I know I’m jumping right in with the craftiness before going over bridal party intros or the dress post, but I found this project today and was too excited not to share.
Bridesmaids gifts are important to me for a lot of reasons. It’s a lot of work being a bridesmaid! Plus all of my ladies have to travel at least two hours to get to our wedding – I want a nice “thank you, you rock” gift to hand each of them the night of the rehearsal.
I always planned on giving them a bag full of goodies (which shall go unnamed, just in case any of the ‘maids are on here poking around. I want it to be a surprise!) While I am a crafty girl, I was hoping to avoid sewing totes. There’s the affordable paper bag option, but a keepsake sounded a little nicer, especially if the ‘maids ended up hauling anything around with them the day of the wedding from hotel to church to reception. I am a hauler of goods and go to work every day with a huge purse and a tote – I understand the need for “haulability.”
My Vera totes have never let me down, they’re washable, foldable, carry a ton of stuff….oh yeah, and they run about $45 a piece. Not that my bridesmaids aren’t worth that, because they are worth all that times about a million…but if I want to stuff each of these totes with goodies, $45 each isn’t gonna fly. Plus I recalled one of the ladies likening my beloved Veras to “old lady bags.” Now EE, if you are reading this, I know you and I share the Vera love…but not all the girls do…so moving on to the next big idea.
I was having my eyebrows waxed and my rockstar aesthetician asked me what I was giving my ‘maids. I told her a few things, then I said that I wanted to pack them all in a tote. She thought it was a great idea (she is super-opinionated…but in a good way, ie if she thought the idea was a piece of crap she’d tell me, so I was glad she thought the tote thing was cute!). She suggested monogramed llbean or land’s end totes, you know, the famous boating totes:
These are awesome, and I totally love mine (did I mention I’m a bag person?) but the only one that touches the budget is the small size. Again, I have a small and LOVE it, however, it’s still kind of out of the budget range and it’s a bit small for what I want to use it for – so even with the monogram deal (free monogramming for LL Bean card members) this didn’t seem possible budget-wise, unless I ordered one tote a week. Meh.
Last night I finally resigned to the fact that I would be making these totes. I figured I could get some bulk-pricing on canvas fabric and sew totes with cute liners. Maybe I could even hand embroider them. I came into work this morning and started googling. I found this gem:
Complete with tutorial (both photo and tutorial found here)! It takes a craft store tote and jazzes it up with a fabric paint motif and monogram. Hello perfection! I think this is cool and pretty enough for the girls to want to use again, and it’s certainly within my budget and large enough to fit all kinds of great stuff. I mentioned before that we’re featuring a ton of DIY projects throughout the course of this wedding, but this is certainly my favorite find thus far, so much so that I might prioritize this project for my housesitting stint! When I do take it on, I’ll come back with a full report and pictures.