When it came time to put together save the dates, the ever-popular magnets seemed like a natural choice for us. For one thing, I knew we’d be sending them out kinda early (like, a-year-before-the-wedding-date early) because Cape Cod is a crazy place where last-minute vacations go to die thanks to thousands of people booking their hotel rooms months in advance. I wanted to make sure that everyone had plenty of time to book their travel and their accommodations, but I also knew that, if our guests were anything like us, a postcard or card was likely to get lost in the great post-holidays Christmas card refrigerator door purge. (OK, let’s be real: If they were *really* like us, Christmas cards would stay on their fridge, ignored until the next year, when they go to put the latest batch of cards up there and realize they still have their 2013 cards up. But I digress.) So, long story short, our save the dates needed to go up there and stay up there. Point one for magnets.
And, for another thing, brainiac Mr. Hammer feels the same way Jesse Pinkman does about magnets:
So, there you had it. Magnets it was.
My next dilemma? Finding the right size magnet. I’d snatched up a $27-for-$70 Groupon to Vistaprint in May (like a clingy boyfriend, those things are always around, so keep an eye out if you’re in the market), so I knew I’d be ordering from them, and they have two options: business card (about 3.5? x 2?) and postcard (about 5.5? x 4.25?). Case closed, right?
Nahhhh. See, I thought the business cards would be too small for all the information to be legible once I added an engagement photo. But the postcards just seemed too big to me. So what was I to do? Overcomplicate, of course! I decided the postcard magnet cut in half crosswise would be juuuuust right. Vistaprint’s customer service rep tried to convince me not to do this, saying that cutting the magnets would make them lose their magnetism, but aforementioned magnet nerd Mr. Hammer said it would do no such thing—and by that point, there was no dissuading me.
So, I picked juuuust the right photo (are you sensing a theme here?): one of the locker photos, which hinted at our high school past, with the lockers forming “white space” over about half the photo where I could place text without worrying about it interfering with our faces. In PowerPoint (so profesh), I cropped the photo to half the size of a postcard magnet, added a 50% opacity white rectangle over the lockers to make the text just a bit more legible, and added the text over that.
Then, I saved it as a JPG, opened *another* PowerPoint slide that was the size of a full postcard magnet, and lined up two of the half-sized JPGs on that. I saved *that* PowerPoint as a JPG and uploaded it to Vistaprint for my final order.
(I lined them up so the bottoms were touching (teehee), figuring that that would make it easier to see where to cut them.)
Turned out, my $70 Groupon was juuust enough to cover 70 postcard magnets, which was enough to cover all the save the dates I needed, plus an extra 20 or so for screw-ups (number one rule for my DIY projects is to *always* order a buffer).* When I got my 50-pound box from Vistaprint (seriously, who knew magnets weighed so much?), I got to work.
I decided to use an X-Acto knife to cut these up, since I figured cutting through magnets would probably dull the blade, and better to have that happen with an X-Acto knife, where I can easily switch out the blades, rather than with scissors, where God knows what I’d have to do to get those sharp again. (I hear cutting several layers of aluminum foil works for that, actually, but I’ve never tried it myself.) Plus, I thought it’d be easier to get an obsessively straight line if I used a straight edge and an X-Acto knife.
I sat down with my BFFL quilter’s rule, X-Acto knife, magnets, and self-healing mat. I lined the ruler up with where I was going to cut, and lightly scored the X-Acto knife down that line. Then, I scored it again. And again. And again. I figured this was a better way to get a precise cut than bearing down on the knife—plus, I knew my hand would be killing me and I’d probably slip and hurt myself if I pushed too hard. It was tedious, but not all that difficult; I usually did about 20 magnets in a sitting so my cutting hand wouldn’t get too sore, and it probably took me less than 30 minutes to get through each set.
Then, I tested each and every magnet on our fridge to make sure I hadn’t messed with the magnetism. Spoiler alert: I hadn’t—although I can’t vouch for this working with the scissors approach (but Mr. Hammer claims results shouldn’t vary if you go that route).
So, at long last, my magnets were ready to go! But I wasn’t about to stick ‘em in an envelope and call it a day. Oh, no. I was just getting started…
*Helpful hint: Vistaprint’s ordering increments jumps from 50 to 100, so if you want to order, say, 70 or 80, you have to add 50 to your cart, then go back like you’re making a whole new magnet, upload the same design, and add 20 or 30 of *that* upload to your cart before checking out.