This is a guest post by Lauren Beadle :: Image: John Nassari Photography
A wedding day is a crazy day. The patter of advice in the lead up to the big day is always the same… take the time to absorb everything as it will go so fast, don’t forget to have some alone time together, don’t panic about things you can’t change, no-one will know… You have spent so much time working up to this day, it’s exhausting and thrilling and the adrenalin runs through you and adds to your amazing day.
The next day you are running late to catch a Eurostar for your mini-moon, and are clearly about to miss your train and then you literally fall out of the Uber because you’re so tired (sorry was that just me?!). What I’m trying to say is that as soon as the day ends, the tiredness kicks in and you just want to look at the pictures and catch up on sleep. All that stuff you said would be easy to do after the wedding gets put to the side and forgotten. Here I am 7 months post wedding; we haven’t chosen the pictures yet for our album, my wedding dress is still sitting in my childhood bedroom having not yet been to the dry cleaners and I have yet to do something with the glass my husband smashed at the end of our ceremony.
Image: Stak Studios
The symbolism of smashing the glass
Smashing the glass is such a symbolic part of the wedding ceremony. There are many reasons behind this iconic moment (can be seen here). For me at my wedding it symbolised the breaking of many potential barriers that my husband and I could face in our lives and when he broke the glass we were able to consider the difficult times that may come in our future. It also was a moment when that one damaged item can be turned into something new and exciting. The shattered glass is often thought of as a reminder of negative times in the past and potential rocky situations in the future, but by taking that shattered glass and turning it into something new and beautiful, you are creating a new symbol; one that says the bad times can lead to new and exciting situations. This is why my smashed glass is still sitting quietly on my shelf waiting for me to do something with it… I couldn’t decide what to with it!
It is becoming more and more popular to buy a special glass and send it off to someone after your wedding to have it transformed into something like a mezuzah or a picture frame. I did look into this before our wedding, but to be honest, I couldn’t find anything I liked enough. Especially when I saw the prices!
Image: Dima Vazinovich
So we decided to utilise my crafty streak and bring along one of the thin and unused glasses we had at home and post-wedding I would make something that we would love to display somewhere in our home. Obviously we forgot the glass and remembered on the way to our venue… cue a panic call to our mothers, who both brought a variety of different glasses to choose from. In the end I think my brother picked a pint glass (apparently it was the thinnest!)
So one day, many months after the wedding I sat down and thought about all the different things I could do with this glass. I came up with a list of about 10 different ideas; some were clearly easier than others. But I love trying new crafty techniques, so thought I would give each of them a go and share the first five with all you wonderful STG readers!
Before I head into the list of ideas I’ll add a little safety note if you choose to try any of these ideas – you are working with sharp smashed glass so be careful and wear gloves (this may seem obvious… but you should have seen my husband dive into the box of smashed glass without his gloves before I stopped him!) If you have access to a multi-tool such as a Dremel, then there are many attachments that work wonders at smoothing the edges. I prepared the glass in a large batch so when I was working with the glass I didn’t have to worry about cutting myself.
DIY 1: Resin Jewellery and Key rings
This is a really good idea if you have lots of tiny fragments left and works even better if you had a colourful glass. It looks really effective and is something you can carry around with you everywhere you go; a perfect reminder of a special moment.
It looks like it would be really difficult to do, but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s surprisingly easy. For this I used this Resin Keepsake Casting Kit that comes with all you need and some extra sparkly bits to add to your work if you wanted to use it too.
After a practice I decided I wanted to use a silicone mould and I found this so much easier to use. The key to success is to read the manufacturing instructions, practice first with something you don’t necessarily want to keep and take it slowly.
The instructions in my kit were very clear for how to mix the resin and pour it, but less clear on how to add elements in. But after watching a youtube video and having a practice I worked out the best way to get the best result. One layer, leave for 20 minutes, add the glass, add another layer slowly and leave to cure for 12-24 hours(dependant on how warm your room is!)
The final step was to add a keyring or a pre-assembled necklace. I always have some of these knocking about.
DIY 2: Driftwood Wind Chime/ Light Catcher
I think this was my favourite item that I made, however it can be a little time consuming and fiddly. It looks great hung up by a window where it will catch the light and even better out side where the shards can clink together in the wind.
