Salvaged Wood Frame Gallery Wall

I’ve been waiting a long time to get my beautiful salvaged wood frame collection up on the wall- 1.5 years to be exact! We never had the room in our apartment. These frames were given to us as a wedding present from my extended family in South Africa- my aunt and cousins found them at a flea market in Johannesburg. My sister got the same gift at her wedding, so it was a very special present. As a South African-born Canadian citizen, it means a lot to have a piece of South Africa in my home.

Salvaged wood frame gallery wall

Salvaged wood frame gallery wall

The hardest part of hanging my frames was figuring out what size to print the photos and how to crop them; the frames were non-standard sizes, like 20×15 cm (roughly 5.5×7.5 inches). Printing at 5×7 inches would have been too small for the frame, and printing at 8×10 would have changed the photo too much after cropping it to size. In most cases I just edited the photos in Paint.NET, adding borders so I could print at the larger size without changing the size of the actual photo, like this:

Bride and groom on the beach

I then played around with the selection size, setting it to the size of the window in each frame, so I could preview exactly how it would look (’cause I’m picky like that). I took it one step further and took a photo of how I wanted the frames laid out, and then inserted tiny versions of each photo to get an idea of where I wanted to put them all!

Gallery wall frame layout

I know, I’m a little nuts.

Once I had that figured out, I ordered the prints and then cropped them to size. I had to switch one or two of them, but for the most part it worked out exactly how I planned.

Cropping photos for gallery wall

Hanging them was a snap thanks to a tip I read online somewhere. I traced each frame on to newspaper to form a template and stuck the templates to the wall using masking tape, centering them on the frame I wanted in the middle. Once I was happy with how it looked, I measured the back of each frame to figure out where to put the holes, and marked this with an X on each piece of newspaper. Then I drilled right through the newspaper at each X. If you’re curious about the specifics, I used a 3/16″ drill bit for the holes, then tapped in a #8 wall plug (dry wall anchor), followed by a Robertson 1- 1/2″ screw. And I did it alllllllllll by myself, with no mistakes! If you follow me on Instagram @cathyatdeardiy, I shared this photo of the process a little while back.

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Here are a few more close up shots of the frames. Check out that stamped plaster, and the tiny flakes of different paint colours.

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[Photos courtesy of LilyCreek Photography and Art Studio]

I’m so happy to finally have our wedding photos printed and framed! (psst… more details on our wedding here)

Have you tried hanging a gallery wall? Did you eyeball it or were you meticulous like me?

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Organza and Satin Ribbon Bridal Sash

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My super crafty and creative friend recently got married and although making a bridal sash is totally something she would nail, her to-do list for the wedding was pretty long… like, clear a patch of land in the woods for the ceremony, cut down trees to make the benches, and break her arm in the process long. So she asked me if I would look after it, and I gladly obliged!

You may remember that I made my own sash(es) for my wedding out of rolled dupioni silk roses and pearl beads. My friend wanted me to “copy” one from the bridal shop where she tried on her dress, which had a large silk flower along with feathers and other pretty bits. While I was doing some research on DIY silk flowers, I stumbled on this great blog post from Reese Dixon that describes how to make flowers out of organza.

Reese Dixon Organza flowers

www.reesedixon.com

Aren’t they gorgeous? After a few quick stops to Fabricland and Michael’s I had everything I needed.

First, I made a large white flower out of some beautiful shimmery organza and 2 small rolled satin ribbon roses using the same tutorial I used for my dupioni silk flower wedding sash, except with 2″ ribbon instead of silk. I am happy to report that although I started off making rolled flowers with hot glue because I was too scared to hand-stitch, after all the practice I got for the whale and fish baby mobiles I made, I can (semi) confidently hand-stitch without (much) tangling/swearing! I made a good chunk of this sash with needle and thread, instead of relying on the all-too-easy-and-sometimes-disastrous hot glue.

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Once the flowers were done, I figured out how I wanted to have them arranged on the ribbon, and set to work making the backing.

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For the backing, I cut an oval of felt to size and cut circles out of tulle. I pinched the tulle circles in the middle and rolled/tucked until they looked pretty, then tied the ends off.

