Sparkly, Luxe DIY Wedding Favors With Freixenet Cava (And An Awesome Giveaway)

As most experienced wedding pros will tell you, favors are generally a “hit or miss” thing; guests will either love them or totally ignore them. It’s not at all uncommon for many favors to be left behind at the reception and thrown away by the cleanup crew. Quelle horreur! That’s a lot of time, money, and effort wasted right there, my friends.

Because I loves ya, I’m going to let you in on a not-so-secret secret: edible favors are (usually) the foolproof way to give your guests a little gift of thanks that they’ll appreciate. Almost everyone digs a sweet treat or something to munch on; hardly anyone wants to drag home a ceramic tchotchke or a random trinket engraved with someone else’s initials.

Today, you lucky League of DIY Awesome™ friends, I’m going to show you how to make a gorgeous luxury-level favor that’s both pretty and sure to be appreciated by your adult guests.

With the help of Freixenet, the producers of these beautiful mini bottles of cava sparkling wine (also known as cava), I’ve created this little box of pure joy. And wait until you hear what Freixent has in store for you!

My, my… what do we have here?


A beautifully adorned wooden box. Isn’t the black, white, and gold combination just beautiful? (The correct answer is YES.)

And inside…


A simple embellished Freixenet cava mini bottle and a pair of gorgeous sweet treats nestled inside a box with a gilded interior lid. How could one not swoon over such a luxe presentation?, I ask.

Before we begin the instructional part of this post, Freixenet is offering DIY Bride readers an opportunity to win 125 mini bottles of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut and a Memory Magnum for your wedding day. Enter the Freixenet All Love Sparkles Sweepstakes Facebook contest for a chance to win one of 6 prize packs. One lucky winner will be selected each week starting March 24th, 2014. Good luck, lovelies! The Cordon Negro Brut is absolutely delicious; don’t miss this opportunity to share it with your guests.

If you’re not familiar with Freixenet, they’re the sparkling wine expert. Based in Spain, they’ve been making sparkling wine for over a century and this year marks the 100th anniversary of their first bottling. Freixenet (pronounced fresh-en-ay) Cordon Negro, a sparkling wine crafted in the same method of French champagne, takes two years from grape to glass to produce and they are known for the attention to detail and great care paid at every step in order to maintain the consistent quality they’re known for. You can find Freixenet at their Facebook page or on Twitter.



Supplies Needed:
Unfinished wood box, approximately 8.375in x 5.25in x 3.43in., found at craft stores
Black gloss acrylic paint
Foam paint brush
Decoupage glue
Gold leaf (copper leaf or silver leaf works just as well)
Soft-bristled paint brush
Newspaper or other material to protect your work surface.

1. This part is pretty easy! Paint your box with the black acrylic paint and the foam brush. You’ll need about 3 – 4 coats of paint to get a nice, dark and evenly painted surface. Though the paint dried very quickly, I did the exterior painting on one day and the interior painting and embellishing on the next. I also painted the hinges and hardware black because the gold hardware clashed with the copper embellishment on the inside of the box. Pro Tip: Be sure to paint with the box open otherwise you run the risk of painting the box shut. Go ahead – ask me how I know this. :-/

2. When your box is fully painted and dry, it’s time to gild the lid’s interior. Using a clean foam brush, apply decoupage to the interior of the box lid. Let it sit for a few minutes (3 to 5 minutes should be aces), just enough to get tacky but not dry.

3. Using the soft-bristled brush, pick up a sheet of copper leaf and apply it to the box lid interior. The idea is to carefully lay the sheets down with as little folding of the leaf as possible.


4. Using the soft bristled paint brush, just gently tap, burnish and rub the leaf down. It gets really easy with practice – you’ll feel like a pro after just a few tries. It’s ok to overlap the sheets a little bit; in fact, it’s unavoidable. Don’t sweat it. You’re doing it right.

5. Keep adding leaf until the interior lid is covered. You should be able to scrape away any leaf that strays – and there will be a lot of it – that settles on any surface that doesn’t have decoupage on it. That’s really all there is to it. Do go ahead and admire your work and starting planning the next 100 things you’ll want to add metallic leaf to.


(The gold leaf in these shots look a coppery. The real color is a true gold.)