I found some lovely driftwood from Sussex Costal Driftwood Supplies on eBay for the horizontal bar at the top of the chime. You could easily use any other straight(ish) object for this part of the chime.
I drilled 7 holes along the driftwood with a Dremel multi-tool and a compatible drill in order to thread the nylon cord through, however you could easily tie it around the top. The strong nylon cord is important however to ensure that it doesn’t break under the weight of the glass.
I threaded 5 lengths of the cord through the middle 5 holes on the driftwood. I spent some time trying to work out how I could get a tiny hole into the glass. After a little discussion with some lovely ladies in a Facebook jewellery appreciation group, I used a very low speed setting and a diamond tipped drill bit (made to go through glass) with my Dremel and sprayed the glass regularly with water to keep the glass cool and not shatter.
Once all the required pieces had a little hole, I strung the glass shards onto the cord, ensuring that the pieces weren’t all touching, but were close enough to create that little clink when in the wind.
To keep the pieces in place you could tie a knot below each piece, but I chose to clamp a little crimp bead (used in jewellery making) with a flat nose plier just below each shard. I added a few beads at the end of each strand for decoration.
The final step was to thread a long piece of the cord through the two end holes on the driftwood to create a hanger and added a keyring hoop to act as a hook.
DIY 3: Personalised Wall Art
This is a very simple and easy to achieve project. You could literally create anything you wanted with some of your glass and a block of wood and then display it at home as a regular reminder of your special day. You can choose to add some text as I did, or just leave it without and make a shape like a heart or circle out of the glass you have.
I had some wood left over from some signs I made for a friend’s wedding lying about at home and used a saw to cut it down to the size I wanted (you can get it from any DIY store or builder’s merchant – it comes in lengths of about 1.5m+, but you could chop it up and make some extras as thank you presents for family, some places will be able to do this for you too). If I am able to use a saw, then anyone can… It’s much easier than I thought!
I lightly sanded the edges to prevent splinters before writing out the phrase I wanted along with our wedding date in pencil. Using a white paint marker I went over the pencil markings a couple of times to make the phrase and date stand out. I lay out the shards in the position I wanted before gluing them into position with E6000 Glue an industrial strength glue that is often used by jewellers and dries clear. I left the glue to cure for 20-30 minutes before it was ready to display – easy!
DIY 4: Memory Jar
This was definitely the easiest and quickest of all the mini projects. All you need is a jam jar or kilner jar (from Ikea, Hobbycraft or most supermarkets) and fill it with left over mementos and the smashed glass from your wedding day. You could include anything; ribbons from your bouquet or napkin folds, confetti, table place names or escort cards, dried buttonholes or flowers from your hair… the list is endless and it is so easy to execute!
DIY 5: Deep Filled Picture Frame
Once you have seen all your gorgeous wedding pictures, scroll back to that picture that captured the ‘smashing the glass’ moment and print it off. Head over to Ikea or Hobbycraft and pick up a deep filled picture frame. Cut your picture to the required size and tape it to the underside of the of the mount board. Pick out and place the glass shards you want to use (I kept them to one corner) and using the E6000 glue, secure the shards to the mound board. Make sure you leave a bit of space around the edge so that you can get the box frame easily back in place (I found this out the hard way!) I left the glue to cure for 20-30 minutes and added a further 30 minutes laying flat (just to be safe) before I put the frame back together, all ready to hang on the wall!
There are so many ideas of things to do… these are just the first five on my list. Please let me know if you make any of them or if you have any other amazing ideas or if you have any questions about these hand makes, I’m @laurendloves on both instagram and twitter, I’d love to see some of your creations!
About the author / maker
Lauren Beadle is a London based craft addict and teacher who is on a mission to try as many crafts as possible and use up all the supplies she has spent years hoarding. She has started to blog her journey at laurendloves.com and documents it on her Instagram @laurendloves.
Lauren has spent many years working within the Jewish community as a youth worker before setting up a small business running arts and crafts parties and workshops, later training as a secondary school drama teacher.
Last year Lauren hand made many elements of her interfaith wedding to John including her newest calligraphy skills to create all the signage. She spent a lot of time researching the best way to put on an interfaith wedding before discovering that there was no best way and developed her own Jewish inspired ceremony with her husband and brother.