Jessica’s Hen: The Flower Crown DIY

Like I said yesterday, I think every hen do needs something that binds the hens together, particularly for the main night out. Some people opt for fancy dress to define you as a group but I think a hen generally wants to get dressed up and look her best. When I was contacted months ago by The Great British Florist to work with them on a feature, at first I couldn’t think what do do with the flowers, then I thought, why not make flower crowns? By the time I was stood up in front of the hens, trying to explain how to make something that I had never made before, it all seemed like less of a great idea, but in my experience, I have never seen a girl with a flower crown who didn’t love wearing it and who didn’t suit it either, so I kept my fingers crossed.

First though, I’ll tell you what we did for the rest of the day…


The Itinerary I made and sent to the hens before the weekend

Our first activity on Saturday was to visit The Thermae Spa. Initially I was planning on booking the Cross bath but in the end decided it would just be like a large bath and the main Spa offered more opportunity to keep busy. In the end we totally lucked out with the incredible weather and spent our time sun screened up in the rooftop pool.

Next up we walked to The Jane Austen Centre which houses the Regency Tea Rooms where we had afternoon tea. I say afternoon tea, but we had it at 1 pm. I didn’t want to add the cost of lunch and felt we would end up eating all day if we did both, plus it’s pretty unnecessary. I originally thought of the Pump Rooms but they don’t take bookings on Saturday unfortunately.

If you’re ever in Bath and want an afternoon tea I highly recommend this one – it was £19 for a mini bottle of sparkling wine (which I was so impressed to find equated to 2 whole glasses rather than the standard 1,) plus the usual afternoon tea sandwiches, cakes and scones. The clotted cream and jam were free flowing and the staff couldn’t do enough to help.

After that we headed home past Bath Crescent to make the crowns. 🙂

As I said, I had never made a flower crown before but I was pretty sure we could make a go of it. As well as the flowers we used some thicker wire, some florists wire (the type that is used for wiring gerberas for example) and some florists tape.

You can pretty much do it however you want but my best advice would be to create small posies of flowers and then tape them onto the wire, working your way around. For the flower crown shy, a side crown or half crown looks great too and is less intimidating, but most of the girls decided to ‘go big or go home’! Once you get used to the idea of it, you get more confident in adding to the general size and shape.

I was totally amazed at how the crowns turned out. Even the less crafty ladies managed great ones and each crown was so different!

We received 3 boxes of flowers from the Great British Florist which contained 2 ‘bunches’ of flowers and foliage in each and had plenty to make our crowns. The Great British Florist specialise in ‘grown not flown’ English flowers and it was really convenient to get them delivered to where we were having the party. If I’m honest I felt there could have been more blooms, but I suspect that may have been as a result of us getting complimentary boxes.

That evening all the ladies donned their crowns and we hit the town for some serious fun.

Dinner was at Graze and then we ended up somewhere much less salubrious for a lot of dancing. I haven’t danced that hard and that long for what feels like forever.

Of course the crowns attracted quite a bit of attention and got passed around a fair bit – bt they stood up to it well and everyone made it home with theirs!

It was epic, I loved every minute.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Thanks to The Great British Florist for supplying the flowers for the flower crowns and to Blossom for supplying the wire and floral tape.

*No flowers were harmed in the making of this blog post 😉

Jessica’s Hen: The [DIY] Goody Bag

I love a good goody bag and I think it’s fun to have them on a hen do. People spend a lot of money attending hens and it’s a lovely treat for the attendees, as well as the hen of course. As I planned and themed Jess’s hen I decided to borrow the heart on her wedding stationery and extrapolated her wedding colours of peaches and pinks, mixed with some grey. I thought rather than using throw away paper gift bags I would make some canvas bags with iron-on transfer paper using the heart. Each one was personalised with the hen’s name or ‘Bridesmaid’ and of course for Jess, ‘Bride’. I used Jacques & Gilles as the font throughout but most notably for the canvas bags.

They were such an easy DIY and I’ll definitely be making lots more of them as gifts… here’s how I made them:

1. Print out your design sized to an A4 piece of paper, making sure to reverse the image (I use the ‘flip horizontal’ feature in Pages on my iMac) and print onto photo transfer paper.

