DIY Invitation Making: Emellishment Options

This week I’ll be giving you the run down on some special embellishment options you can choose to bling up your invitation! Make your invitation stand out with these materials.

EMBELLISHMENTS (OPTIONAL):

  • RIBBON & BOWS

A simple strip of ribbon across an invitation or a tied bow can add elegance and charm to an otherwise flat or standard style invitation. You can buy different thicknesses and types of decorative ribbon including glitter detailing, grosgrain texture, satin and double satin, sheer and patterned. The standard widths of ribbon usually are 2mm, 5mm, 10mm, 15mm, 25mm. A feature paper may be paired with a matching coloured ribbon of a thin thickness, or a thick detailed ribbon might be the feature on its own. Spotlight and craft stores have the most variety of ribbons. You can also buy already tied adhesive bows that you can stick onto your invitations – how easy!

  • BUCKLES

Buckles are beautiful on the right style of invitation and add a glamorous touch of bling. The diamante ones can be more expensive than metal buckles, but if you are planning on a small number of invitations or want to go all out, the diamante ones are by far more eye-catching. They come in different shapes including circles both small and large, squares, rectangles, and even hearts.

These are like split pins, they are used to keep two pieces of paper together, or as a decorative accent for a punched shape. These are especially effective if you are using translucent paper in your invitation design, as this type of paper can be hard to attach with tape so a paper fastener in each corner through the card can look neat and tidy but also add something special. Paper fasteners are available in many shapes and sizes, traditionally used in scrapbooking (known as brads), they are easily found in stores like Spotlight or Lincraft. You can punch shapes out of paper, layer them up and keep them all together with a split pin paper fastener, creating a custom embellishment!

Stick-on jewels are exactly that, they are small plastic jewels with an adhesive backing. They can be used in the centre of flowers on the scrolls of names or in a cluster of three in a corner. These are nice on a black and white invitation to add a small amount of a feature colour. The best ones are from Kaisercraft. They come in pearl shades, bright shades, diamond cuts, smooth, pre-prepared flourishes and shapes.

Flowers can had dimension to an invitation. Pick a colour that matches those chosen in the invitation. I suggest if you are thinking of using 3D flowers like roses or another 3D embellishment that you consider sending your invitations in a box, so that it doesn’t arrive squashed. Boxes cost around $2.50ea and the same to post. Its a stunning idea if you plan on having a small number of guests or are hand-delivering the invitations. See the link to Kaisercraft for some examples.

So I hope that has helped you to realize at least some of the amazing embellishment options out there for invitation making. The best rule is to only choose one or combine ones that wont be competing with each other for the wow factor (EG: 3D Flower with plain satin Ribbon, or Punched Paper shapes with a paper fastener centre, or a beautiful feature paper with some small white stick-on jewels). Think about the balance you are creating with your invitation. You don’t want it to look over the top or crowded, or worse – people don’t know what they are looking at. Next week, we will go on to the first part of Assembly and using your gorgeous chosen materials!

DIY Invitation Making: The Essential Materials

Last week we learnt all about the essential tools of the trade for making your own professional invitation making. This week I’ll be giving you the run down on what the essential materials are, where to buy them, how to choose the right materials for your purpose and going over some of the technical terms you may come across when looking at paper in the stores.

In order to have beautiful looking invitations, of course you need good quality and gorgeous looking paper. Here are some of the essentials you will need for your design:

Card should always be used on the back of your invitation so it isn’t flimsy. By not using card as a sturdy base for your invitation it can make all your hard work look cheap and unprofessional (unless you are creating a flap style invitation). Card is available from craft stores, like officeworks, spotlight, lincraft and art supplies stores. Also online these days. The standard printer can print on card up to 250gsm.

