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DIY Custom Sprinkles Mix

Do you know makes blogging better? I’ll give you the answer! Sprinkes! Yes, sprinkles make blogging better! Well, actually any sugar makes writing tons and and tons of blog post just a little bit easier to deal with. Today I’m going to show you exactly how I made a custom sprinkle mix as a favor for my most recent small business blogging workshop. I was looking for a fun and affordable favor for the blogging workshop and I wanted it to go with my theme. Most of all, I needed this swag to be easy to source, simple to assemble and a breeze to set up.

This is not quite the inspiration post about my stylish wedding garters that you are used to seeing here on my blog, but you know I love a good DIY project! So, let me tell you the story of how I came up with the custom sprinkles mix for the blogging workshop and pulled it off easily and affordably…

Photo credit: Red October Photography

First the idea.

This small business blogging workshop was held at Sprinkles, a cupcake bakery here in Washington DC. Given that the workshop was at Sprinkles, I thought it would be really fun to use sprinkles as a theme for the favors. As it turns out, the custom sprinkles mixes were fun, unique, attendees loved them!

I looked around quite a bit to find a mix of custom colored sprinkles to go with my theme of gray and yellow, but I had a really hard time finding exactly the perfect sprinkle mix for my favors. I wanted just the right colors and I didn’t want it to be too expensive. After all, it was a favor to take home, certainly not something that was necessary, but rather nice to have! Plus, attendees came to the workshop learn how to blog for their small business, not to get favors and swag, as fun as it is!

Photo credit: Red October Photography

Next was the phrase.

Again, given that the blogging workshop was at a place named Sprinkles, I really wanted to use the word “sprinkles” in the favor tag. I came up with, “Sprinkles make blogging better” and then added my workshop hashtag #byobworskhop at the bottom of the sticker label.

I’m a sugar fanatic and anything fun and sweet, like sprinkles, makes writing blog posts that much easier. It can be hard to sit down and crank through blog posts and to learn all there is to know about blogging. (If you are looking for tips on blogging, be sure to look through my posts!) A fun and festive favorite of a custom sprinkle mix makes blogging just a little bit better! Wouldn’t you agree?

Photo credit: Red October Photography

Now comes finding the sprinkles.

Finding just the right sprinkles is not easy, friends. No, it is not! (But, then again neither is writing lots of blog posts!) I searched high and low for the right sprinkles in the colors that I wanted. I also had to look for sprinkles that weren’t too expensive. You can find lots of sprinkles out there, but many of them are really pricey. Since I need quite a bit of sprinkles to make the favors, I needed it all to not be too expensive. If you look hard enough and long enough, you can find affordable sprinkles. Then, when you make own mix, it looks just how you want it and it so much less expensive!

I went to A.C. Moore, Michael’s, Party City, several different groceries stores and looked online endlessly (including Amazon). I picked up a few different styles and sizes of sprinkles, sugar crystals, pearls, jimmies, cake decorating pieces, small bits of candy and more. Everytime I was out, I’d look for more sprinkles to add to my collection. I was going for eclectic in the sprinkle mix, so the more unique the better! I tried to get a mix of colors, but all within my gray, white and yellow theme. I was looking for unique sizes and textures of the sprinkles.

Online, I was able to find solid color jimmies at Nuts In Bulk and I ordered the jimmies in white and yellow. (But, you have to be careful, there were a few other colors mixed in with my plain colors and I had to sift through to take out the random bright green jimmies!) I used the white and the yellow jimmies as the main component of the sprinkle mix and then the other colors and styles, aka the more expensive sprinkles, were the filler that just added little pops of fun throughout the custom mix.

Once I gathered all the different sprinkles, it was a matter of throwing them all into a big bowl and mixing them together to make my own custom sprinkle mix!

Photo credit: Red October Photography

Last the container.

Originally, I wanted to put the custom sprinkle mix into little zip-top plastic bags and stick the label on the outside of the bags. But, then I was walking through Michael’s craft store and they had little jars with silver and yellow lids. Could there be a more perfect favor jar for my blogging workshop?!

I ended up returning the plastic favor bags and went with the clear glass jars. They looked like little cookie jars and were ideal for this favor! For $0.50 per jar, I was able to get one jar per person and I got a mix of silver and bright yellow lids for the jars. They were the most perfect sprinkle jars! (At the same time, I even was able to get little glass milk jars and I added a little sticker that said, “Blog. Sip. Repeat.” But, that’s another DIY post for another day!)

On the outside of the sprinkle jar, I printed out stickers on sticker paper and stuck them onto the jar. These jars had a flat front so that I could put the sticker.

 

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And, there you have it! The story of how I DIY-d my own custom sprinkle mix for a blogging workshop favor! What about you? Will you make your own sprinkle mix??

If you want more small business blogging advice, you can check out my posts on the topics and you can see more of my DIY projects on my blog, too! You can also sign up for my email newsletter to get tips and be the first to find out about my next workshop.

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DIY Swag Bag Totes

This post is not quite about my stylish wedding garters, but you know that I love a good DIY project and when the possibility of me making something myself comes up, I’m the first one to give it a try! This is the story and some very detailed instructions for how I made the tote bags for the swag from a blogging workshop that I recently held.

