Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DIY Shortcuts

When it comes to DIY projects, my aspirations are usually bigger than my patience.

Right before the holiday, I tried to make as many Christmas presents as possible from stuff I already had in our house. For example, I took a free sweatshirt with a National Geographic logo (it was American Apparel!) and transformed it into something a bit more trendy with the help of a little applique. I also found some blank cards and used a stamp to transform them into a card set (I even wrote the recipient's address on each of the envelopes in the sender spot and also added a stamp).

Then I got particularly ambitious and decided to make reusable gift bags out of fabric and gift tags out of the pretty patterns inside security envelopes.

After reading about making fabric bags on another blog, I decided to make my seams as clean as possible by double folding them. And that's when my impatience started to creep in. I quickly realized that double folding every seam would take about three times as long. My little voice of rationality spoke up and said, "Um, no need to live up to someone else's unnecessarily high standards. Just use your pinking shears and call it a day!" So, I used my pinking shears to cut out the fabric, which meant that my seams were cleaner than they would be otherwise but not as clean as they would have been if I had double-folded every one of them. For some of the gifts, I simply wrapped them in a piece of cut fabric and tied it at the top. Voila!

When it came time to start the gift tags, the thought of painstakingly cutting out tiny flags and gluing them to a tag made me want to poke my eyeballs out. Then I remembered that I had picked up some free gift tags several years ago from the checkout counter at Urban Outfitters. I retrieved those suckers (thanks to a recently-organized craft closet), wrote some names on them, laminated them so I can use them year after year, and then called it a day.

Undertaking DIY projects can be an amazing way to immerse yourself in your wedding, wrest your celebration from the hands of the Wedding Industrial Complex, and save money. But it can also drive you mad. Whenever possible, look for shortcuts (and don't beat yourself up about it!).

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Sarah said...

I love these fabric gift bags! Usually I use brown paper (reused from shopping), but I like this, too. Time to go to Goodwill!

Newbie and the Murr said...

Congrats on making the Top 100 Bridal Blogs to follow! http://bridetide.blogspot.com/2010/01/top-100-wedding-blogs-and-twitters-to.html

This is my favorite wedding blog and I'm so happy that you made the list :)

miss fancy pants (the bride) said...

"But it can also drive you mad. Whenever possible, look for shortcuts (and don't beat yourself up about it!)."

This is probably one of the best bits of advice for overly ambitious DIY-ers like myself. While I often love making things myself and perfecting the process, this, as you say, has a tendency to drive me mad. Throughout wedding planning, this is probably one of the most important lessons I have learned ... to DIY to my hearts content but to give it a rest once I'm no longer enjoying myself by causing undue stress.

Thanks for reminding us of this lesson, Sara!

Anonymous said...

I'd say you did go all out with the wrapping... I think I spot some Amy Butler in there ;)

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