My DIY Save the Dates

I wrote before about our my save the date failure”¦I mentally committed to a concept that ended up not working out. We went back to the drawing board and picked something completely different”¦but I love what we made!

Here’s the inspiration:


(Photo via Oh So Beautiful Paper / Save the date and photo by Antiquaria)

Here’s our interpretation:





Here’s what we did.

Instead of stamping, like the inspiration, I printed directly on white watercolor paper. This turned out to be a bit trickier than anticipated. It’s easy to print on watercolor paper on a regular printer, but it’s not as crisp as I wanted. Most of the normal printing places (Kinko’s, Staples) wouldn’t print on watercolor because there’s a concern that it would mess up their printers. So I had to call around to specialty printers to find someone who would. I finally did and it wasn’t expensive (like $35 for about 75 STDs, plus they sent them to me) but definitely a bit of a pain.

I’m a font enthusiast, and I’m obsessed with both of these. The script is Tart Workshop’s “Nelly.” It was $40 (yes, for a FONT), but I’m using it as the basis for all of our paper products. You’ll see it a lot. Seriously, I could write an ode to this font. The other is “St. Marie,” free on Font Squirrel, and is a great thin, unobtrusive serif—for my fellow Times New Roman haters.

Before printing, I had tested out a few different layouts (for both the text and the paint):


I used a foam brush for these because all my paintbrushes were at my mom’s, so the lines are a lot wider than I’d like, but you get the gist. Getting the watercolor effect is pretty easy—I just mixed acrylic paint with a bunch of water. I ended up liking the middle right version the best—the right justification is nice, and the wide watercolor wash was super pretty.

The printer only had 12×18 watercolor, so I fit six to a sheet and had to cut everything down to size. I knew I wanted square, and I sort of based the final sizing on envelopes—I ordered translucent envelopes because I love when you can see a card from the outside. We also had to cut down gray card stock for the backers. My mom did all of the cutting—she has one of those cutting tool thingies. I told her if I had to do it I would have used a ruler and scissors”¦she stared at me in horror.



All cut! This took a while. I told jokes while my mom did the work.

After this, my sister and I painted. This took basically no time. I wanted them all to be different, so it was pretty hard to mess up. Some were darker, some lighter, some had some splatter—it was all good (see above photos for how different the colors were on some).




My sister was getting ready to go to college, so we had a lot of boxes acting as drying racks.

Once everything dried, I ironed the paper. I see a lot of people use heavy books or bricks for this—no need! Just put the paper between two other pieces of plain paper or fabric (don’t use anything printed—the ink might transfer) and iron.

I loved the finished look, but we thought it could use something a little extra. My mom suggested sewing the paper. I love this detail on other products, so we tested it out:


Left, no sewing; right, with sewing

I conferred with Wolfman and we decided the stitching was awesome. My mom sewed gray thread (with her machine), and I taped the hanging thread behind the white card.



The finished stack

Then, we taped to the gray card stock. Again, my mom had some sort of cool taping tool so it was pretty fast. In the envelopes, they look great—you see a hint of the content:


On the back of the envelope (the “business side”) we used gray labels that I printed on, plus awesome DC stamps:


Hey, they’ll be in the neighborhood!

These split apart, and I think I’ll use the whole stamp for the invitations. (Stamp and photo via USPS)


(Stamp via USPS)

In the mail they went! I think they turned out pretty great—it’s hard to show even in pictures how pretty the watercolor wash turned out. What do you think? It was a somewhat hefty project, but I have a lot of satisfaction that we did it ourselves!

All photos personal unless otherwise noted. Some edited for privacy.


Mrs. Gray Wolf

Washington DC
Wedding Date:
February 2013
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  1. mstreasure Bee
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:32 pm

    I LOVE THESE!!! They are absolutely gorgeous, GW! The stitching really makes it.

  2. Member
    mzjynxie 786 posts, Busy bee @ 3:23 pm

    I think they turned out great, so unique and awesome, Great job!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    sarah, Guest @ 6:03 am

    love it!

  4. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 10:15 am

    I love how they turned out! It’s nice you weren’t going for each of them to have the exact same color or width of paint. Less stress and a lovely finish!

  5. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:59 am

    Wow they are GORGEOUS! I love how you stayed with your inspiration! The wash you chose is pefect and the attention to detail is amazing!

  6. Member
    MissSpark 180 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:43 pm

    Those are beautiful! I love that your mom thought of sewing the paper…That adds such a cool and unexpected element. Awesome!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Screen18, Guest @ 11:03 pm

    up to I saw the draft saying $5527, I have faith that my father in law was like they say realie making money in there spare time at their laptop.. there friend brother started doing this for under fifteen months and a short time ago cleard the morgage on their cottage and bought a great Fiat Multipla. go to, FAB33.COM

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