Inside Stitch

The official Vera Bradley blog

Party Planning with Marrakesh

PARTY PLANNING WITH MARRAKESHWith the turning of the tassel, it’s time to throw a smashing celebration. Our Visual Merchandising Photography Stylist Tricia Runkel is here to share a group of Marrakesh-inspired DIY projects for her graduation party.

Floral Ice Bucket


What you need:
Ice bucket or 2 gallon bucket, empty 2 liter plastic bottle with top cut off, rocks, flowers

1. Fill bucket with 2 inches of water and place flowers around the edge. Freeze for about 4 hours or until the first layer is frozen.
2. Fill 2 liter bottle with rocks to weigh down and place in bucket over the first frozen layer.
3. Fill bucket with 1-2 inches of water and place flowers around the edge. Freeze for about 4 hours or until frozen.
4. Repeat step 3 until you have reached the top of the bucket.
5. Run bucket under warm water to release the ice sculpture.
6. Place in tray and add a beverage of your choice.

Gold Tipped Wine Glasses


What you need:
Inexpensive wine glasses, painter’s tape, plastic wrap, spray paint

1. Wash and dry glasses.
2. Use painter’s tape for clean lines and tape off area to be painted. I went about 1 inch up on the stem from the base of the glass.
3. Cover glass from the top of painters tape and up with plastic wrap to ensure no paint gets on this section.
4. Spray paint everything below the painter’s tape. Let dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.

Balloon Drink Stirrer


What you need:
Water balloons, paintbrush, paint (I used an acrylic all-purpose), bamboo skewers

1. Blow up balloons to desired size and tie to bamboo skewer.
2. Using paintbrush, begin painting by the tie of the balloon and use short strokes towards the top of the balloon. Let dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.
3. Stick in beverage and enjoy!

Painted Stripe Napkins


What you need:
Plain white cloth napkin, painter’s tape, paintbrush, fabric paint

1. Wash and dry napkin.
2. Using painter’s tape, tape off sections that will not be painted.
3. Using a paintbrush paint all exposed sections. Let dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.
4. Place on table setting to complete your look.

More décor inspiration

“As I was brainstorming, I knew I wanted to plan the event around brunch. After all, who doesn’t love mimosas, with or without alcohol? I took a fun twist on the classic by swapping OJ for orange sherbet. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you! For the décor, I wanted it to feel fun and playful so I incorporated the GRAD balloons, tissue tassels and round confetti. I absolutely love decorating with gold because it makes such a statement! It complimented the navy and orange accents perfectly.”

Tricia’s Top Grad Gifts

Trimmed Vera Traveler1. Trimmed Vera Traveler
This is a great bag to use as a carry-on or for an overnight stay. I love how the trim accent elevates the look of it, and all the inside pockets are great for organization.

Throw Blanket2. Throw Blanket
I love how soft this blanket is. The best part is that even after multiple washes it holds up. It is a must-have!

Ruffle Cosmetics3. Large and Small Ruffle Cosmetic
The ruffle detail on these is adorable and what girl doesn’t need an extra cosmetic

Shop Marrakesh online and in stores

Looking back at the Large Duffel

The tradition of the Large DuffelFar and away, our most iconic style is the Large Duffel. Every Vera Bradley girl has a story about her first bag, including the pattern and the places it went. We asked our team to share some of their best memories.

