May 11, 2010

Last-Minute Map-Making

Posted in DIY Projects at 6:37 pm by Elizabeth Nixon

Like justbefore I licked my invitation envelopes shut, it dawned on me that I must have a wedding map. Let me explain: I have the bare minimum when it comes to an invitation suite, which I printed myself. I only have one envelope, the invitation and a reply card/envelope. No tri-fold enclosure, ribbons, inner envelope or other extra goodies.

I knew I loved the simplicity of my invitation suite, but I thought a map would be a nice touch. So I sat down with my drawing pad, Googled around for inspiration from various artists of wedding maps, then drew my own map design. An hour later I was satisfied. I finished it by coloring it in with colored pencils. I used pencil shavings on a cotton ball (using the cotton ball to smear the color onto the paper) to achieve the dreamiest, most blended color.

Well, I know you want to see it already, so here is a portion of it:

Since it is a map to our wedding, I can’t show all of it. That is about half of it.

If you want to create your own, try Google mapping the area near your wedding site, and print it out. Then freehand or use tracing paper to capture the roads and add mountains, lakes and cute details pertaining to your wedding location or personal style.

Draw first in pencil, then, once you’re satisfied, outline everything in pen and add color either with colored pencils (I used Prismacolor) watercolor, or other medium.

Among other details, I drew a waterskier, a seaplane, a bicycle and personalized wine bottle. And of course, lots of grapes!

I also created a horseshoe compass and put our initials on it, since the horseshoe is my “Irish tradition” (I’m half Irish). Horseshoes symbolize luck, and it’s tradition for an Irish bride to carry one, U-shape up of course, so “the luck doesn’t run out” of the horseshoe! Cute, huh? We’re going to have a horseshoe on our wedding cake and the actual game of horseshoes set up on the lawn, so having it on the wedding map only seals the deal that the horseshoe is an important little detail in our wedding.

That “route for the brave” called the Hopland Grade, certainly is a grade for the brave, by the way. It’s treacherous! I’ve begun worrying what guests will think when they make the two-hour trek from either Sacramento or San Francisco–no matter what route you take, there WILL be mountains to get to Northern California wine country (north of Napa, that is).

Oh well, at least they’ll have a pretty map to look at while making the journey!

One tip: if you use thick paper, try drawing very lightly in pencil when you do your draft in pencil. I did not draw very lightly, and thus even after erasing mistakes, an indent was left in the paper. I thought nothing of it, but some of these lines actually show up in the photocopies! It’s amazing what those scans pick up!

Here is the invitation suite all packaged and ready to slip in the envelope!

Did you decide to take on an extra project last minute? How did it turn out?

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