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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pre-Planned Date Night Basket: A Tutorial

 I originally saw this idea here via Pinterest.
This blogger, Shannon, planned and paid for dates in advance so she and her husband wouldn't waste time wondering what to do for their date night. They just picked an envelope and went! I loved this idea. After Matt went crazy and bought us an awesome new couch for our anniversary, I knew I had to do something special for him, too. So I made us a Date Night Basket! In the original post, Shannon actually made one date for  each month and labeled them accordingly, but I wanted ours to be more flexible, so I just labeled them 1, 2, 3, etc. and I only did 8 because I was pressed for time/that was all I could think of for the moment.
 And I, of course had to embellish the basket and envelopes a little with ruffles, hearts, garland, and embroidery.
 Each envelope had a double felt and burlap ruffle.

Then inside each date envelope, there is an info sheet describing the date along with gift cards, cash, and anything else we would need to go on the date described.
Here's Date #7, I believe.
I used the photo flyer template in Microsoft Word 2010 to create all the info sheets inside each envelope. Each one had different color schemes, descriptions, and pictures to match the date.

Want to make your own Date Night Basket??
Let's do it.
Materials Needed
Large envelopes
Basket (I got mine at target on sale!)
Microsoft Word (some sort of flyer template that allows you to insert pictures and add descriptions)
Gift cards or cash, and anything else needed to prepare for the date
Fabric for ruffles, garland, and sign on front of basket (burlap, felt, and tulle)
Mod Podge (or other glue to adhere the labels to the envelopes)
Embroidery thread and needle
Hot glue gun
2 pin backs
Sewing essentials

Plan Your Dates
If you decide to make your own Date Night Basket, remember: the dates don't have to be elaborate and can even be free! One of mine was Late Night Coffee/Catch up on DVR Date and I threw in some fun coffee flavors.

I found lots of date night ideas here (site found via pinterest again. My favorite thing to do on there is type in what I want to the Pinterest search and I find the coolest stuff!). Some of her ideas are a little too much for Matt and me, but I did use her book store date idea for Date #7 above (it even has free printables that go with it). 
 Flea Market Date. Ha. There's a huge one close to us and we've never been so...
On the date nights I planned for us to actually leave the house, I had a gift card or cash ready for however much we would be expecting to spend there. I tried to pick things that we either haven't done or don't do that often. 

Once your dates are planned, and materials are gathered, create your word docs for your info pages and print them on a color copier. I took mine to a Fed Ex Express and had them printed. 

Don't forget to print your labels, too, for the outsides of the envelopes. 
Here's a sample of the labels I created for the envelopes:
You can download your own Date Night Labels here

Cut and Mod Podge your labels onto the center of each envelope.

Then create a ruffle for each envelope (cut two fabric strips, both should be as long as double the width of your envelope, one thinner than the other and ruffle them at the same time) and glue on. For a more detailed post on how to make double ruffles and glue them on, see this post.

Embellish the Basket
There will be a post later about the heart and pom garland seen on this basket. For now let's make the fabric label for the basket.
Create a wide ruffle. 

 Cut two strips of fabric about 48 inches long and 5 inches wide, stack them together, and ruffle down the middle.  I used tulle and burlap
 Form the ruffle into a circle so that the center of the circle is all touching.
 Sew right sides together and set aside. 
 For the oval in the center, cut two ovals of felt and cut out your message for the center in a contrasting color of felt. To stitch the message on, I used an embroidery running stitch with 2 strands of embroidery floss.
 Once the message is stitched on, stack the ovals on top of one another, wrong sides together and do another running stitch around the outside border. If you want, you can stop here.
 I wanted my border to be a little more fun so I added in a looped running stitch. The tutorial for this says to use contrasting thread for the looped thread, but I stuck with the gold. 
(The links that provide the embroidery stitches go to a wonderful site full of embroidery tutorials! I found  the site via Mique of 30 Days Blog via Pinterest)
 Once all your stitching is complete, hot glue the oval to the center of the ruffle circle. 
Trim any fabric that sticks out too far and you're done!
 I wanted to attach the fabric label to the basket without ruining the basket in case I ever wanted to reuse the basket for something else. I figured out that if I stuck a pin in through the weaves it would stay, so...
I hot glued two pin backs onto the wrong side of the fabric label in the places I knew they would need to go in order for the label to be centered an in the right place.
 Hang it on the basket (don't worry about clasping the pins- they'll stay) and you're done!
If you make little garlands like I did, you can pin them to the fabric lining of the basket just inside the rim of the basket in the front. By doing it this way, you can detach it anytime you want to use the basket for something else.
 Give it to your love and watch him be super surprised. I love this idea, too, because once the dates are all done, you can always fill the envelopes again! 
And even though I made this for my love for our Anniversary, how much fun would this be as a Christmas present?! Or birthday?! 
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Thanks for reading!
Linking to the parties (including here and here and here) on my sidebar!


Kayla and Andrew said...

How cute! I've pinned the original date night basket that you referenced, but I love that you jazzed yours up and made it super cute! Thank you for sharing. :]

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

I love this idea and especially how cute you made yours. I think this might be a great Christmas present for the hubby.

P.S. Come visit my blog for a chance to win 25 FREE Shutterfly Holiday Cards: http://acraftyescape.blogspot.com/2011/11/giveaway-shutterflys-2011-holiday-cards.html

Sugarr2518 said...

