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Posted on Jul 7, 2013 | 0 comments

DIY Destination Wedding: Paper Straw Flags, Stamped Wooden Spoons, Wedding Fans, Tears of Joy

DIY Destination Wedding: Paper Straw Flags, Stamped Wooden Spoons, Wedding Fans, Tears of Joy

When planning your own destination wedding, one of the best ways you can save money while still adding the perfect touches to your big day is to do-it-yourself (DIY) a bunch of projects. To cut costs, we made our own paper straw flags, stamped wooden spoons, tears of joy packets, and wedding fans. Yes, we could have purchased these through many different websites, but by making them ourselves we saved hundreds of dollars on our DIY destination wedding.

DIY Paper Straw Flags

The first thing you will want to do to DIY your own custom paper straw flags is to purchase your straws. We purchased ours through Amazon and were very happy with the quality of them. They held up through not only the wedding, but also the at home reception. We got the straws in one of our wedding colors and did the paper flags in our other wedding color. A great site to get paper for your projects, as well as envelopes for invitations is Paper and More. We got all of our paper and envelopes through them and were very happy with all of it. I made a template in Word for our flags that I have uploaded to Google Drive to save you a step. All you need to do is add in your own information. On one side the flags had our names with a hibiscus flower and on the other they say, Okolemaluna! (Hawaiian for bottoms up).

DIY Destination Wedding

Cutting out the paper flags.

When I had the template all filled out, I printed out the flags with my home printer. We used a Martha Stewart paper cutter to cut the flags out, but you could also use a mat and x-acto knife with a ruler to cut out the flags, as well. When you are all done, you should have little strips of paper that look like the ones above.

DIY Destination Wedding

Use a hot glue gun to seal the flags together.

First we tried using double-sided tape to hook the flags together, but it didn’t hold. Next we tried using the hot glue gun and it worked like a charm. Just make sure your glue gun has a small nozzle. Wrap the paper around the straw; put your line of hot glue along the center of the inside of the flag and then press the front and back of your flag together. To give them the perfect finishing touch, I used a pair of sharp scissors to cut notches out of each flag.

DIY Destination Wedding

Completed Stamped Wooden Spoons

DIY Stamped Wooden Spoons

I’d originally seen the stamped wooden spoons on Etsy stamped with messages and thought they were super cute. But also thought that they cost way too much for how few you got. I also wanted the spoons to say a Hawaiian word since we were having a destination Maui wedding. Since I couldn’t find any spoons with Hawaiian words on them and knew I could easily make them myself, I did just that. Finding the right wooden spoons was easy on-line. I ended up buying them on Amazon since I could get a smaller amount there then buying them in bulk. I did not need 1000+ spoons.

DIY Destination Wedding

The stamp kit allows you to spell out any word you would like.

I used a Martha Stewart Set Your Own Stamp set and Ink Pad and Pen Combo Set to stamp the words on each spoon. I spelled out the word I wanted, ONO (Hawaiian for delicious), inked the stamp using the pen, and carefully pressed the spoon down on the stamp. You will want to be firm when you do this to make sure the stamp fully transfers, but not too hard or the ink will bleed on the wood.

DIY Destination Wedding

Press firm, but not too hard.

The hardest part was just sticking with the project to get them all done. I did a couple hundred so it took a little while and my fingers were a little sore from all that pressing down. Thankfully, I had the movie Bridesmaids to occupy my time since it was a pretty mind numbing task. You could always ask a friend or member of your bridal party to help you.

DIY Destination Wedding

Plumeria flowers were attached to each fan.

DIY Wedding Fans

I ordered fans from Amazon and picked up some ribbon in our wedding colors at Michaels Crafts. You will also need a hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks for this DIY project. I wrapped 3/8 inch ribbon around the handle, gluing it as I went. I had tried completely covering the handle with ribbon, but didn’t like how it looked.

DIY Destination Wedding

Both wedding colors were used to wrap the handles of the fans.

