Wedding Wednesday: Paper Dot Decor – life+running

Wedding Wednesday: Paper Dot Decor

My wedding’s over, but I’ve got a ton of DIY wedding-related projects to share with you.

Mark and I made all of our decor, aside from the recycled beer bottle candles and vases (we wanted to get married with all our limbs in tact). We hired Reuse First for those, in case you’re curious. We drank all the beer and sent them the bottles. 😉 

One of the decorations we made didn’t get used at our event, so we put it up at Mark’s birthday party a few weeks ago. It’s a paper-punch backdrop based on the one from Ruffled.

Here are some pics of our version of the paper punch backdrop.

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Paper Punch Backdrop //

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Paper Punch Backdrop //

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Paper Punch Backdrop //

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Paper Punch Backdrop //

Disclaimer: Although this decoration was basically free (for me) to make, it was hugely labor intensive. It’s still hanging up in my apartment because it’s going to take at least an hour to take down unless we want to throw it away, which we don’t because it took so long to make. We have to pack each string of dots in its own (plastic wrap, ziplock, or foil) package or else the thing gets tangled. This decoration is gorgeous, but kind of a bitch to make and maintain.  

Notes and tips:

  • I followed this tutorial on Ruffled. I just re-read their post and laughed because they said it was really easy to make and simple to transport. Maybe the people making their DIY projects have more patience than I do … 
  • My entire cost for this project: $3. I had a paper puncher, paper, and thread. I bought a thicker piece of thread to tie the strings to, but that’s it.
  • I made mine from (free) paper samples. I’ve collected a ton of paper books over the years, but after reading that Tidying Up book that was all the rage in 2015, I decided to make something with them and recycle the remainder. 
  • I used Granny’s leftover embroidery floss. My granny left a bunch of unfinished projects to me (ever wondered where I got this sickness from?). In her pile of UFOs was an embroidery project I’d never finish, and lots of floss. She would be proud that I used her floss to make this decoration for free. 
  • I binged an entire series while punching and threading in the dead of winter. I made most of this sometime in January while binging something stupid on Netflix. 
  • Friends helped. My friend Sam helped punch while I colored her hair.
  • I used a wall to organize and design. My roommate’s (empty-at-the-time) room served as a design wall. I taped each strip to the wall and organized them in the order I wanted to string them.
  • Okay, it was simple to transport. Once it was made, we put it in a shoebox for storage and transport. 

If I were to make this again I would:

  • Use a bigger punch. I used a 1.5-inch punch because I had that on hand and I could get more punches out of my paper sample books. I like the look of a larger punch. 
  • Sketch out my desired design on paper and do the math first. Assembling this took forever since we were trying to make design decisions at the same time. Sketch out your desired shape and figure out how many dots you need for each strip. Maybe even put a label on the end of each strip. 
  • Tie the strips on as I go rather than all at once. You’d need a dedicated area for this, which I had at the time. Would have been WAY easier than tying on all at once.

All in all? This was a pretty decoration and I’m really happy with it (especially considering the price we paid for it). I’ve considered selling it on Etsy, but I don’t know what price I’d put on it since the thing took me more than 100 hours to make. Instead, I think we’ll pack it up in our closet til the next time I read Marie Kondo’s book …


Have you DIYed something that turned into a bigger project than you’d bargained for? Were you happy with the end result? 


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