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Monday, January 31, 2011


I've finished tracing and cutting out the invitations.  Now I'm on to folding.  It's not as bad as I had originally thought it would be, but it is definitely going to take a good bit of time.  I'm hoping to finish it up this week.  

Then I'll start working on the actual invitation part of the pocketfolds.  I already have an idea of what the invitations will be.  I just need to confirm the details of the wedding day (i.e. what time are we starting?!) and then get those printed up.  Then I'll have to do the inserts for the pockets.  I will be having a map and directions insert, a reception insert, accommodations, and the R.S.V.P card.  I'll probably also have an invitation to the reception in Indiana for the friends and family who cannot make it to Pennsylvania for the actual wedding day.  So, that should keep me busy for a while.

On Friday, I'm going to be ordering the photos and the magnets to get started on the Save-the-Dates.  That will hopefully get done in about a week.  So, depending on when the photos and the magnets arrive, I should be ready to send out the STDs by February 14th.  And, that is fantastic.  I'll be ahead of schedule.  

Last night, when I got tired of folding invitations, I started working on our wedding website.  I did some updating and just tried to spruce things up a bit.  I'm fairly pleased with how things look so far.  I still need to find a picture of our flower girl so that I can add her to our wedding party page, and I think I might shrink the font a bit, but other than that, I think I'm done for now... until we have some final decisions so that I can update!  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wedding Dress Sizes

I'm a little woman.  I am 5'3" and about 110-115 lbs (depending on the day!).  I wear a size 0 and rarely a 2 (depending on the manufacturer).  

However, I was a bit shocked when I went to get measured for my wedding dress.  The lady measuring me told me that I was a perfect size (which doesn't happen very often).  Yep, a perfect size 6.  How is that possible??  

I was told beforehand that I would most likely have a bigger size in my wedding dress than what I normally wear... so, I was expecting a 2 or maybe even a 4.  When she said 6, I'm sure my jaw probably dropped.  

I don't pay that much attention to sizes or numbers.  I love my body.  I like the curves I have and I'm happy with the way I look.  I just want to know where that number comes from!  How can I be a 0 regularly and a 6 on my wedding day?  

Shouldn't wedding dress designers want brides to feel thinner instead of making them feel larger?  I mean, a bride is supposed to feel gorgeous.  The number isn't very important to me, but what about for brides who are more sensitive about their weight/size?  I would think that making a huge size jump like that could be devastating to some!  

But, no matter the size, I know that I look awesome in my wedding dress.  :)  

Pocketfold update!

While I was in Indiana, I picked up some goldish-brown paper for the pocketfold invitations.  I tested it out to see how I liked it when I got home.  I really like it.  Just that little border really sets off the invitation.  

So, last night, I started back on the pocketfolds.  If you remember, I bought 20"x26" inch sheets of navy blue cardstock.  Last night, I cut out the 5"x20" sheets that I will need for the pocketfolds.  I did 90 of them.  It took quite a while, but it was really easy with my enormous, handy-dandy paper cutter.  

[This is what a stack of 90 future invitations looks like.]

Then I got started on the tracing.  In the background of that photo, you can see my orange cutouts.  I line them up on the edges of the paper and trace (using a dark blue pen so that the lines won't be very visible when I finish) the outline.  

Last night I did the tracing for all 90 invitations.  Tonight, I'll be getting started with the cutting.  You can see that I already did the cutting for one of the invitations just to make sure it still looked right.  If the cutting doesn't take the whole night, I will get started on the folding as well.  The folding is what is going to take a long time.  I'll have to measure each of the invitations to figure out where to fold... very time consuming.  Luckily, I still have a ton of time left to get these done!  

However, Jippy is already exhausted thinking about it:

He's such a cutie.  :)   [P.S. You can see the gold paper I found for the invites right beside/under Jippy's nose!]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Wedding Dress Shopping

I have watched Say Yes to the Dress.  I've seen other tv shows about wedding dress shopping.  They always make it look so simple.  They try on 3 or 4 dresses and one of them is absolutely perfect.  Everyone cries and it's an easy decision.  

