April 11, 2010

DIY Die-Cut Invites

Posted in Deals, DIY Projects at 10:23 am by Elizabeth Nixon

Yes, “do-it-yourself” and “die-cut” are usually mutually exclusive. But that didn’t stop me from doing it. Well, not exactly die cutting…I cut them out myself with scissors!

It’s not that insane, really! I promise! I did 20 per night as easy as can be and was finished within a week. As long as you’re comfy with a pair of scissors, it’s an affordable way to achieve a nice little detail.

I was inspired to do it by my graphic designer’s original invitation design (the one mine is based on), which called for die cutting in this shape. But we priced it, and it would have cost around $300 at the die cutter’s. If I’d had that extra money, I still might not have gone the professional route. It would have necessitated mailing the invites to them, spending precious time communicating via phone and email, shipping, handling and insurance costs, plus, they informed me that 10 percent are usually spoiled. Well, by employing a pair of scissors, I saved myself from wasted time and invitation spoilage. Not-a-one got messed up!

Here is what they looked like before the cutting:

Note: the pink color is actually not that bright in person, it’s more of a peach/dusty rose color.

When I first commissioned my graphic designer to help out with the design process, I figured I would do this fancy shape after I letterpress printed them. I thought maybe I could use a Cricut to pull it off. The cartridge Accent Essentials has a very similar shape. But when I bought the cartridge and my Cricut Create off Craigslist, I realized it didn’t allow me to cut it large enough. The machine just refused to cut it any larger than 5″ or so. But, for those of you with a larger Cricut, you might be able to pull it off!

The way I did it was I had my graphic designer email me the shape, then I actually fiddled with the exact size on my computer, printed it out, cut it out, then traced the shape onto a piece of hard folderboard my letterpress mentor had kindly supplied me. He thought it would make a perfect cutting-out template, and it did!

Here’s my template:

Then I traced the design onto my invites using an electric pencil to get a nice, fine line and cut them out with a pair of sharp scissors. All those years of cutting out hundreds of Victorian-era paper dolls paid off!

I’m probably going to cut out my programs as well. I think I’m going to turn my programs into fans by gluing popsicle sticks to the backs after I’ve cut them out. But then, I might need a backing piece of paper, don’t you think?

Wouldn’t it be cute to use a favorite wedding-themed children’s book art as the backing paper?

Maybe like Frog Went A-Courting, adapted and illustrated by Nina Barbaresi.

This little story perfectly captures the essence of our down-home, backyard wedding. And Mama Paisley is a children’s librarian, so this would be like a little tribute to her as well.

I know, I know, there are copyright issues (y’all pointed that out to me when I photocopied some fabric to create envelope liners, and so I had to take that post down!), thus, I’m not going to say whether I’m actually going to do this.

Have any of you gone the DIY route with your invitation suite? Or have you used unique shapes in your paper goods to make them stand out?

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