DIY Style: Wishing Tree

I love creative alternatives to the standard wedding guest book, and the “Wishing Tree” could possibly be the most stylish I’ve seen yet. It is reasonably easy to assemble, can be customized to match your wedding colors and theme and serves as a lovely centerpiece on an entrance table at the wedding or reception. Here are the instructions for adding this piece of stunning decor to your wedding style.

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Step 1 Gather Branches

Although you certainly can go in your backyard and search for suitable wood to create your tree, most “Wishing Trees” are made from a special type of branch called manzanita.  Purchasing the wood will add to the cost of your project, but you are guaranteed a studier, more polished end result. You can buy these branches online for under $10 per branch. Suppliers such as Blooms & Branches offer a wide variety of colors.

image credit: Blooms & Branches

Step 2 Choose your décor

What do you want your finished tree to look like? Some options for decorating include stringing crystal beads or lights from the branches as well as spray-painting the branches to match wedding colors. You may want to consider decorating the tree and/or display table with flowers, ribbon, or tulle and pictures of the bride and groom. You can also hang small votives from the branches for a beautiful effect.

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You also need to choose your container. You will need two large hurricane glass vases or small plant containers found at local garden centers. Be creative, as long as the container is sturdy, you can think outside (or in!) the box. The bride featured here (below) used a box adorned with ribbon, and decorated with fresh flowers at the base.

photo credit: signature k

Step 3 Assemble Branches

There are a couple of different ways to do this, here is just one option. Insert floral foam in the bottom of the vases. Use foam to arrange branches, using about 4 branches per container. Fill containers with moss or glass beads to hide foam. Test branches for sturdiness, especially if you are going to be hanging anything heavier than small enclosure cards.

Step 4 Design Cards

You can use small blank business cards or order enclosure cards from a stationary store.  Some online retailers sell cards specifically designed for wishing trees. (Online retailer is Ginger Designs offers custom “wish cards”) Use a hole-punch to create a small opening at one end. String thin ribbon through the hole and tie using a simple knot.

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Step 5 Set-Up Display Table

Pull it all together by choosing a central spot for your Wishing Tree. Make sure guests will pass by the table when they arrive at your reception. Use a pretty tablecloth in coordinating colors and decorate with photos and flowers. Now your ready to show off your beautiful centerpiece Tree! Use two small trays (I like silver) to lay out cards. Make sure to provide plenty of pens. Print off instructions for guests and stand them on a small easel or enclose in a pretty picture frame.  Click here for suggested wording.

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This is a fun, creative DIY wedding project that won’t break the bank or take all your free time to complete. The best part is the small treasures left by your guests who fill out the cards. Unlike a simple signature in a guest book, these words of wisdom on love and life will be a gift that lasts forever.

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Do-able DIY: Bath Salt Favors

Destination weddings are so much fun this time of year, especially when the weather turns chilly in many cities, and guests look forward to traveling to a warmer locale. Homemade bath salts make a lovely wedding or bridesmaids favor, especially if your guests will have some down time to relax back in their hotel room. This little gift is easy to assemble and super budget friendly, and you can make it personal by coordinating the packaging with your wedding colors.

Here’s a simple recipe for bath salts:

  • 1 cup rock/sea salt
  • 1 cup epsom salts
  • 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
  • about 15 drops of essential oil of your choice, such as lavender, rose, vanilla, citrus or peppermint (adjust accordingly to your preference. Be careful to avoid getting undiluted essential oils in contact with your skin as this may result in a skin reaction in some people)

Mix together the salts in a metal or glass mixing bowl. Sift in the bi-carbonate of soda and stir with a metal spoon to combine. Add your essential oil of choice, and mix salts together thoroughly.

At this point you can also add dried flower petals or herbs (such as dried lavender or rose petals). Some people also like to add food coloring, which will result in a colored bath. If using liquid food dyes, just add a few drops until you achieve the desired color.

image credit: smashedpeasandcarrots; sandiegoweddinginsider (middle)

Fill small mason jars with bath salts (left) and decoupage the top with your favorite patterned paper. (Click here for simple decoupage instructions.)  Then secure a small wooden scoop to the top using pretty ribbon. Or, fill small lidded jars with salts, and decorate with personalized labels with your name, wedding date and thank you sentiments.

image credits: martha stewart (L), weddingbee (R)

Here’s another cute packaging idea….funnel salts in to small glass jars (available at local craft stores or online at Save-On). Hang personalized labels (click here for another label source) from thin string for a delicate look.