Supplies Needed:

1 piece of striped cardstock cut to 4 in. x 4 in.
1 piece of glittered cardstock cut to 3.75 in. x 3.75 in.
1 piece of white cardstock cut to 3.5 in. x 3.5 in.
Double-sided tape
Rubber stamp with “thank you” design
Black ink
Glue gun and glue



1. This one’s easy! On the 3 inch piece of white cardstock, stamp “thank you” with black ink.

2. Using double-sided tape, stick the cardstock layers together: stripe on bottom, glitter in the center, and the white cardstock on top.

3. With a hot glue gun attach the label to the front of the box, in the center. I used one dot on each corner to make the label did not budget. You might get away with less glue. BE CAREFUL with the hot glue!



Supplies Needed:

  • Freixenet mini bottle of sparkling wine
  • Masking tape
  • Spray paint in gold
  • Newspaper, old cardboard, or other material to protect your work surface
  • Newspaper or cardstock to protect the top of the bottles



1. Remove the labels from the bottles. An overnight soak in the sink (or a tub) will do the trick. Let me assure you that scraping labels off bottles is no fun. Let the water do the work for you.

2. Dry the bottles by either wiping them with a dry cloth or letting them air dry. Remove any leftover debris from the labels, as necessary. You want a smooth, clean bottle to work with.

3. Next, add rows of painter’s tape to the bottle to create a template for the gold stripes. The area between the rows of tape will be where you the paint goes. Don’t be afraid to vary the size or number of stripes here! I did three simple stripes for ours but you can be as creative as your heart desires.


4. To protect the top part of the bottle from being painted, I used wrapped a piece of cardstock around the top and secured it with masking tape. This can be reused over and over. Wrapping newspaper around the top works as well.


5. Spray the bottles with light, even strokes.

5. Let the paint dry per manufacturers’ instructions. Mine took a couple of hours to become fully dry.

6. Gently remove masking tape and admire your beautiful gilded bottle.




Lemon Shortbread Cookie Recipe


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325º F.

2. Line two cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.

3. Sift the flour in a small bowl; set aside.

4. In an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, about 3 minutes.

5. Add sugar and continue to beat, about 3 minutes more at medium-high speed, until very light and fluffy, scraping down the sides once or twice.

6. Beat in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

7. Gradually add flour, mixing just until blended, scraping down bowl once or twice.

8. Roll out cookie batter to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board and cut out with a circle cookie cutter. Place cookies on a baking sheet about 1-inch apart and chill at least 1 hour.

9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bottoms are just turning golden; the tops of the cookies should remain pale. Cool cookies completely on pans set on wire rack.


Cava Buttercream Filling:

  • 1 stick [1/2 cup] unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Freixenet Sparkling Wine
  • A pinch of salt


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the honey into the mixture.

3. Add the Freixenet Cava, 1 tablespoon at a time, until filling holds together and is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

4. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside until ready to use.



Supplies Needed:

  • Pastry Bag. Either a cloth pastry bag or a disposable one will work.
  • Star Tip. I like Wilton’s 8B tip but any medium to large star tip will do.
  • Wilton’s Sugar Pearls in Black
  • Luster Dust in Gold
  • Edible Glitter. This is NOT the same as craft glitter. Craft glitters, though often non-toxic, are made of plastics and are not meant for human consumption.
  • Offset knife for spreading icing
  • Spoon for sprinkling glitter

Directions for the sparkly gold cookie sandwiches:

1. Using a small offset knife – or better yet, your clean finger – smear a thin layer of icing around the perimeter of the cookie.


2. In a plate, mix equal parts edible glitter and luster dust. You can actually use one or the other but I like to mix the two for maximum blingage.

3. With a spoon, gently drizzle the glitter/luster dust mixture over the iced edges of your cookie.


4. Now, we’ll do the filling. Fit your pastry bag with the star tip.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fill the pastry bag with frosting.  To stabilize the pastry bag while filling it, set it inside a large plastic cup. Fill the pastry bag only about half full then gently push the icing down into the bag so there are no air pockets. Air pockets will break up your pretty design. No one wants that.

6. Keeping the tip close to the top of the cookie – and keeping the bag straight up and down –  begin piping by squeezing the pastry bag from the top while using your other hand to direct the bag.  Draw a circle of icing near the outer edge of the cookie, moving your hands in a circle, spiraling it towards the center. Just as you finish the swirl of icing, push down slightly on the pastry bag in the middle of the cookie, stop squeezing the frosting out, and gently pull the pastry bag straight up from the cookie. Not so bad, right? Now do that for all of your cookies.


