Your Wedding Decor For LESS

What seems to be the most daunting task is also in my opinion the most fun when it comes to weddings. The decor. From picking colors to theme to the little details. These things can also often come at a hefty price. It doesn’t have to however. If you plan enough in advance you can actually do most if not all of it yourself. I know there is the dreaded “Pinterest Fail” but fear not; there are plenty of easy to do craft ideas that will save you money.

When putting together your wedding remember that all inclusive or renting might seem like an enticing option and my guess is, it is easy, but I have found out that when purchasing the items you need like chair covers, table runners, decorations, place settings at a similar price as renting would be it is more cost beneficial for you. When you are done with those items you can turn around and sell them afterwards. The awesome thing about that is even if you don’t sell every piece after your shindig you could effectively not pay a dime or at the very least much less than had they been supplied for you. These items you could even save for later use. Maybe you like to host brunch or a party; you would be all set. The best part is you spend less on your wedding!

a centerpieceLet’s talk about flowers. Most brides can’t wait to have fresh flowers throughout but we all know that those truly cost an arm and a leg. If you can’t live without and are determined to have fresh flowers for your wedding I suggest finding simple arrangements that you could do yourself or just a couple single flowers for your table settings. Rather than calling up your local florist try your grocery stores or budget stores that do fresh flowers, Sam’s, Costco, just to name a few. You should go ahead of time to order the flowers in bulk for the day you need them. Discuss with them the state (bloomed or not and how long before they do) that your flowers will arrive so you can make a decision on when you need your order to arrive and the care to take so they will be beautiful for your big day. This one thing alone will save you hundreds!

The decorations throughout don’t have to be lavish. If you are willing to have similar but not identical set pieces thrift stores are your best friend. If you haven’t figured it out yet; I LOVE THRIFT STORES! Have an idea for theme and you can find some great pieces at fractions of the price that will fit your style. Craigslist is another great resource. Like you will hopefully be doing, other brides will sell off their pieces after their big day. Another fun personal thing you can do is place tiny photos of your relationship on the tables; this adds a nice touch to let your guests into some of your adventures as a couple. It is also relatively cheap to do at Walgreens. You can even make your own table ornaments by saving glass sauce jars and fashioning them to fit your style.

Each of these are things that Richard and I did for our wedding and it came out beautifully. What have you done to save on your wedding decor or have you tried some of the things we did? How did it turn out? Let us know in the comments! Til next time Pengminions!

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The Day has Come and Gone….

We had such a wonderful day full of hard work, love, laughter, tears,
and the start to another unforgettable adventure.
Without further ado we present to you….
Pictures in the form of song!

Our Day we share with you…Enjoy!
The Furleighs

Penguin DIY bonanza!

Greetings one and all my favorite Pengminions!
Richard here with your new delve into the deep complex inter-workings of a bird brain (more penguin puns, I know. I’m so good at them).

First off we have some lovely glass jars created by the misses.

painted glass jars done by the misses

painted glass jars done by the misses

Through the magic on Pintrest she found an exceptionally easy way to make these using the following

Gloss Mod Podge, your color food coloring, and a paintbrush!

Gloss Mod Podge, your color food coloring, and a paintbrush!

This is it!

Simply pour a little Mod Podge in the bottom, but not too much, this stuff goes a LONG way as she found out early on. Just dip your paintbrush in the bottom and pull the color up the side in straight lines. Don’t worry about a little clumping at the edges of the brush, it actually turns into slightly more tinted color after it dries which adds to the tinted glass effect. Make sure to give it plenty of time to dry too since any left over paint in the bottom will take a while to completely dry.

If you want to take it to the next level and really turn it into a Moroccan lantern, you can take a metal color of fabric paint and dab it onto the top and bottom to create a hammered metal look.

Just dab the fabric paint right on the jar and let dry

Just dab the fabric paint right on the jar and let dry

She’s pretty crafty for sure!

On my side of things I have spent many evenings over the last couple weeks cutting out gears of various sizes and shapes for use around the venue. One of my more interesting projects in this area has been creating cardboard negatives for use in spray painting a mass amount of gears on various surfaces.
To start out I would hit a tack with a pencil tied to it into the center of a piece of cardboard.