“I carried a Large Duffel in Seaport Navy for weekend trips as long as I can remember. Whether is was trips home from college, overnights at my friends, vacations or lake weekends, it was always my go-to bag.”- Allison W, Sr. Digital Designer

Looking back at the Large Duffel“My first Large Duffel was Cupcakes Green and I still use it for weekend trips. We got it my sophomore year of college for our cheerleading bags and it was perfect for toting pom-poms, cheer shoes and uniforms. We definitely stood out and looked very put-together with our matching bags when we walked into games.” - Anna R, Social Media Coordinator
“I remember packing up on Friday nights after school for the lake. My mom would set our Large Duffel on our beds, and my sister and I would toss in clothes. We’d pile our duffel bags in the back of our van and head to the lake for the weekend.“ - Amanda C., Designer
“My first Vera Bradley bag was a Small Duffel in Capri Melon that my aunt gave me for Christmas when I was about 12. I used it all the time for every family trip, volleyball tournament and sleepover.  I loved traveling with it because it doubled as a big pillow in the car and in airports. Even though I have plenty of new Vera Bradley travel bags, I can’t get rid of it because of sentimental reasons.”
- Emily B., Product Development Associate

“I remember taking them to all my sleepovers when I was in school. When I went off to college as a freshman, I obviously brought my duffel with me. It was almost as if I felt a sense of security bringing it along with me. It reminded me of home and my past, and gave me a warm feeling.”
- Lizzy D., Public Relations Intern

“I received my first set of Vera Bradley travel bags for my high school graduation in 1992.  The color was Pink! I proudly packed it up and took a piece of Fort Wayne with me to college.  My sorority sisters quickly fell in love and soon after I was bringing purchases back from school.”
– Jennifer F., Consumer Insights Coordinator
“The first gift I bought my wife was a Large Duffel in Petal Pink and we still have it to this day. I was at Ball State and she was traveling down every weekend from Fort Wayne, so it seemed like the perfect gift.”
– Terry N., Logistics Coordinator

Now it’s your turn! Comment below and share your Large Duffel story for the chance to win a refresh: A Large Duffel, Jewelry Case, Throw Blanket and Hanging Organizer. Comment by Friday, June 5, for your opportunity to be selected.*

so excited to graduate #imdone #verabradley

A photo posted by Kellie (@kellie_martin) on


A photo posted by Abby (@belleoftheball45) on


A photo posted by 石 (@muhan_shi) on

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go! Bring on South Carolina and the Stinnette wedding weekend! Thanks @ctomerlin25 for the early birthday present, now I’m traveling in style #verabradley #notanalabamafan

A photo posted by Laura Lyter (@la_le_ly) on


*This giveaway is now closed. Join us in congratulating Michele W. (Normal, IL) and thank you to all who participated!


Styled for the Speedway

As a company with roots in the Hoosier State, the Indianapolis 500 is a Memorial Day weekend tradition. We pulled together three looks to take us off to the races, with a Snakeskin/Houndstooth nod to the checkered flag.


Styled for the Speedway [Breezy]

[Get the look: Wide Bangle Bracelet | Medallion Stretch Bracelet | Braid with Enamel Necklace | Straw Hat in Midnight Houndstooth | Petite Kiss Kiss Coin Purse in Midnight Houndstooth | Flap Crossbody in Tango Red]

Styled for the Speedway [Sporty]

[Get the look: Veronica Sunglasses in Midnight Paisley | Medium Bangle Bracelet | Woven Bracelet | Snap and Zip Case in Black | Petite Double Zip Hipster Crossbody in Midnight Houndstooth]


Styled for the Speedway [Classic]

[Get the look: In a Snap Card Case in Midnight Snakeskin | Small Crossbody in Midnight Snakeskin | Estelle Sunreaders in Midnight Paisley | Medium Crystal Bezeled Bangle Bracelet | Semi-Precious Tassel Bracelet]

Shop these looks, online and in stores

A celebration, styled in Sierra

It’s a special day, with a very special grad in the spotlight. Erin Dove of the blog The Blue Eyed Dove is here to share an ensemble inspired by Coral and summer standout, Sierra for the graduate or the party guest. (Don’t forget to gift the guest of honor with these trending tones, as well.)

Graduation Style

“Graduation parties are the perfect time to sport a crop top with high-waisted shorts and wedges. I love wearing neutral pieces and adding a pop of color with an accessory, like the Flap Crossbody in Coral. It’s my go-to handbag when I don’t need to carry a lot of items. It’s perfect for shopping, a night out on the town or for attending a graduation party!”

