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DIY Favor Bags for a Christmas Cookie Exchange

Use my free printable, Mod Podge photo transfer medium, and personalized items to create these buffalo plaid DIY favor bags. So cute!

Christmas cookie party display with DIY favor bags and a DIY burlap runner

Okay, you got me – I am completely on board with buffalo plaid this season. I just love it! I know I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. I’ve seen so many plaid printables and projects floating in the blogosphere . . . it just warms my holiday heart!

I recently hosted a Christmas cookie exchange using some handmade items and goodies purchased from Shutterfly; of course buffalo plaid had to be a part of the theme.

I’m thrilled to share with you a photo transfer tutorial for DIY favor bags, my Shutterfly purchases for this party. The only thing I can’t share with you is the cookies, and trust me . . . . I wish I could (they are really good and there’s too many of them)!

Holiday cheers cookie party invitations

I have to start by sharing the invitations for my party with you. It was really hard to pick invitations from Shutterfly – but I consider that to be a good thing.

They have so many gorgeous choices, AND you can add images and even select the edge treatment of your cards. You’ll definitely find something you like!

Now, to customize my party with the buffalo plaid theme, it required purchasing a few items to create “ambiance.” So what I did is designed this free Christmas printable that I’m making available to you for download as well.

Merry & Bright buffalo plaid printable

Download the full graphic HERE. Download the graphic that says “Merry & Bright” only HERE.

Here’s the deal with this plaid graphic – you’ll be able to upload it to Shutterfly as an image and use it to personalize items just as I did!

I started with a canvas.

May your days be merry & bright printed canvas

I wanted decorations that I could use at my cookie party, but also that I wanted to keep around my home all season. The Weathered Wood Frame Canvas Print is perfect for that!

It’s got gallery wrapped edges that I LOVE because you can hang it/display it without a frame. And the weathered wood treatment with the plaid is just my style.

Merry & bright printed candle, pinecones, and wood blocks with merry & bright stickers on them

Now these next two items really excited me! I mean all of it excited me, but I had NO idea that Shutterfly had candles. And obviously they can be personalized, so that’s just what I did.

You can use any image you like, not just my graphic, and there are five scents to choose from There will definitely be a pug candle purchased next . . .

And maybe some pug stickers. I had this (brilliant?) idea to purchase 1.75 x 1.75″ stickers and add them to some 2″ wood blocks I already had on hand. Quick and easy decorating with not a lot of effort – I love it!

But that’s not all.

Because I had to add my own little creative touch to this party, I decided to customize some favor bags. I purchased some muslin favor bags and grabbed some Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium to make these bad boys:

Merry and bright photo transfer favor bags

I’ve heard people say they are intimidated by photo transfers, but they aren’t hard at all. You just need two things. First, you need patience.

And secondly, you need to realize that the intended result is a bit of rustic/vintage look. I don’t have much patience, but I’m working on it. I do appreciate the rustic/vintage look so we’re good there!

Photo Transfer Favor Bags

These DIY favor bags are perfect for candy or any little gifts you want to give at your cookie exchange. To make them, you just need:

PRO TIP: Do NOT forget to print any text or graphic backwards! Anything you print will be reversed when you photo transfer it the way I am.

Merry and bright printouts with a bottle of Mod Podge photo transfer medium, foam brush, and scissors

Here are some of your supplies. The Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium is nice because it comes with a little foam brush.

Cutting out the design and placing photo transfer medium on top with a foam brush

Cut out your image and place just enough photo transfer medium over the top of the graphic so that you can’t see it. It should be completely obscured or your graphic will not transfer properly.

Rolling the image down onto the favor bag with a brayer

Place down on the surface of your muslin bag and smooth – either with your hands or a brayer.

The reason you don’t want to use too much medium is because you don’t want it glopping out the sides – but like I said, it should completely cover the image.

Also – try not to get the medium elsewhere on the bag or when it dries, you’ll be able to see it.

Now, repeat with the rest of the bags and let them dry overnight. I’d say if you do it in the afternoon, you can wash them by lunch time the next day.

Washing the paper off the photo transfer with water

This is the fun part! You are going to get the photo transfer wet. This is where people get scared and you might need a little practice – but I promise it’s easy. You’re going to get the photo transfer wet enough to rub the paper off the back and reveal the image below!

My tips for success:

  • Either run the item under water or place in a plastic container of water; you can use a spray bottle but usually that isn’t enough unless you really douse it.
  • Rub lightly and carefully. If you really rub the item, you’re going to rub the photo transfer OFF of the surface of your item. Which obviously you don’t want to do. Rub just enough to remove the paper.
  • Continue wetting and rubbing to remove the paper. Then let the item dry. But if you see that some of the image is still obscured when dry, you CAN wet the item again and rub again.

As I said before, you’ll have a vintage/worn looking graphic on the front of your DIY favor bags. I LOVE the result!!

DIY photo transfer Christmas favor bags

I’m so thrilled about my cookie exchange party invitations, decor, and favors. Everything turned out perfectly, thanks to Shutterfly!

Christmas cookie party display with DIY favor bags and a DIY burlap runner

If you enjoyed these DIY favor bags, I’d love for you to check out these other craft ideas:

Disclosure: Thanks to Shutterfly for providing me compensation to review their amazing products. All opinions are 100% mine. My promise to you is that I only recommend things I would use myself!

Debbie B

Thursday 31st of December 2015

I would like to make a photo book

Judith Bayer

Thursday 31st of December 2015

I would buy a photo book

Emilee Bond

Thursday 31st of December 2015

Oh my gosh I didn't know they sale so much! I do love the buffalo plad... but really if I was lucky enough to win i'd have to spend awhile really figuring out which ones I wanted most! (I usually take a little while figuring things out lol)

laurie murley

Thursday 31st of December 2015

I would probably buy a canvas, I have some pictures I would love put to canvas


Thursday 31st of December 2015