Last weekend, my fiance Will and I celebrated our engagement with a shoujo manga (Japanese girls’ comics)-themed party, complete with manga DIY 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! (BTW “Labu labu” is a Japanese onomatopoeia word for being in love… la—bu.)
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, that I adapted to fit the size of the smaller manga books I was using. Here’s a little recap of the decorations- at the very bottom are some links on how to make a few of the items and descriptions. Some items are sort of straight forward if you look at them though! Enjoy!
Closeup of artwork by ZambiCandy!
Invites designed by YumeNinja!
These letters were cut using a Silhouette Cameo digital cutting machine, and THANK GOD! This would have taken ages to do by hand! Thanks to my bud Carolee for cutting these for me ❤
Cake made by my wonderful friend Callie! Pennants made from glitter washi tape and string.
DIY ITEMS HOW-TO:
1. Tape off areas you would like to remain clear/glass colored for negative space
2. Spray paint with 2 coats metallic spray paint.
I was proposed to at the top of a Ferris Wheel! So I bought two of these at a cake decoration store, spraypainted the base gold to match the decor, then used spray mount on the carraiges and tossed them in a bag of glitter for some sparkle!
PAPER TABLE RUNNER
1. Hot glue two pages together in the middle
2. Use decorative scallop paper punch to punch all the edges
3. Hot glue ribbon to center seam
4. Sew on sparkly beads and a tassel to end of runner
1. Cut out varying widths of paper
2. Use decorative paper punch on edge
3. Glue together seam and toss in an ELECTRIC votive candle (real candle will burn the paper!)
TEARDROP FOLDED BOOK ART
1. Remove all paper from book, preserving outer cover. I used a softback manga book, and was still able to preserve the cover.
2. Hot glue edge of paper along the long/vertical side. Do this, a LOT.
3. Glue together a chunk of 4 – 7 pages and glue to inside spine of cover.
4. 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!
5. After displaying them in your venue, add a color punch to it by inserting flower stems into the pages and on top of them.
There are hundreds of ways to do this! I used some tutorials here:
Simple and Multiple Fold Books
Kate’s Creative Space
Lots of YouTube
Ignore the terrible super Asian flute music
HANGING BOOK ORIGAMI WITH FLOWERS
1. I used 3 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!
2. 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.
3. I used one length of ribbon per strand, not multiple, so after I finished the first one, I measured about 5 inches above it, an continued with another folded book.
4. 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!
FOLDED FLOWER GARLANDS
I used this tutorial
Then, threaded the fishing line in and out the back using an upholstery needle, making a strand. After that, I glued metal roses, and flatback pearl to the front. I alternated 2 manga flowers with 1 pink flower for a color accent.
ROLLED PAPER INITIALS
I used this tutorial here!
I bought the letters from Micheal’s Craft store, but you could cut your own from foamcore, and I even heard they have some at the Dollar Tree if you hunt around a bit!
BUGLED PAPER WREATH
I followed this super cute tutorial here!
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 3 hours, or 3 episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and some cartoons haha.
It was about 2 weeks of intensive crafting, but I managed it! If you have any questions or use any of the tutorials or methods I listed, please comment below! I’d love to see how your own projects turned out!
All of these decorations can be found on my Pinterest Board here!