I wanted to let you all know about “Beaded Weddings” by Jean Campbell. This book is a fantastic craft guide which is sure to encourage even the most reluctant DIYer to have a go. Not only does the book give you unique and inspirational ideas but it also teaches DIY novices basic craft skills. There are over 75 fabulous ideas for DIY projects which would,
“give your wedding a unique, unforgettable style of its own”.
This book is very easy to read with friendly narrative and beautiful photos. It is broken down into 6 sections including invitations, thank you notes, reception décor, wedding finery, accessories and gifts.
One thing I like about this book is that there is a real variety of choices for skilled beaders or novice beaders (like myself!). For the braver DIYers amongst you there is a section on wedding dress embellishments, showing you how to jazz up your wedding dress. For the less skilled amongst you (this would include me!) or for those of you that do not have a lot of time on your hands to take on DIY projects in the run up to your wedding, there are things like bridal bobby pins which are so simple to make and yet they look as pretty and sparkly as shop-bought accessories.
One of my favorite DIY projects in the book is the beaded gift bag. You simply slip a pretty bead of your choice onto the end of a drawstring on an organza bag and there you have it – an effortless, yet eye-catching, result! A personalized gift bag which you could use for wedding favors, gifts for your bridal party or for future gift-giving occasions. How about wowing your wedding guests with how creative you are - try the cake stand necklace. It combines India glass and Czech fired polished beads with ivory and crystal seed beads. You could really dress up a plain glass cake stand with this very inexpensively.
Techniques used throughout the book include crimping, wire wrapping, bead embroidery, simple fringe and knotting. This might all sound highly technical to you but you really have nothing to worry about – this book takes you through each technique step by step with clear color pictures and diagrams to guide you along the way. It is all very well laid out. A perfect example is the elegant pearl necklace. There is a list of materials and tools needed so that you can get yourself equipped and organized before you start. The narrative then describes how to put the necklace together with diagrams showing how to tie the specific knots needed and it also gives you a lovely big photo of the end result – a stunning pearl necklace custom made to your own specifications.
Also, in the introductory section of the book it gives you a description of each material you might be using including beads, clasps, pins, wires, fabric, ribbon, glue and tools. Don’t worry though, it’s not like a home maintenance manual (if you’ve other tried to follow one of those!) - this book has easy to understand lingo and the terms used are not too technical.
If you are unsure about where the materials recommended come from then all you have to do is flick to the back of the book where there is a list of suppliers. Most of them have websites through which you can order what you need. When I’ve attempted DIY craft projects myself I’ve discovered that most of the raw materials are far cheaper and much more widely available than I previously thought.
Do bear in mind that there is a vast range of items in this book ranging from straightforward to the more complicated. As you can imagine some projects take more time than others. This book provides you with a list of time estimates. For example a tiara can take up to 3 hours whilst cute table favors can take only 2 minutes each.
I have to admit I was not a huge fan of beads before I read this book but now I am a convert! The designs using semiprecious stones, glass pearls and crystals, amongst other materials, are simple, elegant and most importantly unique.
“Beads can make a gorgeous contribution to wedding-day pieces”.
So what are the advantages to you of reading this book?
♥ You get the chance to learn a new skill which could well prove to be invaluable to you both with your wedding planning and in the future.
♥ You are custom making these items to your own specifications. You can add your own unique twists to the designs in the book and adapt any of the projects to suit your own wedding palette and style. There are no rules to say that you must stick to the same colors and styles of beads used in the book. Let your creativity and your imagination run wild!
♥ One of the most important advantages to you is that you will be saving oodles of money! Rather than buying jewelry, wedding stationary and other wedding items from commercial vendors you are only paying out for the materials which you use.
♥ One of the biggest rewards you should get from reading this book is having fun! The book suggests that you recruit helpers to assist you with making your chosen items, so how about hosting a beading party with your friends.
Without hesitation I totally recommend this book for those of you who are not afraid of getting stuck in to some DIY craft projects either on a small or large scale. Go ahead and get creative! Whether you end up with stunning results or something less than perfect, the most important thing for you to bear in mind in the run up to your wedding is to have lots and lots of fun!
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