Crafty Staci’s 5th Anniversary

Crafty Staci 5th Anniversary Celebration

Five years ago, on February 13, 2010, I sat down and wrote this:

I believe that everyone has the ability to be artistic or crafty. I’ve had many friends over the years argue that it isn’t true, that they have no talent. I’m not talking about talent. I’m talking about the simple ability to create something that wasn’t there before. Preferably, something that makes you happy to use, eat or just look at. Or something you can give someone else that they won’t throw away. At least not immediately.

Personally, I think the key is simplicity. Work at your comfort level. If it’s absolutely imperative to you that everything always turn out right, stick with what you know or at least what you know you can figure out. If you’re ok with the occasional failure or not-so-perfect outcome, branch out. I live in what I know and take vacations in new things.

I’d like to share some of the things that have worked for me in the crafty, home-operating, trying to keep the world spinning in one direction arena. Hopefully, you’ll either be inspired by them or learn from my mistakes. Someone should.

I left out a paragraph and corrected a couple of spelling errors, and some of it makes me cringe a little now (you can read the whole thing here), but I stand by what I said.  One of my favorite sayings is this Swedish proverb:

Those who wish to sing always find a song

What that means to me is if there’s something you want to do, you can find a way to do it.  If that thing was in the crafty realm, my goal was to help you achieve it.  I have a deep love for the creative spark and I felt like I had something to contribute to those looking to nurture their own.  Five years ago, my thoughts were on teaching.  As it turned out, I’ve learned more than I’ve taught.  It’s been more ups than downs and I wouldn’t change any of it.  And I have all of you to thank for that. 

To show my profound appreciation, I’ve organized the biggest anniversary celebration I’ve ever had, which is going to last a whole month.  I’ve partnered with some of my favorite crafty companies to offer not one, but THREE different giveaway packages!

Crafty Staci 5th Anniversary Giveaway Partners

A different giveaway will open up each Monday for the next three weeks, beginning on the 16th with Uncommon Goods.  I’ll wait until Monday to reveal what it is, but you’ll definitely want to come back to enter to win.  The following week, both Craft Warehouse and Tuttle Publishing generously contributed to the giveaway package, and Tuttle Publishing returns for the final package.  Sprinkled throughout will also be a few items handmade by me. 

I also have some new sewing projects to share.  Remember my Coffee Cup Sleeve of the Month series?  I’ll be starting a new series this month, and I promise it has nothing to do with coffee cozies.  I’m very excited about it!  Here’s a sneak peek:

Teacup Hot Pad Preview - Crafty Staci

So, those are some of the things you can look forward to during the coming month –

I hope it will be as fun for you as planning it has been for me!

Orchard Supply Hardware Preview

Before I take Wednesday to fill you in on the amazing sponsors, giveaways and projects coming up to celebrate my 5 year anniversary writing this blog, I’d like to tell you a bit about an event I attended recently at Orchard Supply Hardware.  While they did give me lots of stuff because I attended, I was not required to write this post in exchange and all opinions here are my own.  The stuff was pretty awesome though.

I’ve spent lots of time in hardware stores.  I live in a house that was built in the 70’s that we’re constantly working on bringing into the 21st century.  We spent a year working on a DIY wedding.  To top it all off, my son is now a happy employee of a local store.  I think he had the job when he told the interviewer he had practically been raised in their store and could tell them where anything is.  So, I am no stranger to both the big and little box stores to be found in our area.  However, Orchard Supply Hardware is new to me, so when they invited me to a preview day at their newest store, I was happy to go.

Orchard Supply Hardware garden

The store is located in what’s known as the Hollywood District in Portland.  It was previously the site of a bowling alley.  The first thing I noticed walking in the door was the amazing wood beam ceilings, which apparently were found when they started tearing out the old drop ceilings.  That’s like pulling up your vinyl flooring and finding hardwood.

Orchard Supply Hardware - wood ceilings

I think hardware stores big and small have something to offer, but I really liked the smaller feel to this place.  They didn’t have shelves of lumber and roofing for contractors, but seemed to be focused more on the individual homeowner.  I could spend all day just in the knobs and pulls aisle.

Orchard Hardware knobs and pulls

They did a great job of adding some personality, like this fun lid display over the paint department.

Orchard Hardware paint department

The store wasn’t open yet for my visit, so there were still finishing touches being added, like this amazing hand painted wall by the front entrance.  The artists were painting it freehand, just referring to the pictures you see taped up.  Amazing.

