- 6 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
Well, after a lot of trial and error, hard work, and help from good friends and family, our invitations are in the mail! They were a labor of love for sure and now that the labor is over, I’m in love! We completed them basically in 2 phases and I’ll break it all down here. NOTE: I do not have a template for these! Sorry!
First, I started them around the beginning of December, by finding some samples I liked from places such as Wedding Paper Divas and this DIY section of Wedding Bee and working on the wording. I settled on a general flower type (the rose is my favorite flower and is literally my middle name) and eventually, after searching Jo-Ann Fabric, Michael’s, and online, I settled on the colors. The navy blue matting is from Jo-Ann Fabric and has a metallic shimmer. The envelope and folder are from Cards and Pockets, the Turquoise and Sand colors, respectively. I had originally wanted my family’s friend to do them for me, but when that didn’t work out as we planned (some major work stuff came up), Mr. B’s best man stepped up at the last minute and designed the invitations and side inserts for us in about 2 weeks total! He was a saint, working on it at last minute and working on all of our little changes.
Originally I bought the invitation and side insert card stock from Cards and Pockets, thinking I’d make them mostly myself and print them on to the pre-cut paper. We do not have the best printer and so I had planned on taking them to Kinkos. Since I’ve never done anything like this before, I had no idea that with laser printing, you have to have a white border around the invite because the edges are heat sealed and that they would need to be cut down. They cannot be printed to bleed to the edges (I picked up some terminology along the way). I called several places and no one could print directly onto the pre-cut pages without that border. So, I changed course and had Kinkos print and cut the center invitation and the blue matting for me. I also had them save the scraps from the blue paper so I could use them for belly bands later.
So, phase one included:
-working with the best man (ever) to make my design come to life (again, he’s a saint),
-picking out fonts: our names and insert headings are in English, which I downloaded from http://www.dafont.com and the rest is Californian FB, which came on his PC and I downloaded on our Mac for free somewhere on the Internet, I just Googled it. Hint: using the “Install Font” button doesn’t always work. I save the file to our Mac desktop, opened the Library->Fonts folders, and drug the file into the folder. I had to close Word and reopen it, but that did the trick.
– Address the envelopes: I used a method I found on this site! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get mail merge to work on the Mac so I manually typed each address using English font and printed them with our home printer using the “Fast Draft” option. The printer didn’t want to take the envelopes straight through each time so I had several mess ups. Hint: make sure you have plenty of extras! The print was super light. Then I used a basic calligraphy pen with ink cartridges found at Michael’s, and a technique I learned on Wedding Bee here: http://diy.weddingbee.com/topic/diy-invitation-calligraphy-printer-tracing-method. Hint: once you get the pen, practice with the different sized nibs (tips) and how to hold it. It takes a second for the ink to come out too the first time you use it.
-Line the envelopes: I bought wedding wrapping paper, my bridesmaids made a template out of an extra pocket folder, they traced and cut out the liner and then glued the tops down using Adhesive Dot Roller (I used this one from Michael’s) http://www.scotchbrand.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ScotchBrand/Scotch/Products/ProductCatalog/?PC_7_RJH9U52300LM30I87QR3ES18H7000000_nid=SJJ5QTX6L4gs9JKGGNXP95glWS62RQ1ZWVbl (best stuff ever!). HINT: only glue down the triangle portion of the envelope and leave the portion that goes into the envelope unglued. It’ll lie nicely when folded and shouldn’t catch on anything when you pull the invites out.
-Embossed the Starfish! I used the Zap Embossing Heat Gun, which I bought online. It worked perfectly! A BM and I practiced with different stamp pads and embossing powders I got from Michael’s and AC Moore to see which worked best. HINT for embossing: you can cover the ink in embossing powder and heat a bunch of them at once if you want. Eventually I figured that out and it went much faster because the gun has to heat up each time you turn it on. Be careful not to hold it too close or for too long to the paper or it will scorch. You’ll see the powder change color and that’s when you should stop. ALSO, remember that a little powder goes a LONG way. I didn’t even use half of one little bottle on the bronze colored starfish for 65 invites.
-Attached the matting and then center invitation to the center of the pocket folder using the Adhesive Dot Roller. The dot roller is just so easy to use! They go fairly quickly though so make sure you buy extra just in case. Mr. B. ended up running out in the cold while the BMs and I worked on cutting and embossing.
Phase 2: Side inserts, assembly, belly bands!
Mr. B’s best man worked on the Travel, Accommodations, and Details inserts. You can’t see it but there are roses at the bottom of each insert too. I made the RSVPs in Word because I wanted to have each person’s name on them and didn’t want to make him do all of that work. I just used text boxes and worked out the spacing for one, cut and pasted the rest and changed the names. On each insert, we put the information for hotels, airports, and event details for the big day.
Since 100% of our guests will be coming in from out of town, I also made a map, which Best Man put on the back of the travel insert, using PowerPoint. It has the airport, a few hotel options including the resort where it’ll all be hosted, and a few tourist destinations! I used Mrs. Ballet Flat’s instructions: http://diy.weddingbee.com/topic/mrs-ballet-flats-making-your-own-map-1. It was super easy!
Once Mr. B’s best man finished the side inserts, he made PDFs of them and the RSVPs and I went back home to Ohio to celebrate my birthday with my family. My sister (MOH) and I assumed we’d go to Kinkos again to have them print and cut the side inserts. That is, until we got a quote for $250+. So we bought a ream of the same cardstock for $11 and found a small, local shop. They would print everything in color, including the Travel section’s front and back, and cut everything down for $50. That was better!
I ended up having to cut the RSVPs myself because I made them in Word and they were not all spaced in the same way on each page. I bought a basic Fiskar paper cutter from Michael’s, which was 40% off. It was okay but you may want to upgrade to a better product if you have a ton of cutting on cardstock to do. I ended up having to smooth out and straighten some edges.
My sister and I assembled all of the pieces in the pocket folder, used the blue scraps as belly bands and used the adhesive dot roller to bind them. Then I cut small squares of cardstock, embossed a starfish in the middle, and used the same adhesive to attach them to the same blue matting and to the belly band.
I originally wanted the RSVPs to be postcards but we changed that in order to make it easier for the best man. So, I bought envelopes from Hobby Lobby that matched the outer envelope, printed our address on them in English font, and put them under the belly band on the back of the folder. I actually like how it turned out.
Then I stamped the back of the envelope with our return address stamp. HINT: you apparently (according to USPS) cannot use round stamps when addressing a regular envelope. Hence, the printing of our address.
Finally, we bought wedding and love stamps from the USPS back when we made our save the dates. Last night, I went to the Post Office to have them weighed and found out it would take 2 stamps to mail. Mr. B and I made a night of attaching a stamp to the RSVP envelope, 2 to the outer envelope and then gluing them shut with the adhesive dot roller. For some reason, the envelopes wouldn’t seal the usual way.
SO, they are finished and I couldn’t be happier with them! Having learned a few lessons along the way, there are things I would’ve done differently (such as not getting the center invites printed at Kinkos) but overall, I learned so much and wouldn’t trade the experience!