My Vintage Wedding; Building a Paper Moon

Growing up, my parents really loved antiques so I was often taken to antique stores and vintage shops with them. One day, in a small store, I found a box full of vintage photographs and I shifted through them until I stumbled upon an adorable photo of a couple sitting atop a paper moon. There was something so magical and wonderful about this photo that I fell head over heels in love with the concept and the idea. It felt really romantic to me and I don’t think I ever stopped loving all things celestial and cosmic. Yeah, I was the kid who knew all the constellations, their stories and had a homemade star frame (made from a coat hanger, cling wrap and white-out … yeah, you know, like such a cool kid).

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Unfortunately, I don’t have the photograph anymore, it was inside a jewellery box which was stolen but the image is permanently burnt into my mind. When it came time to planning my wedding, I wanted my wedding to be just like that photo; vintage, celestial and simple. I was brainstorming ideas with my partner when I asked, “what if we had a paper moon?”. Of course, I had to bring up a photo from Google and show him what I meant but I was so happy when he said he was happy with the idea and before we knew it, we were planning a vintage celestial-themed wedding. Living in Perth, we had no way of hiring a paper moon prop so, it came to pass, that I will just have to make my own.

After a bit of research and a chat with my dad, we came up with a plan on how to make our own. I thought it might be fun to share the process with you all incase you ever need to make your own. Of course, making a paper moon yourself means that you can alter it any way you want and have a lot of fun with the shape and style of the moon. I ended up going all around the internet until I found a Paper Moon that fitted the look I wanted so I took inspiration from it and set about making my own. This project was definitely a team effort and not something I could have done myself easily. 

Primary Materials:
2 sheets of 6X3 Plywood sheets (3/8″ thick) for moon face and the seating/storage box
3 metres of 180X19ml pine board as flat as possible for keeping the face together.
Wood Glue
Chipboard screws of various sizes
Staple Gun

Steps:
Building a paper moon was the perfect lockdown project. We started out by putting the two wooden boards side by side and bolting them together just for the purpose of drawing on them. To aid with the styling and shaping of the moon, I used a projector to project an image of a moon shape I liked before penciling in my own details.

Our inspiration image was found here. We didn’t want to copy so we tweaked the face and colouring to suit us.

Once I was happy with the face and the moon shape it was time for cutting. We used a jigsaw and slowly cut our moon into the shape we wanted. After it was cut, we sanded the edges down to avoid splinters.


To join the two moon halves together, we constructed a ‘pocket’ for the reverse side of the moon using pine board. The structure included (on the bottom half of the moon face), a slot which housed the top part of the moon. To keep it sturdy, the top half had a pine board ‘tongue’ which slotted into the bottom halves pocket. Yeah that sounds weird but we honestly just made it up as we went so there’s no real official name for anything. We also put in a supporting beam which went from the bottom of the moon face/box, up until the join between the top and bottom moon halves. This was just to keep it sturdy and add some more safety.
As some parts had to be glued, stapled or screwed together, some parts were left overnight to allow the glue to set and this whole process took several days to with a few adjustments here and there.

Dad Tip: You can never have too many clamps.

To build the seating/storage box, we constructed a simple box figure using pine board and moon face offcuts. We used a dining chair as a reference point for height and size especially when it came to deciding how big to make the seat. As we knew I would be wearing a poofy dress, we didn’t want to look squashed and of course, comfort was a priority.
The measurements we used were as follows:

The seating box top/lid was attached with hinges to allow access to the box inside. This was used for storage as well as a place to keep sandbags for extra weight and stability. This came in super handy on the day as we could also hide extra ’emergency’ things in it such as tapes, ropes and wires. You just never know what you may need on your wedding day.

Dad Tip: You can also hide a beer in the seat.

Once we were all happy with the size, the shape and the structure of the moon, it was finally time to begin it’s beautification process. We began by filling in all the holes left from staples, screws or other small damages with a putty going over everything multiple times with a sander. We did most of this by hand and kept making sure it was as smooth as possible to avoid the risk of snagging on clothing on the wedding day. In between sanding, we also primed the whole structure twice.

Dad Tip: Plywood can splinter when you cut it so using a good quality filler (or PVA glue if you’re stuck in a pinch) should be used to keep the wood as smooth and professional looking as possible.

When we were happy with the smoothness, it was finally time to paint. We began with a few coats of black paint on the box/seat of the structure and the moon face (front and back) was painted with white water base. The seat was painted about three times whereas the moon face was only painted twice knowing it would be then artistically embellished later. We chose black for the base as it was pretty neutral but we made sure to keep the seat white so it blended in with the moon better.

One quiet Sunday, bridesmaids decended on the house to be assigned specific wedding crafting duties. Maid of (dis)honour Reenie was dubbed its the greatest artistic skills and was supplied with paints to finish the moon face. We chose a very vintage, creamy and soft colour palette playing with browns, golds, greys and creamy paints. She did a great job and it came up brilliant.

Slight touch-ups were made here and there and the original ‘grey toned’ moon was eventually adjusted to a more ‘golden’ look as Reenie thought it would look better. Eventually we did add a wooden ‘cloud’ structure which was placed in front of the moon which was designed to hide the bottom of the structure.

Results:
I couldn’t be happier with the final results of my Paper Moon, it was exactly how I’d always wanted it to look. I’ve always been super fussy with how the face of the moon looks in particular as some can look a bit creepy of menacing but Reenie did such an amazing job with the painting that it’s one of my favourite Paper Moons I’d ever seen. On the day of the wedding, the moon was super popular as a photo spot which made us all really happy and we loved our wedding photos sitting atop it. We have used the moon for another shoot since the wedding as I wanted a chance to take my vintage wedding dress out for a spin. I think it looks super whimsical and charming in photos and I hope to use it for more shoots in the future.

The seat was the perfect size for myself (in a poofy dress) and my partner. We could sit really comfortably on the moon and enjoy our photos being taken. The seat also being a storage box made keeping weights in it really easy and the clouds kept the bottom of the box hidden. The moon was really easy to transport and despite it’s awkward shape, it was easy to lift and move around. Having the moon split into two pieces really helps with storage and transportation.

Miss MonMon on her wedding paper moon. Photo by Red Leopard.
Miss MonMon on her wedding paper moon. Photo by Red Leopard.

If you’d like to read about my little vintage wedding, you can do so by checking out these links:
Getting Ready
Ceremony
Bridal Photos
Reception

Other Wedding Blogs:
Shopping for my Vintage Wedding Dress
What happened to my Vintage Wedding Dress?
Pre-wedding Pampering at Cherrybomb
My Bridal Shower High Tea

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made. 

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