Orchard Hardware wall painting

Any store that names a section What-cha-ma-call-its has my attention.

Orchard Hardware what-cha-ma-call-its

I think most crafters will find themselves in a hardware store at some point.  It’s often for an item that might not ordinarily be considered a craft tool.  I’ve purchased paint, glues, chain, pipe, wire, wood and things I don’t remember the name of or their actual purpose, all in the name of crafts.  But it was nice to see things here that were a little off the beaten hardware path, like this wall of tape, an aisle of decorative bottles and mason jars galore.

Orchard Hardware tape

Toward the end of our tour, we were introduced to this gentleman.  Sorry for the blur, but I really wanted you to see his amazing mustache and bicycle tattoo.  

Orchard Hardware bicycle repair

He’s a bicycle repair expert and showed us everything we’d need to make this quirky beer bottle lamp.  Those two things are not related, but I got the impression he’s one of those guys that probably knows his way around lots of projects.  He even drilled holes in the bottles and inserted the rubber grommet, letting us choose the bottle we liked to take home and make with all the supplies included!  I love the old fashioned bulb.

Orchard Hardware - beer bottle lamp

In addition to the lamp kits, we were sent away with a bag filled with an apron, level, cookies and this herb garden kit, which I’m anxious to try not to kill.

Orchard Hardware herb garden

It was really fun to get a tour of a store that hadn’t even opened to the public yet, especially one that hits as many of my gardening, crafting, outdoor living, home improvement and cooking interests as Orchard did.  The store is open now, so if you find yourself in the area, check them out.  I’m already planning my next visit!

Friday Favorites–Be My Valentine

Valentine’s Day is probably one of the biggest crafting holidays on the calendar.  There are so many ideas out there it feels like floating in a sea of pink and red.  And yet, I seem to usually find myself scrambling at the last minute.  Not this year – welcome to planning ahead (a little) with me!

Be My Valentine - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I don’t so much love the hang-it-on-the-door-and-run suggestion here, but the idea of having Valentine Pennie Pockets, like these from Moda Bake Shop is a winner.

Valentine Pennie Pockets from Moda Bake Shop

Every Day Cheer has a great printable card you can edit to show the number the days that applies in your situation, along with a link to a calculator to help you figure that out.  It’s kinda fun to play with!

Printable Valentine Card from Every Day Cheer

I’m fairly certain I couldn’t make these Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hearts by 1 Fine Cookie quite as pretty as she did, but I’ll best they’d taste good enough to make up for it.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hearts from 1 Fine Cookie

Even though these are called Man Approved Valentines, from Dating Divas, I know lots of people they would be perfect for who aren’t, myself included!

Man Approved Valentines from The Dating Divas

How fun would Mad Lib Valentines be?  Check out these from Design Mom.

MadLib Valentines from Design Mom

These gumball machine Valentines from Meet the Dubiens are adorable.

Valentine I Chews You from Meet the Dubiens

These Valentine Heart Straws from The Things She Makes could be slid onto all kinds of things.  Click through to see them on breakfast silverware.

Valentine Heart Straws from The Things She Makes

My son’s new favorite movie is definitely Guardians of the Galaxy.  I might have to make him this I am Groot Card from Spellbinders.

I am Groot Card from Spellbinders

Are you looking for a healthier, but still tasty, Valentine this year?  Check out these sweet Love Bug Fruit Cups from The NY Melrose Family.

Love Bug Fruit Cups from The NY Melrose Family

For an extra-special Valentine’s Day gift, you’ve got to see this Custom Tree Carving Love Quilt from Quiltbarnidaho on Etsy.  Beautiful!

Baby Crib Custom Tree Carving Quilt from Quiiltbarnidaho on Etsy

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

Craft Remix: Kiss Bags

This month marks the fifth anniversary of my blog.  I have all kinds of fun and exciting events coming up to celebrate, but today I want to talk about a project I did way back in the beginning.  In fact, it was one of the first tutorials I wrote.  Don’t just me too harshly here, but it was this Lip Shaped Bag.

Lip Shaped Bag - Crafty Staci

Gotta love the combination of the dark wood banquet table and flash.  I’m no photographer, but I like to think I’ve improved some since then.  Since this was a project I shared back when I had fewer people reading this than were in the coffee shop I was at this morning, I never felt like this cute little thing got the attention it deserved.

