Feb 5

Wedding Pez

Posted by Matty

After a few years of languishing half-completed, I finally finished the article on my little sister’s wedding PEZ. Even if you read this on the old site, there’s some new stuff too, so I don’t feel at all bad about rehashing this entry on the front page. So, come on in, relax, reread your favorite parts, and be awed at the new information!

…or something…

Update — May 13, 2007

I’ve received several requests for this, so, here is the Heart Pez template that I used when creating the decals for my sister’s PEZ. The zip file contains the graphic in both .EPS and .AI format (should work in Illustrator 8 and up.)

All the standard rules of downloading something from the Internet apply. This worked for me, it may not work for you. If the file somehow breaks your computer or ruins your life, I might feel bad, but I’m not responsible. If you’re worried about such things, please check the file with a virus scanner before unzippin’ it.

Back to the article…

Creating Custom PEZ in 9 E-Z Steps

1assorted.gif pez is good food

When Rachel (my little sister) and Jason said that they were going to get married, I immediately thought, PEZ. (If you don’t know what Pez are: #1: Shame on you; and #2: They are a little candy dispenser.) I had this picture in my mind of the Valentine’s heart pez with their names on it.

Then I had to make it happen.

2bag.gif
Step 1

Step 1: Get a ton of Valentine’s dispensers. The best time to do this is around Valentine’s Day. Don’t be worried by the looks that you get by the clerk at Michael’s Craft Store. Don’t be worried when you get home with bags that look like this:

3nanpez.gif Step 2

Step 2: Open the Pez. This is no ordinary job. It is only for the brave. So, of course, Nancy took care of this.

By this time, I had come up with an idea. I remembered putting decals on models when I was younger, and I thought, “boy they should really make decal paper that you can print on.” So I did a google search for “decal paper printer” and there it was. I ordered from a place called Bel Inc.

Step 3: Soon the decal paper arrived in the mail. Before it arrived, I was busy. First, I needed to create a template design. The printed area on the Pez is a little curvy.

4scan.gif Step 3

I felt the best way to get the curves right was to scan the PEZ.

5Illustrator.gif Step 4

Step 4: Then came the design. I relied on my trusty copy of Illustrator to get me through the hurtle. Ever the documenter, I took a picture to preserve the moment.

6decals.gif Step 5

Step 5: Printing the decals was next. I thought this was going to be relatively easy, but after they were printed, I had to coat them with several coats of Krylon Acrylic. This would make them waterproof. The instructions that came with the paper said that it would take 2-4 light coats. They really mean five heavy coats. Here are the decals drying.

Step 6: Next came the fun part. Defacing the Pez. You see, the Pez all had “Happy Valentine’s Day” written on them. I needed a blank place to put the decal. I love Pez, and I don’t recommend abusing them, but these Pez had a higher purpose. I tried several different methods before I settled on…

Lighter fluid. This stuff is amazing! See it in action below.

9elbow2.gif Step 6

See how quickly it removes the printing? Here is another photo mere seconds later. (Only three easy payments of $19.95, and if you call in the next 20 minutes, we’ll get rid of one payment!… oh, nevermind.)

10pezarmy.gif Step 7

Step 7: The next step is to lay the Pez out like a little tiny army. This is very important as it makes you feel all powerful.

11cutting.gif Step 8

Step 8: The definite worst part was cutting out the decals. This took steady hands and nerves of steel. I cut the one in the picture as a photo-op, but Nancy cut up most of them.

Free Tip: Use the sharpest scissors that you have in your house (unless they’re Nanc’s sewing scissors). Seriously, the sharper the edge, the less problems you will have with your decals later in the process. The reason is that you want as much of that thick coat of Krylon that you sprayed on to stay attached.

12MattyPez.gif Step 9

Step 9: Then you have to take the decals, dip them in water ’til the backing starts to come off, and attach them to the Pez. (The instructions that came with the decals say to soak for a minute, but I found that 15-20 seconds worked best for me.) Then, repeat. Stop before you look like this. (Note the small, plastic fan that is saving me from inhaling deadly chemicals. Hmm.. the fan looks pretty small. If you try this, I would suggest a larger fan.)