A little duct tape at the end means you don't have to tie the end onto the pencil, making it easier to adjust the length

A little duct tape at the end means you don’t have to tie the end onto the pencil, making it easier to adjust the length

From there just hold the pencil as horizontal as possible while keeping the string taunt. In my case I also had to spin the pencil slightly to counteract the string winding around the pencil and shrinking the circle size (great for a spiral, but not for circles). Repeat this process a few times with smaller circles each time, depending on how large you want the gear teeth, spokes, and center.
circlesOnce here you can pull the tack out, from here create a X in the center. An easy (but not 100%) method is to line up a ruler over the hole in the middle. From here eyeball, or use a carpenters rule to find a right angle and finish off your X. Now that you have a starting point you can go a couple different directions depending on how many teeth you want your gear to have. The easiest way I’ve found to get accurate spacing for everything else is to measure the distance between the two points on the outermost circle. simply divide it in half and make a small hash mark. Repeat this process in between each mark. When done simply place your ruler across the middle and line it up with opposite hash marks. This will give you all the marks you need for a basic 8 tooth gear. For a 12 tooth, take the measurement between the X and divide it into three equal parts and repeat the process of matching up hash marks and marking lines across the center. When done it should look something like this

This is marked out for a 12 tooth gear

This is marked out for a 12 tooth gear

Should you want any more teeth, simply continue to measure the distance between the closest lines and make a mark at the halfway point. Match hash marks across the center again and make another line.

This gear had the most with 32

This gear had the most with 32

To create the teeth place your ruler perpendicular to one of the lines extending from the center and find measurement that extends a little less than halfway toward the next line (you want to leave room so you can taper the edges outward a little). Make a line along this distance and hash marks on the edge of the line extending up away from the center. Repeat this process for each line.
To create the taper coming down from the teeth I lined up my ruler between one of the hash marks and the edge of the smallest circle on the inside. Go ahead and make a line from the outer circle into the next one down. Repeat this process making sure to measure from the same side of the ruler for each line (made that mistake the first time and ended up with a couple teeth that were REALLY off, lol)
You should now be at this point.

Your gear should look something like this.

Your gear should look something like this.

From here, just measure a couple spokes from the center to the next circle. Now just take your time with your exacto knife making sure not to cut outside of the lines. Once it’s cut, just turn it over, make sure all the cut lines match up, and pop it out!

From here to create the negatives for my project however I had to find a way to make sure the parts in the center would stay put even while moving it from surface to surface. To make sure everything stayed put I decided to attach everything using small craft sticks with glue.

Make sure to attach each piece that isn't the whole gear to each other and to the edge for stability

Make sure to attach each piece that isn’t the whole gear to each other and to the edge for stability

After making sure that each piece could be popped out I reassembled the gear and missing pieces (which I had labeled so that I could match them back up easy) I cut out small pieces of cardboard to provide a little distance in between the bottom and the craft sticks so it would be easier to make sure spray paint would get underneath them.

So there you have it! Two unique DIY projects that we have been utilizing to make sure our little soiree is as well decorated as possible (on an awesomely small budget)

If you have any awesome steampunk projects we could use, or need any clarification on any of the above instructions leave us a comment below!

Til next time Pengminions!!
Richard

Crafting Steampunk – aka – we’ve hit 1st gear

Hello Pengminions!

Craftyhands Richard with you today to share some recent developments in two exciting worlds. Kristen and I’s, and creating our handmade steampunk bonanza!

Life has been blazing by at what feels like a blistering speed here in Houston as we’ve adopted a fairly routine schedule of working three days a week and trying to get as much detail work on our crafts/constructions as possible. We’ve been swiftly ushered into the young adult life of come home from work, only to have to work more, not even counting the day to day existence workings (can I just be 11 again?). Progress at times has felt slow as we bog down on specific details, and the infinitely minute amount of details that go into a start to finish wedding reception.

In much more exciting news however I have received in all the major pieces of my outfit for the soiree. YEAH BUDDY!! I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I am one sexy dapper beast. I’m keeping everything under wraps (it’s a clothing pun, get it?!) for now, but I will say that the body of my tailcoat is blue and black. Of course I’m still accessory shopping (because what’s a good steampunk outfit without killer goggles right?) and trying to figure out exactly what needs to get attached where and how.

Of course, no true theme is complete without plenty of ambiance decor. On a tight budget however this can start to become an exceptionally daunting task. In order to fight against the squeeze we’ve thrift shopped, garage sale’d, and clearance rack’d everything we could manage. From Hobby Lobby we picked up a couple large lanterns that were missing a few panes of glass for $9 each, saving us almost $100 for the three. On the walls we have decided to have huge wall hangings, and ended up choosing…. landscaping fabric. Yup, a 4′ wide roll of professional grade landscaping fabric. At only $30 for a 200′ long roll it ended up being only .45 a yard; at least a dollar a yard less than any real fabric we could buy. It’s all about re-purposing! That and scrounging through a ton of Goodwill and thrift bins.

