Our DIY To-Do List

Oh me oh my we are so busy planning, planning, planning for fall! We have five different dessert tables coming your way in the next two months and we are super duper excited about them. Jason has taken on two of them himself, both of which are movie related themes, can't wait to see them all finished! We are also working on our Autumn theme and two Halloween tables as well, which just so happens to be my favorite time of year.

Aside from all that though, we wanted to share with you a little list that has been growing and growing on our favorite website, Pinterest. As most of you know, the DIY movement has been one of the best things to blossom and take off out of this financial recession. People are always looking for ways to save, and what better way than to make something yourself? We are no stranger to DIY and we often find ourselves searching for alternative ways to accomplish our goals, ways that do not involve huge amounts of cash, but huge amounts of creativity and effort instead. Often times the reward to doing things yourself is two-fold, you save money of course, but you also feel great about having accomplished something yourself. At least we do! So without further ado, here are a few things we are looking forward to DIY'ing in the near future and few things we have already DIY'ed!

Glitter Monogram Cake Toppers

Glitter Glitter everywhere! The glitter trend is in full effect and these cake toppers really stand out. They are sophisticated, elegant and fantabulous! Glitter has a reputation to be a love/hate relationship with most people. Me? I love it! Jason? He hates it! That isn't going to stop me from making this charming little Monogram though, perhaps not for a cake but framed instead...

Make Your Own Three Ring Binder

This is one we have already made, for our daughter for school this year. The tutorial shows a woodgrain contact paper and some buttons and floral and gingham paper accents. We chose to go glam with ours and used silver contact paper, purple glitter ribbon, zebra striped paper accents and some really cool glass beads. Jules loved it and was so proud to have something truly unique and special to use for her first year of middle school! (unfortunantly she has left it in her locker since the first day and I have not been able to photograph it for the blog, sorry!) This project can be made even easier if you purchase a very plain jane binder to start off with if you are having trouble finding the binder inserts.

Giant Number Pinata

Man this pinata puts all others to shame IMO. To top it off it is a completely homemade design. Serioulsy, how pretty is this? So pretty I might not want to smash it! We plan to use this tutorial to help us build a pinata for on of the movie themed dessert tables we mentioned earlier. It might be a bit of an undertaking but we are up to the challenge and think the payoff and reward will be worth it :) 

Ruffled Crepe Paper Garland

This is another DIY we have tried and succeeded at this year. This tutorial appealed to our easy and beautiful side. The one that says, "This is really simple to do and it looks very professional and classy, let's do it!" We used ours for our Southern Heirloom Dessert Table at the beginning of the summer and it really lent the extra charm we were looking for. The first picture is the original inspiration from MADE. The second is our own DIY version. The possibilities with this kind of decoration are vast, make it bright, make it muted, make it charming, it's all in the color choice! Check out our how-to here!


Tissue Tassel Garland

This garland is just about the most fun thing we've seen hanging around! Constructed of rope and tissue paper it is truly a masterpiece. We have not tried this one out yet but it is next up on our list and we will be blogging our adventure. I can't wait to use it on one of our halloween parties this fall!


Well there you have it. Five DIY projects to keep you busy for a while.

If you are interested in any of our other Pin worthy project on our DIY Board on Pinterest go ahead and click the link and follow us! 

We would love for you to join us in the DIY movement and share any great projects you have made or plan to make with us as well!


Ruffled Crepe Paper Garland DIY

Oh boy do we have a great tutorial for you today! Forever a fan of twirling and hanging crepe paper streamers, once we saw this neat trick and how easy it was to make we could not pass up an opportunity to do it ourselves and share it with everyone.

Now, first things first, what are we making you ask?

Well, we are making a beautiful garland to use as party decoration or gift wrapping or however your imagination pictures it, out of crepe paper and thread. 


So, let's get to it.