That wasn't the case for my family and me.  My sister and I did some preliminary shopping over New Years weekend while she was in Colorado.  We tried on probably 20 dresses.  We found a few that we liked, but nothing really special.  That shopping was mostly to figure out what look we would be going for anyway, so it was fun and not really disappointing.  

Well, this past weekend, I went to Indiana to go shopping with my mom and my sister.  I tried on SO MANY dresses that it wasn't funny.  We found dresses that looked nice on me, but they weren't THE dress.  

The first shop wasn't bad.  So what if we didn't find it.  We still had plenty of time.  The second place made it a little depressing.  By the time we left the third place, I was starting to doubt that we would find that special dress.  I was beginning to think that maybe it was a myth.  

When we started again on Saturday, I was hopeful, but still doubtful.  And then we tried on gown after gown after gown and still didn't find the dress.  It didn't help that the lady wasn't showing us dresses that we had described.  She was only showing us dresses that she thought would look good on me.  She was driving us all crazy.  We knew what we wanted.  She just wouldn't listen.  When she finally did listen, we got THE dress.  

When the dress was finally on and we were all looking at me in the mirror, my mom started to cry.  My sister's eyes got a little damp and her whole face lit up.  My sister's friend, Ariel (who I'd only met one other time), actually teared up, too.  And, of course I teared up.  We just knew that this was the dress.  

I am so glad that we kept searching instead of just settling on a dress that just looked nice.  We may have had to try on a hundred dresses, but we did eventually find the perfect dress for me.  And every time I look at those pictures, I am SO glad that we kept at it.  

I can't help myself!  Here is my perfect dress again:

So, the cons are that it can take a ton of time and effort to find the dress (and possibly having to deal with people who really should not be in sales!), but the pros are that once you find that perfect dress, it will all be worth it.  The perfect dress will make you feel like a beautiful bride and it will just feel right.  So, don't give up ladies!  There is such a thing as a perfect dress!  

I love my dress!

Yesterday, my mom and I went to get measured for my dress.  We decided to order from Greta's (despite the poor customer service the first time around).  When we went in, we were happy to find that our experience was much nicer the second time.  The lady who helped us was wonderful.  I got to try on the dress again and I am still completely in love with it (as is my mom!).  

We took a few more pictures of it because I won't see it again for a few months.  The delivery time is 10 days to 16 weeks!  Even if it takes the full 16 weeks, I still don't think it's all bad.  I still have 8 months to go until the wedding, so that leaves us plenty of time to get fitted and altered if need be (it shouldn't need to much altering because I measured at a perfect size -- they said that doesn't happen often!).  

Here it is again:

I just love it!  I love the understated details/beading on the front and I love the sleek train.  It's just perfect!  I can't wait to put on a dress that actually fits me right (in the photos, I'm holding the excess fabric to make it more like it will be when it actually fits me)!  I'm so glad that we found this dress.  And I definitely can't wait for Philip to see me in it.  :)

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, this dress is Bonny 044 in Ivory (it also comes in white).  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How To: Sand Ceremony Frame

This is the project that I was most concerned about.  I thought it would be really tricky.  It turns out that I was wrong.  It was really simple.

We found a shadow box that we liked at Joann Fabrics & Crafts.  We searched high and low for a top loading frame, but we couldn't find one.  So, we finally settled on a back loading one.  

We found the center of the top of the box and marked it.  Then we drilled a small hole in the top of the shadow box to put the funnel in.   

Then we printed a 5"x7" photo.  Then we found the center of the glass and glued the photo to it.  We only glued the very edge of the photo (we didn't put glue anywhere other than the edges so that it wouldn't mess up the photo).  Then we put the glass back in the frame and then put the back on the shadow box.  Then we used a hot glue gun to seal the back shut. 

Then we waited for the glue to dry and this is what we ended up with:

It was a piece of cake!  Now I just have to figure out what sand I'm going to use.  I think I will probably use navy and ivory or navy and gold to go along with our wedding colors.  After the ceremony, we will use some wood putty or even just hot glue to seal the hole in the top of the box.  Then we will have a beautiful keepsake from our ceremony to display in our home.  :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

We found THE dress!