The next layer of the invitation is the paper that you will print your text on. You can get textured, matt, coloured, translucent, thick and thin papers for this. tHE BEST PAPERS TO USE ARE BETWEEN 100-120gsm thickness. DO NOT USE REGULAR REFLEX PAPER!! This is a big no no, if you want to create beautiful professional invitations. The paper used in regular printers is too thin and flimsy, it doesn’t give the appearance of quality. fOR TEXTURED PAPERS

The feature paper is the star of the invitation! It can be printed, have glitter, embossing, texture and pattern. It is often cut in a strip and placed on the side, top or cover of an invitation. The feature paper is picked first, then all the card and paper and colours match this. They vary in thicknesses and styles. You can also use specialty papers from Japan or India.

Make sure you choose your envelope size first before you start making the invitations. There are standard sizes that envelopes come in (more on this in another post). Envelopes are the first thing your guest will notice when they receive their invitation. If you put a beautiful invitation in a cheap envelope it completely throws off all the hard work you have done to create it looking the way you did. I like metallic envelopes, coloured envelopes are fun and for a real statement choose an unusual shape like a square. Square envelopes do cost more to post and buy however so make sure you consider this before choosing a square design. Seals are also available at craft stores to add a personal touch to the back of the envelope. Stamps especially for weddings or birthdays can be chosen at the post office to adhere to your invitations once ready to send off.

So there you have it, the materials that are essential to creating your perfect invitation that impress all the guests! I know its tempting to use cheap materials, but if you are going to make your invitations and go to the effort of sending them out by post, then why not do it properly. One cheap element throws off all the hard work you have down to assemble your invitations. The base card and paper you print on are crucial to the look and quality of your invitations. If you are going to have no embellishments or feature paper, at the very least choose some good or nice textured backing card and quality paper to print on.

Next week, we find out what embellishments are available today to add that extra something special to your invites!

Pinterest: So Retro!

Today I’m sharing some retro ‘pins’ that include 1950′s and 60′s patterns, photography and graphics. I love the style of 1960′s, the flowing graphics and psychedelic colour schemes, but the 1950′s elegance and polka dots are also a great combination. Which retro era are you most inspired by?

images via artandchic, sophiedais, bertiesfabric, natewilliams, stephsayshello, jenski

Retro Revival Baby!

 

DIY Invitation Making: The Essential Tools Part #2

Hi Everyone,

if you’ve just joined us, this week I have launched the DIY Invitation Making Series, a set of posts that will teach you all the essentials of basic invitation making and paper crafting! Create professional and amazing invitations to your next events and your friends next event (if they’re lucky!). I have been making, teaching and designing invitations now for 6 years, having worked at prestigious invitation boutiques and scrap booking stores around Melbourne.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

Now, its time to hit up the blog with some invitation loving! As I am not teaching at the moment, I can still share and teach via the blog! Today’s post is all about THE ESSENTIALS, needed to begin your invitation-making journey. The basic materials and tools of the trade that will help you to create professional quality, hand-made invitations. My focus will be on the hand-made, layered style invitations you see, I will only be touching on printed invitations and letter pressing techniques briefly (there are many styles and techniques of invitation-making)!

THE BASIC EMBELLISHMENT TOOLS

Tools refers to the physical objects you will need to complete the tasks in the invitation-making process, eg: cutting/scoring, etc. To do all these things efficiently and effectively there are specific tools (that are very affordable) you can use to assist you. These essential tools are:

