Lessons in DIY

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make my own invitations myself. I planned to letterpress them, and figured I’d save myself some money. Turns out I was wrong.

Here’s the list of items I bought to D-I-Myself…

Crane Crest Pearl White envelopes = $49 (with shipping)
Crane 4-Bar envelope = $36 (with shipping)
Crane Lettra paper 20 23×30″ sheets = $90 (with shipping)
custom embosser from Etsy = $120
custom stamper from Etsy = $28
letterpress studio/guidance = $180
paper for lining envelopes = $25
paper for belly bands = $12
bakers twine to wrap envelopes = $18
adhesives, cutting tools, etc = $12
FedEx Office/Kinkos printing of ceremony cards = $32
custom letterpress plate from Boxcar Press = $48 (not even counting the 2 previous plates on which I ordered, then we changed details and had to re-order).

After all these expenses, I lost steam on this project twice. I’m finally mailing them today.

My lesson-to-self, Just because you want to do it and think you can do it, sometimes it’s better to leave it to the pros. I did get some help from a fabulous letterpress shop (Dick & Jane Letterpress) that let me help print, without putting all the stress on me to do it right.

Lesson-to-self #2: stretching the cost out over a longer period of time can make it difficult to keep the expenses in check.

Has anyone else done a DIY that ended up costing more than getting it done by a professional?

May I Have The Invitation, Please?


Originally uploaded by KikiLaRae

I am working with dear friend to develop our invitations. She a graphic designer (and thus has Illustrator, which I do not) and does some pretty sweet stuff.

Anyway, the plan is that I will be doing our invites myself, on the letterpress. It’ll be a lot o’ work, but it’ll totally be worth it to have beautiful, extravagant-ish invitations.

This is one of our drafts. The image will be different than it is now, but the font is perfect, and it matches our custom-designed embosser for the envelopes!

Of course the colors will be different as well, as they will be imprinted on the press (and I’ll be mixing them myself). The process for getting this all done is… slightly time consuming (but I’ve got time baby, check the date!)

Why Should He Care?

Thinking of doing the invitations myself, I ordered some samples from Crane’s Letra letterpress line of papers.

I brought the little folder to the GTB and asked him how he felt about the 220# paper (which I adore). He was like “good, nice.”

Then he dug deeper into the folder and found the big boy — double paned 600# — it was like friggen carboard. “I want this,” he says.

Hmmm… so I ended up spending some time explaining to him (his eyes glazed over) why the nature of the press I use doesn’t allow me to use the super-heavy cardboard-like paper.

When I finished my speech, he was like, “Hmmm, I guess the invitations are one part of the planning that I can honestly say I don’t want to have input on, its all yours.”

So… I could do hot pink and purple invitations with kittens! LOL

Smart men know when to just let it go.

Damn, Make It Girl!

If you are at all crafy, as I consider myself to be, you really need to go to the Paper Depot.

They have your typical “DIY Cards” — but their selection is incredible. Even better, they offer inexpensive classes that teach you all kinds of techniques, like using brads, designing/creating a book from a kit (hello, innovative guest book), different painting/marbling techniques, and ways to embellish your invitations.

Their website lacks immensely in functionality and design, but I think that’s becuase they keep costs low, making your invites less expensive. I venture to guess that you could do your invites, response cards, save the dates, thank yous and envelopes (sans postage) for $300-400 — not too shabby if you’re a bride on a budget.

Make Your Own Invitations?

letterpress-2.jpgletterpress-3.jpgI love letterpress. Love, love love it. I love the look of colored images impressed into a thick, yummy piece of paper. Is this description grossing you out? Are you thinking, “its just paper and ink, its just an invitation?”

Look at these samples I’ve found in a quick online search. See how rich and luxurious they look. I fear I must have letterpress inviations… and I hope against home that the GTB doesn’t come chasing after me with his wallet and a stack of other wedding bills.

I mean, I’d like to do it myself… rent studio time at the Minnesota Center For Book Arts, but I must say that I am scared of screwing up… majorly.

What do you think? Letterpress or printed? Hire someone or do it myself? Do you have any tips? Suggestions? Send ’em my way!