Monday, November 7, 2011

DIY Message in a Bottle necklace WYB

WYB means W-ill Y-ou B-e. I don't know who invented that concept but I sure do like that idea. I personally think it's more thoughtful than to just tell your wedding party verbally.

I have to do two sets of WYBs. One for our Philippines' church wedding and another one for the U.S. civil beach wedding. Since both of the weddings have different themes I decided to make two separate designs.

The picture below are some of the mock-ups I did but decided against it and went totally in different direction. There's one of those mock-ups though that I am planning to use.

I am very excited to share how our WYBs look like but I wanted my entourage to see them first so I waited until all my female entourage received theirs. Oh, and yes, they all said yes!

So first I'll walk you through the materials you would need. Read on:

1. sand (bought mine from Jo-ann's fabric )
2. shells - medium (bought it from walmart)
3. shells - tiny (bought it from micahel's )
4. vial bottles with cork with silver screw eyes...60mm tall by 12mm wide, with a 7mm opening (bought it from an etsy seller)
5. silver chains (a.c. moore )
6. rafia (jo-ann's fabric)
7. wooden boxes (bought for $1 each at michael's )
8. vellum paper (i used 2 colors, dirty ivory for female ento & light blue for the male ento)
9. silver ribbons (for tying up the scroll)
10. tiny trinkets of your choice (i used starfish for the female ento and fishes for the male)

Looking at my materials I'm sure you know already what I'm up to, lol and you might have already visualized the steps but I'll enumerate the steps anyway.

0. Get some old newspaper and cover your work area with it. Believe me you'll need it.It will make cleaning stray sand easier.
1. Make a fake funnel. See that white inverted triangle in that photo above? That's just a small piece of bond paper that i rolled and just made sure the end fits the mouth of the vial glass.
2. Get a used plastic spoon and start pouring the sand in. I suggest you just fill 1/8 of the glass so you'll have room for the tiny shells and your scroll.
3. Drop in 2-3 tiny shells. I try to combine the neutral colored shells with some colorful ones.
4. Put the cork in and screw in the loop screw eyes. Make sure its centered before you completely screw it in. And be careful, you dont want to break the delicate cork.
5. Insert the chain through the loop screw eyes.

Easy right? So we're done with the first step. Next is the message and packaging.

male ento WYB..i used cream for the female ento
  1. Do some mock printing for the scrolls. Try different font sizes and try different width sizes. You want to make sure the scrolls aren't too long that you won't be able to put the cork in. It's important that you do this first so you won't waste those expensive vellum paper.

2. Once you're done putting fake scrolls in your bottle necklace it's time to print the real ones!

3. Measure, measure, measure!  then cut. Again, we don't want to waste the vellum paper. What I do is I draw a line and made sure it's leveled. You want the scroll to be the same width on both sides.

4. Roll the scroll. Since we did Step #1 you probably know now how to roll the paper really thin so it would fit in your vial.

5. Put some tiny glue in the middle of the scroll. This is so it won't start unrolling while you put the silver ribbon on it. Dont put too much glue that it would be hard to remove. i use the tip of my pencil when I add the glue.

6. Put a dab of glue to where you'll be placing the ribbon (middle) then start looping the ribbon in (I just loop the ribbon twice) and knot it twice. You need to glue the ribbon before you loop it so it would be easy to squeeze in the scroll with the ribbon inside the vial without the scroll falling off from the ribbon. Again, don't put too much glue. Cut the ribbon to desired length but make sure it's long enough that you could tie in your trinkets.

7. Put the scroll inside the bottle with part of the silver ribbon hanging out. That is so it would be easy to take the scroll in and out the vial glass. Place the cork.

8. Tie in your choice of trinket on the other end of the silver ribbon. Your really don't need to add a trinket but we don't want a loose cord just hanging out of the bottle, that would look dreadful. The trinket is for added wow factor, lol.

9. Try taking the scroll in and out of the bottle atleast once to make sure everything is glued in perfectly. That ribbon is the only way your recipient can access the scroll easily so if that gets unattached even before they were able to pull the scroll out and, worst, the scroll started unrolling itself inside the bottle, they would never get to read the message. So it pays to be anal retentive once in a while, lol.

We're almost done!

Now, originally, I was just thinking of putting my message in a bottle necklace in a small white (or ivory) organza pouch but I chanced upon those cheap wooden boxes from Michael's so I used that instead. The other cool thing about those wooden boxes is it has a space on top and a glass cover to put in extra stuff. So here are the optional final steps.

1. Open the top part and put in a small shell then I closed it back.
2. Place some rafia inside the box as lining.
3. Then put in the Message in a Bottle necklace WYB and add a semi big shell right next to it for accent.
4. Put some rolls of bubble wrap on top to keep the contents from shaking and prevent them from breaking.
5. Close the box and wrap the outside with a bubble wrap. Remember the top of the box is glass.
6. Get a mailing envelope with a bubble wrap lining (we can't be too careful with breakable items like that) and put the box in.
7. Seal the envelope.

That's it!  Below are samples of the finished product both for the male and female wedding party.

I got this idea from Urban Outfitter's Message in a Bottle necklace. I just jazzed it up a bit.

And the wordings in the scroll are:

1. Peggy, if we promise not to make you wear an ugly dress, will you be our Bridesmaid? Our wedding will be perfect with you by our side – roxxxx &mxxxn
2. James, it would mean so much if you were by our side on our wedding day. Will you be our Groomsman? – Rxxxx &Mxxxxn

Feel free to share this or use it for your own WYB but please if you're using my photos just remember to mention that you got it from

I used a different design for our ring bearer and flower girl WYBs. That would be on the next post.


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