A June wedding… isn’t this the dream? Recently we were invited to a wedding and what started as “just” making a custom wedding book, ended up being a whole wedding stationery project. The bride and groom are very close (family actually!), so of course I had extra motivation for making this project a very special present, that shows them how much we care about them and how happy we were to be part of their lovely wedding day.
The bride and groom love the colour green and nature. As a matter of fact, all the wedding decoration was about eucalyptus. With this in mind, I started brainstorming and looking around on Pinterest for inspiration. After scrolling for hours, I decided I would try something with natural dyes and fabric. But unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to get a nice eucalyptus print on fabric. So, after this setback, I came back to my roots… Marbling!
The wedding couple wished for something minimalist and at first, I was afraid my marbling papers would be “too much” for them. But I found a way of creating a unique marbling design on paper: minimalist, elegant and nature-inspired. Here is how this eucalyptus inspired wedding stationery was created – plus a few extra ideas on how you can use hand-marbled paper for your wedding or any other event in your life!
In my last blog post, I told you about colour palettes, where to find inspiration and how to create your own inspiration mood boards. As explained above, I already knew that the wedding couple wanted something in the colour green and eucalyptus inspired. But green isn’t just green. So, I had to mix different Deka Marble paints until I got three shades of green that matched my inspiration mood board.
My inspiration mood board consisted of some dry eucalyptus, Hahnemühle Ingres paper in dark and soft green, golden brushes of acrylic paint on paper, and the packaging of handmade soap I got during my last vacation on Madeira. Soap packaging as inspiration for your mood board? Why not?!
With this colour palette, I started playing around and marbling some sheets of paper. Usually, I marble at least five sheets of paper before I pick one for making the covers of the book. Since the wedding couple wanted something minimalist, I went for my favourite Suminagashi inspired marbling pattern. The highlight of this unique marbled paper design? The brushstrokes of golden acrylic paint.
Hand-marbled paper can be so beautiful, that it can stand alone and still look astonishing. But normally, we want to transform that hand-marbled paper into a gorgeous (paper) object. In most cases, I use my hand-marbled papers for binding Japanese books and photo albums. Until the book is ready, there are just pieces of paper and cardboard laying around. Making a Japanese book is a labour of love, especially when it comes to bigger formats like the one I made for this wedding. But every minute spent was worth it. Let me show you step-by-step how this custom marbling wedding book was made.
On my craft table: my favourite bookbinding tools, a Teflon paper folder and a punching tool or bookbinding awl. These tools are available in the Indigo Shop. As you can see, I only recommend the exact same tools I use myself for my own bookbinding works.
On my craft table: hand-marbled papers, Ingres paper, cardboard, and photo card stock.
In the beginning, there are just papers and tools laying around. When it comes to fine custom projects like wedding books, I work with the best tools and materials I can find. Every book project starts with the paper selection. Most of the times, I work with Hahnemühle papers, which are high-quality papers, acid-free and age resistant. Those fine papers deserve the best tools, and there is nothing like a quality Teflon paper folder. Using this tool prevents undesired marks on the paper while you fold it or crease lines.
Love and care for the details: from the inner pages to the endpapers and covers… Each material is specially selected to be part of a whole.
Once the papers have been selected and cut to size, I start making the covers. From a piece of cardboard, linen cloth and hand-marbled paper to a beautiful and yet sturdy cover. I could use just marbled paper for binding the covers, but I prefer to add a stripe of linen cloth to the spine of the book. It looks more elegant and it provides the book with more stability. Plus, the spine will last longer without damages. This is the part where the book opens – and if it did not have the linen cloth, the paper might eventually break with time.
A labour of love: making a custom Japanese wedding book isn’t a 5-minute craft. But each minute worked on it is totally worth it. A piece of slow-made handcraft, waiting to keep your best memories for life!
Japanese binding isn’t as popular as other types of bookbinding. It has to do with the fact that Japanese bound books don’t open flat, and therefore they offer less flexibility. Yet I find this type of binding quite suitable for special occasion books like wedding guest books and photo albums. The binding is elegant, minimalist and out of the ordinary. And isn’t exactly that what we want, when it comes to a wedding? A one-of-a-kind event to remember forever.
As I mentioned above, I use to marble at least five sheets of paper before I can decide on one for making the covers of the book. What to do with the rest of the papers? It isn’t like they are not good enough for creating something beautiful out of them. That’s where this custom wedding book project turned into a whole wedding stationery project. I started figuring out different ways of using the same hand-marbled paper for making other wedding-related stuff, like gifts for guests, wedding decoration and more.
My favourite wedding paper project is this lovely confetti cone. It’s easy-peasy and quickly done. You just have to roll a piece of paper in the shape of an ice-cream cone and glue the end of the paper. I used a piece of ribbon to decorate it and filled it with dry eucalyptus and lavender. This hand-marbled confetti cone could be used as alternative and eco-friendly confetti for welcoming the wedding couple when they arrive at the wedding venue. But this confetti cone works as a wedding guest gift, too. I certainly would love to go home with a bunch of dry lavender and eucalyptus! Your wedding guests can use the lavender and eucalyptus for brewing tea, decorating their home or even jazz up a bubble bad.
Handcrafted wedding guest gifts: take a piece of hand-marbled paper, roll it in a cone shape and fill it with your favourite dry flowers!
I haven’t been to many weddings outside of Germany, so I’m not sure if this is a tradition in other countries, too. Here in Germany, it is very common to give money as a wedding gift. But handing an envelope with some money in it won’t cut it. You have to make it pretty. In fact, you have to fold the banknotes in the most creative ways. Once I folded the banknotes into fortune cookies. This time I wanted to give something other than just money, and since the bride is a crazy plant lady, it had to be something green!
I got a eucalyptus plant and folded some butterflies out of banknotes, as well as hand-marbled and coloured paper. I found it quite difficult to fold the banknotes, and I wasn’t sure whether they would survive so many folds… so I folded the most difficult parts out of marbled paper rests and coloured paper. There are hundreds of tutorials on Pinterest showing you how to fold paper or banknotes in the most different ways, from hearts to butterflies, cats and more.
Wedding presents can be eco-friendly, too. Especially if the wedding couple is a plant lover, you can’t do anything wrong by giving a plant. This symbolizes the start of a new life as a couple, and wouldn’t it be nice to see the plant grow, just as you grow as a married couple?
It was time to pack and head over to the wedding location, so I had no time left for making some extra wedding stationery and taking more pictures. But believe me, there are so many wonderful things you can do, too! All you need is beautiful hand-marbled paper in your favourite colours, scissors, glue, ribbon and voilà. There are tons of inspiration on Pinterest, I even created a wedding inspiration board: you can check it here.
If you are planning your wedding and you want to stand out of the crowd with a unique stationery concept, feel free to contact me for a quotation or check my custom hand-marbled papers and personalized wedding books. I would love to create something unique and gorgeous for your very special day!
Your crafty fellow,