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Sunday, August 17, 2014

You're invited -- making invitations madly

Custom invitations using Stampin' Up! supplies

My mom is having a big birthday this year, and my dad, siblings and I are conspiring to give her a huge bash. (It's not a surprise, thank goodness. Surprise parties are not wise for parental units who have hit their dotage ;-).

I wanted my contribution to be something really special, so I designed these invitations. Then I made 30 of them. Whoo! I've been making lots of things at scale (as we used to say in my old job) recently, and thought I'd share some learnings from my experience with you.

Baker's secrets for creating beauty in volume

  1. Create your model completely before you start cutting anything else. You'll be tempted to just "cut a few more" card bases or layers, but resist. Inevitably, you'll want to mix something up later and it'll go to waste. Focus on getting ONE model exactly how you want it before you do any more.
  2. Take advantage of cutting tools. Punches are your friend when you're crafting in volume. Your Big Shot is your next-best friend. I try never to hand-cut ANYTHING at scale.
  3. Make sure you have enough of everything before you get started. This design required DSP with Early Espresso in it. I didn't do the math, and ended up having to do a couple of cards with Chocolate Chip patterned paper. Perhaps nobody but me could tell, but I sure could. Take the time and measure things out.
  4. Take advantage of My Digital Studio. This is the best bargain out there -- $20 for the base software, which will give you access to all the Stampin' Up! ink colors and a nice set of background papers and punch shapes. I used it here to create text for the inside of the card in Early Espresso. I then printed multiple copies per Whisper White sheet and die cut the "insides."
  5. Don't use fussy techniques. These invitations were designed to be keepsakes. Every single piece here is sponged. That took me and a couple of teenage helpers HOURS. The other element here that took hours is the little tag, which had to be punched, pierced, and then tied on. Use good judgement!
  6. DO create in waves. Once you get your design sorted, use sticky notes for each element. I put the color of cardstock/paper, the dimensions, and the number I needed of each. Then I delegated some of the cutting to my helpful minions (also, good to get some minions!). I broke the card creation into several steps: Digital prep, cutting, inking (sponging and stamping), piecing, fabric, and final assembly. Then I did the envelope addressing and stamping on a different day entirely.
  7. Take breaks! This is fun, not work. My elder teen turned on some music while we were doing the cutting. I'd forgotten how much that adds to the joy!



  • Botanical Gazette DSP (retired; Park Lane is current and similar), cut to 3 3/4" by 5"
  • First Edition DSP (retired; Typeset is current and similar), cut to 2" x 4 1/2"
  • Early Espresso cut to 4" x 5 1/4", 2 1/4" x 4 3/4", and 3 1/8" x 3 1/8"
  • Naturals Ivory for the base, plus 3" x 3" and scrap for the tag

Stamp sets

  • Feel Goods
  • Everything Eleanor
  • A Dozen Thoughts

  • Early Espresso 
  • Crumb Cake


  • Jewelry tag punch (retired); 1/16" circle punch
  • Crochet trim at 5"
  • Early Espresso ribbon at 11"
  • Apothecary Accents thinlets (used on the inside of the card; not shown)
  • Baker's twine


Gail Pritchard said...

Wow! However, it was entirely worth it. Everyone I have spoken to was completely blown away by them and everyone is keeping them, including ones who can't make it. I spoke to someone yesterday who can't come but put her invitation up on the wall!
Thank you so much Sera, they are beautiful and it was time well spent.

your Mom.

Gail Pritchard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandy said...

Wow these are so so lovely! :-)

seralewis said...

Thanks, Mom and thanks, Sandy!

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