Monday, September 7, 2015

making my own birthday invitations

In some ways, making something for myself is the easiest, but in some ways its far more challenging than any other kind of project. Maybe because I have all of these random ideas bubbling up and have trouble deciding on any one, maybe because I'm a terrible fickle client, who knows. I decided to throw a birthday party for myself this year (it's a big one, so it seemed appropriate) and when I finally decided on a plan (park picnic with lawn games) I figured I'd let myself indulge in a bit of party planning and decoration cuteness, just to get it out of my system I guess. So in addition to planning an elaborate menu of snacks and doing a bunch of balloon decorations and party favors (more on those later) I made real invitations. Crazy right? And then I sent them in the main----even crazier!
So I spent an afternoon just doodling around with supplies figuring out a plan and then producing a small run of these. I started by pulling out all the colored envelopes I have leftover from other things and picked the turquoise ones which started me on a color pallet. Then I decided that I wanted to do a sort of die-cut style illustration for the front of the card, so I drew up this portrait of myself as a panda, scanned it into the computer and and sized it so that I could get two cards out of an standard sheet of card stock. I did a few versions of the colors in the panda's dress and balloons before I settled on the final version.

Then it was time to come up with the interior. I was struggling with what to say in the card, how to convey it, so eventually I just wrote something up that sounded sort of conversational, and then lettered it out with ink, scanned it and cleaned it up, and printed it out on vellum. I used the edge of the panda on the front of the card as a template for designing the interior so that when the card is closed only the left side of the text is visible, and then when you open it up you get all the additional information.

As I wanted some more color on the interior of the card, I also cut down some grass green paper to layer behind the vellum in the interior, then I stacked all three pieces together and ran them through the sewing machine to attache them all together.

(I also decided the panda needed to be saying something and I sort of just went for the most obvious as you can see here, it seemed appropriate!)
Finally, I cut up some confetti from the leftover bits of paper scattered across my desk, piled it in each card and put them in their envelopes. I used these giant neon orange price stickers I've had forever but never had a project for, and addressed them with ink. The ones that were sent through the mail had a collection of colorful stamps as well. And in just a few hours, I had a pile of invitations ready to drop in the mail, and deliver around to various people. I always feel like invitations set the tone for an event and so I'm hoping these get people excited for a festive little shindig. I've always loved receiving colorful and exciting mail (ie-anything other than bills) so I figure other people probably enjoy it too and I was happy to spice up the mailbox for a day.

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