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The days of Pinterest and DIY projects are among us and it seems like every time I log into Facebook another one of my friends has posted a photo of an impossibly cute, DIY based project or craft they’ve made. With this in mind, I’d like to say that employing DIY projects and ideas for a wedding (or other event) does not have to translate into countless hours of gluing, cutting, and assembling. In my time as an event planner and caterer I have come across a few great ideas of my own that I like to suggest to clients who wanted to add a little extra something for their guests to enjoy.

DIY Napkins
Taken a look at linen costs lately? To buy just a set of four can sometimes set you back $12-$15, not to mention any cleaning costs incurred after your guests use them. To get around this expense, and to give your event a little more personality, I’d suggest an inexpensive and fun alternative to my clients. DIY napkins!

To make napkins you will need:
– A couple of large packs of simple paper napkins in a variety of colors
– A pair of heavy duty scissors
– A stencil of a shape or design of your choosing

To begin, make a simple stencil large enough to be used on the napkin, but interesting and intricate enough to catch your guest’s eye. For mine I’ve chosen to use a simple leaf shape. From here, all you need to do is cut this same shape into the napkins you picked up (make sure not to cross the seam of the napkin). To achieve a layering effect, put two colors together per guest, such as a rustic orange and a mossy green, or whichever color you think will go great with your event’s theme or season.

Some of these next ideas would work great as well:
Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Weddingbee

Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Intimate Weddings

DIY Party Favors
Giving your guests a meaningful thank you gift doesn’t require you to take a huge gouge out of your bank account. A great party favor that I frequently suggest to brides and grooms to-be is a DIY take home bag of coffee! This project can be accommodated to a wide range of budgets and only takes about an hour to do.

To make DIY coffee you will need:
– A package of small brown paper lunch bags
– A spool of ribbon or twine
– Computer sticker paper or a stencil
– Your favorite coffee beans (ground or whole)

One thing all great coffee has is a name! You can get as creative as you want when naming your coffee, but I’d suggest keeping it in line with your new last name, “The Eagleston Roast”, or “The Jameson Brew”. Whatever name you go with, make a quick stencil or sticker design on your computer and slap it on the bag. Tie some ribbon or twine into bows and place it above or below your name and just like that, you have an easy yet creative party favor for your guests to enjoy. If you have a little more time and money to spare you could order a customized stamp from an internet retailer.

Here are some more great ideas:
Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Apropos Roasters

Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Wedding Paper Divas

Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Green Wedding Shoes

DIY Desserts
A good wedding cake can really hit you in the wallet; and a good vegan wedding cake can often be the price of a small country’s entire GDP (just kidding, but really). If you’ve been following recent wedding trends then you’ve probably noticed the new direction dessert options are taking. Many couples are choosing to completely disregard the traditional wedding cake and instead, electing to take another route entirely. While I still recommend getting at least a small cake for cutting, and picture purposes, there’s really no reason why you can’t go avant-garde and get a little creative in the dessert department.

My personal favorite is setting up your very own DIY ice-cream bar. This option costs quite a bit less than supplying cake for all of those dessert-eaters, this creative post dinner idea is also a lot of fun for guest of all ages.

For DIY ice cream you will need:
– A couple gallons of ice cream (I recommend “Purely Decadent” ice cream in multiple flavors)
– A handful of your favorite toppings
– Serving dishes

By doing this, wedding guests are free to dress up their dessert however they like. I remember one couple that had a sign at their dessert bar instructing their guests to snap a photo of their creations, then hash-tagging it on Instagram or Twitter under the wedding party name. This made for a fun, creative photo album for the guests and wedding party to look back on later.

Here are a few great examples:
Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Eat, Drink, Chic

Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Katelyn James Photography

Guest Post: DIY Wedding Ideas
Photo Credit: Alli McWhinney Photography

I hope some of these tips and projects can help you or have inspired some ideas of your own for your upcoming wedding. Remember saving money and cutting costs does not have to translate into dowdy or shoddy. Think outside the box and your guests will leave satisfied and maybe even a little jealous of your creativity.

{Trisha Jefford has worked a variety of jobs across the food service industry from waiting tables to being a personal chef. She is a wife and mother of two wonderful girls who put up with all of her whacky taste testing. Trisha currently blogs and writes for EZ Cater, a site that specializes in finding you the perfect corporate caterer.}