Thank You, Wedding Vendors

My daughter and son-in-law’s wedding was, obviously, as very DIY affair.  In the early days, we thought we were going to do it all.  As the planning process progressed we realized, for the sake of our sanity and relationships with each other, that we should consider hiring a few professionals.  Now that it’s all over, I don’t regret a single one of them.  So, as I frantically try to get ready to be a vendor myself at Siren Nation this weekend, it feels like a good time to give all of our wedding vendors the public and sincere Thank You they all deserve.

I’ll start with the first person we hired, and the one you’ve already seen a bit here.  Heather Fitch from Heather Fitch Photography was calm, professional and gave us photos that were everything we hoped for.  She not only captured everything we expected to see, but the spunky, fun personalities that define these two.

Heather Fitch Photography on Crafty Staci

I’ve mentioned before that the groom has celiac disease.  Gluten-free isn’t a choice for him – it’s mandatory.  After we decided on a dessert buffet for the reception, we also chose to make sure that the groom (and the bride, since she gave up gluten for his sake) could eat anything that was served without worry.  That’s where the amazing Liberated Baking came in, providing treats that had me saying “Yes, I know it’s delicious and you can’t tell, but it really is gluten-free!” to guests all evening.

Liberated Baking Gluten Free Bride and Groom Cookies on Crafty Staci

Liberated Baking Gluten Free Lemon Bars on Crafty Staci

We thought it would be fun to have some popcorn on the buffet too, and so we ordered some from a local store called iCandy.  I think it was the best cheese corn I’ve ever had, and everyone we’ve talked to there has been so sweet.

iCandy Popcorn on Crafty Staci

It was very early on that Codi proclaimed there would be cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake.  I think it had something to do with Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Bella Cupcake.  The couple went in for a tasting and chose Raspberry Lemonade, Pumpkin Chai, Strawberry Shortcake and Salted Caramel.  How was anyone supposed to choose which of those to put on their plate?  To alleviate that issue, we went with mini-cupcakes so guests could sample more than one flavor.

Bella Cupcake Mini Gluten Free Cupcakes on Crafty Staci

Bella Cupcake also provided the adorable giant cupcake for the bride and groom to cut and share.

Bella Cupcake Giant Gluten Free Cutting Cupcake on Crafty Staci

When it came to the bridesmaids’ and flower girl’s dresses, Codi knew what she wanted.  And I knew I was capable of making them.  However, just because I could didn’t mean I should and I decided that was a project that could be better accomplished by someone else.  We went with BL Couture on Etsy.  I’ll admit, I tried to talk Codi out of putting just the maid of honor in yellow and everyone else in grey, but it really worked.  And the girls loved playing with all the different ways they could wear these.

BL Couture Convertible Wrap Dresses on Crafty Staci

BL Couture Wrap Dresses on Crafty Staci

Did you see all the amazing hair in that last photo?  Codi wanted all the girls in different braids, and our regular hairstylist, Wendy from the Orient Barbershop, totally delivered.  Not only did Wendy come to our house for the entire day and style all the girls hair, but she did their makeup as well.  Thankfully, I was included in that because otherwise I probably would have been a mess.  Wendy was a calming presence while everyone was getting ready and I don’t know what we would have done without her.

Wendy from The Orient Barbershop on Crafty Staci

Another Etsy store we shopped at was for Codi’s garters.  We talked about making them, but as we started looking around she spotted exactly what she wanted at BridalGoddess.  All we had to do was attach the firefighter charm Codi wanted and she was ready to go.  These were so pretty, and the quality was great.

Garter by BridalGoddess on Crafty Staci

One of the last things we held out on doing ourselves was the flowers.  The closer it got, the more terrified I became, which was a good sign I should give it up to a professional.  Fortunately, one of my closest friends has a sister who owns In the Garden, a floral shop in Redmond, Oregon.  Kellie agreed to do them for us, even though she is halfway across the state from us and it was pretty close to the event.  We emailed her photos of arrangements Codi liked, and when the flowers arrived we were all stunned.  They were amazing.

In the Garden Floral on Crafty Staci

We originally planned to set up a stereo with an iPod playing for the reception.  We didn’t think anyone would really dance anyway.  I am so glad we hired Dennis Marcellino to DJ instead.  He had almost everyone out of their seats and dancing – my husband I were a little shocked.  He was great at keeping everything running smoothly and made sure fun was had by all.  He even sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” since he was a member of the band the hit belonged to, The Tokens!  He also played the saxophone, which was a nice combination with the recorded music.

