Fabric Wedding Ideas for a Festive Fête
Lengths of soft chambray, lovely liberty print, vibrant ikat, or even eyelet can create a surprisingly chic look for your wedding. And if you can rip, glue, stitch, and photocopy (yes, it’s that simple!), you can bring all of these projects to life.
To start, enlist a garland to spruce up a blank ceremony backdrop or decorate dinner chairs or a bar. Cut fabric scraps with pinking shears, and run them through a sewing machine to link them up.
Finish a sunny bouquet of sweet peas, poppies, and ranunculus with sweeping streamers. To make them, rip remnants with the grain, snipping edges with scissors. Then tie them around blooms, and slice dangling ends on the diagonal.
We used cotton ikat C541, various denims, and Liberty of London fabric from B&J Fabrics (bandjfabrics.com), and Marc Jacobs cotton eyelet (moodfabrics.com).
The key to the whimsical collection shown is to mix your media. First, commission this suite’s paper elements from Print Icon (printicon.com). Then add the fabric yourself, using an adhesive laminating machine (such as the Xyron, available at craft stores).
The invitation has Liberty of London “Tana Lawn” fabric (bandjfabrics.com) adhered behind the cut-out initials, and denim covering the back. The envelope is lined with inexpensive paper photocopies of the same glorious print. Likewise, a fabric ampersand was cut and glued to the save-the-date, and a denim strip decorates the reply card.
For the ceremony program, cut fabric into an 8 1/2-by-11-inch rectangle, fold it over a booklet of paper the same size, and staple the spine.
We used Suzanne Rheinstein’s “Ikat De Lin” fabric here and throughout the slide show (617-449-5506) and Paper Presentation 8 1/2-by-11-inch “Classic Crest” cover paper (paperpresentation.com).
Escort Card Display
Help guests find their tables and give them something festive to wear—the bows on these escort cards can be removed and pinned over the strap of a dress or onto the lapel of a suit. To create them, fold 2-by-4 1/4-inch strips of cloth in thirds lengthwise, and knot in the middle. Glue the bows to bar-pin backs (available at craft stores). Let dry, and then stick them through 3 1/2-by-5-inch flat cards with guests’ names written on them.
These were calligraphed by Dana Cochran (afinelinestudio.com).
Bright bunches of sweetpeas, poppies, roses, ranunculus, and astrantia will pop when placed in cloth-covered vases. To make them, attach fabric to plant pots with double-sided adhesive sheets.
We used Kelly Wearstler “Sea Urchin” fabric (617-449-5506), Twin Tak adhesive (leesartshop.com), and Ikea “Mandel” pots (ikea.com).
Then, display them on a circular or rectangular runner. This one is made from Grayline Linen handkerchief linen (graylinelinen.com).
This pom-pom headband, which makes a fun, wiltproof alternative to a floral wreath, entails wrapping fabric around a store-bought band, then tying on a pouf made from strips of the same material. A fabric braid (at right) for a flower girl is just as elementary. Divide hair into three sections; pin a thin length of denim to each one at the roots. Braid each section, using the fabric as one of the three strands. Twist them around her head, pinning them into place.
Denim Ring Pillow
Stitch this striped ring pillow from swaths of folded denim in shades of blue; each layer becomes a shallow pocket that your wedding bands can be tucked into. If you’re not big on sewing, you can purchase the pillow from Erin Emslie (order via firstname.lastname@example.org).
Add a flourish to your flower girl’s clutch with a bouquet wrap made from a strip of denim secured with double-stick tape.
You can personalize your place settings with fabric napkins printed by Spoonflower that display your dinner menu. Upload an image file of your menu to their website; select a fabric, size, and layout; and they’ll send a sheet of cloth ready to be cut (spoonflower.com).
Colorful table numbers can guide guests to their seats. Print them onto card stock, cut out the numbers with a craft knife, and fold the cards to make tents. Glue fabric inside to cover the cutout.
Vera Wang Wedgwood Naturals “Dusk” plates (na.wwrd.com).
Flower Girl Petticoat
Consider adding a little flounce—and addressing any unexpected growth spurt—with a pretty petticoat for your flower girl. Just sew layers of denim and eyelet to a slip or the lining of a store-bought dress. If you’re not a sewer, this is an easy project for a seamstress.
Deck out your little guys—or big groomsmen—with custom bow ties from Tie Crafters; send them a favorite fabric, and they’ll mail back the finished cravats (tiecrafters.com).
Photo Booth Backdrop
Creating a picture booth doesn’t get any easier than this: Drape a few yards of varying fabrics from an overhead pole, and say cheese, Mr. and Mrs.!
He is wearing a Banana Republic chino jacket and trousers (bananarepublic.com) with a J.Crew vintage chambray utility shirt (jcrew.com), a custom tie by Tie Crafters (tiecrafters.com), and a Ray Griffiths Fine Jewelry band (raygriffiths.com). She is wearing an Alberta Ferretti gown (310-652-9000), Kimberly McDonald earrings (mitchellsonline.com), and a Diamond in the Rough “Champagne Bubbles” necklace (diamondintherough.com).
Get Fido into the spirit with a decorative dog collar. Use pinking shears to cut two strips 2 and 2 1/2 inches wide and twice as long as the dog’s neck measurement. Stack fabric and sew loosely down the center; pull on the thread to gather, and tie off. Sew on a snap or Velcro fastener.
The evening wouldn’t be complete without a few thoughtful thank-yous for guests. Good wine is made for giving—and drinking with dear friends. Pick up half bottles of your favorite vintage, apply custom labels, and then wrap them Japanese-style with pieces of denim.
Sweet Take-Home Treats
If you’re starting to think there’s nothing that can’t be adorned with fabric, let's confirm that: Yes, even cookies can showcase your wedding’s color and theme. These baked goods are Eleni’s Edible Image Cookies (elenis.com). Upload a scan of cloth to their website, and they’ll fire up the oven. Package the cookies in clear containers, like these from The Box Depot (theboxdepot.com), and add a bow.
Craft these paper popcorn cones from photocopies of ikat fabric on the back, and cut out. Then roll up, secure with double-stick tape, and fill with something delicious. At the end of the party, guests can grab one to go.
This mouthwatering spread of sweets earns extra points for its awe-inspiring presentation. All of the offerings are laid out on rectangular platforms made from Styrofoam shapes (nycake.com). Each one is wrapped and edged in a coordinating fabric and then topped with an acrylic sheet (available at AIN Plastics, 800-431-2451). The crowning jewel is a buttercream cake encircled with strips of thick linen and set on a stand by Canal Plastics Center (canalplasticscenter.com). The entire confection is topped with a letter cut from fabric and backed with heavy card stock.
From left: Dark Chocolate Cookies, Graham Cracker Sandwich Cookies drizzled with chocolate, Macadamia-Nut Caramel Popcorn, La Maison du Macaron lemon tarts (maisondumacaron.net), and Banana Whoopie Pies.