- 4 years ago
Hi y’all! After lurking for literally years, I’m finally making my first post on Weddingbee as a bride-to-be! I’m getting married this coming October to the man of my dreams, but am coming to the planning from a non-typical angle. Professionally, I am a full-time wedding photographer and wedding writer. My background is also as a commercial graphic designer and print maker with a degree in painting and photography.
So when I say I’m having a DIY wedding, I really, really mean it. From letterpressing my own invites to making my own veil, potentially making the bridesmaid dresses to creating all floral arrangements and cakes. I hope that I’ll be able to share some advice in “advanced” crafting/DIY, or at least ways to elevate easy DIY crafts to a level where they are better referred to as “bespoke” 😉
Because my wedding is in the town where my fiance and I live, but none of our familes or close friends do, I knew I wanted to put together OOT bags for the bridal party, our families, guests traveling from overseas, and those making special concessions to come for longer weekends.
I purchased the totes in packs of 3 from Michael’s crafts. Normally it’s around 3/$9.99, but I went in with a coupon for 50% of total purchase bringing it down to about $1.60 per bag. I don’t have to make too terribly many of these, so I didn’t look around online for cheaper totes. Though they do exist. I wanted to get a feel for the quality of the bags in person.
My primary goal was to have a nice bag that related to the rest of the look of our wedding, but that didn’t scream “D+L! MARRIED! WAHOO!” so that it might actually be used again by someone other than our mothers. Since we are getting married in Richmond, I picked up the Virginia Is For Lovers state slogan. The silhouette is of us and is a recurring motif in our paper goods and decor. The final design was created in Illustrator. It’s very important to remember to flip the design before printing on the iron-on transfer paper so that the writing/design is reversed/mirror image. Then it was just printed using my home inkjet printer set on high quality.
I used Avery iron-on paper that I already had http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006HV2ZE/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The trick is then to trim around as close to the design as possible so that you dont have the look of ghosting from the transparent transfer material.
Turning the iron on as hot as it would go, without steam, iron that sucker with as much pressure as you can manage according to the directions on the transfer paper. I found it easiest to put a smooth board down on the floor so that the surface didn’t have give and I could put my full weight on it. Check that it is tightly ironed on. Warning though, even with the cotton totes, if you leave the hot iron one spot too long it will yellow or burn the fabric.
Remove the heated toted from the ironing surface so it will cool fast. Once it is room temperature, it should easily peel off without gumming back to the transfer backing. If it looks like the corners are still trying to peel back up, stick it back under the iron.
I still don’t expect most people to use these too long after the wedding, so I didn’t tear my hair out looking for a more permanant type of printing. (Commercially, you would want to do these screenprinted.) My design didn’t fill the 8.5″x11″ sheet fully, so I used the extra space to put in fun little icons and vectors that I can use later for other projects. Nothing really in mind, just didn’t really want to waste the extra paper.
I’m still compiling things to fill them with. So far I have: mini hand sanitizers picked up from Bath and Body Works with a gift card from the aunt who has given me lotion every Christmas since I was 12; a nice handkerchief with the same silhouette done very small in the corner; 2 bottles of water (to be purchased); pretzels (TBP); mints bought in bulk from Costco; crayons and a little coloring book for those with kids; map and visitors guide to Richmond; weekend itinerary. For the bridal party, this also includes the girls’ robes, jewelry, and a cute little lip gloss. The guys get their ties, a bottle opener keychain, and something TBD. Total cost to me other than bridal party extras should be less than $6 per bag, including the bag itself.
Anyone else have great suggestions for what to include? It’s not a beach wedding, and it’s mid-fall, so the usual sunscreen, flipflops, sunglasses stuff that works well for most destination events isn’t as appropriate.
So excited to “meet” more of you on here!!