Tutorials & Tips
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is having a fantabulous Chanukkah! I am completely OVER Christmas, but Chanukkah is putting a crimp in my plans to take down all the decorations...I can't store the tupperware yet because I still need to use the menorah!
And speaking of menorahs, here's something truly grand I discovered this year: how to easily get the wax out of your menorah. In the past, I've tried digging it out with bobby pins, knives, and screwdrivers. One year, I even tried putting it in the freezer.
Click here if you can't see the video (I've never shared a video before!)
I hope that helps some frustrated Jews!
Chrismukkah is over here at our house, but Chanukkah lives on. Bye-bye, tree! Till next year! (if you didn't see our tree hanging, check it out - I think it was especially lovely this year. Now it's in this body bag, aka our bed sheet, ready to be dragged through our condo complex and out to the street!).
If any of you are readers of So You’re Engayged, you may have seen my guest post yesterday about Wedding Invitation Wording. A lot of the brides and grooms who come to me for their illustrated wedding invitations already have their invitation wording worked out, which is fabulous. But if you don’t, you might find some of these tips helpful.
Wording for wedding invitations can be a laborious process of answering questions like, “who is paying for this wedding?” and “do we include my ex-step-dad?” At the end of the day, most of your guests aren’t even going to notice it; in reality, the wording for wedding invitations tends to matter most to people in your immediate family (read: the people who think their names should be on the invitation and may be offended if they’re not). As you will soon find out (if you haven’t already) weddings are usually end up being about family, so sometimes it’s best to err on the side of honoring your close family members, rather than doing what’s most simple (just because you don’t feel like dealing with it).
If you’re a non-traditional couple, things might be a bit easier for you because you’re not concerned with formalities (ie, whose name goes first, whether you write “two thousand twelve” or “two thousand and twelve”). In case you’re curious, you can find a full list of the “correct” etiquette for wedding invitation wording from Martha Stewart.
Meanwhile, I’ll share with you guys some of the choices my previous clients have used, and a few of my other favorites:
Short and Sweet:
Together with their parents
invite you to celebrate their wedding
Dinner and Dancing to Follow
invite you to share in their love
as they celebrate their marriage
on Date at Time
located at Address
Reception to follow
joyfully request the pleasure of your company
at their wedding celebration
Dinner and Dancing to Follow
A little bit more involved:
Because your love and friendship
have helped us become who we are
we invite you to share in our joy
with a celebration of love and commitment
Reception immediately following
And for something extra cute and personal, list some of your favorite things to do together:
They have been
scrabble opponents and biking buddies
cat parents and business partners
but most of all they have been best friends.
as they come together in marriage
Dinner and Dancing to Follow
If you’re willing to think outside of the box, you can come up with all sorts of fun and non-cheesy ideas. For a few more ideas, check out:
If you would like to include your family members (especially if your family is large or complicated), you might check out this page, which has pretty much every combination you can think of.
Did any of you create wedding invitation wording that you truly loved, or have you come across something creative? Of so, I’d love it if you would share in the comments!Comment
This post should actually be titled, “Why I don’t recommend postcard Save the Dates, but postcard RSVPs are okay.” But that was too long (haha).
When I was planning my own wedding, one of my first projects was creating our Save the Dates. At the time, Save the Date magnets and postcards were super hip. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on magnets, so I decided on postcards. I slaved over the drawing for the postcard, and when I sent them out, I expected at least some comments from our friends and family.
Not a peep, I kid you not.
Rather than admit to myself that my awesome Save the Dates weren’t as cool as I thought they were, I decided to think logically rather than emotionally. The following are my excuses for the radio silence (which have since been substantiated by the not-so-scientific experiments of mailing myself postcards).
Reasons why Save the Date postcards are a bad idea
- Postcards are easily missed. In the sea of junk mail people receive, they can get lost in the shuffle or accidentally slip into a Penny Saver and get sent straight to the recycling bin.
- Postcards can get absolutely mangled in the mail. My not-so-scientific experiments involved sending myself 10 postcards. All of them were scuffed up and torn, and sometimes the postmark was on the wrong side of the postcard, totally smeared and obscuring the image.
