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I really wanted to make our invitations myself. Phil thought I was crazy but I managed to do it!
After weeks of searching and looking through tutorials and templates, I found this gorgeous template so generously shared by roberts2b.
For the most part, the template was perfect for my needs so I will not repost the templates and the English versions. If you want to use this template, please go get it on their original post.
I did need to make a few changes, however, to make these work for me and I will allow myself to share them with you here.
Additional supplies needed for my version of the invitation:
1 large sheet of stencil plastic from AVA Paper (basically a Belgian version of Office Max but with a lovely craft section) The plastic that I purchased was simply sold with the other large sheets of paper. I’m sure most office supply stores should have something which will work
1 Lovebirds wax seal kit from Nostalgic Impressions with bronze glue gun wax
(the Lovebirds seal is available here)
1 Love stamp kit from Heyda (I found it at AVA but it is available through Amazon)
1 Love Birds stamp from Impression Obsession (on a cling mount)
Colorbox Pigment Ink pads
#15020 Turquoise and a metallic cat’s eye Queue (for the bronze)
A Dove hole punch from Artemio
Bronze ribbon from the after-Christmas sales
Blue and Bronze pens, the ones I used were:
Bronze Uni-ball Signo in a broad tip
Turquoise Stabilo Pen 68/51
A few packages of blue feathers from AVA
All of my paper was purchased at AVA
A sheet of self-adhesive rhinestones
The first thing that I did after downloading the templates was to personalize the text and translate it so that I could print both English and French versions.
I scanned a sheet of the blue paper from AVA and used Photoshop to find the RGB value of the color. Then I went through the invitations to make sure that all the blue was the right shade.
While adjusting the colors I noticed that the tree images were very pixellated and not unicolor so I spent a couple of days polishing them up as well. Here are my finished trees.
We printed the envelope template from roberts2b’s tutorial and I traced the measurements onto a piece of stencil plastic. I carefully cut it out with a craft knife and used my new stencil to trace the envelope onto pieces of A3 paper. Our dear friends Kasia and Fab came over twice during that week to help me cut out all the pieces. The pockets were folded into place and glued with a glue stick. Then the stack of envelopes was placed under a heavy book to dry.
We then had to print out the templates for the invite and happiness backing and cut my bronze paper to size.
Step three was to print out our invitation, menu, information, happiness, and RSVP pages and cut them to the correct sizes using a metal ruler, rotary cutter and self-healing rubber mat.
menu French x 2
French invite x 2
Information French x 2
happiness french x 15
RSVP French x 2
As I cut out the invitation pages, I used one of my stamps and the bronze ink pad to put a small singing bird into the branches of the tree.
It was time to assemble the invites. The info, rsvp and menu pages were slipped into the pocket. We used a glue stick (don’t use liquid glue or it will make your paper ripple!) to glue the invitations and happiness tags onto their proper backings. After the stack of invitation pages had dried under a heavy book, they were glued into place in the envelopes. Just before closing the invitation envelopes, we stuck a single ribbon inside so it would float out when opened.
The next step was to prepare the ribbons. I used a fine bladed craft knife to cut tiny slits in the backing of the happiness tags, right along the edge of the white paper so that the slits were nearly invisible. I cut the ribbons to size by wrapping a long length of it around a stack of envelopes which happened to have the right size and then cutting through the wrapped ribbon on one edge to have many pieces of uniform length.
I slipped one end of the ribbon in a slit on the happiness tag, wrapped it around an invitation and slipped the other end in. I tightened it down and slid it off of the invitation. I sealed the ribbon ends in place on the back of the tag with a small piece of clear tape.
I stuck a pair of rhinestones onto each tag and then the ribbon was slipped back into place to hold the invitation closed.
The tags were slipped back into place around the envelopes with the tag on the back so that there was nothing but ribbon over the opening.
I opened up my package of glue gun sealing wax and went to town sealing all of my invitations. Be very careful with this step! I melted a few ribbons by getting too close with the tip of the glue gun and more than once I realized far too late that I was holding the seal incorrectly. Still, it only took a few test runs before I was pumping out beautiful wax seals.
I strongly suggest buying yourself a new glue gun… as cheap as possible. This wax melts like crazy inside of the gun and I STILL haven’t gotten it all out of mine. I actually used my dirty glue gun to my advantage in another project but you’ll have to wait to see that.
Address all of your mailing envelopes. For our envelopes I used simple craft paper envelopes from the bulk office supply aisle of AVA and simply folded them to size. I used the Love Birds stamp from Impression Obsession to decorate the corner of the envelopes. Once the envelopes were addressed, I rushed out to the post office and mailed them off.
There was a TON of scrap paper left over and it saddened me to think of all that expensive paper getting thrown away. So this is when I went back to AVA and found the dove hole punch. Many a night over the next month was spent watching Netflix while I punched away at the scraps. I ended up having a very large cookie tin full of little bronze and blue birds to decorate the reception hall!
Thanks to the helping hands of my fiancé and our dear friends, the wedding invitations were finished and in the mail just before the deadline. Philippe was proud to tell everyone that I’d made the invitations myself and we received many compliments over the next week or so as the invites started appearing in people’s mailboxes.
The only complaint I overheard was that some people felt broken hearted at the thought of actually breaking the wax seal to get into the invitation. If they only knew what will be arriving in their mailboxes any day now!