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Project & Photos By: Jennifer Kirk
These test tube vases are a pretty and clever way to give thanks to your guests!
You Will Need: 1 1/4" wooden blocks, fine sanding block or sand paper, wood stain, cloth (2) or sponge brush for staining, 15 x 85 mm test tubes, pencil, glue gun, power drill, vice clamps + workbench, small 1/4" drillbit, large 5/8" drillbit, protective goggles
Step One: In pencil, lightly make an X on one side of a wooden block. Clamp down your block (I highly recommend a vice clamp which would be much sturdier than a single clamp) and in the center of the X, drill a small starter hole about halfway deep into the block (make sure to wear protective goggles).
Step Two: Switch out small drillbit for larger 5/8" one. Drill into the block about halfway to two thirds deep.
Step Three: Lightly sand any rough areas, then rub in a wood stain with a cloth or sponge brush. Let stain sit anywhere from 5-15 minutes (longer if you want a deeper color) then wipe off with a clean cloth. Let dry overnight.
Step Four: Once the block is dry, apply a dab of hot glue to the bottom of a test tube. Insert into the block and hold upright for a few seconds.
Step Five: As the glue is setting, spin the block to make sure the test tube is mostly at a 90 degree angle.
Step Six: Fill the test tube half way full of water and add a budding flower bloom.
Step Seven: To finish it off, tie a small card with each guest's name and table number to the vase.
Photos By: Mary Swenson Cookies are a crowd-pleasing, can't-go-wrong favor, and they're easy to personalize! To make these lemon-flavored sugar cookies, you'll need the following: 2 sticks room-temperature butter, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 large egg yolks, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, and powdered sugar for sprinkling. You'll also need a stencil to use to put the initial on the cookie. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the yolks and beat until blended. Add the flour in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gather the dough together in a ball and place it on a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and cover with another piece of the paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it's about 1/4 inch wide. Chill the dough until firm, at least 4 hours or up to one day. Once the dough has chilled, use a cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you need from the dough. Make sure the size of the cookie is large enough to accommodate the initial. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough cutouts on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes, until the cookies start to turn golden brown. When the cookies are done, move them to a cooling rack to cool. As they're cooling, place the stencil on top to start monogramming. Sift powdered sugar over the top of the stencil and gently remove. If there is excess sugar on the cookie, simply blow it off using a straw. Stencil the remaining cookies. Once the cookies have cooled completely, package them in glassine bags. A strategically placed label not only seals the bag, but also can be used to write the guests' names. A cute, tasty favor personalized with your new initial!
Photos By: Mary Swenson Simple, inexpensive clay pots can be turned into lovely little favors and centerpieces with just minimal effort and even less cash. Here's how! To make the favors, we started with a small three-inch high pot. We cut the top off a plastic water bottle (make sure to keep the cap on), which fit perfectly inside as a liner for the pot. Cut a piece of wet floral foam to fit inside the plastic liner. Insert the liner and the foam into the pot, and fill the inside of the liner with water, so that the foam absorbs most of the water. The liner will ensure that the water stays away from the inside of the clay pot, preventing it from getting dark and wet (and, from leaking out of the hole that's in the bottom of most pots). We purchased an inexpensive flower arrangement at a grocery store, cut out the flowers we wanted to use, and inserted the cut flowers into the foam. Since these favors will be going home with your guests, the foam will keep their arrangement intact during travel. Our finished favor arrangement is sweet and simple! Creating a matching centerpiece is even easier -- simply use a larger pot, and stick a cup of water inside the pot for your stems. We used the same flowers as we did for our favors, and added tulips for an extra touch. The coordinating favors and centerpieces create a cohesive, beautiful look for your event! To personalize your arrangements, print out guest names and table numbers on regular printer paper, cut into strips, and affix with double-sided tape or glue to the pots. So charming!
