Since Mr. Wallaby and I had assigned seating at our reception, we needed to devise some kind of table number scheme. I always gravitate toward soft floral decor, and I was lusting after these table numbers:
But those are pretty girly, right? And after painting our DIY save the dates, invites, and out-of-town bags, I have retired my painting supplies. So I consulted with Mr. W, and we dreamed up the idea of a famous scientist theme. We are both big science lovers (remember, we’re engineers!), and we thought it would be really cool to place a tiny portrait of a well-known, influential scientist on each table in lieu of table numbers. I envisioned something like this (but substitute a black-and-white portrait of a scientist for the herb drawing):
But once I started doing Google image searches of our favorite innovators, I struggled to find nice hand-drawn portraits of a lot of them. If I’d had some more time between then and the wedding to do a more exhaustive search, I’d really have liked to complete that project. But since time was running out, and we needed table numbers, I went back to the drawing board.
I’ve had a long-time crush on BHLDN’s cashier’s key stakes for table numbers:
Photo via BHLDN
They look really pretty sticking out of a boho flower arrangement on the center of a table. Here’s the stakes in action at real weddings:
Unfortunately, those stakes are a little out of our budget. When I spotted some similar paper stakes on a wedding blog, I devised a plan to make my own table-number stakes.
I designed a very simple template in Microsoft Word. I was able to group a lot of numbers onto each page, so the project only required four sheets of kraft paper. (I’ve been on a kraft paper kick, and the loose-leaf kraft paper I used for this project matched our A7 and 4-bar envelopes for the invitations. Winning! I purchased all of the paper goods at the wonderful, amazing Paper-Source.)
I cut each number into a square, leaving as much space as I could on each side to cut the square down to my “template.” I cut out two copies of each number, so the stakes can be double-sided:
Using the inspiration photo as guidance, I cut one number down to the same whimsical shape, with a pointed top and bottom. Then I used my “stencil” to cut all of the other squares down to the exact shape.
I assembled the stakes by duct-taping the ends of 10-inch bamboo skewers to the back of each number, and gluing the matching number to the other side (i.e., gluing the ones together, twos together, etc.). And voila!—the finished table numbers:
Our completed table numbers / Personal photo
The total cost of the project was around $2.00, since I already had the supplies. It was a simple and stress-free project, and I’m glad I strayed away from a more complicated table-number scheme, since time was of the essence. I dropped off the stakes along with my massive collection of vases at the florist’s house in late October (she volunteered to store everything centerpiece related a couple weeks before the wedding—what a lifesaver!) so I wouldn’t see these pretties again until the wedding. I couldn’t wait to see my table numbers in action!
Are you making your own table numbers? Which DIY projects have given you the most grief?
- Environmental Engineer
- Wedding Date:
- November 2012
- Oak Tree Manor