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25 DIY Wedding Ideas To Help You Save Money On Your Special Day

You’re here because you’re crafty. You already know that one of the best ways to personalise your wedding day and save money is by making and sourcing your own decorations.
We’ve gathered some of our favourite DIY wedding ideas, all of which work perfectly here at Upwaltham Barns.


1. Wedding signage

Guests love wedding signage; it makes them feel welcome and tells them more about your day. Wooden pallets make brilliant wedding signs and you can often pick pallets up for free at garden centres. Then all you need is some paint. You can find lots of wedding signage ideas here.

2. Paper lanterns

Ceiling decor is one of our favourite ways to add wow factor to a space, and paper lanterns are one of the most cost-effective yet impactful ways to incorporate your colour scheme in the space. There are plenty of colours and styles available online from Amazon or Etsy.

3. Jam jars

There are so many ways to recycle jars so start collecting right now! Tie ribbons around them, paint them, dip them in glitter or wrap them in pretty papers or fabrics. Then simply fill them with flowers or tea lights and dot them around the venue.

4. Table plans

This is an area where you can get really creative. Fill empty spirit bottles with string lights, peg tags across old suitcases or crates, use a world map for a travel-themed plan, write table details on an old mirror or find a way of including your hobbies. You can find more table plan wedding ideas here.

5. Confetti cones

The ‘confetti shot’ is an absolute wedding must-have, and making your own confetti cones for guests is quick and simple. Choose your paper, cut it into squares, roll the cone, and hold it securely with double-sided tape. Fill with confetti, and you’re done! Why not make your own dried petal confetti, too? Take a look at our guide on how to make your own natural confetti here.

6. Wedding favours

These are another great DIY wedding detail, and the only limit is your imagination. Fill envelopes with seeds, make your own jam, infuse olive oil or even make your own bespoke wedding candle complete with a signature scent.

7. Backdrops and garlands

If you want to create decorations that can make an impact, think about crafting your own backdrops and garlands. Tassel garlands are great as they’re made from tissue paper and are easy to make or, if you want a challenge, how about making hundreds of paper cranes and suspending them en-masse around the venue?

8. Place cards

Again, there are so many ideas for making your own place cards, so you just need to decide what will work with your theme and how much time you have. Simple tags with handwritten details are a classic choice, or you could craft place cards that combine with menus or favours. Take a look on Pinterest and you’ll find lots of inspiration.

9. Source your own props

Again, there are so many ideas for making your own place cards, so you just need to decide what will work with your theme and how much time you have. Simple Get creative with ways in which to upcycle your own props. A small dresser can be distressed with paint to create a beautiful antique-feel cake table. An old ladder can be whitewashed or stained, used as a decorative feature, and filled with photographs and theme-based decor. Recycled clocks could be repurposed to create an innovative order of the day sign. It’s time to get creative.

10. Children’s activities

If you’re having children at your wedding, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of an activity station. A simple table setup with colouring, playdough or other craft activities will stop children from getting bored and keep them entertained during the all-important speeches and beyond. Small tents, boxes of toy cars and classic games are all simple DIY wins. Hook a duck and giant lawn games are also fun options for outside receptions, and we guarantee you’ll find the grown ups hanging around them too.

11. Photo Booth

A must-have at most weddings, a photo booth doesn’t have to be hefty or hired. A simple, empty hanging picture frame will invite all manner of fun photographs. Set up a small table close by with Polaroid cameras or include a wedding hashtag to ensure you can find everyone’s wedding snaps after the big day.

12. Guest book alternatives

There are plenty of unique ways to invite guests to leave messages. We love this bucket list idea, which is incredibly easy to replicate. Just source a bucket, some note paper, and a pen, construct DIY signage and watch as guests share fun and hilarious suggestions throughout the wedding day and night.

13. Create a Comfort Station

This is the perfect way to ensure your guests feel considered and have everything they need to enjoy the day fully. Gather a few things like umbrellas, blankets, flip flops or fans and then display them using crates, boxes and baskets for a visual treat.

