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Saturday, July 21, 2007

DIY Aisle Runner

I am a true DIY (do-it-yourself!) bride! I just completed my first project today. I decided to do a monogrammed aisle runner for the church.

I went to Joann Fabrics last week and bought my runner with a 40% off coupon (so it was only $19!). Then I went to Michael's on Thursday and picked up a bottle of aqua acrylic paint, a bottle of black acrylic paint, and a pack of all sizes and shapes of paint brushes (total $4--I used a 40% off coupon for the pack of brushes).
I designed our monogram in Microsoft Publisher. I was able to enlarge it to be three feet wide by about two feet tall. I then printed it using my regular home inkjet printer and then taped all of the sheets together. The monogram looked a little bit pixelated (blurry) from being blown up so much, but it was still usable since all I was doing was tracing it.

Here are step by step instructions, with photos (thanks to Michael!):
1. Figure out where on the aisle runner you want to paint the monogram. Our aisle runner is 100 ft, with a 100-ft. aisle. We decided to put the monogram about 10-12 feet from the end of the runner so that it will be situated at the back of the church.
2. Lay out the enlarged monogram on a table or floor, and tape down so it will not move. Lay the aisle runner over the monogram and line it up until you like its position. Tape the aisle runner down to the table/floor so it also doesn't move.
This is me lining up the runner with the edge of the paper.

3. Then, trace the design with a mechanical pencil. I went back and forth over it a couple of times so that it would be dark enough to see really well when I was painting. However, if you're using lighter color paints, I suggest doing it as lightly as possible (while still being able to see it, of course!) because the lighter colors won't cover the pencil marks as well.

Tracing away!


4. After you finish tracing, remove the tape from everything. You're now done with your print-out of the monogram.
This is my dog, Tessa, watching me. She's thinking "Come on, it's late, isn't it time for bed?"
5. Now, tape wax paper to the table/floor before repositioning your aisle runner to paint it. This will prevent paint from bleeding through onto your surface. I've heard some people have made the mistake of putting paper underneath--paint soaks through and gets the paper wet, and it ends up sticking to the back of the runner! Definitely use the wax paper.
Making good use of the wax paper and taping it down to the table.

6. Reposition the aisle runner over the wax paper and tape it down again so it doesn't move on you.
It's difficult to see in the photo, but this is my runner with my pencil tracings done, and wax paper underneath.

7. Start painting! I would suggest working on the lighter colors first, and also suggest working from the middle to the outside. I started in the middle of my "K" and worked my way out toward the edges. I used a variety of different brushes that had different sizes. And I was just patient--I took my time. If you smudge a little outside of the lines, it's OK--you can modify the letter a little bit by "smoothing it out" and making it look like the letter is supposed to do that! But there's really no room for errors like dropping wet paint brushes or smearing the paint with your hands!

Painting the "K" with our aqua color.



8. Allow your first color to dry before moving on to the next. I let the aqua K dry for a good 3-4 hours before beginning work on the black lettering.

The finished "K"!

9. Paint in the rest of your lettering, again working inside out.
Putting the finishing touches on our date!


10. Allow the whole thing to dry, and you're finished! Then roll it back up onto the roll and store in a garbage bag or somewhere else for safe keeping until the wedding.

Our finished monogram aisle runner.

I think it turned out great, and it's a cheap "decoration" for the church. One of those little details that guests will notice.

44 comments:

S said...

That looks great! Would you care to share what font you used? I'm in the process now of designing our monogram. Oh, and we have that same couch!

yetta said...

this aisle runner is absolutely gorgous! I am so inspired that I am going to try and do my own!

Anonymous said...

i wanted to ask you what size you made the font so that it would fit on all pages? if that makes sense.

Heather said...

I designed the monogram itself on a normal size file... like 6" by 6", I think it was. I saved it as a JPEG. Then, I opened a separate Publisher file, and did "insert photo" and selected my completed monogram. Then I just stretched it (or enlarged it) until it filled up the 36" x 36" page. Make sense?

Anonymous said...

