Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY Gold Drink Stirrers


I joke sometimes that our wedding is just an excuse for me to throw a big party.  This is, of course, glib, and more indicative of my awkwardness discussing intimate matters than it is of my true feelings about our wedding.  Nonetheless, there is a sliver of truth in this, as throwing parties makes my heart absolutely sing.  Ever since I was a little one, I've loved all of the forethought, preparation and anticipation that goes into hosting celebrations, especially that moment during the party where you know it all came together exactly as it should, even if not exactly as planned.  This time last year, when we were newly engaged and I found myself getting sucked into the craziness that wedding planning can (but does not have to) become, I read from a recently married bride that the planning should be savored just as much as the day, to try not to urge the day to arrive sooner and instead relish in the process, keeping in mind that the anticipation is as much fun as the actual event and it lasts a whole lot longer.

How grateful I am to have received this bit of wisdom.

This came up with H the other day, who brought up in conversation that he isn't necessarily eager for the projects he's working on to be complete because the learning and the tinkering are really what it's about for him.  While his projects are very different from mine, the sentiment is the same: be in the process.  I know our wedding day is going to flash by and I will be lucky to have a handful of solid memories from the day, rather than those flash in the pan, not sure if I really remember that or it's from a photograph kind of memories.  But I already have sweet memories of sitting out in the hot August sun, spray painting hundreds of hand-cut paper bunting flags, of sitting at my friend's kitchen table while designing our invites, of huddling with H in our jewelry-maker friend's workshop, picking up our rings...these are wedding memories just as much as the ones we form next July.

By the time we get married, we'll have been engaged for over 18 months.  There are various reasons we chose to do it this way, the primary being that we've been together for a long time and neither of us feels particularly rushed.  What we have now is a good thing, just as what we will have after we have the marriage ceremony will be a good thing.  I also knew I wanted lots of time to revel in the planning stage, to form an idea of what the aesthetics of the wedding would be and how the practicalities would go, to have time to sit with those ideas and later to tweak them until they felt right.  It's so easy to get caught up in the Pinterest world of planning where it can feel you are pulled in all different directions--there is an overwhelming number of creative and beautiful ideas out there and it's only natural to want to embrace them all.  It takes time to absorb all of that and then come back to yourself and what's right for you and your partner.  All weddings are beautiful.  It's sort of the fact of the thing.   The only important piece (beyond everybody who says they'll show up and get married following through on that agreement) is that the couple think the wedding was fantastic.  It doesn't matter whether it's "blog-worthy" (god, what a terrible phrase) or whether the guests would have made the same choices.  If the bride and groom think, "I loved our wedding," it was perfect.

What's important to us is that everybody who shows up feels loved and relaxed, that there's plenty of food and drink, and (for me), there are personal details that could only come from us, not a wedding planner or a bridal magazine.

I've been plugging away at little projects since last summer, biting off little pieces here and there so the creation of these details remains a joy and does not become a catalyst for resentment.  Sitting in our quiet house, listening to music and podcasts, creating beautiful small things that make me happy...it's lovely.

Lately, I've been making drink stirrers.  They're gold, which means I adore them.

Of course you could do these in any color you like, and they're a relatively easy to make way to jazz up simple glasses.  They could serve as drink markers, helping folks keep track of their glass.  If you're going that route, you'll want to make each one slightly different, or just do the washi tape option and leave a fine Sharpie out for people to write their names on the tape.  For all of these, I purchased thin wooden skewers at our local restaurant supply store.  I believe they were roughly $2/100 pieces.


 For this tinsel version, I purchased gold metallic tinsel from a craft store in the wrapping paper section; it's the gold filler you can use to fill gift bags.  The strands are long, so I began by cutting them each into 4 inch pieces (you can grab several at a time to cut so this part will go faster).  Then I wrapped a small piece of double sided tape around the top inch or so of the skewer and stuck pieces of tinsel to the tape, making sure to press it on firmly, moving along with new pieces of tinsel until the tape was covered.


For this version, I used a Fiskars craft punch to punch heart shapes out of paint chips.  You can use any type of firm paper for this, but I had a bunch of paint chips from a previous project so I used those.  I then drew a line of hot glue down the center of one of the hearts, pressed the skewer to the glue, then glued another heart on top to envelope the skewer.  Then I painted Mod Podge over both sides of the heart and sprinkled gold glitter over to cover both sides.  For the solid gold version at the very top, I followed these same instructions, but instead of using Mod Podge, I spray painted them with gold spray paint.


These ones were simplest.  I had some gold dot washi tape already, so I tore off four inch long pieces and wrapped them around the skewer, cutting the end with scissors.

I realize that this may be one of those details some people notice and many do not.  But they make me happy and I can't wait to see them sparkling in the sun on the big day!

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