A Floaty Guestbook.. DIY?

I’ve had a shockingly odd amount of ideas for our guestbook. As is the trend lately, none of them included an actual book.

The initial idea was to have people sign around a picture that would eventually be framed. It wasn’t going to be one of Foxy and me, though; instead, I have a print by an artist named Kurt Halsey that I absolutely adore and thought would be just perfect.


Image via Art Star

So cute, right? But I wasn’t *quite* sold. Almost, but not entirely.

Then I thought something akin to the Quaker marriage certificates might be nice.


Images via the Merriment blog

I especially love the one on the right, but I still wanted a bit more. I must admit that I have been secretly loving the fingerprint trees that seem to be so popular as of late.


Via Etsy shop Love From The Thumb

Then, in one of my daily searches on Etsy, I saw something a bit different…it was still a fingerprint guestbook, but it evoked a certain fantabulous Disney Pixar movie.


Via Etsy shop bleu de toi

Up, anyone? I mean, I just love that movie, and I love the idea of using it as a guestbook. My only issue was not wanting to spend upwards of $60 on a print that I just might be able to reproduce and get printed at Kinko’s for a third of the price. So try and DIY, I did.

First and foremost, I printed out the clearest picture I could of the Up house—this actually happened to be a photo of the real life version of the house that was built in Utah.


Image via The Awesomer

Next, I took a sheet of velum and traced the image twice: first with pencil, then with a black marker.




Since it was looking kind of…rough…after the pencil and even the marker, I decided to scan it into Photoshop and touch it up a bit with the eraser tool. A few adjustments and some added text later, I ended up with this:


I’m actually a bit surprised at how reasonable it looks…I was a bit wary after I finished the pencil outline with all the smudgies and wavy lines and such. But, as if you didn’t know this already, Photoshop seriously does wonders. All it needs now are the balloon strings, and then I can bring it to Kinko’s to be printed out on a yet to be determined sized piece of poster paper.

The thing is, I’m in desperate need of your help. I’m afraid that, to quote Cher, “(it’s) a full-on Monet…from far away, it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess.”


What do you think, hive? I’m sure no one will really be analyzing this all that much, but should I keep going with the DIY route? If I do…is black and white good enough or should I try and get fancy and color it in?


Mrs. Fox

Washington DC/Havre de Grace, MD
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Practice for Pretty
Just Like Heaven: Birds of Paradise

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  1. Member
    MrsLulu 1319 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:35 am

    Scan the original colored picture into photoshop and then white out the color and darken the remaining lines. Much cleaner.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    abby, Guest @ 11:43 am

    I like it, and I think you did a beautiful job!

  3. Member
    bunny 2206 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:45 am

    It looks like you need some help from someone with Adobe Illustrator to turn it into a vector file. Ask your bees — I’m sure someone can do it! :)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Ellie, Guest @ 11:51 am

    I remember there being a magic wand tool in photo shop that selects all similarly colored areas – you just use that, select all the black, and then do a bucket fill and it will make everything solid black lines.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Ellie, Guest @ 11:51 am

    Oh, and I’m a huge Kurt Halsey fan – I love the print you posted!

  6. Member
    MrsKiviniemi 9 posts, Newbee @ 12:04 pm

    That is too cute!!!

  7. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 12:13 pm

    I love this idea! So cute and inspirational :) I’m excited to see the finished project.

  8. Member
    futuremrsbrunell 185 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:15 pm

    I second Ellie.. . Select everything by highlighting hte house with the square rectangle tool then go into the top toolbar and click “select” “color range” and click in an area of the house that is black. Before the preview is on “selection” and adjust the fuzziness accordingly. You can also then click on “Select” refine edge and you can smooth the lines a bit. Then make black your foreground color and do “edit” fill color and fill with foreground color.

  9. Member
    peachplum09 732 posts, Busy bee @ 12:24 pm

    I love how the house looks a little like your venue! You should color it in like the Inn!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Lone Star, Guest @ 12:29 pm

    Honestly, if you’re going to frame it and keep it in your home forever…is that not worth $60? I’d vote buying one. I know, I’m the only one who votes for that.

  11. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:30 pm

    I think it looks great! Better than anything I could have done. And I love that it’s the UP house!

  12. Member
    Miss_Manda 301 posts, Helper bee @ 12:38 pm

    I think you should plop down the $60 to the artist whose work you love. Let him/her profit from the work they created, rather than DIYing something you don’t like as much. After all, you want to hang this in your home *forever*.

  13. Member
    bpechnyo 89 posts, Worker bee @ 12:38 pm

    @Lone Star – you’re not alone! I love that you did this yourself, but second thoughts like this may mean you want to splurge and spend the $60.00.

  14. Member
    Sunlavender 567 posts, Busy bee @ 12:59 pm

    I actually like the hand drawn look.

