Wednesday, 17 April 2013

DIY Invitations


We made our own invitations from scratch. This was decided by a number of factors:
  • Price - It was going to work out about 50% cheaper doing the work ourselves.
  • Personalisation- we got to choose the colours, papers, prints, therefore personalised and unique.
  • DIY - we learnt a lot of new skills and a bit more about each other.
We went to Craft House which is a store in Wellington that specialises in DIY crafts ie. Scrap booking, invitations, framing, posters etc.

First we had a consultation with one of the owners who helps co-ordinate the wedding stationery. He took us through the steps that were needed to achieve what we had planned, explained how to use the tools required. They supplied the heavy duty tools needed to die-cut the pocket-fold invitations, the wet and dry-embossing tools, made us a  custom monogrammed stamp and generally just gave good well thought out advice without controlling the process too much.

It became our Sunday, rainy day activity (it just happened to be raining most days we went there - Good ol' Wellington)

First task: choosing paper colours and weights. We went with our wedding colours of plum/purple and green. At this point I had not seen the exact colour of the bridesmaid dresses (as we hadn't chosen them yet) so took the plunge and hoped that we could find something similar.

I learnt a lot about Chris during this process, he is much more enthusiastic about crafting than both of us had expected. He enjoyed the experience, and got stuck into using all the different tools.

Second Task: This is where the first gadgets came out, we had to turn flat pieces of card into a complicated set of folds and creases to create the "pocket fold" invitation. Lucky for us, we didn't need to do it using scissors or a craft-knife. Due to Craft house specializing in wedding stationery, they have a die-cut machine that will cut each card to the same template. Let the production line begin.

Cuttlebug Machine

Third Task: We used a "Cuttlebug machine" to do a section of "Dry Embossing" on the front pocket of our invitations
This is where the card is molded around a template which forms bumps and indents following a pattern. This required a bit of elbow grease, but produced an effect we were really happy with.

Yay, lots of little birdies!!

 Fourth Task: Wording.  
Luckily we had some professional advice on what to include and how to lay it all out. We did forget to include our surnames, but because our guests were all family and close friends we didn't feel the need to change it.

Chris getting stuck-in


Fifth Task: Wet embossing.
Craft house had made us a personal monogram stamp. Chris did all the work here (I let him do the fun stuff). Using a wet sponge to dampen the stamp, he transferred the wet-stamp onto the card. Covering the wet-mark with embossing powder, getting rid of any excess, and then using a heat gun to melt the powder and seal the monogram.

Sixth task: Sticking and folding it all together.
We used double sided cellotape to stick it all together, as glue might have smudged or stained the white card with purple.
To make really nice folds, we used a folding groove and ran a scribe along it to create a crease.

Seventh Task: Wax seal. This was a last minute idea "just because we can". We used aluminum stamps and learnt that you don't need to put any pressure on the stamp, let the stamps weight make the seal for you. Also that the aluminum didn't heat up as fast at the other kinds and so made the process much faster (its hard when the stamp gets to hot, the wax doesn't dry fast enough).

We hadn't anticipated that so many guests would have such a hard time getting the invitation open. At least they stayed shut in the mail.

Eighth Task: Stamp, send and wait for the RSVPs.

  • Price up your options
  • Do your research
  • Put your guests names on the RSVP cards, that way if they forget to write it themselves you wont need to go chasing them up finding who sent it.
  •  Include as much relevant information as you can - maps, nearby accommodation, baby sitting services, gift registry etc.

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