Lip Makeup Bag by Crafty Staci

I was planning to sew this again and take better photos.  But rather than a remake, I decided on more of an inspired-by.  The original was a makeup bag, and now it’s the mama bear in this family.

Set of three Lip Bags by Crafty Staci

I started with the baby version on the right.  It’s just big enough for a tube of lip balm or hand sanitizer. 

Lip Mini Bag Pattern by Crafty Staci

In a first for me, I somehow lost every single photo I took during the process.  I guess the fact that I made it five years before that happened is something to be happy about.  So, since I have two to share here and it will help keep this post from getting too long, I’ve typed up the instructions and included them with the pattern.

Mini Kiss Bag - Crafty Staci

Fortunately, I made the handbag a different day, so all my photos from that one survived.  Hurray!

Kiss Handbag Free Pattern from Crafty Staci

While I made the smaller bags from ordinary cotton, I wanted the handbag to be more durable so it could survive the everyday beating they tend to get.  Not just mine, right?  I happened to have some red duck cloth on hand, but you could also use denim or a heavy home dec fabric.  I kinda wished I had some of that red leather left for this.  You’ll also need fabric for the lining, which can be a little lighter weight.  I used a medium weight home dec.  I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be floppy, so I added a layer of iron-on heavy craft interfacing, but that would be optional and probably unnecessary if your fabric is stiff enough on its own.  The last item on the supply list is a white 9” zipper.

Cut out the pattern and piece it together, matching the dotted lines.  Cut out two of the lip shape from the outer fabric and two from the lining.  Cut one of the zipper facing from the outer fabric and one from the lining.  Cut two of the loop from the outer fabric.

Pieces for Kiss Bag - Crafty Staci

Iron the interfacing to the back of the fabric if you’re using it.  Draw the rectangle shown on the zipper facing onto back of the fabric pieces.

Zipper Facing - Crafty Staci

Pin the zipper facing to the bag with right sides together where it’s shown on the bag pattern.  Stitch around the rectangle you drew on previously.  Do the same with the lining.  Cut along the lines shown on pattern – down the center of the rectangle with a clip to each corner.

Applying zipper facing to kiss bag - Crafty Staci

Turn the facing to the inside and press on both the outside and lining.

Turning facing - Crafty Staci

Lay the lining piece right side down.  Center the zipper over the opening, face up. 

Zipper step one - Crafty Staci

Add the outer piece on top, right side up.  I’m not usually a fan of basting, just because I hate to have to remove it later, but you really want all three layers to stay in place while you’re sewing and this is a little thick for pins.  Some large hand stitches will do the trick.

Zipper step two - Crafty Staci

Stitch around the zipper, close to the fold.  When I flipped mine over a small section of the lining didn’t get caught in the stitching, so I added a second row about 1/8” from the first.  Remove the basting.

Zipper step three - Crafty Staci

Lay the remaining lining piece face up.  Pin the lining piece attached to the zipper on top with right sides together.  Keeping the outer piece out of the way, stitch around the lining pieces with a 3/8” seam.  Clip the corners.  The larger seam is to make sure the lining is a bit smaller and will fit easily inside the bag.

Sewing lining - Crafty Staci

Trim the seam. 

Trimming seam - Crafty Staci

Fold the loop pieces in half and press.  Turn both edges in to meet the fold and press again.  Stitch close to the side with two folds.  Fold with the two raw ends together and stitch very close to that edge to make a loop.

Lay the remaining outer piece face up and pin the outer piece with the zipper attached to it with right sides together.  Slip one loop between the two layers on both sides where the pattern indicates with the raw edges even and the loop to the inside.  Stitch with a 1/4” seam, keeping the lining out of the seam and leaving at least 3” open for turning.  You may want to leave an even larger open if your fabric is very stiff.  Stitch again over the loop ends for reinforcement.

Stitching the outer bag - Crafty Staci

Turn the bag right side out through the opening.  Press, turning the opening in 1/4”. 

Press turning in opening - Crafty Staci

Hand stitch the opening closed.  Use carabineers or jump rings to attach your strap of choice to the loops.

Attaching strap - Crafty Staci

This isn’t a big bag, but it will certainly hold the basic necessities.  You know, like your phone and lipstick.

Kiss Bag from Crafty Staci

Or the baby Kiss Bag.  Nom nom.

Kiss Handbag and Lip Mini Bag - Crafty Staci

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Kiss Handbag by Crafty Staci

It was fun to go back and reimagine something from the early days, so this might not be the last craft remix you see from me!