7. To assemble the cookies, simply stack one frosted cookie on top of another and gently smoosh them together. (Yes, smoosh is a technical term.) Sprinkle the tops with a tiny bit of glitter mixture for an extra bit of pretty.


Directions for the black pearl cookies:

1. Using a small offset knife spread a thin layer of icing on the top of the cookie.

2. Gently press black pearls on top of the icing. To do this quickly, I poured a bunch of pearls into a saucer and pressed the iced side of the cookie onto the pearls. Any gaps in the pearls were filled in by hand.


3. Set aside and let the icing harden/set-up for about an hour or so before you move them too much. Voila! Beautiful, dark, sparkly goodness. Kind of looks like caviar, doesn’t it? Mmmm… caviar and sparkling wine!



Supplies Needed:

  • Black tissue paper
  • Decorated cookies
  • Plastic treat bags
  • Gilded Freixenet bottle
  • Label
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue



1. To bring it all together, gently crumple a sheet of black tissue paper and place it into the bottom of the box.

2. Place the Freixenet bottle inside.

3. Place the cookies in the clear treat bags.

4. Tuck the cookies into the open spaces beside the bottle.

4. Close the lid and attach the label to the box using a dot of hot glue if you haven’t done that already.

5. Finally, add a lovely striped ribbon diagonally around the box. I used hot glue to secure the ends so the ribbon didn”t fall off.

Your guests are going to LOVE this, guys!


// NOTES //

I have so many notes for this project!

This is probably the most expensive favor I’ve ever done for this site. The cost is about $9.00 per boxed set.  (But look how awesome it is!) To keep costs down, I suggest:

  • Use a cardboard box rather than the wood.
  • Instead of gold leaf on the interior lid, use a gold leaf paint or a metallic spray paint. In fact, this will cut down your costs dramatically and still give you the oh-la-la shiny effect.
  • Make only one of the cookies. If you do the glittery one, skip the luster dust and use only edible glitter. It’ll not be as sparkly, but it’ll still be pretty darned gorgeous.

Things to be aware of:

1. While the exterior wood box sizes were standard among the ones I bought for this project, the interior dimensions varied dramatically among the boxes. I used an electric sander to grind out enough space on the project’s final piece. This was not fun but it turned out just fine.

2. Two of the boxes broke during the project production. I dropped one and it cracked (my fault); the other split along the the lid as the paint dried. If you do this project, please keep in mind that you may need extras for quality issues or other problems.

3. The boxes tend to be rather rough in places; they’re not totally smooth. If that’s a problem for you aesthetically, bust out your sander and be sure to wipe away any sanded debris before you paint.

4. Plan out your production process before you start on this project. Where are you going to store – let alone assemble – 100 boxes? How will you store the cookies so they don’t go stale before the reception (hint: ziplock bags are your friend)? How long will it take you to mix, bake, and decorate x amount of cookies? This was a long process for me; it look 3 days to paint, bake, gild, and decorate. I estimate a couple could knock out 25 of these in a long day of DIY. Plan accordingly or this project could become quite overwhelming.

5. Make sure you burnish the tape (press it down fully so there are no gaps) on the Freixenet bottle before you spray paint it. Any gaps between the tape and the bottle will allow paint to drip and ruin your beautiful straight lines.

6. Keep one taped – and unsprayed – bottle as your template so all of your bottles will look the same.

7. Don’t like stripes? No problem! You can use stencils on the bottle instead. Monograms, icons, or whatever design complements your theme/style. Or get creative with tape or stickers. Lots of craft and scrapbook stores have great stickers in all shapes and themes that may catch your fancy.

8. Though I said it in the instructions, I’ll say it again: craft glitter is NOT edible. Please use only edible glitters from reliable craft/cake supply retailers. A couple of years ago, there were places that were trying to pass off  “non-toxic” glitter as safe to eat. Technically, it is edible but eating tiny shards of plastic isn’t good for you. Or your guests.

9. Keep the cookies in a cool or chilled place out of the sun. Butter cream icing melts quickly because, big surprise, it’s made with copious amounts of butter. Melted butter cream tastes great but it looks bad.

