DIY – Cotton Snowball Kissing Ball

 It’s almost Christmas!  Well, ok we about 2 more months.  But since Target is already discounting Halloween items and stacking shelves with Christmas decor, why have a DIY winter decor blog post ?!  Here’s how to make your own hanging snowball backdrop for photos or dessert bar!

Materials Needed: 
  • styrofoam balls (various sizes)
  • 1 bag of cotton balls
  • all purpose glue
  • clear or white thread (for hanging) – not pictured
  • pins (for hanging) – not pictured


Step 1: Unroll the cotton balls

Step 2: Strech the unrolled cotton ball, almost like creating a spider web decor

Step 3: Generously cover styrofoam ball using the streched cotton.

Step 4: Continue covering styrofoam ball with cotton. (TIP: It will take about 15-20 cotton balls per 4" styrofoam ball).

Step 5: Ta-Da! To hang the snowballs, insert 1 pin into top of snowball and tie string around pin. Cut string at various lengths for hanging.

Guests loved it!

You can also mix in some clear ornaments and fill them with faux snow! (Clear ornaments found at Walmart or Target). You can ALSO make mini versions of these diy tissue pom poms and mix it up!

clear ornament filled snowflakes

 And here’s the the homemade No-Bake Snowball Cookies to go with it! 

DIY – Magnolia Cupcakes

What does a Californa girl do when she can’t get to New York’s Magnolia Bakery?  Find out how to make it herself. 

I tried my baking hands at it for the first time today.. Let me just say icing cupcakes is an skillful art that I don’t have!  But luckly I can practice in the comfort of my own home! =)  

from Barnes & Noble online

vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting

made about 2 dozen of these lovely pink ones

Happy Friday!

Cookbook: Barnes and Noble

DIY Tissue Pom-Pom

(photo PomLove)
I’ve taken a lot of photos on DIY projects I’ve done, but am now just getting around to posting tutorials…. starting with this one! It’s as simple as 1,2,3!  (complete with TIPS too!) 

Materials needed: 

  • Tissue paper (color of choice)
  • Scissors
  • String
  • 16 guage wire (optional, if you want your pompom on a stem)
  • dowel (optional, if you want your pompom on a stem)
  • green floral tape  (optional, if you want your pom-pom on a stem)



STEP 1:  Stack about 5-8 tissue sheets together and cut the large sheet into 10″ (w) X 20″ (h)  rectangle (or cut the width to the size you want your pom-pom diameter to be).  

(TIP:  The width will end up being the diameter size of your pom-pom; the height will determine the “fluff” of your pom-pom (ie. the shorter the height the less fluff). The number of sheets will also determine the amount of “fluff”) 

(TIP:  Here are three different sizes of rectangles you can cut, for a small, medium, and large pompom:  5″ X 10″ small;  10″ X 20″ medium; 16″ X 28″ large) 


STEP 2:  Make 1″ – 1 1/2″ accordian folds (width-wise), like you’re making a paper fan. Then pinch the center of your closed-fan and tie the center with string (or wrap your wire around the center), so that it stays pinched.  Cut the ends of the closed-fan to a point or a rounded end (however you prefer your pom-pom finished edge to be)
(TIP:  The smaller the pom-pom, the smaller the accordian folds should be, and vise versa.)



STEP 3:  If you want your pom-pom to have a stem to it, take another piece of wire (about 5 inches long) and loop it around the center of your closed-fan while placing one end of the dowel against the center of the fan. Twist the wire around the “stem” while using your floral tape around the wire AND “stem”. 
(TIP: make sure the pom-pom is sturdy in the wire and on the stem; if swing it around like a wand, your accordian shoudn’t be “floppying” around.)



STEP 4:  Open your fan on both sides of the center and fluff!   To fluff your pom-pom, pull apart each tissue sheet, gently.


If you don’t want your pom-poms on a “stem” then after you’ve pinched and tied the center of your fan (STEP 2) , tie another string around the center again and leave extra string  to hang your pom-pom.  Open your fan (STEP 3) and FLUFFF!  (STEP 4) 




(TIP:  If you plan to make a BUNCH of these, it may be more cost effective to order a bulk them online here or here (pre-stacked and cut for you)  and just fold, tie, anf fluff yourself; some come folded, cut, and tied.) 


