So once I have the general plan for my parties, the next most important thing is the invitations. You can do a digital version or an e-vite but there is something that is kind of nice about the handwritten or handmade invitation. And with a small enough guest list, these can be done fairly quickly. For both of the parties I am hosting this year I decided to go the handmade route. To do so here are supplies I used and you may want to use:
- Embellishments like flowers, tags, stickers
- Ink or ink pads
- Markers or colored pens
- Christmas paper – these can be scraps too
- Solid card stock paper
- Printable paper
- Cricut and circuit tools or similar device
- Cricut letter cartridge of choice or that fits your device
- Pencil and eraser
- Glue or adhesive
- Card sized envelops
- Paper cutter
- Sticker maker
Putting It All Together…Words First
Once you have gathered your supplies, I suggest starting with the words first. You can find the wording I used for the Serar Christmas Potluck on my post titled Countdown to Christmas: Christmas Party – Planning. For the sit-down dinner on Christmas day, we have everyone bring something from our traditional meal to divide the workload. I used similar wording but instead of leaving it open as to what everyone was bringing, I included in their invitation what I would like each family to bring.
For the invites themselves, I decided that I would rather print out, in a fun font, the words for the invite portion rather than write them by hand. Not only would the invites be consistent but it would save me time. To do this, I needed to determine the inside measurement of the card. Look at the measurements of the envelop. Give yourself about 1/4 of an inch difference on the length and width to get the dimensions of the card. To get the inside “sticker”, you then subtract another 1/4 of an inch to give you an 1/8 inch surround. For a quick example: The envelops measure 5.5 x 4.5 inches. The card itself would need to be 4.25×5.25 inches and the insert I would be attaching would need to be 4×5 inches.
These new measurements will be what you need to set your margins to on your page for printing. So 4×5 inches in my example. I used MSWord and since I could fit two on one sheet, I made sure that the wording for one invite fit within the height size limits and then copied and pasted the second on to the same sheet. I printed them on a fun printable confetti paper. Next, I used my paper cutter to cut them to the decisions I had initially measured. I wanted the insert to have some character and not just be plain so I took an antique brown ink pad and rubbed it on the edges of the paper to give a more antiqued looked. I followed with a silver ink pad and repeated the process to add some sheen to it. Once finished I set them aside for later use.
Nothing Happens without the Basics…In This Case the Card Base
Next, I needed to create the card base. As I wanted to use patterned and textured elements on the card itself, I opted for a solid card base. I did however use a metallic card stock. I would recommend card stock or heavy weight paper as the card needs to have some stiffness to it. To cut the card, I simply went back to my measurements from before. So in my example above the card needed to be 4.25×5.25. First, I cut the width by cutting a 12×12 card stock on my cutter at 5.25 inches. Since the card had to be folded, I doubled the height measurement so it was 8.5 inches and cut the card stock to that length. (If you happen to cut the card in half, you can always make it a post card…yes I have done that.) In order to make it easier to fold, I placed the cut to size cardstock in the cutter and aligned the bottom at the 4.25 inch mark so that half was on each side of the bar. DO NOT CUT. See why with postcard comment above. I next took my embosser tool and scored the card at the midway point. I did this about three times to get a good crease. Once removed, I folded it and set it aside.
Its All in The Details
The best part about creating your own cards is you get to customize it to your desires with embellishments. I wanted it to read “Serar Party” so that meant I needed letters. I could have cut these out on my own but they would not have been uniformed and it would have taken me forever. So I cheated and got out my Cricut, which I LOVE! I picked the Mickey Font cartridge because it was fat and more casual. I did all the prep for the letters and let the Cricut get to work. Once it was done cutting, I removed the letters and added a little detail by taking black ink and rimming the edges. With all the detail on the letters themselves, I felt they needed some definition to help them show up.
Next, I decided to go the easy route again. I used my Xyron Sticker Maker. For anyone who has spent time painstakingly gluing or putting adhesive on letters or other small embellishments this is a major
life time saver. You simply load the embellishment into the machine, turn the knob, cut the strip and voila…all your elements are adhesive backed and ready to be adhered. As much as I love my Cricut, I would say it is an equal love affair for my Xyron Sticker Maker. I don’t use it for everything, although you could. But boy does it come in handy for the little things or tedious things.
Getting the Card Dressed Up So It Can Go
Once all the parts are ready, its just a matter of putting it all together. After all, it has some place to go, so it needs to get dressed up. I always glue the inside first as its flat on flat. If I started with the 3-D elements, they might get crushed or it might be difficult to get the insert to lay right. Its simply a matter of applying adhesive, centering on the inside and sticking down. Next is the front. I had some cool little black, gold and red wreath cutouts that I had snagged from Christmas cards my husband’s work received from previous years and simply added a border using scraps to give it more dimension. I glued it on and then did a pealed and stick routine with my letters. I love the kind of haphazard placement and it saves room.
All dressed up and ready to go. The only thing left to do was put them in their envelops and send them on their way.