Okay, it’s like this: the first time it ever even crossed my mind to check out DIY wedding invitations on the Intarwebz was when I got engaged and realized that wedding invitations are a thing.
I mean, I knew they were a thing, just not that they were a thing, y’know? No? Makes two of us.
Anyway, when it occurred to me that I should research making my own wedding invitations, I suddenly couldn’t stop. I devoured tutorials and pins on Pinterest, simple pictures sans explanations on flickr accounts, everything; I simply could not get enough info and inspiration.
About halfway through making my stack of invitations, I hated them, I hated the colors, I hated glue, and Sons of Anarchy, and stupid bone folders and paper cutters and even the people that were going to receive the invitations. The Boy and I decided that the next time we get married, we’re DEFINITELY just buying some stupid invitations.
So, now, post-wedding (oh yeah, by the way, I’m a Mrs. The Boy now, yay me!), I’m not even back to the wonderfully warm, cozy bubble of oblivion that I was in prior to this wedding nonsense. Now I’m violently reactionary, on the opposite end of the spectrum, shuddering everytime I type the word “invitation” (see, I just shuddered, and wrinkled my lip and everything).
HOWEVER. In the name of Science, or blogging, or what-have-you, I’m posting what I did up here, so that it might help some other poor lost soul drowning in a sea of indecision and tutorials and floral-printed vellum and metallic cardstock and bone folders. (YOU GUYS. The words “bone folder” has NEVER stopped being funny to me, even in my current hatred of paper-crafting.)
SAVE THE DATES
My BFFFFFF Abbie (also my Maid of Honor) came down to Galveston to visit and “plan” (which mostly consisted of staying up too late, ordering room service and then buying ice cream cones from Wendy’s) fairly early on. She brought ideas for “Save the Dates” (HILARIOUSLY dubbed STDs on wedding sites, fyi), mostly involving mason jars.
*Background I should’ve mentioned earlier, but don’t care enough about to go back and do, so am doing now: The Boy & I very much wanted a “country” wedding, something that felt more like a family reunion, including BBQ, frolicking about on the lawn, lots of family, and shit-tons of cute DIY that’s cheap but not too terribly cheap-looking. Mason jars are pretty much a go-to for that kinda shit.*
So when the time actually rolled around for the making-of-STDs (HA!), Abbie was up in Austin, Tx (around-abouts a 3-4 hour drive to Galveston), but I had her example to work off of. I just typed “mason jar clip art” into Google and found an image that would work. Then I filled it in with the approrpiate text (our names, we’re getting married, don’t plan shit on this date, here’s the wedding website, and a formal invite will follow), and The Boy and I cut them out with our rinky-dink scissors. The kind made for first graders, who no longer have to use the safety scissors, but they still have creepy hands that need tiny little scissors handles… Okay, a little off-track. Anyway, they hurt our hands to use, and The Boy really sucks at cutting things out on the line (sorry, The Boy!), so I did the majority of the cutting.
Then we hole-punched two holes up at the top to thread some twine through and tie a bow with. Finally, we used some magnetic tape (it comes on a Scotch-tape-style dispenser. So cool!) along the sides of the mason jar on the back (it ran top-to-bottom, if that helps make it make sense). Voila! A Save-the-Date fridge magnet (like all the cool kids do).
We just stuck ‘em in envelopes like that and mailed them off!
Firstly: I decided on ordering size A7 envelopes. It’s important to find a starting place and then work everything else around that. Otherwise, your options are too unlimited, and you get paralyzed by indecision. I chose A7 envelopes because that gave me a start point of: the finished invitation must fit in a 5″ x 7″ envelope. Okay good, parameter one established.
Then, you have a ridiculous number of choices for paper/cardstock size. (We’re not going to talk too much about picking your color, but that *can* place some limitations on your paper size. I discovered that a couple [very few] of online paper stores didn’t carry certain sizes in certain colors, so it can be a limiting factor, but it’s unlikely you won’t be able to find your color in the size you decide on *somewhere*.) The way that I finally decided on what to get was to go into Microsoft Publisher, set the page sizes to the various sizes of papers available, and then draw lines on it to represent cut/fold lines. I knew the finished product had to be a smidge smaller than 5″ x 7″, and I wanted to try to get the most efficient use of my paper that I could (like maybe two invitations per 11″ x 17″ sheet might be less expensive than one per 8.5″ x 11″ sheet, even if the 11″ x 17″ is more expensive per sheet).
For instance, this was drawn up on a 12 x 12 page in Publisher.
Unfortunately for me, it was most cost-effective to use 12″ x 12″ pages, one invite per page, just due to how I preferred the layout (trifold with a nice, tall pocket flap). I say “unfortunately” because A) it was dumb, and B) I almost didn’t save money after everything was said and done by making my stupid invitations (*shudder*). I damn near broke even, and that’s if we’re counting all the time spent making these things as free time (which started out okay, but then I started resenting that I couldn’t/shouldn’t sew or knit if I was at home; only cut and fold and glue and print and glue some more and hole punch and UGH).
Also, to further elaborate on point A above: I was being dumb by being adamant about how I wanted what is essentially just the BASE of these invitations to look. I wasn’t saving myself any money, I was making more work for myself, and in the end, the base of the invitation is hardly noticed. It’s the actual invitation that gets put in/on there that matters.