13Finished.gif ta -da!

Once they are dry, you can admire your amazing talent. The decal actually looks very good.


Update:

closeup.jpg close up

This is a post script that I wrote about two months after we were finished. I needed to add a couple of additional details that might make it easier if you are trying to do this, too. Below is a close-up of the PEZ right after I put a decal on. Even up close, this looks pretty good. It will only look as good as your printer can print, though. If you are printing the decals at home, make sure that you’ve cleaned your printer, and print a couple of test pages before printing on the decal paper. If you have a nicer printer at work, use it! Just make sure that you get the right kind of paper for the printer that you will be using (inkjet or laser).

After you have the decals attached, let them dry for a day or so. Don’t try to soak up all the water immediately, or you may ruin the decal. The water will evaporate off and leave a great looking image. If you let the newly-decorated PEZ sit around for more than a week (without sealing them), the glue will start to degrade, and the decals will start to pull up around the edges. This issue is exacerbated if you use dull scissors to cut the decals out.

template.jpg spray template

To permanently affix the decal, you will need to spray 1-2 additional coats of Krylon onto the decal. I created a template to protect the PEZ, so that I only sprayed the decal. I used some thin plastic sheets from a craft store that are used to make stencils.

Free tip: If you are going to be spraying a ton of these, go to your local drugstore and buy a package of medical latex gloves. It will cost about six dollars for 100, and you won’t have to scrub the Krylon off of your hands every night.

finished_pack.jpg all finished and pretty

For packaging purposes, I bought a bunch of PEZ-sized ziplock bags from sjglew.com. I also made special candy packs. The PEZ were a big hit, and it was pretty cool to be in a room and hear so many dispensers clicking at once.

In retrospect, it was a lot more work that I had expected. Nanc and I ended up making 125 completed wedding favors. Was it worth it? Yeah…it was.

(Best wishes for your marriage, Bird and Bear!!)

If you’re working on a similar project, and have any questions about anything that I’ve written, let me know.

31 Responses to “Wedding Pez”

  1. Rachel Says:

    The pez were definitely the hit of the party. Seriously, everyone raved about them. Thanks again for all of your hard work. I can’t even imagine an undertaking like that, but I would do it for you in a second :)
    Smooches,
    Rachy (aka Bird)

  2. Christina Says:

    I absolutely LOVE this idea, and I think I am going to do this for my wedding. Not only am I a long time PEZ collector, but my family and friends have all been bugging me for something crafty to do for the wedding. Honestly, in my PEZ loving mind, you are a creative genius and hopefully if I have any questions, you may be able to help :)

  3. nep Says:

    This is so rad. YOU are so rad. My fiancee and I are gearing up to inhale lighter fluid and krylon so we can make these for our wedding. Thank you!

  4. VaxGirl Says:

    You are the God & Goddess of all things Pez. Those are the coolest wedding favors ever, and with a little stretching I’m sure there will be many good and hopefully evil ideas inspired by it.

  5. Lindsay Says:

    This is the most awesome thing I have ever seen. It’s really a good thing I didn’t see this 6 months ago (my wedding is this October), because I am just crazy enough to have done it.

  6. Kristen Says:

    I’m so lucky that I found this at the time that I did (right before valentines)

    @target me: yeah I have 100 of these in my cart and I need about 50 more…..
    Guy works at target: what do you mean 50 more, 100′s not enough???
    me: No can you look in the back???
    Guy: yeah… then he brings me 2 cases.
    Have to admit I’m in heaven right, you are truly a genius. I give you all the credit for comming up with the most brilliant Idea in the world. Thank you for making my wedding extra special, just from the mere idea.

  7. Kim Says:

    This is the perfect idea for our wedding! My fiancĂ© is letting me have everything I want and I know he love’s pez so now I have the task of making over 200 of these! Just a tip Oriental Trading sells packs of 12 for only $8.89. Saves the hassle of finding them, the timing, and embarrassment. If you go here and click on the banner: http://www.promgirl.com/prom-guide/prom-committee/supplies-ideas you can get free shipping too!

