Hand-me-down Guestbook

One of the last few things on my to-do list for the wedding was the guestbook. I really disliked the padded, white guestbooks that you see in stores and I had made up my mind to do something unique, but I didn't want it to take much time.

My mom suggested we use their old guestbook. I was not convinced at all that this would work, until she showed the book to me. My grandfather had made the cover out of wood and varnished it himself. This alone was enough to make me fall in love with it. The pages were simple brown butcher paper that my mom had copied her handwritten design on. It was held together with 2 adjustable metal rings. There was nothing written on the cover, the beautiful wood spoke for itself.

So, i took the book back to Chicago and crafted some of myself into it. I used our brown bag theme with ribbon to create a simple cover detail. Then I cut pages from our large supply of brown grocery bags and printed a simple layout on the front and back of each. Instead of using the metal rings, I found some old hemp string back in my closet and used it to bind the book together. Once all the pages have been put in, I will trim the hemp cord.

The last thing we're going to do is include my parents guestbook pages in the back of the book. It may be fun for our guests to flip back time and see who attended my parents wedding in 1980. And who knows, maybe this book will be passed down for generations. Wouldn't that be something?! :-)

12 days left!


Table Runner and Garters!

I much apologize if my brain is turning to scrambled eggs, but there are only 16 days left until the BIG DAY!!! Derek and I went back to Iowa over the long Labor Day Weekend and accomplished a TON of wedding stuff.

Project #!: Handmade vintage garter
My grandmother brought some of her old handkerchiefs that were given to her by her grandmother. I am using one that is in very good condition, along with a handkerchief of my late grandfather's from when he was in the service to wrap around my bouquet. The other handkerchief had lots of stains on it, so I cut it up to make a long lace. I used ribbon my mother had found and extra ribbon from our boutonnieres and sat down with my Aunt who is a wonderful seamstress. In about 30 minutes we had a finished garter!

Project #2: Brown Grocery Bag table runners
The table centerpieces were difficult for me. Besides the flowers from my mom's garden in her canning jars, I didn't know how to finish the design. I purchased some votive candles that were leftover from a friend's wedding and had reluctantly given in to the idea of just a fabric runner.
Then shear genius struck me. There was a piece of a bag leftover from our card box (crumpled, then ironed with wax paper to give it a texture) and I happened to set my canning jar full of wine corks on it. BINGO. Grocery Bag table runners! Ok, so this idea wasn't entirely mine. Derek came up with the finishing touch of adding a strip of ribbon down the center. Just another reason why together, we rock!
Over the weekend, we were measuring the reception hall for various things and I decided to mock up what our tables will look like. We have an array of garage sale vases mixed with canning jars to hold the garden flowers, real plates and silverware, and my thrift store wine glasses with homemade charms as the favor! I think they look pretty nifty and simple!

I am also nearly finished with the ring bearer's book. However, in our rush to get back to Chicago, I left it at home! Hopefully mom will send me some pictures of it, so I can post them. Otherwise I will post it as soon as I get home the week of the wedding. Exciting times! The countdown begins!!!! :-)