My fiancé Will and I celebrated our engagement with a shoujo manga (Japanese girls' comics)-themed party, complete with DIY manga decorations, a magical cake, and all of our wonderful friends.
Will and I met in Japan, while we were living there teaching English for a few years. Our friends joked about how our relationship was like a corny shoujo manga story, which is where we got the idea for our theme! We are nerds through and through, and wanted to celebrate that along with our friends!
Like many brides-to-be, I spent a ridiculous amount of time scouring the internet for ideas on how to decorate our small venue on a non-existing budget, as well as incorporate our nerdy little theme. Luckily, there are already plenty of photos of vintage book crafts online. I adapted them to fit the size of the smaller manga books I was using. Here's a little recap of the decorations, as well as a few small tutorials…
DIY ITEMS HOW-TO:
- Hot glue two pages together in the middle
- Use decorative scallop paper punch to punch all the edges
- Hot glue ribbon to center seam
- Sew on sparkly beads and a tassel to end of runner
- Cut out varying widths of paper
- Use decorative paper punch on edge
- Glue together seam and toss in an ELECTRIC votive candle (real candle will burn the paper!)
- Remove all paper from book, preserving outer cover. I used a softback manga book, and was still able to preserve the cover.
- Hot glue edge of paper along the long/vertical side. Do this, a LOT.
- Glue together a chunk of 4 – 7 pages and glue to inside spine of cover.
- Artistically glue in other pages to make designs of your choice. These look great laid out on a table flat, or hanging with fishing line threaded through one of the pages along the spine of the book!
- After displaying them in your venue, add a color punch to it by inserting flower stems into the pages and on top of them.
- I used three books per strand. Different ways of folding these books described in previous step. If you fold all the pages, the book will fold back on itself to create a 360 degree design!
- Using grossgrain ribbon (the ribbing in it adds texture for the glue to hold onto), slide the ribbon into the center of the origami book length wise along the back of the spine, then hot glue the pages together around it.
- I used one length of ribbon per strand, not multiple, so after I finished the first one, I measured about five inches above it, an continued with another folded book.
- Tie the strand onto something so they can hang down (I used a lamp). Hot glue flowers, twigs, and ornaments to the tops and bottoms of the origami books!
- I used this tutorial.
- I bought the letters from a craft store, but you could cut your own from foamcore.
- I followed this super-cute tutorial.
- I was able to find ornaments to use at the dollar store, too! Even though this is the biggest craft I ended up doing, it was seriously the easiest. Took me about three hours, or three episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and some cartoons.<
It all took about two weeks of intensive crafting, but I managed it! If you have any questions or use any of the tutorials or methods I listed, let me know. I'd also love to see how your own projects turned out!