The plan was for me to fly into South Bend, Indiana on Thursday night.  Well, my plane was delayed in Denver so we didn't leave until about an hour after we were supposed to.  That meant that I missed my flight from Chicago to South Bend.  Well, my parents drove all the way to Chicago to pick me up!  We didn't get home until about 4am.  And then we got up at 8am to go to our bridal appointments. 

We had 3 appointments on Friday.  The first one was at Toumas in Fort Wayne Indiana.  They had a ton of dresses, but we didn't find "the one."  The sales lady was also really pushy. 

Next stop: The Perfect Dress (also in Fort Wayne).  I can't tell you how many dresses they actually have because we didn't actually see them.  We described what we were looking for and she brought out maybe 4 or 5 and I tried them on.  None of them were even close to being "the one."  The sales lady wasn't pushy but she also wasn't very friendly or helpful.

Then it was on to The Bride to Be (also in Fort Wayne).  They didn't have a lot of dresses, but the sales lady was INCREDIBLY helpful.  She took a ton of time to help us and made us feel very welcome.  There was one dress that we liked but it just wasn't quite right.  I was sorry we didn't find a dress there because I wanted to buy a dress from her. 

That was all for Friday.  I was feeling a little down about not finding anything, but I was still excited for Saturday.  We had only one appointment.  It was at Greta's in South Bend.  I'm torn about our experience with Greta's.  The customer service was terrible but we found THE dress.  

When we arrived, we were "greeted" by a very pushy lady.  Then our sales lady didn't listen to what we wanted and kept bringing us dresses that I had explicitly said that I did not like.  However, when she finally showed us a dress like what we described (after a TON of other dresses exactly as I described what I did NOT want), it was the one.  We tried on a few more, but we still felt the same way.

The "one" made all of us tear up a little bit.  It was beautiful and exactly how I wanted it to be.  It was mermaid and elegant with just the right amount of detail.  I loved it... and so did my mom, my sister (MOH), and a friend of ours.  So, without further ado, here it is:

[No Philip allowed!  No peeking beyond this point!]



[The details on the front.]

[The details on the back.]

 So, what do you think?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How To: Wedding Card Box

Let me just start by saying that I am very impressed with myself.  :)  When I first began my wedding planning, I stumbled upon the Road to the Aisle blog.  I fell in love with so many of her DIY projects.  I knew I would be doing the pocketfold invitations (so cute!) and I also knew that I would be doing the picture frame card box.  

This past week, I decided it was time.  So, on Friday night, Philip and I went shopping for supplies (and dog food, ha!).  I didn't want to spend a ton, so I went to Dollar Tree.  I love that place!  I picked up some cheap 11x14 wooden frames.  I wanted them in black, but they only had a natural wood color.  I got them anyway.

Then we went to Michael's and I picked up a new hot glue gun and some glue sticks.  Then it was on to Walmart where we picked up some photo mats, the 8x10 photos we wanted to use, some L brackets, some fabric, and some foam poster board.  After that, we stopped by Lowe's and picked up a lazy susan so that the box could spin.  

Saturday afternoon, I got started on the project.  I started with painting the frames black.  I just didn't want them to look like this:

And, I was really happy with the way they turned out.  When the paint dried, I put the glass back in, put the mats in, and taped the photos to the mats.  Then came the fun part.  I broke out the hot glue gun and got to work.  The Dollar Tree frames were pretty thin, so I couldn't just use the L brackets to screw the frames together.  So, I hot glued them together.  It required a bit of glue, but they held together very well.

Then I put the foam board on the bottom of the frames and glued it on using the L brackets.

Next, I put the lazy susan on the bottom... also using the hot glue gun.

Next I cut the foam board for the top.  Then I cut the hole in  foam board for the card entry.  I found the center in both directions and then made a half inch slit across the top.  Then I covered the top of the foam board with fabric.  I attached the fabric using staples.  Then I hot glued the edges down so that they wouldn't fluff up.  

I thought it was too plain, so I found the navy blue ribbon that I used for the bottles of bubbles and created a pattern on the top.

