there! Especially mine!
Mary Kay Nevius-Maurer had always dreamed of throwing her daughter Amber a fancy tea party bridal shower. The time had finally arrived but Amber wasn't into the idea of something so fancy, so the party theme took a bit of a twist, a Mad Hatter Tea Party.
As the party grew near Mary Kay realized that she had so much going on that she wasn't going to have a hat! The invitation specifically said to wear a crazy hat, how could the mother of the bride not have one?!? I volunteered to make one for her and before I knew it the other guests were asking for hats too!
Who knew printed duck tape, some flowers and jewels could come together to make all these hats! It was a lot of work but so much fun! And I love the way they came out!!
Hope you had a great shower Amber, we sure did have fun!
Photos thanks to the bride, Amber Maurer.
My first wedding related post! Today I bring you my sisters peacock themed bridal shower from February 2014.
My youngest sister Bailey was getting married and who better to throw her shower than our other sister, Tanya, and our mom? The three of us love all the details that go into planning out parties, and constantly joke (or is it a joke?) that we want to start our own party planning business together.
First up, the invitations! I wanted everything to be one-of-a-kind for her, so I pulled out the pencils and paper and got to work. After some sketching I was ready to move to the computer to add the color and rest of the text. I also decided that such a special girl couldn't have plain envelopes so I got to work on my own version of calligraphy for the names and addresses. (I did not realize how hard on my hand that would be, not sure that I'll ever do that again. Or probably will, after all, my wedding is coming.)
Invitations were in the mail so it was time to get to work on all the details of the party. We wanted to choose a place that would have meaning to her and settled on the studio at D&J's Dynamite Dance Company where Bailey spent many years learning to dance, especially tap which she could rock (she makes a great Charlie Chaplin.) They are an amazing set of teachers and if you're in the Manchester/Hampstead/Westminster area of Maryland, I highly suggest checking them out.
Food was super simple, after a few minutes on the phone we had that all worked out. We just needed the decor/ favors.
First I concentrated on what I could accomplish on my own. I had designed and sent a recipe card in each invitation with the request that each invitee fill it out and bring it to the party. Recipes are great but they need a place to go! First I made the matching dividers and then pulled out my wood burner. I've owned the tool for probably 7 years and had never used it. Truth be told, I was kind of afraid of it, something that doesn't allow for mistakes is pretty unnerving to me. But it came out so great, and I'm so happy I took the plunge and did it!
Now favors! My very talented sister and mom were in charge of them. They made a trip to Dollar Tree and bought up all the wine glasses they had. Then Mod Podge and extra fine glitter to make the glasses shine. Tanya even made up a little thank you tag to place inside. So simple and perfect!
Before we knew it party day had arrived. The three of us spent the morning cooking, we considered it practice since the three of us were going to "cater" Bailey's actual wedding the next month. We finished setting up just as the guests started arriving. It was a wonderful shower, and it was so nice to see Bailey so unbelievably happy.
Here's a peek into her shower.
All in all is was a great day for everyone. I hope Bailey enjoyed it as much as we think she did.
And if you think that's the last of peacocks you are sorely mistaken, they were also her wedding theme, look for that blog post coming soon!
While I still have updating and uploading to do on this site, I can't forget about my awesome clients!
Since the fiance is away at a laser tag bachelor party my day was free to have some fun designing. I did my normal Etsy orders and just finished up with some real fun. I was contacted by an old acquaintance (she was my younger sisters dance teacher, but really that doesn't matter) to put together some typographic art for her to hang in her children's rooms.
I absolutely love typography, hunting for new fonts, changing the kerning, scaling, coloring... everything about it really, so I was really excited to do these for her. When she was pregnant with her oldest daughter she danced to "Happy As the Sun" an apparently very simple song, but one that really meant something to her. Using the described pastel colors from her room I came up with this.
Next up was one for her son. She loves the movie 'The Sandlot' and wanted one of her favorite quotes put together. If you don't know that movie, shame on you, or maybe I just showed my age. (I'm not that old people, in fact I just turned 31 on Friday, but there are days where I feel like yelling at kids to turn down what they apparently call music these days.) She mentioned wanting boyish colors and we think the same way, navy, orange and green! And here's how that one turned out!
Do you have any special words, lyrics, maybe a poem, that you would like me to put together for you? Feel free to email me at EAlexDesigns@gmail.com and we can get started!
While working on my site I went back and forth, blog or no blog? I know a lot of people have found these helpful, but I had to wonder...
Would I actually keep up with it?
Since I couldn't come up with an answer I've decided to press forward. Who knows, perhaps I'll really enjoy this whole blog thing, maybe I'll hate it. But if it can give one of you even the slightest enjoyment, then why not give it a shot? After all my fiance and I are planning our wedding for this October, so perhaps other brides can share in my enjoyment/misery of wedding planning :)
So I guess we shall see how great at blogging I am, but for now, I'm here, I'm developing my site, and I'm hoping to grow even more as a designer.
Blogging isn't a constant thing for me, but hopefully someone will get some use out of the things I say, no matter how far in between.