DIY – Flowers Part II: Bouquets

Here is Part II of Cindy Babuscio’s DIY Flower class on bouquets.  There is a surprisingly good amount of you DIY brides out there who plan on doing your own wedding flowers (at least the bouquets).  Here are some tips!
I highly recommend if you are doing your own wedding flowers, play around with different types of flowers; some last longer out of water than others, some are more fragile, some are easier/harder to work with. 
Some more reasons to play around with flowers well in advance of your wedding:
  1. Your favorite flower may not be in season and you will need to find an alternate or order it.
  2. You can determine how large you want your bouquet
  3. This will allow you to better estimate how much flowers you will need (in case some are fragile and break easily, or wilt easily, you will need extra!)
  4. You can test different color paletes
  5. You can estimate how long it will take to do your bouquet, and the others
  6. You can test how long the flowers will last and in what type of weather condition, etc.  (to prepare when to make it before the big day if you don’t have a fridge that can hold all your flowers)
There are lots to consider, but if you are a DIY bride all the way, you will reap satisfaction in producing your own!  Have fun! 
Here is a mixed bouquet of various types of flowers.  Making a mixed bouquet is a good way to sample all the different flowers and how they handle differently.  Thanks Cindy for providing the materials!  (Rose, Gerbera, Stock, Coffee Berry, Fern, Button mums)

DIY – Flowers Part I: Boutonnieres

I love to continue learning different techniques and meeting new people!  Last month The Wedding Pantry opened in Tustin, CA and although I missed the grand opening, I was able to attend the Part 1 of DIY wedding flowers at the boutique.  Cindy Babuscio of Bohemian Rose Designs graciously offered her knowledge to brides looking to do their own wedding flowers, starting with boutonnieres.  All photos were taken by wedding photographer Brian Khang, but the last photo was taken by me, from the cell phone! =) 

Macy’s Fashion Director – Outfit Ensamble Tool

I love this new tool that Macy’s came up with as an interactive marketing strategy:  Macy’s Fashion Director Challenge of the Day .   From March 8 – April 6, 2010, you can have fun pulling together as many ensamble outfits as you want.  Each day there’s a new challenge topic for inspiration (and contest, if you wish). 

I tried it for the first time today and it’s a terribly FUN tool!  I wonder if there’s something like this out there for wedding design!  (pls share if you know!)   Here are my ensambles.  I’ll be updating this entry as the days go by (only to the challenges I like)   =)

Challenge of the Day (03/10/2010):  Outfit for having coffee with your ex.    

Handbag: D&B Calf Drawstring Handbag
Shoes: Michael Kors –  Juniper espadrille
Shorts: Tommy Hilfiger Lightweight Denim Roll-Tab Short
Top:  Michael Kors One-Shoulder
Shades: Nine West Oval Sunglasses
Hat: August Hats Straw Fedora  

Challenge of the Day (03/11/2010):  You’re having dinner with your husband’s boss. What are you going to wear?

Dress: BCBGMAXAZRIA Shirt Dress
Accessories: Jessica Simpson Multi-Layer Flower Necklace; Michael Kors White Rubber Watch
Shoes: Jessica Simpson Adreana Sandles
Handbag: D&B Soft Leather Tote
Challenge of the Day (03/12/2010):  Set the table for a dinner party at your new place.


Challenge of the day (03/21/2010) :  You are out and about on a rainy Saturday. What are you wearing?

DIY: Creative Photobooth Backdrops

A super unique element that you can easily DIY for your wedding is a photo backdrop!  It makes ALL the difference, and is for SURE a big BANG for your buck!  There are many different areas in which you can use a backdrop to add a lot of fun and personality to your wedding.   DIY backdrops can be done in advance of your wedding and on a budget!   Here are the areas in which to consider a backdrop: 

1. cake table / dessert table
2. rented photo booth
3. open photo op area
4. ceremony backdrop
5. head table / sweatheart table

Here are some of my favorite unique backdrops.  Again.. be creative and stick to YOUR wedding look/feel.

