This accordion-style design offers friends and family enough room to ramble, wax poetic, and even doodle. Have your local hardware store cut two pieces of plywood to 5 by 7 inches. Stain them by brushing on watered-down gray acrylic paint, then wipe off the excess. Once they're dry, stamp on your date in white ink.
For the pages, use a craft knife to cut a length from a Spectra ArtKraft Duo-Finish paper roll #67004 (amazon.com). It can be as long as you want, but should be 6 inches tall. Then just fold it like a fan. Secure the ends and the ribbon to the covers with spray adhesive.
Thought-provoking guest books that pose single, specific questions serve as dinner table icebreakers at your wedding -- and turn into keepsakes you'll want to display in your home and reread on every anniversary.
Instead of an album-style tome, have a custom puzzle made with your names and/or wedding date (ours is by Bella Puzzles). Place the pieces in a glass bowl at your reception, along with a sign asking friends to autograph the unfinished backs. When the party is over, you'll have fun putting them together and reading the good wishes.
File this under A for adorable. Instead of a traditional guest book, use cards from an address file. Our set, by Lovely Design, contains handmade ones from vintage papers, so each is unique. Set cards on a table with a sign asking friends and family to jot down messages; once they've penned their notes, they can file their card alphabetically, leaving you to merely flip through all the warm wishes that range from A to Z.
Set out an old-fashioned typewriter with long sheets of paper for guests to write good wishes to the bride and groom as the feeling strikes. Look for inexpensive vintage machines online or at thrift stores or flea markets; they come in colors to go with any palette. After the wedding, tie into a scroll with ribbon.
Let guests' well-wishes take flight on paper doves. These birds are traditional symbols of love, happiness, and harmony. Anchor bare branches (these are manzanita) in a large, sturdy vessel filled with stones or gravel. Use wire to secure nests, available from craft stores, to branches. Set dove cards -- available precut -- in a dish. Place pencils alongside your tree with a sign asking guests to inscribe a card and to place it in a nest.
Transform a store-bought album into a guest book that has a handmade feel. Use double-sided tape to affix envelopes in assorted sizes and colors to the pages of a plain-paper photo album or scrapbook. Leave cards and a pen on a table for guests to write wishes. When they're done, they can tuck their cards inside the envelopes for the bride and groom to enjoy later.
Inspire guests to express themselves artistically as they write down their sentiments on your wedding day. At the reception, set up a table with craft and office supplies -- pretty card stock, colored pencils, an array of stickers -- and invite guests to embellish their notes with fun designs. Finished cards can be placed in a clear glass bowl and arranged in a scrapbook later.
A guest book is made for personal notes -- why not personalize the outside, too? Buy a cloth-covered unlined journal, or have one made with your own fabric. Michael Roger Press covered one book of these books in striped cotton shirting and embossed another with a monogram. The light-blue book is from Flicka Boutique. Other fabric options: blue-and-ivory floral, aquamarine with ribbon blooms, sea-blue with cream florets, and muted azure.
Tailor a guest book to your wedding style. Each of these starts with the same blank journal.
Clockwise from left: Book-cloth-wrapped covers leave the red spine to peek out. The second book is covered entirely in paper and stamped with a monogram; satin ribbon serves as a bookmark. The third is left uncovered but accented with a felt band and big red button.
What do guests use to write their well-wishes? Bright-red pens, of course.
A guest book doesn't have to be in the form of a book. The bright hues of these small gift cards can't help but beguile the eyes of wedding guests; their small size gives well-wishers just enough space to write a sweet thought, quip, or hope; and the envelopes, allowing for privacy, encourage them to get a little sentimental.