  • RULER $2-8 (A bar with a printed line of measurement, often 15cm, 30cm or 60cm) A steel ruler is an essential tool for any creative! A ruler will be used to measure initially in the design process and may be used down the invitation-making track for trimming, scoring or further measurement. I recommend buying a steel one from an art supplies store as plastic and wooden rulers often get trimmed by the stanley knife and they can also wear down over time, not giving you a straight line!
  • HOBBY KNIFE $4-15 (A blade secured onto pen-style device, or a re-tractable push up blade used for fine cutting) A hobby knife/Stanley knife/Scalpel, whatever you like to call it, can come in handy for trimming things if they you find they are 1mm or less off, instead of using the trimmer as it can be difficult for small trimmings. My favourite is the Xacto knife!
  • SINGLE HOLE PUNCH $3-10 (a hand clamp or metal piece able to punch a single hole through paper) A single hole punch is useful if you are using paper fasteners in your invitation design (which we will go into more detail about in further posts), but a single hole punch also allows you to create decorative ribbon techniques. The best hole punches for crafting in my opinion are the metal ones that you tap with a hammer. You can buy them cheap from discount stores, hardware stores and craft stores too. You will often get 5 different sizes in a set. I find the small one incredibly useful for the paper fasteners, but the great thing about the metal ones is they can be used to punch through a variety of materials like leather, plastic and even wood! They are simply tapped with a hammer. The other kind is a metal punch attached to a hand clamp, which is easily squeezed. The paper slips into the middle of the punch, the handle is squeezed now and a hole is punched through the paper.

image via paperpoint

  • DECORATIVE HOLE PUNCHES $7-30 (Metal push down devices that punch a decorative shape out of the paper). These are available in a variety of shapes and also border designs. They are an effective and economical way to add a little extra decoration to your invitation without having to spend a lot. The shapes punched can also be used as confetti to decorate the tables with. The most popular shapes are flowers, hearts, butterflies and lace border designs. They are easy to use and will last a life time if you buy quality punches. They are great for making the thank you cards as well.  Punched shapes can be layered up to create custom 3D embellishments for cards and invitations. They can also be secured in the middle with a cute paper fastener, adding some bling to the design (this technique will be discussed in more detail in later posts). My favorite decorative punches are from Cristina Re.

image via paperpoint

  • PENCIL & ERASER $0.20-4 (Erasable writing device, made from lead) A pencil is handy for measuring and sketching your designs. An eraser is needed to leave no trace of grey lead on your invitations. However, you shouldn’t need to make your paper too much as the paper trimmers have grid systems on them to measure without marking.
  • CRAFT & CUTTING MAT $5-100 (A rubber or plastic mat that protects your work surface!) Every crafter needs a craft mat to protect their desks from adhesives, paint and cuts from knives. The large green rubber mats are the best, however they can cost up to $100. I would recommend buying an A4 mat like the one here.

So, that wraps the basic ESSENTIAL TOOLS of the trade. All these tools are available to buy at art supply, craft supply, office supply and hardware stores. In Australia some of these stores include Officeworks, Spotlight, Lincraft, Bunnings, Riot Art, Melbourne Art Supplies, Eckersleys, Dean’s Art, Paper Squared and local boutique stores around your area. If you are planning on making your invitations I strongly recommend  getting a paper trimmer and stocking up on double-sided tape! The other tools you may even already have a home.

The next post will be based around THE ESSENTIAL MATERIALS for DIY Invitation Making. Check back here next week for that one. If you have any further questions about this post of about the tools of the trade please contact me via the CONTACT page or comment below.

PS: Click the links on each tool to go to a link where you can buy your essentials.

Pinterest: DIY Ideas

I am absolutely addicted to Pinterest! If you are not a part of this virtual-mood-board-making club then make sure you join us soon bacuse its so much fun and provides a great deal of inspiration. People all over the world post images from websites, their own photos and drawings onto a world wide digital “pin board”. You can ‘repin’ these images and make your own boards too. I love looking at all the DIY and craft ideas out there that people are coming up with. Here are a couple of my favorites found on Pinterest. Why not try some of these ideas out yourself! I would love to hear from you if you do :)

From Left to Right:

1. Patty pan gift wrap topper via marthastewart

Great for using up any left over patty pans when baking cup cakes, and a fun idea for kids to get into papercraft!

2. Pom Pom gift wrap via anthroplogie

Remember pom poms? How fun is this! Stick pom poms onto wrapping paper with hot glue or PVA.

