25+ Bridesmaid Box Ideas

I don’t know about you, but when I first got engaged, my step one was to propose to my bridesmaids. While I didn’t do anything fancy, I’m loving the trend of creating personalized gift boxes to invite your bridesmaids into your bridal party.

But what is a bridesmaid box exactly? And what goes in it? A bridesmaid box is basically just a sweet and personalized way to ask your closest friends or family members to be in your wedding.

First up, you need something to put your items in… something like a box (pictured above is a paper box from Michael’s) or a bag, like a tote bag shown below.

Next, you need a way to ask your bridesmaid the most important question… and the whole point of the box: will you be my bridesmaid?!

I am very biased here, but a card created just for them is one of the best ways to propose. While I have quite a few options in my Etsy shop, some more personalized than others, I do love the ones that allow for the bride to write a sweet and heartfelt message inside like this one. But you can be more personalized with a deluxe card that even includes a handpainted signature.

Once you have your card in place, it’s time to fill the box with some fun goodies… here’s a great list of ideas to start with, for a range of budgets:

  • Travel jewelry case
  • makeup bag
  • framed photo of the two of you
  • mini plants/succulents
  • nail polish
  • face mask
  • bath bombs
  • mini wine or champagne bottles
  • bottle opener
  • mani/pedi tool sets
  • birthstone bracelet or necklace
  • sweet treats (i.e. chocolates) or snacks
  • loofah
  • candle
  • bar soap
  • personalized mug or stemless glass
  • static guard
  • mints
  • energy drinks
  • fuzzy socks
  • spa stuff (i.e. lotion)
  • hand sanitizer
  • hair ties
  • pajama set
  • compact mirror

On items that your girls can use for years, like a wine glass or make up bag, if personalizing your items, sometimes having a name instead of their bridal party role (i.e. bridesmaid) is best so the item will live on well after the wedding.

Most importantly, put lots of love into your boxes as the gesture and thought behind them will mean more than anything else.

Have any other ideas on what to include in the boxes? Please leave a comment, I’d love to grow my list for future brides!

Photo by Stephanie Weber

Watercolor Wedding Stationery and Signage Collection

If you’re a bride looking for an extensive line of stationery for your watercolor wedding, then this is the place for you! I love meeting brides right after their engagement and working on proposal cards for their bridesmaids… and then helping them with addressing their wedding invitations as the big day gets closer… and then finally, completing their day-of stationery! This job is a dream come true: getting to meet kindred spirits while pursuing my creative dreams!

Below you will discover, through real weddings and studio shots, the various products that I have available. Some are available directly through my Etsy shop while others are more custom in nature. 

First up, bridesmaid proposal cards! I don’t know about you, but when I first got engaged, asking my friends to be my bridesmaids was my top priority! I love creating these cards for brides, knowing that they are a celebration of true friendship and sisterhood. There are so many color and wording options, starting with the proposal but also including thank you cards for the wedding day. PLUS cards for parents, other family members and of course the groom on the big day! Here’s a few sneak peeks at what I have to offer, but take a look at my full line of Bridal Party Cards in my Etsy shop.

Next, wedding invitations and envelope addressing….

Envelope Addressing

The first impression your guests will receive of your wedding starts with your hand addressed envelopes! Whether it’s with pointed pen or with brush calligraphy, I love to addressing envelopes… creating each one as it’s very own work of handlettered art!

The way this shop owner addressed my wedding envelopes was my absolute favorite part of my entire wedding stationary suite! She was very easy to work with and created prettier envelopes than I ever could have imagined! So many of our guests have commented on how beautiful they are!! We couldn’t be happier!

– Hollie K.

Once your guest opens their personalized envelope, then the real show begins! Here is where they get the full vision of your wedding… from the look of the artwork to the color palette to the style of fonts…. all of this sets the tone for your big day!

While I have an extensive portfolio of past wedding invitations (see portfolio here), you can see pricing and more information on semi-custom invitations in my Etsy shop here.