Dennis Marcellino had everyone dancing!

Last, but not least, is this lovely young woman – Savannah Gentry.  She is one of the bride and groom’s friends from high school.  Listened to her playing the songs they chose in my living room before the wedding brought me to tears.  She provided violin music while the guests were finding their seats and during the ceremony and every note was gorgeous.  Savannah is talented and beautiful, inside and out.

Savannah Gentry on the violin

In addition to all these amazing vendors who made it a day to remember, I’d also like express my gratitude to all of our friends and family who went the extra mile (or several) to make sure we could enjoy the day without having to worry about anything.  You all know who you are – THANK YOU!

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DIY Superhero Shirts and Robes for the Bridal Party

My daughter’s wedding, like most these days I’d guess, was influenced by Pinterest.  We had a secret board where the bride, the maid of honor and I could keep track of every relevant wedding idea we came across.  We tried to be pretty selective, and cleaned it out once in a while, so it stayed manageable and ended up being an excellent tool in the planning process.  In fact, she made it public after the wedding was over, so if you’d like to see what we were working with you’ll find it here.  We didn’t use every idea on it, but I’m not sure how we would have managed without it.

Looking back at it, the photo I’m going to talk about today isn’t even on that board.  But if you do a quick search, you’ll see pictures similar to this one our boys posed for.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 1

The bride and groom are both big superhero fans.  In fact, this is their car, which my daughter has been driving for about 4 years.  The Batman symbol on the hood was not part of the getaway car décor.

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The bride’s dad is a police lieutenant and the groom just graduated from the fire academy so as we talked about the superhero photo we realized it made complete sense to include those real heroes’ symbols among the imaginary.  However, that meant we wouldn’t be buying the shirts already made.  They went on my to-do list. 

Since I was making them anyway, I thought maybe if we used all white the boys could just leave them on, hoping they would be covered by their vests.

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It worked in the photos, but in person you can see a little color peeking out over the top of those vests.  I’m still glad we use white though, because I love how it made the symbols stand out.

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So, what about the girls?  I had already planned to make robes for each of them to wear while they were getting their hair and makeup done, so I decided I’d make them match the boys, in the girliest way possible.

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I made the robes using Simplicity 1720, the view in the upper left corner. 

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I added loops to the sides because I knew we’d find the belts everywhere later if they weren’t attached to the robes.  When I was finished sewing them I decided they needed a little something, so I sewed lace to the bottom hem.  You might recognize the fabric from the rug I showed you last month that I made for the wedding bathroom.  It was a great way to use up those scraps!

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To make the iron-ons for both the robes and the t-shirts, I ordered these printable sheets.

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If you follow the directions exactly, these work beautifully.  They survived washing just fine, and the colors were very vibrant, perfect for the comic book look we were going for.

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This was definitely one of the more offbeat projects I did for the wedding, and one of the most fun!

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

Sewing Room Postcard Collage

Almost three years ago (which I only know because I looked it up) I bought some really cute postcards from an artist named Kathy Jeffords with an Etsy shop called The Dreamy Giraffe.  I fell in love with her style and chose the postcards so I’d have several of the prints.  After they arrived, I didn’t know what to do with them and I put them somewhere for safekeeping.  I’d come across them once in a while, marvel at how adorable they are, and put them back.  I finally decided enough is enough – these need to be displayed.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I started this project with an ordinary 12 x 12” frame.  I wanted to use a button print fabric as the background but didn’t want it to be too thin or floppy, so I ironed a piece of heavy craft interfacing onto the back. 

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 2

By cutting the interfacing to fit the frame, it also gave me a good outline for cutting the fabric.

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To hold the postcards in place I used some stick-on glue dots on the back.  I only used one dot on each card – just enough they wouldn’t slip around.

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I thought something with a little dimension would be fun in the middle, so I cut wool circles to match the fabric and added a little craft floss stitching to the center to make them look like buttons. 

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I attached those with glue dots as well.

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After that it was just a matter of putting it into the frame.  I love how it turned out, and I’m happy I can actually look at these prints every day.  Every day I decide a different girl is my favorite!

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I don’t think The Dreamy Giraffe has the postcard sets in stock any more, but the crafty girls are still available as prints.  I could find a place in my house for just about everything in her shop!

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom

When my daughter and son-in-law announced their engagement, and decided they wanted to hold the wedding at our home, my husband and I entered into what would be one of the biggest projects of our lives.  I don’t know about you, but it isn’t every day we invite 200 people to our house for a little get-together.  There were many things to be considered, not the least of which was the bathroom situation. 

