DIY: Clearly Natural Wedding Stationery and Crafts Volume 2 Invitations by @RuthlessCrafts
Welcome to Clearly Natural Wedding Stationery Volume 2: Invitations! The invitations—le piece de resistance! This is what started this whole slew of projects; once Cody and Landon got engaged I offered my crafting services for their invites and anything else they wanted me to do. Honestly, I can’t believe how well these turned out; I mean I knew they’d be cool but I didn’t think they’d be THIS cool!
Here’s what I used:
Double-stick fabric tape
Postage stamps (first class and postcard)
Clear photo corners
Clear craft glue
Landon had the idea to use a tree and its parts as imagery; I suggested picking an oak tree because they’re native to some parts of Minnesota, have a strong root system, last for decades and I could use the iconic oak leaf and acorn as images. I kept the font suite I used in the Save the Dates throughout the invites and other projects for consistency. Landon provided me with the invitation wording they selected and I made it pretty.
Cutting the acrylic was easy once I got the hang of it. I used my large cutting mat on the floor. To keep the metal straight edge from slipping I used double-stick fabric tape on it and attached a smaller piece of acrylic at the top to create my own T-square. The acrylic comes with film on both sides so I didn’t have to worry about scratching it with the straight edge. I scored the first line with the full blade across the film and then scored 3-4 more times using the hook part of the blade. You know you’re doing it right when it sounds like nails down a chalkboard and there are little strings of plastic coming off the blade. For larger cuts I needed more resistance in order to snap the acrylic cleanly so I put some scrap wood pieces on top of the acrylic in line with the cut, stood on them and pulled the acrylic board up toward me until it snapped. The sound is reminiscent of a balloon popping. Then I cut the remaining film with the blade. Toward the end of this part of the project I would score the acrylic with all the cuts needed and then snap them all sequentially.
Once the invitation image was set I horizontally rotated it so that once it was printed the ink-side would adhere to the acrylic leaving the shiny side of the transparency on the top. I knew I needed to adhere the printed ink-jet transparencies to the acrylic in some fashion; originally I thought I’d be able to use a clear glue of some sort so I did some research and went glue shopping. The aerosol glues are indeed clear but they are not clearly transparent. They left a cool clear texture but it wouldn’t work for this project so I moved on. I hit a wall when I realized I would not be able to use glue on all parts of the transparency; the ink-friendly side has a slight texture to it that makes tiny air bubbles when wet glue is applied. Double-stick tape around the edges of the design worked well but the process was way too laborious so I ended up using a clear liquid craft glue around the edges of the design.
I printed 2 invites per transparency and once printed cut the transparency down the middle to separate the two. Knowing I wanted a seamless edge once glued to the acrylic, I opted to trim off the excess transparency after gluing it to the acrylic. Once trimmed, they were ready to be inserted into the envelopes.
I lucked out and found clear A9 envelopes that were USPS approved on Amazon. Perfect size, perfect price and perfectly clear. I had the idea to have the “to” and “from” addresses mounted inside the envelope; I purchased clear photo corners for the mounting part. Using one of the envelopes I created a template by tracing the outlines of where items needed to be mounted so I could stick the photo corners in the right spots. I binder-clipped the template envelope to each envelope to ensure accuracy. I trimmed the long edge off the photo corners with scissors and used tweezers to place the corners in the envelopes using my template envelope as a guide.
I used an address label template but printed them out on the Moonrock cardstock and cut them with my guillotine cutter. The “to” addresses were printed in purple and the “from” addresses were in green. The “to” addresses were centered on the folded map/info card using a piece of double-stick tape. Once everything was printed and adhered I mounted them into their respective locations using the photo corners in the envelopes. The return addresses were mounted in the back of the envelope so as to not distract from the view of the front side.
Cody and Landon had a fair amount of information that needed to be included with the invitations. After bouncing around a few ideas I showed them a flyer I made on an 8½” x 11” piece of paper that folded into a roughly 3” x 4” piece of paper; the “to” address would be printed on a separate piece of cardstock and adhered to the folded map/info card. The idea was to have readable information inserted but maintain as much of the clear invite/envelope as possible. I printed the map/info card on vellum; it was the best solution design-wise (vellum is transparent) and also for mailing purposes (the entire envelope, once full, needed to be under 1/4” otherwise it would cost more). I used some tape on my guillotine cutter ruler as guidelines of where to fold and then went over all the creases carefully with my bone folder so the vellum didn’t tear.
I love postcards; they’re so fun and easy to make. The cardstock I purchased from LCIPaper.com is called “Moonrock;” it’s made with recycled materials so I thought that was pretty cool. It’s off-white and has tiny flecks in it. I created a template on Word so 2 postcards would print per page. The back image is a copyright-free image that was stylistically perfect. I tweaked the tonal quality a bit to match the green in the invite. I test-printed the front template with the back template so they lined up perfectly. Once both sides were printed I cut them using my guillotine cutter. I mostly eyeballed the measurements; the back image just barely fit so I used that as my guide. I ordered the postcard stamps on USPS.com and picked the Hummingbird as it fit nicely with the nature theme. The postcards were then folded in half using the bone folder and inserted in the middle of the folded map/info card.
Once everything was inside the envelope I checked to make sure there was no dirt or other debris in it and then sealed them up. I ordered the stamps from USPS.com after calculating the cost using their tool and my previous experience in mailing this type of item. Before placing the stamps on the envelopes I went to the Post Office to double-check my postage calculations; in case I needed more I could buy it then. I was right on the money (although there were a small handful of postal issues once they were mailed… in hindsight I could have labeled the front addresses with “To”) so the stamps got placed on the envelopes and then they all got mailed.
Here’s the final result! Tell me what you think in the comments below! Check out Volume 3: Favors next!
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