Sunday, November 8, 2009

For the Love Birds

We were recently at a wedding and future Palindromother-in-law lamented that the traditional farewell toss was not bestowed on the couple. I was glad to tell her that we had one planned for our exit from the church. While other brides before me have debated the nature and material of their tosses (two of my favorites being Mrs. Kitten's lavender and Mrs. Caterpiller's petal cones), I had one choice due to the contract with our church: bird seed. Amazingly, it fit perfectly with our wedding - traditional, yet fun.

At first, I was set on sewing glassine envelopes with our monogram (a la Mint, the design blog). After researching the costs of envelopes or being faced with the task of cutting sheets of vellum, I resorted to pre-cut tulle rounds. I still wanted to personalize them a bit and so I decided to print out hang tags. I unoriginally chose "For the Love Birds." Despite the lack of creativity, I think they turned out just swell. Feel free to follow my little DIY to make your own bird seed toss packets.

- Pre-cut Tulle Rounds (save your sanity and buy these for cheap at the dollar store - YES! at DOLLAR TREE!)
- Extra Large Marvy Brand Tag Punch (any brand punch will do, but I got mine at Michael's with a 40% off coupon)
- 8.5"x11" Cardstock in your chosen tag color
- Photoshop or similar (I used Corel Paint Shop Pro)
- Printer
- Skinny Ribbon (I precut mine before starting the assembly)
- Small hole punch
- Small bird stamp (in a set of Martha Stewart Baby Shower Clear Stamps - *shrug* they were on clearance!)
- bird seed (I got a 5lb bag from Target that had mixed seeds in it and it was WAY too much)
- coffee scoop

Step 1: Using the dimensions of the tag punch, set a picture size in your photo editing software. In that space, add the text of your choice to fill the space. I can't really tell you how to do this because I'm actually quite the amateur. Basically, I just kept trying different things. If you have a friend or relative with these kind of skills, now is the time to exploit their talent, bribe them with chocolate, ask them politely for their help.  The image below was made with Kuntsler Script font in sizes 22 and 48.  Remember to leave room at the bottom for your stamped image, or add a graphic right into the picture.

Step 2: Arrange your picture into a word template and space it so that you have some wiggle room for the punch.  And use scrap paper the first couple of times you print it out.  Just speaking from experience here. 

Step 3: Print out the pages on cardstock.  If you run out of ink, pout and then buy some more and continue printing.  It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it.

Step 4: Do some handstrengthening exercises while you wait for the printer to finish all of your pages.  You'll need that strength for the massive punch project you have in your future.

Step 5: Realize that you wasted all your energy on hand strengthening exercises and struggle through painstakingly punching all 200 tags.

Step 6:  Hand stamp each tag with your acrylic stamp.  Do them in two batches all spread out on your kitchen table, unless you have a dining room table and can spread them all out at once.  Start in the upper left hand corner of the table and move outward and towards you.  Trust me.

Step 7: Get sucked into whatever TV series you desire and mindlessly punch small hole into the tags.

Step 8: Luckily, Palindromother lives for weddings crafts, so I didn't have to threaten her with torture or even bribe her with chocolate to help assemble the packets.  This project is a lot of fun with a partner, but could be done by yourself if you have a couple seasons of whatever TV series you like.  So you have a choice, get a helper or get ready for more TV.
Step 8a:  Person 1/Bride should put one coffee scoop of birdseed on the tulle round and then twist the top.
Step 8b: Person 2/Motherdrome should tie the ribbon with one knot
Step 8c: Person 1/Bride should then slide the tag on.
Step 8d:: Person 2/Motherdrome should finish it with a ribbon (we found the tags lay the best using this method).

Step 9: Put the finished packets in a plastic covered box, or seal a regular box and put it high in your closet so as not to attract critters.

Are you planning a bird seed toss?  Was your toss material dictated by your venue?


Mouse said...

Oh boy, haven't even started to think about this bit yet. I wanted sparklers, but I suspect they're not legal in the desert state where we're getting married. Sigh.

melinda said...

All the fun stuff is always outlawed!

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