14. Personalised Lawn Games

Lawn games are a guaranteed hit for outdoor cocktail receptions. Take a look at Etsy for a range of different styles, and why not go the extra mile and personalise your games by painting a Jenga set in your wedding colours or stencilling a Mr & Mrs on a cornhole setup.

15. Repurpose Spirit Bottles

Put empty spirit bottles to good use and consider using them as table numbers, opting to either paint numbers on each one or create a small paper sign which can be hung around each bottle neck.

16. Place card holders

There are lots of great ways to DIY your place card holders using a variety of materials. Origami holders add a colourful yet delicate touch to tables. Collect pine cones or seashells, rocks or stones. And if all this crafting is thirsty work, try making your own place card holders from corks by cutting into them horizontally and tucking place names in the gap.

17. Get foraging

Adding a sprig of foliage or a seasonal, plentiful flower such as lavender to place settings is an effective way to add colour and texture to your wedding tables. Use what is available to you in your garden or the surrounding countryside. Remember to test out how different foliages respond to being out of water. Lavender dries beautifully and grows locally, so it is a great choice.

18. Use photo frames

Mixed photo frames are a great way to ensure your personalised signage looks professional and fits your chosen wedding scheme. Collect mismatched frames sourced from charity shops or online, and choose colours and styles you’d like to use afterwards in your home.

19. Fruit is your friend

A low-cost, easily sourced and effective table decor secret is to use fruit around the base of candles, in table centres or around centrepieces to maximise the use of key colours at your wedding table. It adds fullness to tables and feels considered.

20. Source coloured candles

Coloured taper candles are a relatively inexpensive way to add a touch of luxury and a splash of colour to your wedding tables. Source them yourselves; just ensure they’re enclosed in glass cylinders and are non-drip!

21. Use potted plants

A sustainable and environmentally friendly decor idea is to use potted plants as well as or instead of wedding flowers. Decorate table centres with potted herbs for a rustic, farmhouse feel. Use plants to line your wedding aisle or as stairway decoration for a cost-effective yet impactful way to add texture and colour and invite nature in.

22. Customise labels

For the detail-obsessed couples, why not consider printing customised labels for your wine or water bottles for an air of high-end luxury? There are plenty of inexpensive, easy-to-use websites online that allow you to achieve the bespoke look you’re after.

23. Incorporate heirlooms

Honour those who can’t be there on your wedding day and celebrate those who have passed down special keepsakes by incorporating them into your day. Wear inherited jewellery or use lace from your grandmother’s wedding dress as a trailing ribbon for your bouquet to ensure your day feels personal and meaningful.

24. Lantern centrepieces

Create your own non-floral centrepieces by painting lanterns in your wedding colours and attaching personal photos to the inside for unique table centres that are guaranteed to have guests chatting, laughing and reminiscing.

25. Pom poms

For incredibly effective ceiling decor that is ridiculously inexpensive, consider paper pom poms. Purchase online and nominate friends or family to come over and help you fluff them over a bottle of wine! Pom poms can be suspended from ceiling beams or used to frame card and gift tables.

DIY wedding tips

If you’re going to make your own decorations and details, here are our top tips to make the creative process as enjoyable as possible:

1. Be realistic about your crafting skills when you’re browsing on Pinterest. Don’t over-commit yourself to making absolutely everything and if you’re not sure, stick to one or two simple projects.

2. Give yourself plenty of time. Making things can often take longer than you imagine, and you don’t want to be staying up late the week before your wedding.

3. Price up your projects to be sure that you’re saving yourself money. Any DIY that needs lots of equipment is likely to be more expensive than you think. Research costs and suppliers online before committing to a DIY wedding project.

4. Consider storage. Where will you keep everything once you’ve made it and how will you store it so that it doesn’t get damaged before the big day?

5. Have fun making your wedding details. Turn craft sessions into fun times and don’t let the process become a chore. Gather your friends and family, put on a great movie or your favourite box-set, get some snacks and enjoy yourself!

For more brilliant wedding ideas, take a look at these traditional and simple wedding ideas that are perfect for a barn wedding.

Upwaltham Barns

The heart of the South Downs

Want to know more about weddings at Upwaltham Barns? You can check our available dates, view our gallery or book a visit by using the links below.