- Allegedly, postcards are lost more often than regular envelopes. I’m not sure if I believe this (we used postcard RSVPs, too, and I received every single one that was sent). However, other stationers swear by this statement, so I thought it was worth including.
- Save the Dates in envelopes are more formal than postcards. This may or may not matter to you.
- Getting something in a pretty envelope is just more exciting! I love getting a colorful envelope in the mail. And with a boatload of awesome envelope colors to choose from with Stinkerpants, your envelope will grab your guests’ attention and will not be boring.
- Postcards will only save you $50 bucks, on average. One of the main arguments for sending postcards instead of cards in envelopes is cost savings. But think of it this way: if you send 100 postcard Save the Dates, you’ll save $35 on classy A6 envelopes and $16 on postage (because postcards are cheaper to mail than regular envelopes). That’s $51. And at the end of the day, what’s $51? After you’ve spent so much time and money creating the Save the Dates themselves, it would be a shame to have them ruined because of $51.
Those are some pretty good arguments against postcard Save the Dates, don’t you think?
Make no mistake, however: I am not opposed to postcards in and of themselves. Most of the reasons above relate to your guests’ experience of receiving the postcards. After all, this Save the Date is the first impression they’ll have of your event, and you want it to be a good one.
I have a completely different take on postcard RSVPs, which were also gaining in popularity around the time of my wedding.
Reasons why it’s totally okay to send postcard RSVPs
- When your guests see the postcards, they’re in perfect condition. And once they get to you, it doesn’t really matter if they’re mangled. Hopefully you’ve kept a few in perfect condition for your scrapbook.
- They might fit with your invitation design better. Our wedding invitations were tri-fold invitations, and it made more sense to include a postcard, rather than an RSVP in an envelope. I was able to use a removable glue dot to stick the RSVP to the paper, which worked very well.
- You’re expecting them, so you’re less likely to miss them. If you’re waiting to receive your RSVPs, you’re going to check inside that Penny Saver to make sure none of them are stuck in there.
- Postcards will save you $50 bucks, on average. Okay, so it’s only $48.50 per 100 RSVPs (for A2 size envelopes and postage), but heck: if it doesn’t matter what they look like when they get to you, why not?
And there you have it: Stinkerpants’ basic list of pros and cons of postcards as both Save the Dates and RSVPs. As a stationer and semi-newlywed, I’ve had experience both personally and with my clients. Hope it was helpful! If you have anything to add below, feel free!Comment
Are you patiently waiting for the second part of the sandwich board table tents tutorial? Well, here it is! And here is a handy link to Part One.
Last we left off, you’d finished all your cuts. Good job! You rock. Now, let’s get organized.
You should have:
- Two pieces of book board measuring 9.5″ x 6.5″
- Two pieces of “big” text paper measuring 8″ x 11″
- Two pieces of “small” text paper measuring 6″ x 9″
- One piece of scrap text paper measuring 4″ x 9″ (just throw this off to the side for later)
- 13 or so strips of book cloth measuring 15″ x 2″
Here’s a visual guide. The numbers above serve as kind of a legend.
Step 1: Gluing the first piece
You’re going to do steps 1 and 2 twice, for each piece of book board. Get excited!
Step 1A: Stick it down
Get your PVA glue, one piece of bookboard and one piece of “big” text paper ready. You also should cover your work surface with some kind of paper (be careful using newspaper, though! You don’t want the ink to transfer to your paper and ruin your board!).
Using a brush, brush some PVA onto your bookboard piece. Cover the entire thing. Don’t put it on too thick, or too thin. It should be thick enough to look white, but not so thick that it drips. Now carefully and slowly center it, face down, in the middle of your big text paper piece.
Flip it over and use your fingers to carefully smooth out as many of the bubbles as you can. Make sure you don’t have any glue on your fingers first!
Step 1B: A bit more glue…
Flip the whole thing over again, and use your brush to put PVA on the edges of the text paper. The best way to do this is to start at the edge of the bookboard and brush out. If you have a piece of paper down (and you should!), you can brush the glue from the text paper and onto your work area so every bit of paper is coated.