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The next steps I didn’t take photos of because I was too focused on getting it to look right! Once I knew where the flowers were going, I filled in the gaps between them with the folded bits of tulle by hand-stitching them to the felt at the knotted end. Then I added feathers pointing in all directions behind and between where the flowers would go by hand-stitching them 2-3 at a time (they came stuck to a fabric circle that I cut them off of in groupings, then sewed on to the felt). I made sure to attach more feathers than I thought I would want, because it’s hard to get them to lie right- that way, I could cut off any ones that looked odd. Having a bit extra also helped when I accidentally dripped hot glue on part of it and had to cut some of it away…

Once I was happy with the placement of the tulle and the feathers, it was time to attach the flowers. I relied on hot glue for this part since the flowers would have been pretty thick to sew through. The roses were pretty straight forward, I just hot glued them to the felt. But I had to be careful with the organza flower; hot glue pretty much melts anything it comes in contact with, and I was pretty sure the organza was not heat resistant. To make sure the hot glue wouldn’t melt right through it,  I sewed a circle of felt on to the back of the organza flower by stitching through all except the topmost layers (to hide the stitches),  then glued the circle to the felt backing. I forgot to take a picture of sewing the pearl beads to the organza flower, which I did before attaching the felt circle.

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I left the tails of the ribbon pretty long so my friend could just tie it on to her dress, but the back of her dress had really pretty button detailing that she didn’t want to hide. I needed to find a way to join the two ends so that they would meet in the middle of her back like a belt. I could have used a button or a set of hooks and eyes, but then I had a brain wave: I bought a bra extender clip from Fabricland and hot glued the ends of the ribbon to either side of the clip so it was exactly the width of her waist. I managed to hide the clip with a fold of ribbon so you could only see two edges of ribbon meeting.

Want to see it in action? Sure you do!

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Beautiful! Congrats to our lovely friends D&D, it was such a great day and so special to be a part of.

This could have easily been made entirely with hot glue, but I am pretty proud of myself for growing in my craft skill set and improving my hand stitching skills, and I think the end result is a lot nicer than it would have been otherwise! How about you, have you tried your luck at a handmade bridal sash or put on your big girl pants and exchanged the hot glue for a needle and thread?

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Our Wedding: Sash(es) and Fascinator

That’s right, I made two sashes to wear with my wedding dress! Don’t judge me, I didn’t mean for it to happen. I just found a couple designs online that I wanted to try and when I liked them both equally, I thought why not wear them both?

When I first started wedding planning, I thought I was being so original. I was really drawn to sort of vintage-y and rustic items, like the antique blue mason jars I collected for our centrepieces. I wanted our wedding to be unique, and I thought I could achieve this by avoiding what I thought were stereotypical wedding items. But it turns out a lot of people felt that way, and variations of the indie/vintage/antique/rustic theme have gotten really popular. At first I thought, oh crap now EVERYONE is going to have the same wedding as me. But then I realized that my wedding was going to be special to me no matter what, so who cares if someone else has some of the same ideas? I wouldn’t abandon something just because no one else thought it was cool, so I’m certainly not going to do the opposite!

One of my favourite websites for quote-unquote original stuff is Etsy, and I bought a ton of things for our wedding there. However, I do think that some of the stuff on there is overpriced, and you can bet that anything with the label “Bridal/Wedding” has a markup because of the emotional attachment people have with purchasing stuff for their wedding. Damn you, consumerism! I was pretty shocked by how expensive some of the options were for bridal sashes. I didn’t save money on an inexpensive wedding gown just so I could blow my budget on 2 feet of “Swarovski crystal and pearl hand-stitched” satin ribbon! Plus who is going to notice if those crystals are actually just glass beads?

For the first sash I made, I wanted something similar to this one that I found on Pinterest and absolutely fell in love with:

Pinterest sash

(unfortunately I have no idea what the original sources is, so I cannot give credit where credit is due)

I found a tutorial on how to make flowers out of strips of fabric, bought some beautiful dupioni silk from Fabricland with my Fabricland membership discount ($40/meter regular price, no thank you very much), and gave it a go! Dupioni silk is so beautiful. The pictures don’t do it justice… it has this multi-dimensional quality, where it almost changes colour depending on how you look at it. I made a few flowers that were different sizes, using some darker grey cotton as well as the grey dupioni silk. Then I arranged them the way I wanted and glued them to a grey grosgrain ribbon. I probably should have stitched on the pearl beads before gluing it all together, because it was really hard to get the needle through all the fabric.