Graduation Style

Graduation Style

Shop Sierra online and in stores

Party planning with Sierra

Graduate GarlandWith the turning of the tassel, it’s time to throw a smashing celebration. We invited Erin Dove from the blog the The Blue Eyed Dove to share a Sierra-inspired DIY project for a beautiful banner in honor of the graduate.

Graduate Garland

Graduation Garland

What you need:
Scrapbook paper, large letter stickers, ribbon, ruler, scissors, hot glue gun

1. Create your garland template based on the size of your letters, using a ruler or straight edge. Then trace and cut out each pendant.
2. Next, center each letter on the pendant.
3. Evenly space the pendants onto the ribbon and attach with hot glue.
Very quick and easy!

Graduation Garland
More décor inspiration

“When I think of graduation parties, I think of balloons, banners and of course cupcakes. This season corals, mint and gold are hot, hot, hot, even when it comes to party décor!  I incorporated coral into the party with balloons, the banner ribbon and flowers. Then I added some simple touches of gold with the streamers, glasses, silverware and the 2015 cut-out. Just enough to make the party décor really pop! I decided to keep the napkins and plates a little more neutral. I love how this party coordinates so well with the pattern Sierra!”

Erin’s Top Grad Gifts

Large Duffel
1. Large Duffel
The perfect travel bag for a recent grad to carry to and from college.
They are so spacious and pack very well.

Hanging Organizer
2. Cosmetics
A girl can never have too many cosmetics.
They are perfect for carrying make-up and toiletries.

Throw Blanket
3. Throw Blanket
This is the best blanket ever! It is warm, cozy and comforting.
Every grad should have at least one if not more.

Smartphone Wristlet
4. Smartphone Wristlet
This is a great small accessory that holds all of your essentials including:
license, student ID, cash and phone.

Shop Sierra online and in stores

Gifting the bridal party

Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley
The sun is shining on another sure-to-be-beautiful wedding season. As ceremony planning picks up, we wanted to offer our vibrant, feminine styles as a suggestion for the ideal bridal party gift. They truly are the perfect union of the ladies’ personalities, the ceremony palette and pretty keepsakes they’ll hold on to long after the vows, especially with the addition of a monogram.

Brand Ambassador Meryl Davis recently shared Vera Bradley with the attendants when her longtime ice dancing partner Charlie White married Tanith Belbin in April.

“We had the bags, blankets and makeup bags monogrammed! The girls absolutely loved them and the packages definitely made our pre-wedding sleepover at my house even more special and cozy! We all used our personalized bags to take our attire to the venue in the day of the wedding. I love that the girls all have something to take with them to remember one of the fun events surrounding Tanith and Charlie’s special day as well.” – Meryl

Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley

Feeling inspired, we wanted to keep the ideas coming.
We asked around the office and were overwhelmed with great gift suggestions …

