For the past few months I’ve toyed with the idea of expanding my blog to include some of my creative projects. One of the sticking points that I kept coming back to was that my blog was originally suppose consist entirely of book reviews, as such, would I be diluting my original premise by including other aspects of my life, e.g., travel, beekeeping, and now DIY? Due to the success of branching out into travel, I’ve decided to start including some of the projects I’ve most enjoyed figuring out. Most of the projects that I undertake consist of me figuring things out as I go, with the help of many other bloggers and tutorials that I will recognize throughout the instructions.
The first project I’ll detail are my wedding programs, which were one of my favorite tasks I undertook during my wedding planning. As the wedding drew near, with all of the main details already planned, I realized that I hadn’t even begin to think about the programs. My initial opinion was that programs were a waste due to most guests ignoring or throwing away the scrap of paper immediately following the ceremony. As such, my plan was to spend little to no money on the programs by using materials I already had on hand. As with many of the details regarding my wedding, I wanted the finished product to be unique and have my own personal twist. My initial idea involved something similar to these two beautiful programs, e.g, petal fan 1, petal fan 2. I soon disregarded this style after coming across the layered format e.g., Example 1, Example 2, however most of the examples I stumbled across in this layout were bound by a ribbon, which I was not necessarily a fan. Inspiration struck when I found this image of a beautifully machine stitched wedding program, specifically the unique binding. As the pieces came together, I knew I wanted to make a three layer, cardstock wedding program using paper left over from making my DIY wedding invitations, and have the binding be machine stitched. My next question involved the quandary, can you machine stitch cardstock? After a bit of Googling, I came across this wonderful tutorial, which I loosely followed, but gave me the encouragement needed that the design I had dreamt up was indeed possible. I fully recommend using the aforementioned tutorial instead of mine as a base point if you want to tackle this fun idea. Let it be said that I am not proficient at sewing, however I have a general knowledge from observing my Grandma for years and a sewing machine from one of my many short lived and subsequently discarded hobby phases. I have faith ANYONE can do this project! This was the perfect project because I used materials I already had on hand therefore I didn’t spend a penny on my final wedding programs.
- Cardstock paper already printed and cut to size
- Sewing machine
- You should already have your designed, printed and cut your program pages to size. The cutting step was by far the most time consuming aspect of this project. With regard to the basic text layout, I have access to design software in my chemistry lab, allowing me to personally create the text design, but even widely available programs such as PowerPoint give everyone and anyone the opportunity and tools to create your own unique designs.
- After setting up your sewing machine, it is time to practice on scrap cardstock to ensure tension and settings are correct. I used three layers of cardstock for my program so I practiced with the corresponding paper layers. This is the simultaneously fun and frustrating aspect of the project. This is where you get to play with the many, many different stitching types to find the perfect stitch, e.g., zigzag, straight stitch, overcasting, to suit your style or tastes. Personally, I ended up falling in love with the overcasting stitch. This is also where the frustration aspect also comes into play as the initial thread I used to practice was polyester and worked perfectly, however when I switched to the green thread I wanted to use the thread disintegrated as it was stitched. After some research, I realized the thread in question was cotton, so I promptly switched back to a polyester green, problem solved.
- Upon choosing your stitch style and sufficient practice it is time to bind your programs. After stitching the binding I would keep the thread intact with several inches between programs and feed the following one through. I would typically sew twenty programs before stopping to cut the connecting threads. Here is another aspect that you can make your own by perhaps leaving a little bit of thread hanging on both side, maybe knotting the ends and cutting the thread flush with the cardstock. Whatever satisfies your creative eye!