Book Review: Wrapping with Fabric

I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own.

I’ve used fabric as gift wrap in the past, but it didn’t match the beauty of the options shown in Wrapping with Fabric:  Your Complete Guide to Furoshiki, the Japanese Art of Wrapping by Etsuko Yamada.  Not only is using fabric to wrap friendly to the environment, but there are more options and wrapping styles than I could have imagined.  Making a furoshiki goes beyond just taking a piece of fabric and wrapping it around an item, but is easy enough that anyone can do it.

Wrapping with Fabric Book Review by Crafty Staci

Following the table of contents is a page showing a small photo of each project in the book.  It’s fun to see everything together like that.

Wrapping with Fabric options - Crafty Staci

You’re greeted with a taste of what types of things can be wrapped with a furoshiki, the shapes that can be used, the fabric options and even decorative ways the top can be finished.

Wrapping with Fabric . Crafty Staci

The most important part of the wrap is the knot or knots.  If not tied correctly it will come undone and ruin the entire furoshiki.  Fortunately, it’s easy to learn and the book illustrates the technique well.

Book Review Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

Each method of wrapping is covered thoroughly with step-by-step instructions and photos.  The dual sided wrap used makes a lovely knot on top of the Errand Wrapping.

Reviewing Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

Oddly shaped items are addressed as well, like this Roll Wrapping.

Book Review - Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

The Bottle Wrapping would be great for gifting a bottle of wine.  The recipient could either send the furoshiki on to the next person, or use it as a small tablecloth.

Review of Wrapping with Fabric by Crafty Staci

I love the idea of the furoshiki bags.  They’re pretty, stylish and functional but can be untied and used in other ways.  I would happily take this Shoulder Bag shopping.

Wrapping with Fabric Book Review - Crafty Staci

I can’t even tell you how many fun wrapping options there are in this book.  A picnic basket that folds out to a little picnic blanket, book covers, bouquet holders and plant wraps.  You can even update your pillows with this Cushion Cover.

Wrapping with Fabric Review by Crafty Staci

There are ten common sizes for furoshiki wraps.  Each is covered here, in addition to the size and fabric type noted at the bottom of each project.

Wrapping with Fabric furoshiki sizes - Crafty Staci

There’s an extensive history of furoshiki, along with a description of how they are used in modern culture.  The lined shopping basket shown here is something just about anyone could use.

Wrapping with Fabric - Reviewed by Crafty Staci

Wrapping with Fabric introduced me to a craft I didn’t even know existed and I’m excited to try it myself.  Tuttle Publishing also wants one of you to experience it, so look for an exciting announcement on February 11th!

Friday Favorites–Gold Rush

Oh you guys, I’m so excited about what’s coming up in February!  I’m going to wait until next week to reveal more, but for now I’ll just say that I’m celebrating the 5th anniversary of my blog in style.  You’re not going to want to miss this!

Now about those Friday Favorites.  I’ve been so busy planning for next month that I forgot there was one more Friday this month, so I hit up my Facebook buddies for some ideas for what to feature.  Look for glammed-up campers and garden stakes coming to a Friday Favorites near you this spring!  When I started my search for those, I noticed there’s an unusual amount of gold everything out there right now.  I’m usually a silver girl myself, but I have to admit these have me looking for somewhere to add a little gold shimmer to my life.

Gold Rush - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I know, mason jars.  If you’ve had enough feel free to move on to the next item, but if you’re like me take a minute to enjoy these Gold Mason Jars from Mason Jar Craft Love.

Gold Mason Jars by Mason Jar Crafts Love

The shine inside these Gold and White Bowls from Le Zoe Musings is just the perfect amount.

Gold and White Bowls by Le Zoe Musings

Check out the pretty home dec win that Found This Painted That ended up with from a busted bargain globe.

Frankenstein Globe by Found This Painted That

Make the drinks extra-fancy at your next soiree with this Metallic Gold Cocktail Rimming Sugar from dellcovespices on Etsy.

Metallic Gold Cocktail Rimming Sugar by dellcovespices on Etsy

If you’d like to wear the gold trend, but not as jewelry, try these 24K sneakers from Dream a Little Bigger.

24K Sneakers from Dream a Little Bigger

You can even have a little gold in your desserty treats with this spun sugar from Cooking Books.

