Do it yourself: eco-friendly brown card and raffia rustic ‘save the dates’
Charlie / 23 June 2011
Here goes with the first of my ‘do it yourself’ guides from our wedding – lots of detail, I know, but this is for anyone wishing to recreate elements themselves.
*Please note that my ‘how to’ guide is for individual, private use, and not to be used for distribution or resale. Many thanks.*
Would love to know what you think and if there’s anything else you want details of.
Our ‘save the dates’ were envelope-less and quite tiny. I saw this fantastic idea and thought it was brilliant (some people are so talented!) – so I set about making my own version.
We used 100% recycled brown card from a wonderful website called eco-craft (we bought almost all our paper and card for wedding projects from here) – I love that this brown card is called ‘Hairy Manilla’ – very un-weddingy!
I created the design on Microsoft Word – fitting three ‘save the dates’ to one piece of landscape A4 (I’ll include full details of fonts used at the bottom of the post for anyone interested).
I wanted something simple and quite rustic looking, so we just went for text and a tiny image, similar to the cow parsley that lines the hedges in May at the time of our wedding.
It took a bit of fiddling about and printing off copies to get the text in the right place for where we wanted the folds. The card is scored in two places, making three parts, and then sealed at the back (hence no need for an envelope).
After printing the ‘save the dates’, I used my trusty guillotine (couldn’t have got through many a moment without it – essential kit for anyone planning on making paper items for their wedding) to slice them into three. Next I faintly drew on pencil lines for where the folds would be, then used the blade on my scissors to gently score a fold.
Inside we left a space to write the names of family and friends who were invited. Then on the opposite blank side, on the middle section, I wrote out their address and placed on a gorgeous botanical print stamp.
It might sound silly to go to the extra effort of sourcing ‘fancy’ stamps (I now receive regular promotional material from the Royal Mail Stamp Collecting department!) but I really wanted to show our guests we really valued them coming and it was something special. And I loved them, so if nothing else they were for me.
I needed something to seal the tiny cards at the back, and I can’t remember how I came across it, but I stumbled upon this brown tape which is gummed on one side and used by picture framers. I bought a roll (which was about £6 but will last me a lifetime!) and experimented with it.
In the end I cut out paper hearts (using a cardboard template to draw round) – then all you have to do is lick or dampen the gummed side (like a stamp…or how stamps used to be before they became stickers) and stick it down.
At this point you might think they are finished and ready to post, but for some reason I was worried that ‘strangers’ could peek inside the cards so a solution was needed. I tied up each ‘save the date’ with coloured raffia like a tiny parcel. I loved how it looked and although perhaps unnecessary, some things just have to be done because they look lovely.
Despite their small size, all of the ‘save the dates’ made it through the postal system safely to their recipients – apart from two that went to Dubai, but nothing you post to Dubai seems to get there.
Update 7th Feb 2012: it’s wonderful to hear so many of you have been inspired by our ‘save the dates’ and I have received increasing requests for the template I created in Word to create them. Due to the number of requests I am happy to share the template but am asking a small fee of £5 just to cover my time (which can be paid via Paypal). If you would like to get the Word template I created, please leave me a message in the comments box below and I’ll get in touch.
Please note that my ‘how to’ guide is for individual, private use, and not to be used for distribution or resale. Many thanks.
What we used
100% Recycled ‘Hairy Manilla’ Brown Card
Bought from the eco-craft website, which is full of fantastic eco-friendly paper and card products. Extremely good service and excellent prices.
‘Plants – Action for Species’ Stamps
From the 2009 collection. Available from the Royal Mail Stamps and Collecting website, you can buy them online or over the phone on 08457 641 641. I bought my first lot over the phone as there was a website problem and the man I spoke with was incredibly helpful.
Brown Gummed Tape
I used a product called Gumstrip Sealing Tape that I bought from an art shop. I did a search online and found the same product available on this art website, but any internet search for ‘framers tape’ or ‘brown gummed paper tape’ turns up what look like similar products.
You can buy coloured raffia from HobbyCraft or online from Nutscene. We used a mixture of blue and purple raffia. Whenever I see this sort of thing I always buy some and keep a stash of it – raffia is useful for so many things and an essential for a homemade wedding. The raffia available from Nutscene is harvested from renewable sources in Madagascar and is available in a range of colours.
The following text is in a font called Fanfarone Bold: ‘Dear’; ‘Save’; ‘Date’ and ‘Nick and Charlie are getting married in the Cotswolds’. The following text is in a font called UglyQua: ‘the’; ‘21.05.11’ and ‘we hope you can come!’ The small flower image is from a font called Plants and is created using a capital letter X. All of these are free fonts and most can probably found at DaFont.
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