Thursday, May 13, 2010

DIY Envelope Liners & Decoration

We set the date for our engagement party!

It's going to be on Saturday, June 5th and it's being hosted by a friend of my mom! I'm so excited because Aaron and I have waited nearly 7 months to have this party. We were engaged in October 2009, and ever since then, we've wanted to have a party to celebrate! We couldn't do it in November or December because of the busy Christmas holiday. Then the blizzards that paraylzed the mid-Atlantic shot our plans to have a Valentine's Day themed party in February.

I hope I don't sound selfish when I say, I truly feel that we deserve this...

Aaron and I have weathered a lot as a couple. We've been together for almost 5 years and this last year has been tremendous for us. Not only did we get engaged, we've both made advancements in our careers and we've also managed to stick together through some tough times; namely, my stepfather passing away. I think our relationship deserves a celebration. After all, marriage is big deal. It's a right of passage and we should celebrate every minute of this journey to becoming one. This leap of faith into an institution a lot of people don't believe in anymore.

In all my anxiousness I took over some of the planning...

Not everyone thinks it's totally appropraite that I've been so involved in the process, but I've enjoyed it and I'm not one to sit back and let others do everything for me. Plus, I got involved where I wanted to get involved. My project has been the invitations. I wanted the invitations to be beautiful and I also wanted to exercise my DIY skills and put into action all that I've read about and seen online -- especially DIY envelope liners. 

It all began at ACMoore. I was really excited when I step foot in the store because it felt like I was finally embarking upon all that I had read about online. I was finally taking a stab at creating something for my wedding, which I have daydreamed about doing for a long time. Here I was, begining my journey as a real DIY bride! Ahh. I had so much hope from all the wonderful wedding bloggers. I felt as if all those brides that had blogged and been married before me where right there by my side saying, "You can do it! Go for it!" 

I bought everything I needed (after about 6 trips)...

 I highly recommend making a list before you hit the store. I also suggest buying more than you need, rather than a few samples, because it will save you a lot of time and gas. It took me quite a few trips before I actually got all my materials...

1. One Package of 50 Invitations and Envelopes (from Staples)
2. One very pretty "Love in Bloom," rubber stamp (from ACMoore)
3. One pad of silver ink (from ACMoore)
4. Pretty cardstock (from ACMoore)
5. Double-sided tape (also purchased from Staples)
6. Scissors

Designing the actual invitation was the hardest part...

I needed to figure out what the invitation was going to look like before I went shopping for stuff to dres sup the envelopes. I worked for days (literally, some very long days, when Aaron thought my rear was super glued to the desk chair) designing the actual invite. After at least 2 weekends of fiddling with different ideas (see the sneak peek here), I finally decided on a very simple design with a ring box at the top of the invite and gray lettering (I'll have pictures of the invite posted soon).

Lining the envelopes was fun once I found my rhythm!

I found a lot of tutorials online. I read instructions on how to line envelopes from Martha Stewart (here) and watched videos on how to do it (here), but the most helpful tutorial was right here. I don't know what it was about the way this gal explained her methods, but it wasn't until I read her instructions that I got it. 

For some reason I had a really tough time cutting out the template. I tried and tried and could not get my template to resemble the shape of the envelope. Aaron eventually stepped in and as simple as 1, 2, 3, cut it perfectly. Here's a picture of it:

Using this template, I drew an outline on the back side of the cardstock and cut is with scissors. It's really not helpful to use a cutting machine because of the rounded corners, but with a few extra hands, the cutting was pretty easy. This is my mom cutting the outline:

The next step was sliding the paper into the envelope. A lot of people, including myself were surprised to find out that the cardstock goes all the way down to the bottom of the envelope. I wouldn't suggest trying to save paper and changing this. If the cardstock does not extend to the bottom, I don't think it will stay in place.

I used the lip of the envelope and folded it down onto the cardstock once I slipped it in the envelope and centered it. This created a crease in the cardstock that I could use as a guide for placing the tape. I pulled the lip back up and applied either two or three pieces of double sided tape around the triangular part of the cardstock you see here: 

Note that double-sided tape is tricky to work with. You have to be careful laying it on the paper smoothly because bumps will show through.

When you're ready to adhere the cardstock to the envelope, do so by folding the envelope lip down onto the cardstock rather than lying the cardstock down on the lip. Pressing the lip down works a lot better.

On my first trip to ACMoore, I saw this great rubber stamp that said, "Love in Bloom," and I really wanted to buy it, but I didn't because I thought it was too expensive. Instead, I bought a packet of other wedding-related stamps that were on sale. I wasn't crazy about any of them and I honestly could not get the "Love in Bloom," stamp out of my mind. So I eventually broke down and went back to purchase this one. Overall, I'd say it was worth every penny of $6.99. What do you think?

Make sure when you use a stamp as large as this one, you cover the entire thing with ink. I can't tell you the number of envelopes I threw out because only half the stamp appeared. Also, press down really hard when you're applying the stamp because that will help the image appear bolder. As you can see, I stood up to press down on the stamp:

I also used the double-sided tape dispenser to hold back the lip of the envelope as I applied the stamp. Otherwise I would get a smudge of ink on the lip of the envelope and while most people probably wouldn't notice, the finished product doesn't look as clean.

Here she is in all her glory (click the picture to see it larger):

Sorry you can't see the stamp too well in these pictures. I'm also sorry I didn't upload a picture of the actual invitation. I don't know what I was thinking! I will get those up either this evening or some time tomorrow so that if you're really curious, you can check back.

I hope you like my DIY design! If this tutororial was super confusing, I apologize. Check out this tutorial by Mrs.Pineapple over at Weddingbee! It's the only reason I was able to do this in the first place.

What DIY projects are you working on?

Do you invitations include any DIY extras?


JEM - Aqua Bride said...

All my paper products were complete DIY. I really love those envelopes and briefly entertained the thought of doing them but alas there's already too much on my plate. Come on over and enter my giveaway for 100 postcards.


awh i love your DIY invitations. My save the dates were DIY, It was a lot of work but fun too :)

And thx for what you said about my illustrating. You're totally right that my blog is just an extension of it. It's another creative outlet for me. I would love to get back to it though.

Hope you're having a wonderful week! xoxo


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