2. Cut out the images – if they have space between them like the heart on my design and the text below, cut them out separately – don’t worry about aligning them later, you can use the grid pattern on the back to line them back up with each other. Leave a 0.5-1cm edge around your design.

3. Iron on a high heat without steam for a minute or two. I found that if I used full heat I singed the design giving a yellow tinge, and that keeping it moving and slightly below the max temperature it was fine.

4. Keep trying the edges of the image. When it is done the edge will lift easily and peel off – you can do this hot or cold. The edges tend to be the last things to be ready so concentrate on them if it’s not peeling off.

5. Seal by ironing again with a piece of silicone paper (supplied with the transfer paper) on top of the images. This is supposed to make the bags washable but I can’t vouch for it as I haven’t tried yet!

Inside the bags I made a few extra goodies. My favourite were the temporary tattoo sets. On a hen do you need something to bind you together as a group. There was something else we did which I’ll get to later, but Jess loves temporary tattoos so I thought they would be fun to wear together. I found these delicate designs in Spirit Ink on Etsy and placed a custom order for my favourite designs.

Then I simply made a card backdrop with the fun fact that Jess loves tattoos, and the application instructions, and attached the tattoos in a glassine bag, with some gorgeous glitter tape from PaperMash

They went into the bag with my final DIY – a home made playlist for each hen with a collection of favourite and current songs of Jess’s. Each one had a little meaning: from her favourite current song, (Blurred Lines) to the song we used to call each other every time it was played (My My My,) Empire State of Mind referencing our holiday to New York, other Uni highlights and some great girls night out tracks for good measure. I played it all weekend and I hope the hens will listen to it afterwards and have good memories 🙂

Again I used the same font and heart motif to design the CD Stickers and pull it all together.

For each bag I added in miniature toiletries I have collected in recent months (which kept the costs down) from magazines and giveaways, a grey striped straw with a glitter flag and a heart balloon for good measure. I had so many more ideas!

I hope these DIY’s give you some ideas for future makes and also some insight into how easy it is to bind things together using a single colour palette, font and design. I was pretty pleased with them all! 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Please excuse the dim photos – most of them were taken at night as I got my DIY on!

Letting Go…

Some of you may have noticed my absence on these pages for the last 5 days. It doesn’t sound long and in fact it’s only three blogging days I have missed but that’s pretty unusual for me. Other than public holidays, I’ve not taken a day off from FF even when I’ve been on holiday in the almost 2 years since I started.


Image via RocketRicTic

This weekend was a big one for me – it was my best friends Hen Do. Charged with much of the organising I wanted to make it fabulous – not least because my hen do remains one of the best weekends I have ever had. When else do you get to have a weekend that is all about you, doing your favourite things, with your favourite people? I’ve said before here that I’m not particularly orgainsed and I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, it’s more that I try to squeeze too much into too little time. As a consequence there was no way I was being under prepared and had been ordering the necessary things, making bits for the goody bags and planning the schedule for weeks – especially as I didn’t want to be frazzled either, but free to enjoy it. The piece de resistance was the Mr and Mrs game. Instead of arranging for Jess’s fiance Dan to answer the questions on paper, I filmed him answering the questions and edited it into a 20 minute video – about 8 hours work in all and on Tuesday night it was all ready to go. Pete and I have made a few other DVD’s of family occasions and I usually leave the burning to him, so on Tuesday night I left it in his hands and started burning hen mix CD’s, designing stickers for them and other things that needed completing.