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(photo credit LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio)

My second sash was a little bit more ambitious, and a lot more time consuming. To make it, I bought pearl beads in different sizes and shades of white and grey, as well as beading cord and white satin ribbon, and I set to work stitching the beads to the ribbon. Rookie mistake: I didn’t use a fabric stabilizer behind the ribbon, so the edges started to curl in with the weight of all the beads. But I was able to hot glue the stabilizer once the beads were attached anyway, so it turned out right in the end. The back of it certainly didn’t look pretty though!

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(photo credit LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio)

I wore the pearl beaded sash for the ceremony since it had more of a classic look, and saved the dupioni silk flower one for the reception and dance. I’m really glad I wore both of them… it gave me a chance to mix up my look a bit, and I loved them both.

In addition to the sashes, I also made my fascinator. In one of my previous posts I mentioned how I didn’t want to wear a veil; I think they’re beautiful, but a veil struck me as just too fussy for a small cottage wedding. If it hadn’t been pouring with rain we would have been outside for the ceremony, and I didn’t want the breeze off the lake whipping a veil around my face. I liked the idea of having something small and cute in my hair, without worrying about getting tangled up in bunch of tulle. I could have gone the blusher veil route, but I decided that just a bit of veiling with some silk flowers on a hair clip was what I wanted. I made the flowers using the tutorial above with some white dupioni silk, and decided how I wanted the flowers to lie. Then I cut a piece of felt in that shape for the backing. I stitched the veiling on to the felt first, then hot glued feathers and then the flowers on top of all that. I attached the back of the felt to a metal alligator hair clip so that it would go easily in my hair without ruining my hairstyle if I wanted to adjust it.

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(photo credit LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio)

Well, that brings my series of wedding posts to a close. It’s been nice looking back on all of our pictures and remembering how special it was. Thanks for reading!

-C

DISCLAIMER: many fingers were harmed in the making of these items. Hot glue is aptly named.

Our Wedding: Flowers & Centrepieces

Alright, alright. Technically you could argue that the flowers should have been included in my post about our décor. But I loved our flowers so much that I thought I should let them shine all on their own! The flowers were done by Linda at Killaloe Flowers & Gifts and I couldn’t have been happier with them…. my bouquet was possibly my most favourite thing about our wedding (ahem… I mean after marrying my one true love, and spending time with our wonderful friends and family). I paid for my first few years of university by working part-time in a flower shop, and I think we’ve established that I’m picky as hell even about things that I don’t have first-hand experience with, so the flowers needed to be top notch. And they were!

For the centerpieces, I wanted a sort of cluster of different items for a more laid-back look, and played around with a few different things until I was happy. I decided on lace cutout pots from Ikea, mason jars that I collected from flea markets/borrowed from friends, square glass vases from Dollarama, and mosaic tile table numbers (kindly loaned by my sister-in-law). The favours looked super cute on the tables too in their little blue boxes with the monogram I designed (truffles from koko chocolates).

centerpieces

(bottom left photo credit: My Tran Trung)

For the bouquets, I went with white roses, seeded eucalyptus, and dusty miller (grown by the florist herself)!  For my bouquet, the florist added in some purple limonium and white lisianthus… it was stunning. I gave her a few pictures to work with and she came up with something really beautiful! For the gents, the boutonnieres were also white roses, with seeded euc added for the groom.

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bridal party

Sigh. Aren’t they just gorgeous? (and how pretty are those ladies?)

Funny side note about the flowers, and weddings in general: the week of the wedding, our florist called to say she was not able to get the white kalanchoes that I had requested for the centrepieces. Instead she was going to get a white mini rose, which was fine by me since I love roses. The day that I picked them up, she told me that she was super sorry but the roses that came in were YELLOW. I used every ounce of good manners and reason I had not to flip out, and the quiet voice inside my head said “Cathy, the colour of the rose does not matter. Everything is going to be perfect because you are marrying your best friend. Nothing else matters, not even the colour of the centerpieces that you have been agonizing over.” I took a deep breath and told her that we would work with it. Luckily, the buds were nice and tight and hadn’t opened yet, and they were more of an off-white buttery colour than yellow, so no one noticed! Sometimes, not losing your mind on a poor lady who is just trying her best pays off and karma gives you a break.

