#MyBestFriendsWedding Bonus Chapter – Bouquet Preservation Ornaments

Looking back on all the crafting opportunities my best friend’s wedding brought me has been incredibly fulfilling, and as the wedding craziness came to a close, there was one more project I wanted to tackle: preserving the bouquet.

This idea came to be because through all of my endless Pinterest perusing I kept seeing pictures of preserved bouquets, and so I asked Michelle if she had any plans for it and when she said she didn’t, I asked if she minded if I tried something, which she agreed to. I really didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I had a few options in mind from my favorite pins:

  • A framed “pressed” bouquet: I really liked this option because Michelle’s bouquet had lots of colors and a similar “spread” look, but I knew this one would be virtually impossible to make because hers was HUGE and shrinking it would take away from its original shape. Upon deeper research I also came to realize this preservation technique was no DIY and would turn out to be really expensive.
  • A paper weight: this option looked truly stunning with the added plus that there could be multiples made for the mothers of the bride and groom, etc. When I first saw it, I assumed I’d be able to do it myself with resin, but then I did some research and realized that the resin is a really strong chemical that would tamper the flowers and it would end up looking a mess.
  • A Christmas ornament: this was basically the only option that looked truly DIY-able, could also yield multiple items and was very pretty, so that basically made the decision for me and I got to work!

I brought the wedding bouquet home with me from the reception and put it in water so that the flowers would survive while I figured out the action plan and bought the materials. I read that silica gel was the perfect medium to dry the flowers, and when I went to ask about it at JoAnn, turns out they have actual flower drying crystals. Since the wedding was in the spring, there were no Christmas products in stores, so I bought the clear ornaments from Amazon. The two final touches to complete the look were a thin burgundy ribbon to cover the line where the ornament comes together, and some copper/rose gold jingle bells because if you thought I wasn’t going to add some sort of rose gold element to this final wedding craft, you haven’t been following this journey very closely…

Below a quick gallery look at the steps to get the flowers dry:

I handled the flowers and the gel with latex gloves to avoid any skin reactions or allergies. I placed a layer of the drying gel as a bed in a long Tupperware container. Cut all the usable flowers and pretty leaves from the stems, and filled them with the crystals. I used the entire container of drying crystals. The instructions said to leave them for two weeks, but since I was mid-moving, I actually left them in there for over a month. When I took them out they were all beyond dry and after I shook off the drying crystals, they were ready to go!

The process of choosing the flowers for each ornament was pretty easy, I tried to make them all different and as filled as possible. I ended up being able to make six of them, and I think they turned out really cute! Which, I should say here that the original stunning bouquet is a creation of Ever After Floral Designs in South Florida. I’ve been to two weddings where they provided the florals and they were INCREDIBLE. (Note to brides: their bouquets are extremely elaborate and heavy, and will give you the arm workout of your life!)

The last step was to find a container to give them to Michelle, and I ended up finding the PERFECT one by looking around JoAnn and finding an empty box of a product that I later spray painted, you guessed it – rose gold.

On the left you can see the variety of flowers and leaves I included in the ornaments to preserve the same look and feel of Michelle’s bouquet. In the middle are the rose gold box, jingle bells & burgundy ribbon, and on the right, the final ornaments!

Once the ornaments were done I did a trial fitting into the box and, guys – words can’t explain my excitement when I realized the ornaments fit PERFECTLY in that container I found in JoAnn, as if they were supposed to go in there in the first place. It was a total “eye-ball” guesstimation success. I added some shredded paper to cushion them and that’s all she wrote! The final product:

Have any of you guys done a bouquet preservation project? Drop links to your pictures in the comments, I’d love to see some more cool ideas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

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The Panty Poem: A Great Activity for Bridal Showers & Bachelorettes!

As I promised a few weeks back, I wanted to dedicate a post to the Panty Poem activity we did during Michelle’s bachelorette in New Orleans.

I originally got the idea from my friend Demi when she was planning Vanessa’s Bachelorette last year, and I knew it would be a hit with Michelle as well! The way it works is, every girl attending the shower or bachelorette is assigned to bring a pair of underwear that is related to a milestone in a marriage (wedding night, pregnancy, 25th anniversary, etc.) and each pair has a poem verse that goes with.

I found a few poem options, including this one from The Knot but I kept running into the issue that no version had more than nine verses. So I looked online until I found enough options to inspire me to crank out the extra verses and edited the poem to fit Michelle’s life. Then, it was time to design the tags, which I included in each of the girls’ welcome kits so that they could tie them to the underwear before we did the activity with Michelle. Without further ado, here’s the full panty poem version, and some really funny reactions to a few spicy pairs of underwear…

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This was Michelle before she knew what was going on, and the clothesline ready to be filled!

The Panty Poem

This bride tribe has a gift
All for our cheeky bride
Married life requires some underwear
We got you girl, it’s time!

Michelle, these undies are to last you
All throughout your life
And Brian will be pleased to say
He has a sexy wife!

So listen up to hear about
Your lifelong panty plan
And though this is for the bride

The groom for sure will say OH MAN!

