I believe in helping brides have their perfect day AND still have some money left to live on afterward!
Scrapbook, Scrapbook, & More Scrapbook
Seems like everyone is doing scrapbooking these days, and stores like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart have aisle after aisle devoted to the stuff—paper, stickers, stamps, ribbon—it's amazing! If you think spending hours making one page for a scrapbook containing all of two pictures is tedious and mind-numbingly dull, then you may think you'd rather stick pins in your eyes than have anything to do with scrapbooking.
However, if you're getting married and your budget is so tight, it squeaks, you might want to take another look at that scrapbook paper section of your local craft store and imagine the possibilities. Imagination doesn't stretch that far, you say? Then come along and check out these beautiful and cheap ideas for making your wedding special using scrapbook paper.
1. Save the Dates & Invitations
First things first, your Save the Dates and wedding invitations. There are so many sites now where you can print your own STD's and invitations, many for free, you can just buy a ream of cardstock and go to town, creating your own one-of-a-kind wedding stationery suite.
Or if you're a little bit more talented than that, you can use a graphic design program like PrintMaster to design your own using the myriad clip art and fonts that are available on that kind of software. Enlist the help of your bridesmaids or family to do a little cutting and folding and you can create your own fabulous pocketfolds from scrapbooking paper, making each one a little different, but in the same color family as your wedding colors.
If you DIY your invites, you'll not only save money, but they will be so much more personal and a reflection of you two as a couple. You can put your wedding story on them, a collage of photographs of the two of you, the possibilities are truly endless.
2. The Guest Book
Guest books have come a long way from the tightly bound little white book stuck on a table with a fancy feather pen and a bored looking attendant keeping watch over it. People are using everything from wedding wish trees to tags hung on clotheslines to vintage typewriters as their guest books.
However, if having all those little pieces of paper to keep up with afterward makes your eyes glaze over, you might want to consider investing in a 12 x 12 scrapbook and paper in your wedding colors and let guests create their own pages as they come in. You could already have one of your engagement pictures glued to the center of the page or have a friend there to take your guests' pictures with a Polaroid camera to mount on their page. Supply your guests with fun colored scrapbooking pens and encourage them to write, doodle, draw pictures, etc. Afterward, have a family member gather all the pages and put them in the book for you and you'll have a wedding scrapbook already started!
The Wish Tree
Use scrapbook paper cut into cute shapes for an inexpensive wishing tree. Enlist your groom's help in taking a walk through the woods to find some sturdy branches for your tree. Arrange them in an interesting container and fill it with rocks or marbles to immobilize the branches. You can spray paint the branches, glitter them, or leave them natural if you're having a rustic wedding.
Decide on the shape you want for your cards, maybe a leaf if it's a fall wedding, find a template online, get a stack of paper in your wedding colors, and trace multiples of your template onto the paper. Get your bridesmaids to cut them out, (you are the bride, duh!) and punch a hole in them with a hole puncher. Thread a pretty ribbon through the hole and hang them on the tree branch. Done and much cheaper than ordering wish cards from some expensive copy shop!
3. Scrapbook Paper Programs
Wedding programs used to be a plain 8.5 x 11 piece of paper folded in half into a little booklet and printed with the names of the wedding party and detailing the order of events...not very inspiring. Programs now can be anything from paper fans to scrolls to fun shapes, even origami. And all of these creative wedding programs can be done with scrapbooking paper.
A fun and easy wedding program is to print your wedding onto cardstock, then cut out in the shape of a fan...think the kind they used to have in church back in the day before air conditioning. Cut the other side out in the same size and shape. Ask your local paint store if they'll sell you a bunch of paint stirrer sticks, if you tell them you're a bride and what you're using them for, they may even give them to you! Glue a paint stirrer stick about three inches from the bottom of the fan shape. Glue the second fan shape to the back, sandwiching the paint stirrer stick between the two, and voila! you have a program and a very neat functional fan that guests can use if it gets a little too warm during the ceremony.
