The Startup DIY Bride

So I always say I have these crafty things “lying around the house,” and while this is true, it didn’t start out that way. Before planning a wedding I didn’t really craft anything. Glue guns, craft paper, Mod Podge, these things were all foreign to me, and certainly not in my house! So I thought I would let you know what it takes to start your own DIY wedding central.

The first thing my hubby-to-be did for me was buy me a HUGE storage bin. You have to have a place to put all your creations.

I organize it the best I can but inside it sort of looks like Martha Stewart’s vomit…ok that was gross, but you get the point.

I would say a bin (or several) is a must have. Especially if you’re like me and live in a tiny apartment, that way, your crafting crap isn’t scattered across the living room. If you are more ambitious you can get storage specifically for crafters, this is much more expensive, but it will probably keep you more organized than I am. I valued “cheap” over “totally organized.”

This would work well for what you need if you’re willing to shell out the $$$.

Now that you have a bin, you need stuff to put in it! You need, what I like to call, “The Essentials.”

Glue Guns are a MUST HAVE. I don’t know about you, but I have used crafting glue in the past, and while it holds well when it’s dry, the length of time it takes to dry is excruciating. Hot glue is AWESOME! It gets the job done, and done quickly! I chose a glue gun with a high and low setting. It’s a good idea, because some crafts can call for one setting or the other. I also bought a smaller glue gun because it was cheaper. Make sure you get the right size sticks for your glue gun! You don’t want to get home only to realize you don’t have the right size. It is a VERY good idea to buy extra sticks to go with it, just because you will use it so much you NEED extra, a LOT extra.

Ruler and a pencil…that’s basic stuff. If you’re not measuring, then you at least need a straight edge. Also, better a pencil than a pen!

Scrap booking paper is a must have! I recommend getting the thin and thick kind. Some projects you need a more flexible paper, and for others you need your paper to stand up under stress. Get all kinds. Sadly, where I live there is no great selection of scrapbook paper, so I had to take to the internet to find what I needed. Really stock up on the stuff too, especially if you feel like you will be making a lot of paper garland.

Twine is another must have! If you have anything you want to hang up, twine stands up the best! Depending on the look of your wedding, you can always change the color and thickness of the twine, so don’t feel that it’s a rustic wedding thing! It’s very useful in all DIY situations!

Needle and Thread can be pretty important for sewing (obviously) but also fixing fabric related mishaps…in fact, one should always carry around a needle and thread, just because!

Now some of these things I already had, but others I had to buy, and in addition to “The Essentials” I also needed stuff specific to my wedding, such as materials to make my own flowers. And because every DIY wedding is different, every start-up cost is different. Here is what I would suggest: Figure out your core projects, ones you WON’T slack on and that you will absolutely make for your wedding! Then buy all the materials to make those projects. You may have materials left over from those projects that you can then use for other things. I buy what is needed for each project a little at a time. I’m sure I’ve spent a bundle on all the projects, but when it comes out as $20 here, $50 there, it’s not noticed as much!

Now for some tips!

Tip #1 START EARLY!

Let’s be honest. There is no way you will find time to sit down a few months or weeks before the wedding to craft your little heart out. And even if you plan to do all these things months before, life just gets in the way. So start early and plan, plan, plan! Know the look you are going for and pick your crafts around that theme! Also set aside time each week to craft. Take a few hours on your day off to work on the wedding. I have found crafting to be very therapeutic and relaxing to be honest. 🙂

Tip #2 K.I.S.S.!

Keep it simple stupid! Don’t make the Eiffel tower out of tooth picks or anything! By keeping all your projects fairly simple, you won’t be as stressed or frustrated while completing them! For instance, I can’t sew, and I don’t own a sewing machine, so none of my projects (save one) involve sewing anything! When making my bunting, I even went out of my way to find a method where I wouldn’t have to sew anything! Keep it in your comfort zone, this is no time to go all Martha on your wedding. This is the time to relax, have fun, and include personal touches you’ll remember forever.

Tip #3 My momma told me…

Shop around! Sign up for coupons! One of the first things I did was go around to the local craft stores and sign up for deals and coupons! Whenever I enter a craft store, I make sure I have coupons so I can get all my stuff for less! Online shopping has been a HUGE benefit for me. The hubby-to-be has Amazon Prime which gives us free 2 day shipping, and we can pay with the cash back credit card, which is also helping us make some money. Online deals tend to be cheaper anyway. When I did the Picture Transfer project, the Gel Medium and the Mod Podge were WAY cheaper through Amazon than the craft store.

Tip #4 Party Time!

Make it fun! Do you have a lot of girls in your bridal party? Does your hubby like to craft along with you? Have them help! Not only will you feel better because things are getting done faster, but you can have a fun party at the same time! Invite all your girls together for crafting and movies! I mean, who doesn’t like to cry at The Notebook while folding paper confetti?

Tip #5 Research IS involved!

Don’t know where to start? Do some research! Pinterest was (and IS) my go-to for all things DIY wedding! And of course I have lots of crafting ideas here on the site! Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it! Most sites with DIY projects (including mine) have a step by step tutorial that should guide you through the how-to! If not though, and it looks like a fairly simple make, just try it! There is no harm in buying a few materials to experiment, and if it turns out well, you can make a tutorial to share! If you have any great DIY ideas, I’d love to hear them! Send me your best ideas along with a step by step tutorial, and I’ll feature it here!

So those are all my start-up tips! If I left anything out, please feel free to let me know! I always welcome new ideas! I am new at this as well, and learning as I go, so let’s do it (yourself) together! D.I.T.!

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