On a scale of one to ten—one being Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who is literal royalty and has never touched a scissor, and ten being Martha Stewart’s youngest, thirstiest Craft Assistant, who probably got engaged at a goose farm last June and has an Exacto knife in place of one of her Jamberry nail wraps—I’d say my level of “DIY Bride-ness” is about a five.

I like making things and seeing as I don’t have a tap that flows money into my kitchen sink, I’ll absolutely be crafting for my wedding. I will not go so far as to round up barnyard animals, cover them in muslin and a J. Crew sports coat, then attach a mason jar with a face painted on it to their backs, no matter how cute it looked when some gal in Charleston did it. Nor will I be DIYing my groom. Yes, I’m a five. Whole kit, no caboodle.

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If you search “Wedding DIY” on Pinterest your computer will probably start smoking and mewling like a dying train engine going up a mountain made of activated chia, but you’ll also be confronted with sooo many lovely ideas. Blowing up balloons and painting them gold, sure, okay. Writing stuff on an old mirror—chill and cool idea, carry on. Fashioning your initials out of cardboard and gluing flowers all over that shit? Sock it to me! But woven in with these cute, vaguely doable ideas are some real land mines. I’m talking about crafts where you go far, far out of your way to spend significant money on raw materials, put those materials together, and yield a product that is unequivocally worth less than the empty space you had before.

The law of conservation of mass, by which matter can neither be created nor destroyed, is not on your side with these DIYs. Let’s explore together.

1. “Wonderful DIY Wine Glasses Decoration”

Not mad about these, just disappointed. This is a DIY that has outlived the conditions for its existence; it’s slipped through the hands of time and managed to somehow cling to the Internet even though the Geocities page on which it was born is long dead. “Wonderful,” says the headline of the post, which tells you to glue rose petal tutus and plastic beads onto two perfectly good champagne flutes and then wrap their stems in golden cord. “Wonderful,” you’ll think, newly married, drinking from what looks like the headless neck of a preening swan.


2. “Chalkboard Mason Jar Candle Centerpiece” from 25 Lazy Couple Wedding DIY Ideas

Looking for a simple craft to pass the time with your future mother-in-law? You can forget about that, because this highly specific DIY punches in and goes to work, honey. Get your welding mask, turn on some Motorhead and cancel all of your plans for the next two days, because this hybrid combines almost too many crafting worlds: Small candles and their holders, jars used for things other than preservation, chalkboards, string, rustic charm—I just can’t take it! It’s on this list because I hate what I don’t understand. I fear what I cannot know. I worry that if I look at these spectral shapeshifters too long, they’ll suddenly sprout heart-shaped sparklers or entire chuppahs.


3. “Buttons” from 28 Unique DIY Wedding Bouquets

Listen, I get it. Flowers are a whole thing. They cost a lot, wilt within hours, and mar the atmosphere with greenhouse gases as they’re shoved into jets and chucked across the Earth so that they might be displayed in locales where they wouldn’t normally grow. So no judgment if you don’t want a flower bouquet, seriously. But buttons? Buttons? Brown ones? Stacks of brown buttons? Some of them with artificial flower petals fanning out around them? As you can see in the link on this pin, there are many ways around this DIY button bouquet. Twenty-seven ways around it, in fact. Toilet paper, gum wrappers, bad poetry ripped out of your high school journal, mimes: Pretty much anything should be used in a bouquet before a pile of sad brown buttons. You are not a rag doll with a mop for hair and a doily for a vagina, girl, you are a grown. Ass. Woman. (Unless you are getting married in Qiaotou, China, the Button Capital of the World—then you go ahead and do that button bouquet.)


4. “Vintage Pictures in Mason Jars”

There’s so much here that could have gone well. The vintage photographs, for example: a warm, personal touch to a wedding, which we all know can become very impersonal, very quickly, especially depending on the DJ and how much polyester he’s wearing. And mason jars? Just always cute, damn. But dear God, why, why, why do these vintage photos have to be plunked into mason jars filled with fucking vegetable oil? And then backlit with radioactive rays? In what wedding would these murky, ghostly artifacts be appropriate? Something that takes place inside a literal mad scientist’s dungeon lair? Perhaps a rule of thumb is emerging here from the gurgling depths of this mason jar’s underworld: If the wedding DIY contains gallons of vegetable oil, rethink entirely.


5. “Fishbowl” from 22 Eye-Catching & Inexpensive Wedding Centerpieces

Hi! This week in “Using Live Animals As Wedding Decor,” we have the hallowed Internet institution Coupons dot com slash The Good Stuff instructing you to simply “buy a bunch of goldfish at your local pet store” and then dump these notoriously short-lived little swimmers into glass bowls in the middle of your reception tables to celebrate the symbol of everlasting love that is a marriage by law. Somewhere in another universe, a goldfish bride is gluing a naked, drowning family of four from Dearborn, Michigan to a tiny, decorative house, finishing up final preparations the night before her wedding. She affixes little Sally’s feet to the fake-house floor with abandon, mind wandering, unable to hear the small human yelps, daydreaming about the next day and her future husband’s first glimpse of her as she swims down the aisle, her gown fluttering behind her, her future stretching before her beyond the reef…


Lead image via Pinterest.