Let me enlighten you

Because our centrepieces are fairly basic, E and I thought it would be a good idea to add a little more zing in the form of table numbers.  Instead of the usual white square with numbering and a metal stand, we opted for some awesome glowing numbers.

Thank goodness for all the crafty and creative DIY brides out there.  You’ve saved my uncreative ass many a time!

E has told me that I need to stop leaking all of our secrets before the wedding, but I’m going to post a sneak peek at our numbers anyways.  Take that, E.

Step 1: Buy some heavier paper.  I bought my pattern from Michaels.  It was 12″ x 12″, and I just cut each sheet in half, but I found that the standard 8.5″x11″ paper works, too.  You just end up with a 4.25″ tall number instead of a 6″ number.

Step 2: Open MS Word.  Pick a font that tickles your fancy. Make it nice and big (I used Edwardian Script, bold, 300pt font!) Print it out. For any numbers that are a closed loop, draw an end to them, or else you’ll end up with a hole in the shape of hollowed-out 8.

Step 3: Start cutting the numbers. The original creator of this method suggested cutting out the outlines of the numbers so you’d end up with a stencil, but I actually found it easier to trace the numbers rather than the outline. Regular paper is a little flimsy, so once I started cutting the numbers out on the heavier paper, I kept those thicker cutouts as tracers instead.

Step 4: Take a very Asian-looking dinner break.  (Thanks, E!)

Step 5: Mark off about half an inch at the end of your paper.  Then fold the paper in half, ignoring the marked off strip, and fold it in half again.

Step 6: Trace the numbers on the cardstock that you cut in half at the beginning.  You did remember to cut it in half, right?  I did it lazy and eyeballed the numbers into the centre of the panel.  If you’re afraid of pencil marks, do it on the other side of the paper.  Just make sure that you put the number on backwards.  If you want this to show up from both sides, then do it on the opposite panel as well.

Step 7: Take a sharp exacto knife and start tracing.  A SHARP one. I can’t stress enough the importance of using a sharp tool.  There are a lot of intricate turns that require nimble cutting, and using a dull blade will result in shredded raggedy edges.  You wouldn’t cut your hair with safety scissors, right?!  I don’t have a fancy cutting mat like all the other artists out there, so I just used a stack of scrap paper.  Flattened cereal boxes work well too.  Anything that will protect your glass table from getting scuffed.

Step 8: Take some glue, rub it along the half-inch edge that you marked off in Step 5 and attach it to the other end of paper.  You will end up with a hollow rectangle that a tealight candle will now fit perfectly in.  Light that candle, plop the paper over it, and marvel at your illuminating work.

Disclaimer! some venues may not allow these numbers because of the fire hazard.  I did try experimenting the different ways the paper could fall over and none of it ever touched the flame.  Nevertheless, check with your venue.  We’re going to buy some basic tealight holders that are pretty tall. We haven’t gotten the go-ahead yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

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