Monday, August 13, 2012

Wedding Recyclable Gift Bags

One of the fun, but time consuming things I got to make  for my son's wedding were the 35 recyclable gift bags and the tags to embellish them and make them specific to Shaun and Ashley's wedding. I have to say that it took a while to find the right bags and I was a very lucky lady that my Hobby Lobby had them in the quantity I needed!

The cloth bags were neutral colored and since there were a lot of polka dots on their wedding invites and on the dresses of the Ashley's attendants, I suggested that we add polka dots to the bags. My first attempt, and I will spare the details,was less than stellar, but I finally got in the groove! Here are the basics.

Buy bags that will fit what you want to give away, but that are no bigger than that. Bigger bags will either flop over or have to be stuffed with paper, which goes against the idea of recyclable bag! Our bags were 11"W x 8.5"H x 3" deep. Perfect for the two water bottles and other items we would put in and great for carrying your iPad or Nook or a couple of books at the beach or to the pool!

One of the most important decisions a couple makes about the look of their wedding is the color scheme. Anything you make for a wedding should respect these color choices. Odds are you will not find the exact color and have to create your own mix.

 In this case, their colors were beige with a hint of pink.  To make the bags easier to reuse, I decided to match the beige and since it was a wedding, I wanted a bit of glitter in the paint.  I needed a fabric paint that would match their beige color, not as easy as it sounds! Mixing Tulip's Slick Brown, Slick White, and their Glitter Crystal Sparkles just didn't do it. Their beige has more than a hint of grey in it. My paint and glitter mist collections included a bottle of "Tattered Angel's Stiletto" a glittery dark grey which added to the rest of the mix, gave me the perfect color to match their invitations! Just know that it takes a lot of patience, where you add a little of each color at a time. Make more than you need! Trust me, making a second batch to match the first exactly is not much easier than making the first! 


Making sure that all the polka dots are the same size and are placed at the right intervals is also harder than you think.

I found that using vinyl sheets I had stashed away (I still have about 25 left, lol) was a perfect way to make the template I needed. 

I used a 1 1/4" punch to create the holes.

Then I cut each apart, leaving enough room around the circle so that I could make sure that my brush strokes would not result in me adding paint past the stencil.

I used one of the individual circles per side, wiping both the top and sticky bottoms lightly between dots.  Be prepared, it took me 30 minutes per side for my first few bags and perhaps 20 per side once I figured out the process.

I painted the first circle at the top right corner of the bag. I put a line on the top of my brush, and used it to measure the disctanse between the circles, making sure the brush handle ran through the middle of the two closest circles. Remember to wipe off your vinyl stencil after each circle or you will end up with a smudge somewhere, guaranteed!

Make sure that you let one side dry completely before you try to paint the other!

The bags were prettier with painted dots on the handles but these were very hard to do and not smudge. So I only made enough with painted handles for the wedding party!

A lot of patience and roughly 70 hours from start to finish on the bags and another 20 on the 35 tags and, here is the result!


The bags were filled with:

  • A pamphlet with timings and addresses for the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception as well as, places to eat and visit, a contact person that can help anyone lost, stranded or who needs help so that the bride and groom can attend to everything they need to without being disturbed.
  • Two bottles of water
  • Two bottle cozies with the Bride and Groom's names and the wedding date
  • Two  packets of Tylenol
  • Two  packets of Ibuprofen
  • Two  packets of Sun Screen (our nod to the wedding being in Florida)
  • Two  packs of peanuts 
  • Two chocolate bars
  • Two packs of cheese crackers
  • A handful of individually wrapped Life Saver mints
  • A pack of Kleenex (weddings make a lot of us cry)
  • A  business card giving the email addresses  for guests to forward video's and pictures
Next blog post will be about the wedding booth and what I used!


janierob said...

90 hours! What a wonderful gift for all the attendees. You certainly put your whole heart into your projects, but this one was also a labor of love. The bags were very classy and cute. I hope the attendees find lots of uses for their polka-dot bags.


Carole RB said...

Bonjour M-C

Quelle bonne idée que ce sac ainsi que tout ce qu'il contenait. Tu as travaillé fort. Je suis certaine que les gens ont apprécié!