Category Archives: DIY

Grow With Love

Update on my life: Mr. Veg and I had a romantic reunion at our friends’ Dave and Heather’s lakeside wedding, I passed my written test at the RMV and am now allowed to drive in the USA (with a licensed adult), I have scoured FMIL Veg’s house and barn for wedding items, and thanks to the Salvation Army Mr. Veg finally has something to wear to the wedding.

And now I find myself with a few minutes of down time so I thought I’d keep good on my promise to delve into more detail about our seed packet favors. I’ll let you read the story behind them for yourselves, but I’ll give you a little background on the steps involved.

We bought all seeds in bulk from The Territorial Seed Company. They were very friendly and helpful on the phone. The seed packets from Territorial are so cute that I contemplated using theirs, but buying the seeds in packets is substantially more expensive than buying them in bulk. Like 10x more expensive. So, of course, we went the DIY route.


I designed the packets on good old trusty MS Word with fonts downloaded from DaFont.I then went on an odyssey to find the right paper. It was important to me that the paper was 100% recycled and bleach free, but also that it was thin enough to fold and glue easily. Trust me, if you’re thinking about folding and glueing 160 envelopes, find the thinnest paper available. So I looked in every office supply and craft store I could think of, but kept coming up empty handed. The best I could find was Paper source paper for about 30 cents per sheet. That seemed awfully expensive.

Finally, I stopped in an art supply store near where my sister lived and found handmade paper that was 100% recycled for only $8 per pack. I bought two packs and the lady gave me a 40% discount with a coupon she had behind the counter. Woo hoo! And the best part was that it was already cut in half vertically (hot dog style, not hamburger), so it saved me a bit of time. When do you ever find 4 x 11 paper? Perfect. I love when things like that happen.

So anyway, I know you’ve already seen this picture, but here is the end result.


10 days out now. Yee haw!

I get by with a little help from my…

…newly-found-internet-acquaintances. Such a catchy tune.
Last week I was the recipient of some major bee love.
There once was a girl so nice that she volunteered to help with cutting and glueing, the two most evil most dreaded wedding crafting jobs. Who is this saint? This happy little crafting elf? This magical crafting fairy-godmother? Why she’s EAQ219, (A.K.A. Em) wedding bee afficionado. We met at the D.C. Bee meetup two weeks ago and she volunteered to help me finish up some projects. You know I wasn’t going to let an opportunity like that slip by. So I invited her over for an afternoon crafting session while my nieces were supposed to be napping.

Still smiling even though her fingers are blistering.
Let me tell you something about Em. She is hardcore. Some people might head for the door when greeted with a pile of 160 envelopes to fold, glue, and stuff. A lesser woman might have balked at cutting corrugated cardboard when the only scissors I could find were hot pink kiddie safety scissors. Not this girl. She is epic. And, not only did she show some mad crafting skills, she also passed on some good words of advice, as only a recent DIY bride could.

Trace. Cut. Glue. Repeat.
Also, on the way back to DC from my bridal shower I swung by Mrs. Trail Mix’s house. While my nieces fought over who would get to walk her ah-dor-a-ble little puppy, her and I loaded my trunk with boxes of café lights. 500 feet of gorgeous little beauties, all in two nice nest-like bundles. If you enjoy rubix cubes, do I have a good job for you. Then, because she really is so super sweet, and was about to move into a new apartment in 3 days, she threw in some paper lanterns too. Nice! Gotta love the leftover wedding goodies. After a mere two nights of So You Think You Can Dance, I had those babies untangled and ready to hang. I am so excited about them. Like really really jazzed. Pumped, even.
Three weeks to go and I am loving the bee love. Thanks Trail Mix, thanks Em, I will be sure to pay these favors forward.

Paper Galands – Help Me Decide

I have had this project on my radar screen for a long time now. I think may even be on the original inspiration board I made about a year ago. So, with 5 weeks until the wedding, I guess its time to get going. Which means its time to decide what shape I want to make the garland. Want to help?