Now let me walk you through your wedding day, starting with a warm welcome for your guests, programs for your ceremony, and then through all the paper goods for your reception…

Welcome Signs

Welcome signs are a great way to direct your guests to your ceremony, and can then be transported to your reception location as well if needed. These usually include a saying with your names and date. Materials range from paper to acrylic to mirrors.

Ceremony Programs

These paper handouts are given as your guests enter the ceremony or placed at each seat. The include the order of the ceremony, a thank you message, the names of the wedding party and family members, as well as a place to list names for a memorial. There are many options available, see the full list here.

Seating Charts

If you’re having assigned seating, you’ll either need a seating chart or a display of escort cards/tags (see the next section). While I love both of these methods, I have such a soft spot for seating charts! They are to the point and a creative way to welcome your guests to the reception. The basics include a list of your guests names organized by table number or alphabetically. Additionally, a creative title and the bride and groom’s names and date finish the piece. Materials range from framed or mounted posters, glass, mirror, acrylic, chalkboard… really the sky is the limit!

Seating charts are made to order and not listed in my Etsy shop currently, message me for a quote.

Escort Cards

Escort cards would be used in place of a seating chart… whether you go with a tag or tent card, each piece will need the guest’s name and their table number. Find the following items in my Etsy shop: banner name tags, rectangle tags, and tent cards.

Table Numbers

Your guests now know which table they are sitting at and now need to find their table. My standard table numbers include a few different layouts, but there are other creative ways to name your tables as well like after your favorite cities!

While this next gallery isn’t made with watercolor, I sure do love the look of acrylic for table numbers as well!

Or even made on terracotta saucers and slices of agate!

Placecards: Tent Cards, Flat Cards, and Name Tags

Once the guest arrives at their designated table, a placecard is used to show them their actual seat. This is also a great place to show the serving staff which entrée your guest chose, if needed. Guests tend to love seeing their names written out in calligraphy and often take them home as a keepsake.

Find these items in my Etsy shop: tent cards, flat cards, rectangle tags, and banner tags.

Placecards can also be made using natural elements like marble tiles and slices of agate!

Reception Dinner Menus

Whether you’re having a buffet or a plated reception, menus add another layer of decor to your table. My menus include a variety of color schemes and fonts to match your decor. While my standard menu design is listed in my Etsy shop, customized menus can also be created like the ones below with watercolor florals.

Kay Mitchell Photography

Custom Worded Watercolor Signs

And lastly, for all other needs, I can create custom watercolor signs with whatever wording is needed! Perhaps you need a sign for your Cards & Gifts table, a memorial or hashtag sign, or even a chart to show the timeline of events… I got you covered! Shop custom signs here.

Now that we’ve gone over the individual items, take a look at how these brides have used these items together to create a cohesive look for their wedding!

A wedding in gorgeous Idaho featuring navy watercolor table numbers, placecards, menus and programs… photos by Jenna Bechtholt Photography

Courtney’s blush and gold, travel themed wedding at El Chorro in Texas, photos by Daniel Kim. See more in my full blog post on her wedding.

A Charleston, South Carolina wedding which features multiple custom signs, a seating chart and more… photos by Dana Cubbage. See my full post on this wedding here.

Loved getting to use my dusty purple color mix for this early fall wedding, photos by Moth and Moonlite.

The navy watercolor is by far the most popular of my color choices, but it was truly perfect for this Maine coast wedding… Photos by Courtney Elizabeth Media

Sam was an absolute dream to work with! She designed our wedding programs, menus, signage, vow books, and thank you cards for our family/wedding party and they were absolutely stunning. She was extremely responsive throughout the entire process. I received so many compliments from guests on how beautiful everything was. Highly recommend Sam and I can’t wait to work with her again!

Nicole M.

A Tahoe wedding utilizing my watercolor banner tags for escort cards on their drink ware, along with a custom watercolor painting. of pine trees for their bar menu and their dinner menus. Photos by Torrey Fox Photography

For this Santa Barbara wedding, I created a large seating chart to match my watercolor table numbers and placecard tags. Then a custom timeline poster was created as a schedule for guests. Photos by Heirlume Photography

A greenhouse wedding complete with succulent inspired invitations, wedding programs, menus and tent cards but also some lettering for the seating chart on some gorgeous blue glass bottles! The wedding itself used a lot of bright colorful florals so I loved how the day-of stationery, utilized the walnut brown ink as a more neutral additional to the tables. Photos by Stephanie Weber Photography

This San Luis Obispo wedding at Higuera Ranch featured customized wedding stationery with watercolor paintings of florals and a venue illustration.


