A Handmade Hen Party

You may have noticed that I've had a little break from blogging for a few weeks during April and May. One of my very special friends is getting married in under two months and I have been busy preparing things for her handmade hen party. Three very organised bridesmaids got together to plan a weekend of celebrations. Playing to our strengths, we decided to each take on a different part of the weekend to organise, I decided to take on the creative plans as I had a few ideas up my sleeve that I'd been planning for some time.

My aim was to create memorable additions to the fantastic weekend we had planned for her and create a few bespoke things that she could keep. Using colours that the bride-to-be loves I decided to build a theme round these colours and create a set of unique handmade items and decorations for the weekend. I'm thrilled to let you know that the weekend of celebrations went very well and all my handmade touches added to the fun events we planned for the weekend.

My favourite handmade hen party items were these pretty ribbon rosettes or ribbon brooches that I hand stitched and designed myself. Using purple, sage green and lemon yellow ribbon, I created 14 rosettes, one for each of the girls who were coming to the weekend activities. I wanted to create something pretty and glam that we could all wear at the various parts of the weekend to show we were all coming together for a special reason. The handmade ribbon rosettes were also a lovely present for each of the girls to take away to remember the weekend.

I made simple handmade paper chains using the same three colours. I used thin coloured card and cut strips measuring 8 inches long by 1 inch wide. I used my paper trimmer to help cut up the strips as I made around 8 to 10 metres of paper chains to decorate a room. I stapled the chains together for speed and used a small stapler. I also sourced pretty pearlescent purple and ivory coloured balloons and tied them together with purple ribbon.

I created a handmade garter as a special gift for the bride-to-be. I knew she didn't have 'something blue' so I made a pretty garter using pretty baby blue ribbon and tied striped ribbon into bows for extra details. I hope that the handmade garter will be something that can be handed down in time and be someone's 'something borrowed' and 'something blue'.

All of the events during the party weekend were a surprise for the bride-to-be. Before every big event over the weekend I handed her a handmade card providing details of what was happening next. These cards were created using pearlescent purple and yellow paper and card from Paperchase and some pretty mint green washi tape. I used a circular paper punch, scalloped circle punch and a Martha Stewart Butterfly punch to create a layered design on the front. Using green pearlescent ink I created a stamped message inside, punched some butterflies, and wrote a different message in each card providing more details of each stage of the weekend. I wanted to make sure that there was a record of every special event organised for the weekend so she could look back and remember.

In addition to the handmade items I collated photos of the bride-to-be from all of the girls who were attending the weekend, the friends spanned various stages of her life so we had a fantastic selection of photos. I added the photos to the album and asked all the girls to write messages on card to add to the photo album. We didn't fill the whole album with photos as we wanted to leave space for photos of the weekend that could be added later on. I tied the photo album with a big purple ribbon rather than wrapping paper. I really do think we managed to create a truly special present to hold her memories.

To make the day even more personal we created a menu of food filled with things the bride-to-be loves. We also created her favourite mojito cocktail using home grown mint from my courtyard garden.

I really loved creating a range of handmade items for the weekend. I've never created as many different things for one event before and I'm proud of what I have achieved and the new skills I've learnt. The time spent planning and making all of the items, as well as all the thinking I did about the little details over the past few weeks was really worth it. In addition to the fun activities and the great company we shared over the weekend, the crafty items I made added to her memory of the details of the weekend. I love it that the bride-to-be has some keepsakes to remind her of her special hen party weekend.

Over the next few weeks I'll write set of step by step instructions for how to make the ribbon rosettes and also instructions of how to make a handmade garter, so that you can make them too!