  8. sarah z Says:

    umm, you are cool. this ROCKS! I wish I could get married again, just so I could have these.

    that’s all.
    :) Sarah (PEZ lover)

  9. Enbal Says:

    Very inspire! I LOVE it!!!
    thanx.

  10. Krystal Says:

    All Hail The Mighty Pez!!! I’ve collected these for years and would have Never thought of doing this… you are awesome!!

  11. sandi Says:

    ok im doing this for my wedding and i need help. which labels do i buy and how did you make the labels for the candy??

  12. Brooke Says:

    I LOVE THIS IDEA!! It was well written and fun to read too. I am going to use this for my own wedding next year as my new last name will be PEZdirtz and I thought Pez would be perfect. I love the way you personalized them. Nice work. Thanks!! :)

  13. Leo Pezdirtz Says:

    Have been a Pez all my life.

  14. Alex Feulner Says:

    I am making these for my wedding and I just went and bought lighter fluid. The only problem is, it isn’t working. Is there a specific type I need to use? What could I be doing wrong if not?

    Thanks!

  15. sandi Says:

    what labels exactly did you use?

  16. sandi Says:

    how did you make the candy wrappers and also you offered to send me the illustrator files..id really appreciate it. my wedding is in September and i still need to make these all

  17. misty smiley Says:

    I am getting married next year and I am a very much collector of pez..i want to do this..or try. how did you get the pez candy rolls as bride and groom??? i love it

  18. sandi Says:

    I made them for my wedding. everyone loved them :)

  19. brian lowery Says:

    Trying this for my wedding right now but just found the perfect thing to put them in, try this site!! http://www.papermart.com/templates/83-0-80.htm

  20. Angi Says:

    Depending on the budget for your wedding, I found a site where these guys will create it for you http://www.custompez.com/
    I give you props for all the time and effort you went to, I hope your friends really appreciate it. It is definately a very cool idea, but I think I might buy rather than go thru this whole involved process.

  21. joanie Says:

    hi, awesome idea! regarding the question about about the lighter fluid, can you suggest a good brand? also, is it possible that you can send me the file for the candy wrappers. i love this! thanks you, genius!

  22. Jan Says:

    This is a great idea! How did you make the special candy packs? I want to do something similar for a bridal shower – thanks!

  23. buy amoxicillin Says:

    Like anyone else, there are days I feel beautiful and days I don’t, and when I don’t, I do something about it.

  24. jesi Says:

    First off, GREAT idea! My fiance is a pez collector and we are very excited to do this for our wedding favors!
    We just got a big box of Pez in the mail from Pez.com (on sale right now!) :)

    I was wondering if there was any way you could email me the templates you used for the decal and/or the candy pack covers. Any advice would help!

    Thanks
    -jesi

  25. Bridge Says:

    HOW UNIQUE AND CUTE!!! Could you please email me the template for the stickers? Also, how did you make the wrappers for the cute bride and groom (send me that file as well if you can)? These are too cute!! Thanks in advance!!

  26. Juleej Says:

    Has anyone tryed this with colored ink? Or should I stick with black?

  27. Mike Says:

    Did you try using a laser printer? I noticed that laser is better for waterproof than inkjet (on conventional paper at least). It may eliminate the krylon part.

  28. Seth Says:

    I really do like this idea, very original although lighter fluid may have worked well my mom wouldn’t let me use that but she suggested fingernail polish remover and that worked great. Thanks this was a really fun project!

  29. Nick Says:

    I see you use photoshop to design the sticker. I also did some thing like this idea but I used trucks instead and full color process. Well Done!

  30. Julie Deaton Says:

    Hello – I was also wondering if I could have the template you used for the pez packs. We are not giving dispensers but wanted to personalize the wrapping and you did a great job! Thanks for your help!

  31. Dave Says:

    This is such an awesome idea, and I have convinced my fiance to let me do this. (As long as I do the work)
    Do you happen to have a template for the candy wrappers, or do you have any tips on how to easily accomplish this? Any advice or help would be much appreciated!!! Happy Pezzing!

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