I hope you enjoyed this look into my watercolor collection (and then some!) of stationery and signage. If you have any questions or want to discuss an order you can fill out the form on my Contact Page or via Etsy.

Sam Allen Creates: October to December 2019

Can I make a confession? I started this blog post in February, you know… during the normal timeline of posting a Year End Review blog post, but life got in the way… and other projects, priorities, and the world on quarantine. Sometimes it just takes that long to get it right—and edit all the photos from all these fun projects! But thankfully I got this post done before the mid-year AND before the new baby arrives in a few weeks! Eek! It may be the end of May, but I hope you enjoy taking this look back at the fall with me!


October

We started the month of October with a trip to the midwest, visiting my husband’s family’s ranch in South Dakota. And then as soon as we returned, I launched my Floral Letter Ornaments! These were so much fun to paint!

After making some labels for this baby girl’s clothing bins in her nursery, Emerson’s mama had me paint up these sweet words to display in the room as well, a beautiful love note from mommy and daddy!

So gorgeous Sam! Thank you for continuously making my nursery dreams a reality and creating the perfect keepsake for our girl. You’ve been such a pleasure to work with!

And of course, we can’t forget the cards made this month… this personalized thank you card is one of my favorites!

Wedding BTS

I really loved these fall weddings that I got to work on… here’s a few of my in-studio shots, but if you keep scrolling, you’ll see these appear again at the Real Weddings in October & November.

If you’re a bride looking for some of these watercolor items to be incorporated into your wedding day, here’s some helpful links to the products in my Etsy shop: wedding signs, tent cards, name tags, flat placecards.

Real Weddings

You may recognize this “sip and be seated” sign from my last round-up post—it’s always so fun to see how these pieces are used at the actual wedding! Photos by Korie Jecius Photography.

And more photos from a northern California wedding (I love the floral centerpieces!!), photos by This Modern Romance.


November

Around here, the end of October and the beginning of November is all about creating placecard tags for Thanksgiving! It shocks me every year, how many of these little cuties are written out but it’s a season I always look forward to!

These were the finishing touch to my Thanksgiving table. Absolutely perfect.

– A. Brown

November is also when I create the majority of my Christmas cards for friends and family! These are truly some of my favorite designs yet!

And you can’t send a Christmas card without an address stamp… or even decorate your presents without a gift tag stamp! Love this set!

By the end of the month, I was starting to work on orders for Christmas gifts. Working on wedding portraits truly are some of my favorite orders, there’s just so much fun detail in the dresses and bouquets… but working on a Walt Disney World painting (below right), is a pretty close tie!

Christmas gift creation continues with papercut silhouettes….

And of course Pine Branch and Floral Letter Last Name Signs!

Links to purchase Pine Tree Last Name Sign or Floral Last Name Sign.

Real Weddings

Remember those wedding BTS shots… here’s how some of those were styled at the real weddings! First up, I love how this seating chart came out for a wedding in Canada, along with their tent cards and table numbers. Photos by Danielle Meredith.

From Canada to the east coast, I think this is how I’d style my own wedding, I mean vow renewal! Photos by Molly Lo Photography.

A November wedding that is giving me some Christmas vibes! Love the greenery down the center of the table with my banner tags paired with red ribbon! Such a fun pop of color!


December

I had such a fun time designing our Christmas card this year as it doubled as a pregnancy announcement!! Family photos by Stephanie Weber Photography.

The start of December is all about wrapping up Christmas gift orders (pun intended!)…

Starting with papercut silhouettes

Silhouettes of all 4 of my parent’s grandchildren was the perfect gift to them. There were tears of joy upon receiving these beautiful hand cut silhouettes of their chubby cheeked grand boys. Thank you Sam for yet again creating something for my family that will be cherished & enjoyed for years to come.