Kathryn + Michael’s Destination Wedding Recipes

Sorry, crafties.  I had to share this in two parts because the photos from Kathryn + Michael’s Vintage Destination Wedding and the recipes are just both so good; they each needed their own spotlight.  We have to thank Katherine and her Mom once again for sharing these recipes that are perfect for favors but could totally be an awesome handmade holiday gift treat!  So now, as promised, the recipes.

Katherine + Michael's Vintage Destination Wedding

1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons sweet sherry
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons anise seed, crushed (I double this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350degrees. Beat the 1 c. sugar, butter, sherry and egg until creamed. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the 1/4 c. sugar and cinnamon. Do not over mix. Divide the dough in to halves. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured board.

Cut into desired shapes with small cookie cutters; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until light golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon. Remove cookies from oven and carefully dust with cinnamon sugar while they are still hot.

Makes about 8 dozen 1-inch cookies


Jalapeno Jelly

3/4 lb. jalapeno peppers (weigh exactly)
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin
Green food coloring (optional)

Wash the peppers; drain. Remove the stems (optionally remove seeds too). Puree the peppers in 1 cup of cider vinegar in a food processor or blender. Combine the pureed peppers, remaining cup of cider vinegar, and sugar in a large (at least 4-qt.) pot. Bring to a boil; boil hard for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in liquid pectin and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Stir in a few drops of green food coloring, if desired. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process for 10 minutes in a water canner. NOTE: When cutting/seeding jalapeno peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

Raspberry Jam
5 cups crushed raspberries (about 4 pints)
7 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine

Crush berries 1 cup at a time, using a potato masher. DO NOT puree. Jam should have bits of fruit.
Measure exact amount of sugar into a separate bowl.
Stir 1 box Sure-Jell pectin into fruit in 4-qt. sauce pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired.
Bring fruit mixture to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in sugar quickly and return to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
Ladle quickly into prepared jars. Fill to within 1/4 inch of top. Wipe jar rims and treads. Cover with two-piece lids. Process for 10 minutes in a water canner.

Cute & Easy Bridal Shower Cupcakes

Show me a person who doesn’t like cupcakes and I’ll show you a mystery of the universe. Cupcakes are delicious! They’re delicate, small and tasty. Plus, since you can decorate them any way you like, they make a starling addition to any occasion — like, for example, a bridal shower.

And you don’t have to be a baking queen to make them look good. All you need is a few basic ingredients, an hour or so, and a zip-lock bag. Bada bing, bada boom – cute bridal shower cupcakes.

The batter



  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 8oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Step 1: Preheat oven
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Mix butter and sugar
Place the softened butter and sugar into a big bowl and beat them until they get fluffy.

Step 3: Add eggs
One by one add and mix the eggs into the mixture. Make sure to beat well between each addition so that the mixture is light.

Step 4: Add flour and milk
Add the baking powder and a third of the flour and mix lightly, then add the vanilla essence and a third of the milk and mix again. Alternate between the flour and milk, each time mixing lightly until everything is blended. Be careful not to over-mix.

Step 5: Spoon into forms
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake forms.

Step 6: Bake
Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes. You can test if they’re ready by sliding a wooden stick into the center – if it comes out clean, they’re done.

Step 7: Cool cupcakes
Allow the cupcakes to cool and prepare the icing!



  • 4oz butter
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons rose syrup
  • Food colouring
  • Zip-lock bag

Step 1: Mix butter and icing sugar
Mix the butter and icing sugar until they form a smooth paste. If you’re worried about your mixer spraying the icing sugar all over the kitchen, and don’t have a guard, you can knead the butter and sugar together with your hands until they’re somewhat blended, then mix.

Step 2: Add milk
Add a tablespoon of milk and mix. If the mixture is still too stiff, add another spoonful.

Step 3: Add food coloring
Separate the icing into bowls and add the desired food coloring until you achieve the colors you like – you’ll need one color for the base, one for the leaves and at least one for the flower petals. I went with white, green and pink.

Step 4: Add rose syrup
Add a teaspoon of rose syrup to each of the colors of icing and stir it through lightly.

Step 5: Make base
Spread the base color of your icing mixture over the cupcakes.

Step 6: Make piping bag
Cut a triangle out of the corner of a zip-lock bag and fill it with the green icing.