Then I put 4 L brackets at the top to hold the top piece on.  Then I put the top on the box and gave it a twirl.  I think it looks fantastic!  I am so proud of how it turned out.  I really, really love it.  

So, what do you think? 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rude People

FYI: This blog post is technically only sort of wedding related.

I work for a property management firm in Denver, Colorado.  I deal with people all day long.  Fortunately, most of the people I come into contact with are friendly.  Today, I had the wonderful fortune to deal with someone not in that category.

I was in a really good mood today (despite a crappy morning) because it's Friday and I get to see Philip tonight. You see, Philip works nights and I work days.  So, Monday through Thursday, we see each other for about 45 minutes (the time between when I get home and when Philip has to leave for work) and then we are together Friday night after I get off work (I get home at about 4:00pm), all day Saturday, and Sunday until he has to go to work about about 4:45pm.  It is difficult, but we make it work.  

Well, I went to deliver a check to a tenant on the floor right above us and I was chatting up the lady at the front desk and the other gentleman in the room.  I asked about their weekends and whatnot; just making small talk.  Then the lady asked me about my weekend.  I told her about Philip working nights and she said something that I still cannot believe.

She said, "That marriage is never going to last."  

I was in shock.  Who says something like that?  Where is that lady's censor?  I don't care if I don't think a marriage is going to work, if I don't know the people, I'm certainly not going to say anything like that!  

So, in my shock, I kind of tried to laugh it off and then I got the hell out of the room before she could say anything else offensive.  

I am still in shock.  How rude!  My marriage is going to be just like my relationship has always been with Philip (where we have always had different schedules): Perfect.  :P     

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wedding Day Playlist

I was surfing around The Knot the other day and came across an idea for a Wedding Day Playlist.  Now, I love music.  I listen to music at work, at home, in my car, and pretty much everywhere in between.  I love all sorts of music from hard rock to country and everywhere in between.  

I do like the idea of having a wedding day playlist to play music to get us all hyped for the wedding.  However, I hate the songs that they have listed.  It's just too cheesey for me.  Maybe I'll feel differently on the actual day, but right now, I just think it's disgusting.  I don't want to listen to "Going to the Chapel" or "Get me to the Church on Time" when I'm getting my hair done or putting on my make-up.  Those aren't the kinds of songs that are going to get me hyped up.  Those are the kinds of songs to make me gag.  (haha)

So, I've compiled a list of songs that get me hyped up that I think would be better as my wedding day playlist.  Here they are:

Magic by B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo 
BYOB by System of a Down
Bleed It Out by Linkin Park
Whiskey Girl by Toby Keith
Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison
Meet Me Half Way by The Black Eyed Peas
We R Who We R by Ke$ha
Red Button by Mike Posner
Love Rollercoaster by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Around the World by Daft Punk
Shake It by Metro Station
It's Always Better (When I'm With You) by I Hate Kate (now Darling Thieves)
All Over You by The Spill Canvas
Kids by MGMT
Believe by The Bravery (which I have a hell of a time playing on GH!)
Learning to Fly by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Song 2 by Blur
Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand
All I Wanna Do by Sugarland 
All My Friends Say by Luke Bryan

I know that these probably aren't the songs that most people would put on a morning of the wedding playlist, but these are songs that make me feel good.  They make me want to dance.  They make me happy.  I don't want to listen to sappy songs as I'm getting ready (I'm going to do enough crying during the ceremony!).  I want to feel alive and happy.  These are the songs that will do that.  Of course, this isn't the final list; I'm sure there will be some additions and I may take some of them off the list as the day draws near.  But, this is the feel that I'll be going for.  :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

DIY Project List

I've managed to finish a few projects but I've still got a list of DIY stuff I'd like to accomplish before the wedding.  First of all (obviously) are the Save-the-Dates.  I'm going to be having our Save-the-Dates printed and then I'm going to be attaching them to adhesive magnets.  I'm thinking that this will be the simplest (but probably very time consuming) project on my list.

Next up is the photo frame card box.  I originally got the idea from the Road to the Aisle blog.  I've since seen a TON of other brides who have also done this project... so, I have complete faith in my ability to make this happen!  

