I was looking for the perfect bridal shower gift for my niece-to-be and found this great idea: A basket of different color candles grouped into pairs and a poem about when to burn them during milestones in the couple's marriage.
I LOVED the idea, but the poem and design of the gift was a little too frilly for my taste (just google my title and you will see what I mean), plus buying this gift already made on etsy will cost you some serious coin (~$75!).
So I decided to change the poem to my liking and make my own simple, clean design on a budget. Handmade, inexpensive and thoughtful...perfection. And the whole thing cost me less than $10!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
For this project you will need:
- Word, Photoshop of similar software and a printer
- paper cutter or a ruler and x-acto knife
- cardstock or other heavier paper
- 8 pairs of colored candles (three of one color, if desired)
- jute/hemp cord or ribbon
Step 2: The Poem
This is the poem I wrote, which is different from the one floating around the web. I think it's better, but I'll let you be the judge. Feel free to use it, change it, or write your own. Change the colors depending on the candles you find.
A bundle of candles, most are in pairs;
Eight different colors for you two to share.
The purples burn first and kick off your life;
On your very first night as husband and wife.
Your first married fight? Two more to light:
Orange will burn while you make up all night.
Light the pink candles, your love's here to stay;
Celebrate your first married Valentine's Day.
On the first anniversary of exchanging I do's,
applaud one whole year and light up the blues.
So Exciting! Your family is growing in size!
Light all three yellows when first baby arrives.
[can be changed to "Light both the yellows..." if you only have 2 candles)
Surprises come up, unexpected good things;
Choose for yourselves when to light up the greens.
Anniversaries mark time, your love's still alive;
The white ones you'll light when you celebrate five.
One pair remains, travelling with you through life;
You'll burn these and toast to your big twenty-five.
Burn all these candles just like you've read;
But please don't forget: blow them out before bed!
Step 3: Where to Find Candles
Candles can get expensive, especially when you are buying 16 (or 17) of them. I don't like to shop at stores if I can avoid it, so I searched amazon.com and found these great colored "chime" candles that come in pairs. I love them and got 40 for under $8.00! Ok, yes, they are technically for "spells" but you don't believe in that stuff, do you? I'm glad I got 40 because one of the pink ones was broken but thankfully there were 4 in the bunch.
This is the only part that I had to buy, since I had the other materials already at home.
A colorful, thoughtful, fun gift for the bride for under $10!
Step 4: Design and Print
I had two credits on Shutterstock.com and found this beautiful vector art.
I used Photoshop to elongate the middle of the image so it was tall enough to fit the text of the poem, then used InDesign to arrange the text so it would fit justified. I realize not everyone has these programs, but your design doesn't have to be exactly like mine. You can paste your text into a Word document and find some free art by searching google images for "vintage vector frame free download."
I'm including an image of the poem text in case you would like to use it. The background is transparent so you and put it over any color you like (just download the file and paste into your document).
I printed my poem on cardstock I already had with a laser printer. Cardstock is thicker than regular paper and printing on a laser will be more durable than printing on an inkjet (this has to last 25 years!). I printed it on an 8 1/2" x 11" paper and then trimmed it with a paper cutter.
Step 5: Put It All Together
I wrapped each of the pairs together, then wrapped the poem around the bunch. I like the simplicity of this better than a basket or a box, but you could use those as well.
A thoughtful gift that keeps giving for 25 years and costs less than $10!