- 6 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
So I had originally planned on ordering our Save the Dates on etsy- I had fallen in love with these 1 and 1/2″ wood slice magnets with custom stamps on them- BUT it was almost $100 just for 50, I knew I’d need about 60 or 70, and then to add shipping costs on top of that- no can do. As an art major I’m always inclined to make things myself, and use as much recycled material as possible. And so, I decided that I should be able to figure out how to make something similar for much, much less.
I dug around behind my mom’s barn garage and found a log about 3 inches thick and about 6 feet tall, with the bark still intact and everything! I asked my art professor if I could bring it in to cut in the classroom on one of the table/band saws- and he offered to instead bring in his chop saw the following week and we would slice the wood together. SO I lugged the log to school and up into the classroom, and together we sliced it. He was worried we wouldn’t get enough pieces, but we ended up with well over 100 slices! WOOHOO!!! Each slice is between 2″ to 3″ wide, and their thickness varies but is mostly less than 1 cm thick. I had discusses ways to decorate them with my professor, and got his input on the level of difficulty to try woodburning them. So I went to A.C. Moore and spent less than $20 on a wood burning tool with an assortment of tips- including one that was like a pen tip.
I had to dry these bad boys out before I could burn them- so I came home with a big backpack full of the slices- FI and I (after a few drinks) decided to put them out all over the apartment that night. They were all dried by the following morning! Then I made a template for the heart (kind of a stencil) and began to trace the heart onto each slice, followed by the initials and our date. Once I had them traced (in pencil, very lightly) I began to wood burn the design in. It took some getting used to, but after enough practice I had it down. Because it’s all done by hand, no two slices or designs came out exactly the same- which I LOVE! Now I needed to find magnets that would be small and light enough, but needed really strong ones so these slices wouldn’t just pathetically slide down the fridge! I googled industrial magnets and after some searching I came across Apex Magnets- I contacted them first and ended up purchasing these little guys: http://apexmagnets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=124
When they came in the mail I was skeptical because they are just so tiny! BUT they were so strong! It was hard to even pull them apart! I had experimented with the smaller ones (just a size down from these) and though they were strong I needed to use 2 of them for each slice, so the biggers ones were better. I then glued the magnets to the back of each slice with Elmer’s All Purpose Glue- and let me tell you- I glued one of the smaller ones on first to see how it held up- and when I went to remove it afterwards with a sharp blade- it wasn’t coming off at all! SO the Elmer’s is the absolute best! Oh- I decided to not use any kind of sealent, glaze, or stain on the wood slices at all- they would have looked too manufactured I felt, so the wood is still exposed but since I dried them out they will hold up for a very very long time 🙂 And they still smell wonderful- as opposed to smelling like glaze or stain!
Once that part was done, I needed something to package them in. Finding envelopes was a challenge- but I ended up going with smaller ones- sized 4-3/8″ x 5-3/4″- larger ones allowed the magnet to slide around too much and crinkled the envelope too much. These were just the right size! I then just googled tree branch silhouettes, found one I liked, altered it a bit and used it in Pages to create the envelope design and the paper design for the inserts. I couldn’t quite get the branches lined up to the edges the way I wanted, so I ended up using a sharpie pen to fix up each branch so it was flush with the edges on the paper inserts and the envelopes. I printed the paper inserts on craft paper- putting 3 on each page and then floding and tearing them to give them more texture. Needless to say, all of this happened over a two or three month period. As a full time student with two part time jobs, I had to work on these here and there whenever I had a free moment.
And so, they were done! I hand delivered as many as I could over Thanksgiving and when I would visit people- and the rest I mailed. To mail each one was $1.71- they have to be mailed as a parcel since they can’t go through the machine- but ever one was exactly $1.71 to be mailed to everywhere from NY to California and Seattle. Hand delivering so many saved me a lot! So below is the pictures of them 🙂 I’m so proud of them- and people just adored them too. I’ve blurred out the addresses (obviously)- but you’ll see on the back of the envelope I had our return address between the little flowers 🙂 Now I have to figure out the invitations! Oh boy!