Monday 4 July 2011

Hen Party Gift Bags

I can now show you one of the things I'd been working on during June. It was my best friend Rosie's Hen Weekend last week, and we had a fantastic time (Hen Party also known as Bachelorette / Stagette party for those reading in America / Canada!). I was in charge of organising the weekend - although Rosie chose all the activities, location etc - I was in contact with all the hens and planned a few surprises for Rosie too. You won't be shocked to hear that some of these surprises were crafted items!

The crafted items that took the longest were gift bags which I made for all the hens, including Rosie, so 13 in total. To keep things a little easier I stuck to a theme when creating everything, using book papers and a vintage style. Rosie loves books so that was a perfect excuse to go with this theme, and the weekend was quite grown up and genteel for a hen party - partly because her mum and mother-in-law-to-be were attending, but also just because that's more Rosie's style - so the vintage theme fit the bill.

The first items I made were welcome cards. I used Papermania A6 kraft card blanks for the base, watercolour painted a piece of book paper for the background, and added some vintage bird images which I downloaded from the Graphics Fairy blog (Rosie's surname is Bird!). I also added a quote to each, and some ribbon and buttons:

The quote on each card was different, some funny, some inspiring, some about women, some about friendship. I turned this into a game, by not writing who said or wrote the quote, but giving a list inside the card of all the right answers. The hen then guessed who spoke or wrote their quote by handing the slip back in to me. It was just-for-fun, a way to get people chatting to each other if there were awkward silences while we got to know each other!

So the inside of the card had the game details, the answer slip tucked behind the details, a welcome message, an itinerary, and a map of the city of Bath where we spent the weekend:

I also decorated the envelopes with a stamped frame for the hen's name, and glued on postage stamps with different images on. I couldn't get the envelopes to photograph well though.

The next thing I made for the gift bags was name badges. I cut a circle of card from a cereal packet, glued a circle of book paper to it and inked the edges, then stitched a smaller circle of vintage material to the centre. I stamped the names with black ink onto cream card, and then used brown watercolour paint to darken the edges and make them look a bit vintage. I used a hot glue gun to adhere a safety pin to the back to turn them into badges. Hey presto!:

It worked out that the badges co-incidentally matched the clothes people were wearing on the Friday evening!

Another paper-crafting item I made for each Hen was a notebook. I made them A6 size, by cutting six sheets of A4 paper in half to make them A5 size, then folding this in half again to make an A6 book of paper (so I got enough paper for two books from the A4 sheets). I then cut patterned scrapbook paper (the thicker sort) down to wrap around this as the covers - making sure they were a bit larger than the plain paper so you wouldn't see the pages from the outside. I stapled the covers onto the pages using a long-reach stapler.

I decorated the covers with images copied from vintage children's books which I own, along with a stamped flower image, a book paper flower with a button centre, a gem, and the word 'notes':

I also made lemon biscuits to go in each gift bag, three biscuits for each hen, one flower shaped, one heart shaped, and the biggest biscuit was a gingerbread-girl shape, which I wrote 'Rosie's Hens' on using black food colouring and a paintbrush:

Sorry it's a bit shiny - they were all wrapped in cellophane!

Lastly I made the gift bags themselves, following this tutorial here. I adapted it a bit, by cutting slots for the handles instead of attaching ribbon, as it would have used up so much ribbon! I also had to use a hot glue gun to stick them together, as my tape-runner wasn't strong enough for the DCWV metallic cardstock I was using.

I added a tag which I'd made in publisher, with a 'welcome' message and an embarrassing photo of Rosie dressed up in costume as a young girl. She says the costume was a Victorian lady, but she looks quite bride-like in the photo so it worked well for the hen weekend! I also added a little pack of love hearts and a pencil to the gift bags. Here's a complete bag:

I think everyone appreciated them! I loved seeing everyone wear the badges all weekend.

I'll do another post to share the other handmade surprises for Rosie, and show you a couple of photos from the weekend. That's assuming I haven't gone into labour before I get a chance to type up the post - only 3 days until I'm due!

In the meantime, Rosie has been blogging about her wedding invites, and some bunting we've been putting together to decorate her wedding venue, so if you're interested head over to her blog here. xxx


Rosie Bird-Hawkins said...

Hi Jennifer.

Thanks again for all your hard work for the weekend - I trust that you also had fun - it was an absolutely wonderful time for me. Words fail to do justice to your dedication to head-hen duties.

Rosie x

ps. thanks for the link to my blog!

Alison said...

How clever of Rosie to have chosen you to organise her Hen did good! Hope you don't have to wait too long for your own 'big Event'!
Alison xx

Sian said...

Jennifer, what an amazing job you did - obviously a real labour of love! I kept on scrolling down and seeing each new thing you made and my eyes were getting bigger and bigger. Thanks for letting us see

Susanne said...

Wow, you certainly put a lot of thought and time and craftiness in preparing for your hen party. Looks like such fun.

Annie said...

WOW! All of the things you made were awesome! So fantastic!

alexa said...

What a wonderful best friend you are! I hope she realises how lucky she is to have you. :) Your work is stunning in its detail and thoughtfulness.

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