Step 1C: Finishing it
Now that all your edges are glued, start folding them in, one at a time. The edges on the left and right are smaller than the ones at the top and bottom, so start with them. Smooth out the bubbles as you fold each side. You should end up with something that looks like the drawing below. The paper should be tight around the bookboard, so it’s pretty much the same size as the book board was when you started with it.
Step 2: Covering the rest of the bookboard
Go get your “small” piece of text paper (#3). Cover one side in glue and then (slowly and carefully) center it over the exposed book board, like so:
Now, with glue-free fingers, smooth out the bubbles.
Step 3: Repeat.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your remaining pieces of book board, “big” text paper, and “small” text paper.
Now you have two. Yay!
Step 4: Stick ‘em Together.
Go get one of your pieces of book cloth, and lay them out like this:
You’re going to glue them into this position. Don’t put the pieces of book board right up against one another, or it won’t bend at all and you won’t be able to stand it up. I’ve found that 1/4″ between the two works pretty well, but use your judgment.
Coat the book cloth piece in PVA on the un-pretty side, and lay your pieces in place. Then fold the book cloth sides into the middle. Flip it over and push out any bubbles. In the 1.4″ gap between the two pieces of bookboard, use your fingernail or the edge of a spoon to make a nice crease–the book cloth should get stuck to the other side, so it’s very thin. Try to make it pretty. :)
Step 5: Standing them up, Part 1 .
Keep in mind that your setup isn’t dry yet, so it’s fragile. Try not to move it too much.
Don’t try it right now, but trust me: if you were to try to stand your sandwich board up when it’s dry, it wouldn’t stay standing. It would slide apart and flatten itself on the table. Not cool. As a result, we need to keep the bottoms of the boards together, so they don’t slide. That’s what the ribbon’s for.
You can see the ribbon at the base of each sandwich board, in this photo:
This is where that little scrap piece (#4 from above) comes in. Cut out two pieces measuring around 2″ x 2″. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Also, grab your piece of ribbon.
Glue one side of your ribbon at the bottom of one of the bookboard pieces, in the center (as pictured below). You’ll want to use about 1/2″ of the ribbon for this part, and not too much more. Aside from the 1/2″ you’ve glued to the bookboard, you should have about 6.5″ of ribbon hanging off the bottom. You’ll use that later–for now, just let it hang.
Then, cover one side of the 2″ scrap piece with glue, and glue over the top of the ribbon. This will hide the top of the ribbon and add more support. Push out any air bubbles.
Step 6: Let it Dry.
Let it dry. Do not skip this step, or you will be sad. Or angry. Or both.
My recommendation is to let this dry overnight. You don’t want the whole thing falling apart!
If you’re making multiple sandwich boards, you can set this one aside and repeat steps 1-5 for all of them. Tomorrow, you can move on to Step 7 for all of them.
Step 7: Standing them Up, Part 2
Why hello again! I hope you had a wonderful sleep last night! Your sandwich board should be all dry now, waiting for you.
Pick up your sandwich board and gently move it back and forth a little to stretch out any glue that might have hardened the book cloth. Now, try to stand it up. See how it falls down? You need to finish attaching the ribbon to keep this from happening. Can you imagine if you had no ribbon?! The disasters, I tell you! ;)
Basically, you’re going to repeat Step 5 from yesterday, but it won’t be as easy because you can’t lay the sandwich board flat anymore. This may require some finagling on your part. Also, it’s hard for me to draw what you have to do, so this is what I’ve got:
Basically, you have to work with the ribbon, glue and scrap piece of paper while the board is folded.
Then, put it on its side and let it dry. Don’t try to stand it up, or the ribbon you just glued will fall off. Don’t let it dry with both boards touching, or they may end up glued together.
And that’s it! After it’s all dry, your beautiful sandwich board is ready to be personalized for your purposes.