1st Pair: Wedding Night White

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The first are for your wedding day 
Of course they are pure white 
We know Brian will shout, “Hooray!” 
When he sees you on that night

2nd Pair: “Love At First Bite” Pizza Undies for Rome

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The next are for your honeymoon 
Your first stop will be Rome
So we got you this festive pair
To kickstart all the nom nom nom

3rd Pair: Honeymoon Lace

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For your next stop, we got you these
They’re sexy and all lace 
We hope you’ll leave your hotel room 
‘Cause Spain’s a gorgeous place!

4th Pair: Valentine’s Day Red

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On Valentine’s you’ll wear this pair 
Before you hit the bed 
Cuz Cupid’s arrow in the air
Shoots tushies that are red

5th Pair: 1st Anniversary Leopard Print

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After a year has passed, you’ll face 
Anniversary number one 
With these you’ll surely have a blast 
‘Cuz leopard’s so much fun!

6th Pair: Leather Set

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And when you’re feeling ready
For your own kind of 50 shades
We know this pair will have Brian
Feeling like your personal Mr. Grey

7th & 8th Pair: Pink & Blue Pregnancy Undies

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Then when the time is right for you 
And don’t be saying, “Maybe” 
You’ll wear your little pink or blue 
In honor of your baby

9th Pair: Edible Underwear

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For random days where there you are
Wanting to spice things up
Brian can enjoy a trip down south
And take these off in one gulp

10th Pair: 25th Anniversary Silver

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And when your years of wedded bliss 
Become the big 2-5 
Don’t worry – you’ll just slip this on 
To keep the sparks alive

11th Pair: 50th Anniversary Gold

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On your 50th anniversary
You’ll be total couple goals
So this pair will be your version
Of winning Olympic gold

12th Pair: Granny Panties!

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When finally you’re old and gray 
With these you can’t go wrong 
‘Cuz sorry Meech but at that age
You just can’t wear a thong

And that’s the Panty Poem! She totally didn’t see it coming and had so much fun and laughed her butt off with all the crazy underwear she got! And the clothesline looked pretty cool at the end 😉

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Have you guys done a Panty Poem before? Share any cool/funny verses you’ve heard below!

Travel Gift DYI: Worldly Robe

I’m not usually in favor of hand-making gifts for my friends – there’s nothing wrong with it but I just feel like the types of items my friends like are not usually things I can make myself – but I broke my rule for this one, and it actually wasn’t by choice.

My good friend and I (we call each other twin due to our similarities) went to enjoy some summer pool parties in Las Vegas in summer of 2017. While at one of these pool parties, my twin noticed a girl wearing a gorgeous teal robe that had a world map in some orange pattern fabric in the back. It was very pretty and as soon as she said it I made a mental note to look one up for her after the trip, which would be her birthday gift the following January.

The trip ended and I began my search for this robe. I looked for weeks – on Google, on Etsy, on any site that had a working search engine – and I found nothing. There wasn’t a single map robe to select from. I was at a loss for words trying to imagine what kind of custom-made job this was when the light bulb went off: I could make it myself!

Again, I’ve never felt like my crafts would make a nice enough birthday present, but this one seemed like the perfect fit and I knew my twin would love it, as she loves travel and all world-themed paraphernalia.

I found a robe on amazon and I stuck with the teal because she loves that color too, and I decided to go with gold glitter heat transfer vinyl (HTV) for the map.

I had a little bit of a hard time deciding how big to make the map, because it’s not going to look its best stretched out across the whole back, so after some googling, I figured that 16.5 inches would be a good width for the map. I cut it (using my Cricut as always) and prepared it for ironing and went over it like 45 times with the iron to make sure it stuck well. In the end, I was very happy with the final result!

Then, I was at the liquor store one day and came across these world map glasses (kind of like these, but in gold instead of etched) that perfectly complemented not just the color scheme, but the vibe of relaxing in a nice robe while having a drink, and my gift was complete.

My twin absolutely LOVED the robe and she definitely appreciated it, although she did not really remember the girl in Vegas – which I had a feeling would be the case. It still turned out to be a great gift & surprise!

Do you make gifts for your friends often? What’s your recommendation for ensuring “store-bought” quality results? Leave a comment below with your tips or links!

#MyBestFriendsWedding Chapter 6: Serendipitous Gifting

This is a super quick entry I just HAD to write about!

So remember last year, when my best friend Michelle got engaged, I helped plan/decorate the engagement party at her parents house, but the gift I had ordered for her didn’t arrive on time to give it to her that day (I ordered late, and usually things from Etsy take a bit longer than from other sites).

Since they obviously didn’t have a registry and were already living together, I didn’t quite know what to get them, until one day the idea occurred to me: I should get them a stamp with their names and address, that they could use for anything – maybe even for their wedding envelopes! I found this gorgeous stamp on the BettyLuPaperie Etsy shop and I pulled the trigger. And when it finally arrived, Michelle loved it and without me saying it, she mentioned she could use it for her wedding invitations. Great minds thinking alike, and that was that, for the time being.

Fast-forward to when she ordered her invitations on Mint, originally we had talked about me doing the calligraphy, but since Mint offered to print addresses and names on envelopes as part of the package, she figured I had enough to do and it would be easiest to just get it printed.

So guess what?

The font she picked from Mint’s options was THE SAME FONT ON THE STAMP THAT I GOT HER!!! What are the chances? At the end, it worked out perfectly and the look on the envelopes was cohesive, front and back. Check out her invites on the left versus the stamp font on the right!

That’s all 🙂 Just wanted to jump on here and share the serendipitous joy with you all!