Today’s Frugal Friday tip is another project for a wedding. I did this one recently for a young friend using leftovers from projects I made for my own daughter’s wedding. It’s frugal because it doesn’t require many materials and took us little time. I know some folks go all out when making wedding table numbers, but to me that’s not necessary. Their primary function is to tell people the number of that table, not show off amazing taste and crafting ability. You can take this simple idea and expand it if you like. I’ll give you some tips at the end.
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Picture frames — we found some matching 3″ x 4″ ones at the thrift store. But you can mix different ones for a more eclectic look. Look for nice shapes and don’t worry about the color. A can of spray paint can completely transform them.
Vinyl — we used some gold metallic that has a brushed look, but many kinds will work.
Transfer media — optional. I ended up not using any. Read through step #5 to see if you think you’ll need it.
Clean-release painter’s tape — optional.
Skill level: Easy
Step 1: Choose page settings
First, I selected my page settings—
- My vinyl is 12″ wide, so that’s the width of my page.
- The length is 10″ because that’s the size of my leftover piece.
- I set the mat to “None” because I prefer cutting without the mat. If you don’t like to do that, or your vinyl isn’t 9″ or 12″ wide, then select the proper mat for your machine.
- Because I’m cutting without the mat, I ALWAYS have my “Show Cut Border” checked.
Step 2: Type and size your numbers
Next I typed out the table numbers. I helped my friend make a “Welcome to Our Wedding” sign. For continuity, we used the same font for the table numbers. It’s Edmundsbury Serif, which you can download free at Dafont.com for personal use. I created a text box and typed out all the table numbers we needed. I filled them with a gold-ish color.
To decide on the right size, I created a rectangle and filled it with black. The rectangle is the size of the glass on the frame.
Because the edges of the frame cover part of the glass, you need to keep that in mind as you choose the size of the numbers. In this particular font, the sizes of the numbers vary. They also don’t always sit on the same horizontal line.
I ungrouped the text box to separate my numbers. Just remember this will make them image instead of text, so you won’t be able to change or identify the font or add any numbers. Make a copy of the text box before you start, or create a sticky note with info on the text and size you used.
I adjusted the sizing on some of the numbers so that they would be a more uniform size and would sit flush at the bottom. Use the widest number as the basis for your font size. And don’t forget that the size of your text box is NOT the finished size of the numbers. For more info on that and how to find the actual size, see this lesson. Move the background rectangle around to see how each number will look on the cardstock.
Step 3: Cut and weed the vinyl
Move that black rectangle out of the way for now. We’ll come back to it in the next step.
Make sure your numbers are all on your usable material area. Do a test cut, then cut your vinyl. Weed away the background. You might want to get Step 3 underway as you cut or weed. Multi-tasking!
Step 4: Cut the cardstock
Since the cardstock is just rectangles, I find it easiest to just use a paper cutter. The edges are going to be covered up anyway. I had my friend cut those while I weeded the vinyl. If you don’t have a paper cutter, or just feel the urge, then feel free to bring your black rectangle back over, make copies and cut the cardstock that way.
Step 5: Assemble
All that’s left is to put the vinyl on the cardstock. If you’re great at getting things on straight, you can freehand it. Just pull the vinyl off the backing and plop in onto the cardstock. The metallic vinyl we used has more body than regular vinyl that makes this easier. It works on numbers because they are each a single piece.
I, however, have no skill at getting things on straight. So I used a modified hinge method and a painter’s tape for delicate surfaces. Just make sure it won’t tear your cardstock. Here’s how I did it:
- Keeping the number on the vinyl backing, move it around on your cardstock until it’s centered. HINT: trim the backing so that it’s an equal distance from the number on each side.
- Use a piece of clean release painter’s tape across the vinyl and backing to keep it in place on the cardstock. Notice mine is also sticking to the table, which helps things stay still as you work.
- Gently fold down from the backing paper the vinyl that’s above the painter’s tape. Try not to crease your number. Rip off just that part of the backing.
- Lay the vinyl back down. The adhesive side is now holding the number onto the cardstock.
- Remove the painter’s tape, then the remainder of the backing paper.
- Roll the vinyl back down.
- Assemble your frame and you’re done.
Other ideas for the table numbers
Here are some more options for this project:
- Cut some paper flowers to add inside the frame or to glue onto the outside.
- Use a patterned paper and a solid paper. Just remember that the main thing is that the table numbers be easily readable.
- Use a patterned paper for the rectangle, then add a solid label shape over it and finish on top with the number in a contrasting solid.
- Layer 2 colors of vinyl, or a patterned and a solid.
- Instead of using cardstock, spray paint the back side of the glass and put the vinyl on the front. It gives it a cool look.
- If you’ve got etching cream, then you can use the vinyl as a stencil and etch the glass. Just make sure your guests can see the table numbers in the lighting of your reception room.
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