Top five homemade wedding favours

Before settling on our wedding favours, I spent quite a lot of time researching various different homemade options, out there on the world wide web…

I’ve got to say, there is a lot of amazing inspiration out there. So I thought I’d share my round up of the top five ideas I came across.

 1. Fruit gin

Homemade wedding gin and chutney
Damson gin anyone?

This was actually our very first plan for favours: we were going to make up a batch of sloe gin and then put a small bottle out in everyone’s place. (I had great plans for Alice in Wonderland style labels reading “Drink me”…)

But then my sister got married four months before me and they had the same idea for their wedding. Drat!

She has a tutorial on her blog, though, with lovely pictures too, so head over there if you like the sound of the idea: homemade fruit gin.

 2. Hand stamped drawstring bags

hand stamped favour bag
Snacks for the road

So this was the idea we went with in the end and actually, given the number of kids, pregnant people or people looking after kids, this was probably better than super strong booze anyway.

I found variations on this theme all over the place: bags filled with lavender, filled with sweets, filled with seeds, buttons, cookies… …the list is pretty much endless. We followed a Martha Stewart version that gave our guests sweets and used a stamp that said, “Snacks for the road.”

Take a look at my tutorial for supplies and a step-by-step: homemade wedding favours.

3. Rubber stamped cookies

rubber stamped cookies
The sight of these makes me weak at the knees…

You know me, I simply cannot resist hand stamped things. And then I came across hand stamped cookies. Cookies, I tell you! That you can eat and everything!

I was really, really, really tempted to re-use my stamp from the favour bags with some edible ink on the top of cookies as well. But we ran out of time, in the end, which perhaps was no bad thing since I’m not quite sure how I would have removed all the fabric ink first.

There’s a brilliant tutorial at cake central: rubber stamp iced cookies

4. Tote bags

tote wedding favour
Tote a tote from the wedding…

This was another Martha Stewart idea that very nearly made the cut. Tote bags printed up with some relevant personal message. There is a (very) succinct tutorial on Martha Stewart weddings: tote bag favours. But if you need a bit more info than that, take a look at my tutorial for using iron-on transfer paper. Just replace the T-shirt with a bag and you could easily transfer any picture or writing you like…

The main reason we decided against this one, in the end, was that the cost of enough totes for our 140 guests would have become a little prohibitive. This is definitely one for a smaller wedding party (or a deeper pocketed host!)

Incidentally, if you’re looking for more inspiration than I’m giving you with just my top five ideas, then I have to suggest a visit to the Martha Stewart Wedding site, which has just about every idea ever conceived. Take a start with their 50 great wedding favours.

5. Screen printed wedding tea towels

Tea towel wedding favour
This is a seriously classy favour, no?

Oh, I could have another four weddings just to be able to make all of these favours!  Each new one I write about, I’ve been thinking, “Oh yes, that was my favourite” and once again I’m thinking the same about this idea. The bonus of a tea towel is that it would be genuinely useful to the guests once they’d left. Everyone uses tea towels…

You can buy beautifully designed wedding favour tea towels from all sorts of places (if you would rather buy them than make them, take a look at Brian Franks Tea Towels who designed the one above (www.bryanfranksteatowels.co.uk) and who will print to your design) but you could also screen print some yourself.

Just get hold of some cheap white linen tea towels and have a look at this easy and simple screen printing tutorial from the Art of Doing Stuff: how to screen print at home.

There you have it, five (ever-so-slightly) different ideas that are all, in my humble opinion, blinking fantastic.

Inspired? Or feeling there is something seriously awesome that I’ve missed off? Do let me know in the comments below…

Related articles:

Homemade wedding favours

Everyone tells you that organising a wedding is stressful. So much to do. So many people to coordinate. So many little things to think about.

And of course, you don’t believe a word of it.

“Not me,” you think, “I won’t be some crazed bridezilla, storming around the place screaming at people because my napkins don’t perfectly match my flowers. No way. I’ll be all chilled and laid back. And, really, how much is there to do anyway? I think I’ll try and make everything myself. I think it’s a great idea to do my own flowers. And I’ll definitely make all the favours. Oh and maybe it’s a good idea if we don’t get a caterer and just cook all the food ourselves…”

Ha ha. Okay, insert “me” for “you” in the sentence above and you get the picture. Luckily, someone a lot more sane than we are convinced us that trying to do all the food ourselves was a step too far, but we did take on most of the rest.

But actually, though I had nowhere near contemplated the phenomenal amount of tiny details you need to consider / plan / organise / book for a wedding, I don’t regret deciding to do as much as we could ourselves, and I think I managed to stay fairly stress free for most of the process…

And even if you decide the flowers are a step too far, I really do recommend making the favours. If you’re that way inclined, of course.

homemade wedding favoursI spent quite a lot of time researching different ideas for homemade favours but as soon as I saw an idea on Martha Stewart for hand stamping little bags I was won over. Firstly, I’m a little bit obsessed with hand stamping things. Secondly, we got to have our very own stamp made up! Who could pass on an opportunity like that?

