Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Wedding Countdown Craft

My best friend is getting married next summer, and since I am to be her matron of honor (yay!), I feel like I need to go somewhat...above and beyond to help her out with the preparations. I was thinking about how it must be tough for her to wait so long for this much-longed-for day to arrive, and that it would be nice if she had something to help her count down the days. Something that could serve as tangible proof that the day was, in fact, slowly getting closer.

I know lots of engaged ladies have an ongoing "wedding countdown" of some sort. So I decided I should make her something cute and crafty to help her count down the days. I was hoping for something where she would have to either cross off, or remove some object each day. Figuring there would be a treasure trove of ideas online, I Googled "wedding countdown." Every single hit was just some sort of stupid electronic countdown application! I searched again with "wedding countdown craft." There were only two ideas, and both were too simple, and just not what I was looking for.

So, for almost the first time ever, I actually conceived of a craft idea by myself! And - with some assistance from my gracious husband - managed to pull it off!

Wedding Day Countdown Butterfly Mobile

Butterfly paper punch
Card stock (pink, orange, purple, white, and brown)
Bronze-colored marker
Craft Glue
Large embroidery hoop
2 spools of thin white ribbon
Glitter (purple and white)

I chose three colors that I know she likes. The pink/orange/purple for the fronts of the butterflies, and white paper for the backs. Also, brown and white to write the name of each month.

This punch was expensive ($10), but worked very well. And I'm sure I can find more uses for it in the future.

Cutting the paper into strips first, and then staggering the shapes helped a lot.

Punched butterflies waiting in bowls.

I wrote out the names of all twelve months on white paper, mounted on the brown. I also made plain brown rectangles of the same size for the backs (so I could sandwich the ribbon between).

I glued the butterflies on, sandwiching the ribbon between a colored one and a white one. I used each color of butterfly for four months of the twelve months. After the strand had the appropriate number of butterflies to indicate the number of days in that month (29, 30, or 31), I glued on the month's name at the top.

I wrote the day of the month ("1", "2", etc.) on the colored fronts of the butterflies, and the number of total days left until the wedding ("365", "364", etc.) on the white backs. I didn't want the two numbering sequences to be confusing, which is why I used different colors for front and back.

Here you can see the top of my "March" strand, where the dates are listed on the colored side. Each strand started with the 1st of the month at the bottom. The intent is that she will cut off one butterfly each day.

And here's the back of another strand, counting down the TOTAL days left until the wedding.

After I made twelve strands (representing 366 days in all, since next year is a leap year), they were hung down around the embroidery hoop. (We glued the ribbons to the inner part of the hoop, and then glued the outer hoop over the entire thing.)

Tom gets all the credit for the meticulous assembly of this! For both the "tent" of ribbons above (which led to a hook for hanging), as well as for positioning all twelve months around the hoop.

After it was all glued in place, I decorated the bare spots of the hoop with "special" white butterflies with dots of purple glitter on their wings.

I also created a special middle section. Since her wedding is on the 9th of the month, I needed an additional short strand to represent those last 9 days. On these butterflies, instead of the date on one side, and the number of days remaining on the back, I just wrote "9 days left", "8 days left", etc. And then I created a big fancy WEDDING DAY butterfly for the end (not pictured: their names and the wedding date are written on the back).

A close-up of the fancy Wedding Day butterfly. After all the work I did, it's kind of a shame that she'll just be slowly cutting this mobile to pieces all year! But I figure she can at least keep the big butterfly as a memento, converting it into a Christmas ornament or something.

The completed project!


  1. That's so cool!! What a great idea, and it turned out beautifully!

    I kept thinking about making a paper chain for our wedding, but it never happened... I suppose I could start one now for 27 days lol

  2. Christine this is so cool! Last week I forced Keith to help me make a construction paper chain to count down, but this has it WAY beat. :)