Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, January 26, 2009

DIY Invitations

Instead of doing my chores this weekend, I started working on the invitations for my birthday party.

In an effort to be budget-friendly and eco-friendly, I'm trying not to buy anything new. That means I had to resort to the paper we already have in our paper basket (which is what we did for our wedding--hence the reason we had fluorescent orange name tags at the Welcome Picnic!).

I originally wanted to print an image in color, but we only have a black-and-white printer. Again, my options were limited.

Fortunately, it's a retro theme, so I figured a black-and-white image would be perfect. To add a little color, I went back to our paper basket and pulled out some red pieces for a background.

I used our paper cutter to cut out the images and the red squares. I also cut some of our leftover cardstock in half to serve as the base of the card.

Then I put a dab of glue stick on the red paper to glue it to the card and then the image to glue it to the red piece.

Next, I sewed everything together on my machine (I experimented with different stitches).

For the envelope, I tore out pages from an old children's dictionary I cleaned out of my classroom a few years ago. I sewed on a red scrap so I could clearly address each envelope. Then I sewed up the two edges of the card (I just plan to tape the flap down, once the cards are in the envelopes).

As I worked on this DIY project, I was reminded of the Six DIY Stages.

However, I also had a few new realizations:
  1. It's important to create a prototype. I know it sounds obvious, but I don't always do a good job of creating a completely finished product before I start working on the rest of the bunch. However, this piece is critical!
  2. As you make your prototypes (or prototypes if you want to experiment with different versions!), try really hard to figure out the most efficient way to do something. Sometimes I'll make ten of something before I tune in, pay close attention, and realize a more efficient way to do something.
  3. Process things in batches. On these invitations, for example, I cut all the cardstock first. Then I cut all the images. Then I folded all the cards. Then I glued on all the pieces. Then I sewed all the cards. In other words, doing step one for all the cards and then moving onto step two, step three, etc., is usually more efficient than finishing the whole card and then starting the next. I find that doing the same step over and over allows you to work more efficiently.
It will feel good to get these babies in the mail.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

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Anonymous said...

These are gorgeous and inspiring! Thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

You are so creative! Your invites look adorable! Question though - will those envelopes cause any sort of problem at the post office?

Lee said...

Those look great! I love the envelopes made from the children's dictionary--that brought back memories. I just got a sewing machine and this looks like a fun way to experiment with different stitches.

Marina said...

This is exactly the big project I'm in the middle of with my wedding invitations right now. I'm finding that finishing a batch of 10 or so at a time is working better than trying to do one step on all of them, only because my glue is smelly and I don't have a well-ventilated space when it's too cold to open a window. So I finish 10 or so and wait several hours, rather than have a bunch of half finished ones sitting around...

Although actually, writing it out has made me realize that there's not much reason to finish 10 at once rather than half-finish 10 at once. Hm. Maybe the bigger part of it is that if I'm only doing 10 at a time, I want to feel like I've actually accomplished something. ;)

Chica de mente ocurrente said...

did you sewed paper?? how???

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Jess: You can pretty much send anything through the mail. You just have to be careful with sizing and postage. I always look on the USPS website to make sure I stay within the right size for the stamps I have. For more important things--like wedding invitations--I send a test run to my best friend and have him report back about what kind of condition it arrived in.

@ Future Mrs. Garcia: Yes, you can sew on paper! You just act like it's fabric and go at it. Seriously! Sometimes you have to lengthen the stitch to prevent it from ripping, but it's easy!

Anonymous said...

These invitations are really cute. I can't wait to try something like that myself!

Ashley said...

Those are adorable. I love seeing your DIY projects!

Anonymous said...

Do you use packing tape or some other tape to cover the envelope afterwards to keep it sturdy?

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