A Different Kind of Guest Book

Over the last 16 months of wedding planning (sheesh!), I have come across a lot of ideas for guest books, but none of them has really struck my fancy. I’ve seen engagement photo guest books, wish bowls, wish trees, and Polaroid guest books, but I wanted to do something a little different. (One of the curses of doing too much research!)Last month in the Spring issue of Inside Weddings, I came across a twist on the traditional guest book that I really liked:

photo from Inside Weddings

And last week while drooling over the work of Mrs. Penguin’s photographer, I saw it again:

Photo from Sarah K. Chen’s blog

I like the idea of having a memo board for guests to display their advice and well-wishes. It stands out enough that people will hopefully take notice of it and leave us a note, and it will likely provide some entertainment throughout the evening if our guests are able to read each other’s messages!

Since I’m picky and want everything to coordinate with our colors, I couldn’t just buy any old memo board, and I decided to make my own.

I started with a 20″ x 30″ piece of foam core (1/2″ thickness) from Michaels for $5.99:

And a yard of silver satin from Joann Fabric for $6.99 (which I ironed on a low setting before beginning, to ensure that it was wrinkle-free):

I cut the fabric to be about 5″ wider than the foam core around all edges:

I am sure I could have affixed the fabric to the foam core with a glue gun or something a little neater looking, but I decided that no one is going to see the back of the board, so I used some good ol’ quick, non-messy thumb tacks.

If you have ever stretched an artist’s canvas on your own, this is pretty much the same method I used. I started along one edge, tacking the fabric down, and then moved to the opposite side, pulling tightly so the fabric stayed taut. I did this all the way around, pulling tightly each time; to make sure everything was super secure, I finished the edges off using an extremely high-tech thing called a “stapler”:

Again, not the prettiest method, but it works and it was free since I had a stapler on-hand!

The result was a neat, smooth satin-covered board:

Exciting, huh? :-)

Then it came time for the teal ribbon. Since the board was 30″ on its longest side, I decided I would place the satin ribbon every 5″. With a pencil, I marked 5″ marks along the top and bottom of the board, and then began affixing the ribbon by stapling it down to the back of the foam core. The piece of ribbon that started in the top left corner (at 0″) crossed down to the right and affixed to the 10″ mark at the bottom, in order to create a nice diagonal. I followed this format for all of the ribbons.

And then I went the other way to form my diamond shapes:

Once all of the ribbon was in place, I used my white thumb tacks and some cute decorative fabric flowers that I found at Michaels for $6.99 to further secure the ribbon at all of the intersections:

And, voila! My completed memo board:

The board will be displayed in our cocktail area, along with some blank cards and a sign explaining to our guests what it’s for, so hopefully throughout the evening we’ll get lots of fun messages from our friends and family!

Did doing this save me money? Probably not. Did it take more time than just buying a ready-made memo board? Definitely. But, I like that it will go along with the rest of our wedding decor, and I like that it has a hand-made quality to it.

What kind of guest book are you having at your wedding?


Mrs. Cupcake

Wedding Date:
September 2015
Our First Wedding Gift!
Getting Ready

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Callas, Guest @ 12:48 pm

    I love this board. Looks great! Will you be using this board later in your home or will you hang it up with the notes from your guests?

    This is what I love about Weddingbee. Brides who come up with ideas and show how they mad it happen. You, Miss Cupcake do that, as well as Miss Cream Puff, Mrs. Pinguin and Mrs. Lovebug, too. Of course more bees, as well.
    I wish some other bees would post less photos of blogs (which we all stalk anyway) and show ho they made some things happen.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Stephanie, Guest @ 12:50 pm

    I am thinking about doing something similar. How are you supporting your board… a tabletop easel?

  3. emerald Member
    emerald 1057 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:51 pm

    I LOVE IT!!! I saw those same pictures on Sarah K. Chen’s blog just this morning and wished that I could do something similar!!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Katie, Guest @ 12:57 pm

    since we’re having a destination wedding, we bought a beautiful coffee table book of photography of the area and are going to have people sign around the photos. We figured a regular guest book we’d never look at, but this way we’ll want to flip through it!

