Monday, March 4, 2013


When I first started planning a wedding months ago before our actual engagement (hey, a girl was hopeful!), I began a few Pinterest boards. (Almost 1,600 followers as of this writing! Holy COW!) I had an affinity for Alice in Wonderland as a theme because the Major was so much the Mad Hatter. Quirky, funny and at times a bit off his rocker. But that suited me perfectly. And of course, when Downton Abbey came along, I was hooked into the Edwardian time period. Since that's when Lewis Carroll began his classic tome, combining the themes would be the ideal wedding. Classy and fun. As we know, the USAF had other plans, which the Major made incredible with a surprise flashmob wedding, with our own unique wedding vows.

But I didn't necessarily want it so lavish it would break the bank. After all, the Major and I would be paying for it all. Gathering our resources in friends and family, I scoured books, websites and picked the brains of loved ones for fun, inexpensive ways to pull this off. We had set it for our backyard and I began treating the grass, pulling a scrabbly heather-like weed out of the yard whenever possible, cutting back dead tree branches, planting, etc. Anne and I browsed thrift shops for old china dishes and teacups to use as placewear for the reception, which we had pared down to about 75 people. (Most cups were about 66 cents with plates upwards of $1.21 depending on wear) The checkered dance floor would go here, the croquet court (complete with flamingo yard ornaments!) over there and the Cheshire Cat DIY photobooth under the trees there. Even a Caterpillar Lounge with hookah water pipes on the patio covered with a tent for cocktail hour. At most, I was shooting for spending about $2,500, which is pretty damn cheap for a backyard wedding.

I began making paper lanterns to hang in the trees, for a whimsical look, with a bunch of old scrap paper I had, tied together with ribbon. The concept was easy:

Materials: Scissors, ruler, scrapbook paper (medium thickness or velum), glue gun and sticks, tape, paper plate, ribbon, lace or strips of old cloth.

1. Cut a hole in a small, sturdy paper plate.

2. Cut strips of square scrapbook paper into 1 1/4 inches wide, yielding about 15-20 strips per page. Cut each strip in half for multiple loops; leave uncut for longer lanterns.
3. (Save about 10-15 half strips for step 5, without looping them.) Connect strips end to end using Scotch tape or staples into loops. I found it made the lantern lighter when I used tape. Alternate patterns of loops for a mismatched look but keeping in the same color scheme.

4. Hot glue each loop to the next, about a fourth of the way down, adding loops to get the length of the lantern you want.

5. Make loops like the others in Step 3, wrapping them around the plate circle you made in Step 1. However many it takes to fill up the circle is how many loop strands you'll make. Glue loop strands to the ends of these. Allow to dry completely, laying flat.

6. Thread a piece of ribbon, lace or piece of cloth thru the bottom ends, tying the piece into a bow. Add a ribbon to the plate to attach to lights, trees, etc. Ta-DA!

Here is a finished lantern. Since we're moving though, I'll just have to pack it flat and bring back out for parties once we get to Okinawa. I still plan on having the Alice in Wonderland party but it looks like May or June, just before the Major leaves. We have to have the movers in before that happens. Anyone have a spare couch or bedroom I can crash for a couple months? :)

No comments:

Post a Comment