DIY: Paper Love

When I started planning my wedding, I was overwhelmed with the amount of paper goods that would be needed. It felt as if every time I turned around, I needed to add another item to my list. Save the Dates, Invitations, Programs… and since this was a Disney destination wedding, I felt I needed to also include some sort of planning items to that list.

If you have, even just one ounce of, a creative hand, you can save a lot of money by doing your own wedding stationary and other paper projects. Not to mention, being able to create them just the way you envision them. That may be even more rewarding than the cash saved.

Below are a collection of paper goods photos from my own wedding, held at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn with, of course, a Boardwalk theme. Created by me, in nothing more than Microsoft Word. With the help of the internet for free font and clipart downloads, I was able to style my paper to suit my taste and event theme. For fonts, I love The majority of their fonts are free for personal use. And they have the beloved Disney font, “Waltograph”. Looking for some Disney clipart? and has some really cute designs for the taking. Remember, to use these only for your own personal use.

For the invitation supplies, I used Cards and Pockets. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to do their own invitations. They have a wonderful selection of colors and styles. You can download the templates directly from their website, for free, to get started, which can help greatly to decide which style invitation before you order. Afraid to print them yourself, in fear of tossing the printer off your balcony? Cards and Pockets now offers printing for you. You email them a PDF of your work and they will quote you a price. Their website is really chock full of great tools to help you create your dream stationary.

Next up, I needed to work on programs. Making sure to use the same fonts and colors I used in the invitations, to keep it cohesive. Michael’s Arts & Crafts has a selection of cardstock that would make anyone’s head spin and always have a coupon on their website or on their smart phone app. I went with classic white for mine (4.5 x 6.5).

I scoured the internet to find program inspiration. We are not a serious couple by any means, and this was a very lighthearted event, so the program needed to be fun. I found a great one on Style Me Pretty’s blog and created mine in that same writing style.

On to the guest book. I had decided to do a guest mat so it could be framed and hung in a place of importance in our home. Again, wanting something unique and going with our theme, I chose to create a postcard of our locations instead of a photo. Using a couple of photos I had from previous visits to the Boardwalk, text boxes and Microsoft Word, this design was born. It was mounted onto a colored cardstock and set inside of a guest mat, that can be found at most craft supply stores in their framing department.

We used the existing marble cocktail tables at Disney’s Atlantic Dance Hall so we went with open seating. However, we did want to make sure the wedding party would have tables on the dance floor close to us. Our planner, Carol, told me to make enough “Reserved” signs for the tables we wanted held. These were created using the same paper as the programs.

Since this was a destination wedding, and I have a Disney trip planning addiction, I created a few items to send out to our guests about a month before the wedding. Each guest was sent a packet that included park maps, a “Confirmations” worksheet (to keep their trip itinerary organized) and a “Park Hours” sheet covering the week of our wedding. I also included an “Event Guidemap”. This map included the transportation schedule for our wedding day, a list of important dates, times and locations, and a special message from the bride and groom. I will admit that the map took a little more love and attention with some Photoshop help to get it the way I wanted. This project had the help of Office Max. I printed a master of each and headed straight to the store where they may copies on a nicer heavyweight paper, trimmed down, and even folded the maps for me (which was worth the cost all on its own!).

The whole process was a labor of love but, I enjoyed every minute of it. And each project went through several drafts before going to print. I DIYed most of my wedding but, this was one of my favorite projects.

Important things to remember when using Microsoft Word-

  • Set your page sizes correctly.
  • Always set for borderless printing.
  • Use text boxes and break up your text so you can get the placement you want.
  • Format images and text boxes to “in front of text” so you can layer and place.
  • Have fun! Play around with the settings, word art, fonts, and filters until you find what you’re in love with. You may be surprised at what you can do in Microsoft Word.

My Disneymooner Planning Journal has all my DIY trials and tribulations so, if you’re a Disney bride to be, make sure to join the forums and read all about them.


DIY: Rhinestone Cake Topper

Our first DIY tip is written by Disneymooner Laura, who just had a fabulous vow renewal aboard a Disney Alaskan Cruise. To read more about her wedding, vow renewal and read her recaps, please join our private forums.

Whether you are looking to save money, want a custom design, or are just really crafty, making your own monogram cake topper is probably easier than you think.

The first step is to choose or create a design.  It’s best if you can create it as an image file, but even a drawing might be doable.  Try to minimize really thin lines or small holes, as these will be hard to cut.  This was the design we created for our vow renewal cake topper:

Once you have your design, you need to decide what material you want your topper to be made of.  We went with stainless steel, but you can use other metals or even acrylic.  You’ll have to choose the thickness you want (1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4” are standard for metals) and whether you want the rods to be welded to the bottom or inserted into pre-drilled holes.  You’ll also have to figure out how big you want it to be.  It’s a good idea to check with your baker beforehand to get any necessary dimensions and weight limits.

With all these decisions made, it’s time to contact a metal cutter.  I started with a web search and looked for companies who made cake toppers or had examples of their work online.  After talking with and getting quotes from a few different people, I went with the one I felt most comfortable with.  About a week later we received our metal topper.

If your topper came with pre-drilled holes but no rods, you can purchase metal rods online or at a home improvement store.  You can also use wooden dowels or skewers.

You have a few options for decorating your topper: leave it as is, paint it, or add crystals.  If you’re going to use crystals, decide what color(s) and size(s) you want.  The more sizes you have, the better the coverage will be.  Crystals can be purchased online or at a craft store.  You’ll also have to decide how to attach them.  If you purchase hotfix crystals, you can try using a hotfix applicator.  With both flat back and hotfix crystals you can use an adhesive.  If you have trouble getting them to stick to metal, try scuffing up the surface.

Lastly, plan out your crystal pattern and attach them. I found it easiest to plan a small section and then glue it down.  It’s best to start at a corner or edge and work your way across, as it can be hard to make the crystals fit in a way you like when two sections meet.  However, you can pull the crystals back up if you need to redo an area.

Make sure you have extra crystals and glue with you (especially if you’re travelling to your wedding) just in case anything happens.

Here is our finished topper: