Monday, June 11, 2012

Paper Bag Invitation (DIY) ~Woodland Wedding~

I said my vows a few years ago, (and believe me, I am happy to never do it again) but sharing a friend's big day, and seeing all over her wonderful ideas usually leaves me thinking, "Why didn't I think of doing that for my wedding?"
At the end of the magical night, I hug the bride goodbye and leave with a spark to make pretty things.  What can I do with this potential energy?  To get it out of my system, I am dedicating this week to creating things inspired by weddings.  If you have one to prepare for, maybe you'll be inspired by this group of tutorials.  If you are just feeling creative, like I am, then put your idle hands to work and make them as gifts.  At the moment, I am in love with the idea of a forest ceremony.  Picture a quiet, intimate wedding surrounded by tall pines and bathed in soft, natural light.  My ideal event also includes as many re-made items as possible, so each tutorial re-purposes a few old items.  
Today's project: paper bag wedding invite.

You will need:
paper bag
white envelope
card stock
tree stamp
woodland animal stamp
stamp pad
scallop edge scissors or punch
rounded corner punch
metal ruler
x-acto knife
glue stick
computer with printer
Start by measuring your envelope; mine is 5.25" x 3.75."  Plan to make your card at least .25" smaller than the envelope to ensure that it will fit easily inside.  I recommend using scrap paper to make a practice card.  This will give you a good idea of the card's measurements, and how it will look.  
For the practice card, cut a strip of paper longer than your envelope and fold it to create the flap.
Tip: when the practice card is placed on the envelope and centered, you should see the edge of the envelope on every side of the card.  If the card hangs over one side, it will be too large.
When you feel good about the practice card, measure it.  Unfolded, my practice card is 9" x 3.5"  Using the x-acto knife and ruler, cut a section of brown paper from your grocery bag that is the same size as your practice card.
Fold the paper bag card where you folded your practice card.  To create a crisp flat fold, rub it with the side of a pencil. Use the scalloped punch or scissors on the flap, and punch all the corners with your rounded corner punch.

  For the tree design, I used a forest stamp.  If you can find a clearance tree stamp from Christmas (with no ornaments, of course), even better!  I didn't find a stamp I like, so I made one with sticky foam.  Here is a stamp making tutorial just in case you choose to do the same.  I'm not sure how much pigment a white stamp pad has, so I chose to use white acrylic paint  to stamp my trees.
For the back of the card, choose a woodland creature stamp (raccoon, deer, owl, turtle, squirrel, etc).  I suggest sticking with the friendly, harmless creatures, as no one wants to go to a wedding if there's an angry black bear on the invite.  I went the easy route and chose a bird stamp, because I found it at Goodwill.  I stamped the lower back of my invite and the envelope.
For the printed insert: This section will be typed, printed, cut and then glued in the card.  To have a nice brown border on all sides, make this section at least .5" smaller than the paper bag card.  My printed card is 5" x 3".  For the text, I Googled 'wedding invite' and copied the wording I liked best.
I wrote up my card in Photoshop, but if you don't have Photoshop, you can easily create it in Microsoft Word.  Just go to Insert Text Box, then Format Text Box to adjust the size.  My font is brown, but you can choose any color you want.  You might be able to fit several on one page.  If you're feeling unmotivated or just busy, send them to Office Max for printing.  Print the card on cardstock and use the text box outline as a cutting guide.  

Cut out the printed card with an x-acto knife and metal ruler, then use your rounded punch on the corners and glue inside the the paper card.

And you're done!  Now just make make 60 or so more......
Non-wedding uses for these Paper Bag Cards:

*Invites for a baby shower, graduation, anniversary or other event

*Everyday cards - Instead of 'Please join us' write something like 'Miss you' or 'Get well soon'.  Everyone loves getting mail.
*This woodsy design is perfect for Christmas cards!  Stamp with red or green ink, then change the text inside to a holiday greeting.  If you make them now, you'll be thankful come December.
*Kid's project - Give antsy children a stack of paper bags and have them make the cards without a printed section inside.  They can hand write messages inside and you can drop them off at a retirement home.

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