The original plan for Mr. Sugar Cube’s and my wedding cake was the scandalous naked cake route.
Somewhere along the way, though, we decided we wanted to include a cake topper.
I got it in my head pretty quickly after we decided to have our reception at Blue Agave that I wanted a piñata at our wedding. For no real reason other than I like them. When there’s a piñata involved I see people laughing and smiling as each takes a turn trying to break it, building up that anticipation before the piñata finally gives in and lets its candy and miscellaneous party toys/favors waterfall to the ground. I’ve had a tutorial to make number piñatas via Oh Happy Day saved in my favorites for the longest time in the aspiration of using it for a birthday and/or anniversary one day, and had seen photos of brides and grooms swinging at one in my hours wedding-planning on Pinterest. But then, thanks to Oh Happy Day’s piñata series, I stumbled upon mini piñatas and decided that was it. We could have them, filled with candies, as our centerpieces!
In deciding to have a small wedding, Mr. Sugar Cube and I also wanted to celebrate with all of our family and friends. What better way than to celebrate with a second party after the wedding?!
While planning our wedding has taken the most focus, Mr. Sugar Cube and I would occasionally talk about the second party and details we’d want to include. It wasn’t until a certain bike ride, though, that it really started to come together. When it comes to riding bikes, Mr. Sugar Cube and I have our usual rides and usual ways to get back home. On one of the routes home we pass by this building that for the longest time was just an industrial building. Turns out this empty industrial building won’t be for long!
The last night Mr. Sugar Cube and I spent time together in the week we first met, our group of friends and I had decided to go out for drinks at a bar within walking distance of the hotel we were staying at. When we got to the bar, The Great Dane Pub & Brewery Company, we all sat at the bar, Mr. Sugar Cube sitting to my left and no one to my right. Turns out it didn’t matter where anyone else sat because it felt like it was only the two of us there that night. As a result, the brewery has a little place in my heart.
The past two years I have tried to steer my Christmas present purchases away from traditional gifts and more towards handmade gifts. I’m lucky enough to be (semi) creative and personally prefer giving someone a gift I made rather than one I bought. Luckily, my family actually likes getting homemade gifts (because there are definitely people who do not!). We’re finally all old enough to ask for single, meaningful/useful gifts instead of huge amounts of presents on Christmas. I still think we could away with gifts altogether, but some of my family might have a freak attack if we do that! Haha. Giving people things is just what they do!
Anyway, I made a gift for my sister, and her (now) husband last Christmas, and I thought I would share the tutorial with you today! This gift was an idea she had pinned on Pinterest as a decoration for the wine country wedding. I loved it as soon as I saw it, and thought…well I can make that! There is a similar tutorial for the original post here. The best part about this project is that you don’t have to be super crafty to make it. It’s more like tracing letters the computer printed—it does take a bit of time, but it looks awesome! I wanted to share a few things I learned along the way that might be helpful.
DIY String Art Names
One of the reasons we wanted a smaller wedding was because we wanted to keep it minimal and focus our time on each other and those that came to our wedding. There were no plans of centerpieces really; we’ll just use whatever the restaurant normally uses. There were no plans for a guestbook or any type of signage; photos and video will suffice.
Oh, how, quickly that changed/changes.
Take, for example, the guestbook. And because we now have a guestbook, we naturally needed a sign of sorts to help guests know what to do with it so that they don’t just think it’s part of the decor. Again, I wanted something a little different than the norm here. Something with mixed fonts, bits of personal handwriting, and the saying “Fiesta like there’s no mañana” that I had pinned early in the planning process when I saw it on Pinterest.
So I made one.
Personal photo / Mr. Sugar’s idea to make the heart red made for a very nice touch.
And now you can too!
First, make sure you have everything you need:
With your general idea, you can do one of two things depending on how computer savvy you are. If you’re good, you’re going to design your stencil on the dimensions of your acrylic using a program such as Photoshop. Just pick out what fonts you want and place them where you want them. If you aren’t that great or don’t want to use the computer, use the backing paper/cardboard that came with the acrylic/glass using freehand or fonts found on the computer and then printed out.