Jamie C.

Wedding vow art!

And of course, more Floral Letter paintings!

This next watercolor portrait wasn’t for Christmas but for my grandma’s December birthday! I loved painting this for so many reasons but mostly because I was able to incorporate my grandpa who passed away several years ago. It’s so nice to see them together holding my son… the perfect last touch was with the addition of the words “Great Grandparents are always in our hearts.”

Lastly, I want to share a sneak peek of this boho greenhouse styled shoot! A full blog post is to come, but I couldn’t have a review of December without including this beauty! Photos by Stephanie Weber Photography.


If you made it this far, you were with me to the end and I so appreciate it!! I’d love to hear your feedback on these projects, let me know your favorite in the comments below!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 2020 Guide, Personalized Artwork and Unique Presents from the Heart

I strive to create unique gifts for Mother’s Day, and luckily for you, not just for my mom! I love creating gifts for YOU to give the mothers in your life too! I collected a few of my favorite items—that you can purchase today—that I guarantee will make your mom, your wife, your grandmother smile straight from the heart!


1. Watercolor Family Portrait

A watercolor painting turns your photos into works of art! Whether you want to use a professional photo or snapshot from your phone, using a photo that you love puts more emphasis on the sentimental bond of love between the mother and child, or grandmother and grandchild (hint, hint!!). These watercolor portraits are always a hit!

I am completely blown away with how beautifully our family portrait came out. Watercolor is such a unique way to display our family of five on our walls; personalized art is such a great conversation piece! To say I’m happy with the way it came out would be an understatement. Thank you Sam for yet again creating something beautiful for our home!

– Jamie C.

Links to purchase: Watercolor Family Portraits


2. Hand Drawn Papercut Silhouette

I’ve been selling these little cuties since 2014! I love how the stylized look of their profiles make you focus in on their unique features: their buttons noses, the shape of their lips, and the curl of their hair.

I am absolutely in love with the silhouettes that I ordered from Sam. They make a timeless statement in my home that will be treasured forever. I love the way they capture my boys features in a way that a traditional picture just doesn’t do.

Mckensie B.

Links to purchase: Single Person or Siblings Silhouettes


3. Floral Last Name Sign

I don’t think I could describe why I love these signs so much, not any more than the Avett Brothers say in their song: “Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.” There’s so much love and history in a last name, so many memories behind each family. These last name signs immortalize that love in a beautiful way!

Sam’s watercolors are so beautiful and detailed. I can tell she pours her heart into each one. I am thrilled with how my custom “Sisters” painting turned out and would order anything from Sam again in a heartbeat.

– Kristen M.

Links to purchase: Floral Last Name Sign or Evergreen Last Name Sign or message me to discuss a custom design like the Maine coast one pictured above.


4. Floral Letters and Papercut Silhouettes

If you just can’t pick between the last two products, here’s a combo option of my Floral Letters with the papercut silhouettes. The 8×10 size is perfect for family’s with 2 kids, but larger sizes and other variations are available.

Sam did an absolutely beautiful job combining my children’s first initials and silhouettes! The water color floral letters are gorgeous and the attention to detail on the silhouettes is impeccable. Their profiles are so accurate. Definitely one of my favorite pieces of artwork in our home!

– Amie P.

To purchase: Floral Letters with Papercut Silhouettes


5. Custom Painting of Favorite Verse or Saying

The final route is going totally custom and having her favorite verse or saying written in watercolor calligraphy, all painted within a watercolor floral wreath!

Sam has made many pieces for us but this one is my most favorite (pictured below). She created it to mimic my baby shower invite that I absolutely adored and I was so blown away when I saw. It is so beautiful, even more than I could have imagined. It will be in my daughters room forever.

– Lauren W

To purchase: Custom Watercolor Painting


6. Gift Certificate

And lastly, and a relatively new item to my shop: Gift Certificates! A gift certificate is a great option when there’s so many great options to pick from and you can’t decide what to buy as your gift! Whether you have your eye on my handpainted watercolor portraits or the papercut silhouettes, by purchasing a gift certificate, you are allowing your recipient the joy of choosing their favorite!

