9 Trendsetting Decor Ideas For Your Wedding

wedding

The pendulum has really swung recently when it comes to the world of wedding decor. When I got married a mere five years ago, it was still a really sparkly, shiny little bubble. Picture lots of brightly lit ballrooms and black limousines, tightly clipped and domed floral bouquets, plated chicken and champagne flutes, you get the gist. This was back in the olden days, pre-popular wedding blogs and pre-Pinterest — pre the whole barn-wedding phenomenon. Nowadays, even the most upscale brides are embracing the whole rural-and-rustic thing: bales of hay (as chairs), burlap runners, wagon wheel chandeliers. The barnification of wedding culture continues to baffle me. I believe that unless you grew up shoveling fertilizer, there is no need to use your wedding day as an opportunity to re-create a dilapidated cowshed, then prance through it barefoot on an aisle made of manure.

While I am all for creating a groovy, relaxed ambience that allows for your guests to kick back, I think the trick is to strike a balance between over-the-top ornamentation and agrarian economy-chic. Think simple strung lights, lush table garlands, and old-school handfuls of rice. Here are some cool, cost-efficient, and visually sensational DIY decor ideas that I hereby grace with the Stone Fox stamp of approval.

Bubbles

Why not give all your guests little bottles of bubbles from the dollar store to blow while you and your newly betrothed are climbing into your honeymoon car? It’s like fairy-tale psychedelia — Cinderella meets Tommy.

Rugs

Colorful, worn Moroccan rugs are an amazing addition to any outdoor wedding. They make the space look inviting, mellow, and high-style all at once. Plus, once the wedding is over, you can reuse them to make your newly married home cozy and colorful.

Rice

Like most bizarre marriage rituals, no one quite knows how it originated (it’s rumored the pagans thought that the grain could transfer fertility to the newlywed couple), but it’s a classic, low-budget way to create a climate of celebration. (By the way: That whole hippie thing about how tossed rice kills birds? Total urban legend.) Plus, it’s an awesome way for your aggro bridesmaids to work out their rage.

Chuppah

The chuppah is a tapestry attached to the tops of four poles, and, in Jewish tradition, symbolizes the safety of the home that the couple is about to build together. Jewish or not, I’m all for it. My Irish-Catholic husband literally cut down some branches in a forest upstate and we threw my nana’s quilt over the top and called it a day. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can add some wild leaves and flowers.

Garland

Skip the vases altogether—they’re an unnecessary expense when it comes to centerpieces. A garland packs an equally luscious punch, plus your guests won’t have to shout at each other across huge floral arrangements. Dahlias, eucalyptus, wine grapes, pomegranates, lemons, and Juliet roses can be artfully arranged and draped to create a tablescape rich in color and texture.

The “Just Married” Car

If you can get your hands on it, the classic vintage Volkswagen bus (preferably in a pastel shade) adorned with empty beer cans is positively the coolest way to get out of Dodge.

Marigold Mandala

Marigolds are beautiful, low-maintenance, and have a clean, earthy smell. Plus, they are a natural mosquito repellent. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, why not use them to make a mandala in the lawn to create a sacred space and symbolize the journey you’re taking with your partner? My friend Leigh did this at her Northern Cali wedding, and she said, “I walked through it myself before the ceremony. It was a great, meditative way to get present. Plus, my guests wandered through it when they wanted to take a break from the dance floor.”

Pots of Herbs

Few things make me happier than sustainable decor that can be passed onto your guests to take home. I’m obsessed with placing small pots of fresh herbs around your wedding venue (lavender, sage, and basil are some of my favorites) and handing them out at the end of the party.

Strung Lights

Call me a sucker, but I love these little guys. You can buy them anywhere, use them again, and it’s a foolproof way to create a dreamy golden vibe that envelops your guests in the essence of warmth.

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Beyond Popsicle Sticks: Tips For DIY Picture Frames

diy

Think back to kindergarten and your first picture frame, proudly put together out of glued Popsicle sticks, some yarn and maybe a splash of glitter.

