How I asked My Maids + DIY Tutorial

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I’m so excited about my first “Bridal Experience Series” post! Planning a wedding was a lot of fun (and stress), but the most fun of all of it was planning it with the people I love. I have to say that putting together a DIY project for the closest women in my life, without their help, was one of the most difficult things I did as a bride! From considering the theme of the gift, to the color scheme, to the small details, I just wanted to send them pictures of what I was working on and collaborate, but I couldn’t, because it was a surprise for them! It also took way longer than I expected, as simple as these boxes were, but it was completely worth it.

Today, I’d like to share, not only how I asked my maids, but include a little DIY with some printable PDF documents attached for you! Feel free to steal & print. If you have access to Photoshop, I have included some PSD files for you to customize or change fonts and wording!

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Before I get into the how-to, I want to share my “why” for these boxes.

I knew I wanted to do more than just ask my bridesmaids “will you be in my wedding?” I wanted to ask them creatively and make them feel special. I knew they were going to be spending a lot of time and money on this engagement and wedding. In fact, I didn’t want them to ever feel like they had to spend either of those resources on me. I just wanted them to stand up next to me at the alter. I even told them I didn’t need a bachelorette party, but they spoiled me with a weekend in San Diego (and I so appreciated it).

My point is, I wanted to do something special. I also wanted a way to communicate a lot of the typical questions right from the beginning. “Who else did you ask?” “What’s their contact information?” “What will we wear?” “When is the wedding?” “What are the colors?” This little box was my way of saying, “I love you” while also answering all of the questions I thought they might have!

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So now that I have explained my “why”, let’s get to the “what” and the “how-to”!

My wedding colors were mostly white with touches of black and small accents of gold, so I painted these boxes white and added some gold sparkly to the top!

Inside the box:

(1)A heartfelt card explaining why I chose each of them to be a big part of my wedding
(2)A mini-guide!
-The Dress – My vision for their diversified look, and how I wanted them all to feel their own kind of pretty
-The Deets – The wedding date, rehearsal date, location, etc.
-Your Role – This was where I laid out my expectations, which meant, “Please don’t feel like I have expectations; I’m grateful for
you!” I wanted them to know that I didn’t want this role to be a burden. I just wanted it to be special.
-My Lovely Ladies – The last page listed each of my maids with their contact info and a brief introduction!
(3)A mini-bouquet
(4)Some chocolate (because who doesn’t love chocolate?!)

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How-To!
I’ll give instructions per my color choice; feel free to swap out your own color pallet.
*Color Tip: Color balance is key. Try choosing a dominant color and use that most. Then use one or two other colors in small portions. Using the same amount of each color is sometimes not so easy on the eyes.

Materials Needed:
– 8.25″ x 8.13″ x 1.75″ Unfinished Cigar Box
– White Satin Spray Paint
Gold Acrylic Paint
Black Acrylic Paint
Gold Sparkly Ribbon
Gold Extra-Fine Glitter
White Card Stock
Mod Podge
Tacky Glue
– Baby’s Breath Bunch
– Assorted paint brushes
– Scissors
– Paper cutter
– Hole punch
– Something sweet (like chocolate kisses with appropriate gold wrappers!)

Printable Files
Printable PDF – Stripes
Printable PDF – “It would warm my [heart] if you would…” card – outside
– Printable PDF – “Be my bridesmaid” card – inside
– Printable PDF – “Be my Matron of Honor” card – inside
– Printable PDF – “Be my Maid of Honor” card – inside

Photoshop Files (For the techie folks!)
Stripes
– “It would warm my [heart] if you would…” card – outside
“Be my bridesmaid/Matron of Honor/Maid of Honor” card – inside
*Note: These PSD files need to be formatted to your preferred print size.

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Directions:

Step 1

Paint the cigar box white. Start by unscrewing the metal hinges and clasp where the box locked closed (you can get metallic paint and make these yellow gold, rose gold, or copper, if you don’t like the silver!).

Step 2

Make your own heart stencil by drawing a heart on card stock, cutting it out, and taping the stencil to the top of the box. Use gold acrylic paint and a large paintbrush to paint the heart on the white box. Paint a thick coat and immediately sprinkle fine gold glitter over the wet paint. Once the gold heart is completely dry, paint one or two coats of mode podge over the heart; this will keep the glitter in place, so it doesn’t shed everywhere in your best friend’s room!

Step 3

With a very thin paintbrush, use black acrylic to paint on each of their initials. I practiced countless times on paper before doing it on the box! If you mess up, the great thing about paint is you can cover it and start over.

Step 4

Print the stripes file onto white card stock and cut it to size with a paper cutter (you’ll want perfect, straight lines that you can’t get with scissors). If you don’t have a paper cutter, you can go into and Fedex Print & Ship Center and use theirs for free! Make sure the cut fits your box perfectly before gluing. Use a paintbrush to paint in a thin layer of tacky glue to the top-inside of your box. Carefully lay in the stripes cutout onto the glued area starting from one corner, being careful not to let the paper buckle.

Step 5

Make your mini-bouquets! I used baby’s breath, because I had maids all over So Cal and even in Ohio, so I didn’t want them to have wilted flowers. If you can make all the bouquets in one day and see everyone at the same time, you can use fresh fowers instead! Just be sure to save the mini-bouquets for the very last step, so they are fresh. Also try making little bouquets and hanging them upside-down to dry.

A few alternatives from baby’s breath:
Lavender, larkspur, dark colored spray roses. All can be hung upside-down to air dry. There is an entire classification of flower called “everlastings” that can be hang dried and kind of retain their color and shape rather than turning brown.

For my mini-bouquets, I pulled tiny branches and bunched them together. Then I tied a small bow around them. The gold ribbon I purchased was quite wide, so I cut it to my desired thickness.

Step 6

The mini-guides:
I used my Photoshop experience to customize a multi-paged mini-book full of information. I wasn’t quite sure how to share this PDF with you all, since it is so personalized. I think it’s important you customize this part! If you aren’t a Photoshop expert, just get a pretty maker, or you can print notes on Microsoft Word and glue them in. Below are a few tips.

1. Determine your pages and categories.
2. Make each page a bit longer, so you can see each tab when it’s closed.
3. Write the categories horizontally on the far right side of the page; be sure to leave plenty of space on the far left of your page for a border/binding.
4. Once your pages are complete, hole punch the left sides and use your ribbon to tie them together.

Step 7

Print your bridesmaid cards and add personal notes! Toss in some goodies like chocolates or candies in your wedding colors.

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You can also make a bouquet to ask your flower girl like I did! She was the daughter of my Matron of Honor (aka: my niece!). My flower girl was really important person on my wedding day. I really should have called her my mini-MOH. She even carried my train and veil while I was walking around in dream-land (she’d chase me down to make sure I was taken care of; it was the cutest)!

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This photo by  by Rachel Jay of France Photographers is seriously one of my favorites of the day. I may be bias, but my niece is seriously one of the cutest creatures on this earth, and I love how she helped take care of me all morning! Needless to say I wanted to make her feel just as special as all the other girls, so I attached a little handwritten card to a simple bouquet I made for her.

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I hope this post was helpful for some of the single ladies who are about to get a ring (because, you know it’s coming)! If you have any questions or want to leave a note, I love to read your comments and I’d love to write back!

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Stay in the loop each week with more posts about my bridal experience! You can read what I have scheduled for next week here.

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