Without going into all the details of how our house is arranged, we have three bathrooms inside, none of which were going to be easily accessible for the ceremony and reception.  We started looking at something we could rent, but the ugly ones were, well, ugly and the pretty ones would break the budget.  Finally, my husband decided he would build a bathroom behind the barn.  If you know my husband, you just nodded and said “Of course he did.”

My husband is the guy everyone calls when they need something fixed, so I can tell you the barn has absolutely nothing to do with animals.  Tools, wood and left-over home improvement supplies don’t require feeding though.  Pretty much everything he needed was inside that barn, and the entire thing ended up costing around $300.  We could barely rent an ugly one for that and ours flushed.

For some perspective on how this was set up, this is what the area looked like where the ceremony and reception were both held.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 1

Because the bathroom wouldn’t be obvious, I made this sign using my new wood burning tool.  I need to find another excuse to use that thing – it’s fun.

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We staked the sign near the back of the barn, and no one seemed to have any trouble finding it.

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The first thing they would see as the stepped around the corner was a small wood deck, to the left of the white barn door.

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The next thing our guests would find was a little hand washing area under an overhang.

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The mirror was from Ikea, as well as the hanging bulb that my husband turned into a mason jar pendant light.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 6

The sink and faucet, which I showed you how he made last week, were plumbed through a piece of rustic cedar.  The day of the wedding we added a bouquet of flowers inside the watering can, some soap I chose strictly because it was the right color, and hand towels.

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Beneath the counter were a couple of tin pails for trash.

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Next to the hand washing station was a stall to house the toilet itself, complete with locking door.  I love the red exterior barn wall serving as a background for all of this.

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I already showed you the sign and rug I made, but I thought this extended toilet roll holder my husband added was genius.  We slide several rolls on before the ceremony and no one ever had to refill it.

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I think the reason I love this little bathroom so much is because it really captured the whole DIY, rustic, country feel my daughter wanted for the event.  And I’m pretty sure no one has ever had one just like it.

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Besides, when you have something so cute going on in front of the barn, you’ve gotta have something special in the back.

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

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet

Are you all tired of hearing about wedding stuff yet?  I hope not, because we just got the photos from the photographer last week, along with her okay to share them here, so I have lots more to tell you about!

I have one more bathroom-related project I’d like to share with you before I reveal the whole thing next week.  I know it’s weird to be so focused on the restroom, but it was just adorable, and this project was the biggest focal point.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 1

We found the tub and watering can at Ikea last spring, so this wasn’t an expensive project at all.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 3

It was important to my husband to have a unique handle for the faucet, so we visited a local antique hardware store and found the one on the left for about $5.  He also needed a piece of 1/2” copper pipe and a drain, found at Home Depot.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 2

Replacing the faucet handle with the older one was as simple as unscrewing the nut, removing the one it came with, putting on the antique and screwing the nut back on.

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He pushed the copper pipe into the spout on the watering can just hard enough to make a small indent in the bottom.

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After that, he drilled a hole at the point of the dent…

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…large enough for the pipe to fit through.

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He put a piece of wood under the tub and pounded lightly on the bottom in the center to create a recessed area for the drain.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 8

He drilled a hole in the bottom that was slightly bigger than the diameter of the pipe.  After the hole was drilled, he hit it a few more times with the hammer to flatten the rough edges.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 9

He removed the rubber gasket and nut from the bottom of the drain.  He pushed the drain into the drilled hole, adding some sealant to the underside.  Then he threaded the gasket and nut back on, tightening it with a wrench.

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With the drain securely in place, installing it involved some plumbing skills I won’t get into here.

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It turned out even cuter than I pictured when my husband suggested it.  And it worked!

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 12

Next Wednesday – the big bathroom reveal!

Puffy Fabric Flowers

It probably goes without saying, but you know I’m going to say it anyway.  Weddings generally involve a lot of flowers.  Especially outdoor summer weddings.  We had flowers EVERYWHERE.  Real, fabric, burlap, whatever we could turn into a flower-ish shape, we did.  One of my favorites was the cute puffy fabric version we used on the sign I showed you last week.  Fortunately, with a few basic materials, they’re also a breeze to make.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 1

All you need is this pattern, some fabric, a little polyester stuffing and a big button.

