Last weekend, I hosted my best friend’s bridal shower. It took a LOT of preparation, but I think it was all worth it; she got a ton of presents and I got a ton of compliments, so we were both happy at the end of the day! To cut costs, I made or borrowed almost all of the decorations, so I spent a whole lot more time than money, which was exactly how I wanted it. The bride-to-be is very original so I knew I did not want to plan a cookie cutter shower with traditional elements. A vase of flowers next to a store-bought cake was just not going to cut it for my friend. Since she loves to travel and has been abroad several times (jealous!), I decided on a “Journey” theme pretty quickly to pull together her hobby and the idea of embarking on a new journey with her fiancé. Here she is with the map-wrapped wreath I made and embellished with his and hers luggage tags, a copy of the invitation and random Google images of plane tickets.
Surprisingly, I only used two Pinterest ideas in the whole shower; the rest was all on my own. (Although I’m sure someone out there has a similar idea on Pinterest that I just never saw.) One of those was these map-wrapped frames:
I just upcycled old frames that were in my Goodwill pile and placed a copy of the invitation in one, and a photo of the couple with their initials in another. Both frames took a total of 2 hours, and I’ll probably use this method again to personalize gifts in the future!
The other Pinterest-inspired craft was these paper globes. I made 3 out of coordinating scrapbook paper, then realized that I still had a ton of extra maps, so I made 3 more using those. This is probably the feature of the shower that got the most compliments, which made the hour it took me to build each one a little more worth it. I’ll post a tutorial soon because a lot of people asked about them and the site I got it from was a little hard to follow.
I used thrifted books, recycled National Geographic maps, and borrowed globes and suitcases for props scattered throughout the house, and I think it really made a statement. I decoupaged a giant initial of her new last name, and decided I will never decoupage again. Ok maybe, but not with the tiny strips of paper I used for this project! I also wish I had used bolder colors of scrapbook paper because the huge letter didn’t quite make the statement I was hoping for, but it made the mantle look nice.
The favors were luggage tags that my mom and I made by laminating scrapbook paper and threading twine through a punched hole at the top. The little sign above them said “Before you make your journey home, please take a luggage tag to use wherever you roam.”
The food was my first big idea for the journey theme. I just made a list of regular hors d’oeuvres and tried to place them in their country (or state) of origin, like Spanish Quesadillas or Hawaiian Fruit Skewers. It was much easier than I thought, and I actually had to pare down my brainstorming list. Then I printed a small flag from each of the states or countries, and bam, adorable food labels. I served the food in all the white Corningware I could scrounge up, because I love the clean presentation, and taped together a bunch of my recycled maps to act as a tablecloth. It seemed like a super customized thing, but was embarrassingly easy to make. I just laid a tablecloth I own on the floor and moved around the maps until it was covered and taped it all down. The bride is a teacher, so as an unforeseen bonus, she was able to remove some to use in an upcoming unit at school!
One of the decorations I was most excited about was a giant map of Texas that I used to detail the couple’s journey to marriage.
I cut a trifold presentation board to the size of the map, and then glued it on using spray adhesive. We placed pins on cities that hold special significance to them, like where they each grew up, where they met, got engaged, etc, and wrapped twine to show where they’ve been.
I am so excited for my friend, and so thankful for our other friends and hostesses for the shower! There’s no way it would have all turned out so nicely without them there to boss around help.
Congrats friend! I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you!