Next is the sand ceremony shadow box.  I originally got the idea from the Genevieve's Wedding blog.  I have looked all over and found a few different tutorials on how to make it.  I'm a little nervous about this project.  I think it will be the most complicated.  I'm most worried about getting the seal right after the sand ceremony is over.  I think if I can find the right shadow box, it will be okay.  **Fingers Crossed**

The most time consuming project on my list?  The pocketfold invitations.  These are going to be magnificent, I'm sure.  I can't wait to see them when I'm completely finished.  I'm trying to find the right background paper in gold or metallic brown.  So far, not much luck.  Once I do find it, I will be able to really get going on them.  I may get started on the pocketfolds before I find the gold paper because I know the pockets are going to take a while.  I can do the cutting and folding and gluing of the pockets themselves ahead of time.  The rest of the process should be pretty simple.  It's just going to take a LONG time. 

I'm also trying to put together a more personal guest book than the typical guest book.  I'm still not really sure what I'm going to be doing with it.  I've been doing some experimenting with designs.  I'll be sure to post when I finalize everything and get started on making it!

That's all I can think of right now.  I'm sure I've got a dozen other ideas for projects rolling around in my head somewhere, but for now, these are what is high on my priority list.  Hopefully I'll be able to post some updates soon of how I finished some of these projects in record time!  :)

The Great "Save-the-Date" decision of 2011

Well, I showed Philip the final product of what came out of Monday night's editing process.  He was happy with that save-the-date.  So, we have a winner!  My mom, my sister, Philip, and I all approve of this STD:

FINALLY!  I didn't think it would be so difficult to narrow down the designs to one that at least more than one person could agree upon!  I'm pretty pleased with the design.  I still have a little bit of tweaking to do to make the spaces more even between the pictures, but for the most part, it's done!  

I'll probably finish up the tweaking tonight and then order them.  If you don't remember, I'm ordering 3.5"x5" photos from (the only place I can find that size!) and then I'm going to attach the photos to adhesive magnets.  Hopefully it will be as simple as it sounds!  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Save-the-Date Update

Well, we still don't have a decision on the Save-the-Dates.  My MIL liked the one with her favorite picture as the only photo on it.  My mom liked the ones with multiple photos but she wanted them to have our full names on the information block.

So, I made an additional STD (yuck... that's a terrible acronym!) to my mom's specifications.  ;)

My mom and my sister approved of the new design.  However, when I showed the options to Philip, he liked one of the other possibilities with multiple photos:

He said he liked this one better because he liked the spaces between the photos.  So, I just did another update:

Okay!  So, this one includes multiple photos and has our full names on the information block as well as having space between the photos.  However, Mom isn't so sure about all the white space on this one.  Gah!  Everyone likes something different!  

So, I did yet another update with some space but less than before:

I'm waiting to hear back from my mom to see what she thinks of this one.  And then I'll still have to show Philip when he gets home from work.  I've already come to the conclusion that I'm going to end up using more than one STD.  There's no way I'm going to get everyone to agree on a single design.  I'd like to get it narrowed down to, at most, two designs.  We will see!


My sister really liked the less white.  My mom did as well, but she wanted a little less white.  So, I did this one:

And, it was a winner!  My mom and my sister really liked it.  Dear God, please let Philip like this one, too!  Then I can finally get them printed and get started on turning them into magnets!  They'll need to be mailed in February or March, so I really need to get going!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


When I first started my wedding planning, I signed up at  They have lots of ideas and information.  One of the first times I went to their website, I saw a link for "7 Unexpected Reception Centerpieces."  It piqued my interest, so I clicked.  

The first six ideas were cute, but not really for me.  Number seven was my jackpot, though.  :)  You can see it here.

It's not exactly what I have in mind.  I think that is really cute, but I want it to be in a taller vase and for it to (obviously) be in our colors.   

The vase I picked out is this one:

They are 9 1/2 inches tall.  I'm really excited about it because I found them at Dollar Tree.  So, they are GREAT for our budget!

