I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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October 16, 2008

DIY jam jar placecards

… or something like that.

In the early days, when the wedding was a fantasy far far away and I was obsessed with the idea that everything about the wedding had to be personal, made by me, and reflect our personalities and lifestyle (HA. HAHAHAHAHAHA), I wanted to make jam for our favors. 200 jars of jam. I smartened up quick, don’t worry.

INSTEAD, (because I have issues with letting things go once my heart is set on them), I decided to make jam as favors/placecards for our rehearsal dinner. 40 jars of jam it turns out, was less impossible. Though take note, it did encroach on my crafting time and has subsequently resulted in the recent removal of 2 major projects from my list. For that, I whole-heartedly thank East Side Bride, who in her “wedding graduate” post on A Practical Wedding says:

“3. Know when to let go. Two days before the wedding, your to-do list will seem insurmountable. It is. Take a fat sharpie, cross out three big projects, and get some sleep. Seriously.”

Kay, well, 10 days before our wedding I’m taking your advice. It truly feels amazing. I just deleted 1) welcome bags (sorry guests, but I’m sure you’ll agree that my sanity and beauty sleep are far more important than the goccoed gift bag full of spiced nuts, dates, oranges, etc. you were going to receive upon checking in to the hotel), and 2) the Cookie Bar. Again so sorry, but we have an excellent favor alternative that does not involve me making 12 batches of cookie dough and then baking 400 cookies in the few days before the wedding. More on our alternate favor later.

But I digress, as usual.

Anyway, I’m super excited to give our bridal party and close fam a little token of our appreciation for coming out 2 days early (our rehearsal dinner is on Thursday), to celebrate with us. I’ve been making batches of jam for a few weeks… One is the yummy yummy yummy Fig & Lavender jam I posted about a while back. And the other flavor is a new one for me, Plum Vanilla. It’s really good too. I stumbled upon it on Martha’s site while looking for something interesting to make with the last bits of summer fruit at the Farmer’s Market.

It’s all about the vanilla beans. Sooo good.

I used leftover ribbon from our invites to tie on the name tags. I don’t love the tags actually, but following the advice of many a bride before me, no one will know that I planned to make cute gocco-ed tags instead of these that I busted out in 20 minutes last night with a handy tag-shaped punch from Michaels. Which I finally learned is a pretty nifty store.


  1. jora said on October 16, 2008

    So Super Impressed You Are Doing This Right Before Your Wedding. Also, I make Martha’s plum vanilla jam! I first read about it on Tea and Cookies way back when.

  2. Rachel said on October 16, 2008

    It’s beautiful! And you’re so smart to take that advice. You do not want to be elbow deep in cookie dough while feeling stressed out and rushed.

  3. NotQuiteaBride said on October 16, 2008

    Oh I just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE those! I think they look wonderful, and I’m so happy you listened to such great advice to let things go. Your day will be fantastic because you will be MARRIED at the end of it!

    Yippee for you!

  4. amanda said on October 16, 2008

    Lovely little cute jam jars, Stina. I almost stole a Fig/Lavender jar at your place awhile back, but now there’s Plum/Vanilla too? I might have to begin exploring the world of jam-making now.

  5. P said on October 16, 2008

    Those look redonkulously good. I like to think of myself as a person who makes jam, despite the fact that I have never actually done such a thing in my life. But I like to think that I am the sort of person who would, if the spirit called, make jam. Because it looks really, really good. Your guests were lucky.

  6. saritapr said on October 16, 2008

    Love these! Who did the calligraphy-its really nice! was that by Jenna, or did you actually write the names yourself????

  7. pve design said on October 16, 2008

    Oh wow, can I be invited…. just to get a jar of that jam! Looks so sweet.

  8. ami @ elizabeth anne designs said on October 16, 2008

    the jam jars are amazing! great job!

  9. east side bride said on October 17, 2008

    Here’s to jam, and to beauty sleep!

  10. Rachel said on October 17, 2008

    They look fab. I agree, take away the unessential projects; however I do find baking de-stresses me (although not perhaps biscuits for 200 right before a wedding).

    Just wondered, where does one purchase a gocco machine? I think it would be useful to me! x

  11. Rebecca said on October 17, 2008

    lovely, Kristina! I’m sneaking away with this recipe as we speak…. :)

  12. Heather from the bar said on October 17, 2008

    Ha, that is something that I will for sure be reminding myself of many-a-times over the next 9 months :) No one will know what I had planned, and therefore they will not notice that although still cool, if I had an infinite amount of time they would have been a little cooler (but probably only to me :) )
    Oh and that plum vanilla jam sounds delicious.

  13. citysage said on October 17, 2008

    Sadly I did not take this advice and spent the week subsumed by marching armies of cookie dough, welcome kits, and hand ribboned brownie favour boxes.

    The result? I was late for my own rehearsal dinner and arrived with greasy, unwashed hair. Apparently all the goodies tasted great, but I wouldn’t know because I didn’t taste a one!

    I commend you for knowing when to say ‘enough’ and being happy with what you are able to do. It’s so hard to quell that perfectionist instinct…though speaking of perfect, your jam is just that!

  14. missnoma said on October 18, 2008

    fantastic idea and they look lovely!
    hoping to do something similar for our wedding – as gifts at the brunch the next day
    i linked to your post through my blog –

  15. Meg said on October 18, 2008

    Ok, I totally had this idea too, I just gave it up five seconds after having it, because I know how lazy I really am. BUT! I love this. I still might try to buy some ‘homemade’ jam??? Errr…. really it’s unlikely, but we’ll see.

    Love! Yours! (however)

  16. maggie said on October 21, 2008

    Perfection: the jam, and the decision-making, and the letting-go. Such a model!

  17. Devadeva Mirel said on October 24, 2008

    absolutely beautiful.

  18. The Pissed Off Bride said on October 25, 2008

    Wow. So personal and thoughtful.
    Love it.

    BTW. very nice blog.

  19. Catie Ronquillo said on January 23, 2009

    Had the same thought as you to do them as the wedding favors. Then I realized, jam x 150 = insane. Maybe I’ll take your idea and do them for the rehearsal dinner. :)

  20. disa said on September 22, 2009

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