To purchase: Gift Certificate


Bonus! With any purchase from this Gift Guide, I will include this year’s Mother’s Day card for FREE!

To receive your free card, please make a note in your order notes during checkout and mention this blog post!

Bonus Number TWO: All of the watercolor paintings and papercut silhouettes are on sale in my shop until April 26!! Click through the links above to view pricing and packages. Spaces are limited for Mother’s Day delivery so order soon.

Sam Allen Creates: July thru September 2019

Although these review blog posts take more time than I ever think they should, they are always so rewarding to see finished! The months of July, August and September were full of wedding work sprinkled with some other fun painting projects and even a tattoo design! Hope you enjoy this look back to last summer with me!


July

July celebrates the anniversary of the opening of Disneyland! Since it’s my favorite place in the whole world and they just revamped the beloved castle, I wanted to spend some time creating a new castle sketch and painting. I’m totally in love with the results and have this little passion project of mine hanging proudly in my office!

The month also included this commission of a painted quote: You are a match for your mountain. Another favorite of mine—and you can get this as a free phone lockscreen on my Instagram by viewing the Story Highlights: instagram.com/samallencreates!

After a short vacation to Tennessee, I returned to a full plate of preparing for a flatlay workshop in Pennsylvania! They were in need of over 10 unique suites for their participants to practice styling and photographing. I had fun going over the past few year’s worth of design work to create updated and reprinted suites for them. The envelopes alone were a work of art! Stay tuned for the results of the workshop…

Wedding BTS

Before I share some of the wedding photos from my July weddings, here’s some in-studio behind the scenes shots… some of these you’ll see again in the final wedding photos in later months below!

As I worked on the launch of my wedding programs, my “guinea pig” bride got the special treatment with a custom written heading! Shop wedding ceremony programs here.

I loved all of these navy pieces created for this same bride, including this custom hashtag sign, which is now also available in my shop!

While I wait for wedding photos from this July wedding, take a look at these gold watercolor tags and tent cards. I wish you could see their shimmer!

Navy watercolor is definitely a favorite of my customers! Lastly, for my in-studio shots, are some name tags and note cards for wedding welcome bags!

Real weddings

Now it’s time for some real weddings! I absolutely adore how this travel themed wedding came together! They used international and domestic cities for their reception table names! Photos by Kelsey Combe Photography.

Shop Dusty Rose table numbers here, photos by Olivia Gird Photography.

Name tag placecards written in gray watercolor, photo by Chard Photo.

Styled Shoots

Now that I’ve wrapped up July’s Real Weddings, I’d love to share the styled shoots I participated in.

First up is a shoot with Stephanie Weber Photography! When she first proposed the idea of a vintage love letter shoot, I eagerly accepted to collaborate! It was such a simple yet beautiful concept and I am in love with the gorgeous results!

From our sunny California coast, we now go to the mountains of Colorado! Organized by Taylor Olivares Baxter and photographed by Neva Michelle!

Bridesmaid Cards

As I close out the month of July, here’s a look back at some bridesmaid cards painted up! I don’t always take photos of the cards, but these were definitely some favorites so I couldn’t resist! Shop Bridesmaid proposal cards and thank you cards here.

New Products

And lastly, there were a few new products launched in July! Whew, what a month!

As mentioned above, I launched my wedding ceremony program… I loved creating the custom watercolor headings—with so many varieties for my brides to choose from!

And as mentioned above, the addition of these Share the Love! wedding and event hashtag signs. I include a few fonts to pick from and a variety of watercolor paint options as well to customize the sign even further! Shop here.

And lastly, the redesign of my popular Godparent poem print but in watercolor calligraphy! With the launch of my watercolor godparent cards earlier this year, I really wanted to create a print to match! Shop my new print here, comes in 2 sizes and multiple color options.


August

Back to that flatlay workshop, here is just a peek at the results! You may recall seeing Jess Palatucci’s work on my blog last year with our Rapunzel themed styled shoot (link here), but this was all about how to photograph the details. As a stationery designer, I love these types of workshops but I am totally biased as I thrive on creating these details! Thank you, Jess!