DIY: Watercolor Wash Place Cards

DIY_watercolor_placecards_first

Today’s lovely DIY comes from Molly Suber Thorpe, author of the brand new book, Modern Calligraphy. Filled with templates, tutorials, DIY projects and beautiful photography, this book teaches you everything you need to know to get started. It is perfect for finding inspiration and developing your own calligraphy style. Thanks so much for sharing this stunning DIY with us Molly and congrats on your new book!

Watercolor Wash Place Cards

These beautiful place cards will make a statement on any table. Each card has a unique watercolor wash background flecked with contrasting acrylic paint, and the possible color combinations of watercolor and calligraphy are endless. This project can be made over and over again and adapted to any occasion, whether it’s a wedding reception, holiday dinner, or birthday party.

Yield: 75 place cards
Time: 8 hours (including drying time)
Budget: $65.00

Supplies:
• 90 3.5×6-inch pieces pieces of heavy watercolor paper cut
• Pan of assorted watercolors
• 1 tbsp acrylic paint in an accent color for splattering
• 2 tbsp table salt
• Ink, watercolor or gouache of your choice for the calligraphy
• 1-inch-wide artist tape
• Wide paint brush
• Small paint brush for watercoloring
• Dish of water
• Paper towels
• Bone folder
• Calligraphy nib and holder
• Old toothbrush

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1. Apply a strip of artist tape across the full width of each watercolor paper card, starting 1 inch up from the bottom short edge. Press the tape down firmly, especially along the edges, so that no watercolor will be able to seep underneath. There should now be 1 inch of paper exposed below the tape and 4 inches exposed above it.

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2. Using the large paint brush, brush both the front and back of each card with water, then pat dry with a paper towel. (This prevents the paper fibers from expanding unevenly and warping.) Since there are so many cards, I recommend painting about twelve at a time so your workspace doesn’t get too cluttered.

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3. Using the smaller paint brush, paint the cards with an abstract watercolor design in the colors of your choice. (I normally combine two to four watercolor shades per card, but play around with what you like best.) Don’t let this step scare you! This should be liberating because there is no wrong way to do it. You can fill up the entire paper with paint or leave portions of it unpainted. You can overlap the colors or keep them from touching. You can paint uneven blobs or perfect pinstripes or streaks fanning out in circles like fireworks. You can use light, similar shades for an elegant, understated look, or bright, contrasting ones for a bold, festive effect. Each card can be different – if you use the same colors, they will tie together in a series.

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4. If your paper is soaking wet, blot off excess watercolor with a folded paper towel. Then sprinkle the cards with a pinch of table salt. The salt crystals create a unique pattern by absorbing the wet color they land on, producing slightly lighter spots when you brush off the salt later (see step 6).

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5. With the old toothbrush, splatter acrylic paint randomly over the card. Choose a color that will really stand out from the background colors you chose. I really like using gold to add some sparkle. Lay flat and let dry.

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6. Brush off the salt and carefully peel off the tape. If the cards aren’t flat (which can happen in humid weather), press them between a stack of books overnight.

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7. Fold the cards in half and make a sharp crease with a bone folder.

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8. Use ink, watercolor, or gouache to calligraph the guests’ names in the blank strip on each card. If you’re nervous about messing up, just practice each name on scrap paper a few times until you’re comfortable. Let dry completely.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_finished


Thanks so much to Molly for sharing this lovely DIY with us today and for those interested in learning more about calligraphy, pick up her brand new book – Modern Calligraphy!

book_graphic

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Sweet Summer Engagement Photos in Colorado

colorado engagement

Joy + Kevin are from Texas, but Colorado is very special to them as they have spent many summer getaways there, so it seemed like the perfect backdrop for their sweet summer engagement photos, captured by the very talented Apryl Ann. Such a fun idea to choose a location that has so much meaning to you as couple! I’m crazy about Joy’s adorable outfits and the simplicity of the breathtaking forest scenery. And wait until you see the super cool double-exposed images towards the end of the post! Here’s more from Joy about how she + Kevin met and why they chose this location for their engagement session:

Although we lived 2 miles away from another, went to the same high school and had many mutual friends, Kevin + I met during the college years while working at a pint size, local pizzeria. We were instantly drawn to each other and for the next two years, we became the best of friends and developed an inseparable bond. We inevitably decided to take a leap of faith (literally) out of the friend zone. For our first date, we decided to go sky diving. Before boarding the tiny, squeaky plane, I remember being so overwhelmed with unsettling nerves. Kevin grabbed my hand and pointed to the parachutes opening in the sky, and told me to look at how peaceful they were just floating in the air. Instantly I felt more calm and ready to take on the new adventure. From that moment on, I knew I trusted him with my life and he could do the same with me…

pink maxi engagement dress

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

colorado woods engagement

colorado engagement


For the next 5 years of dating, Kevin + I built our relationship on love, trust, friendship and – of course- adventures. Since our very first trip to Steamboat, Colorado together, where Kevin taught me how to snowboard, we have traveled all over the western United States, snowboarding + exploring the mountains. Since Colorado will always hold a special place in our hearts, when it came time to plan our engagement session, we decided Estes Park was the perfect place to be…

pink maxi engagement dress

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

pinecone engagement

river bed engagement

river bed engagement

colorado engagement

engagement ring

colorado engagement


How rad is this double-exposed image that looks like a heart?! Love it!