For this project you will need several items all purchaseable at AC Moore, or even Wal-mart. All in all this project costs less than five dollars, if you already own a sewing machine :)

  • 2 rolls of crepe paper
  • 1 spool of thread
  • 1 sewing machine
  • scissors

Step One: Prep Work

Prepare your sewing machine by threading your bobbin and needle and set your stitch length to it's longest setting, which is usually a five. You will also need to adjust the tension setting to it's highest, usually a 10. If you have an older sewing machine, you may not have the tension setting, don't sweat it. Then take your two rolls of crepe and set them side by side in your lap or where ever you prefer. Make sure you can keep the rolls at a steady unravel. You do not want them to spiral (as crepe paper so loves to do) while you are sewing. 

Step Two: Get Your Sew On

Ok so now that you are all set up and ready, take both ends of the crepe paper roll and overlap them slightly. Place them under the foot of the machine and drop the foot down to prepare to sew. Sew a few stiches slowly down the center of the overlapping papers then stop. DO NOT LIFT THE FOOT OR BACKSTITCH. Gently tie the strings at the end of your streamer so that they will not unravel as you continue. 

Step Three: Kick It Up A Notch

After you have secured the strings on the end of the streamer, it's time to get down to business. Holding your paper in the overlapping position, guide it through the machine at a quick pace. I found that the quicker I went, the more my paper ruffled.  Depending on your machine, you may want to control the thread slightly for more ruffled effect. Do this by holding the thread spool lightly to slow it down while it feeds through the machine.

Watch the video below to see just how magical this process can be!


Wasn't that awesome? Yeah we know, you are speechless right? LOL

Step Four: Fit to Be Tied

Once you have fed all of your crepe through the machine and reach the end, you will need to break your strings and tie them gently just as you did at the beginning of the streamer. That's all folks! You now have a frilly fun ruffled streamer to use as you like!

We used white on white for our streamer garland, but feel free to experiment and use as many colors as you like. This garland can be soft and feminine or loudly screaming paaartay, depending on the colors you chose! Happy sewing!

Sweet Parties: Southern Heirloom Dessert Table Garden Party

"Now isn't this better than sitting at a table? A girl hasn't got but two sides to her at the table." - Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With the Wind

We'd like to take you through our process of creation, step-by-step by discussing how we came up with our theme and inspiration, to what we chose to serve and how we chose to serve it, to the little detail decor that helped bring everything together. Let's get started!

Sweetly ladylike and classically southern, our Southern Heirloom theme draws inspiration from family generations and antiquities passed down. Using my great-grandmother's Noritake "Azelea Pattern" China and my grandmother's Fostoria "American Pattern" Crystal and a combination their vintage lace tablecloths, handkercheifs and antique furniture, we created an intimate garden party for true southern belles. The color palette was chosen first, drawing from the feminine pink and muted greens of the china pattern. Then we incorporated quite a bit of ivory/off-white as a neutral color because we already knew we wanted to hold this little soiree outside. It also helped to tie in the ivory color of the vintage lace tablecloths we used as well.

Decor decor, where did all that pretty stuff come from? Well we already talked about all of the heirloom pieces you see, but what we didn't talk about were the little touches. We used silk (gasp) flowers to decorate here and there throughout the display. Pretty delicate pink blooms with green/blue leaves adorn two of the cakes and are featured under a cloche purely for asthetics. We found them half off at AC Moore back in April and saved them for future use because they were just that pretty we knew we would find something to do with them eventually. The pink grosgrain ribbon was acquired from (another gasp) Dollar Tree. They had a huge box of all different shades both grosgrain and satin and we snagged several rolls for that bargain price and held on to them for the future as well. The small green and pink bottles were found at the good ole DG Store, another favorite place to spot the occasional awesome item. The little green paper flags on our smooth iced layer cake were a homemade touch using a tutorial we found at The Yuppie Lifestyle Blog. The frilly fluffy ivory garland in the background was homemade DIY Ruffle Garland crafted from crepe paper streamers.