Moral of the story is that if you’re doing this to save money, seriously sit down and calculate your costs. These are a pain in the ass. They’re really exciting and cool at the very beginning, and then they’re just a chore. Just bein’ honest, here. I actually ENJOY making shit, so I ignored anyone that even suggested buying any part of these pre-made, and now I can’t stand the thought of ever doing it again.
I got a bunch of 12×12 sheets of cardstock in “Fairway”, because that’s what The Boy and I decided on for the color. Our envelopes were silver, we got some silver paper that we thought was cardstock but WASN’T (my *Pro Tip* sense is tingling right now), some regular white paper, and some schmancy linen-type resume paper that feels nice.
I marked out my measurements (decided in Publisher, remember?) on one sheet, then folded and cut accordingly. This became my template to trace off onto all the other sheets, one by one. *Pro Tip: check to make sure your paper cutter can handle whatever size your pages are. Otherwise, you’ll have to do most of this shit by hand until you get it pared down enough to fit in the paper cutter!* I hadn’t originally planned on having to trace onto each individual page, but see Pro Tip above… =/
We decided for the “belly band” (who the fuck is in charge of naming all this wedding-type paper-crafting bullshit, anyway?) that we wanted the silver paper (since it was good for little else anyway, being flimsy PAPER and not CARDSTOCK [*tingle*]), with the white paper layered over it, with the heart vellum (The Boy is SO damn proud of himself for picking that out, btw) layered over THAT.
What I’m trying to say, here, is we essentially made paper ribbons instead of just buying some frickin’ ribbon. Cause we’re geniuses/stubborn jackasses.
It’s funny to see how white this table was, because after I was finished with these, those stupid little glue-dot dispensers (which do a sort of half-assed job, btw, but super glue doesn’t work on paper, apparently) make these teensy little gummy balls of black ick that never completely go away. You’ll notice I bought grown-up-sized scissors, too. Learned my lesson there, at least!
As you can see, the base of the invite seriously didn’t matter as much as I thought it would. It was probably the least-important part of a less-important-than-you-think-it-is part of DIY Wedding-ing.
Also, please note my mad MS Paint spraypaint skillz fuzzing out names and addresses. That’s how balla I am.
As you can see, the invitations fit neatly into the A7 Envelopes. Also, there were a shit-ton of them. Oh, aaaand there’s those little black balls of ick I was telling you about. My table still looks like this, so I’m gonna go ahead and offer this: *Pro Tip: don’t do any of the gluing on a surface you care overly much about.* This table is my “craft table”, and it’s main uses are cutting fabric, holding folded laundry, and, after it’s been folded away neatly, falling over when the wrestling dogs bump into it and scaring the bejeezus out of the cat.
We made the envelopes extra-fancy by stamping the flap once they were sealed with a big ole stamp we bought from Hobby Lobby. Anyone want a big ole stamp that says this, btw? I’ll include the stamp pad (not a big ole stamp pad, though; you have to press the stamp in different spots on the ink pad in order to get it all inked).
Ooh! Also: we printed the envelopes, as well as the invitation stuff, and it’s all on cardstock. The best advice I found for printing on cardstock is to use a printer that has the option of feeding the paper from the back. That way it doesn’t contort the cardstock and jam all up. With that said, with the more slippery cardstocks, don’t load up the back and then try to print 20 pages. I wound up having to do drop the envelopes in one by one to print them. This was also due to the fact that the ink wouldn’t be completely dry by the time the next envelope finished and dropped down on it, and then they’d both have ink smeared all over them. This is for both the regular, A7 envelopes, and the return RSVP envelopes we included in the invitations, since they were both the same slick sort of cardstock.
We bought a fancy hole-punch, too, to make the little cards that go over the bellybank to hold the invitation closed. (We just put a little dab of that half-assing glue dot stuff, since it’s pretty perfect for ~kinda sticking but easily pulled apart~.) Hell, I’d like to give that hole-punch away, too. I don’t see myself ever using it again. The little letter stamps I’m keepin, though! I can see using those again. =D
Here’s my favorite thing related to invitations, and it’s kinda (totally) dorky. We have an imaginary friend named Badger whom we invited to the wedding. He’s one of our PS3 friends, whom we’ve never met irl, but he’s sent us a Christmas card, and we’ve “known” each other for a couple of years. (He calls The Boy “Army”, the same way we call him “Badger”; they’re both gamer tags, more or less.) Badger and The Boy are both trophy
whores hunters, which means they play games specifically for the achievements/trophies. It’s a thing, I don’t know. You know how when you played Angry Birds, you just *had* to keep replaying that level until you got 3 stars? It’s like that, but with ALL THE GAMES.
Anyway, I went online and found a couple of images of what shows up on the screen when a trophy pops and put them together to make my own “trophy”.
It “pops” when Badger opens his invitation flap (that fancy hole-punch card). I specifically used the two Portals bots dancing cause omgsocute and cause that’s probably my favorite game that they’ve played together. Portals makes me feel all ohmahgerd smart.
TL;DR: We’re seriously dorky people.
So, to wrap this ridiculous post up, I’m just going to go ahead and say that I’ll post more wedding-related shit in the future, but I make no promises of when, or in what order it’ll come. I’m sick of wedding shit, despite being thrilled to be married (please, don’t get the wrong idea). Being sick of wedding crap, but feeling like I can’t post fun stuff until I’m done talking the wedding to death will pretty much result in me not posting. So we’re eliminating that requirement and I’ll just be sure to tag it #wedding when I get around to those posts, ‘kay?