How to bring in some bling to your table numbers

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My blinging career began a few years ago when I started a fine art project where I would buy decorative wooden cut-outs from thrift stores and playfully “ice” them out. There is something about the juxtaposition of country-bumpkin décor and gangsta-style extravagance that makes me giggle. I never completed enough of this type of artwork to try to show it in a gallery, but now I can use what I've learned to help you add pizazz to your wedding day!

What you'll need:

First, paint your wooden numbers white. Do this so that later your color coats will appear more saturated. Also, when you start with a white base you will need fewer coats of color later.

Here are some quick spray-painting tips:

  • It is always a good idea to sand and clean any wooden surface before you paint it.
  • Follow the directions on the paint can
  • Shake the can for at least two minutes before the initial use.
  • Before painting the numbers, spray a little on a practice surface to make sure the paint is spraying smoothly.
  • It is best to apply many light coats of paint rather than just one or two thick layers. Depending on the paint, wait thirty minutes to an hour between each coat. This process takes patience!
  • Choose paint that is for indoor/outdoor use. Paint that is for indoor use only may run if/when it gets wet.
  • Be sure to paint the backs of your numbers too, especially if you plan on displaying them in such a way where the guests will easily be able to see both sides.

Next, paint the numbers with your colored paint! I chose a fluorescent pink, but if you ask me it looks more like orange once there are more coats applied. Paint the back side first so if any accidentally gets onto the front you'll be able to easily paint over it. But if you're using many coats of light spray then you shouldn't have this problem. 🙂

Next let's talk about our ICE (aka Acrylic Fashion Jewels)! These come in many colors and sizes. The tub pictured below is economical, but overall the pieces are too large for our table numbers. I recommend purchasing the little bags, also pictured below.

It is a good idea to keep your bling organized too.

There are lots of beading tools out there too but I recommend the ones that look like BIG tweezers.

Gorilla Glue is good for this project because it is very strong and it is good at gluing different types of objects together (in our case, wood and plastic).

You really don't want to touch the Gorilla Glue if you can avoid it: it is bad for your skin. This is part of why the tweezers are important besides the fact that the smallest bling is difficult to manipulate. Speaking of bad skin, do you want to see the nasty Poison Ivy I got as a result of taking this engagement photo? Disgusting, but totally worth it! 🙂

Okay time to apply your jewels! First moisten your number. Sounds naughty! I'm honestly not sure why you need to moisten your number, it is just what the Gorilla Glue instructions say you are supposed to do. But that moist rag is definitely handy to have around while you're blinging so that if you do get glue on your hands you can wipe it off right away.

Also, we'll use a paintbrush to work with the glue. I poured out some onto wax paper.

Start by gluing on your largest jewels. The largest jewel size I plan on using for this project is 9mm. First put a little bit of glue on your paintbrush. Hold the brush in your non-dominant hand (I'm right-handed so I held the glue brush in my left hand). With my right hand I use the tweezers to pick up a jewel, and I rub the back of the jewel against the paintbrush.

You only need a very very thin layer of glue. Really, the less the better.

Here, I'm off to a good start! Glue your first bling in the middle of the number.

This is what my number looks like with all of the largest sized jewels glued on. Next I'll fill in the edges with the smaller sizes of jewels. This isn't too nerve-wracking because it takes the glue a long time to set so I can still tweak the jewel placement as I go.

Here is the finished number!

It is fun to bling! Once you get the hang of it you'll want to ICE OUT everything — playstation controllers, your computer mouse, even your teeth! Hell, you may even start vajazzling! Just kidding. Please don't vajazzle. That's just silly.

If you bling some table numbers please take a pic and show me! I'm hungry to see what you creative-types come up with!

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Comments on How to bring in some bling to your table numbers

  1. not only are those completely awesome, but i am totally loving *astroturf* as a base for a centre-piece!

    too bad i already got married…. maybe i’ll use that for our housewarming party decor….

  2. I love the way this looks. I just wish I didn’t have 40 tables. It’d take me two months to bling out that many numbers. But I’m going to use your spray painting tips!

  3. This is awesome! I’m using buttons and beads instead of bling to match my theme. I got so excited about this I’ve decided to do assigned seating instead of open like I’d originally planned.

  4. Attaching the “bling”, this is how I’ve done it for years. You will need…

    (This can be found at most craft stores)
    Paper plate…
    Very small flat head screw driver…
    (the size to repair eye glasses will work best).

    On the paper plate, turn your “bling” over so the back side is up. Put quarter size dab of glue on the other side of the plate. Dip the flat head screw driver in the glue, pick up the “bling” on the back side with the screw driver. Place the “bling” where u want it and slide it off with your finger.

    This technique works best for me and I don’t have to worry about my fingers sticking together. If you have any questions leave a comment.

    • E6000 is an excellent choice. It doesn’t leave funny rabid-dog looking mess like Gorilla Glue will if you don’t apply it properly (learn from my mistakes, people). 🙂

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