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Wedding Welcome Sign – Save Hundreds!

Hello fellow DIYers…

Who am I kidding?

I do not DIY anything. I am the worst. I am creative – when it comes to processes to follow. Not so much when it comes to painting and art. I’ve been trying to write a book practically my entire life, but writers block prevents that.

But weddings are EXPENSIVE!

I really want a beautiful dream wedding… can I do it for a couple hundred dollars? The answer is no. Venues alone run you thousands of dollars (in my area). So I have to find ways to save. And some of the design aspects I found I could DIY for drastically less (🥲).

Here we are. My first major DIY for the wedding! And I’ll walk you through how I saved hundreds so that maybe you can too! (Also some mistakes I made/things I would do differently so maybe you can avoid those yourself).

Wedding Welcome Sign

First – I have a free app on my iPhone (works on Androids too) called Da Vinci Eye. This app uses your phone as a looking glass of sorts – where you can put the image you want over top of the paper you are working on and pretty much trace that image.

I designed the image I wanted in another app called Enlight (basically photoshop editing type app – I do not know if this app is free still, but any editing app that lets you overlay images on top of each other will work). I used images off google searches that I liked, overlaying letters and words and images to design this mock-up:

I bought this large 5.5ft sign at a local thrift store for $50. (Sometimes thrift stores have bargain days, so I probably could have waited and gotten it even cheaper!)

After that, I used the Da Vinci Eye app to project my image on my TV so that I could see where I was drawing / writing at… and I painted away! (The great thing about acrylic paint is it dries quick and if you hate it – you can paint right over it to fix any mistakes!)

I did end up free handing the greenery, and I watched Pamela Groppe’s YouTube video on “how to paint leaves (beginner friendly)

Things I would have done differently:

I definitely would have used painters tape to line out straight lines with the highest and lowest points I wanted the letters to be. Whether I moved the tripod or if it was just me… some of my letters became a bit slanted or not as big as I would have liked.

While this isn’t what a professionals work would have come out to look like – I paid less than $75 and a few hours and likely saved $400-$500 (as I am sure a custom 5.5ft sign like this isn’t cheap)

Subscribe for future crafting updates! I’ve got a few more up my sleeve (and luckily some friends who love me)

The Hangover: Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2015

My friends know that I am one of those people who plan my vacations. Actually, I plan my life. My finances are laid out paycheck by paycheck, with a quarterly savings plan for the entire year. If we are planning a trip together, I will have an hour by hour itinerary prepared. If we are trying to hangout, we typically have to get in on my schedule at least a week in advance. My road trip around the entire U.S. was extensively planned for months before hand. Don’t get me wrong, I know plans change. I am very reasonable with that, and it does not phase me at all when plans do change. As a matter of fact, I have a plan for that. 

You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack.

Sometimes, however, some of the best moments in life are the unplanned adventures you go on with your best friends. Mardi Gras in New Orleans was very much one of those unplanned plans (hence the last minute $300 hotel room… <- Example of why planning does matter in the long run. Just saying – haters gonna hate).

But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack… it grew by one. So there… there were two of us in the wolf pack… I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later.

Briana and I were sitting in my room Monday, and she said it was on her bucket list to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans. “I mean, we are so close, and it’s just one of those things. Once in a lifetime type of experiences.” (Once in a lifetime is enough……). As we talked about it, we were sure it was like a month away, and hey maybe we could make this happen. So I googled Mardi Gras 2015 dates on my phone, only to my surprise to learn that Mardi Gras ended the next Tuesday. That meant the upcoming weekend was our last chance to make this happen this year.

And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, “Wait a second, could it be?” And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack.

“We are doing this, aren’t we?” It was official. We were going to make it happen. We texted 5 of our closest mutual friends we thought may be game. This is Mardi Gras in New Orleans… Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this, right? Here was the problem – the upcoming weekend was Valentines Day. But that’s okay. (Lucky for me, I have a very understanding partner) Two of our best friends were game. We googled hotels, to find that only one room was left in the area (right by the parade) but it was $300.  One room we won’t really even be in the majority of the time…  Plus $300 divided by 4 really wasn’t terrible for a hotel… We talked about it and we all decided this was happening. It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!


The bachelor party. The whole night. It’s… Things got out of control and, uh… we lost Doug.


From the (window to the) whale wall, the hang over remake fun, the parade, Bourbon Street, the masks, the assistance in parallel parking (“I’m going to murder you, but first let me help this guy parallel park”), the beignets, dancing on the bar, collecting beads, the two liter vodka bottle, running into more friends, and making it home alive.. It is a memory I will always cherish with friends I will always love.

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