After a little trial and error, I decided to only wrap the ribbon around the bottom of the handle. To hide all of the ribbon ends, I added some 5/8 inch red ribbon to them by wrapping the ribbon around the top and tying the ribbon in a double knot. To make sure the ribbon wouldn’t move or come off I added a drop of hot glue in the middle of it before I tied it on. I trimmed the red ribbon down just a little and then frayed the edges using my fingernail.

DIY Destination Wedding

Two colors of plumeria hair clips were picked up on Maui.

The plumeria hair clips I picked up while we were on Maui for our destination wedding planning trip. Not to worry, I found them for you on Amazon. The best part about using hair clips is that after the wedding, all of the ladies can remove the flowers from their fans and use them to wear in their hair. I love when you can give something with more than one purpose of use. Using both of our wedding colors really made the fans pop. It gave them a fun tropical feel- just the look I was going for. The plumeria flowers were exactly what the fans needed to finish them off. I just attached them with the little hair clip that was already on them.

DIY Destination Wedding

Vintage handkerchiefs were the perfect touch for our wedding.

DIY Vintage Handkerchief Tears of Joy Packets

Instead of the traditional Tears of Joy packets, I wanted to do things a little different to go along with our vintage Hawaiian theme. Keeping our wedding theme in mind, I came up with the idea of using vintage handkerchiefs instead of tissue packets for our Tears of Joy. Vintage handkerchiefs not only fit with our theme, but they also provided a little something extra for guests to take home with them. We are all for something that people can use again instead of just discard after one use.

The part of this DIY project that took the longest was finding enough vintage handkerchiefs with tropical flowers on them. Basically, I just had to wait it out. I searched Etsy daily looking for handkerchiefs with tropical flowers that weren’t outrageously priced. After a couple months of looking and purchasing one by one, I finally had enough. If you don’t have a specific theme like I did when searching for vintage handkerchiefs or are fine with new ones, it won’t take you very long to get what you need.

DIY Destination Wedding

Vintage handkerchiefs, ribbons, and mini luggage tags were all that were needed for the Tears of Joy.

To wrap around each handkerchief, I made mini luggage tags that read, “For your tears of joy… Tears of laughter… Tears of happily ever after.” with a little plumeria flower underneath. The saying with plumeria was printed up on regular paper, photocopied, and then transferred on to the mini luggage tags using a special transfer pen. If you don’t photocopy them then they won’t transfer.

DIY Destination Wedding

Ribbons for Tears of Joy were done in the same color as the fans.

The photocopied paper was cut into little rectangles to make it easier to transfer. Each rectangle was laid out on top of the tags and the photo transfer pen was used to transfer the writing on to each tag. You have to make sure you press real hard with the pen while going back and forth over what you want to transfer. You also have to make sure that you do not move your paper while transferring. If you don’t press hard and/or you move your paper they will not transfer correctly. I recommend trying a couple as practice ones before you start doing the transfers on to the tags.

DIY Destination Wedding

Use your fingernail to fray the edges of the ribbon.

After I had transferred all of the Tears of Joy sayings and they had fully dried, I did the other side. On the back, I transferred images that looked like Hawaii stamps. I transferred these in the same way I transferred the saying. I liked the look it created having something on both sides instead of leaving one side blank. While the backs of the tags were drying, I cut ribbon in our wedding colors to the length I needed and folded the handkerchiefs. Once the back sides were also dry I strung the ribbon through the eyelets I made in the tags, rolled the folded handkerchiefs up, wrapped the ribbons around the handkerchiefs and tied the tags on. After they were all tied on, I frayed the edges of the ribbon with my fingernail like I did with the wedding fans above.

Before you take these projects on, you will want to be sure that you have the time and skill to be able to DIY any of your wedding projects. Planning a wedding is hard enough, don’t add any unnecessary stress to yourself. Have a question on how I did any of these DIY wedding projects? Or have a question on anything else on how to have a DIY destination wedding, please don’t hesitate to ask.

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.

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About Kimmy Hayes


Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.

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