Hens & Chicks: Potato stamping DIY

Hi.  We are Hens & Chick Collective.  It’s nice to meet you!  We are a group of three artists based out of Seattle, Washington, specializing in styling and creating installations for events and interiors.  Curious?  Check us out at Hens & Chicks Collective or on our Facebook page.   We will be teaming with Brooklyn Bride every month to share DIY wedding tips with readers, showing you how to add a little of your own flare to basic wedding staples without spending a lot of money.

Our first lesson is the start of a three-part series we will be sharing on printing.  Invitations, napkins, envelopes, goodie bags, signs- they can all add so much to your wedding but can also add up!  The easiest way to customize your special day is to add an image or monogram to little bits and pieces of your wedding décor.

For this project you will need:

-       Potatoes (red, yellow, or white all work)

-       Acrylic paint (any craft store will sell paints for about $1.30 per color)

-       Exacto knife (can be found at any craft store)

-       Cookie cutters, if desired (found at any kitchen store or craft store)

-       Anything you’d like to print stamp! (envelopes, cocktail napkins, or even cloth all work well with acrylic paint)

Ok, let’s get started.

There are two ways to carve your stamps.  Both work well, but cookie cutters are definitely the easiest.  We’ll start there.

-       To carve your stamp from a cookie cutter, you first must determine the shape you would like.  While it is important to find a design that fits well with your wedding décor, be sure you are also choosing a shape that is self-explanatory, as the point of potato stamping is to save you from the tedium of hand-printing detail.  If your are doing letters, keep in mind that the letter must be carved into the stamp backwards in order to stamp forwards (we had a few mishaps learning this lesson), so be sure you are selecting a cutter that can be used from both sides (simple metal ones work best for this).

-       Cut your potato in half, so you have a flat surface to work with.

-       Press your cutter into your potato half about ¼ inch and, using an exacto knife, carve into the side of the potato up to the stamp, carving out all potato around the edge.

The second way to carve your stamp is to cut the potato with an Exacto knife, without any cutter template.  This is trickier but allows for more creative freedom.  It helps to draw your design beforehand, to ensure that you are carving correctly.

[images from Hens & Chicks Collective]

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You + ME*: Downloadable favors

Want to print some of these for your own wedding?  The ladies of You + ME* have you covered…download the PDF here or click on the image above.  Go forth and be charitable!

[downloadable PDF by You + ME* Lifestylists]

The downloadable PDF in this article is free for personal use only,  not for commercial use.  Thanks.

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You + Me* DIY: Furoshiki wrapping

Everyone we know loves vintage scarves, and they can often be had at thrift stores for between $.50 and $2. Consider adding some color to your table by wrapping your favors Japanese-style (the proper word is furoshiki) in vintage scarves. Look for scarves that are square (or have a tailor or seamstress sew the rectangular ones you find into squares). To wrap them, just place your favor in the middle of the square. Fold one corner over the box and tuck it under. Fold the opposite corner over the box and tuck it under. You’ll have a long rectangle of scarf at this point with your favor in the center. The ultimate goal is to tie the two ends together, but to make it look neat, you’ll need to do a little bit of prep work. Right next to the edge of your box, pinch the fabric in just a touch so that the extra fabric will be tucked inside your package. Do the same on the other side, and then tie the ends together. Pat yourself on the back for making something look way harder than it is, and bask in the oohs and aahs. – Miya & Elisabeth

[images from Angela Gaspar]

Angela Gaspar and You + Me* Lifestylists are sponsors of Brooklyn Bride

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You + Me*: DIY Valentines

For this DIY project, we wanted to share an easy way to make pretty valentines (or seating cards or even invitations–the possibilities are endless) using watercolors. Watercolors are a great medium because they produce gorgeous variations in shade and tone (perfect for all of the reds, raspberries, peaches, and pinks that go with Valentine’s day!). We’ll be walking you through two projects; both have the potential to look sweet and romantic or clean and modern. Have fun & experiment! – Miya & Elisabeth

You will need:
Watercolors in colors that suit your fancy
A brush or 2
A glass of water
A white crayon
Paper doilies
Spray adhesive (you can experiment with other adhesives, but the spray adhesive worked best for us)
Cutting instruments (scissors or an X-acto knife)
Cardstock or watercolor paper, cut to the desired size of your card (this should be the size of a folded card, meaning twice the length as the size you want the front of your card to be)

For the doily valentine:
Start by creating a wash over your card with color. Be sure to use enough water that the color goes on smoothly without any gaps. Also experiment with mixing colors and/or using more or less water to create gradations in color on your card. When you’re happy, let it dry.
Move a paper doily (or 2 or 3) over your finished card to see what pattern you like on top. Don’t be afraid to cut apart the doilies! When you’re happy, spray the doily with adhesive, following the directions, and adhere to your card. Cut away the excess doily.
Fill the inside of the card with loving sentiments, sappy memories, and/or hopes for the future.

