You may have heard, but there is a crisis right now with the honey bee population significantly dropping over the last few years and this poses a major threat to global agriculture. Bees not only give us honey, but they also pollinate many plants that we depend on – as much as one-third of all the agriculture in the world. Without them, we could see our produce seriously decline and many crops disappear altogether. It’s not just happening in Ontario, but all over the world. There are things we can do, like making sure our yards and park areas are free of pesticides and planting native plants that help promote bees to pollinate and help their hives, which also benefits other insects.
When we started talking about making DIY Honey Jars for the wedding favors, it made me think about the bees. We needed to give something back to them too. That’s when I came up with the idea of creating little packets of wildflower seeds that guests could take home.
We even mentioned it in our sign, asking guests to scatter them in their garden or sprinkle them in a ditch along the country roads on their way back home. One of our guests didn’t have anywhere to plant them at her home, but she remembered the Unionville railroad station, where she often sees people getting pictures taken and knew it would be a place the flowers would flourish in a natural area.
The packets are safe for anywhere in North America, so we took some with us on the honeymoon too. We intended to sprinkle them along the route we took, but ended up giving them all away to people we met along our trip. There are now packets in Laurel, New Orleans, Savannah, Greenville, and even at the rural Pennsylvania rescue we picked up Cola from!
The packets were easy to make and came in at $0.59 each! (including the seeds, glassine envelopes and labels)
Here is a quick cost breakdown, including where we bought all the supplies.
|American Meadows – (1lb bag)
|Crystal Clear Bags Canada
|Martha Stewart Avery Collection – on clearance
We made 125 bags and had more than enough favors for the 115 guests at our wedding, as well as plenty of extras because some couples just took one packet. We were able to have lots leftover to give away on our honeymoon (and a few to save for our future house someday).
We ordered one pound of Honey Bee Wildflower Seed Mix from American Meadows. This mix is meant to attract honey bees, with quick-bloom flowers that make the bees work easier and helps out the already-stressed hives.
It was a great diverse mix with 19 wildflowers (11 annuals and 8 perennials) including Shasta Daisies, Wild Cosmos, Purple Coneflowers, Baby Blue Eyes, Black-eyed Susans and White Dutch Clover Zinnias. This wildflower mix is good in zones 1-8 so that any of our guests from all over North America could use it.
I’d originally thought of weighing each packet of seeds, but Garrett had the great idea to use a tablespoon to measure the volume instead. It was a much faster way of filling the bags and he was able to do all 125 quickly.
The glassine envelopes were ordered from Crystal Clear Bags Canada, which I’ve ordered from in the past for work projects and they’ve always been great. These envelopes are their G9 size (2 1/4″ x 3 1/2″) which worked out perfectly for the amount of seed we wanted to give our guests, without looking too small.
One tablespoon of seeds filled the bags almost halfway and is plenty of seed for a small patch of wildflowers.
Just like with the DIY Honey Jars, my mom found a great deal on these silver embossed seals from the Martha Stewart Avery labels collection. I’ve seen these for $5 a pack before, but she got them on clearance for $0.75 for 18 labels – or $0.04 cents each!
Using the template from their website, I made a quick label with simple text, letting guests know what the seed mix was.
We ran out of labels part way through, but Garrett found these cute silver stickers that worked as a good substitute.
To display the seeds at the table, I found this plain wood tea box from the dollar store for $3. It was the perfect size to display the seeds, but it did need a little something extra.
I painted the whole thing green with craft paint (also from the dollar store) and then covered it with moss scraps leftover from the DIY Moss Covered Letters I’d made for the mantel.
It was pretty easy to put together – just use hot glue to attach the scraps right onto the wood. I cut around things like the latches and windows.
When the moss was attached to the back and the top of the glass lid, it made it so the lid couldn’t swing all the way open. This was really helpful in keeping the lid propped open for guests to see the seeds inside.
When setting up the favors display, we filled the moss covered display case with as many seeds as we could. There was a box under the table with more seeds to replenish as needed.
I’ve since heard back from guests that have planted them in their gardens and had beautiful blooms come up!
For more DIY wedding ideas, check out my I Do page