DIY Storage for the Long Haul

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

One of the benefits of a long engagement is the ability to spread out some of those diy projects that, otherwise, have the potential to stress a bride out.

When deciding to do paper flowers, etc. I did run into one potential snag: how to store the bounty of blossoms so that they won’t take up inordinate amounts of space but remain crush-free until it’s time to bundle them up into their final forms?

Enter my not-so-elegant but oh-so-economical solution:

crush-proof storage for delicate diy | personal photo

crush-proof storage for delicate diy | personal photo

Egg cartons.

What better to hold precious cargo? They stack easily, come in various configurations, and are something most of us have around. When I realized they’d be perfect for this sort of thing I started saving them up and one holiday’s baking netted several large and regular cartons to fit my storage needs.

A normal-sized bloom will take up a single well, while buds and smaller accents can  cozy up together, up to 6 in 1, depending on their size. As you can see by my samples, above, this works well for both paper and ribbon roses. Break down a couple of the dividers between the wells and you could also store completed corsages and boutonnieres in them, too.

As for the rest of your decorations:

  • If you’re collecting glass bottles, jars, vases, or other cylindrical objects, glass-pack kits from the moving center of your choice make storing, stacking, and transporting them nearly break-proof.
  • If you’re collecting plates or other dishware, felt plate spacers are inexpensive as-is, and even more so if you buy a few yards of felt from the craft store and cut them up yourself. Bonus: no ink transfer like with newsprint.
  • If you have standing decorations in mind, design them component-wise (think IKEA flat-pack heaven) so that you can store them stacked or standing someplace out of the way but quickly assemble them the week or day of the wedding.

What’s your storage solution for DIY projects look like?

Flowers… Or Not

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

I’m a girl who loves getting flowers. They don’t have to be big or showy (a fact my first husband never seemed to grasp–he believed that excess is best, how else could he impress those around me if he did send ginormous, obviously expensive arrangements studded with stargazer lilies that perfume the room in less than an hour and give you a headache after that?), but I do love a pretty rose or 3 to sit on my desk or the dining room table.

After the aforementioned first ex, I managed to date a string of men who, more often than not, didn’t believe in giving flowers. One claimed it was rude to cut a flower for private enjoyment instead of letting everyone see it in nature. One thought that giving flowers was a sign of uber-serious commitment along the lines of moving in together.  o_O

The first flowers Mr. RT ever sent me | personal photo

The first flowers Mr. RT ever sent me | personal photo

Mr. Road Trip prefers to send flowers on occasion but it’s not his default gift–I’ve got no reason to complain–but usually, if I want flowers, I go buy ’em myself. And I’m okay with that.

It may surprise you, then, to learn that I am jumping onto the no-flowers bandwagon as far as the wedding is concerned. Actually, I made this decision before I knew there was a bandwagon to be on.

See, it’s one thing about buying a $9.99 bouquet at the grocery store to dress up the dinner table and another thing entirely to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on decorations that are so fragile they have to be done at the very last minute, may not be available at all due to the whims of Mother Nature, and will barely last a day past the event. In my mind it is, to put it bluntly, a waste.

But to go straight to silk flowers (which, often, can be just as expensive as fresh blooms) just doesn’t fill me with joy, either.

Ribbon and Paper roses I've made | personal photo

Ribbon and Paper roses I’ve made–not the ones I’ll be using in my bouquet | personal photo

Instead, I’ll be focusing on paper blooms and non-floral alternatives. I’ve been experimenting with different papers and other materials to decide exactly what I want to construct our simple non-florals with. We’ve got boxes of wine bottles just waiting to be turned into something pretty, accumulated over the last few years by my tendency to save any potential craft supplies. And, thankfully, I’ve already got a pretty broad skill-set to work from between paper, beads, knitting/crochet, and wire-work. I’m really looking forward to the end-result, which will be mixed-media decorations throughout the ceremony and reception.

Would you consider going flowerless if it meant saving your budget?