Voila! Functional art.

DIY picture frames — whether by adults or children — are still the bedrock of meaningful crafts projects. Printing out a photo of a loved one or landscape and displaying it in a frame elevates that image above the ocean of others that we post online or keep tucked away on cell phones and laptops.

Here are some tips on how to make a picture frame out of wood and other materials, from book covers and fabric to those always popular Popsicle sticks.

Ideas, inspirations

New Orleans-based Alyse Rodriguez, 32, began making frames and home decor as a hobby while working as an accountant, but transitioned her Etsy.com store into a full-time studio and business last year.

“I start with inspiration, from travel, my home and my clothes to playing the piano, and amalgamate all that into ideas, the color palettes and pattern design,” she said.

Her Color Collection, made of two or three thick pieces of birch plywood glued side-by-side and hand-painted with acrylic paint in lime green, coral and other unusual colors, with the photo secured on top, reflects her bohemian style.

Her new Mali Collection features right-angled frames made of smooth poplar, with a stained finish. Geometric patterns — squiggles, arrows, dots — inspired by African, handmade cotton fabric dyed with fermented mud, called mud cloth, are then screen-printed on the surface.

“The way that I approach wood is like the way an artist approaches a blank canvas,” Rodriguez said.

The right materials

If you’re interested in making a right-angled wooden frame — four pieces of wood glued together at the joints and secured with nails or staples — Rodriguez recommends sticking to poplar. It’s smooth, lightweight, easy to sand down, and has a fine texture.

Timothy Holton, 58, of Berkeley, California, who founded the shop Holton Studio Frame-Makers in 1993, suggests investing in high-quality hardwoods such as cherry, oak and maple.

A table saw is one way to cut the wood; you can buy one at a local woodshop, he said. Or Rodriguez suggests having pieces cut for you at chain stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot that have cutting machines.

Rodriguez, who also quilts, used to make frames out of plywood wrapped in fabric and glued in the back with fabric adhesive, like a fabric-covered book, with the photo on top.

Or you could take a hardcover book, carve out a rectangle in the middle of the cover, pop out the piece, and tape a photo in its place.

For a simple, rustic frame, great to make with kids, combine four twigs to form a rectangle, and then bind them with string at the corners.

Holding it together

“The simplest frame, if it’s really made well, feels compelling and has integrity to it,” said Holton.

That makes the process of fitting, gluing and nailing the pieces together important. First use a strong wood glue, such as Titebond, and wait for it to dry.

“If you wait 24 hours, you have to use an axe to get those pieces of wood apart,” Rodriguez joked.

To hold two pieces together at a perfect right angle to dry, use a miter clamp or other type of frame clamp. A picture frame stapler gun or nail gun are helpful when securing the frame in the back, after gluing.

For kids, break out those Popsicle sticks, and buy colorfully patterned Japanese washi tape. Crafts blog Eighteen25.com recommends rolling out a strip of washi tape, sticky side up, and laying the Popsicle sticks on top, wrapping the washi tape around their edges. Then glue two plain sticks across your decorated sticks, to hold everything together. Glue a magnet on the back and a photo on the front.

Have fun decorating

“To me, the finish work is the best part. That’s where the design really comes into play, and you can have fun,” said Rodriguez.

Head to a paint or art supply store and get color swatches, play with color combinations and buy inexpensive acrylic paint samples, said Rodriguez. She likes to use 1-inch-thick craft paint brushes.

Use a pencil eraser dipped in paint or a stencil to create patterns.

Rodriguez made her first picture frame in 2011 with a stencil of a mask that she actually glued to the frame and then spray-painted gold. She now also incorporates braided leather and burlap into her frame designs.

Your decorated frame should be personal, reflecting the picture in it.

“The frame says, ‘This matters. This is something I care about, that you should care about too,’ “ says Holton.