Show & Tell: Resources for Crafty Brides
Not to knock Martha Stewart Weddings, but there are many other resources out there worth exploring, and something for every type of crafter. I have an uneven track record when it comes to creative projects. As a person with some artistic ability and imagination I feel like I should be craftier, but I've left a lot of projects unfinished over the years, most of them ruler-heavy. I need to be impressed with myself early on in the life of a project to stick with it. The sites I gravitate toward include lessons learned by trial and error and proudly displayed crafting flops.
Instead of a best of list, I've decided to share a few of my usual haunts for advice and inspiration, both online and off, and find out where you like to hang out. Stop by Blue Collar Bride and share yours!
Craftster: It takes a little digging to find the brides on Craftster, but if you're looking for an active forum it's worth the effort. Hidden deep within Craftster's community, wedding crafters hang out in the "Occasions and Holidays" area. Here you can browse all sorts of wedding projects, from precious to weird, button bouquets to penis pinatas. For the lonely crafter, this is the place to find advice, get feedback, and share your craft victories.
Projects by budget brides, for budget brides
DIY Weddings® Magazine: A do-it-yourself wedding magazine written and created by brides for brides. No searching for wedding projects required - they're all wedding projects. Set aside a good chunk of time to look through this one. In addition to real DIY wedding stories, you'll find projects contributed by both professional wedding experts and brides-to-be and advice geared to couples on a small budget. Now available on all Apple devices, the magazine can be found in the Lifestyle category of the iTunes app store. Digital PC and print versions are also available through the website.
DIY, one step removed
Etsy Blog: This blog is full of craft projects and interesting stories about the people that buy and sell on Etsy. Many of their "How-Tuesday" tutorials are wedding-worthy and their profiles of real weddings with a heavily handmade element are a great source of inspiration. Their featured seller profiles are also a great way of discovering small businesses and artisans with unique wedding goods and services for sale. If you decide you would rather leave your wedding crafts to the professionals, you can always mosey on over to their marketplace and find what you need.
Bust Craftacular: If your craft-room is feeling claustrophobic it might be time for some fresh air. If you live in the NYC area, check out the Craftatular event on April 14th. It's a one-day (bi-annual) shopping bonanza featuring over 100 makers of handmade treasures, food and entertainment. Get some fresh air and hob-nob with crafty people, admission is a mere three bucks.
Get your wheels turning
100+ DIY Wedding Projects For The Crafty Bride: Back in February Austin Wedding Blog published this fantastic list of some of the best DIY wedding projects from all over the web. I'll admit I haven't investigated them all yet, but I find just reading the list an inspiration! Many inspire curiosity (epsom salt luminaries, yarn chandeliers). Have a look--this list might help you over your crafter's block hump with projects you didn't know you were looking for.
Crafts for a greener wedding
Crafting a Green World: Plastic bag pomanders are surprisingly beautiful. In addition to a green craft supply shop (ecoglue, edible crayons) there is a project for any material you might happen to have in abundance. The "How Do I Reuse...?" section is especially fascinating and the reason why I have slices of wine cork glued to the bottom of my furniture (and why one end of that coffee table is higher than the other).
Supplies and so much more
SaveOnCrafts: Save-on-crafts.com is where caterers and wedding planners do their shopping. That's what the website says anyway. Offering significant discounts items bought in bulk, Save-on is a great source of raw materials for all your projects. Their website is geared toward the wedding-minded, with a menu that helps you find what exactly what you need--supplies for centerpieces, bouquets, favors, fascinators, etc. More than raw materials, there are tons of tutorials for inspiration and guidance. If you're on the fence about investing hours in a labor-intensive project, there are supplies for the lazy crafter and the craft-averse as well. You can always save yourself some dough by buying some items for your wedding in bulk, whether or not crafting is involved.
Life after the wedding
Punk-Rock Domestics: If your DIY wedding has kindled a crafty fire in you that can't be confined to one area of your life, this site is for you. Connect with kindred creative types and swap advice on home-renovations, cooking, parenting, etc. Scrappy types who like to do things with their own two hands will feel right at home.
CraftFail: Where crafters go to fail. You're not alone.
If you're still reading books (good for you), look for these titles at your local library. Or buy them like I did. I'm sure there are more good reads out there--recommendations are very welcome!
The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through the Everyday by Debbie Stoller & Laurie Henzel
The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way by Kelly Bare
Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris
Photo: Christy Sheffield