When my sister Michelle decided that she was getting married in Bali, I knew immediately that I needed to make a wedding favor that was appropriate for the climate. I’ve always hated those silly little packets of jordan almonds packaged in tulle (does anyone even use those anymore?). After working so hard on our new website, Curious Curations, I was happy to get more hands on with a new DIY project.
I really wanted to make something that was meaningful, that would be useful, and most importantly, something that people would actually want to keep after the wedding. After straining my brain for quite some time, I hit upon the idea of making souvenir wedding fans- genius! Especially since the wedding was in Bali, I knew it would be hot and sunny there, and that wedding fans would be appreciated while our guests waited for the bride to make her entrance.
Actually, originally I had wanted to make super large cutouts of the bride and grooms faces so we could hold the fans up to our faces and take pictures that way. If I had my way, I would blow up their faces, then all the embellishments would be little sticky mustaches, eyeglasses, cat whiskers etc, a la Mr. Potato Head. This (hilarious to me) idea was quickly vetoed by my sister.
I unfortunately didn’t take any photos of the process when I was making them, but I thought I would post some of my finished creations here to inspire anyone who is interested in making these. I made all of them slightly different, because I am insane that way. I get bored if I have to make everything the same, mass production style, so I always switch it up. Plus it was really fun to play with all my tools. Luckily there were only about 30 guests, so it wasn’t that painful.
This is one of my favorite ones. So my basic method of making these is:
1. Print cute photos of couple on cardstock. I used textured cardstock because I think it makes the fans look more professional.
2. Cut out circles about 7″ in diameter from foam board. This was easily the most annoying part of the process. Luckily I coerced my brother Peter into helping with this part. He also managed to squeeze about 7 circles out of a single foam board, when I was only getting 6 before.
Luckily I had a circular cutter.
3. Cut the photos into circles as well.
4. I wanted the back of the fan to have the story of how the bride and groom met, along with some trivia about the couple, and we also added a special thank you to the parents at the bottom. I think the guests really appreciated learning some tidbits about the couple, especially some of our relatives from overseas. It also helped keep the guests from being bored while they waited for Michelle’s big entrance.
It took me a couple tries to get the formatting to fit on the circle. I first printed it on vellum (because I had some one hand) and then holding the page up to the circle, and tweaking little by little to get it to fit right. I just used regular printer paper when the formatting was perfect.
5. Take popsicle sticks, and stamp some cute words or flourishes on the ends.
Luckily I had just bought a stamp set for making invitations, and they had these cute little words on them. I stamped the words on on side, and a flourish on the other.
6. I modge podged everything onto the foam board circles I had already cut out.
I made this one by first taking one of my favorite stamps and inking the different little flowers with one of my favorite inkpads with removable pads.
After stamping the image, I used letter stickers to write the “Bali” and “2012”. Then I cut everything out by hand. Even I can’t believe I went to all this trouble for a title. The end result looks really good though. I used 3d foam stickers to stick the title onto the fan, I think it looks MUCH better when you add dimension.
In this photo, you can see that the title to the upper left was glued directly onto the wedding fan, and the title in the bottom right was attached using 3d foam stickers. The added dimension creates a pretty shadow and just looks more interesting, in my opinion.
Here is a close up of the title:
I used black ink to stamp the fleur de lis, then I added the gold accents with a metallic gold gel pen – because I have serious issues when it comes to being overly detailed with my embellishments.
A couple of the photos were really good ones I wanted to include, but the way they were taken didn’t allow for a clean circular cutout. I worked around it by using some romantic vellum quotes I had been saving.
What I did was I glued the side of the vellum quote to underneath the photo, then glued only the photo to the foam board circle. That way the vellum just sat on top of the foam board. I just ripped the excess vellum off in the shape of the circle.
I think this technique worked out pretty well, and let me salvage some photos that otherwise weren’t going to work. This quote says “True love stories never have endings”. Awwwww, so sickly sweet.
I finished the fans by tying a little bow around the handle. I had found these cute little embellishments that said “To love and to cherish”, so I went ahead and tied them onto the ribbon. I think I could have done without them, to be honest.
Well, here are a couple more of the fans that I made, hopfully they will inspire you to make your own for those hot summer weddings!
I wish I had taken more photos of the wedding fans in use, but I was so busy that day, doing my bridesmaid thing.
Here I am being escorted by my handsome little brother Peter. I had the most ridiculously crazy gigantic smile plastered to my face all day. Also, my bosoms are popping out because at the last second Jade made me switch dresses with her.
Momma and Poppa Law, aka Maria and Lawrence. Mom looked so beautiful that day, and you can see that she is holding one of my fans! Dad is beaming, and looking pretty natty himself.
I love that Jade and I look like Siamese twins here.
The wedding fans were a big hit! Everyone loved them and couldn’t believe that I made them. They also kept saying “wow you must love your sister a lot, to put so much work in”. So I definitely got some major un-lazy points with the relatives. I had so much fun making these – but thank goodness I only needed to make 30! I think we will re-use them as part of the centerpiece for their wedding banquet coming up in March.