This is my first real tutorial, so I’m not sure that I was 100% clear on every step. If you have any questions, please let me know! I will be happy to answer them in the comments!Comment
A sandwich BOARD, that is. A long time ago, a couple of people expressed interest in learning how I made the sandwich boards for my wedding table numbers. I got an email yesterday from a friend of a friend (hi Sara!) who wanted some info as well, so I thought I’d draft something up. :)
So here we are! A tutorial!
The supplies are pretty minimal, actually.
For each board, you will need:
1) One piece of 9.5″ x 13″ book board (for a finished sandwich board measuring 9.5″ tall x 6.5″ wide):
Cost: $1.35, Paper Source. For some reason, the website only shows 9.5″ x 11″. Weird.
2) One container of PVA (this will get you through MANY projects):
Cost: $7, Paper Source.
3) One sheet of 26″ x 20″ text weight paper in your color of choice (this is the main color of your board. You will get one completed sandwich board out of each sheet):
Cost: $.60, Paper Source.
4) One sheet of book cloth (this will get you through most, if not all, of your sandwich boards. If you doing multiple colors of sandwich boards like I did, make sure you choose a book cloth color that will match all of your main colors.) You can also use bookcloth tape. I used this for my later sandwich boards, and it’s easier than cutting book cloth. I wasn’t sure if it’s available everywhere, though, so I’m also including instructions on how to cut your bookcloth. If you go the bookcloth tape route, buy the 2″ width.
Cost: $6, Paper Source.
5) 7 inches of ribbon. Cost varies, and you can get this wherever you want. I collect ribbon scraps, so this didn’t cost me anything.
6) Other random tools: a cheapy brush, like one of those foam disposables, a exact-o knife and a ruler.
Tips before you start:
–I recommend doing all of your cutting first. If you are doing multiple boards, figure out how many you will need and do all the cutting for ALL of them before you do any assembly.
–Get some large sheets of scrap paper (or preferably, plain kraft paper–I took some from work. I don’t know where else you can get this). I wouldn’t recommend using newspaper, because the glue might cause the ink to smear and get all over your paper. That would be bad.
Step 1: Cut your bookboard.
Use your exacto knife and your ruler to cut your supplies (use the ruler as a guide for your exacto knife, and cut along the side of it. If you are using a ruler with cork or foam on the bottom, make sure the cork/foam faces UP. Otherwise your exacto knife will slip). A paper cutter won’t work because most of these sheets are too big to fit in one. All you will need to do for the bookboard is cut it in half:
(a guide to the cuts: BLACK are the dimensions before cutting. THICK RED lines with no arrows are cuts. RED LINES WITH ARROWS are the dimensions after cutting.)
You should now have two pieces of bookboard, which measure 9.5″ x 6.5″. Put these off to the side.
Step 2: Cut your text sheet:
If you will notice, there are two cuts on this sheet. I have labeled them “1″ an “2″. Do cut #1 first, then #2. You should now have three pieces of paper. One measures 11″ x 16″, one measures 9″ x 16″, and the other measures 10″ x 20″. Put the 10″ x 20″ piece off to the side somewhere–this is scrap. Now we need to cut the two remaining pieces again.
Cut the 16″ x 11″ piece into two. The two pieces resulting should be 8″ x 11″.
Cut the 16″ x 9″ piece twice. Two of the remaining pieces should be 6″ x 9″, and one should be 4″ x 9″. The 4″ x 9″ inch piece is scrap, but you will need a bit of it later. Put it off to the side.
Step 3: Cut your Book Cloth.
The point of these cuts is to make as many 15″ x 2″ strips as possible.
There is one major cut here…cut the bookcloth into two pieces (cut 1) measuring 15″ x 27″ and 4.5″ x 27″. The piece measuring 4.5″ x 27″ is a scrap, but if you need more than 13 strips, you can get 4 more strips out of this piece. If you don’t need more than 13 sandwich boards total, put this piece off to the side. Now let’s move on.
Take the piece measuring 15″ x 27″ and cut strips measuring 15″ x 2″. You should end up with 13.
Step 4: Jump for Joy, because the cutting is finished!!
This tutorial is going to be *really* long if I post the entire process here, so I’m going to separate it into two posts. Click here for Part 2!Comment
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