Project and Photos by: Jennifer Kirk Materials: Wood veneer edging Hot glue gun Glue dots Duct tape Cloth you don't mind staining Small can of wood stain (I used Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut) Small can of water based Polycrylic Protective Finish Two sponge brushes Paper towel Popsicle stick or some other type of stir stick Scissors Glass votives (I found Darice 'Roly Poly' glass votives at the craft store for 50 cents each) Various succulents Small spoon for scooping soil Flat piece of cardboard, kraft paper, paper bag etc. to protect your work surface To Put Together Mini Succulent Garden: Step 1: Prepare your succulents. Using a sharp pair of scissors, trim cuttings from a larger plant and let cuttings sit indoors, away from direct sunlight for 1-2 days. The ends need to dry out and callous, otherwise the ends will rot or take up too much water. Step 2: Add a couple scoops of potting soil (I used the soil already in my succulent pots) into the bottom of the votive. Step 3: Gently flatten the soil with the backside of the spoon but don't pack the soil tightly. Step 4: With the handle of the spoon (or another thin object) poke 2-3 holes in the soil. Step 5: Tear off a small piece of paper towel and moisten the end. Wipe the soil off from the inside of the votive. Step 6: Gently push cuttings into the holes you made in the soil. If the soil is looking dry, add just a bit of water. To Create Votive With Wood Base: Step 1: With a sheet of cardboard (I used a flattened cereal box) beneath, tape down a long strip of veneer. While duct tape has the strongest hold, you may want to place something heavy on the ends of the veneer strip to keep the strips from popping off your work surface. Step 2: Open can of wood stain and stir with a popsicle stick. With a sponge brush, apply a coat of wood stain. Let sit for 15 minutes, the wipe and rub off with a cloth. Step 3: Allow stain to dry for at least 4 hours or overnight, then with a clean sponge brush, apply a single, uniform layer of Polycrylic finish. Let dry completely, about an hour. Step 4: Wrap a veneer strip around the bases of the votive to determine the length of the wood base. Mine were about 8.25" long. Cut strips down to this size. Step 5: Glue ends of strips together with a modest dab of hot glue. Hold between your fingers (careful, this can be hot) for a few seconds until glue has set. Repeat for the remainder of the wood strips. Step 6: To attach the base to the votive, stretch a glue dot and stick it to the upper, inside rim of the wood veneer ring. Apply another glue dot to the opposite side. Step 7: Inset the votive within the ring and push down from on top with the flat of your hand to ensure a tight fit. Ta-Da!
Photos By: Chelsea FussWhat could be a more ideal fall wedding favor than flower bulbs? Your guests (local and out of town) can bring these sweet bulbs home with them to plant and then enjoy the following spring. We wrapped tulip bulbs individually with parchment paper from the grocery store, then trimmed the paper with pinking sheers. Cute Tag Templates: Download the adorable tag templates by clicking here.
Planting Instructions: The tag templates include easy planting instructions.
An Array of Colors: Match your wedding theme with the array of fun color combinations in the template download! (See link to templates in the comments below).
A Budget-Friendly Option: At just $0.45 per favor, this cute DIY is easy on the budget.
Cute, Easy, and Thrifty! The project is so simple, and the gift- something every guest can enjoy!
Paperwhite Kits: If you want to give a more substantial gift- try a Paperwhite kit! Click for the template here. Simple Pots: To make these sweet gifts, we spray painted terra cotta pots white, and filled them with gravel and bulbs (Paperwhites only need gravel and water to grow)!
Pretty Tag Templates: The favor can be adorned with a stylish DIY tag, complete with planting and care instructions! Find the template download here.
Ribbons and Bows: Secure the gift with ribbon and this simple project is complete. (See link to tag templates in the comments below).
Sow Seeds of Love: A unique and memorable gift, for sure! Happy Planting! Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
Project and Photos By: Victoria HudginsIf embossing seems like a formality beyond your budget. Not to worry! It's a very easy craft to learn and will give your papers and packaging that polished look. This particular project shows embossed favors, but you can use the same tools to emboss your invitations, menus, programs, or save the dates! You will need... A craft heater, available at most craft stores. A jar of embossing powder, which will last you through hundreds of favors boxes and other projects, a stamp in the words of your choice and a white stamp pad. Step One: To emboss favor boxes, start by stamping the box with a very wet stamp. Take extra care to ensure the entire stamp has been covered before pressing down. You could use other colors but I love the look of embossing with white for a traditional wedding. Step Two: Once the favor box is stamped sprinkle a generous amount of embossing powder on top of it. Step Three: Use the heating tool to dry and heat the embossed word on your box top. It will bring pretty dimension to a simple statement. Step Four: Tap the extra powder onto a sheet of paper for re-use!
By: Victoria HudginsThis DIY packaging is a fresh and modern way to present small favors to guests. Fill each cocoon with something fun to keep your guests busy (like these bright and nostalgic finger pops) and something sweet to snack on. Materials: 1/2 craft glue- 1/2 water mixture Large spool of embroidery thread Balloons (1 balloon for every 2 favors) Instructions: 1. Blow up your balloons and tie a length of thread to the end of the balloon. 2. Begin wrapping thread around the balloon, the messier the wrap the better. 3. Once you have a good covering over the entire balloon, dip a brush into the glue mixture and coat the entire balloon. Hang the balloon by its end to dry. Note: You could also use liquid fabric stiffener for this step in the project, just fill a large bowl and completely dip your wrapped balloons in. 4. Once dry, cut the balloon in half at the center width. Each balloon will make two separate cocoon wraps. 5. Gently pop each balloon and pull away from the fabric. Fill your wraps and tie together with a ribbon and simple tag. 6. Rest each favor on a place setting for a creative, modern touch.