Broke-Ass Tag: wedding favors


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Cupcake paper mason jar embellishment

Ah the holidays, a wonderful time of year where families hemorrhage money trying to get each other awesome and thoughtful gifts. I don’t know about your broke ass, but mine has a long list of people that I’m obligated to gift to. When I was still in college (and even more broke), I struggled to check everyone off my list with the least abuse to my wallet possible. I’m one of those rare people that LOVE everything gift related, like crafting, wrapping, giving and receiving gifts. My fiancé Michael’s family is really big into homemade gifts. Gift cards are simply not as thoughtful as say, a hand-knitted scarf or homemade cookies. With that in mind, Michael and I have always tried to make at least one gift each year. In the really poor years, sometimes those were the only gifts people might receive from us. Some projects are really simple to set up an assembly line to make several. I also like to make a few spares for the just-in-case gifts. These I wrap (or bag) in non-Christmas specific paper and attach blank tags to. They get stuck in the closet along with a pen. This keeps me covered when Great Aunt Ethel decides to drop in for a random visit with a gift after not being around for the past 10 years. You look like a total rock star when you come out of the hall closet bearing a pre-wrapped gift that is “already” sporting her name.

Here are three of my favorite handmade gifts that even the most DIY-challenged person should be able to handle:
Real Bride Danielle's Santa Cookie Mix

Santa Cookie Mix in a Jar

Cookies in a Jar
Skill Level: Easy

Items Needed: See jar recipe below
My family always has mason jars lying around from canning food. The quart mason jars make perfect cookies in a jar. No, not pre-cooked cookies, but cookie mix that you layer in a jar all pretty like to impress your friends and family. I’ve also heard them called sand art cookies.

I used Avery 22802 Printable Tags and Avery 22808 Round Labels to jazz up these jars, but only because I already had them lying around from a different project (vanilla extract). I used the Avery Design & Print tool on their website to print up these cute labels. You can also use a cupcake wrapper on the top lid to give it some flare.

Real Bride Danielle's Santa cookie Mix gift idea

Here’s the recipe for the cookie jars:

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
Approximately 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add to quart mason jar
  2. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above, packing tightly with each layer
  3. Force about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips into the very top and secure with lid. I was able to get up to as much as 3/4 cups of chocolate chips into some of my jars, but only by brute force
  4. Embellish jars and add the following instructions

1 Jar Cookie Mix
1 stick softened butter
1 beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Baking Instructions:
Empty jar in large bowl and sift together
Fold in butter, egg and vanilla
Roll into walnut sized balls
Place 2” apart on greased cookie sheet
Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes

Cost to make 12
Dry Ingredients: about $30, but I had most of this stuff in my pantry already
32 oz (quart) Mason Jars: I had these laying around.  Case of 12 on Amazon $25

Total price:  ~$55
Price per jar: ~$5

Real Bride Danielle's Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract
Skill level: Easy

Items Required:
Sealing bottle
Vanilla beans
Plain Vodka (at least 80 proof)

This one is a bit pricier and won’t be completely ready in time for Christmas, but makes a great any time gift. I got the 8 oz jars from Everything Kitchen (but you can also get them from Amazon here). I made 15 bottles of this, so I bought 1/2 lb of vanilla beans from Beanilla, but the general rule is you need at least 3 beans per 8 oz of vodka. I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Grade B beans. I found the cheapest, least flavored vodka my local liquor store had.  The Avery 22808 labels were used on my bottles, but you can use whatever you wish to embellish your bottles.

  1. Wash and sanitize glass bottles
  2. Cut 3 vanilla beans in half. Take the halves and split them lengthwise to expose the vanilla inside. I left mine split but not completely separated since they seemed to go into the jar easier.
  3. Put the three beans into 8oz jar. Pour vodka on top until nearly full, leaving a bit of space at the top. Cover tightly and store in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks. Shake the jars weekly to help the process along. The beans can be removed after 8 weeks.

Cost to make 15
8oz glass bottles: $45 (with shipping)
1/2 lb vanilla beans: $65
1.75L Vodka: $10

Total: $120
Price per jar: $8

Real Bride Danielle's Handmade Corn Heating Pad

Handmade Corn Heating Pad

Heating pads
Skill level: Easy
Special Skills Needed: Ability to sew a vaguely straight line

Items Required:
100% cotton fabric- prewashed
Sewing materials
Whole kernel corn

Supplies to make homemade heating pad

Heating pad supplies

This year’s gift is corn heating pads. They can be heated in the microwave or frozen for hot/cold therapy. You can find whole kernel corn at your local farm supply. I got a 50lb bag for $9 at Tractor Supply Co, but you can get it in smaller bags if you ask. I happen to be making 20-30. You can make these any size and shape. I decided to make mine long and skinny. I’m using 2 fat quarters on mine, one for the heating pad, one for a sleeve.

  1. I took a fat quarter and folded it in half the long way inside out. I cut three inches off the end of mine, but cutting isn’t necessary.
  2. Next, stitch it on the bottom and long side, leaving the top open, and flip outside right.
  3. I filled mine in sections, pinned off that part to keep the corn mostly in, and stitched the section closed. This way all the corn doesn’t fall to the bottom but creates an even heating experience.
  4. Repeat until full. Stitch top shut.
  5. I made a slightly larger sleeve to go over mine to keep it clean, but, the sleeve isn’t necessary.

Cost to make 12
Using only 1 fat quarter: $36
50lb bag of corn: $9

Total Cost: $45
Price per pad: $4

Hopefully I gave you enough time to get your craft on and make some sweet hand made gifts for the holidays this year.

Do you make gifts for your loved ones? What are some of your tried ‘n’ trues?