  5. cherryblossom Member
    cherryblossom 727 posts, Busy bee @ 1:06 pm

    SUPER FABULISTIC GORGEOUS! love the step by step DIY!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Nathalie, Guest @ 1:19 pm

    That is beautiful, Ms. Cupcake! :)

  7. Member
    GorgesViola 348 posts, Helper bee @ 1:34 pm

    SO pretty! I love your colors. The whole board looks so professional/perfect, yet still done by hand. I especially like the thumbtack/flowers touch. I’m still not sure about our guestbook, but you’re giving me some awesome ideas!

  8. Member
    nmn838 44 posts, Newbee @ 1:38 pm

    This is a great idea and it turned out beautifully! I wanted to add another way of potentially making this that a friend uses.
    Instead of foam core board get pre-stretched canvasses and wrap your fabric around it securing it to the wooden stretchers. Proceed in the same way with the ribbons but when it comes time to secure it at the criss-crosses use brads (those things you used to make clock hands spin with in elementary school). You can poke them through the ribbon, fabric and canvas and then spread the two parts on the back side so it can’t pop out.
    I hope this helps!
    Thanks for the great idea, I think I’m going to do something similar now!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Megan, Guest @ 1:43 pm

    hi miss cupcake! I love your memo board! I was thinking of doing something similiar for my escort card display, and now I know where to start. thanks for the handy tutorial :)

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    nowmrswhite, Guest @ 1:51 pm

    it’s gorgeous! good job! :)

  11. espresso Member
    espresso 1308 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:56 pm

    Great job Miss Cupcake! And I love your super high tech thing… aka stapler :)

  12. cupcake Member
    cupcake 1456 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:04 pm

    Thanks, ladies!

    @Callas: I’ll probably do something else with the cards after the wedding, as I’m not sure I’ll want to look at them ALL the time :-) But I like that they’ll be loose so I can do whatever I want with them later. Also, since the board is only made out of foam core, I’m not sure how long it will really hold up post-wedding!

    @Stephanie: Yes, I’ll use an easel that my venue can provide to hold the board upright.

    @nmn838: I thought of using a canvas too, but it was slightly more money so I just wanted to stick with something cheap and light :-) But a canvas definitely would have worked!!

  13. penguin Member
    penguin 3490 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:12 pm

    This is SO AWESOME!!!

  14. Member
    rzblna 303 posts, Helper bee @ 2:57 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. Member
    indecisivebride 338 posts, Helper bee @ 3:30 pm

    LOVE IT! It is so pretty!

    I agree with Callas — it is SOOOO appreciated when people post DIY details!

  16. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:56 pm

    SUPER CUTE Mrs. Cupcake! I think it turned out great!
    What are you planning on doing w/ the cards after the wedding?

  17. Member
    laurag 30 posts, Newbee @ 4:06 pm

    How are you propping it up? I thought about something like this to display escort cards in but ultimartely decided guests might accidentally cause it to fall over.

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Meagan, Guest @ 5:06 pm

    Adorable idea! I am thinking of doing the same thing, I love that you can customize it to your wedding colors. I figure that I can keep the board up for awhile to look at it for the memories and then scrapbook all the cards with photos from the reception afterwards to make a sort-of memory book…

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Corey, Guest @ 5:15 pm

    That is really adorable!!! I love it!

    I had the polariod guestbook and it was a hit! It had the questionaire pages for people to fill out and it was so fun to read their answers!!!

    One thing I saw recently at one of my weddings was the plate that people sign and then you cook it and the ink is there forever. I really liked that idea – I’m all about the useful ideas!

  20. mspomegranate Member
    mspomegranate 961 posts, Busy bee @ 7:58 pm

    That turned out so fabulous! Love it!

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    creme_de_violet, Guest @ 10:29 pm

    That’s so cool! Thanks for the tutorial.

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Vanessa *markessaxo*, Guest @ 10:51 pm

    Thanks Miss Cupcake for posting the directions! I have had endless emails about how we made those boards and now I am just directing brides to your blog :) It looks beautiful!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Pinot Noir, Guest @ 8:45 pm

    You are so creative! We are doing a guest book quilt!

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