Awesome instructions and details on creating an aisle runner. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That looks awesome! Thank you sooo much for posting this up. What a wonderful help! One question, could you share where you found that font? Its beautiful! Thanks in advance:)

Heather said...

All fonts that I used were either already on my computer, or downloaded off www.dafont.com. Hope that helps.

Zipster said...

This looks great!!! Congrats.

What material did you use for the runner itself??

Anonymous said...

your isle runner is beautiful!! where did you find the runner itself?

Anonymous said...

Your runner is absolutely beautiful!! I plan to do one myself. I was just wondering.... since our church has carpet. Is there a certain type of runner I should buy to ensure that we don't poke holes in it when we walk on it?? Thanks in advance, and thanks for sharing your ideas :o)

ashley said...

I love it what program did u create it in and how did u print it? what size? i had someone make me one and i cant print it in large print

Linda's Journal said...

Very impressed by your designs! This may help you...and other brave souls: Instead of thin, narrow wax paper - I find FREEZER PAPER so much better. It is white, WIDE and coated.
**Also...a theme-color painted wood dowel (local home center will cut to size)and wooden Finals on each end - pulled with braided rope & tassel (fabric store products)will make a custom product.
Offer both to clients and mention they can use the dowel to create a wall hanging of the keepsake!



Congratulations on your upcoming marriage...

SJB Weddings & Events said...

Wow! I am so impressed! It came out wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

I am not getting married but I am very impressed! You did a wonderful job on your runner. It looks like you bought it from a professional. Very well done.

Anonymous said...

GREAT JOB! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hey... your aisle runners are amazing. Any chance you can do one for me? Please email me at jenberg_@hotmail.com
Thanks a million!

Anonymous said...

I love you, haha. I want your wedding... I'm young, only 20 but my Boyfriend and I plan on getting engaged next year and married once he is out of Med school... : )

I've always wanted a blue wedding like yours. I plan on doing the same aisle and candle... and I've already created my own monogram.

Can I have a blue, black, and white wedding in summer?

Mainly blue of course...

Heather said...

Hello Anonymous--

Thanks for the compliments on everything; I am flattered.

Honestly, I caution you against doing too much planning so far in advance of actually getting engaged. Your taste could change tremendously. In my head, I always thought I'd want a red wedding. Well, when we got engaged and I actually started doing shopping and looking around, I decided to go with the aqua instead. I've also changed my mind about things just in the last 10 months of planning.

You should really try to enjoy life without wedding planning. Be patient. You are young. When it happens, it'll happen. And you will have plenty of time to be going over wedding ideas and planning everything at that point.

As for the colors you asked about... I'm not a wedding stylist by any means, so I'm actually not even sure why you are asking me! :) But we are doing aqua and black, and we are using hot pinks and oranges as accents (mainly just in the flowers).

Good luck with everything. Enjoy dating! Your engagement, wedding planning, and marriage are still some time off... no need to get all worked up about it now. :)

Alexis said...

Just wanted you to know, I stumbled upon your website and found the aisle runner and card box (both of which I instantly fell in love with). I followed your instructions to the letter and EVERYTHING turned out perfectly. I got so many complements, and no one at our wedding had seen a card box like that before. It was beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your talents. God bless you and your union!

Anonymous said...

As a photographer I just love to read everything that brides write about. Love your aisle runner, but as a photographer I would like to see this appear at the top of the aisle about 5 feet behind the bride and groom. This way it would appear in all of images taken during the ceremony.

FYI I have also seen quite a few canvas runners with flowers painted at the edge on both sides of the runner.

I know that canvas runners are more, but the effect is worth the additional cost.

Anonymous said...

Jenna,

I am so proud of you! Even though we have never met, I think you are a creative artist whose works shines. Thank you for sharing your wedding beauty with us.

Jenny said...

That is really beautiful! I've been wanting to make my own, but didn't know how...until now! Could you share what font you used? I really like your monogram.

Anonymous said...

this looks absolutely amazing!! thank you for posting the specific directions for other brides. you made it all look so easy!

Anonymous said...