Homemade Cottton Candy by Cooking Books

Don’t these DIY Gold Magnetic Letters from Inspired by Charm look like something a lot more expensive than painted plastic?

DIY Gold Magnetic Letters by Inspired by Charm

How do you take something from not-gold to gold?  Spray paint, of course.  Chris Loves Julia answers the question of which gold paint is best.

Which Gold Spray Paint is Best by Chris Loves Julia

I love the gold as an accent on this Tape Painting from Maria Teorien.

Tape Painting by Maria Teorien

Who says slime can’t be classy?  Check out this Super Easy Gold Slime Recipe from Fun-a-Day.

Gold Slime by Fun a Day

My Wedding Dress

My husband and I were married in 1991.  After the wedding, my dress went into a box.  It moved with us a few times, but I didn’t really give it much thought until I had a daughter.  I pulled it out once when she was little and let her try it on, then back in the box it went until she announced her engagement.  Neither of us had any plans for her to wear it, in fact I’ll skip posting the photo of her when she tried it on here so she won’t kill me.  I wanted her to have the dress that reflected her, not me.  However, it occurred to me that it would never have another good reason to leave that box if we didn’t find something to do with it.

My daughter and I started with the veil.  She wanted to wear it, but she wasn’t excited about the giant 90’s white satin bow and wanted just the long layer on the bottom.   

My Wedding Dress 1991 - Crafty Staci

That was an easy fix.  I put a rubber band around the bottom layer just below the bow, cut it off and sewed it onto a comb.

Codi's Veil hanging - Crafty Staci

Codi's Veil - Crafty Staci

She wore the bow and remaining short layer to her bachelorette party.  To be funny, of course.

Codi's Bachelorette Party - Crafty Staci

Then there was the dress.  We had corseting added to the dress she picked out, so we needed a cord to lace it up with.  We decided I would make the cord from some of the satin from the skirt of my dress.  That meant cutting it up.

I started out by cutting away the underskirt.  Then I stared at it for a minute or two.  I had no qualms about it, right up until that moment.  Making that first cut was weird.

Wedding Dress First Cut - Crafty Staci

So, this.

Cut dress - Crafty Staci

And then it passed.  Any anxiety I had about it just disappeared, knowing it would be a part of my daughter’s special day in a way that honored the past and left a clear path to the future.

I cut several strips to make the LONG cord we needed for lacing up the dress.

Strips for lacing cord - Crafty Staci

I was a little worried about the two whites matching, but it was perfect. 

Lacing up Codi's dress - Crafty Staci

I used another bit of it to make the pillow that went inside the beautiful ring bearer box my son made.

Pillow inside ring bearer box - Crafty Staci

That left a whole lot of long, lacey skirt.  We eventually decided it would make the perfect table cloth for the bride and groom’s sweetheart table at the reception.

Sweetheart Table - Crafty Staci

By the end of the night it has fallen victim to lemonade, tea and frosting.  And it was glorious.

Drinking Jars on Sweetheart Table - Crafty Staci

I have some of the dress left, which I put away for another project in the future.  I couldn’t be happier we were able to use it for my daughter’s wedding.  So much better than another 24 years in a box!

And with that, we can say goodbye to Wedding Wednesdays.  I hope you all enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as I liked sharing it with you!

Kissing Bell - Crafty Staci 1  Kids Wedding Coloring Book - Crafty Staci 9  Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 10Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 11  One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 1  DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 1  DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 7  Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 1  In the Garden Floral on Crafty Staci  Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 11  untitled-1729  Hanging Mason Jar Votive Lanterns - Crafty Staci 9  Guest book table with quilt sign - Crafty Staci  Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 1Wedding Drink Stand and Flavored Syrups - Crafty Staci  Bella Cupcake Giant Gluten Free Cutting Cupcake on Crafty Staci

DIY Glowing Mickey Ears

If you’ve ever been to a theme park you know the souvenirs can get a little pricey, especially when you have little ones who seem to want just about everything that’s placed at their eye level.  As a Disney fan myself, sometimes even I have a hard time deciding where to spend my budgeted dollars, and I’ve been a grown-up for quite some time now.  I’m here today to share my most recent project for Undercover Tourist, and it’s one that will help you leave some of that cash in your pocket.

DIY Glowing Mickey Ears - Crafty Staci

Disney is never more fun than it is at night, when everything lights up and magnifies its usual magic.  Whether you want to bring that experience home or get a head start for your next trip, check out my tutorial on Undercover Tourist to make your own glowing Mickey ears for under $3 with only three supplies and a glue gun!