I will be making my garland out of salvaged cardboard boxes and vintage sheets my sister has gathered from Salvation Army and Value Village. One side will stay brown and the other side will be one of these gorgeous patterns. They will be strung from jute twine or hemp.


And here’s where you come in. I can’t decide what shape to make my garland. Originally I thought I would do birds, like the original project. I made a mock up out of paper and baker’s twine and this is how it turned out:

Then I started thinking that even though the birds are super cute, maybe they are a little trendy, and maybe there is something that represents Mr. Veggie and I a little better. So I made a garland made of leaves:

And then once I got going, I thought maybe I could make something a little more “veggie”-ish for us. So I made a garland of beans and beany leaves:
Here are all three mock-ups hanging together.
So what do you think? Should I stick with the oh-so-cute birds? Go with the pretty and natural shaped leaves? Keep it real with the beans? Can you tell what everything is? Does one stand out more than the others? Let me know.

PENGY: Can you please add a poll to this post with the following choices? -Thanks
Which shape should I choose to make my cardboard garland?
Bird’s The Word
Leaf it up to Me
String Bean

Boutie-licious

I crack myself up.

I’m writing this post while my nieces are down for a nap, so it’s going to be short and sweet with lots of pics. Hope that’s ok. Getting anything done with a two and three year old around is pretty much impossible. Don’t even get me started about the disaster that was “helping” Aunt Veggie plant the centerpieces yesterday. That’s a whole ‘nother post.

OK, so I’ve been knocking off wedding projects left and right this week and last night was boutonniere night. Supplies: 2 packages of feathers (pheasant and quail) for about $2.50 each. One bunch of dried yellow flowers about $5. One stem of fake pussy willow about $2.50. One role of floral tape and one spool of floral wire, which will both get used again for bouquet making.

I have no prior bout-making experience, so I kind of just went for it. Here was my first attempt:

I liked it, but it was a bit poufy at the bottom and the feather stem wasn’t quite long enough to stay in well. So I made some adjustments including trimming the down off of the feathers a bit, and wrapping a piece of floral wire around the base of the feathers. I didn’t get any pictures of these steps, but when trimming the down poufy bit at the bottom, I tried to just follow the natural line of the feather. You can kind of see what I mean in the left bout in this after photo.I twisted about 2 inches of floral wire around the stem of the feathers and crimped it closed with a pair of pliers. This really helped me have more length to wrap the tape around and made them bendable, and easier to position at the end. I read about adding toothpicks or other hard bits in with the stems to make them stronger, but the dried flowers were sturdy enough, so I didn’t need to add anything.


I made 10 total, for groomsmen, ringbearer, and dads and it took me about two hours. The only thing I have to do now is wrap some nice ribbon to cover the tape and find long pins. With each completed project I feel just a little more relieved.

Team Spirit

Our camp wedding is going to involve lots of fun and games and a fair bit of friendly family competition. While my side might have the advantage in sheer numbers, Mr. Veggie’s side has quite a few good athletes, so its looking to be a good match up. We have several events planned for the weekend. The morning of our rehearsal dinner the camp is going to set up a multi-event relay for our immediate families and bridal party involving silly stunts and heroic athletic feats. At the rehearsal dinner itself we are having a chili cook-off and microbrew competition. A few rounds of flip cup and frisbeer might also find their way into the evening. But the main event (besides our wedding) will be the bride v. groom softball game, to take place at 10am the morning of the wedding. Yes people will have to choose sides. For some it will be an easy choice. For others, it will be heartwrenching.

Question: How will we know what side they chose? How will I know who to heckle (and possibly sabotage) and who to cheer on?
Answer: Team uniforms.

As soon as I mentioned the idea to the Veggie Sisters and Momma Veggie they were 100% on board. Aren’t they great? They suggested some websites where we could have shirts made. But, you know me. Ordering new shirts just isn’t my style. We are going for eco and thrifty after all. So I came up with a plan to make them. Luckily Momma Veggie was still on board (did I mention how great she is?).