There’s a (very brief) tutorial on the Martha Stewart website as well, but here’s a quick step by step for what I did, including UK-based suppliers and a few tips to get the best results.

Supplies:

Supplies for hand stamping
Everything you need
  • Small muslin drawstring bags. I used a 8cm x 12cm size, which I bought here on eBay. I bought 125, which cost me £65 in total, so approximately 15p a bag. Update: as pointed out by Lynn in the comments below, the cost is of course, actually around 50p a bag!
  • A stamp made up with your chosen design. (More info on this follows.)
  • Ink for fabric. I used Versacraft large ink pad in real black. The pad isn’t as big as the stamp itself, but it’s raised up, so you can just hold the stamp down a couple of times to get the correct coverage.
  • Vintage image to create design. Our car is from the Old Design Shop: clipart vintage car.

What to do:

Step one:

To create your design for the stamp, there are two options. You can either use a variety of pre-made templates at the Martha Stewart site and just fill in your details, or you can create your own.

I used the same text, “Snacks for the road,” but made my own design as we wanted to use the same font as we’d used on our wedding invitations. I did this in PowerPoint: in a blank file use the “basic shapes” button to choose a circle. Right click on the circle, select “format shape” and you can change the fill, outside line and so on. Then just paste your image into the middle of the circle and create the text using a text box. Save as a jpeg.

Step two:

To have our design turned into a stamp, we used the English Stamp Company. They were amazingly helpful, as I couldn’t manage to upload the jpeg in a way that their website recognised, but finally I emailed it to them and they made all the alterations needed to turn it into stamp form.

Stamp for wedding favours
Oh I do adore this stamp. It’s such a shame I can’t use it anymore…

They’ll make a stamp in a huge range of sizes; to fit the muslin bags, I had mine made at a 7cm diameter.

The total cost for this was £21, which I thought was pretty amazing. I am seriously holding myself back from ordering a million more stamps so I can stamp anything and everything…

Step three:

Wait impatiently for a few days for the wonderful stamp to arrive.

Step four:

Now all that’s left is the stamping itself. Practice a few times first on paper and then attack your bags…

Stamping bags for wedding favours
Repeat times 120…

A few tips:

  • Don’t press the stamp hard down into the pad for the ink coverage. Instead, sort of dab it across the surface, which covers it up perfectly without leaving any thick places to smudge.
  • I tore a piece of card from a cereal box and slid that inside the bags before stamping each one, to make sure no ink went through to the other side.

    Homemade wedding favours
    A piece of card looks after everything…
  • I found that I got the most perfect coverage if I was standing up, directly over the bags and if I used both hands to press the stamp firmly down.

    Homemade wedding favour bags
    It took a few attempts to get a perfect coverage of ink

Step five:

Leave to dry. I left mine for 24 hours just to be on the safe side, but they seemed dry long before that. In order to set the dye, you need to just press lightly down with an iron for a minute or so on each image — with the steam setting turned off.

Homemade wedding favour bags
Dry my pretties…

Step six:

Fill with some little morsels of deliciousness. We made vanilla fudge to go in ours, which was a part success, though it was perhaps a little bit too sticky. I had originally wanted to make some peppermint cream hearts (a bit more rrrrrrrromantic as well) but decided against it because of the raw egg white involved and the knowledge that there would be a few pregnant people there.

hand stamped favour bag
Plump and puffed up with fudge

We made these favours double up as place names as well, by tying on a luggage label with people’s name hand stamped onto it. I used the same method for these gift tags. It was a nice effect, I thought…

These bags are great for wedding favours, but of course you could do something similar for a children’s party bag or a box for jewellery or a huge, huge range of things.

If you have a go at this, do let me know what wonders you’ve conjured up in the comments below.

Related articles:

  • Want to see a few photos of the wedding itself? Step right this way: our wedding.
  • And if you’re planning a wedding too, and are wondering about what you bits you can do yourself, take a look at my tips for arranging your own wedding flowers. This was another DIY I was really pleased we took on (not least because it certainly saved us hundreds and hundreds and pounds…)
  • Naturally, I had a Pinterest board to store all my inspiration when I was planning the wedding: Wedmin

A photo a day: August 22nd

Hand stamped bags for wedding favours
Snacks for the road

Oh dear me, no photo for the day yesterday. I was absolutely determined that I was going to manage to post a picture every single day this month, but yesterday passed by in a blear of exhaustion as I’d got up at 3.30am to go to the New Covent Garden flower market for a trial of wedding flowers…

But more on that tomorrow.

Today, a little more wedmin. I spent the sproglet’s lunchtime nap today hand stamping these bags (above) to use as favours. They’ll be filled with either homemade fudge or homemade peppermint hearts, depending on how the sweet making trials pan out at the weekend.

They’re lying out on the dining room table drying off, surrounded by four buckets full of flowers. It’s all very jolly in there — or would be if I didn’t have the curtains closed and the door shut, in order to keep the flowers as healthy as possible.

Related articles:

  • Take a look at the rest of my August break photos. (Sob, though there are only 20 others, not 21 as there should be…)