How to Make an Alternative Guest Book with Your Hometown State and CraftCuts

Gone are the days of traditional wedding guest books that end up sitting in a storage box five years later! You have more memorable and display-worthy options, especially with a little DIY magic. We have shared alternative guest book ideas in the past, but today, we are weaving together home state pride and craftiness with our friends at CraftCuts.

Show off your state at the wedding reception and have your guests sign and leave their well wishes, and then after the big day, display your loved ones' writing in your home. No matter where you call home, all states are great and available through CraftCuts. (And if you can't decide which state is home for the two of you or maybe it's a country, we share another idea further down in this tutorial, so there's something for everyone! But hey, we won't judge if you have multiple states for signing! More the merrier!)

Best ideas on how to make an alternative wedding guest book with CraftCuts

How to Make Your Own Virginia State Guest Book

Difficulty Level: Easy

U.S. State shape (in MDF material and sized at 20 inches)
Your Initials or Monogram (in Optical Clear acrylic, sized at no taller than 2")
Light beige acrylic craft paint
White acrylic craft paint
• Paper plate/cardboard or paint palette
Foam paintbrush
Gel super glue
• Toothpick or wooden skewer
Thin gold paint pen (for guests to use to sign on the guest book)

Best ideas on how to make an alternative wedding guest book with CraftCuts and your home state

1. It goes without saying, but just in case, order all your goodies with plenty of time before the wedding. Custom is always worth the wait (though rush expedited options do exist with CraftCuts), but you don't want to stress cutting it to the last minute, especially when paint is involved! Once you're ready to get crafty, set out all of your materials and place newspaper or another kind of protective cover on your table to preserve your painting surface.

DIY alternative wedding guest book with Virginia US state cut out

2. Since your wooden state shape arrives paint-ready, there is no additional prep (such as sanding) needed for painting. Shake your paint bottle well before using, and squeeze out onto your paint palette of choice. You will need to paint a few layers for full coverage, so allow each layer to dry before adding another. Since this will be a display piece after the wedding, be sure to paint both sides and the edges of your wooden shape for a beautiful keepsake.

PAINTING TIP: To get a clean, smooth finish for writing, paint in long strokes with a wide brush. You can spot paint, but long strokes will help create a consistent flawless finished product.

Unique DIY alternative wedding guest book ideas with CraftCuts

Easy way to make your own wedding guest book

DIY Virginia state alternative wedding guest book

3. While your U.S. state is drying, take your acrylic letters and remove the protective film on both sides. With your second color paint (we have chosen white), apply the paint to the front and sides. For a coastal wave-inspired vibe, we kept paint to a minimum on the acrylic so it had an imperfect texture that did show some brushstrokes. Paint until you're personally satisfied with your final product!

Beautiful and nontraditional wedding guestbook idea with a wood state shape

4. Once both your state and your acrylic letters are completely dry, use the gel super glue to adhere your letters to the middle of your state. Since these are small details, only tiny dabs of glue are needed, so consider using a toothpick or thin wooden skewer to apply the gel glue. If any super glue does seep out from the sides of your acrylic letters, use a toothpick to wipe away the excess.

GLUE TIP: While other glues would totally work with this project, when working with acrylic and tiny details, it’s best to use a slow-moving glue that stays in place when you apply it. Gel super glue is also ideal when working with transparent materials for a cleaner look!

How to make your own unique wedding guestbook

Best alternative wedding guestbook ideas

5. Allow everything to dry for at least 24 hours before having you or your guests write on your state guest book. Gather up some metallic paint pens in the meantime and create a little sign to remind your loved ones to share their best wishes on the wedding day!

DIY US State shaped alternative wedding guest book idea

Simple and beautiful Virginia inspired wedding guest book

More Helpful Alternative Guest Book Tips

For your guest book setup at the ceremony or reception, place a few different oil-based paint pens with a thin point next to your state guest book on a sturdy table. Before the wedding begins, have someone from your wedding team or wedding party sign your state first so guests know what to do. It’s an important visual when going with an alternative guest book since some guests might not be familiar with your unique detail yet!

CraftCuts makes DIY wedding guest books so simple to make! Even if you have too many states you call home or just can’t decide on which one to claim, you can purchase any basic large wooden shape (e.g., circles, rectangles, etc) to make into your alternative guest book as well. And if you call a certain country home rather than a U.S. state, reach out to the CraftCuts team because they are beyond helpful and likely can make magic for you. You have options with putting your own twist on our idea!

After the big day, display your beautiful state either freestanding on a shelf, on a small easel, or attach sawtooth picture hanging hardware to the back for decorating your home’s walls. Memories with a story made art!

How to create a unique US hometown state inspired wedding guest book display

CraftCuts has become one of our favorite go-tos for DIY wedding ideas because they just make everything easy. Whether you're a crafty guru or just a beginner in crafting, their website gives you a plethora of big and small ideas for your wedding projects. We literally mean big and small because you can get materials that are tabletop ready or giant standalone size!

Stay tuned next month for another fun and unique DIY tutorial using CraftCuts customized products that you can create for your special day.

Because our CraftCuts pals are awesome, they are giving an exclusive code to our readers to use for their own wedding DIYs! For a limited time, use promo code TIDEWATER10 for 10% off your entire order. The code expires March 31, 2023, so be sure to get your craft on before then!

Easy unique DIY ideas on how to make wedding guestbooks with CraftCuts

Easy and beautiful DIY ideas for a handmade wedding guestbook with CraftCuts

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Photography: Kia and Co. for Tidewater and Tulle | American State Wood Cut-Out Shape & Acrylic Letters: CraftCuts | Craft Paint: DecoArt

Many thanks to CraftCuts for partnering with Tidewater and Tulle for this DIY tutorial feature! And while the disclaimer is that we were compensated to write and design this, the words and our loyal love for the CraftCuts brand are all our own. Some of the above product links are affiliate-linked and purchasing through these links helps support our wonderful sponsors and Tidewater and Tulle! You can find our full affiliate disclosure policy here on Tidewater and Tulle.