It was a hit with the guests long before we ever saw them: our OOT bags!
Most of our guests were travelling to reach our wedding… some from SoCal, others from the midwest and the east coast, and we wanted to make sure they made the most of their trip. For that exact reason, I made sure I bought reusable bags that people could keep… which was obviously a good idea since Mr. Lemon’s mom used hers throughout the entire trip!
Step 1: Find & buy the right bag!
I found my bags online at JiffyShirts.com for the amazing price of less than $2.61 each (I saved about $30 on the order from using some coupons)! I decided to order royal blue and navy blue, just to mix things up a little. The company is great and my order was delivered THE NEXT DAY. The bags are pseudo-canvas, but are definetely durable and perfect as a beach tote or extra shopping bag!
Step 2: Motif it baby!
Oh yes… yet another gold rose! 🙂 This time… I painted it onto the bag with gold silkscreen ink and made myself a useful template that made the job go by quite quickly!
Here’s the print-out from the computer. I made sure to include a box in my graphics program that was the same dimensions as the pocket on the bag, so that when I printed it out I knew exactly how to position it.
Time to cut out the stencil! I used my x-acto knife to cut out the rose, and traced the box with my sharpie for alignment purposes.
Inking up the stencil with my brayer and gold ink!
Step 3: Fill ‘er up!
I had heard that this was the part of the project that got expensive quickly… so I spent some time at Costco picking out snacks that we could “repackage” in our little bags instead of spending extra money on individually packaged snacks.
2 Water bottles per bag ($10 total for the water). I attached a simple laser paper label that I had printed out to each bottle with a ZOT.
Animal crackers and gummi bears! ($8 total)
Goldfish ($4) and prezels ($3)
Salted Peanuts ($4)
Sugar cookies! ($4 for the mix) I added the motif by cutting a very small stencil and applying blue food coloring to the royal icing top with a sponge.
For the bags, I used 6″x4″ plastic poly bags from PaperMart ($4.94 for 200) and Avery 1″ round white labels ($3.99 at OfficeMax). I created the graphic in Illustrator and then made a template to print them onto the labels, since the Microsoft Word templates from Avery.com didn’t work out too well.
BUNCHES of tourist brochures, magazines and coupons = FREE!!!
Step 4: Take them to the people!!!
Mr. Lemon delivered all of the bags to the hotels (thank you Mr. GPS for making that easy for him) in one big trip (9 hotels and 4 different rented houses!). Two of the hotels (the Marriott and Portola Plaza) tried to make him pay $4 to hand out each bag until he pointed out that we had deliveries of over 10 bags to each hotel and that our wedding provided them quite a bit of business, and they quickly changed their mind. In the end, all the bags were either in the guest’s rooms upon arrival or waiting at the front desk when they checked in. Way to go Mr. Lemon!
Would I do it again?
After hearing all of the guests thank us for them… in a heartbeat! Everyone loved getting the treats after a long day of travel (driving or flying or both), and I’ve had friends ask for another bag (minus the treats)… since some split rooms and only got one bag for two people.
In the end, the cost for the goodies was about $1/bag (inclusive of the packaging), so for a little over $3/bag it was well worth it! 🙂