The Art of the Party Favor
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
A party favor: was a party staple as a child but no longer quite so popular... we forgot that bit of lagniappe (little something extra) when hostessing a party goes a long way. There is something lovely about greeting a guest with an unexpected treat as they enter the door, knowing that when they leave they'll have a little keepsake to take home. Most of the time when we see party favors, we're at a wedding. Weddings take party favors to the next level... 300 personalized koozies, an array of local treats, and the list goes on... I don't think these small party gifts ever need to be elaborate or expensive, but just a lovely way to say "thank you for coming."
If it was 1995 the party favors (and our ages) would be much different, clearly it would be Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker and scrunchies... before hair ties were even a fleeting thought! Today, we should celebrate the art of the party favor.
What Should I consider?
Let the tone of the party and your guests be your guide. If you're hostessing a large shower, then maybe something more than a decorative, individually wrapped cookie or a candy bar might be cost and time prohibitive. If you have a smaller group coming over, there are plenty of options to consider. I love some personal sized beauty products or hair ties.. my grandmother's love of all things Crabtree & Evelyn means that I find those adorable personal sized lotions whenever I can for favors. Or depending on the occasion or occasion, there are plenty of inspirations to match your theme or party decor, such as a small ornament or a place card holder container filled with candy. For cost friendly treats - sweet and salty popcorn (the large bag of already made kind https://boomchickapop.com/our-products/) or mass quantities of gummy bears, or even homemade treats like lemon bars or brownies are always appreciated.
Judging the Book By it's Cover - Presentation is Key!
If you're like me, cute and adorable packaging gets me every time (always). If you really just want to showcase your party bags or your cute boxes, the world is your oyster with fillings. Clear plastic bags - with a ribbon tying in your party - are my go-to because of how versatile they can be. Key is to always have some pretty ribbon on hand.
Packages tied up with string... another one of my favorite things. If my entire party budget was devoted to party favors, you would see me in line to get 20 beautifully packaged boxes from Laduree, filled with beautifully colorful, floral flavored macaroons. Since that is not the case, I thought I would improvise. These pink boxes, tied in pink satin ribbon, filled with a much more reasonable substitute. Your local Trader Jacque's (Joe's) has a lovely little box of a dozen macaroons in the freezer case for only $5, which allowed me to fill each box with three colorful (and tasty) macaroons.
Some More Ideas:
- Mongrammed cookies - LucyBerry always has such adorable and thoughtful designs for your party. (https://www.etsy.com/shop/LucyBerryCookies)
- Chocolate dipped pretzels... they're usually eaten before your guests walk out the door to leave.
- Sugarfina inspires the candy eater in all of us; to replicate at home, I simply purchased some small plastic cubes and a very large bag of champagne gummies. (see below)
- A candy bar (so beloved, it will be featured separately in another posting).
- Miniature pots with tiny herbs or floral arrangements (also great placeholders).
- Baked treats; if you belong to a Costco or Sams, there are great and cost-effective shortcuts. (I buy palmiers en masse!)
- Mini instant-pics (just like in the days of Polaroid cameras and maybe Lip Smackers aren't far behind for the comeback).
- Petite hand lotions, nail polishes, and other lovely personal treats.
- If all else fails, a trip to the dollar store or sale aisle of your favorite store for inspiration never hurts!
The Party Favor
Again, party favors are meant to be a fun "extra" for your guests but shouldn't take a considerable amount of time, money, or effort. It's a lovely gesture and a fun way to send your guests home with an unexpected treat! If you're inspired, make the most of it!
**As holidays approach, we'll send some holiday-specific favor ideas your way.**