“A friend gave her bridesmaids necklaces and earrings in the Travel Jewelry Organizer. We filled the other pockets with things they would need: hairpins, Band-Aids, mints, tape, etc.”
Allen P., Colorist
“The Lighten Up Double Cooler Lunch Bag with a couple of local wines and a coordinating Scarf.”
Reggie M., Customer Service Representative
Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley
“I am getting married on the 4th of July. When I asked my bridesmaids, I gave them a Small Cosmetic with matching Colorful Hair Elastics in a color they would love. For their bigger gift I am filling a Market Tote (I used Marina Paisley since it goes with my nautical/4th of July feel) with a Beach Towel, Flip Flops, sunscreen and an American flag.”
Vanessa R., Assistant Store Manager Walt Whitman Shops
“Bridesmaid weekends are becoming a pretty popular alternative to bachelorette parties. Brides present their maids with gifts as part of the invite prior to leaving for the weekend, so why not pull together a travel set with a Cosmetic, Travel Bag/Beach bag, Wristlet for a night out, and Tumbler for the road?”
Kate M., Multi-Channel Sales Coordinator
“We have been asked this question many times by future brides. We suggest: 1) Leather! We start with the Hanging Organizer. They can fill them with special things to make the weekend easy: sewing kit, our Travel Manicure Set, etc.”
Retail Montgomery Mall
Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley
“I got Umbrellas for the bride and the rest of the bridesmaids to use in pictures. The guys also took pictures with them!”
Kelley D., Industrial Engineer
“The Mia Wristlet makes a perfect bridal gift. It holds all of your essentials: lipstick, tissues, a little sewing kit for emergencies … A Soft Fringe Scarf would be a great add on for those chilly nights at the reception.”
Charlotte D., Assistant Store Manager Summit Mall
“We had one bride purchase Grand Totes for her 11 bridesmaids to use on the wedding day.”
Terry M., Team Leader Twin Cities Premium Outlets
Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley
“The Harper Clutch in an assortment of flat and quilted.”
Kelli D., Product Development Manager
“My wife decided to give our bridesmaids, mothers and grandmothers, Totes and filled the bags with special memories (photos and candles).”
Aaron P., Corporate Accountant II:
“Keep it soft and whimsical. Monogram a beautiful robe or Tote.”
Beckie H., Manager Channel Marketing Support
Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley
“Our Vera Vera tote monogrammed. One of my friends did this in Cobalt as her ‘something blue’!”
Alyssa P., Store Manager
“When my daughter got married in December, she gave her bridesmaids a Vera, each in a different color so they could put all of their stuff in it the day of the wedding.”
Marcie W., Marketing Administrative Assistant
“I am giving all my bridesmaids the Quilted Sophie Wristlet (in a mix of colors) with a lip gloss and Starbucks Coffee gift card inside.”
Emily B., Product Development Associate
Bridesmaid gifting with Vera Bradley
“I used a Small Ruffle Cosmetic in Classic Black personalized with their first initial to ask them to be in my bridal party.”
Emily, Assistant Store Manager

Shop these styles online and in stores

Celebrating Mom contest winners

A few weeks back, we invited you to share a photo and sweet sentiment about the most important woman in your life for the opportunity to win some of our latest Leather styles. The response was heart-warming and a true testament to the power of motherhood.

We’re happy to announce our winners for Celebrating Mom. Please join us in congratulating these touching entrants, and thank you to all who contributed!

Grand Prize Winner

Samantha T. (Canandaigua, NY)

First Prize Winners

Phyllis R. (Old Bridge, NJ)
Tana R. (Loretto, TN)
Mary N. (Coon Rapids, MN)
Elaine B. (Las Vegas, NV)
Maria G. (Asheville, NC)

*All winners have been contacted and confirmed at this time.

Free graduation party printables

She did it … let’s celebrate! Graduation season is a great time to gather with friends, family and mentors and mark the milestone in glorious fashion. Opt for invites that truly express her colorful nature and download these free patterned printables! (Consider it an early graduation gift.)

Thank You Cards

Pixie Blooms Thank You[Download Pixie Blooms Thank You]

Marrakesh Thank You[Download Marrakesh Thank You]

Shop more Paper and Gift items online and in stores

Meryl and Mom

Long practice sessions, far away competitions, hours in a frosty rink … we believe our Brand Ambassador and Gold Medal ice dancer Meryl Davis when she shares this sweet sentiment about the most important woman in her life:

“When I think of my mom I think of unconditional love and support.”

Merly Davis and her mom
Merly Davis and her mom
Merly Davis and her mom

The athlete plans to return the adoration with a Quilted Emma Satchel this Sunday. “My Mom always talks about mine so I’m super excited to give her one, too!” We think she’ll be pleased with that present.

Now it’s your turn to share. Enter our Celebrate Mom sweepstakes on Facebook by May 9 for the opportunity to win our latest Leather styles!