Thursday, July 29, 2010

DIY: card box (er, cage)

In the months leading up to our wedding, we were struggling to find a suitable solution for a card box. Every single card box option we looked at was either boring, overdone, or cheesy.

And 3 weeks before the wedding, we were still at a loss. No card box yet no desire to settle for something ugly or traditional... which usually turned out to be one in the same for us. We were looking for something unique, something interesting. And if we got really lucky, we were hoping to have something that we could re-purpose after the wedding for apartment art.

In the back of my mind, I held the ultimate solution. A bird cage card box. Pretty. Unique. Re-purpose-able. Perfect.

Yet, after scouring Michaels, Winners, HomeSense, and even a couple TJ Maxx's during our trip to Florida, I had yet to find any trace of a bird cage. Actually, that's a lie. I found a really cute one at Michaels, but it was way too small. As in, couldn't really even fit a card in it kind of small, so obviously that wasn't an option. Sad bride.

Who knew that the solution to our problem would come from my parents' shed. The shed full of creepy spiders and the lawn mower also happened to hold the solution to our card box issue.

After explaining the issue to my mom and asking her to keep an eye out at any auctions or yard sales she attends between then and the wedding, she pulled out a weird kind of cage. It wasn't a bird cage, per se, and it was in three separate pieces, it had no real hole for inserting cards, and to add insult to injury, it was a really unfortunate color of brown. (I desperately wish I had a before picture to share, but alas, I do not. Just trust me, it was really bad. Like, photo booth chalkboard before the paint job, kind of bad.)

Nonetheless, I took it home determined to make it work. Somehow.

Problem #1: It's in 3 separate pieces: top, middle, bottom.
Solution: Twist ties.

Problem #2: There's no hole to insert cards.
Solution: Cut the skinny wooden dowels that held it together in a straight line to make enough room to insert a card.

Problem #3: It was brown. Really dark, really ugly brown.
Solution: Spray paint for any kind of surface in a really pretty shade of blue.

And yet, even after all this work, it still didn't look quite right. The cuts that I had made to make room for cards wasn't straight and it looked horrendous. Thank goodness for ribbon. Lace ribbon, in fact. What a life saver. My new motto? If anything ever looks strange, put ribbon on it.

Slap on a piece of paper attached to a chunk of card stock to let people know what it's for, and voila! card cage.

(all photos by me, except the first, which is by our photographer)

And the best thing about this option? We didn't even have to make space on a table for it. Because of the hook on the top, we were able to hang it like a real bird cage in the reception tent.
Here it is on the left, hanging up next to the gift table as the kids oogle at the candy buffet.


(guest photo)

In the end, we never really solved our card box problem because didn't have a card box. We had a card cage. And although the twist ties we used to hold it together weren't a permanent solution (they lasted the entire wedding night, but gave way a week after the wedding when we tried to hang it in our apartment), it was a perfect last minute fix.

The total cost for the whole project worked out to about $10 since the spray paint cost $7 and the lace ribbon was from the dollar store.

Man, I love spray paint.


Lisa said...

awesome! not only did it look great for the wedding but that is definetly something you could keep and use for decoration too!

SG to SP said...

That looks great and I loved that it actually hanged!

I bought a card box from Michael's that I loved and fit with our decor but nobody put any cards in it! Instead they put their cards in some basket one of my coordinators had on our gift table. So my pretty card box was more for decoration I guess, though now I use it to hold all the card we got for the wedding, engagement, showers. So not a total loss.

Giovanna said...

i looove the card cage. this has inspired me to write a post about the debacle of our card box. my crazy italian aunt hand sewed me a "money bag" and took all the cards from the box and put them into the bag and brought the bag to her table, so no one knew where to leave the cards. you cannot make this stuff up.

julie said...

love it! love it! love it! i wish we'd spray painted ours... we weren't sure it would come out well. yours looks great!

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

That is so cool! I love that it is hanging instead of sitting out. I never did understand the bird cage card boxes but it makes such perfect since when it is hanging like that :) Fun stuff.

L. Diaz said...

This is adorable!

Angie said...

i feel like i'm reading your blog backwards! so much to catch up on!

i loooove that birdcage. spraypaint is da bomb.

Miss C said...

How perfect! It looks so good, too. You'd never know it was from your parents' shed at all! Love love love.

just another Belle said...

we're doing a bird cage too. hadn't thought about hanging it! very cute idea!

Nicole-Lynn said...

I like the way it turned out! You did a great job. We're using a large lantern and supergluing some white finger starfish on the outside. Hopefully it will look ok! haha

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