Bath salts also make a nice addition to hotel welcome gift baskets. Don’t forget to save some for yourself. A relaxing bath the night before your wedding may be just what you need to wake up feeling ready for your big day!

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DIY Decor: Mobile Style

Ok – I have to admit it – I would never, in a million weddings, have thought of using mobiles to add interest to wedding decor. But, after seeing a few featured on creative websites, I’m a believer. Did you have a mobile hanging in your room as a kid? If you’re conjuring up visions of cutesy animals or cars & trucks, think again. These modern mobiles are a stylish, colorful and vibrant. Hang them over banquet tables at your reception or rehearsal dinner for some “wow” factor. I’m willing to bet your guests will be asking “How’d she do it?” after seeing these unique accessories!

I love these mobiles because they are sweet and delicate, but make such a bold visual statement at the same time. Another bonus? They are inexpensive to make. This entire project was completed for about $25.  Vellum paper, fishing weights and simple sewing instructions are all you need to get the job done. Click here for complete instructions.

Planning a destination wedding? Here’s a super creative idea for a “grown-up” mobile that’s in perfect keeping with your travel theme. Using household items, pliable metal (from your local craft store) and vintage maps bought at a thrift store, this creative bride made a one-of-a-kind statement. Click here for easy instructions.

Think you don’t have the time or energy for these fun DIY projects, but want to get the same fabulous look at your wedding? Check out these beautiful mobiles found on Etsy. While they are not inexpensive (these ones range from about $40-$80), they are loaded with style and would be a lovely keepsake to decorate your home together, post-wedding. Either way, mobiles can be a unique way to add yet another personal touch to your special day.

Source credits: Mobile 1: Jordan Ferney as featured on Project Wedding

Mobile 2: Julia Lukomsky at Picture Party

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DIY Style: Mason Jars

If you thought mason jars were only good for canning pickles and preserves – think again. They are the superstars of DIY wedding decor. They have a vintage appeal and make even the most simple floral arrangements stand out. They’re incredibly economic (try picking the jars up at flea markets and yard sales). The list of DIY projects involving mason jars can go on and on. Here are just three of my favorite ideas for adding chic style to your wedding with mason jars.

Image credit: webegirls (top L); the knot (top R); wedding wire (bottom)

Aisle Markers Set the stage as you and your wedding party proceed down the aisle at your wedding. Hang jars filled with simple arrangements (like these colorful gerber daisies) on shepherd’s hooks at an outdoor ceremony. Or, coordinate pretty ribbon with your wedding colors to suspend flower filled mason jars (I love the simple hydrangea stems) from church pews or row end chairs.

photo credits: top L to R: Sweetest Occasion; Good Life Events; Wedding by Color; San Francisco Wedding Insider

Ambiant Lighting Nothing sets the mood at a wedding reception better than soft, gentle lighting. These mason jar lanterns are a welcome addition to any outdoor celebration. They’re easy to make, budget-friendly and add rustic charm. Click here for simple instructions for DIY hanging lanterns.

Image credit: the knot

Floral Centerpieces Simplicity rules when using mason jars to decorate at your wedding. Large bouquets can overwhelm the vintage shape and style of the jar. Stick to single varieties of flowers in small arrangements or  mix similar colors in small groups. Mason jars come in different sizes and styles. Don’t you love the charming mixed group centerpiece? (below, right) This bride combined different sizes of jars and flowers, and added an adorable fabric frame to create a charming centerpiece with table number.

image credit: wedding wire (L); the knot (R)

image credit: wedding wire

There are so many other amazing ways to use mason jars when decorating for your wedding. They can hold signature drinks at your reception, be used to hold table numbers, or to create sweet homemade favors for your guests. I just loved this inspiration board about mason jars(below) from The Design Grove and wanted to share it with our readers. Enjoy!

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