Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wedding Favors - Handmade Drawstring Bags with Wildflower Seeds

For our fall time wedding, Steve and I decided to give something that wasn't a one time use/eat/throw away present for our wedding guests. We thought flower seeds were the perfect way that our guests could be reminded of our wedding each year with the blooming of wildflowers.

Not only was it fun to give these little gifts, but we saved a lot of money making the presents ourselves.

Here are the materials and costs for our wedding gifts, makes about 100:

  1. Natural Muslin, 2 yards (in case of mistakes, extra is better): $3.98/yard = $7.96
  2. Baker's Twine, 40 yards total (I picked two colors, 20 yards each) = $5.99
  3. Plastic Bags for seeds, 100 total (I couldn't buy less than 500 on Amazon.com) = $4.29
  4. 2 lbs of Wildflower Fall seed mix from Flower Art & Soul (1.5lbs would do, but you have to buy in full pound amounts, so I bought 2 lbs): $48/lb = $72 (since I have a half of pound left over!)
  5. 130 Kraft paper tags (bought from a seller no longer listed on Etsy) = $10.50
  6. Paper, tea for dying the paper = pennies, negligible cost
Total cost to make: $100.74, about $1.00 per guest
(of course, you can always make this project cheaper.. find less than 500 plastic baggies [I felt strange buying so many little bags from the internet...], buy your muslin or baker's twine on sale [or with a coupon - I never go into ACMoore without a 50% off coupon for myself and Steve!], or find cheaper wildflower seeds).

I measured, cut, ironed and sewed about 105 muslin drawstring bags, half with yellow twine and half with red twine (since those were our wedding colors). I used about 12" of twine for each bag. Steve filled each plastic bag with about 1 generous tablespoon of the seeds and the insert.

For the insert, Steve downloaded a typewriter font and I printed on both sides of the paper for our wedding label, and instructions/contents on the back side. I printed 10 tags per page, so I only had to print 11 pages of text (one for mistakes!). I created a tea bath with a big pyrex dish, five tea bags and boiling water. I let the paper soak in the tea for ~15 minutes then hung them up to dry. Instead of having stark white paper contrasted with the natural muslin bags, I thought tea dying the paper would add an extra touch!

My mom was kind enough to calligraphy all the guests names onto the tags, and I went back through and labeled the table numbers after I finalized my lists.

It was a time consuming project, but so much fun to have something to do at the end of the day, and I even got Steve to participate which was definitely the best part! I am looking forward to seeing how the flowers bloom for our families and friends next fall :)

A finished gift bag for my nephew, with a handmade napkin my mom made!