Traverse City Engagement Session + DIY Banner by Hey Gorgeous Events + Jenna McKenzie Photography
December 16, 2011
DIY InspiredVintage

Oh my goodness, SMPers, do we have a treat for you this lovely Friday morning.  Yes, a double dose of pretty is coming your way, all courtesy of the talented team of Hey Gorgeous Events and Jenna McKenzie Photography.  Not only have these lovely ladies graced us with a swoon-worthy engagement session guaranteed to send your hearts into overdrive, but they have gifted us with an uber-fabulous DIY tutorial, as well!  I know... awesome.  So, find yourselves a comfy place, because you'll want to take in every last ounce of sweetness from this adorable bride and groom-to-be (Seriously... how cute are they?!?) and then get your craft on with the lovely banner below!  SO fun.  Click here for more.





Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

Oh, we're not done with the cuteness just yet.  As promised, a darling DIY tutorial from the fabulous duo of Hey Gorgeous Events and Jenna McKenzie Photography.  Not only is this banner SO very adorable and a blast to create, but it works for ANY occasion.  Just in time for the holidays!  So, have fun... and enjoy!




Click here to see the entire gallery of images!


Wooden characters of choosing
Ribbon, lace, twine - anything to hang your characters from
A hot glue gun and glue sticks
Acryllic paint
A paint brush
Cardboard or an old sheet to cover your painting surface

1. Decide what you want to spell out and find all of your characters.  I checked out Michaels, Hobby Lobby and then Joanne's Fabrics before I found the font style I liked best. I think the letters and numbers individually were $2.99 each. Spread out all of your characters on a covered surface.

2. Remove all of the price tags and stickers on the wood pieces and paint away! I used a soft gray acrylic paint and the same old paint brush I used over here for this project. I used two little bottles of the paint for all of the letters and numbers and that seemed to be more than enough paint to get me through the project. I only painted the sides and fronts of the characters and once the pieces dried, I went back and added a second coat to areas where the wood seemed to peak through.

3. Flip over and lay down all of your dried characters in the order that they will sit/hang on your banner (be careful that your numbers aren't backwards!) Find the middle character (ours was the '9') and measure out your ribbon or lace or whatever you will be using to hang the banner from that point out. We started with just one skinny piece of ribbon fastened to the '9' but quickly found that because of the weight of the wood characters we would need a little more of something for the sign to hang in a photographic way. So we quadrupled up on ribbon strands because we're serious like that.

4. I found it easiest to put a ton of hot glue on the top back of each letter then to place the ribbon over top. Then I repeated this process over and over with each piece of precut ribbon, making sure to go back and put little dabs of hot glue in between where the ribbon may have not been adhered to the wood. It really looks like we used a ton of ribbon but you'd be surprised how heavy all of those letters were! We used two spare pieces of ribbon to anchor down the ribbon on the back of the '9' too. This was helpful!

5. For the ends of all of the pieces of ribbon, I clamped them together with a clothespeg and then tied, knotted and made a bow around all of the pieces to fasten them together. I wanted to make sure Grace and Ryan had a place on the banner to hold the sign by and the little bows seemed like a good marker. However, and this is important, do not tie your ends together until you have glued all of your characters to your ribbon and lace! I did this and ended up having to untie the ends because the ribbon had big bunches in it and wasn't sitting properly on the characters. Tying your ends together should be the last step you make before cutting off the edges to make both ends equal!

From Hey Gorgeous Events... Jenna of Jenna McKenzie Photography and I, recently teamed up together to offer styled engagement sessions to both of our clientele; appropriately dubbed "Love Stories."  It's our hope that these shoots will allow our clients to feel like their love is represented in only the most personalized and unique way. So we were both so thrilled when one of Jenna's sweet couples, Grace and Ryan, shared their interest and excitement in being a part of our endeavors. Soaking up the last little bit of Michigan's Indian summer temperatures, we headed up to Port Oneida near Traverse City, Michigan which holds a special place in the soon to be newlyweds hearts. Not only do the two enjoy spending time up in Northern Michigan being outdoors and staying active, but it marks the spot where Ryan proposed to Grace.

Between snacking on their favorite flavors of cookies (peanut butter and chocolate chip) and flipping through Grace's magazine of choice, the two enjoyed a mini picnic near one of Grace's favorite barns. Making sure not to miss the dreamy light that completely saturates the Sleeping Bear Dunes right before sunset (Considered the most beautiful place in America on Good Morning America!) we headed down to the beach to play a little of frisbee, one of Ryan's favorite games. And of course the shoot wasn't complete without a few airplane rides for Grace; one of the things she loves most about being silly with her fiance. If their engagement session was any indication of their upcoming wedding, I'm confident their big day will be nothing short of amazing.

Styling, Floral Design + Coordination: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Jenna McKenzie Photography / Floral Design: Hey Gorgeous Events / Wholesale Florals: J's Fresh Flower Mart / Cookies: Cookies by Design / Location: Traverse City, Michigan / Ribbon, Lae, Paint + Wood Letters: Joann / Silver Frame + Picnic Basket: Vintage