For the crayon valentine:
Start by using your white crayon to make a pattern or write a sentiment on your card. You’re writing where you don’t want the paint to take to the paper, so keep that in mind if you’re drawing something.
When you’re happy with your design, paint over it with your watercolors. We found that we really liked a single swash of color, but we also tried painting the whole card, and that was nice, too.
Declare your undying love for the recipient, and sit back and relax, reveling in your job well done.

And are you loving those envelopes? The DIY is here! We used tracing paper, and even though the doilies in the tutorial are square, we used round ones that were slightly smaller than my finished size, and we loved the way they looked.

Have fun, everyone! We’d love to see your cards if you do this project, so please do email us at hello{at}youplusmestyling{dot}com to show off what you’ve made!

[image from Sean Dagen]

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Handmade Weddings giveaway + DIY!

Handmade Weddings by the ladies of Hello!Lucky and the talented Shana Faust is finally out and its a total winner with its page after page of awesome crafts and beautifully shot layouts…I’m happy to share with you one of my favorite projects from the book below…the pegboard seating chart.  Its so graphic and fun, and can be customized to suit any style.

And hey, since I’ve got your attention, you probably want to win a copy of the book right?  Well I’ve got 3 to give away!  Leave a comment below for your chance to win, and 1 lucky winner will also receive a limited edition (only 50 made!) set of letterpress cards made especially for the book!  Since I’m away most of this week, the winners will be announced on Monday.  Good luck! Contest closed

PEG BOARD SEATING CHART

MATERIALS
Makes one 3-×-4-foot seating chart with approximately 50 seating cards
• One 3-×-4-foot sheet Peg-Board (Peg-Board can be purchased in modular and custom sizes from your
local hardware store or at Lowes, www.lowes.com. Adjust the size to fit the number of guests at your wedding. Each seating card requires approximately a 5-×-7-inch area of Peg-Board.)
• 1 pint white paint (optional, if Peg-Board is not prefinished)
• 1 roll kraft paper
• 50 wooden clothespins
• 6 to 10 rolls decorative tape in a variety of colors and patterns
• Ten 8 1/2-×-11-inch sheets white text-weight paper
• 1 roll thin nickel or copper wire

TOOLS
• Peg-Board Seating Card template (available online at www.chroniclebooks.com/handmade-weddings)
• Inkjet printer, with extra cartridges
• Font: Remington Weather
• 6 to 8 sheets newsprint (optional)
• Paint tray (optional)
• Paint roller (optional)
• Scissors
• Glue dots
• Craft knife
• Cutting mat
• Ruler
• Masking tape (optional)

HOW TO

1. Prepare your Peg-Board.
Lay newsprint on the floor of your work area, and lean your Peg-Board against a wall or table on top of it. If using, roll a coat of paint onto the board. Let it dry. Apply another layer if desired. Trim the kraft paper into panels that are sufficient to cover the back of your Peg-Board completely. Affix to the back of your Peg-Board with glue dots.

2. Decorate your clothespins.
Affix a strip of decorative tape along the length of each clothespin. Smooth it flat. Trim off any excess with a craft knife. Repeat on the other side.

3. Print your seating cards.
Using a word-processing program or the Peg-Board Seating Card template, customize your seating cards. Print them using an inkjet printer onto text-weight paper; because they are printed on both sides (guest’ s names on the front, table number on the back), print at least one test run to ensure proper alignment. Trim along the crop marks provided using a craft knife, ruler, and cutting mat.

4. Assemble your seating chart.
Decide how you would like to space your rows of seating cards. For each clothespin, thread an 8-inch length of wire through the spring (figure 1). Insert the wire ends into a hole in the Peg-Board, pierce through the kraft paper, twist a few times to secure the clothespin, and flatten the ends against the board, trimming with scissors if necessary (figure 2). If desired, secure the wire ends with masking tape (recommended if you are transporting the assembled board to your venue). Clip your seating cards to your clothes-pins in alphabetical order.

[images from Handmade Weddings and CBroussard]

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