Kesha
I am VERY VERY inspired. I am definitely going to try it on an Ivory runner. Thanks so much for details. And Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i saw your isle runner and just love it! can you make mine for june??? please email me if you could. TIA! Muddy4wheels@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

HI, you did such a beautiful job on your aisle runner!! It looks exactly like the expensive, professional ones. Would you be able to do mine for a July 09 wedding? Please email me at jodipifko@hotmail.com. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather, just thought to drop a note to say thanks for posting the Aisle runner instruction. I just created mine...it turned out realy beautiful. thanks for sharing. god bless.

T

Gail said...

I am trying this project. I followed your tutorial but when it comes to printing it - it only prints on one sheet with the large font. How did you print it on multiple pages to tape it together? ...am I even making sense? *Shrugs* Please help!

Anonymous said...

Go to Kinkos with your runner template (usually works better if you email them an Adobe document) and tell them dimensions that you want it printed to. It costs only about $5 and the quality and time spent is better, plus you don't have to match up and tape single sheets together.

Anonymous said...

Please please please tell us what fonts you used :) I can't find it on dafont.

Jaime said...

The font use is "Vilvaldi"

Heather Chapman said...

The weirdest part is that my name is Heather, my fiance's name is Michael, we're adopting a dachshund, and I stumbled on this exact page looking to make my own runner. o_o

Ciara said...

Thank you for the inspiration! I just did my own aisle runner for my wedding in August. It came out AMAZING! And I saved so much money. Thanks for the tips;)

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and just knew I had to do my runner like yours! Thanks for the idea! Yours looked amazing! I am not very crafty so I doubt mine will look as good. By the way...we have that same table and chairs(antiques now!)

Jacqueline said...

I love this! I am so inspired! I'm usually not very creative, but I have always wanted to make my own wedding accessories. Also my fiance and I are on a very tight budget, so this should help. Can you plese tell me approximately how much this cost to make?

Kristina said...

I went to Joann's last week, my fiance and I spent about 45 min. to find the perfect fabric and we went to check out and they told us they only sell the fabric in 9 yd sections. Is there a specific section that sells it in longer sections? It was so disappointing!

Anonymous said...

OMG I just love what you did with your aisle runner. You did such an amazing job. I am actually getting married in August and are wedding colors are Aqua/Tiffany too! Im not just trying to figure out if I can do this myself-even though I am not very artsy. Could you give me the exact font lettering that you used and what kind of brushes I should get? Better yet, are you in a business where you make these for brides? I look forward to hearing back from you! Thanks so much for the idea. email- hdecarolis08@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful Aisle Runner, it looks like a professional did it. Congrats.

For the girls that are interested in the font, it is NOT Vivaldi, the name of that specific font is "Mutlu"

I am doing mine with Renaissance font, I like it better :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, the "K" is Mutulu font and the rest is Vivaldi font.

LittleMissDreamer said...

I just stumbled across your blog from Weddingbook and there are so many great ideas on it! The aisle runner is beautiful!! I don't think I'm crafty enough to do this myself. Do you make these for brides? If so, leave a message on my blog. My wedding is in August and I'd love to have this:)

Nicole-Lynn said...

Just found your blog and love all of your DIY projects. This runner turned out fantastic! Great job! Thank you for the step by step!

Danielle said...

I'm trying to do our monogram on our aisle runner too, but I have a couple of questions. From your pictures, it looks like you put the monogram at the end of the aisle runner. I'm trying to figure this out because if I put it at the end, don't they typically place the runner at the front of the church and roll it back? How did this work for you? Did you have to unroll the whole thing?

Mickey & Colin said...

I just have to say THANKS! Your instructions made it so easy to do. We followed them almost to the letter (only difference is we used crayon instead of pencil because of our runner's material). If you hadn't posted this, I don't think we would have dared try. Thank you! We put up our pictures on our bio: soon2bmrsf.weebly.com

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I am a bride in Regina, SK. I was just googling diy aisle runners and found your blog. Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. I will be embarking on this project myself. Your aisle runner turned out beautiful by the way. And I will be bookmarking your blog to keep up with all the DIY projects you do for your wedding. I am also a DIY bride...and tryign to make my dream wedding happen in as little $$ as possible. Thanks again....