4. Paper Pinwheels and Starbursts for Just About Everything
If you love the idea of a whimsical wedding, paper pinwheels and starbursts are a fun and easy way to decorate with scrapbook paper and they are incredibly versatile. You can make a bunch and stick them in Mason jars, using them to line your aisle or as table décor. You can make small ones and use them for your groomsmen's boutonnieres. You could even make a whole bundle of them and use them for your bouquet. Saves lots of money on a florist and you and your bridesmaids can get together ahead of time for a little Pinwheel Party and make them together!
The starbursts would look great hanging from different length ribbons behind your cake table or dessert buffet or just scattered randomly on your buffet. And your adorable flower girl would probably love to have a huge pinwheel to walk down the aisle with for an outdoor wedding! This is especially good if your venue doesn't allow any bubbles or flower petals.
5. Paper Cones as Pew Markers & More!
Scrapbook paper comes in so many different colors, textures, and styles, it's super simple to find something to go with your wedding colors. Making paper cones to go with your décor from scrapbook paper couldn't be easier and they can be used in a variety of different ways. Beautiful textured cardstock cones can be used as pew markers if you decide to go with silk or dried flowers or if you use a flower-like baby's breath that will do fine without water. You can also use cones to hold lavender or rose petals for guests to toss at you and your groom during your getaway or as adorable favor cones.
They can even be used as fun holders at stations such as your candy or popcorn buffet, even to hold cotton candy for a unique cotton candy tree! There are tons of cone templates online; however, you can create your own by tracing a saucer or dinner plate, depending on how large you want your cone, and then cutting a pie-shaped wedge out of it. Bring your cut edges together to form the cone. You can use a glue gun or double-sided tape to stick the edges together. Easy and pretty sturdy if you use cardstock.
6. Placemats and Table Runners
Larger scrapbook paper, the 12" x 12" size, makes a very cool placemat and if you're using a 9" dinner plate, there's plenty of paper left to show around your plate. If you want to get really industrious, you can use double-sided tape to tape 12 x 12" papers together and make either a large table square for the center of your table or a table runner to add contrast to your tables. Another great tablescape idea to do with scrapbooking paper is to cut 12" circles from heavy cardboard or foam core board and lay the circles down on 12" x 12" scrapbook paper and cut out. Then just use a glue stick to glue the paper to the cardboard circles...instant chargers! They really makes a great contrast if you're using white or clear plates and white tablecloths. You can even use one to two inch scrapbook paper strips to create coordinating napkin rings.
7. Vintage Look Paper Banners
Banners are being used everywhere for wedding décor and in all different sizes. Banners are nothing but paper shapes, usually triangles to resemble the old fashioned pennant or bunting, strung together to create colorful and eye-catching décor with a retro look and feel. They can be used anywhere from your candy or dessert buffet with letters spelling out words like "Love Is Sweet" or "Sweet Love" to tiny banner strings stretched across your cake as a cake topper. Endless strings hung from the ceiling of your venue can create a carnival type effect and to fill space that would be otherwise empty and well, frankly, just plain ugly!
Circles are another fun shape for banners and these are easily cut with a circle cutter made for scrapbooking. They come in several different sizes, so you can vary the sizes of the circles used in your banner. They look precious strung together in rows and hung in the background of your cake table. Have a banner making party with your friends and bridemaids before the wedding and you can knock a lot of these out in no time, plus help them feel more involved and get a little girl time in before the wedding!
8. Place Cards, Table Numbers, & Reserved Signs
Scrapbooking paper is perfect for making place cards, reserved signs, and table numbers for your reception tables. The great thing about these little doodads is if you can use Microsoft Word, have access to a printer (doesn't even need to be color!), can use a pencil, ruler, scissors, and maybe a hole puncher, you're in business. Although it's nice to have colored ink other than black when you're printing your numbers, words, and names, it really isn't necessary, because you can use cardstock in your wedding colors to back white or cream colored paper to create the look you want. Place cards can be printed on business card paper, backed with a pretty paper, and then displayed in any number of fun ways like on top of a lemon, simply cut the bottom off of the lemon to create a level surface, then cut a slot in the lemon in which to insert the place card.