And there begins a catalogue of disasters. First we found the software (iDVD) required to burn the DVD wasn’t on my MacBook (usually we do these on the iMac) as Apple are apparently phasing it out. We found some downloadable software online called Burn and tried that instead but by Wednesday night it was clear that wasn’t going to work out either. We tried transferring the project over to the iMac and in full disaster fashion, the footage corrupted and iMovie completely bit the dust, the Mr and Mrs video with it. In floods of tears at 12am on Wednesday night and with pre-made wedding related appointments made for Thursday I bit the bullet and decided to start again, editing the whole thing again from scratch. I got to bed at 3.30am, with about an hours work left to do. Although I was shattered, I managed to get to all the appointments, and finish the video and pack before I went out at 5pm to a make up trial with Jess for the wedding. I left the DVD again with Pete to burn to disc and still a little tense but happy I was almost there, Jess and I went to dinner, where we met Pete and Dan for a pre-hen night. As soon as Dan and Pete walked in I knew something was wrong. Cryptically asking if he had ‘done it’, their faces looked like they had something awful to break to me. Eventually as Jess was powdering her nose, they told me that the creaking, 4 year old iMac had run out of memory, which it had done earlier that day and I had moved some files around to resolve it. What I hadn’t realised is that in moving the video clips that iMovie needed to reference to write the DVD, I had once again corrupted the whole project. Cue complete melt down from me when I got home and Jess was safely out of the way. In all the chaos so far I still had outstanding (albeit small) tasks to do. There was no way I could do the whole thing again, get everything else done, then drive all the way to Bath the next day and function properly for the first night of the hen. In the end Pete saved the day and I finished all the hen stuff while he stayed up and long after I was in bed he woke me up brandishing the DVD. What can I say, he’s a keeper 🙂

I suppose this might all sound a bit dramatic and perhaps over the top in terms of what I did for the hen. I know that it shows just how important it was to me though and when you’re juggling a lot of balls, sometimes something has to give. This time it was the blog and in some ways that is an achievement for me. I’ve spent a lot of years blogging now and that has included a lot of late nights, tired days and times when my family of friends have come second. I know that in the last 2 years my perspective has hugely shifted and now they are top of the list rather than bottom. Just because the people you love will wait for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a bit more respect. And I respect myself enough to know that I deserve not to be tired after putting in so much effort and being so excited; That I sometimes need to let one of the balls drop and then not beat myself up about it.

One other good thing that has come out of it was the overwhelming amount of supportive tweets, facebook messages and emails I received and I want to say thank you to all of you who sent them. Although the blog isn’t a professional one, I do feel a massive sense of obligation. By having set the benchmark at 5 posts a week I feel I have to keep that up. I know how disappointed I am when my favourite bloggers take a day off for some reason. It’s easy if a post doesn’t receive many comments after I have stayed up late writing it the night before to feel that there’s no one out there who really cares, and that the effort I put in goes unnoticed, but it’s nice to know you do!

I guess I shared this not only to explain my absence but to remind all of us that sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do, not the failure we anticipate it to be.

Over the next week or two I’ll be sharing the hen DIY’s I made and some of the things we did. The weekend was epic, totally worth the tears and lack of sleep, and all the better for me stepping back and having one less thing to stress about. Thank you guys!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Hen Heaven

*First of all, Jess, if you are reading this, avert your eyes!

In just 7 weeks, I am hosting the hen do for Jess, my best friend, ahead of her end of August wedding. After the incredible hen do she planned for me, along with my other bridesmaids Laura and my sister, I’m feeling the pressure a little bit and also super excited.

The location is set (and shall remain a secret,) accommodation booked and a variety of activities lined up. Now all that remains to plan are the obligatory hen games every hen should be subjected to. I know they’re cliched and cheesy, but they’re also a great way for a group of ladies who don’t necessarily know each other to break the ice and possibly find out more than they ever wanted to know about each other. 😉

I remember one such game at my hen do where each lady was given a banana, a piece of string and a balloon. (You can see where this is going…) The banana’s were suspended by the string around each participants waist and the object of the game was for them to get themselves and their balloon from the one side of the room to the other using only their banana – hands were tied behind their backs. Cue much laughter, admiration over other competitors ‘bananas’ and a whole lot of thrusting hilarity. I should add this all took place thankfully in the privacy of the rented house we stayed in!

I can’t think of a better place then here to find some new ideas for hen party games to break the ice with – from your own hen party, or perhaps one you organised or attended. I’d be so grateful if you could leave me a comment with some suggestions of games you and the hen have enjoyed over the years and so I can steal them come July!

Thanks in advance readers – you’re all superstars 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

*Image above from Bridesmaids the movie – possibly one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Have you seen it? Did you like it?

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