double exposure engagement photo

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

striped cardigan and shorts outfit

colorado engagement

double exposure engagement photo

colorado engagement


And a little bit of advice from the bride to be: Taking an engagement trip to a place that is meaningful to us has been one of the best decisions we’ve made so far! The days prior to the shoot, which we spent hiking, climbing and sight-seeing, really helped us relax and melt into our surroundings. Also, it helps to fully trust your photographer, keep an open mind and give yourself the opportunity to be spontaneous during the session. Even though we planned several photo location to visit, the most fun we had was enthusiastically jumping out of the car whenever we came across a scene that inspired us!

Thanks again to Apryl Ann Photography for sharing these gorgeous images with us today + congrats to Joy + Kevin!

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Stylish Marvimon House Wedding: Raqel + Madison

bride and groom

Raqel + Madison are a sweet + stylish couple who wanted their wedding day to have a relaxed, yet refined, vibe. They selected their venue, LA’s Marvimon House, based on the colors they had always envisioned using for their wedding: dusty blue, hunter green, cinnamon, and peach. Such a fun + unique palette, right?! And they were sure to include lots of gorgeous and personal details, an absolutely delicious-sounding menu of mini chicken + waffles, shepard’s pies in mason jars, and an insane gourmet grilled cheese + tomato soup bar, as well as tons of lush, tropical-inspired floral arrangements as a nod to Raqel’s South African roots. Sounds like a pretty perfect day to us! :)

Thanks so much to Logan Cole for the stunning images + Beau & Arrow Events for the absolutely beautiful event design – and, of course, big congrats to Raqel + Madison!

chalkboard sign

floral wedding invitation

floral wedding invitation

bride


Madly in love with Raqel’s sweetly overgrown bouquet!

whimsical white and green bouquet

pink bridesmaids


Raqel’s mother is a well known fashion designer in South Africa, and she lovingly custom-made Raqel’s gorgeous dress, the bridesmaids dresses, Madison’s suit + the groomsmen’s ties. Amazing, right?!

pink bridesmaids

pink bridesmaids

bridesmaids bouquets

bride

groomsmen

groomsmen

first look

first look

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

boutonniere

bride and groom

marvimon

bride and bouquet

ring bearer and flower girl

groom seeing bride

marvimon ceremony


From Beau & Arrow Events, The couple adored all of the plant life both inside and outside of the venue, so the succulent and plant walls were the perfect backdrops for both the ceremony and the reception room.

marvimon ceremony

marvimon ceremony

marvimon ceremony

marvimon ceremony

chalkboard and spool decor

marvimon reception


The couple stressed that they wanted a casual but put together reception, so to match the blue walls at Marvimon we used chalky blue runners on all of the existing wooden tables. Peach napkins added a fun touch of color to the tables, as did the gorgeous wildflower arrangements from Root 75 and the unique tropical-floral inspired paper elements by Mae Mae Paperie.

blue table runners

blue table runners

vintage vase flower pieces

grilled sandwiches

dessert bar

dessert bar

cupcakes

cake pops

cake cutting

coffee favors


Raqel + Madison’s first date was over coffee at Lamill, so it was a must to include the coffeehouse into their big day. During the reception there was a continuous stream of guests ordering lattes + everyone left with coffee bean favors, too!

coffee favors

first dance


And the wedding film by Brinton Films


Big congrats to Raqel + Madison on an absolutely beautiful day! We wish you all the best!

photography: Logan Cole Photography // event design + coordination: Beau & Arrow Events // venue: Marvimon House Los Angeles, California // catering: Whoa Nelly // wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, groom’s suit, groomsmen’s ties: Amanda Laird Cherry (Brides Mother) // coffee bar: Lamill Espresso // cake + salted caramel favors: Superfine Bakery // florals: Root 75 // dj: Dart DJ // videography: Brinton Films // rentals: Found Vintage Rentals // makeup: Amy Clarke // hair: Dianna Bautista // china, glassware: Classic Party Rentals // specialty linens: La Tavola Linens // paper goods: MaeMae Paperie // graphic designer + invitation: Lisa Dixon

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryDart DJ and LOGAN COLE Photography are all Featured Vendors in the GWS Vendor Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Guide.
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