  15. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:07 pm

    BRAVO, Foxy! We were a fingerprint tree duo but *almost* opted for the floating house. Your guests are gonna love this!

  16. Member
    eternalhearts 83 posts, Worker bee @ 1:16 pm

    Honestly, I think it’s perfect (but I’m a fan of Monet)–the “imperfections” are what make it perfect IMO.

    Also, I think this is AMAZING for a guestbook.

  17. Member
    phoenixandstars 565 posts, Busy bee @ 1:26 pm

    Another way to do it if you don’t have photoshop and/or don’t know how to use it is to put the original pic in power point and use the line tool to rebuild over it, much like Mrs. Hibiscus made her wedding map: http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/05/04/diy-invitation-map/

  18. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:01 pm

    I think it’s amazing and the fact that you did the legwork is even more special. I would never spot the imperfections you are seeing…great job!

  19. Member
    pumalvr 109 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:26 pm

    I bought our thumb print tree from Bleu de Toi, and honestly? It was WORTH the money (including the rush fees since it was a last minute purchase) and justifiable since we have a lovely piece of art hanging on our wall to remind us of our wedding.

  20. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:26 pm

    I totally love hearing all your opinions and advice on this!!

    @bunny: I wish I had access to Illustrator myself! That was my original plan until I remembered that I no longer own it. :(
    @Ellie: I feel like I tried that but didn’t have much luck.. I also should have mentioned I only really have Elements and not full on Photoshop.. I’m sure that it doesn’t have all the features of the full version.
    @futuremrsbrunell: The problem is that there is no black on the house itself, if that’s what you’re referring to.. since it’s not clipart but a real house, the outline is not “definite”. Does that make sense? I’ll definitely fiddle around with it though.. thanks!
    @peachplum09: Omg. You’re a genius. I didn’t even think of that. Now I’m wishing I traced the venue instead!! Hmm… 😉
    @Lone Star, @Miss_Manda, & @bpechnyo: I definitely hear what you’re saying, but I also feel like I can make something I love more than the Etsy print for a fraction of the cost. I actually kind of like what I did, but I love hearing your opinions as well! The inspiration print, if you will, is a bit to ornate for me, I think.. I like that, in drawing it, I have more control!
    @phoenixandstars: Ohh interesting tip, thanks!

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Nuribecks, Guest @ 2:40 pm

    I actually bought one of bleu de toi’s custom made posters and loved how it turned out…before the finger prints! Even with a starter fingerprint and instructions, not everyone was sure of what to do. I should have had someone there helping because my poster ended up with awful finger prints EVERYWHERE! Plus, people then decided to write full on messages all around. Totally ruined the look of it. In the end I cut out the car and our names and pasted it in our album. You’re smart for making your own. It’s looking great! Just make sure to leave detailed instructions if you can’t have anyone there to monitor. Good luck!!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    drlee, Guest @ 3:54 pm

    it looks very block-y and hand-traced. the perspective looks kind of off-kilter. but if you like the DIY look of it, why don’t you print a copy off at kinko’s, add some finger prints and decide if you like it.

  23. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 4:38 pm

    I think it looks super cute!

  24. Member
    futuremrsbrunell 185 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:09 pm

    I think I understand what you’re doing but I think I can help if you want to PM me I’d be happy to give it a go.

  25. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:20 pm

    I really haven’t toyed around in Photoshop, but I love the idea. Have you considered adding some color to the house? It might be cute to make the house colors with your thumb ink pads.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Fricky, Guest @ 5:17 am

    Nuribecks and I could have had the same experience. I bought the cute Up house from Blue de Toi as well. GREAT seller!

    But yeah…I had a “unique and special snowflake” who decided to put their finger print in the lower right corner. My mom who decided she needed to leave two fingerprints PLUS a little message. And my new nephew, who decided to draw his own balloon line when the rest were full. GRRR

    Definitely have a monitor for this!

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Amanda, Guest @ 11:29 am

    It looks perfect!! Excellent job! I’m hoping to do a fingerprint guest book too. Most likely a tree though…

  28. Member
    jaykayel 84 posts, Worker bee @ 12:57 pm

    I’m a little late chiming in on this – I know it would be extra work to start over with the Inn….but I think it would be soooo cool. Could you (or someone you know) render a drawing of the Inn?

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  35. Member
    angelwinged 127 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:49 pm

    I’d take your colored photo you had and scan that in to photo shop and take away all back ground and then you have a photo of the “real” up house and add the balloon strings to it

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Ali, Guest @ 7:49 am

    Hi – I’m making an Up costume for my son for Halloween. I’m converting his walker into the house (and he’ll be Carl). I was hoping for your permission to utilize the picture you drew for the house. Can you let me know if this is ok with you? I’ll happily email you a photo of the finished look.

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