Wedding Wonders

CRTVTY has been a bit quiet these past few weeks, but with good reason. On September 30th, five years after the day we met, I married my love and co-conspirator, Tien-Tien. The wedding took place under a sunny sky in Palo Alto, California, and was followed by a beautiful celebration at the CuriOdyssey Museum in San Mateo. And although planning the wedding was far from easy, it turns out that the process involves a lot of creativity, and we actually had a fair amount of fun putting together some of the components. At the top of the list: wedding favors.

That project started when a friend bequeathed us a large supply of 12oz mason jars. The wedding had a bit of a DIY theme already, so we decided that each jar could contain a DIY “kit” for the guest to build and enjoy during the reception. I scoured the ‘tubes for ideas and ended up devising five kits, each with a very different flavor. Although I thought I had designed them with manufacturability (and affordability) in mind, we experienced some NASA-esque budget overruns and *may* have put the staff at the local art supply store through grad school. But with a few late nights and a few capable groomsmen, we got them done. And what a success they were! 

By the end of the reception, the floors were littered with improvised ammunition flung by sturdy little “Wedding-apults”, guests sported classy homemade boutonnières, clandestine alter-egos had been developed to accompany the “DIY-sguise” kits, and the kids were busy engineering architectural marvels with their “Magneto-Stix”. Instructions for each kit included below, with finished and in-progress photos in the gallery above.

DIY-sguise Kit: paper glasses, felt mustache with cardboard backing, vinyl lips with cardboard backing, stick, pipecleaners. To build your own, glue fabric to a heavy fiberboard or cardboard backing, then trace and cut out the desired shapes. Hot glue a small piece of drinking straw to the back corner of each component to provide a reusable anchor for a piece of 3/16” dowel or the pipe cleaners. Total cost: ~$1.00. Instructions: Disguise_Plans.

Window Garden Kit: bag of soil, packet of California Poppy seeds (or similar), 24” length of decorative ribbon, rubber band. To build your own, hold the ribbon to the top of the jar with a rubber band, then screw the rim (only) of the mason jar down to secure. Fill the jar with soil and plant the seeds according to the instructions. Total cost: ~$1.25. Instructions: Garden_Plans.

Magneto-Stix Kit: a few dozen sticks (3/16” by 4”) with a small neodymium magnet glued to each end to create architectural masterpieces. To build your own, purchase a number of small craft magnets on Amazon and secure to the ends of your dowel segments with superglue or epoxy. Use nail polish to provide a colorful protective coat over the magnet. Total cost: ~$2.00. Instructions: Sticks_Plans.

Wedding-apult Kit: a pine base (4” x 2.5” x ¼”) with a hole in each corner, five 5” lengths of 3/16” dowel, two 3” lengths of 3/16” dowel, a piece of drinking straw, miscellaneous tape and rubber bands. To build your own, cut and sand the wooden components (I purchased 3’ dowel segments and an 8’ strip of pine molding from the hardware store). Construct a throwing arm by gluing a ½” piece of drinking straw perpendicularly on the end of one of the 5” dowel segments (a 3” segment can be threaded through this to form a pivot). Another piece of drinking straw on the other end provides a passable throwing basket. Lash everything together with the rubber bands and wreak havoc! Total cost: ~$2.00. Instructions: Catapult_Plans

DIY Boutonniere Kit: a bundle of craft paper petals (heart shaped), a bundle of tissue paper or fabric petals (teardrop shaped), four 4” steel wire “stamens” topped with glass beads, 2’ fabric floral tape, one safety pin. To build your own, use pliers to affix a bead to the end of each wire. Cut teardrop shaped inner petals (~3” long) out of tissue paper or lightweight fabric. Pinch the base of the petals around the wire stamens and affix with a bit of floral tape. Cut heart shaped outer petals (~3” long) out of decorative craft paper. Affix around the inner petals in the same way. Curl the edges of the outer petals, and wrap the entire stem with floral tape. Affix to lapel with the safety pin. Total cost: ~$2.00. Instructions: Boutonnière_Plans

All-in-all, it was a fun project and a superb addition to the wedding…as long as you weren’t trying to give a toast. If you’ve got your own kit ideas, or tweaks on these, please share!