3. Wish Candle Card via trendypics

Give the card then use the candle on the cake! Attach the candle with double sided tape so it can be removed.

4. Maps Heart Garland via MontclairMade

Cut-up that unused road map and create this gorgeous mobile to hang. Beautiful for travel lovers.

5. Large Scalloped Paper Garland via fellowfellow

Trace a round object onto paper and cut-out a circle. Then fold in half and cut again. Sew the shapes together to create this fun streamer.

6. Hand Painted Owl Stones via belleisleart

Find stones on the beach or buy them from a garden store. Use acrylic paints or goauche to hand-paint onto them. Add magnets or pins to the back to create a cute gift.

7. Bright Coloured Cutlery Pots via the36thavenvue

Spray paint ceramic pots bright colours, or buy some small tin buckets from a discount store. Wrap ribbons and add tags for labels.

8. Paper Clouds Mobile via gollyandgosh

Cut out three of each size cloud out of thick paper or card. Slot them into eachother by cutting a slit down the middle. Hang together with fishing wire for floating clouds.

9. Paper Heart Messages on a wedding table via marthastewart

Leave blank hearts scattered on your event table and ask guests to write messages on them, to be collected later and strung into a garland.

Happy DIY-ing!

Special Birthday Card

Over the weekend I was asked by my boyfriend’s nan to make a special birthday card for a dear friend of hers. To be honest I hadn’t made a card in ages or even touched my giant pile of craft supplies in a while. I started by making some smaller thank you cards before tackling the “really special birthday card” that had to be made. I managed to make the required forty cards including thank you cards, birthday cards and christmas cards from craft supplies I already had at home! (I have alot of craft supplies… *blush*). Here are some quick snaps of the finished “Special” card made using chipboard shapes, paper flowers, wooden numbers, paper punches and patterned papers.

Happy Crafting! It will always come back to you!

DIY Invitation Making: The Essential Tools Part #1

Hi Everyone,

Today I’ll be launching the DIY Invitation Making Series, a set of posts that will teach you all the essentials of basic invitation making and paper crafting! Create professional and amazing invitations to your next events and your friends next event (if they’re lucky!). I have been making, teaching and designing invitations now for 6 years, having worked at prestigious invitation boutiques and scrap booking stores around Melbourne.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

 Now, its time to hit up the blog with some invitation loving! As I am not teaching at the moment, I can still share and teach via the blog! Today’s post is all about THE ESSENTIALS, needed to begin your invitation-making journey. The basic materials and tools of the trade that will help you to create professional quality, hand-made invitations. My focus will be on the hand-made, layered style invitations you see, I will only be touching on printed invitations and letter pressing techniques briefly (there are many styles and techniques of invitation-making)!

THE TOP FIVE BASIC TOOLS

Tools refers to the physical objects you will need to complete the tasks in the invitation-making process, eg: cutting/scoring, etc. To do all these things efficiently and effectively there are specific tools (that are very affordable) you can use to assist you. These essential tools are:

  • PAPER TRIMMER $20-100(A flat grid device with a sliding blade, used to cut paper straight and at a specific measurement) Paper trimmers are absolutely the number one tool! You can use them for much more than invitation making too, you can use them for card making, scrap booking and cutting things to size and straight. Paper trimmers can range from around $20 to $200. If you think you will use the tool for other crafts I would suggest investing in a great trimmer. The more dear trimmers have inter-changeable blades, long lasting blades, are very smooth and often have a great grid system with fold out extensions. If you have just started crafting, I would recommend a trimmer around the $30-40 mark, these often have smaller blades and need to be replaced more often, however you can most often find replacements for cheap in craft stores. The brand I recommend for the more dear trimmer is CARL and the brand I recommend for the more affordable trimmer is FISKARS. I have used many brands and types of trimmers over the years, and these two brands are my number one choice and favorite to use. BELOW: The Carl Trimmer available at Officeworks.

