Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

We took on a lot of very time intensive wedding DIY projects (I’m looking at you marquee letters, backdrop, photobooth, and chandelier). So in order to not make ourselves completely crazy, we tackled some quick and easy DIY projects too. That makes sense right? “We have so many big projects, quick, throw in some little ones too because we need even more work to do!” We are crazy.

Anyway, the good news about these projects is they were all SUPER quick and easy, and some can be used for stuff other than weddings- baby showers, birthdays, holiday get togethers, Diablo III parties (are we the only ones that have those?), etc. Today I shall be covering one of those projects: DIY paper heart straws

I’ll start by saying that paper heart straws are the most adorable things ever (aside from kittens). They are also super easy to make, and cheap! Though for a wedding-sized batch, the cost can start to add up. That’s why I was happy to find this box of 144 straws on Amazon for $7.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

One batch was the perfect amount for the whole wedding (about 150 people). This brand sells them in a few other colors, but gray was my jam. Mainly because it would be a great accompaniment to the pretty pink hearts I was gonna stick on ‘em.

This project was made WAY easier because I had one of those heart-shaped cutter things from Michaels (you can see it in the photo below). I also picked up some pink scrapbook paper that was stiff enough to be sturdy, but bendable enough to wrap around the straw without popping off.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

For each straw I punched out two hearts and then stuck double sticky tape on the straw and on the widest two points of one of the hearts. That way when I put it together, the hearts were taped to each other and to the straw itself.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

I would just pinch the sides together like so, not worrying that there was a little gap as the heart cutouts got closer to the straw.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

Boom. Straw complete. So very easy.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

Then I just did it to 50 more! I didn’t do it to ALL the straws because, a) not everyone would want to be walking around with a heart straw, b) it would have made it more difficult to fit them all in the little mason jars they were going to be put into, and c) I didn’t feel like it.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

My mom brought 3 large mason jars that we could put these into, but the jars were actually too tall, so we improvised and brought some ice cream salt at the grocery store to act as vase filler. It’s basically big chunky salt crystals, and was way cheaper than any actual vase filler.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

They were super cute at our drink station at the wedding! Just another one of those little details that made things that much more personal :)

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

Plus it helps that our friends look like models so pictures of them with the straws automatically make the straws look awesome.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

I plan on doing a few more quick and easy tutorials like this, so keep your eyes peeled!

Kitchen Updates are in Order

Hey guys! We have all these little changes we do to the house that we don’t really deem “blog-worthy” (picture the clouds parting and light shining down upon those words), especially these days when we are super busy and only seem to have time to post about the bigger stuff. But hey, these little updates deserve love too! Maybe not clouds-parting-light-shining-upon-them love, but a little love at least. Here is a compilation of a few kitchen-related updates that we realized we never shared.

First off, writing this has made me realize that we do not have ANY recent photos of our kitchen. What the heck. Here it is from wayyyyy back when we were first moving in. Notice the boxes in the background?! Seriously, I need to photograph our kitchen more often…

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The first update to share is the AMAZING new faucet we got. Yeah, until I owned a house I never thought I’d get this excited about a faucet. BUT IT IS SO AWESOME!!! Why you ask? Because it’s touch-controlled! Yeahhhhh living in future, yeah technology, yeah yeah yeah awesome home stuff! It’s the Delta Addison faucet and I love it.

The old faucet leaked a little and only worked on spray mode, not stream mode, which resulted in the whole area inevitably getting spray misted every time we cleaned something. “Y U ALWAYS SPRAY TINGS OLD FAUCET?!?!”

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So yeah, got rid of him. With a little instruction-following and a husband up for the job, we got the new one installed right away. Was pretty straight forward, though we did have to call and get a new o-ring because the one it came with wasn’t creating a strong seal.

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And now look! Pretty touch-sensitive faucet!

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Oh what’s that you see hanging out above our new faucet? It’s our new pendant light! Before, we had a sad-looking recessed light. Not even a nice one, but literally a black hole with a regular light bulb screwed into it. So sad.

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But we got this pendant light for our wedding that literally screws right into the recessed light fixture so it was a super easy switch! You can’t tell in photos but we have an Edison bulb in it, which looks super cool :)

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Looks good with our new faucet. You know what else looks good? That little bit of fridge peeking into the photo from the right side.

Heck yeah we got a new fridge!!! It was our Christmas present to ourselves last year. Family was in town so we recruited Dad to help move the old one out.

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There was nothing functionally wrong with the old one, but it was the only bisque colored appliance in a sea of beautiful stainless steel so we decided to designate it as our secondary laundry room fridge and replace it with a pretty one. Now the old one houses the tons of beer leftover from the wedding. Come drink our beer people. No seriously, please… come drink our beer.

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It does jut out, but because of the doorway into the dining room to the right, a cabinet-depth fridge would  not be able to be opened fully, which would mean more difficult access to food, which would be very sad. Maybe one day we will build a nice built-in looking fridge casing for it. For now, we will just be very very thankful that it’s not bisque.

And there you have it, some much-overdue kitchen updates! I know all this sounds like extravagance upon extravagance, but trust me, we are not made of money. These updates span over the past year+ so we had time to save our pennies. Writing this reminds me of many more “little updates along the way” posts I want to write, so keep your eyes peeled! :)

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II)

Hi again errybody! I’m back today to share part II of our DIY backdrop. A couple weeks ago, I told y’all about how Evan and I decided to create a backdrop for our wedding. It was going to be used for the ceremony AND our DIY photobooth, but the ceremony area ended up having the prettiest flowers on the big day so we decided to keep it for the photobooth only- and we’re so glad we did! The photobooth was a HUGE hit!!

