How To Make Personalized Favors

Chalk this one up to creative inspiration… or more accurately, creative desperation.

Before my friend Sara’s bridal shower finally took place last weekend, there were months of planning involved.  Thanks mostly to my mom, Google, and some pretty convincing fake-it-til-you-make-it, everything came together really well and it was a wonderful day celebrating Sara’s approaching marriage.

However, as Sara’s maid of honor and main shower planner, one of the things I did find myself scrambling with at the end was favors for the guests.  I only had a few guidelines: 1) edible or usable favors that wouldn’t just be another knickknack on someone’s shelf, 2) a little personalized flair, and 3) a cost that kept me under budget.

With that in mind, I started looking up personalized M&Ms – I thought it would be sweet to pick some in Sara’s color scheme and add messages like “Sara’s Bridal Shower” and “Thanks For Coming!” on some of them.  However, for the quantity I’d need to buy, the prices were wayyy over what I could spend (like $150 for a 5 lb. bag).

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So back to the drawing board I went.  Next, I looked into personalized Hershey’s Kisses.  They’re definitely less expensive than the M&Ms because the personalized printing is done on the paper wrapper instead of the candy itself, which I would imagine is much less complicated – but in the end, this possibility was still above what I was hoping to spend.

And then, inspiration struck.  I was actually pretty sick that day so it might have been the 101-degree temperature addling my normal mental functions, but we’ll go with inspiration.  The Hershey’s Kisses website mentioned the exact dimensions of the personalized image, and I thought, “I could probably do that myself!”  So I ventured out into public (a very bad idea in my state of fever-induced delirium, but that’s a story for another day), made a few quick stops, and parked myself on the couch for the afternoon.  I ended up with some sweet and tasty favors I was really happy with, so I thought I’d share.  These would work great for showers, birthday parties, holiday events, or anything else where chocolate is required!

Personalized Hershey’s Kisses Favors

What You Need:

  • Hershey’s Kisses (I got two family-size bags to make about 20 favors)
  • 3/4” round color coding labels
  • Sharpie (grab a brand new one so the point is nice and fine)
  • Cellophane candy bags, favor boxes, tissue paper, or some other way of packaging up perfect-sized portions (not necessary if you’re planning to put them out for the pickin’ in a bowl or candy dish).

What To Do:

  • Decide on the colors you’d like to use (since the main color of Sara’s wedding is ice blue and her flowers are daisies, I went with light blue and yellow).
  • Come up with a few fun messages or simple drawings to personalize the Kisses with.  For my purposes, I stuck to basics and went with “Sara’s Bridal Shower” and the date with a little flower drawing.
  • Using your nice fine-point Sharpie, write your messages on the color coding labels.  Don’t worry about having perfect penmanship on every one – the finished result looks so polished that any imperfections blend right in or look intentional!

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  • Stick those suckers on to the bottom of the Hershey’s Kisses (sample a few along the way to ensure that they are not poisoned).

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(This picture looks like a whole lot of silver foil, but the colored stickers were much more vibrant and noticeable in real life.)

  • If you’re using these as individual favors, bag ‘em up in portions of 10-20 Kisses.  I was planning to get simple cellophane favor bags and tie them off with a nice blue ribbon, but I found these cool little wedding dress favor boxes at the dollar store (hey – thrifty is nifty) that just happened to be perfect!

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A Few Tips:

  • I was planning on getting plain old colored paper labels, and only realized once I got home that I’d grabbed a package of cool new-fangled transparent plastic ones.  These actually turned out looking even cooler and more seamless because they really blended in well with the silver foil wrappers.
  • You could put your own twist on this idea by using themed stickers, or just using color coding labels without writing on them to tie in to your color scheme.  You could even leave some Kisses without personalizing them (red labels, green labels, and plain silver Kisses would look neat for Christmas!).
  • Don’t write on your labels while watching Final Destination.  You will jump.

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Luckily that was while I was still practicing on the red and green labels that I wasn’t going to use.  Oy.  Such a spaz.  I tell you, my brain was overheated that day.

This was a really fun idea that was pretty simple to make and turned out even better than I’d hoped!  I’ll definitely make these again in the future, and my roommate is already planning to make these for her sister’s bridal shower in a few months!

Any other ideas for thrifty DIY gifts or party favors?  I am always on the lookout for ideas, and have a bunch of bridal and baby showers on the horizon (how are my friends so grown-up?).  If you try your hand at making these, let me know how they turn out, if you have any improvements or fun twists, and what movie you watched that did not cause you to freak out and scribble all over – all suggestions are welcome!

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