DIY Glowing Mickey Ears by Crafty Staci for Undercover Tourist

Friday Favorites–Stuffed

I don’t know if I’m just noticing them right now, or if there really is an unusual number of stuffed creatures being sewn out there.  I was even in the fabric store the other day when I woman came in with a stuffed bear she had made that was so cute everyone stopped what they were doing to admire it.  So, whether it’s my imagination or everyone else’s, we’re talking stuffed today.

Stuffed - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites 

This Stuffed Fox from Stitched by Crystal looks like it would be pretty easy to make, especially since it’s made from fleece.  I love that he’s wearing a little scarf.

Stuffed Fox from Stitched by Crystal

My son would have loved this Pillow Fight Shield from Busily Spinning Momma.  I’m sure he and his sister would have put its ability to the test.

Me and my Scottish roots think I need this DIY Nessie from We Lived Happily Ever After.

Nessie Pattern by We Lived Happily Ever After

This stuffed ambulance from Ric Rac would be adorable anyway, but the personalized windshield makes it even better.

Personalized Ambulance by Ric Rac

I think this is the third sock-based project I’ve featured from Craft Passion, but this little dragon was just too cute to leave out.

Sock Dragon by Craft Passion

A Stuffed Snail isn’t something you see every day, but Cook Clean Craft made him seem more sweet than slimy.

Stuffed Snail by Cook Clean Craft

This Boom Box Pillow from I’m Feelin’ Crafty actually plays music!

Boombox by I'm Feelin' Crafty

This Stuffed Giraffe pattern from DIYFluffies on Etsy reminds me of one my daughter had when she was little.

Giraffe Plush Toy by DIYFluffies on Etsy

What do you do with a bunch of colorful, orphaned socks?  Make this Mismatched Sock Snake from Grosgrain.

Mismatched Sock Snake by Grosgrain

This Flying Squirrel from Wild Olive looks like a perfect balance between cuteness and mischief.

Flying Squirrel by Wild Olive

Wedding Guest Book Quilt

Remember when guest books at weddings used to be simple things?  There was a book and a pen with a feather on it.  Or not.  But it wasn’t complicated.  These days, there’s a little pressure to have something unique and creative for guests to sign when they arrive.  We went through LOTS of different ideas before finally landing on the one that appeared at my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding.

Guest book table with quilt sign - Crafty Staci

We cut 9” squares from home décor fabric (so it would be a little sturdier than quilting cotton) and provided fine-tip permanent markers for guests to write with.  Guests got pretty creative with it, with a few following the chevron pattern with their writing.  It gave them plenty of space to leave advice, notes and good wishes.  The plan was to sew the squares together after the wedding to make a quilt.

Guest book pens - Crafty Staci

We happened to find a quilt in the perfect colors to use as the table cover – no I didn’t make it.  Because we wanted to save it from any stray ink, and to give guests a hard, flat surface to write on, my husband cut a piece of wood to lay across the front.

Guest book quilt - Crafty Staci

Rather than stack the squares up somewhere, we wanted to display them during the event, so we hung jute cord behind the table and decorated some clothespins with washi tape.

Hanging quilt squares - Crafty Staci

We had the escort cards for seating right next to the guest book table to make it easier for guests and my lovely nieces and my nephew’s girlfriend who served as our guest book attendants.

Escort cards - Crafty Staci

We didn’t really have a plan for what we were going to do with gifts until a couple of days before the wedding.  It turns out a picnic table works beautifully to display the gifts at different heights.

Gift table - Crafty Staci

Back to the guest book table – my big project was the sign.  I cross stitched the words onto burlap in an embroidery hoop using this free software.  Then I added a layer of batting behind the burlap and stitched together some felt squares and cut it to fit the embroidery hoop.  I glued that to cover the back, since it could be seen from some angles.  I added a few twisted rosettes, which I learned how to make here, and found a picture frame easel to hold it.

Please Sign Our Guest Quilt Cross Stitch - Crafty Staci

You might be wondering at this point how that quilt is coming along.  Well, the mistake we made was not letting guests know that they needed to stay away from the edge of the fabric while they were writing on it.  After the wedding we realized that much of the writing would be hidden, even with the tiniest of seam allowances.  All was not lost though, as I just finished putting all the squares into a memory book where the bride and groom can still read them and remember everyone who shared their amazing day.

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!