So there you have our flowers! Stay tuned for my next post full of wedding DIY goodness, featuring the sash(es) I made for my dress, as well as my silk flower fascinator.

-C

Note: all photos taken by LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio unless otherwise stated.

Our Wedding: Décor

Although I spent a lot of time on the invitations and stationary, decorating our wedding ceremony and reception hall was a big job too. Since our dinner was held in the restaurant of Spectacle Lake Lodge, it needed some tweaking to have the look I wanted… Mostly this involved hunting through flea markets or stores for the right item, but I also made a few key pieces.

For our ceremony, I was tempted to make a program to match our invitations- but one of my first DIY projects was refurbishing an old flea market frame into a magnetic chalkboard, and I knew it would look awesome as our program. To write out the program, I did a few Pinterest searches until I found an example of one I liked. Then I used a chalk marker to write, erase, and write again until I was happy.*

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For our seating plan, I loved the look of salvaged window frames that I found on Pinterest. I found the perfect window at Tin Barn Market, a really cute shop in Merrickville, ON.  I printed out the seating plan and traced over it on the window using white Sharpie markers (water soluble, not oil). At first I was using clear tape to stick the paper to the underside of the window, but I had to do some emergency tweaking the night before the wedding and I discovered (duh) that I could just literally put the window on top of the paper and trace over it without using tape!

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When I found a really cool piece of driftwood at my family’s cottage a few summer’s ago, I knew I could make something unique with it. Our wedding gave me the perfect excuse to figure out what exactly! I bought tealights and glass holders from Ikea, measured the diameter of the glass holder and bought a forstner drill bit from Lee Valley (I actually bought the wrong size at first, which is why I am now banned from measuring things).  My husband drilled holes into the wood where I wanted the candles to go, and we hot glued the glass holders on… you could also drill deeper so that the glass just sits in the recess. We paired the driftwood with photos of both of our parents and sisters from their respective weddings.

driftwood

One traditional wedding item that I never planned on getting was a cake topper. I just didn’t think it was for me, and everything else about our wedding was not really all that traditional (for example, I opted not to wear a veil… and DIY’d a fascinator instead). But then I made the mistake of doing an Etsy search for a cake topper and I found this adorable pair:

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How CUTE?? I guess they were more steampunk than “rustic elegant” but I had to have them. Maybe it was all the Daft Punk I was listening to at the time… or maybe they reminded me of a Get Up Kids album cover, a band my husband and I both liked when we were dating.  They were one of the few things that I really splurged on and spent more than I reasonably should have. But je ne regrette rien!

For our gift table, we made a card box out of old wood pallets. We more or less followed a tutorial I found on Instructables.com. The best part about a wood pallet project is, it’s FREE! Well, providing you have the necessary tools and hardware lying around anyway. We scored our pallets from the loading dock at my workplace, but I’ve seen them in big stacks at Canadian Tire, Home Depot, and at the Ottawa Trainyards. I also made a bunting banner to go with it. Admittedly, it is large for a card box but now it does double duty in our living room as a storage box (you can see how we made it here).

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To put the finishing touches on the hall décor, I used aqua blue glass vases to tie in our wedding colours in various spots. Some of the vases I filled with artificial cherry blossoms, and I used one of the larger vases with a large pillar candle on the mantel, along with my flea market lanterns and Ampersand sign (an Etsy find). For our “guestbook” I wanted to do something unique, so I went with these adorable wooden hearts. We put the hearts in a keepsake box I found at the Third World Bazaar a few years ago, and once they were signed our guests placed them in a mason jar. Finding the mason jars at flea markets was probably the most time consuming thing I undertook for the wedding- I paid anywhere from $2-20 for them depending on how much energy I had for haggling!

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(bottom left photo credit My Tran Trung)

All of our decorations really pulled our “rustic yet elegant” theme together… plus it was so fun shopping for everything! Stay tuned for my next wedding post: our flowers and centrepieces!

-C

Note: all photos taken by LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio except where otherwise stated.

*Although easy to wipe off with water at first, when I tried to erase the chalkboard weeks after our wedding the chalk marker wouldn’t come off. So if you want it to be temporary, you may want to avoid the chalk markers and stick with good ol’ chalk. I found this really awesome link on Pinterest that shows how to do a faux hand lettered chalkboard, I’m definitely going to do it that way in the future!