One trip to Salvation Army and Michael’s later and we had everything we needed to make the uniforms. We went with pink for Team Bride and blue for Team Groom. I know, I know, so cliché. I don’t even like pink. But obvious is good sometimes.

All of the shirts were blank except for this one, which is especially for Veggie Bro bridesman. It has ruffles. And says “Sweetie Pie”. Sweet. We only bought shirts that were half off so we spent about $1.50 per shirt and bought a total of 22 shirts. At Michael’s we picked up some white and black paint and sponge brushes. We couldn’t find the exact stencils we wanted, so in a moment of crafting naievety we decided we could just make them ourselves back at home.

Note to all budget savvy brides: Buy. The. Stencils. Printing and cutting them out is do-able, but it takes for-ev-er. This is me exact-o-knifing my little heart out. I think I have early onset arthritis because of this project.

And here’s Momma Veggie doing some touch ups after spreading, stenciling, and sponging. And what was the rest of the Veggie family doing while we were working so hard in our maquilladora? Sitting on their tooshies. Watching t.v. to be exact. Watching America’s got talent to be more exact. (I know I’m embarrassed for them).

But after some prodding Veggie Sister Eggplant and Stepdad Veggie pulled through in a major way. They went out and brought back some red cows from the gelato store up the street. Sweet!

And here is a small sample of the finished product. Veggie Guests, you better be ready to bring it!

Eco-Thrifty Lamp

When I first decided to blog about our wedding I titled my blog Eco-Thrifty Bride. Lately I’ve been despairing about why it is so hard to find products, services, and vendors that can accomplish both. Just like “wedding”; “eco”, “organic”, and “green” are words that, once mentioned, throw up a red flag that signals a substantial price increase is impending, whether it is warranted or not. These price increases stem from a classist, elitist sentiment that “eco” products are desired by and produced for the wealthy. An assumption that self-perpetuates when such products are priced at a premium, thus denying a vast segment of the population access to products and services that healthy for both people and planet.

Well let me tell you a secret hive. You don’t have to be rich to be green. You just need to be a little creative.

Case in point: lighting for our venue.

What I was after was unique and beautiful lighting option. I found Eco (at a cost of $379 NZD) and Thrifty (made of plastic and shipped many miles).

Eco v. Thrifty

And then I thought to myself. “Veggie. You have a lot of time. You know creative people. Let’s see what you can come up with”. And I gathered some amigos and got to work.

I looked at a picture of the David Truebridge design I most admired and made a template for one of the pieces. The trickiest part of this was knowing how big to make it. I guessed 16cm, about 6 inches. Why? I dont know. It just seemed to look pretty good. The next trickiest part was knowing how many to cut. We thought it looked like it was made up of two halves, each comprised of one central flower, surrounded by five other flowers. After careful deliberation we decided on 60, 12 flowers of 5 petals each.

Teresa looks happy, but really she is grinning in the sheer agony of the hand cramps that ensue after cutting 30 flower petals out of corrugated cardboard.

It was a lot of tracing and a lot of cutting. Which brings me to another point. The Truebridge lamps are made of wood, but not possessing the skills to cut wood, nor an eco-friendly supply, we chose to work with a slightly more availble and maleable material, cardboard.

Dang. That was a lot of cutting. I hope 60 was enough.

After we had cut all of our pieces, we assembled them into 12 flowers, and sat and looked at the picture again.

Juan is an engineer. Even he was confused. Mr. Veggie is laughing because we got him to say “cinco”. Don’t know why that’s funny? Ask a friend from Spain to tell you the rhyme they say when someone says “cinco”.

We persisted and eventually the globe started to take shape.

Here we are celebrating the realization that 60 was in fact enough petals, and we don’t have to cut any more. Mr. Veggie is not as excited as we were. He obviously was not involved in the cutting of the petals.

And then we were done.

Hooray! Que Guay!

Here is our final product in action:
From CFL to OMG.

I love how our prototype turned out. There are a few things that I might do differently in the next edition, but overall this project was a win! Total cost was $10 NZD for a package of brads (those gold little attachment thingies) and about 3 hours of our time. Eco thrifty success.