Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mr. Cola's LED Luminary Escort Cards

In case you didn't already know, Mr. Cola is an engineer. Which means he has a serious love for gadgets, electronics, machinery.....and LED lights!
So when he came up with the idea to incorporate LEDs into our escort cards, I was all for it. He would be able to showcase one of his DIY talents at our wedding, and it meant one less project that I had to take the reins on!

This was a pretty complicated DIY though, and not something that would be easy to replicate unless you have the engineering know-how, so I won't go into too many of the details on the process, just a quick overview.

Mr. Cola started by laying out the design of the circuit boards, and had them made in China. Once the circuit boards arrived, Mr. C attached three LEDs to each board. Then, we had to "stuff" the circuit boards with resistors. I helped while watching TV (the resistors are the little brown things on wires).

Since I'm the wood staining expert in our house, I was in charge of staining all the boxes that would hold the guest names, circuit boards, LEDs, etc. Mr. Cola made the boxes by laser cutting wood and just gluing them together with wood glue.

While I was staining the boxes, Mr. C busily soldered the resistors, battery clips and on/off switches to the circuit boards.
And we had supervision, from one of our kitties, Topper.

So then we had a box of ready to go circuit boards.

A box of ready boxes, with separate back panels.
(As you can see behind the box of boxes, the Cola household doesn't discriminate, we like both Coke and Pepsi!)

Paper with names of everyone on our "will probably come" list laser cut out, and purple borders, also laser cut.
And a bunch of layered lighting acrylic (bottom) and clear diffusing acrylic (top).
And that's all we need to assemble the escort cards!

As RSVPs have arrived, we've been slowly assembling the boxes for everyone who is coming. After we get all the RSVPs in, we'll have to go back and cut out about 20 more names, for a few unexpected guests and our friend's dates that we didn't previously have names for, but all in all, we'll be done with these escort cards pretty soon, except the table assignments on the back of the boxes!

But wait, I'm guessing you want to see a final version of these, right? :)

Here's what all the components look like before assembly.
Half assembled.
Snap the back panel in, and voilĂ , one luminary escort card!
A couple more details:
- The table assignments will be on stickers on the back of the "shadow boxes," and easily removed later (I'm totally going to be putting my name box on my desk at work after the wedding, so having the number removable was key)
- We've tested the batteries for 18 hours straight, and the lights didn't fade, so we know they'll last through our wedding reception with no problem.
- These each cost about $3. A lot more than the paper tent cards I was going to make, but a lot more fun!

So, there you go, our unique luminary escort cards! I'm so proud of Mr. C for taking initiative on this project, even though I did end up helping a lot.

Did your fiance take the lead on any of your DIY projects? What are you doing for your escort cards?


  1. Holy cow those are THE most impressive escort cards, ever.
    (And way to DIY, Mr. Cola!)

  2. Those are SO cool! Great work to both of you!

  3. Oh my gahhh you guys are amazing!! I showed this to my fiance and we were both standing there with jaws dropped. I'm just blown away by your talent and level of DIY-goodness. Your wedding is going to be soooo amazing! Great job, girl!

  4. Those are uhhhhh-mazing!!!! What a cool idea, and what a great way to show off Mr. C's DIY skillz. My fiance loved this post (he's an electrical engineer, too!)

  5. That is SO cool! My fiance, also an engineer, created a computer model of our cake so that the bakery will know exactly how we want it to look. He’s also been super helpful with escort cards, photo-share cards, and basically all of our DIYs.

  6. OMG they are so cool!

    So much work, makes my card & paper ones look so simple!