“I’m a wedding photographer who loves to create”
I am the one woman show behind the scenes of my Etsy wedding shop, Lily Liles Wedding Co. I am one of those people that don’t just like to create, but need to. I have always been an artistic person; as a child, I would paint and “decorate” my big wooden dollhouse. Of course I never played with the dolls for the house, I only redesigned its interior, over and over!!
I started Lily Liles Wedding Co. because I love the wedding industry. I had so many design ideas floating inside my head each time I shot a wedding, that I just had to do something with my creative energy. I noticed the items that were trending along with the most popular colors and favors.
All of these ideas led to my sculpting cake toppers and designing bridesmaid cards from the photos of all the stunning bridal bouquets.
As for my sculpting cake toppers, I first came across them while browsing DIY ideas for weddings on the internet. I was looking for something I could make with the talents I already have. I came across some wedding couple sculptures and loved them!
Many years earlier, I decided I wanted to sculpt OOAK dolls. Not just any dolls, but elaborately costumed dolls. I bought several books on how to sculpt and taught my self about proportion and sculpting with polymer clay. I also designed all of the dolls costumes. I made a Genie on a magic carpet, the Pied Piper complete with a rat, a wizard, Captain Hook, and many more that I sold in galleries. I continued to sell until the economy crashed and my dolls became too expensive for consumers.
To begin a sculpture, I will ask the couple basic questions regarding hair, color, and styles, what type of dress, tux, etc. I then have them email any photos that will show me what they want. Next I make a small aluminum foil body. This makes the topper much lighter. I usually have several heads already sculpted, so I start to add clay to the foil to build up a body shape. I always make one figure at a time so that I know how big to make the other figure.
To make the brides gown, I roll a big ball of clay and then feed it thru a pasta machine (for clay only) to get it nice and flat. I start to drape and pinch the clay around the body. I may also stamp patterns on the skirt part of the gown before I start draping.
Once the bride is done, I then add some swarovski crystal accents to make it sparkle.
I then sculpt the groom and his tux and will add a boutonniere.
The brides bouquet is made last.
To make the roundness of the larger bird bodies, I wrap a small light bulb with floral tape and then add the polymer clay over it. Once the bird is sculpted and sanded, I will paint any details and insert twisted wire for the legs.
I have recently started making German folk art Good Luck Birds also know as Double Distelfink as a new style of cake topper. Good Luck Birds represent good luck and love in a marriage. Each are hand painted and have colorful wire tail “feathers.”
These toppers transform into Christmas ornaments for the couples’ first Christmas tree as a married couple.
I also have a line of “Will you be my Bridesmaid?” lavender sachets in my shop featuring beautiful bridal bouquets. A small brass charm with an inspirational word is attached to each. Vintage lace and buttons embellish each.
I have recently acquired a number of vintage handkerchiefs that are waiting to be made into ring bearer pillows.
My mind is always in a state of creating. Even as I’m driving in traffic, an idea will pop into my head and I begin planning a new item to design for my shop. I have even awoken in the middle of the night to jot down new craft ideas!
If you are interested in any of the designs shown or have custom ideas – head on over to the Lily Liles Etsy shop!