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Cut out ten petals for each flower you intend to make.  Pin two petals with right sides of the fabric together.  Stitch around the curved edge, 1/4” from the raw edge, leaving the straight edge open.  Repeat for the other four petals.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 3

Turn the petals right side out and press.

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Add a small amount of stuffing to the inside of each petal.  You don’t want them stuffed tightly, just enough to give them a little fluff.

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Pinch a petal so the seams are touching each other at the bottom.  Using a needle and knotted thread, stitch through both seams. 

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Without knotting or cutting the thread, do the same with the next petal.  Repeat until all five petals are on the thread. 

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Stitch back through the first petal again, creating a loop.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 8

Pull the thread tightly to gather all the petals together.  Knot the thread, but don’t cut it.  Flatten all the raw edges together in the center and stitch through the center a few times to hold them in place.  You really just want to make sure they’ll be under your button.

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I really like the look of the split petal version.

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Stitch the button to the center.  You could also glue it, but I found stitching it through all the layers added to the dimension of the flower.

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Now you can sew or glue these to whatever needs a little puffy flower perk-up!

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 12

One Lifetime Sign

I mentioned last week that I had a few components of the bathroom my husband built for the wedding that I wanted to share with you before I show the whole thing.  This sign is one of them. 

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 1

We had a blank wall at the back, so I decided to make a sign to fill the space.  I had a bunch of burlap-looking canvases I found at a sidewalk sale that were the perfect size.

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 2

I read that in order to make vinyl letters stick to these, you should give them a few coats of Mod Podge.  Nope, nope, nope.  It left me with a rough surface that the vinyl hopped off of like it was on fire.  On to plan B. 

I taped off lines using blue painter’s tape and painted between them.  I was afraid the paint wouldn’t stick either, but I had no problem with it. 

My husband cut a piece of wood for me, and I got to try out my new toy – a wood burning tool.  That thing is so much fun.  I made a few signs for the wedding with it, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it again ever since.  To make this one, I just printed the phrase out on the computer, traced it onto the wood using carbon paper, and burned the letters.  Bonus points if you know where this quote is from!

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 3

I hot glued the wood onto the canvas.  My daughter suggested the upholstery tacks in the corners, which I thought added a nice detail.  The flower was one I had made while I was experimenting with a pattern, and I’m glad it found a home.  This sign was perfect for its spot, and it’s even better in the newlyweds’ home.

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 4

Join me next Wednesday, and I’ll show you how I made that puffy flower, along with a couple of variations!

Halloween Spider in a Jar

Materials for this project were provided by Tombow.  The project idea, opinions and mistakes are all me.

I do not like waiting for things to dry.  Paint, glue, my hair…if it needs a little time to get there I have no patience for it.  That’s why I jumped at the chance to try this Tombow Xtreme Adhesive.  No dry time, you just swipe it on and you’re done.  My kind of glue.  The only big question was what was I going to use it on?

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 1

I’ll start by telling you that my first idea was a fail on an unphotographable level.  It wasn’t the glue, it was me.  However, attempt number two more than made up for it.  And I have a jump start on Halloween decorating!

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 2

To make this creepy little display, I used:

  • mossy twigs from outside my house
  • baker’s twine
  • spider web in a bag
  • wood letters
  • scrapbook paper
  • jar
  • battery tea light candle
  • magnet
  • a spider, instructions here
  • Tombow Xtreme adhesive

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 3

The wood letters were plain black, so I traced them on the scrapbook paper and glued the paper to the front.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 4

To create the jar scape, I started by breaking up some of the twigs to make a base for the bottom of the jar.

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I pulled some thin strips of spider web and wrapped them loosely around some taller twigs.  I pushed them into the jar, leaving the ends of the web draped over the outside edge.

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Next in was Spidey himself.  I bent his legs to hook onto the twigs so he wouldn’t fall to the bottom.

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I added glue just inside the rim of the jar in four or five places and stuck the web ends I’d left out to it.  That way, I could control where the webbing ended up and make sure it stayed there.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 8

I had intended to use glue on this next step, but found I didn’t need it.  However, if yours doesn’t work like mine did, simply glue the magnet to the candle.  Just make sure you can still access the switch.

How to Create a Hanging Light Inside a Mason Jar - Crafty Staci

To decorate the lid a bit, I swiped on glue in a few places, then wrapped it with baker’s twine…

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..and glued a circle of scrapbook paper to the top.

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You can download the tag and pattern to cut the outer part here.  Which, of course, I glued together.

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I tied it to the jar with another bit of baker’s twine.

