I'm happy to report that I completed my Save the Date Invitations and have gotten Stellar Reviews from our Guests!!! I'm going to list out each item, the supplies you'll need, how much the supplies cost and where to purchase them and of course how to put them together!
Here's what the Finished Product Looks like!
Bottles- cost $0.89-0.99 each (I got 60 of them) from www.SandArtSupplies.com and they come with their own cork. as you can see they are pretty small compared to an average size water bottle.
Seashells- cost $4.50 per bag (I got 1 bag and have a ton left over) from www.SandArtSupplies.com. They are the perfect fit for the bottles
Sand Dollars- $0.14-0.16 each (I got 120 for $18) from www.qualityshells.com. Make sure you get the 1/2-3/4" ones so that they fit inside the bottle
Starfish- $0.04-0.07 each (I got 180 for $9) from www.qualityshells.com. They are called Tan Starfish and again are the perfect size for bottles
Sand- I got 2 different colors (tan and pink) from a local craft store (Pearl, in Manhattan). The small bag cost $1.73 and the large bag cost $6.59. I made 60 bottles and had plenty left over. you could definitely got away with 2 small bags.
Scent- I decided to soak the corks to add fragrance to the invites. Total Hit!!! Everyone commented on how amazing they smelled and said they felt that they were already on vacation! I got a bottle of Diffuser Refill oil (island scent) at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $14.99
This was so simple! Each bottle took about 1 minute to make.
I used a rolled up piece of computer paper as a funnel and added 1 tsp of tan sand and 1/2 tsp of pink sand to the bottle. Then I popped 2 sand dollars, 10 sea shells and 2 starfish to each bottle. The small amount of sand helps keep shipping cost down. (*hind sight- I would have bought a plastic funnel to make the process a little neater).
For the corks, I added the corks to a plastic bag filled with a bit of oil and soaked them over night. The next day, I dried the corks by patting them dry with a paper towel and popped them into the bottles.
Fine Parchment Paper in Ivory from Staples $16.50
Blue Raffia from Michaels about $5
Shipping Tags $5.79 for 100 (I ended up getting 3 packs because I messed up so many times printing the address labels and calligraphy numbers)
Calligraphy Pens $16 from Staples
I did this in stages so it's hard to tell how long it took to make them.
I designed the invitation myself on Word. it's nothing fancy, but it gave the pertinent information. I found the passion flower on google and just added it to the document.
I printed them out 2 per sheet and sliced them down the middle with one of those paper guillotines.
I then burned the edges of each (this take FOREVER and I'm sure I've increased my chance of lung cancer due to the fumes!)
I wrote our wedding date on the shipping tag and glued a small starfish to each one. Some of my guests reporting not knowing that they needed to pull out the "message" so in the picture I've added Pull Me to back side of the tag.
Then I rolled each one and tied one end with a small piece of blue raffia (nice pop of color) and the other end, I added the shipping tag to the middle of the piece of raffia and tied that end.
Then I dropped the message into the bottle with the tag hanging out and recorked it. Make sure to slide the raffia with tag closer to the end of the message to make sure the tag's string is long enough to reach the sand.
This took FOREVER! And I had to endure burnt finger tips for weeks But... they were totally worth it! Everyone said how excited they were to open them! A few people (other wise well educated and cultured) had to break thru the box because they didn't realized it was an easy flap opening.
Back view (how you open the box)
Boxes- $0.44 each (I got 60 for $27) from www.sandartsupplies.com. they are a perfect fit for the glass bottles.
Brown Ribbon- $5 each from Michaels (I bought 8 spools for $40 but had 1 left over).
Brads/Fastners- $2.79 each (I got 2 packs for $5.59)
Sticker Paper- I think it was about $8 for 10 sheets at Staples but I lost the receipt
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks- $6 for glue gun and $2.79 for 20 glue sticks (I got 2 packs and that was enough)
Brown Foam Paper- $0.50 each from local craft store (I got 8 sheets and used only 4 of them!)
Straw- $6 per pack (I bought 4 and only used 2) at a floral outlet in the flower district in NYC
**Beware, this take forever!**
I created "return labels" using word for the top of the boxes and printed them out on the sticker paper and I cut them out.
I created a label for the inside of the boxes with our Website on it and printed it out on the sticker paper and cut them out.
Then I folded the boxes (one side is white and the other is brown) inside out so that the brown side showed. I wish I had picture of this step. It took forever and they didn't fold nicely so I had to hot glue the ends together.
Next I cut pieces of ribbon (2 for each box) in equal lengths. I sized them by simply measuring the ribbon around the box.
I cut 1" strips of foam sheet (width wise) and then cut off about 1/3 of it. This was for the handle.
Glueing the ribbon was the most difficult part and I burned myself on the glue many times. It took me 7-12 minutes each!!! And I made 60!!! I first dotted the line that I followed to make sure that I glue it in a straight line. I started at the back edge and worked my way to the top of the box and then glued the handle down and the ribbon on top of it. (***the post office gave me a hard time about the handles so I suggest making them small and not to flappy). I trimmed the end of the ribbon and glued it to the inside of the the box.
Once the ribbon was glued, and handle attached, I used a knife cutter to make a slit thru the ribbon and handle to add the brads. I folded the brads and then cut the ends off. This part was also awful.
The simplest part was adding the straw stuffing to the box, but this was the messiest part!
Then came the address labels. I experimented with many options but ultimately, I found that cutest and most legible option was printing the addresses on the shipping tags and tying and glueing them to the boxes. It was really difficult to align them so I went thru many mess ups. I ended up printing the addresses on a piece of computer paper and then taping the label on top of the name (properly aligned) and reprinting the address this time on the label. Some sheets would get jammed or not print properly. So this step was pretty frustrating as well.
But, it was ALL WORTH IT!
Mailing them was pretty simple. I went to the Post Office in the middle of the morning and they weighed the boxes (about 3). Each box cost $2.50 (about) to mail and reached the guests in 1-8 days! And they arrived in perfect condition!
We hand delivered about 10-12 of them so that help keep cost down.
Grand Total- $400
Price per Unit- $4.58!!!!
Price after Shipping- $6.68!!!
And everyone said they looked like a million bucks!
Hope this inspired someone!!!