(1) This first one is super labor intensive but so worth it for uniqueness! Photographer, Brandon Kidd, made his own backdrop for his wedding. I’m sure as a photographer he’s seen it all… except this one!  He cut various size trunks of trees to make this DIY photo backdrop. Incidently, after the wedding, he put this to use in the bedroom as their headboard!  (I hope this inspires all you grooms out there!) Read more on the making of his backdrop here

Also, their dessert table backdrop goes with the natural/organic theme.  the little white dots on the backdrop is cotton!  The desserts were made by the amazing Melody of Sweet & Saucy Shop, who was my wedding baker as well!  She is!!!… and super-duper-sweet too!

(2) This backdrop is FUN, Feminine, and Retro!  Props are easy to get at your local party/costume store and the backdrop can be made purchasing a few yards of your favorite fabric or even using your existing flat bedsheet (if it goes along with your wedding colors).  Read more on this from Green Wedding Shoes here .


(3) Instead of props, you could use a single chalkboard or whiteboard and have your guests write a short message!   The hung the quilt on a clothesline and called it a day! How fun! Read more on this from Style Me Pretty, featured here.



(4) This backdrop incorporates various family photos in color and black and white, mounted on black paper as the border with red/white title labels.  Four to five photos are strung together on a red ribbon and hung from a PVC pipe covered with shear curtains.  Read more about this on The Knot, featured here.



(5)  A super cute backdrop that is really simple to do!  Just hang 2-3 ribbon in your weddingcolors.  Alternate the ribbon colors randomly or in a pattern (like the one shown here). You can also use different widths of ribbon and even different patterns. Then add your names, monogram, image, or something like “Love Is Sweet” or “Eat Cake!”.  I loove this understated cake made again by Melody!



(6) This MAY be my fav.. but that’s just because it’s the backdrop in MY wedding!  A bride is always in the spotlight on the wedding day… so, why not mimic your own Red Carpet walkway!!   This can be done if you have an indoor or outdoor reception.  This is called a step-repeat backdrop, much like those you see at celeb events.  I opted to feature 4 different logos as “sponsors” of the wedding:  SignatureK (of course!), In The Clouds Events (my MoH’s company),  Home Grown Blends HGB (my hubby’s DJ company), and our wedding logo that said “kien jayson” with a cupcake illustration inserted between our names (you can kind of see it on the right s side of the image below).   The logos were printed on 8 ft x 8 ft vinyl  material and proped up by free-standing PVC pipes.  Read more on my “hollywood beach wedding galahere and floral prep here.  =)


  Last but not least, one of my favorites.  If I got married again, I would totally pick an open landscape area like this and build my own rustic indoor ceremony setting, outside!  I LOVE this yellow dresser as THE pop of color in this neutral outdoor space. I’m sure this takes as much work as the round tree trunk backdrop, but sooo worth it.  To pull this off, you definately need a few helping hands .. to help you design a similar ceremony backdrop AND to install this for the DAY-OF!  Now do you know why a planner/coordinator (and even a designer) is so important!!?  It makes all the difference and can ensure your unique details are not overlooked!   Read more on this wedding on the Bellisima Vita blog.



Some backdrop TIPS:

  1. Determine your backdrop after you know your color scheme and/or the theme, look, and feel of your wedding. 
  2. Also after you know what color scheme and accent pieces will be in front of your backdrop.  For example, if you want to make a backdrop for your dessert table, consdider what your dessert display will look like (desert colors, trays/cake stand colors) and what other accent items (non-dessert; floral decor) will be added to your tablescape.
  3. If you are doing a background for a open photo op area, carry the image, monogram, color scheme, or just the look/feel that you chose to use throughout your wedding scheme and invitations into the background.
  4. Keep the background simple if you have an elaborate or busy tablescape that is going in front
  5. Make the backdrop fun and personal if you are doing a photo op area.
  6. Use props for a fun factor (ie. funny glasses, party hats, chalkboard (so guests can write a short message on hold it in the photo), etc.  Be creative!
  7. If you have a photo op area, be sure to work the photo op time with your photographer or make sure you have a 2nd or 3rd phtographer dedicated to takeing photos of your and your guests there throughout the reception duration.
  8. Make sure you have a free-standing support for it or make sure you can hang it via pins/tape it to the ceiling or wall.  (This is where hiring the Day-of Coordinator would help with all these set-up!)
  9. If you are stressing over how to incorporate all the things you love… hire a wedding designer/planner!  If you DIY, you should still hire a Coordinator to execute your desires to the “t” !