I am so pinning this!!! You did an amazing job with decorating the basket:) I'm definitely going to make one of these. Thanks for sharing!!

Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

Such a cute idea! I drew my brother and his wife for our family Christmas gift exchange and have been brainstorming . . . this would be such a fun Christmas gift for them! I love how you jazzed up the basket and envelopes, too. Adorable!

Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

PS, love the new blog look!

Maggie Lamarre said...

thank you for such awesome ideas, Im getting tired of dinner and a movie.
Would luv for my readers to discover your blog, will you please join our weekly party at
have a great crafting week!

Tenille said...

This is such a great gift idea. Who wouldn't love something like this. I would love it if you would link this up to our linky party going on right now.


Anonymous said...

That is adorable, looks like so much fun!

Julianna said...

What a great idea! I'd love for you to come by and link up this week!

Mama G said...

So cute! What a great idea! Now if I could only fit a babysitter inside the envelope;)

Kimberly said...

That is so stinking adorable!! I love your embellishments on the basket, seriously, so cute!! I love this idea too! Great job!

Nikki Monet said...

Such a great idea!! ...and it's completely adorable too! Would love it you would stop by and share this at my linky party :) http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedazzle-me-monday-8.html

Also, PRETTY PLEASE check out Random Acts of Kindness Week going on right now!! Would love to see you be a part of it! http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/kindness-and-thanksgiving.html

Anonymous said...

What an awesome idea! I'm very tempted to try this myself

karah said...

Cute idea! Enjoy all your dates!!
Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

Liz said...

i totally need to do this for my hubby for Christmas! this is a great idea... thank you for sharing!!!

Unknown said...

I agree with Liz...Christmas present!! I love this idea and you made it SO cute. This totally just made my day. I have been searching for something to get my hubby for Christmas and this would be great!

MiaB said...

This is an awesome idea. Will totally do this for the hubby. Thanks for posting. Stopping by from the Ta-Da Tuesday Linky Party.

MiaB from www.mamamiasheart2heart.com

Carli-Made by Carli said...

really cute idea!

Katalina Jewelry said...

Such a cute idea!

Michelle Johnnie said...

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com. Grab my "featureD' button.

Shiloh said...

I love this! You're right, it would make a great gift. I'm pinning. Lol, Hubby doesn't see Pinterest, so it can still be a surprise for him.;)

Lauren @ mercy(INK) said...

great idea! so cute... thanks for sharing! :) lauren at summitstreetjoy.com

Vicky @ Mess For Less said...

I saw this on pinterest too and I love your spin on it. Your hubby is a lucky guy. I am a new FB follower from A Glimpse Inside and I am stumbling this post. Vicky from Mess For Less

{Junk in their Trunk} said...

1st of all...love your name! My daughter's name is spelled the same way!! You are adorable and so is your blog! Love this idea! I would love for you to come link up at our link party...junkintheirtrunk.blogspot.com/2011/11/link-it-up-wednesday-3.html

Sundi @ The Life of a Cheap Chickadee said...

I love your ideas for embellishment! Newest follower, feel free to visit me as well!

Unknown said...

Wow, this is SUCH a fantastic idea! I want to do this for my hubby...our 10th anniversary is in December and this would make a great gift. I'm pinning it, and I'd also be more than thrilled if you'd share it here:


Heidi Rew said...

Love this idea! Great job!!

VickiT said...

This is such a great idea. It would be a great idea to make up if you are older and have kids that are just starting out. They never seem to be able to go out and do things without taking away from their bill money. Something like this would be a great gift for them.

Could you please check the download. It is saying I don't have permission to view it no matter how many times I attempt to see them even...or download. Thank you.

Rhiannon said...

Love it, we always do the same things. Need to give this a go!

Rosie said...

You have saved my life (o.k a bit melodramatic) - I had no idea what to get my boyfriend for Christmas and now I am definitely doing this. I have found a couple of activities which cost a bit more money and then the rest are fairly low key. I'm so excited about doing this now!

Massive squeeze...

Rosie xx

Beth said...

This would make such a cute gift!

Honey I'm Home Blog said...

Wow, I'm so impressed with the love you put into this gift. It's ALMOST as cute as you are. What a doll. I'm off to read some of those date ideas . . . I've been married for 28 years & we could use some surprises! Great to "meet" you.

Warmly, Michelle

Donna @ Party Wishes said...

This is a fabulous idea! My hubby and I have been married almost 18 years and Date Nights are few and far between. This will really amp up our relationship! Thanks so much!

Stephanie said...

What a fun idea!! I'm definitely pinning this for later use :)

New follower!


Stephanie said...

Just adorable!

Goings on at the Glenn's said...

what a great idea! That would help us so much. We don't get out enough like we should but when we have a plan we go. I really like the idea and think your basket is adorable. I am visiting from Sugar Bee Crafts linky party. Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

L-O-V-E it!!! last year i gave my hubs something similar but much more simpler, i love this though it's so much more personalized, thanks for sharing it, hope you don't mind if i pin and share on my blog

Ang said...

Wonderful idea! You should put this on pinterest!

Nat and Holly said...

This is absolutely adorable! I am SO doing this, then maybe we'll actually go on a date once a month :) hee hee! I love the way you embellished it, and the date ideas are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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