Well, first I must apologize for the delay of this post and my absence. I know I promised you the tutorial long ago, and I figure I should probably finish that before I show you all my invitations. In the middle of my wedding craziness, my computer hard drive crashed and I lost a whole bunch of blog pictures and posts along with address spreadsheets, contracts, and all sorts of other stuff that stresses you out. Not to worry, I think I’ve pieced a lot of it back together in the last few weeks.
Ready for the tutorial for the Duckling save the dates? I’m warning you ahead of time that there were quite a few steps. So stay with me and let me know if it stops making sense.
The original inspiration for our save the dates came from Martha Stewart. I happened to be having a brainstorming meeting with my month-of-coordinator, Courtney from Joyful Weddings and Events and showed her the inspiration picture and a few of the other ideas I wanted to incorporate. Courtney is fellow Cricut user so I knew that she would appreciate the idea. She had the idea of adding in the mini envelope for the numbers to come out of and encouraged me to just go for it.
I knew I wanted to use one of our engagement pictures and bring out some of our wedding colors. So with the idea of a number ribbon, a mini envelope, and after making a few test samples, I decided to just go for it.
- A7 PaperSource Soft White (looks like a light cream)
- A7 Lake envelopes PaperSource
- Mini envelope Lake PaperSource
- Fiskars corner rounder
- Opposites cartridge
- Basics cartridge
- 10 mm ribbon in cream
- Raspberry 12 x 12 scrapbook heavy paper
- Blue 12Ã—12 scrapbook heavy paper
- Mini hole punch
- Mini Xyron tape adhesive runner
- X-Acto knife
- Scotch tape
The Graphic Design
I am definitely not a graphic designer, but with Mr. Ducky’s encouragement I decided to do our Save the Date design myself. He definitely helped along the way to help me with the different Photoshop effects, since I was very rusty using the program. I inserted one of our engagement pictures and used the masking feature to create the rounded corners.
I’ve been drooling over Veer’s Feel Script font since Mrs. Lemon shared a sample in a post a while ago. Feel Script is one of the glyph fonts that Pengy wrote about the other day. To complement the Feel Script, I used Garamont, which is just a basic font that came with my computer.
The swirly design you see in the background is a Photoshop brush. Pixels and Ice Cream has such a great selection of free Photoshop brushes and patterns. I used the April Showers Photoshop brushes for our Save the Dates, although there are lots of cute options on the website.
We printed the Save the Dates on A7 Soft White paper from PaperSource. The printer is a Canon MP830 and the quality is amazing. The color is very vibrant and saturated in person. If you are looking for a printer I really recommend this one, because it looks like we got them professionally printed. After everything was printed out we used the Fiskars corner rounder. I bought this after reading a post by Mrs. Penguin on DIY essentials. It was awesome.
The Number Strings
To cut out all the numbers and spacers I used the Cricut. The numbers were from the Opposites Attract Cartridge. To get the correct size to fit in the envelope without looking too small, I set the settings to 2 inches high and on the shadow setting you see on the Cricut keyboard. After printing all the numbers, we had to punch two holes with the mini hole punch so that the ribbon could be laced later. This was probably the biggest pain of the whole project.
For the spacers I selected a rounded square from the Geometrics and Shapes cartridge that already had the slots automatically cut into each square. This was a cartridge that came with my Cricut when I originally bought it. This was a big time saver and my family was grateful to not use that hole punch anymore. I used the 1 inch high setting, and that seemed to work well. Also, you may have noticed that the original inspiration had bows in between each set of numbers but ours have spacers and a single bow at the end. Part of this was just the simple fact that bows take way longer, but also that bows create knots that could mean extra postage. It cost us just one regular forever stamp to mail these.
I had originally bought the ribbon from PaperSource, but returned it after I found a much cheaper version at Michaels for $0.99 a spool. After cutting all the ribbon to the desired length, we tied mini bows at each end. Then it was pretty much back to elementary school, lacing the ribbon through. It was important that each number had 2 holes, so that it would stay flat and not twist to be perpendicular to the ribbon.
The Mini Envelopes
Before stamping the mini envelope, I used the Cuttlebug to emboss the flap so that I wouldn’t have to worry about smearing the ink. By arranging the envelopes like below, I could emboss 4 envelopes at once, so it did not take too long.
After all the envelope flaps were embossed I used the Save the Date stamp from PaperSource with silver ink from Colorink. The ink took forever to dry, but showed up really well on the lake blue paper. I think it was meant for embossing. I’d recommend the Brilliance brand if you want to stamp without embossing. The ink dries faster. The stamp was the perfect size for the envelope and I felt like the writing tied into the font and look of the overall card. You had to line up the stamp so that it was next to flap.
On the opposite side from the stamp on each envelope, I used an X-Acto knife to cut a tiny slot to string the ribbon through. To make sure you don’t cut through to the other side, you can slide a thick piece of paper into the envelope before you make the slot.
To attach the number date string I strung the end through the little slot and used scotch tape to secure it. Yeah, I know it’s not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it worked.
I folded up the numbers accordion style, with the last two numbers—“09”³—being on top. I tried to show this in the picture, below. Then, I gently tuck the numbers into the envelope, letting the bow stick out just enough to be slightly beyond the flap. I did not seal the flap because I worried about the ribbon sticking and creating issues when it was time to be pulled out. Instead, I just made sure the flap was staying, down and flattened the crease a little bit if it wasn’t.
We used the Xyron 3/8 inch Adhesive Runner to stick the mini envelope to the cardstock. I was so impressed with the quality and durability of the “stickiness” from the Xyron tape. We also tried the photo mounting squares, but they just didn’t work as well. The Xyron tape was so easy to roll onto the back, and it just stuck. I highly recommend it.
Last, but not least, we were able to slide the final product into a regular A7 envelope in lake blue that matched the mini envelope. As I mentioned, it only needed regular postage using the forever stamps I had bought before postage went up. Often times, the post office will charge you for using ribbon, but the bow was so small that it didn’t add extra bulk. Each envelope had a slight bulge from the folded paper and mini envelope, but it was still skinny enough to easily slide through the test hole they have at the post office that determines if they’ll charge extra.
My biggest piece of advice? Make sure you have people to help you. I by no means did this by myself. My family was literally an assembly line for all of the different stages. Otherwise, I’d probably still be stringing those suckers today.
And that is the long story of the Duckling Save the Dates. I hope it wasn’t entirely confusing. Does anyone have any questions I can clarify?
Up next? Duckling invitations!!