Also great for my budget, I waited until after Christmas to buy the ball ornaments.  So, I found them for 50-75% off.  I've decided to decorate in navy, ivory, gold, and metallic browns.  I found ivory, gold, and metallic brown ball ornaments.  I couldn't find any navy colored ornaments (only bright blue ones).  So, I plan to use a navy ribbon to wrap the top of the vase.  I think that The Knot is right; the holiday ornaments outside of the holiday season are kind of a cute, unexpected centerpiece.  I'm excited for them.  :)

I'm still undecided as to what else is going in the vase.  I'm not sure what kind of flowers (or if I'm going to be using flowers at all!), so that's still up in the air.  Once I have decided what will be the filler, I'll put up pictures of the complete centerpiece.   Until then, I've got more research to do!  

I'd like to mention that along with the ornament filled vases, I will also have lots of votive candles on the tables.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to use to hold the votives.  I've found these:


I like all of these.  I think they'll look great with votives in them.  I think I'm going to have all of the votives be an ivory/cream color.  I think they will give the room a romantic glow.  :)  Hopefully it will all work out.  When I make final decisions, I'll do a mock-up and take some pictures.

Back to Bouquets

I'm still thinking about what to do about flowers. I've spent some time searching to see what other people have done. There are some really creative people out there. There are lots of alternatives to flowers.

There is the clutch/purse:

I really like this idea.  It's cute and convenient.  The bridesmaids can still have everything they need with them while still looking cute.  Plus, the girls could still use the purses after the wedding.  

Then, there is the feather bouquet:

Aren't they cute?  I like these because they're less expensive than flowers, but done right, they still look really nice and elegant. 

Next up, the button bouquet:

I think these look cute, but they're definitely not for me.  They're just a little too modern and... I don't know how to describe it... cold maybe?  They're just not right for me.  

Now, the beaded bouquets:

Depending on the way the bouquet is made, I do like these.  They're original and adorable.  They're definitely eye-catching.  However, these can be quite expensive.  I saw some of these on Etsy for upwards of $1,200.00.  WAY out of my budget.  I don't think I'd end up with a bouquet like this anyway.

Also, there are the parasols:

I think these are more common for beach weddings (to shield them from the sun), but they are certainly cute.  They aren't the right fit for our wedding, but I do like them.

Next are the fans:

So, so, so cute.  I really like the idea of these instead of bouquets.  They are really adorable.  I like that there are lots of different things that can be done to spice up the fans.  They are a serious consideration of mine, especially since we're having an outdoor wedding (you never know with the Pennsylvania weather how warm it will actually be). 

And, last up:

These are definitely different.  They use ball ornaments and tulle.  These are actually lit up (the "how to" can be found here), but if I did these, I wouldn't have them lit up.  I do like the idea of this bouquet because my centerpieces actually use ball ornaments (a topic for a different post!), so the bouquets would coordinate.  

So, if my bouquet/flower decision making wasn't difficult enough, I have TONS of other options to think about.  Not that I mind... it's really fun to think about all of the options!  :)  What are your favorites?

How to: Aisle Runner

As promised, here is the "how to" for the aisle runner that I made.

I started off with an aisle runner that I bought from Michael's. I had a 40% off coupon, so I got a pretty good deal. The aisle runner is nothing spectacular. I wasn't looking for anything elaborate because I knew I was buying it so that I could put our design on it.

To start off, I had to have a design to put on the aisle runner. I used Microsoft Publisher, but I'm sure you could use other programs. I created a new page size for my design so that I wouldn't have to blow anything up when I was done. I did some experimenting to get it to look the way that I wanted. I ended up having a 36"x22" inch page size. I wanted it to be 36" inches across because that is how wide my aisle runner is. I wanted the design to fill the runner (and it made it a whole lot easier to line the pages up with the runner!).

Then I put in my design. I added our monogram/logo and then put in text box for our names and a text box for our date. I used the two fonts that are being used for all of our other paper items (programs, save-the-dates, invitations, etc.): Edwardian Script and Copperplate Gothic.