It is so super easy to make your own ruffled crepe paper garland. Find out how to make it in our new blog section Sweet DIY Projects.

Fun Fact: The lace swag you see above was actually my grandmother's wedding veil! She kept a hope chest of all her most prized possesions, which I explored and discovered this most beautiful and delicate lace piece that had to be displayed somewhere, somehow! It found a perfect home draped casually over the side of the smaller table.

What to serve, what to serve! We chose to have several of our tall layer cakes (ruffled and smooth), whoopie pies and a little mom inspired powdered doughnut cake. (Powdered doughtnuts are one of my mother's favorite treats.) We found inspiration for our ruffle cake from the Sweet and Saucy Blog, who seems to excel at all things vintage and delicious and outdoors. You may remember a previous post featuring a powdered doughnut cake (here) which we spotted on the HGTV website a while back and promptly pinned to our Pinterest Board! We included it for several reasons, first of all it is really super cute and sweet and secondly this table was meant as a tribute to the women in my family and as I mentioned before, mom likes them. Our whoopie pies were strawberry, sweet and pink and perfect for our theme, plus it is strawberry season and we already had farm fresh strawberries ready at hand. The fluffy pink spun sugar added a touch of whimsy and was an impulse inclusion since our local grocery store had a huge display of hard to resist bags front and center. We also chose a sprakling Shirley Temple to drink because... (pause for dramatic effect) it's pink! Not really too hard to guess why on that one lol.

What did we use to display all of those pretty little cakes and doughnuts? Custom cake stands of course! Remember how we mentioned that beautiful vintage cake stands cost an arm and a leg (here)? Well we have pretty much decided that making our own is the way to go from here on out. (That is unless we ever make boat loads of money and can actually afford to collect some of those beautiful pieces. (*File it under Someday*) 

Jason was the mastermind once again for the creation of our cake stands. He used his handy-dandy woodworking skills to fashion several stands for the table that were different but also looked nice together too. He chose a three color palette for the stands to match the china as well and continue the color scheme of pink, green and ivory. Incedentaly the off-white color he chose is actually called Heirloom White and is made by Rustoleum.

Another bonus to creating your own stands is having several them to use again and again in the future for more dessert tables. All they may need is a coat of a new color paint and they are ready to use. Visit our DIY post here for more information on how to make your own cake stands.

Side note: Other companies (like Amy Atlas) are located in urban areas that have awesome places called "Prop Houses." These buildings of wonder and amazement are actually in the business of renting out vessels and serving pieces and just about anything you could ever need for a Dessert Table. This eliminates the need to create your own stuff or hunt endlessly to find super bargains here or there in order to pull off a table without breaking the bank. So it should be noted that taking this route is a commendable feat to do-it-yourself party planners that do not have access to rentals :)

We chose to place the pink spun sugar in the delicate Noritake china tea cups that belonged to my great-grandmother. At first it seemed cute and whimsical, not the average choice for styling, but then it melted. Quickly. In fact it melted so quickly we had to replace it several times before we were even able to take photos. Even then it still melted a little on the edges. Nice thing about spun sugar though, it's still sugar no matter what form its in and tastes just as sweet! 


We are now referring to this cake as the Ruffled Southern Belle cake. Southern belles like Scarlett always had mounds of ruffles on them somewhere and this cake follows suit. We topped it off with a beautiful delicate flower with even more pink and green.

My grandmother was a true southern hostess. Her mid-20th century Fostoria American Crystal collection was the centerpiece of her serve ware. Delicate cut crystal cake stands, goblets, punch bowl and sherbet pieces all sitting awaiting special company or a holiday. Anyone who planned to spend time at my grandmother's home for a special occasion could expect to see a perfect display of traditional party foods awaiting them on delicate serving pieces like the one above. She took great care to make everything "just so," just as we have taken great care to make this Dessert Table "just so." We hope you enjoyed this theme!