Are you looking for tote bags for your workshop or event, but don’t want to break the bank on having them custom designed and printed!? Yup, I was right there with you not too long ago with my small business blogging workshop. I wanted to create swag bags for the attendees to take home all of their, well, swag! They were gifted notebooks, blogging workbooks that coordinated with my presentation, cookies, custom made earrings, beverages, pencils, pens and all kinds of fun swag items! I knew that I wanted a tote bag at each desk for the attendees to take home as a keepsake from the blogging workshop and it was also functional because they could put their swag in it to go home.

Since this was a workshop for how to blog for your small business, I did three different fun phrases about blogging that were pop culture music and movie references, but with the word “blog” mixed in! I think you’ll get these fairly quickly! Katie at Ribbon & Ink, a branding company for small business creatives and couples, designed three different, but similar, graphics using the three different blogging phrases.

The blogging phrases were: Your Blog Is Like Really Pretty, You Can Totally Blog With Me and Blog It Like It’s Hot. I was able to use the phrases on the tote bags, obviously, but I also had cookies favors made and I made pillows with the phrases and I used the phrases on other fun things throughout the day like the notebooks and the pencils. The blogging phrases were the cutest and it make the totes that much more exciting for the attendees!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

Without further ado, here are the instructions for how I made my DIY tote bags to be the swag bags for my blogging workshop…

DIY Swag Bag Tote Bags

Materials:

  • Tote bags
  • Iron on transfer paper (I used Avery T-Shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers)
  • Iron
  • Printable or graphic
  • Printer

Directions:

You’ll first need to print your graphic or image out onto the iron-on transfer paper. Make sure that you load your transfer paper properly into your printer so that it prints on the correct side of the transfer paper. And, before you click print, you’ll need to flip your graphic or image around to be “mirrored,” so that when you iron it onto the tote the graphic is not backwards. Mirroring your image will flip your image so that it prints out backwards onto the paper, but when when you lay it onto your tote bag to iron on, it will be the correct direction. If you don’t mirror your image, it will backward when you iron it onto the tote.

Once you print your graphic out onto iron on transfer paper, use a sharp scissors to cut out around the graphic, per the instructions on the iron on paper. For my totes, I cut in a uniform box around the text with rounded corners. Making the box with rounded corners made it easier to take off the paper when it was completed. So, round your corners, if you can.

Heat up your iron and set it to the “no steam” setting. You don’t want any extra moisture as this will cause the paper to pucker and ripple. After you heat up your iron, be sure to iron out the tote first to remove any moisture from the tote. The tote might not feel wet, but you never know. Give it a quick iron and you’ll be good to go!

When you are ready to iron on the graphic, lay your tote bag  on the iron board or whatever surface you normally iron on and smooth out the tote as s much as possible with your hands, iron it if necessary. You want your tote to be totally smooth so that when you put the graphic down there aren’t any wrinkles. Next, lay your graphic down in location that you’d like. The printed side of the graphic should be touching the tote and the paper side should be facing up so that you iron on top of the paper. Then, iron on top of paper to seal it onto tote. Press down all throughout the graphic, but especially on the corners to make sure that it really seals.

Once the graphic seals and dries slightly, you should be able to easily pick the corner and slowly peel it from the tote. Pull slowly as you peel it back. You might need to hold onto the tote with your other hand as you peel the paper back. If the paper doesn’t easily peel off, it might not be fully sealed and in this case try to iron it again. Depending on how hot your iron gets and the totes that you use, you might need to put a thin towel between your iron and the paper to avoid burning

Continue with each tote until you are all finished. I waited until I ironed on all of the totes to peel the paper off all of the totes to give them a few minutes to full dry and set onto the totes. Please follow any additional instructions on the iron on transfer paper packaging. There might be additional advice and tips for for ironing, allowing to dry and removing.

Here are a few more pictures of the DIY tote bags for swag in action on the big workshop day. They turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

easy-diy-tote-bags-for-swag-the-garter-girl-joy-michelle-photography

diy-totes-for-swag-bags-the-garter-girl-joy-michelle-photography

custom-totes-diy-the-garter-girl-joy-michelle-photography

diy-swag-bags-the-garter-girl-joy-michelle-photography

how-to-swag-bag-totes-the-garter-girl-joy-michelle-photography

easy-swag-bag-totes-the-garter-girl-joy-michelle-photography

Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

This was a really fun DIY project and once I got going on it, it wasn’t hard at all! Now, the pillows that I tried to make using the same iron-on method didn’t turn out as well! Custom branded pillows can be tricky and expensive, so I wouldn’t recommend this iron-on method for making pillows.

What about you, will you be making tote bags as your swag bags?! Also, which blogging phrase is your favorite?? I had such hard time deciding, which is how I ended up with three phrases and not one!

If you want to learn more about blogging, be sure to check out my small business blogging workshop on February 7th and 28th in Washington DC and Maryland. I’d love to see you there and help you blog smarter, harder and faster!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.