  • 7/29

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewAs if it even needs mentioning, we’re suckers for some yummy food and delish beverages. I mean, #duh, right? Natch, we like to spread the wealth and share our fave goodies with our friends, family and even wedding guests (we’ve been known to espouse the concept that favors should be skipped unless they can be eaten or drank). So, for this Five for Friday, we’re sharing five of our fave food and drink related gift ideas — perfect for your wedding brigade, your spouse-to-be, parents in-law or even as favors for your guests!

    Dark Chocolate Bourbon Sauce from Matthews 1812 House

    Dark Chocolate Bourbon Sauce, $14.50 for 9 oz. jar from Matthews 1812 House

    Guys, can we just agree to frost every cake for the rest of forever with this stuff? Chocolate + bourbon + sauce = forever love, amirite? Oh, chocolate not your jam? How about caramel bourbon sauce? Yeah, I didn’t think you’d be offended. Give this to your bourbon-loving best lady or your dad with the sweet tooth and revel in the thank-yous for the rest of forever.

     Snake River Farms American Wagyu Steak Flight

    American Wagyu Steak Flight, $169 from Snake River Farms

    I’m a huge fan of good steak, and growing up in the northwest has given me a solid taste for high quality USDA prime cut beef product. Snake River Farms ranks way high with me (go ahead, drool over my Instagrams). This steak flight consisting of two of each American Wagyu Filet Mignon, American Wagyu Sirloin Filet and American Waygu Ribeye Filet plus Espresso Brava Salt, a Snake River Farms hat and a cooking guide all come in a neatly packaged gift box. Perfect for any ardent meat lovers — whether that’s dad, future hubs or the culinary queen in your crew.

    Mouth Rose Colored Glasses Taster

    Rosè-Colored Glasses Taster, $86 from Mouth

    For the rosè lover in your crew (there’s always one), this taster gift set is the perfect way to pop the cork and celebrate your friendship! With a bottle each of Matthiasson Rosé from Napa, Billsboro Rosé of Pinot Noir made in the Finger Lakes of New York and Pom Pomme sparkling cider by Descendant Cider Company in Queens and four stemless wine glasses, there’s no excuse not to be party-ready. Everything’s coming up rosè!

    Dylan's Candy Bar Belgain Chocolage Covered Indulgence

    Belgian Chocolate Covered Indulgence, $80 from Dylan’s Candy Bar

    Whether it’s a late-night indulgence for your crew after partying hard with you or a little somethin’-somethin’ for your sweet-tooth-totin’ mother-in-law, it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate. The Belgian Chocolate Covered Indulgence gift set comes packed with eight gourmet Oreos dipped in chocolate and candies, four chocolate dipped gourmet brownies, four chocolate dipped pretzel sticks and six gourmet chocolate dipped graham crackers. Go on, give a little.

    Carry On Cocktail Kit in Old Fashioned from Amazon

    Carry On Cocktail Kit in Old Fashioned, $15.99 from Amazon

    Traveling these days can be a little hectic and far from luxurious, and if your crew is coming from afar for your nuptials, you might want to treat them with this kit for the journey back (or pre-stock them for the trip to you). The Carry On Cocktail Kit comes with all the makings necessary to whip up two stellar Old Fashioneds, while still leaving your seatbelt buckled (though the tray table may not be in the upright position). Make your homies’ flights a little more enjoyable, and they’ll remember your wedding as the best ever.

    What kind of food or drink related items would you love to get as a gift? Holler in the comments!

  • 4/29

    I've had the idea of carnival weddings on my mind ever since Rachel revealed that would be the theme for her Ohio nuptials. I've seen a few weddings with the theme before and have always loved the fun, colorful, eclectic vibes and gorgeous blend of whimsy and romance. It's kind of impossible not to feel like a kid at heart when attending an event with…

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    When it comes to weddings, it's easy to feel like you have to wow people with grand gestures. But some of the most effective and memorable things I've seen at weddings (and on Pinterest!) have been simple and small -- but well thought out. Here's a few I'd like to share with you: 1) Insta-face seating plan I recently attended a beautiful wedding with loads…

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    I'm kind of a huge fan of a bride and groom rocking sunglasses on their wedding day. Now, not necessarily during the ceremony or during some of the more sweet, serious moments, but certainly while hanging around at cocktail hour and of course on the dance floor and photo booth because, ... #duh. Even better? When said sunglasses are pimped just for you by our homies…

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  • 2/10

    BABs, I have a confession: I have taken a serious break from wedding planning over the last two months. I know, I know; how could I with only 4.5 months(!) to go? To be completely honest with you, real life has been getting in the way. We spent a lot of time and funds over the holidays, and we even settled on a house last…

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    Seed bomb favors from Beau-Coup Dear Heather, Is it absolutely necessary to have favors aside from goodie bags you give to your traveling guests? Brittney Dear Brittney, No. I'm so incredibly tempted to just leave it at that ... you have no idea. However, I'm guessing some of you would appreciate a little elaboration. When it comes to a legally-binding wedding, the only things truly necessary…

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    We know that invitations are one of the first elements of your wedding that convey the look and feel guests can expect on the big day. We also know that wedding invitations can be super pricey. And holy bananas, are there options! Foil, letterpress, embossed, pocket, flat, square, shapes, laser cut ... where do you even begin to begin? Made with PicMonkey Well, you can…

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  • 12/2

    CONGRATS! You survived Thanksgiving Day sales and Black Friday sales (or maybe you opted out of them entirely!), but now it's CYBER MONDAY. Time to totally pretend you're working while secretly buying shizz online! We've rounded up a few of the BEST CM deals for brides from our friends, partners, and affiliates in the wedding biz. ModCloth is of course killin' it with Cyber Monday…

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