Alternative Guest Book Idea That Turns Into A Work of Art

Unique guest book idea

Let’s admit it. A guest book inevitably winds up stored away somewhere gathering dust. So, think outside the book! Why not try a unique and creative approach to the traditional guest book, one with an interactive twist? Have your guests write their greetings on the wall instead. With an artistic canvas as a base, their messages then become part of a work of art that you can actually display as a stylish and meaningful wedding memento!

This approach is so versatile that you can adapt it to any theme, motif, or location you may choose for your wedding party. See how we’ve done it here for an eco-chic event. Then, get ready to surprise guests with your own off-the-wall take on a guest book…that is on the wall!

Play Up Your Theme for an Artistic Display

Earth-friendly materials

Plan a presentation that will truly catch attention. Here, in keeping with an Earth-friendly theme, we chose to use a rustic color palette and natural materials for our “guest book” display. Our three canvas panels were pre-painted with a rich terra cotta background and some sweeping green and gold leaves. Hint: A prepared background is more likely to get your guests’ artistic juices going than a blank canvas or board! You can paint this yourself or use a store-bought poster or two, in keeping with your chosen theme.

We extended the all-natural look to the special photos simply mounted on sinamay circles rimmed with twisted raffia twine. Then, take a look at our country-style “quills”. They’re actually gold marker pens cleverly encased in dried corn husks and presented in a glass bowl filled with florist’s moss!

Express the Message in a Stylish and Artistic Way

Corn husks decorated pen

As guests arrive, simply have them express their warmest wishes and sign their names right on the canvas! Hint: In place of markers, you may opt to use paintbrushes and soy-based ink or paint, rather than those made with petroleum. Inquire at your nearest craft supply store, and choose the colors that suit your party palette.

Voila, the Guest Book Becomes a Work of Art!

Alternative guestbook on wall

At the party, your artworks-in-progress are a delightful way to draw guests into the mood of celebration—and become a striking part of your decor as well. Imagine these hanging in your new home, as a heartwarming reminder of all the special people who shared this occasion with you. Who would want a traditional guest book now?

Tips to Make The Guest Book Display Special:

1. Vary the size, shape, and even number of the canvases you use. This is a great—and easy—way to up the visual impact of your display.

2. If you’re avid tree-huggers, you may consider using paints that are soy-based to create the background and soy-ink pens for signing.

3. Include some personal photos of you as a couple amidst the guest book display. That way, they are sure to be included in the wedding photo shots of this presentation.

4. Select a fun theme that is based on your personal interests as a couple. It can even be a unique take on a famous art masterpiece.

5. Do a different kind of wedding monogram. Incorporate your initials into the artwork.

6. Display the work-of-art guest book as part of the reception table as guests are welcomed into the party venue.

7. Have attendants encourage guests to do more than just sign their names, but to write a personal message to you.

8. If you are fans of color, have your canvases reflect this. Freed from the traditional ivory-covered book, celebrate color in these collaborative “guest artworks.”

9. Use accessories and accents that reflect your chosen motif. Corn husks and moss created a rustic look in our display. Metallic markers and recycled metal containers could bring a cool, modern look to yours.

10. Remember, even if you aren’t artistic yourself, you can always substitute store-bought posters for the canvases. Select those with a minimalist or graphic design in keeping with your theme, to allow lots of free space for your guests’ greetings.

See more offbeat ideas in our inspiration board!


  1. Oh my goodness. This is cool. I think it can save brides a lot of money when thinking of unique ways to have a guest book. It can be easily done because all you need is to acquire a good set of canvas boards! Great ideas, guys!

  2. I’ve had several of those paint pens fade over time. So, beware.

  3. Paintings are wonderful and full of life!!

  4. what do you think would be a good idea for a wine themed wedding? thinking of a wine botlle idea but not sure. thanks so much.

  5. Thanks, Cindy — Glad you like the painting idea!

    Hi, Helene — For a wine-themed wedding, you might consider a “grape vine on a trellis” set-up — with the grape leaves cut out from card stock. Then, guests can write their greetings on the leaves and pin them on to the vine.

    For an idea on how these grape leaf cards look, see the last pic in this article:


  6. can you give intruction on how to make the picture frames so lovely.

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