Before we started wedding planning, I had two speeds when it came to DIY projects: full speed or full stop. I almost never chipped away at a project slowly. I did it all or I didn’t do it. When it came to making our table numbers, I went full speed and got them done…three different times.
I mentioned my first project when I talked about my table number inspiration pictures. I made clay plaques to use as numbers and I didn’t like them. The second round was with IKEA Tolsby frames, which seem to have become a staple of wedding DIYers. I liked the frames, but they didn’t really go with our wedding’s style. Finally, I decided to use this Style Me Pretty picture as inspiration for my third and final attempt at table numbers:
I love fabric. I knew I could find a fabric that worked with our colors if I searched long enough. I looked locally, I looked while I was on a business trip, and I looked online. I found plenty of possibilities, but one fabric stood out among the thousands of swatches I saw. It was a Robert Allen for Dwell Studio fabric that I saw at Calico Corners. While the colors weren’t right, the feel of the fabric was.
Vintage Plumes by Robert Allen in the Birch colorway / Photo by Miss Mink
After looking around, I realized that it came in a blue colorway, but Calico Corners didn’t have that in stock. I took the sample home with me and decided that it would be perfect for a few wedding projects. The $70 per yard price, on the other hand, was not perfect.
A quick check online showed that most online fabric stores were selling the fabric for around $56 per yard. While this is an okay price for upholstery fabric, it’s not great for something that’s going to be used in crafts. I debated for a few days while I looked for other options. Nothing compared. I ordered two precious yards. When it arrived, I unrolled the fabric and couldn’t help starting at it for a while. Isn’t it pretty?
Vintage Plumes by Robert Allen in the Jade colorway / Photo by Miss Mink
My next task was to find some nice, but relatively inexpensive frames. I imagined wood frames with a weathered, silver finish looking great with my fabric. Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s had plenty of frames, but couldn’t find too many multiples of the ones I liked. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby had a few possibilities, but nothing jumped off the shelf at me.
On a whim, I went into a craft store called Ben Franklin while in Richmond one evening a couple weeks ago. I remember there being a Ben Franklin in a neighboring town when I was growing up, but the store had closed long ago. A staff member told me that they originated in Richmond, VA and only operate seven stores now, all of which are in Virginia. As luck would have it, they had the perfect frames. The price on them was so low that I had to ask if it was correct.
Photo by Miss Mink
I had thought I’d spend about $10 per frame originally and I wound up spending just over $12 for all ten frames!
Next I had to pick a paint color for the wooden numbers that would be mounted on my Robert Allen fabric and framed in my $1.20 frames. Mr. Mink was a champ as I debated colors in the paint aisle at the craft store. He didn’t see a difference between the two colors I decided to test. I thought there was a clear winner. I painted each number, then sprayed them all with a matte, acrylic top coat.
The paint on the right won / Photo by Miss Mink
Assembling all the pieces was my favorite part. The weave of my fabric wasn’t tight, so I flipped the frame liner and glued it to the back of the frame so black wouldn’t show through in the end. I cut ten, 4×6 rectangles of my precious fabric and used a Mod Podge to mount them on the back of each picture frame. Mod Podge has a formula specifically for fabrics, but I used a jar of the basic kind that I had on hand and that worked just fine.
Photos by Miss Mink
I let the glue and Mod Podge dry for a while, put the frames together, and then glued the painted numbers to the fabric with light, even strokes of hot glue. Start to finish, the assembly part of this project took about an hour and a half, not counting drying time.
Photo by Miss Mink
I have to admit that I was almost giddy over how well this project turned out! This might be my favorite DIY so far!
What have been your favorite DIY projects?
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- College Administrator
- Wedding Date:
- June 2012
- Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards