Archive for December, 2009

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Okay, you’ve thought of everything, the invitations, the reception decor, even the little red truck your 2-year old ring bearer is going to ride down the aisle has been decorated. There’s only one small, but very important detail left to attend to…the thank you favors.

Oftentimes, thank you favors get lost in the hustle and bustle of event planning but they are just as important as all of the other details. The thank you favor is a genuine show of appreciation to your guests and lets them know that their attendance is an important part of your grand celebration. Simply put, it lets them know that you care about them.

Favors can run the full spectrum in terms of extravagance and pricing, but for the budget conscious bride or event planner, there’s no need to sacrifice quality for cost. All it takes is an extra bit of creative thinking to fashion a super stylish favor that won’t break the bank. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  1. For a cute candy favor, buy candy in bulk and use colored organza bags as the container. Create a custom favor tag that looks like your invitation using your home computer. However, I would recommend that you print the labels at your local copy shop on their color copier/laser printer. Ink jet printers  scream “homemade” because of the obvious difference in ink quality. Plus, if the tags (printed on an ink jet) get wet, there goes your presentation.
  2. Use clear favor boxes with a decorative ribbon or crystal accent and add a sticker tag with sticker sheets found at Staples or OfficeMax. Or, you can create a fold over tag and pair it with clear cello bags from the craft store. This is a great way to use local favorites like Garrett’s cheese & caramel popcorn for a Chicago-themed wedding or Rocky Mountain candy apples as your parting gift. Guests love the personality of local food favorites. Martha Stewart has some useful templates for tags & favors, free to download here.
  3. Go for something three-dimensional and customize it with a personalized pendant. I used this idea for a wedding favor that was three days before Christmas. The secret here is to purchase the base of your gift, whatever that may be, in bulk, that’s the way to make your favor dollars stretch the farthest. Once you customize it with your own pendant, no one will ever guess that it wasn’t made just for them because it looks so much more expensive than it really is…shhh! You can check out the Custom Favor Ornament here.
  4. Even though the CD favor has gotten some mileage, it can still be a great favor if executed well. When it comes to the CD favor, packaging is everything. Skip over the clear plastic CD cases and opt for something much more personal. Use a cardstock in your event theme’s colors to create the case, then personalize it with a special story about the couple or event and how these songs made the cut. Do they hold any significance? If so, tell that story to your guests. Oh, and don’t forget to list the songs and track numbers for easy reference later.

The secret to making any party favor spectacular is the presentation. As long and you go the extra mile to make it special and unique to your event, it will be a great gift. Really, the only time you’ll lose favor points is if your gift looks mass-produced, so don’t get lazy during the last leg of the race, finish it out in style:)

Have you got a great idea for a unique favor? Add your idea here…

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Have you ever received an invitation that arrived on the most sumptuous textured paper with letters that seemed to leap off the page begging for your return reply? Well, if so, then you have no doubt been enchanted by a delightfully delicious letterpress invitation.

Letterpress is a classic art of printing in which a pattern is (usually) inked and pressed into the surface of the paper. Letterpress is experiencing a revival in our highly digitized world and I, for one, am excited about the comeback.

If you’re shopping around for invites and want a classic, handcrafted feel then letterpress is definitely a wonderful choice. When visiting the invitationer, you’re likely to hear a few terms tossed about. Don’t be intimidated, we’ll break them down here…

Debossing is when the design is pressed into the paper. Typically ink is not added to the impression so it’s great for a graphic element to accent your information.

The easiest way to think of it is if you were riding along in the car and drove over a pothole. The wheel of the car is forced downward in order to fill the empty space created by the pothole. If the street were an invitation, the pothole would be the debossed accent. In the invitation on the left, you’ll notice that the letters and date dip down into the paper, that’s a sure-fire giveaway that the paper is debossed.

Now, let’s move along and onto another road. We turn down a residential street and notice that they’ve included speed bumps so that we don’t speed down the block. (Children must live on this street.) If this street were an invitation, then it would be embossed because the wheel is pushed up in order to accommodate the disturbance in the road.

The traditional letterpress invitations usually will not have ink added to the impression but the more modern styles will be accented with an ink color. Either way is fine, there’s no rule of thumb here. It all depends on what flavor you want to add to your special event. Brighter colors create a fun, relaxed tone while darker colors or creams suggest a more formal event. Hope this helps!

Have you got a burning craft question? Feel free to leave a comment and we’ll include it in the next “What Is That?” series of posts.

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