When meeting with a new client, I ask the individual to bring along inspirational pieces. This could be in the form of a photograph, blog entry, piece of material, lipstick- anything that gets their creative mind flowing. More frequently than not, the client has pages of magazine cut outs from Martha Stewart Weddings and Martha Stewart Living. I too continually find inspiration from my favorite crafter Martha; however, I must admit that some of the featured DIY projects turn into DIWH- Do It With Help! Not to mention all of the custom made cuteness turns into a laborious task when you are creating massive amounts to appease your guest list. As a designer this is the part of my job that I LOVE, but for the working bride, host, or hostess- it is just not feasible.
Don't throw away those inspirational pages just yet... there is a way to meet in the middle, with something I call Smart Designing. For lack of a Webster's definition- Smart Designing:[verb] finding a reasonable shortcut when creating a custom piece.
An event can still feel custom by tailoring an existing item with a personalized touch. To better explain my point, I have found darling inspirational photos and the "shortcuts" to help eliminate some of the design time. The best part of it all- I found the shortcuts at the Dollar Tree.
Customize these birthday pennant flags by printing the name of the birthday boy or girl on card stock and then cutting the letters into circles before applying to the flag (one letter per pennant). Various craft stores sell Circle Cutters that can produce 1"- 8" perfect circles every time you cut!
source Martha Stewart.com
These darling award ribbons can be mimicked by adhering a custom message to the center of the pre-made ribbon (covering whatever message or image may have perviously been there). Card stock and a Circle Cutter are good materials to utilize for this project.
source Animal Head Vintage
Bubbles are a great way to entertain children and adults alike. All that is needed to replicate these party perfect bubbles is a custom label made by you.
source Living Locurto
So next time you come across a DIY project that seems too time consuming, check out your local discount store to see if you can find a short cut- making you the latest crafter Smart Designing.