I also have completed the first cut out gear for our soiree! 1st gear

Woo!! It didn’t come out QUITE as well as I would have liked, but it was a great 1st prototype and let me learn more of “what to do” in the future. Side note: drawing perfect concentric circles is HARD. Now only like 300 more to go…..

That’s all for now Pengminions! And hey, thank you for reading. We throw out a lot of random thoughts about our lives and a ton of other subjects and we do appreciate it. So if you have any questions or anything let us know below!

Until next time!

Richard F

The ever delicate balance of relationships

Hello once more pengminions!

The larger of the two penguins, Richard (in case you’ve never actually looked at our photos) here with an issue that anyone in relationships hear and deal with on a regular basis.

Fairness, especially when it comes to relationships is a delicate topic for sure. Everyone wants to feel like they are being listened to and that they aren’t the only one putting forth effort into keeping the relationship running smoothly. Now, within the confines of any relationship these things always fluctuate one way or the other. Both in terms of who among the partners is taking the lead on any one issue or feels more adamant about a topic, and also how issues are reacted to and dealt with. Now no two people are the same, so no relationship will function exactly the same as any other. One week someone might be giving a little more of their time, understanding, or patience when dealing with their partner, and over the next couple weeks they themselves may need a little more of a delicate touch because of difficulties they are having with work, or their family, or anything else.

What I have come to discover more and more is that it isn’t always about being right, or needing to get your way all the time. It’s not the small issues that make up who you are. Let those go! If they want to buy an extra bag of chips when shopping or spends a little more time than you would like playing a game or on a particular web site try not to let it bother you. If it’s not affecting your overall relationship, how you function together, your communication, and as long as it’s not turning the other person into a complete sedentary slob, then have a little understanding. If all you do is bog yourself down in the tiny details of your life and relationship it becomes all too easy to lose sight of the big picture, to stop enjoying your life and relationship. Now in the same breath I’m not saying that you should ever feel like you’re being walked over all the time. Just as you should strive to be compassionate and truly listen, it is your partners responsibility to do the same thing for you. To let small things go and to make sure you feel as though your thoughts, feelings, and concerns are being respected as well. In a way, that is the key to making sure things are balanced, by simply discussing it. Having an open line of communication, letting your partner know your reservations and if you feel as though your feelings aren’t being given their proper credence is the pure and simplest way to make sure that you are feeling like an active participant and not just a passenger being drug along.

In the same vein of being an equal partner across a relationship I find myself not so secretly hating a particular phrase I’ve heard repeatedly since we’ve begun planning for our soiree reception.

The day is all about her!

Growing up in a society where this is a generally accepted truth makes for an interesting idea to fight against. In a world where little girls are supposed to grow up and think about their dream wedding and what dress they want and vows at sunset and… and……. and………. Where little boys are more concerned with, bugs, or something. For me however, looking at this screams as an exceptionally unfair situation. In a ceremony where two people are joining together as one for the rest of their lives in this mortal coil, it should be both of their days. Neither one of them should lord over the decisions and proceedings of the day. If you have been married then you likely know the massive undertaking that is putting together a wedding and reception. For those of you who haven’t let me assure you it is a gargantuan undertaking to iron out the thousand little details of when, where, food, music, clothes, etc… These details are compounded even further when you are in charge of making all the decorations, invitations, flower arrangements, food, and more yourself instead of paying to have it done for you (yay having a minuscule budget!).

This single event, the exchange of vows and the celebration after, is a kick start into the rest of your lives. It is a gateway for how the two of you will spend the rest of eternity together, and for one person to exert their influence over the other is something that I simply abhor. It is all a partnership, and in this case, with Kristen, I feel as though I care just as much about the tiny details, like which plate we will place with which napkin, as she does. We want to put on the best event we can and so only by working together to make our joint vision come true will we both be happy with the outcome. The more we enjoy the process of it, the more it will show through our work in a way that will make the whole day shine. So in this way, it will not be her day. It will always be our day

Well I will leave you with that for now pengminions as I step down off my soapbox. Hope you have a great week coming up, and make sure to check out my “shameless self promotion plug” this week and look at our What is Steampunk page for a brief discription and a link to our Pintrest page where you can get some inspiration for your outfit!

Until next time my friends! Keep sliding!

Richard F