This is what I ended up with:

I had originally planned to put the monogram and our names in navy blue and then the date in black, but when I started painting, I decided to do all of it in navy blue. I thought it would look better.

Anyway, it took me a while to get the design as I wanted it. I spent a few nights tweaking until I had a design I thought was perfect (and I also got the approval of Philip and my mom!). So, it was finally time to get started with the real work.

To my great surprise, Philip decided to help. We printed out the design (just in black and white since it was only for tracing purposes). It printed out on 12 sheets (4 across and 3 down). Then we had to piece the pages together so that they lined up perfectly. That required us to cut off parts of pages and to tape them all together.

This is Philip helping. :)

It took a bit of effort and time, but this is what we ended up with:

Since that took a bit of time (and because Philip had had his fill of helping), I decided to start the tracing the next night. So, to get started, I taped the design to our kitchen table so that it wouldn't move. Then, I laid the aisle runner over top of the design and lined up the edges (so glad I made the design 36" across!). Then I taped the aisle runner to the table as well so that it wouldn't shift during the tracing. I also laid some books at the top of the aisle runner to hold it steady.

The tracing was a huge pain in the you-know-what. I had to do it over two nights because my hand started cramping. My had was killing me. I used a mechanical pencil because it was what I had lying around. I would recommend using a regular pencil though. The mechanical pencil tip was so thin that it kept catching on the cloth and breaking. I think a regular pencil would be thicker and hold up a little better.

Also, make sure you hold the aisle runner still as you are tracing. Otherwise, you may be pulling the runner without realizing it because it will stretch a little. Be careful not to rub over where you've already traced because the pencil marks will smear and leave smudges on the white cloth (not pretty!). Keep in mind that the pencil marks do not need to be dark; you just need to be able to see the outline so that you know where to paint (this would be especially important if you are using light colored paints -- you don't want to see pencil marks through the paint!).

Once you finish the tracing, you're ready to start on the painting. Let me just warn you that this step is going to be extremely tedious. This is especially the case if your design has small details. It's much easier to paint thick areas than teeny-tiny areas. Unfortunately, my design had a lot of tiny areas.

I bought black paint and what was supposed to be navy blue paint. I decided that the navy blue was really more of a royal blue, so I mixed up my own batch of navy blue by adding some black paint to the royal blue paint. It came out a beautiful dark blue color.

I used Apple Barrel Acrylic paint. I wasn't sure what kind of brush I would need, so I just picked up a huge pack of brushes from Walmart for about $3.00. I had to do some experimenting to see which brush would work right for me. For the tiny details on my design, I had to use a medium width brush with a flat tip. I could dip it into the paint and draw the paintbrush along the cloth sideways. It made the job less tedious than having to continuously pick up the brush when using a smaller brush or one not flat-tipped. You can see my supplies here:

I'm sure for a design with larger details, a larger brush would be needed. I've heard some brides say that for larger designs, a foam brush works best. You'll probably have to do some experimenting to see what works for you.

Once I got my rhythm down, I painted.

And painted some more.

Then, for a slight change of pace, I painted even more. And, this is what I ended up with after a few nights of painting (I was going crazy with all the tiny details, so I had to spread out over a few nights!):

One word of warning: Be very careful with your paintbrush. Be careful where you set it down and make sure your brush does not have too much paint on it. You don't want it dripping paint onto the cloth where it's not supposed to be! When I finally finished the aisle runner, I jumped up excitedly... well, my dogs got excited, too. So excited that they knocked into me and made me drop the brush onto the cloth. It wasn't a huge deal. I had to get a bleach pen out and clean up the mess (lots of blotting and then resoaking the spot). It took extra time that I shouldn't have had to use on this project. So, just be careful with your paint and paintbrush!

This project was really pretty simple, but it was very time consuming. I'd say that pretty much anyone could do this project if they have some time on their hands and if they have some patience. If you don't have a lot of patience, I would recommend that you make sure your design does not have a lot of small details. Make your design have thick lines so that it will not be so tedious. But, I think you can see that it is worth the effort. I now have a beautiful aisle runner. :) If you do decide to go through with the aisle runner project, be sure to let me know how yours turned out! Good luck!
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