Step 7: Make leaf
With the fold of the zip-lock bag facing up, squeeze out the icing. As you do so, move the bag slightly forwards and backwards to form the veins on the leaf. Here’s a brilliant YouTube tutorial by that’ll show you exactly what to do.

Step 8: Repeat
Repeat the process until you have two leaves on each of your cupcakes (except if you’re making mini ones, in which case one should be enough).

Step 9: Make petals
Wash out your piping bag or make a new one, and fill it with your flower icing (in my case, pink). Begin the same way as with the leaves, by squeezing out the icing, but rather than zigzag-ing in and out, squeeze lightly and pull the bag away and up, to form the petals.

Step 10: Make flower
Using the technique in step 9, work your way around the cupcake until you’ve completed a circle. Then make a smaller circle on the inside, and another one, until you reach the very center.

Step 11: Repeat
Repeat the steps until you’ve completed your cupcakes. For a bit of variety you could make other frosting colors, or vary the size of the flowers you make. Have fun with it!




Homemade Granola Bar Favors

Who says an edible favor has to be candy or another unhealthy sweet? I have another breakfast inspired wedding favor that is also healthy. What I love about this granola bar recipe is that it has no added sugars. I make this almost weekly for a morning snack, and thought it would be easy to share with guests. During the holidays I cut them into small squares and added them to my sweets platter. (Which also, included some doughnut holes from biscuit dough.)

granola favor, recipe ingredients

Cranberry and Oats Bar

recipe adapted from Anja’s Food 4 Thought

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2: Line medium baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Step 4: Mix wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredients and stir to combine. Let mixture soak for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Then, pour onto pan and press down evenly. Bake for 20-35 minutes. The bake time will vary on how thinly you spread the mixture, so watch carefully.

Step 6: Take out of the oven, and cut into squares.



To package for favors, I simply wrapped each square in parchment paper and tied with twine. Simple and healthy! If you prefer loose granola you can make a granola “bar.”  I would love to see a bridal brunch with a buffet of granola, toppings, and yogurt for a parfait. Toppings for the buffet could include: fresh and dried fruits, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cinnamon.

I would love to know how you are incorporating your favorite foods into your wedding activities.


Edible Wedding Favors: Rosemary Olive Oil

JarSo! Are you hard at work planning your own wedding feast? The rosemary-rubbed pork chops I suggested got me thinking: why not let your guests take home a bit of the wedding meal you spent so much time preparing, and send them away with rosemary-infused favors? Making herb-infused olive oil at home takes mere minutes, a minimum of supplies, and is a thoughtful way both to show off your affinity for all things culinary, and offer your guests a treat to keep in their own kitchens.

Of course, to make a large quantity of these favors requires a bit of planning and shopping. You’ll need, first, to locate a vendor for large amounts of olive oil, the exact quantity of which will depend on the vessel you plan on using. I used mason jars for my project, because that’s what I had around, but I’d certainly recommend picking up some glass oil dispensers from any restaurant supply store. A quick Google search brought up these two vendors of bulk olive oil, but shop around for the best prices. Because you’ll be masking the oil’s base flavor with the rosemary, I wouldn’t worry too much about the oil’s quality, but for its general characteristic, shoot for something on the fruity rather than nutty side.

You’ll also need a fair amount of fresh rosemary. One 4-inch sprig per glass bottle should do, but of course that can add up when we’re talking olive oil favors for 100 or more guests. Large rosemary trees are available at many garden and even grocery stores: one 24-inch tree should offer up enough fresh rosemary for about 20 favors.


Rosemary Olive Oil Favors


  • Glass bottles or containers with either canning jar lids or rubber stoppers
  • 8 ounces of olive oil x number of guests
  • 1 24″ rosemary tree per 20 guests
  • tags and ribbons for instructions and labels


  • First, gently trim, wash, and bruise the rosemary to release its flavor.
  • Then, combine the oil and the rosemary in a large pot. Cook until a candy thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 180 degrees.
  • Remove the oil from the heat and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Remove the rosemary from the oil and place in the bottles. Using a funnel and ladle, carefully spoon oil into the bottles, sealing tightly.

Oil should be made several days before the wedding, at a maximum, as the infused oil will keep in the refrigerator for about a month.

Before distributing as favors, decorate the bottles with ribbons and labels. Delish!

Of course, you can infuse olive oil with just about anything… Suggestions, anyone?