  • DOUBLE-SIDED TAPE $3-9 per roll (Tape that is sticky on both sides, one side is often blocked by a peel back film. It is used as a replacement for glue and needs no drying time).  The second most important thing for the invitation making process is our adhesive! Technically it is a material, but I like to call it a tool because no crafter would be able to work without there double-sided! I go through so much of this stuff its crazy, people would think I’m addicted to double-sided tape (once you use it, you’ll understand why you’ll never touch a glue stick again!). Glue is a big NO-NO when it comes to invitation-making. It is messy, it can buckle paper and it can adhere itself to things you dont want it to, but also, once your put it on paper, you cant get it off! So in terms of double sided tape, you can buy a variety costing from $3.00 – $9.95 per roll. Scotch tape is the best, as you don’t need to peel any film off the back, its permanent, strong and the easiest to use as it comes in a dispenser. It is however, a bit more on the pricey side at $8.95 per roll of 12m. You can also buy crafter’s double sided tape, which comes in 25m rolls for $4.95. This variety requires peel back and isn’t as strong, but does the job for paper only invitations. If you need to adhere ribbon/buckles, etc then I would suggest using the scotch tape for those areas. Tape can be bought at art supplies, craft supplies, good newsagents and paper boutiques. BELOW: 3Metre Scotch Quality Double-Sided Tape available at officeworks.

 

  • SHARP SCISSORS $5-15 (Scissors with blades made for cutting ribbon or fiddly paper crafting). Sharp scissors will come in handy for cutting ribbon and trimming paper edges. Make sure not to use these scissors to cut tape, as they will soon get sticky and ruined. Scissors used for sewing crafts are often a good buy.
  • PENCIL & ERASER $0.20-4 (Erasable writing device, made from lead) A pencil is handy for measuring and sketching your designs. An eraser is needed to leave no trace of grey lead on your invitations. However, you shouldn’t need to make your paper too much as the paper trimmers have grid systems on them to measure without marking.
  • CRAFT & CUTTING MAT $5-100 (A rubber or plastic mat that protects your work surface!) Every crafter needs a craft mat to protect their desks from adhesives, paint and cuts from knives. The large green rubber mats are the best, however they can cost up to $100. I would recommend buying an A4 mat like the one here.

These are the first essentials! Watch out for the next post “The Essential Tools: Part #2″ to find out more about decorative tools and embellishment toos, the ones that will give your invitations a point of difference and that professional finish!

Back To Blogging!

Hell Lovelies!

I am finally getting back into blogging after a busy couple of months (sadly neglecting the blog). I graduated from the e-course “The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design” taught by Rachael Taylor, completed another e-course by Holly Becker on Blogging from Decor8, started my full-time work as a graphic artist and basically have been keeping fit at the gym doing weights and yoga!

But, I am back now and the blog is about to get bigger and better! Some fresh new updates to the appearance have it looking pretty jazzy (haha, yes a pun!)..and i’m feeling inspired after all this learning, so im ready to share my creativity with the world once again.

Post again soon.

Studio Book Shelf: Craft Inc.

Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco, is another great business book for crafters and creative entrepreneurs. It shares useful insight into the industry, inspires confidence and lets you in on some great secrets of the trade.Great information on getting ready for Trade shows and Marketing your brand.

Craft, Inc. is the hipster business primer for entrepreneurial crafters to turn what they do for fun into what they do for money. Pro crafter Meg Mateo Ilasco offers a step-by-step guide to everything from developing products and naming the company to writing a business plan, applying for licenses, and paying taxes. Chapters on sales, marketing, trade shows, and publicity round out the mix. Plus, in-depth interviews with such craft luminaries as Jonathan Adler, Lotta Jansdotter, Denyse Schmidt, and Jill Bliss provide inspiration and practical advice. Accessible, informative, and more than a little spunky, Craft, Inc. paves the way for today’s creative minds to become tomorrow’s trendsetters.”