Handmade Holiday

This year I decided to get an early head start on my holiday gifts. The idea was that I would be able to shop sales, budget better and have time for crafting. I think it really paid off. I managed to make several gifts for my loved ones and wanted to share how they turned out!

Embroidered Names for Friends

Embroidery is something that I stumbled into on my own several years ago and became absolutely smitten by it. I had a ton of floss, so I picked up some frames and linen and got to work. Most of these patterns are free hand with a couple of exceptions (like the foxes).

embroidery4 embroidery3 embroidery2 embroidery1

I have one more that has yet to be gifted, so I will share that later too :)

A Little Bit of Love Ornaments

I took an old sweater of my Mum’s that I loved (and she had loved), but I just couldn’t wear. I had never been able to donate it or give it away, so instead I decided to share a tiny bit of that memory and love and share it with family. I cut the sweater into pieces, and then using a cardboard template, cut hearts. I sewed the hearts together and Liam and I then stuffed the hearts.


Castiel Tree Topper

I came across this amazing post on Lattes and Llamas, which features a knit Castiel Tree Topper. As a huge Supernatural fan, I was completely amused by it and then remembered how Cass is basically my SILs Husband, so I texted her a picture. She nearly died with a desperate need, so I knew I had to get to work. I only had a little bit of time left before our holiday celebration, so I hunted down a crochet Amigurumi version of Castiel (available here) and altered it. Please see my Rav page for all details on my changes. SIL informed me her bestie NEEDED one, so I made two. One ended up being a bit fatter than the other, but overall, I am very happy with how they turned out. Took me about a week to make both using scrap yarn.


Castiel Tree Topper


The Rest of the Wedding Crafts

I suppose I could have added this to the last post, but it just didn’t seem appropriate. So, instead, a whole new post to continue on the Wedding Crafting train!

So, last time I showed you my garter and my jam. This time, we’re going to look at my very easy save the dates, programs, seating chart, “guest book”, table numbers, Memory Table, handfasting cord, and my favourite DIY item thus far: My ring pillow.

Save The Dates

I’m not sure if this qualifies as “DIY”, but seeing as how I did it myself, I’ll go with it. We wanted to send out Save the Dates to allow our long-distance family members enough time to save up and plan a trip down, if they could. Pat has an uncle in Dubai, for instance, who needed lots of notice for the wedding. So, I started poking around Etsy and wedding forums for ideas. Eventually, I settled on the services over at You can pretty much make anything over there. You can personalize clothing, items, whatever. The service I was interested in were Save The Date cards. The plan was to have them printed and sent out with Christmas cards in 2009.  Here’s what we came up with:

Keep in mind, this was before we had to change our date, so we were going for a fall wedding theme. It only took me maybe an hour to come up with these, and they were printed and shipped to us within two weeks.

Pat and I were very lucky to have my good friends at Wishtree do our invitations. Unfortunately, it was not in the budget for us to have anything else professionally designed and printed, so I decided to do our programs myself.

A friend of mine from Weddingbells sent me a template for a bi-fold wedding program. I have to admit, it took A LOT of work to figure this thing out and get it to print properly. This was the one wedding project that took me WEEKS and caused me more than my fair share of frustrations.

I printed these on two types of paper. One is a marbled light card stock for the covers, picked up at Staples. The inside bits were printed on an off-white recycled paper, picked up at WalMart. All of these were printed very quickly and efficiently on my work photocopiers. I then had a gathering at my home with my sisters-in-law who helped me fold and staple each one.

One thing to keep in mind when doing your own programs…very few people actually take them home. It’s a little discouraging to have put that much work into them, but I’m glad we did. The programs explained a lot of things that our guests were confused about (where to go between the ceremony and reception, what a Ring Warming and a Hand Fasting are, who are those gorgeous people standing at the front of the room, etc…).

Seating Chart
I decided to make my own seating chart, as they tend to be ridiculously expensive to have printed. I found an old window pane in my family home in Orleans. My Mum, you see, was big into glass art. She did stained glass, Glass-On-Glass and Glass bead making. This window pane was salvaged by my Mum for the use of doing glass-on-glass art. I decided it would be perfect for our look and was a subtle nod to my Mum.

