Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters Etc Part 1 – Prototype

Instructions:
Previous large scale projects have taught me the importance of prototyping an entire design. I made sure this project for 75 Save the Dates had iterations of design and prototype before we procured the supplies and production.

After final digital designs and several protptypes the Letterpress Coaster Save the Date Project comprised of the following:

- 5×5 kraft envelopes
– White envelope liners
– 4.75″ circles with double-sided printing
– 4″ circle double-sided letterpress coasters
– kraft paper anchor cutouts
– twine

Interesting Points:

- Weight: Thick cardstock and coasters make great statements but one thing we forget to take into consideration during design is the weight of the entire package. 80lb stock vs 120lb stock could mean a difference of $1 per mailing. At 75 mailings, you can save or spend $75 based on your paper stock choice. We took the prototype to the post office to determine if the weight was within our budget.

- Mailable Envelopes: Our visit to the post office proved to be more valuable than expected. Our earlier design was a 4×4 envelope with 3.5″ coasters which turns out to be non-mailable. 5×5″ is the minimum square-sized envelope the USPS will deliver.

- Cohesiveness: The prototyping phase gives the bride a great opportunity to see the package come to life. Yes, your wedding is really happening because we have the papers to prove it! Now that the digital design has passed the brides approval, most of the critique during this phase will be on color, font and packaging. A change in paper/envelope color, adding an image, tying the package in twine or changing the font can make all the difference. We had the challenge of having a 5×5″ envelope USPS limitation and 4″ circle being the largest coaster size. To keep the coaster from rolling around haphazardly in the envelope, we decided to tie it to another piece of paper that would include the accommodation information and a map of the wedding venue’s surrounding area.

- Proof Read: A detriment of designing into the night is the increased likelihood of making spelling mistakes. Words like ‘Accomodations’ and ‘Benajamin Franklyn’ slip through. A second set of eyes or reviewing the printed prototype after a good night sleep can nip the embarrassing error before they become 75 embarrassing errors.

- Content-driven wedding planning: There will always be pieces of information that you or the bride will include in the design but may not have 100% ready. With the blessing from the bride this kind of information can be omitted from the save the dates or placeholder text can be temporarily added for the sake of prototyping. Interestingly, even if the bride is super organized, I’ve been able to help her get a few more to-do items on her list. Examples are creating the wedding websites and securing discounted rates with the hotels.

- Double-Sided Alignment: It took several tries to get the print alignment for the 4.75″ round information page right. All I can say to this is keep trying until you succeed. Adjustments can be made in many places other than the digital file (I.e. Printers paper feeder, size of paper)

Image:

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Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters

Idea:
Two months ago I dreamt up the idea of wedding invitation coasters for my cousins wedding. She loved the idea so much she decided to use the same concept for her save the dates. She also wanted to incorporate a ‘tie-the-knot’ theme so off we went to pinterest.com for inspirations.

Inspiration:
If you Google ‘save the date coasters’ I guarantee you will find this set of invitations and save the date coasters designed by Ross Clodfelter for Brittany Brown & William Goncharow and this save the date calender by Gwyneth Paige. For a ‘tie the knot’ inspiration our bride-to-be loved this ‘tie-the-knot’ save the date. The design challenge lied in how to incorporate the coaster and tie the knot ideas. Stay tuned for the next steps.

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Decoupage: Booker’s Bourbon Packaging Facelift

Idea:

From now until next September, I will be collecting an assortment of glass bottles and wood boxes in preparation for my cousin’s big day.  The Booker’s Bourbon box came to me via my aunt last week.  It’s a great size but the print on the box makes it difficult for me to paint or stain it into a faux vintage cheese box.  What do I do with this box now?

Inspiration:

I’ve seen a number of Krafty Pearl’s beautiful decoupage projects but I haven’t found a reason or the courage to experiment with the technique. Til this day, the MDF crafts that Pearl gave me are all stored away, awaiting the day I develop a stronger decoupage technique because I don’t think I’ll be able to live with ruining any of the unique pieces with any decoupage missteps.

I tested my hands on this technique now that I have a box to recycle and can shamelessly decoupage without fear of ruining.

Ingredients:

  1. Wood / MDF Box
  2. Mod Podge Matte Finish
  3. Paint brush
  4. Paper.  I recommend rummaging through an old book / dictionary collection.  I was given an old dictionary which I’ve been slowly re-purposing page by page.  I used 3-4 pages for this project to cover the 4 sides.
  5. Newspaper / Magazines to use as liner to protect your work top

Instructions:

  1. Google ‘How to Decoupage’ and make sure you watch this video by Addicted 2 Decorating and have at it!

Images:

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Signage: Bridal Shower Banner in Script

Idea:
I wanted to make a simple yet classy Bridal Shower Banner for my dear friend. Most banners I see on the Internet are bunting banners with bold font or rectangular signs and both didn’t fit my criteria.

Inspiration:
I’ve made plenty of cards with cut out calligraphy words so why not a larger version to hang as a banner?

Images:
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Interesting Points:

    • Calligraphy font meant thin lines. With that being said, after merging the font letters, I needed to thicken the lines to at least 1/4 inch. On top of that, I chose thick card stock paper to ensure stiffness of the letters.
    • A few calligraphy letters didn’t connect (especially with the first capital letter to the next lower case letter). I used very thin strips of packaging tape to connect these letters.

 

  • Placement of the connecting and hanging strings proved to be crucial. Connecting from a flimsier part (and a lot times the furthest most letter of the word) caused the lettering to warp when hung. By trial and error, I identified points in the word that were strongest and would allow the word to sit cohesively with the next word.

Clothing Hanger Herb Wreath

Idea:
Autumn has arrived and I still have an entire 4×8 garden bed of lavender, thyme and sage. I left it all to mother nature last winter and incredibly they flourished this summer with a little bit of spring trimming. I want to make the most of this year’s harvest but I can’t possibly eat it all.

Inspiration:
Napa Style had beautiful Herb wreaths for sale in their catalog last year so I gave Google a search and found this great instructional by Martha Stewart.

Ingredients:
I substituted the wire wreath with two dry cleaners wire hangers.

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Images:

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Jute Twine Succulent Planters

Idea:
I’m a sucker for cute little things so I’ll be damned if I didn’t buy a 4 ounce succulent each time I made a visit to the garden center at Lowes. My challenge is I can’t justify buying a pretty pot at anything more than the cost of the $2.95 succulent. I know. I’m cheap. It’s a real problem. But, I also can’t bear the look of the plain black plastic pot that comes with the succulent. Not to mention the black pot that absorbs heat probably isn’t very good for the succulents.
Inspiration:
I’ve seen photos of tin cans wrapped in jute Twine. Why not jute twine pots?
Images:
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Wedding Invitation: Spirograph for a Coaster Wedding Invitation

Idea:

There is something wonderful about dual purpose paper goods to me (i.e. magnet save the dates).  Tack that on with being a letterpress paper good and I’m as happy as a pig in shit.  My cousin is looking for wedding invitation ideas and I cannot wait to propose several design’s of a coaster wedding invitation.

Inspiration:

The Goncharow Wedding Invitation designed by Ross Clodfelter inspired me to design circular patterns that could potentially be used in a coaster wedding invitation.  My mind drifted back to a simpler time when my favorite toy was the Spirograph.  I almost went jurassic park and ordered to toy to scan the finished products.  But, because spirographs are mathematical roulette curves I was certain that digital spirographs could easily be created in Illustrator.

Instructions:

Follow this link for a beginners tutorial on creating spirographs using Illustrator.  There is something remarkably soothing about creating these patterns.

Images:

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