Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Hour at Michael's

I went to Michael's craft store today to browse and get some ideas for the wedding.  My goals were:
1. Scope out the DIY invitation kits
2. See what kind of materials they had for making centerpieces
It's important that I make as many things for the wedding as I can, since we are on a budget, but I also want everything to look nice and fit with our theme.

I started with the invitations.  There weren't as many as I had hoped for, but there were enough for me to get some ideas.  Before going to the store I had looked online to see what I might like, and I set my eye on a bunch of eco-friendly materials they had.  It's too bad that I looked online a few weeks ago and didn't check again before going to the store today, because Michael's no longer carries these products.  Bummer!  I thought it would be perfect to have eco-friendly paper since we are having an Adirondack theme to our wedding and giving tree seedlings as gifts.  I may just have to look elsewhere to find these.  I did find three invitation kits that I thought were interesting, though... (and I apologize for the poor photo quality - I took them with my phone).

I've listed them here in the order that we like them.  The fern invitation on the right is good, but we aren't sure about the mint colored ribbon.  The one in the middle is a nice brown (even though it looks black here), but it's a little too dull - we'd like more color.  The green and brown one on the left seems really great and has both of our wedding colors, but it doesn't really seem to express our theme.  We'll have to ask ourselves a couple questions before making our decision: 
1. Are we dedicated to eco-friendly paper?
2. Are we willing to trade out our theme to have the right colors at a price we can afford?

The next task on my list was to check out centerpiece materials.  We've decided that we really want to make living terrariums, and I am using these ones I found on the Indie Bliss blog for inspiration.  This part was actually more fun for me, since I'm the kind of girl that would much rather play with dirt than frilly ribbons.

I found Ball Jars which I think would be really cool, and were sort of reminiscent of something I might find in a mountain lodge filled with fruit or something yummy.  I also found these square containers which I didn't like as much as the Ball Jars, but would also work.

Michael's also has a relatively large selection of river rocks and moss - although I don't think moss bought in a bag is really alive any more.  I will have to look into getting this from outside or a garden store.

I saved the most fun part for last - looking for the interesting detail pieces to make the terrariums awesome!  Our first thoughts were to create miniature camping scenes (out of doll house pieces), or put small Adirondack chairs, but we are having a very difficult time finding those things.  Our next option is to include little woodland animals - which Michael's actually had quite a few of!

First I found little feathery birds (although I'm not sure the feathers will work in the moist terrarium)...

Next I went to the kids' section where I found animals in tubes, aptly named Toob Animals, but they didn't really have the specific kind of animals I was looking for and they were also on clearance sale...

And my favorite was the little plastic moose and deer figurines, which remind me of toys I might have actually played with as a kid (in the dirt)...

I'm not sure that I will actually buy anything that I found at Michael's today, but all in all I found my trip to be very productive.  I had a lot of vague ideas tumbling around in my head and browsing enabled me to obtain a visual grasp on what I it is that I would like my end products to look like.  After seeing all this stuff I can't wait to get started!


  1. I saw your Alchemy on Etsy.

    The terrariums are a fabulous idea. Why not actually put a live creature in there like a butterfly, caterpillar, other cool bugs, they have some tiny frogs (doubt you can rent those though haha). The insects would be just fine in the jars as long as there was a way to breathe. I'd love to help you with this.

    I'm really interested in the cards as well. I found some recycled paper things online that we could work with.
    I think they're cool because they're actually made from shopping bags!

    I could make nice invitations from pretty recycled paper and envelopes. I might use a stamp design so all the cards will be the same. There are ways to print them on the computer as well.

  2. I'm sure you're not wanting to spend this much, but these are gorgeous.