In the last post I shared how we (and by “we” I mean Evan. I was just the assistant) made the wooden frame for our backdrop. Today I’m going to take you through my contribution to this project- the actual fabric itself.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

I’d seen TONS of pretty fabric and ribbon backdrops on Pinterest- but ribbon would get real expensive real fast, so that option was nixed pretty early on. I liked the idea of fabric strips, but I wanted to do a really soft, subtle gradient and I wasn’t sure I would find all the colors I needed to do that. So I decided to make the colors myself aka become a fabric dye mixologist aka end up with really weird looking perma-stained hands.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

So I bought some white muslin fabric since it was super cheap and easy to dye. We guessed what length we would want it to be and just bought just enough for that. When we got home, we laid it out and got to tearing! If you have a cat, they can really help with this part.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

Unfortunately, because we were Mochi-wrangling, we didn’t get a pic of the tearing process. But it’s super simple: just make little snips with scissors along the edge and start ripping. We made our snips 2-3 inches apart so that our strips would be 2-3 inches wide. With other fabrics you might need to cut down the whole length of the strip, but with muslin it’s way easier to rip away. Plus I liked the natural looking ripped edges more than I would have liked a sharp cut edge anyway. We left a few pieces in bigger sections so I could test out if it was easier to rip and then dye, or dye and then rip.

Speaking of dye, I bought a few different colors of Rit dye (Petal, Violet, and Aquamarine) and got everything ready to go!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

To use the dye, just follow the instructions on the bottle. You get warm water and put a weeeee little bit of dye in and mix it about. The water doesn’t have to be boiling or anything, just warm. Though it even works with cold water if you leave it in there long enough.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

Please excuse the nail polish haha. Anyway, I left the fabric in the dye for a little while and impatiently checked and checked until I decided to pull it out to prevent it from getting over-saturated. Since I was going for pastels, I wanted the color to be very faint. Unfortunately, even at it’s faintest it was still… too much.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

See that light pink in the middle of the pile that looks like a washed out highlighter? That’s how it turned out, and it was a little too glowy for me. So I decided I’d try mixing my colors to (hopefully) tone it down. Spoiler: when I used the mixed dye to color the fabric, it turned out like the darker pink part of the pile in the photo above. Which had better, warmer undertones, but was too dark to be pastel. Dang.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

Then I discovered that Rit actually has a color mixing guide on their website! Totally should have checked that out beforehand! Turned out I needed to get some tan dye to warm up and subdue the brightness of my colors.

I started out following the rules, measuring teaspoons of dyes and cups of water, but by the end I was winging it. The dye was really forgiving, and because I wanted all my strips to vary, it was ok if the color was a little different each time. Also, if you dye the fabric one color and don’t quite like it, you can dye it again in another color to get sort of a wash of that second color onto the first. For example, many times my pink mixes were still too pink or my blues were still too blue, so I’d make a batch of tan dye and leave the pinks and blues in there for a while to soak up the tan. Hope all this makes sense and isn’t too confusing. It’s not that hard once you start getting your hands dirty, I promise :)

I found that I liked tearing the fabric into strips first and then dying it, but you may like doing it the other way around. After I pulled out each strip from the dye and rung it out, I let it air dry hanging in the shower. You can see that it dries pretty wrinkly, but I thought that actually gave it a nice shabby chic effect.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

Once it was dry, I set up a couple curtain rods so I could see how it would look once it was more put together. As I mentioned in the last post, we decided to use two curtain rods for the backdrop: one in front for the fabric, and one behind to hang sheer white curtains from (to act as sort of a backdrop for my backdrop, if you will).

Here’s how it looked when I hung it all up!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com And here’s how it looked about 30 seconds later.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

To attach the fabric to the curtain rod, I just folded it over and pinned it to itself with a safety pin. I kept going, adding more and more neutral pinkish-tan pieces to pull everything together. Once we finished the wooden backdrop frame, I was super excited to actually put it all together!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

And then… womp womp. Somehow in my excitement about dying, I totally got the wrong length for my fabric. It was like our backdrop was wearing high waters. Luckily, I had bought the last of a bolt of fabric and was cutting it as I went, so I still had a little bit that was uncut.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

But it definitely wasn’t enough to match the amount of too-short strands. It ended up looking like just a handful of full length pieces peeking out from underneath the short ones. But I didn’t want to toss all my beautifully dyed, vertically challenged fabric and I didn’t want to buy a buttload more fabric either. So I got sneaky.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

Yep, I took a few of the short strips and cut them up into even smaller bits that were just long enough to bridge the gap from the short strips to the floor. I tried to match up colors and widths on some so it would look like a continuous strand. On others, I’d purposefully pin (for example) a skinny blue piece behind a wide pink piece and just look at it and pretend that a full length blue piece was hiding behind the big pink one. Which is totally what it looked like!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

After pinning everything in place, I just hand stitched it together. Unless you were looking at it as closely as this photo was, the seams were pretty much invisible!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

Excited about my fabric ninja skills, I made my way across the bottom and filled in the gap to the floor.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

And finally… ta-da!!!!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

To transport the fabric to the wedding, I split the curtain rod in half and rolled up each side. Then I put them both in a trashbag together to keep the rolls of fabric in place.

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

And there you have it! It was super easy to transport, reassemble, and disassemble at the end of the night. Plus… it looked gorgeous!!!

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com

To-Dye-For DIY Backdrop (Part II) - evanandkatelyn.com