Looking back on your wedding, did you have just one project that now looking back you say, “What on earth was I thinking?! How did nobody tell me I was totally insane?” Well, I certainly do. And I’m certain my friends and family just knew that I wouldn’t let down from this idea, so they graciously rolled with it. Although I still hold to this day that I loved the labor of love I did for these and was so happy with how they turned out.
So, while wedding planning, I was obsessed with idea of these personalized mason jar mugs as favors, but buying them off The Knot.com:
BUT, it appeared to be a painful investment between the cost per mug and don’t let that fool you, make sure you check out the shipping cost too. Here is what mine looked like:
The Knot Custom Mason Jar Mugs:
Qty needed: 228
Total Cost: $789.61
Price per mug: $3.46 (Total cost (including shipping) / qty)
*Note, this pricing above was when I was planning my wedding in 2013. Now looking at the link to the Knot, the prices seem even higher!
Yeah, almost $800 in mason jar mugs for giveaways just wasn’t in our budget. But don’t you fear, DIY-budget savvy brides, where there is a will (and a BRIDE’s will at that), there is a WAY!
I started researching and found some tutorials on glass etching. You simply have a stencil/template and buy etching cream from your local craft store (like Michaels), brush it on (I really liked these brushes), let it sit, and wash it off- then bam! The glass is etched. Seemed pretty straight-forward.
I took our wedding logo of the “M&M” and the silhouette of our venue barn (that our amazing graphic designer created for us!) and using my sister’s Silhouette Portrait machine, I cut it out onto clear sticker project paper. Then, I tested it by sticking it onto a mason jar and etching it- success!
Now, that I knew this crazy idea was possible, the next goal was to find where I could purchase blank mason jar mugs to hand etch each 180-some mugs for every guest (#crazybride). Upon my crazy searching, I came across Fillmore Container in Lancaster, PA (note, I am located in Minnesota). I emailed them and found not only the blank mason jar mugs at a great price, but also, these adorable daisy lids so straws could go in them (swoon! How cute!). Here is how my Fillmore order came out:
Fillmore Container Blank Mason Jar Mugs:
Qty needed: 228 (19 cases of 12)
Daisy Lids (100): $28
Total Cost: $351.86
Price per mug: $1.54 (Total cost (including shipping) / qty)
Cost Savings Compared to The Knot: $437.75
Well, if you save nearly $500 then I applaud you (as I did myself at the time). So yes, I ordered 19 cases of blank mugs from Pennsylvania that were all delivered to my tiny 700 sq ft house (insert ridiculous look/laugh here). It was pretty comical. They took up my entire kitchen. Now, of course, the work had just begun. It’s safe to say for DIY brides, your time is worth nothing. It’s just true. If I would look at how many hours I hand etched each 180-some mugs for my guests, I’m sure the $500 savings wouldn’t be worth it, but to us DIY-budget savvy brides, umm yes, it was worth it.
The next few months were a blur (and can pretty much be summarized in the behind the scenes photos below, Lewis loving the boxes filled with packing peanuts that the mugs came in and helping to etch, lots of late night slap-happy etching parties).
Etching the Mugs – The Basic Process:
1. Cut out stencils of wedding logo from the Silhouette machine (note, you could only use one sticker stencil on one mug, then it had to be thrown away)
2. Stick them on the mason jar mugs
3. Using etching cream, etch over each stencil, letting the etching cream sit for 5 minutes (you can see below, I used post-it notes by the mugs where I would write the time + 5 minutes so I could keep working ahead and do multiple at a time)
As one of my prize-DIY projects from the wedding, I wanted these babies to double as my escort “cards” for people, and also label the mugs so people could use them throughout the night and keep track of their drinks. So I had to come up with 2 things:
- How/where to put individual names
- How/where to put the assigned table names
Here is what I came up with:
For the names, I purchased these key tags they were pretty inexpensive for how many you got in a pack. Then, I created a template on my computer using a few of my wedding patterns, and typed in each guests name. I then printed them on white sticker paper (note, not the clear kind like before, the “white”) and cut them out with a 1″ circle puncher to fit perfectly into the key tags. This was a tedious process, but you can fit a lot of circles on one page, so it really wasn’t that bad. I also loved that I used my wedding font and pattern to make it tie into the rest of the pieces at the wedding. (I made tags for Matt & I to use that just said “Mr Kiesow” and “Mrs Kiesow”)- which was pretty cute too).
I then tied this mint green jute twine cording around the mouth of the mason jar mug and slipped the key ring onto it to connect it to the mug, securing it with a knot and bow.
Our table numbers were constellations, as Matt and I met in astronomy class (more about table names here). So to tie into that, I decided to use rock candy. I purchased rock candy in various colors in bulk (from here), and then made flags using scrapbook paper (in my wedding colors). I made the table names on my computer with my wedding font and printed them on clear sticker paper so I could easily transfer them onto the pretty scrapbook paper. Finally, I attached the flags to the rock candy, which were placed upside down in the mason jar mugs for guests to find their seats. (As you can see, the kiddies really loved the candy too
I even made a cute little poem which I had printed to poster-size at Walgreens (no, I did NOT really chalkboard write that well!!) to fit into my amazing gold frame to communicate to guests what these (amazing) mason jars were all about:
After all that work, I am so happy to report that our guests loved the mugs and used them throughout the WHOLE night at our wedding. We even had guests (ok, mostly girls) getting fancy by mixing the Angry Orchard hard cider we had on tap with red wine for a Sangria type mix and using the tops and straws- love!
Was this project a labor of love? Yes. Did the mugs mean so much more to me after putting hours of work into them and making them exactly what I wanted vs. just paying $800 for something non-custom: YES. So there you have it! I hope you fellow-DIY brides can use this and be sure to let me know if you try this yourself! (I would love to hear from a fellow crazy DIY-bride like I was)
*Oh, and DIY brides, be sure to think about the things that you put SO much work into for your wedding and get some photos with them to commemorate all your hard work! Your photographer will be so appreciative since they don’t know about all the work leading up to the big day!
*Weddings photo credit throughout to Erin Jean Photography