I cleaned the glass just a bit, because I didn’t want it too perfect. Our look was rustic, and a shining window pane wouldn’t have fit. We picked up some scrapbooking paper from Michael’s that suited our theme (woodland rustic elegance) and our colours (purple, brown and green), and some Putty Adhesive. I printed on the ivory card stock, taped the lists to the scrapbooking paper and then used the putty to attach the paper to the frame. Because each pane was shaped differently, tape or glue wouldn’t have worked. I didn’t want to use nails for fear of breaking the glass, so the putty was the perfect alternative.

I think it was a huge success. People loved it and it really suited the rest of the decor. Took me very little time to put together, so over all, one of the best DIY projects from the whole wedding.

Guest Book
I knew we didn’t want a traditional guest book. No one ever looks at their guest books and we wanted something to remind us of all of our friends and family that supported us on our wedding day. Taking a cue from my girl, Sarah, we stole their idea that they used for their wedding: A picture frame guest book. Again, not completely DIY, but seeing as how I put it together, I’ll count it.

First I went to Michael’s during their frame sale and picked up a large frame with LOTS of matting at 50% off. I then had one of our engagement pictures blown up and printed at Walmart. Guests then were able to sign the matting with Sharpie markers we provided. I love the result and its something we can look at and cherish for years to come. I think we’ll even keep the engagement picture in there. :)

The Table Numbers

Like I mentioned with the programs, Pat and I just didn’t have the money to have our numbers printed, so I did it at home. I used some stock photo flourishes, left over cardstock and some photopaper. I used spray adhesive to attach everything together. Et voila! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many pictures of them. Sorry!

The Memory Table
Both Pat and I have people that we’ve lost that we wanted to honour in some way at the wedding. We wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t morbid, and wasn’t intrusive to the rest of the event. So, we came up with the idea of the Memory Table.

I had contacted both of our families in the search for family pictures, specifically from weddings if possible. I took these pictures, scanned them in, made them all either sepia or black and white, and printed them out to the same size. I then took cheap IKEA frames and spray-painted them black so that they all matched. I also found an antique frame and printed out a poem to go with the table.

Everyone complimented us and thanked us for the table. It was pretty, and not so sad as to upset anyone. Definitely what we were hoping to accomplish :)

Handfasting Cord
Pat and I both felt strongly about including Hand Fasting in out ceremony. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to us as our cord, so I went out to one of my favourite stores in the world: Fabricland. I picked out some beautiful velvet ribbon, and a purple ribbon that matched our Ring Pillow. I finished it off by with some of the ribbon from the Ring pillow.

I considered braiding it, but felt that it wouldn’t do the beautiful ribbon and service. so I simply tied the ends together. Simple, but pretty and perfect for the ceremony. Here it is, modeled by my dress form, Betsy:

I was concerned about it being a pain for our Officiant, but she did a great job and we didn’t even get tangled. Woo!

The Ring Pillow

Now, for my favourite DIY from the entire wedding. This is the project I’m the most proud of.

I was inspired by this, which I found somewhere out there in the vastness of the internet:

I picked up some fabric at Fabricland (it’s very similar to a suede, but synthetic), and then cut up some of my grandmother’s wedding veil. It was a beautiful long cathedral veil that was falling apart. It was never properly stored or cared for, so I decided to make the best of it and make it beautiful again. I used one of the buttons from my Mum’s collection, ribbon from my own collection (used in the making of Baby knits for friends) and then embroidered our initials and wedding date on the back.

It was incredible painstaking. I worked on this for about 8 hours. Making the pillow itself was easy peasy, but I’m not well practiced at embroidery, so it took me longer than expected. The most delicate and time consuming part was of course the lace. I had to hand sew every piece down, being careful not to tear or damage it.

Now, I just have to figure out where to keep it :) It’s too pretty for our couch, so maybe a comfy chair or our bed. We’ll have to wait and see.

So! That’s it! At least as much as I could think of :D I hope you enjoyed and I hope that I’m able to inspire and maybe give some new brides hope that they too can DIY as much as possible.