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Not quite as creepy as when you have to catch an eight-legged intruder in your house in order to “set him free.”

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Unless you want it to be…mwahh-ha-ha!

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Thanks, Tombow, for letting me play with your awesome glue!

Knotted Knit Bathroom Rug

As you know by now, since I haven’t stopped talking about it yet, my daughter’s wedding was held in the small field between our house and our little red barn.  Because we were holding the whole thing outdoors, one of our first considerations was a bathroom.

We looked into renting a port-a-potty style, but frankly nothing about those says wedding.  We saw some beautiful trailer-style restrooms to rent at a bridal show, but they would have obliterated our budget.  Being the handy guy he is, my husband decided to build one onto the back of our barn.  He ended up using mostly repurposed or left over supplies, and the whole thing cost us about $300.  On top of that, it was adorable.  I’m not going to show you the entire thing yet, because I’d like to share some of the things we made to go into it before the big reveal.  I’m starting with this unassuming but foot-friendly little rug.

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 1

I made each of the bridesmaids and the flower girl grey knit robes, and a white one for the bride, so they would have something to wear while they got ready.  Making six robes left me with lots of scraps, so I used those to make this.  You could also cut up t-shirts. 

I cut strips that were about 1” wide and 6” long.  If my notes are correct (forgive me, a lot was going on) I ended up with 1092 grey and 185 white.  I didn’t use all of them.  I’d recommend counting the holes to get a good estimate of how many you’ll need.

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 2

For the base I used the same type of mesh used for latch hook rugs.  You can buy it by the yard at the fabric store.  I cut mine 16 by 24”.  I happened to have some of this on hand, so this project cost me nothing out of pocket!

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 3

To bind the edges, I cut strips of knit that were 2” wide by the length of each side, plus a few inches.  Starting with the short sides, I overlapped the strip so it was covering the edge and stitched through all three layers on the sewing machine.

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For the long sides I did the same, only I turned the ends under about 1/2”.

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The corners should overlap.

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I used a pointy stick to push the ends of the small strips up through the holes from the bottom.

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Both ends should come up through adjacent holes.

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I only tied these once, rather than a square knot, because I found it was too bulky otherwise.  The knit holds well and none of them have come untied.

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I skipped a row of the mesh so only one strip of fabric is in each hole.  I also skipped a row when starting the next.  Again, it was too bulky if I didn’t.  This is what the back ends up looking like.

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Because of its size this rug is pretty heavy, but it’s great to stand on because it’s so thick.  It held in place well on the wood floor of the bathroom at the wedding, but slides around a bit on some tile.  The newlyweds are still using it in the bathroom at their new apartment!

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Kissing Bell

I’m still trying to locate some photos of many of the things we made for the wedding.  We were so busy that day, and the days leading up to it, we didn’t get a chance to take pictures.  Unfortunately, I’m starting to think some of it will have to live on in our memories and I won’t be able to share it all here.  While I wait it out a little longer, I thought I’d tell you about a fun thing we did that was a hit with the not-quite-tall-enough-for-a-rollercoaster crowd.

Kissing Bell - Crafty Staci 1

At a wedding, guests will often tap their glass with their fork to make that clinking noise as a signal the bride and groom should share a kiss.  At the last wedding we attended before my daughter’s the newlyweds were driven a bit bonkers with glass-clinking.  But because we were using mason jars and those silver-looking plastic forks, that wasn’t going to be an option.  I wasn’t about to let them off the hook though.

I considering putting a small bell at each guests’ spot.  I also thought about just putting one larger bell in the center of each table.  As I mentioned last week, we had lots of kids in attendance, so I was afraid every parent there would hate me by the end of the night.  Instead, we decided to go with one bell, and it worked out perfectly!

I made this sign using my vinyl cutting machine and some of the leftover grey vinyl from the glasses.

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After a little searching, I found this bell on Amazon.  I was surprised at how good the quality was, especially for the price, and I’m pretty sure you can hear this thing ringing for miles.

Kissing Bell - Crafty Staci 3

We hung it just above adult eye level to make it a little tougher for the kids to overuse it.  It was adorable to watch two little brothers we know try to help each other reach it.  We also added the “2 rings per customer please” to the sign to help with the ones who were a little older.  Believe it or not, it worked, and I’m pretty sure everyone who wanted a shot at ringing it found a way.

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We liked the bell so much, we hung it on one of the cedar posts by our front door after the wedding.  Without the kissing sign, of course.

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As if these two needed any encouragement.

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