Be creative here! I started with a freehand sketch on a piece of paper, made over several edits and additional drawings, and then uploaded it to my computer. From there I changed a few fonts, centered everything, and then scaled it to the appropriate size. After I had my stencil printed, I made additional changes by hand on a different piece of paper, which I just cut out and taped on top of the stencil.
Once you’re satisfied with your designed stencil, simply put the acrylic/glass over it and trace away.
Personal photos / Oh hey, look, my engagement ring decided to photo bomb!
Yes, it really is that simple.
Obviously you want to let it dry once you’re done. And you definitely don’t want to trace out a sentence or two before realizing you didn’t peel off the protective coating before you started…
Some other tips:
I didn’t initially want a guestbook. I figured if we had the traditional guestbook, with pages of our engagement photos and blank pages for guests to sign, it would just end up collecting dust in the closet. I want to display our wedding album after the wedding, not a book of engagement photos with signatures, after all. And I thought it a better idea to have guests say their sweet words in a video form, to be included in our wedding film from Evermoore Films.
Mr. Sugar Cube wanted a guestbook, though. And of the handful of suggestions/ideas and requests he’s had, I’ve wanted to make them happen. So naturally I looked into alternative guestbooks, something different to the traditional and something that would be easy to utilize in the home after the wedding (I’ve come to realize how much I’m liking double-duty and practical things). I didn’t want something traditional like a mat for a picture frame filled with signatures, though, or the thumbprint guestbook (they’re nice, just not for us). I wanted something that we could display and/or use in our home, something that would be seen every day, and something that could incorporate part of our love story or be a reflection of us if possible.
I thought of and found some great alternatives—a guitar, a bench, or a table that we could seal and use in an entryway, serving trays, Jenga pieces, a map depicting the locations involved in our love story (there’s quite a few), a paint-by-numbers type canvas art.
I think it’s about time we talked about how a simple red balloon sparked our wedding theme.
Mr. Sugar Cube and I love bright colors. (One of the things we actually talked about when we first met was the color orange—how it was his favorite color and how I had these bright safety orange colored socks that I loved racing in.) We also love food (tacos happens to be one of our favorites). So naturally when we started planning the wedding, we both wanted lots of color and Mexican food served at the reception.
Then the idea of using balloons came up (Mr. Sugar Cube—and now I—thinks balloons are really fun), which was followed by a Pinterest search and finding this red balloon save the date:
It’s awesome, huh?!
Well, Mr. Sugar Cube and I decided that would be the basis for our invitations. That then launched into finding more ways to incorporate balloons and finding those big initial Mylar balloons and a giant red Mylar heart balloon (I love hearts). They, too, were perfect. We could take engagement pictures with them to use with the invitations, then re-use them for ceremony decor by tying them to a chair or two, and then make mini versions of the balloons for our cake topper to continue the theme. (I originally thought it would be awesome to have a wall of the red heart balloons at the reception, but we scrapped it various reasons.)
So out went the vibrant color scheme and balloons and hearts, along with a gray, silver, white, and red color palette to complement the balloons. Since, we’ve been stumbling on other ways to incorporate the “red heart balloon” theme as well. Like heart-shaped magnets to guide guests to our wedding website included in our invitation suite and a perfectly fitting ceremony reading with the last line reading: “When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found our soul mate.”
Simple and fun. Us. It makes my heart happy!
Do you have a wedding theme? If so, how did you choose yours?
The cake topper was just one of those things I knew I wanted to make myself. You see, with our particular wedding package, I won’t have ever even met our cake maker before I see the cake! So being the mellow, secret control-freak that I am, I wanted to set to work on the few things that are actually in my sphere of influence. Decor is part of those things. As for the cake, I’m just trusting it to a higher power, I guess.
I had no idea what my hair color would end up being on the actual day of. So as you can see from the picture, I’ve left my mini-bride’s hair bone white. I’ll revisit her with a little acrylic paint as soon as I pick a color.
I was inspired by ClayLindo on Etsy, a seller who, like the name describes, makes pretty sculptures out of modeling clay. And while of course I strongly believe in supporting artists and makers on Etsy, I wanted full ownership over my toppers. I had the craftiness, just not the funds.
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