9. Gift Card Boxes & Remembrance Cakes
These days wedding guests are more likely to give couples cash in a card at the reception than they are to mail them a gift or bring a gift to the reception and who can blame them? Frankly, cash is always the right color and never the wrong size, so it doesn't ever need to be returned! However, the happy couple will probably be a tad too busy at their reception to keep up with a bunch of cards, so card boxes are definitely the way to go. That way guests can drop their cards in the box, then a family member can collect the box for safekeeping at the end of the night until the bride and groom get back from honeymooning and open all those well wishes (and hopefully cash!). You can create a gorgeous and creative card box from some simple paper mache boxes covered in scrapbooking paper and accented with ribbon, tulle, silk flowers, etc.
Since brides are waiting to get married later and later these days, an unfortunate flip side is that some family members may have passed away. Many couples are using remembrance candles to honor family members who have passed away or setting up mini-shrines with pictures and candles on a table at the reception. However, a really creative way to remember lost loved ones is with a remembrance cake using copies of old pictures black & white pictures and scrapbooking paper to decorate the boxes and adding small details like stickers, ribbons, and other trim. It's an eye-catching and special way to let your guests know you haven't forgotten those who couldn't be with you on your wedding day.
10. Cupcake Papers, Favor Tags, Candy Buffet Labels, and More!
Just in case all the ideas above aren't enough, here are a few more to help you use up all of thise leftover scraps of paper! If you're having a cupcake tree, you can make paper cupcake sleeves to match the rest of your décor. Using a simple template, you can cut out the papers, add a scalloped edge on top with scrapbooking scissors, and tape together with double-sided tape. Favor tags are also adorable ways to use scrapbook paper and really individualize your favors as well as adding decorative tags to your candy buffet containers. Any scrapbook paper left...No? Good! Money left in your wedding budget? Yes! Also good! Reward yourself by sticking that money in a new house account!
A Paper Wedding... The Possibilities Are Endless!
These are just a few of the ways scrapbooking paper can be used for DIY projects and to save money for a budget-friendly wedding. If you use your imagination, you could probably think of dozens more! Not only will your wedding save you money,but your guests will be talking about how unique all the décor was long after your wedding is over!
DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on March 06, 2012:
Sunbun, I can't wait to see pics from this wedding you're doing! And you're right, I think people don't realize how many, many ways they can use paper to make a wedding more attractive and add cute little touches everywhere. I have no idea what we used to do before scrapbooking paper came along, but I use it all the time! It's kind of like when I use to have time to sew and I was in love with fabric. Now I can indulge my love for pattern, spend less money, and can crank out a lot of projects way quicker that I ever did when I sewed all the time!
sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on March 05, 2012:
Great ideas! For my brother-in-law's wedding, we're using cardstock to DIY programs,table numbers, escort cards and placecards in the shape of butterflies. We are also doing photo props out of a few coordinating shades of paper for a cool look, rather than having a jumble of feather boas and sunglasses. You list some more great ideas...thanks!
DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on January 19, 2012:
Thanks, IF and RC. There are so many ways to use scrapbook paper to make your wedding unique. All kinds of paper, really. My sister called me today and was cleaning her attic and she had rolls of vintage wallpaper she was getting rid of. You know I had to jump on that, combined with scrapbook paper I can do some amazing stuff!
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 19, 2012:
Great resource! Making even one or two of these ideas can save a lot of money.
instantlyfamily on January 19, 2012:
This is a really cool hub! I love all the detail and pictures. And I adore the pinwheels!
DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on January 18, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by, ASM!
abbysonmartin from England on January 18, 2012: