Sunday, January 15, 2012

Handcrafted Wedding Favors: Happy Tears Handkerchiefs

In searching for ideas to incorporate into our wedding, I found so many wedding favors that I loved that we actually had quite a few different wedding favors given out at our wedding. But we hardly spent any money on them because we chose to make most of them ourselves (with lots of help from our wonderful family). One of my favorites is this handkerchief for happy tears.

To go with our wedding colors, we choose to make two different sets of handkerchiefs one in lavender (for women) and one in silver gray (for men). We didn't think the guys would really like the lavender ones that much, but you could just choose one more neutral color to simplify things as well.

I had bought a lot of white fabric really inexpensively to use for making table cloths and decorating for the wedding, so I just used a little of this to sew the handkerchiefs. Since I wanted to make 200 of these, I made this a pretty quick sewing project. I cut 9 inch squares out of white muslin. Then I folded the edge over about 1/4 inch over as I was sewing and zigzagged around all sides in contracting thread. When I zigzagged, I sewed very close to the edge allowing the needle to go over the edge every other zigzag. I thought this was a quick way to finish the edges nicely with a decorative touch.

If you had more time, folding the edges over twice would probably look slightly nicer and last a little longer. But even though the edges had a few loose threads that came off the first few washes, we are still using the extra handkerchiefs on a daily basis more than 4 years after our wedding. There were quite a few left over, so as an added bonus, we now have a lot of cloth hankies to use instead of Kleenex, and they are holding up great.

If you could find a great deal on small handkerchiefs you could eliminate the sewing step entirely if you wished. Or you could find someone else who like to sew and wanted to do this a wedding gift or for a reasonable price.

For the next step, we enlisted the help of two of our grandmothers. My husband had created a special letter, kind of like a combined monogram that was an A (for Anna) and a N (for Nate) together. You could of course just use a regular monogram or other small symbol as well. This special letter was used in many things for our wedding, and we asked our grandmothers to embroider it in the corner of each handkerchief. I gave each one completed handkerchief, and the pattern to fit in the corner and trace on each handkerchief. I think our grandmothers were actually quite happy to help and be apart of our wedding in this way.

Lastly, we folded each handkerchief so all points pointed in, with the embroidered corner on top. We made our own wedding programs that had pockets in the front and back for favors, so on the front pocket we had printed the message "For happy tears." Alternately, you could print this message on a small piece of card stock and tie it onto the handkerchief with a ribbon.

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