Saturday, May 2, 2015

DIY Favor Bags

So you need some cute favor bags for a party, wedding, or other event and you want to "do it yourself"?  Fast, easy, inexpensive and painless?  Cool!  Here's what you do:

Head to your nearest craft store and get these items:

-Plastic bags (I found that at Michael's or Jo-Ann's I could get plastic treat bags in the baking section at around 2-4 dollars for a bag of 50 or 100 that included twist ties.

-A stamp that you like (to match your theme or event) - make sure your stamp will fit on the goody bags you bought

-Stamp Ink: choose your color and make sure the stamp will fit on the ink pad for full coverage

-If you, like me, don't know much about stamps or can either ask an employee about the "permanent ink" options at their store OR you can do what I did (ex-post-facto because I didn't realize that most inks will not dry on plastic bags); you can buy Workable Fixatif.  This stuff is brilliant and should cost you less than $10 for a can.

That's all you need!

For those of you using the Workable Fixatif to make your stamps stick to plastic:

Once you know where you're going to set up your workspace find some backing like cardboard or newspaper (I suggest cardboard just because newspaper has a tendency to rub off and you don't want the print on your plastic goody-bags).  Lay out your plastic bags at a reachable distance (and a few inches away from the edges of the backing).

The process:

If you aren't covering the entire bag in stamps, you can just fan the bags out for a speedier process.

Stamp each bag:  Start at the bags furthest from where you are sitting/standing and pay attention to where you usually place your hands when you stamp.  Example: I'm right-handed so I tend to start stamping from right to left because I stamp with my right hand and stabilize the bags with my left.  By starting on the right, my left hand and arm won't be in a position to smudge previous stamps.

Let ink dry:  If you bought the permanent ink, it still needs a little time to dry.  Most products tout a 2-5 minute drying time.  If you DON'T have permanent ink OR you just want to bang these favor bags out even're going to want the Workable Fixatif.

Workable Fixatif for the win:  Leave your inked bags in place and grab the Fixatif.  If your ink isn't made for plastic it will never dry or stick so don't bother touching the stamp to see if it dried...just grab the fixatif.  Give it a good shake and hold it about 8-10 inches from your bags but be careful around the edges of your backing as you don't want this stuff all over your furniture or counters.  Be aware that this is intense stuff so have some good ventilation/open window while you spray.  Also note that it creates air movement so try to stabilize your bags.  The more direct from above you spray, the less likely your bags are to move around.  The ink doesn't need too much coverage.  You can see that a light coat will create a little shimmer on the surface over the stamp (see picture to the right).  It's transparent so it's only noticeable if you're looking for it!  Fixatif dries within a minute and your bags are good to go!  It's got a little stickiness to it but it won't peel off  so if you stack your bags you don't have to worry about separating them.  If you leave the fixatif to dry for an extra minute or two, it will lose a little bit of that stickiness.

That's it! DIY favor bags, complete!  Way to go!
Fill 'em up!

I did over 200 bags and spent less than $30 
(Bags: $6, Stamp: $4, Ink $10, Fixatif $8.50)
and now I already have a stamp, ink and Fixatif for the next project!

Once I had the materials, the bags were complete within a 1/2 hour.

Buying treat bags online was going to cost me more than what I spent to do it myself for only a quarter of the number that I needed and would have taken days to arrive by mail.  Stamped favor bags allowed me to personalize the bags to be what I wanted and could be done quickly and easily.

Best of luck with your project!  
Feel free to share your DIY bags in the comments!

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