Monday, March 7, 2011

A thousand thanks

Well, actually, just three thanks.

In order to jazz up some oft-neglected reception spaces, I'm trying my hand at a few minor and manageable paper craft projects.  I'm hoping with a little bit of money and a little bit of effort, these small touches will help to add some pop to different areas of our reception venue.

First up?  The gift and card table.  I know people won't be spending oodles and oodles of time there; however, I like the idea of adding something special to it.  I was smitten when I saw Mrs. Cheeseburger's post, showing her sweet and simple "Merci" banner that she used to decorate her gift table.

Image via WeddingBee / Photo by Jessica Ames

This project looked easy enough, so I decided to give it a go.  As always, this is probably an endeavor that is full of easy steps for any relatively experienced crafter.  But for craft-challenged brides like myself, it can have a few bumps and bruises.  So, here's what I like to call, "Thank you banners for dummies."

Before I even began the project, I purchased 2 circle paper punches, one measuring 2 inches in diameter, and one measuring 3 inches in diameter.  I then went into Microsoft Publisher and created 12 text boxes, all measuring 2.4 inches by 2.4 inches.  In each box, I typed one letter that I needed for the banner word.  I opted to use Imprint MT Shadow font, which is a standard Microsoft Office font.  Here's a screenshot of my Publisher layout:
Each letter is size 120 font, which ended up working really well for the 2-inch punch.

After I printed out all of my required letters, I punched each of them out with the 2-inch punch.  At this stage in the production, I had one of those moments where you simultaneously feel really brilliant for figuring something out and really idiotic for toiling for a handful of moments before you got around to figuring it out.  Here's the deal.  On my circle punches, there's a see-through bottom.  This is a great benefit, as you can kind of flip the punch over before pressing into your paper, to make sure that you are punching exactly what you want (so you're not cutting off part of a letter, for example).  I worked and worked and worked for probably a solid half-hour trying to master the dimensions and placement of each punch, ensuring I would get a centered letter on each little circle.  Suffice it to say, this process was not going swimmingly.  I finally experienced a moment of clarity and discovered the translucent orange bottom.

Ronald Reagan helps to show off the see-through bottom.

Once I figured out this whole bottom business, the punching got a lot easier and went a lot faster.  After only a few minutes, I had a mini mountain of letter discs, looking kind of like this:

Just imagine it as a mountain, mmk?
In order to give these letters a little more oomph, I decided to back them with textured cardstock in our wedding colors.  I used the 3-inch circle punch to give each letter a decent border.

Once I had all the circles punched, I grabbed a glue stick and started slapping letters on.  I then strung them together with a thin white ribbon.  I used regular ol' 3M Scotch Tape on the back, securing the tape along the top 1/4 of each colored disc.  The finished product?

Here's a close-up of one of the letters:
Ta-da!  I still have to tweak the spacing and the twisted ribbon, but overall, not too shabby, right?  When picking the languages, Italian and Spanish were shoe-ins, since Mr. Snow Cone is Italian and I studied abroad in Spain.  I tossed French into the mix because everyone knows "Merci" means thank you, and "Merci" provides some nice contrast to the strikingly similar "Gracias" and "Grazie."  I'm also planning to do a classic Amurrican "Thank You," but I got tired of punching circles, so three thanks is all people are getting as of right now.  I figure we'll string these little banners up on the wall near the gift table or off the edge of the table. 

This project cost me about $25; however, $20 of that was the two paper punches, which I can (and will!) use in other projects.  The cardstock and ribbon added up to about $3, courtesy of Michael's killer clearances, and then I imagine the printer ink and paper ended up around $2.  For someone who's incredibly patient and good at tracing circles, this banner could be whipped up for less than an extra value meal at a fast food joint, easy!  Despite my minor idiot moment, when all was said and done, this project resulted in no meltdowns and only a few frustrated expletives.  Between the cost and the ease, I'd definitely call this project a success.

What's been your most stress-free wedding DIY project so far?

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted.)


  1. This is fantastic! I'm working on making a banner just like this right now. Thanks!

  2. Hey! Could you tell me what brand circle cutter that is? I'm having trouble finding this one!

  3. Sure! It's a Fiskars punch. It's one of the punches that's intended for you to press down to punch the circle, as opposed to squeezing in your hand (if that makes sense). I purchased mine at, but you can get them in a lot of different stores. Good luck!