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hOw diD sHe dO tHAt? : ella's 1st birthday invite

Friday, November 20

so i've been asked what ella's birthday invitation looked like.
i only gave you "a little sneeky peek" back in october.
but now i'm going to share the entire process & final result...

first - a little preface...

how did i choose the theme for the party?

remember this preliminary idea board i put together from this post in august?

that's how it all started.
my initial thoughts were to do a candy-filled dessert table with lots of fun colors & polka dots. and i was full-focused on cotton candy and THIS cotton candy machine.

and then i decided against the candy theme for two reasons:
#1: ella is too young to even sample any of the candy.
#2: most of the people at the party would be adults & i wanted to offer something a little more substantial if i was only going to be providing "desserts". (of course, as the party planning went along i decided to add the chicken salad-filled mini croissants too. i couldn't bring myself to not have SOMETHING hearty).

mix my desire for a "dessert bar" with ella's nickname (ella pie), my love for baking & the fact that ella weighs an itty bitty 16lbs...& you've got the makings of a mini bakery.

how did i choose the colors for the party?
i knew i wanted to use chocolate brown & orange since it's a november birthday. but i couldn't have a b/day party for a little girl without pink.
so i ended up using 5 colors total:
chocolate brown & creamy white for the base colors
sherbet orange, salmon rose & vintage blue as the accents
i also drew inspiration from these bookmark magnets

ok. are we ready now?

i first created this 5x5 invitation using adobe illustrator & then sent it off for printing.

the cute adorable clipart pastries & table on the invite originated from pccrafter - a collection called "sweet shoppe". i went in and added the chocolate polka dot table cloth to the existing table in order to tie in the polka dots i was intending to use throughout the entire b/day decor.

i then used double-stick tape to adhere these to 12x12 solid color scrapbooking paper. (i purchased the paper from michael's & joann's). i didn't stick with just one color. (you'll see in a minute).


next, i cut out all 4 invites using a paper trimmer.

corner rounding time...
(yes, that's a CM corner rounder from many moons ago...*giggling*)


corners are officially rounded & you can see each invite in the different colors i used.
(i even played with doing a cute scalloped edge finish but felt the extra time it would take didn't constitute THAT much of a difference).


now for the envelopes.
all along i knew whatever invite i sent out it had to have a "bakery feel" to it.
i racked my brain for weeks trying to decide on whether or not to mail out a bakery box to each guest with some sort of mini baked good inside as the invite. however, i finally decided to just keep it simple and opted to use THESE as envelopes:


i actually got these glassine envelopes for baked goods from the same bakery i used for ella's party.
lynn @ sweet things emporium was generous enough to just give me the amount i needed even though i offered to pay her. and that's how i ended up with a square invite.

i was originally going to just handwrite the invites but then i got curious as to whether my inkjet would perform well with these...and it did.
here's how i did it:


i used 3 pieces of tape to mount the envelope to an 8.5x11 piece of inkjet paper.
(two pieces on the very edges and one in the middle to assure a smooth glide into the printer)
and yes...each one had to be done individually...not a bulk feed


here's what it looked like straight out of the printer.
(notice i did the return address upside down because it will be folded over - you'll see in a minute)


carefully peel the tape off, insert the invitation & now for the "seal"...

remember these? from this post?

i created this in illustrator & had several sheets printed.

i cut these into strips and now here's where the handy-dandy 2" scallop punch comes into play:

i wanted the invite to seem like it came from a bakery...that's the concept behind the seal...

i took these to the post office for approval prior to just throwing them in the mailbox. they were concerned about the edging...even though i used double-stick tape.
so, i took them all home and couldn't bear to just "ugli-fy" my creation with an obvious strip of scotch tape. i went into my archives and used some old heidi swapp decorative tape.
(i'm kicking myself for not taking a picture - but it was cute).

and so here's the finished product...
i love how you can see the invite through the envelope:

one thing to note...the multiple stamps i had to use ended up "ugli-fying" the envelope...darn USPS. can't you come up with some cute polka dot stamps!? (i know...i know...i could've customized my stamps to match perfectly using zazzle but these square mailings use more postage).

anyway...lots of information here but hopefully it's helpful and will inspire you.

i've got a tutorial coming on those tissue paper easy. so inexpensive. so fun.

happy friday.
surround yourself with people who uplift, inspire & love you.

Fonts used:


Anonymous said...

Hello - Just discovered your blog a couple days ago. Love it! Could you share the type of printer you printed the invites & seals off of or did you get them printed at a business. I'm looking for a new personal printer to print my own design work on and your print quality looks really good in your photos. If you got them printed by a business could you share that too. Thanks - Amy

Unknown said...

amy - your question about the printer...
i desperately need a new printer myself. my dream is the epson stylus r1900. (they may even have a newer version out already)?

the invites & seals i created i had printed onto MATTE photo paper. just save your info. on disk as a .jpeg and take it to your local printer. (kinko's, target or walmart perhaps)? remember to keep your documents "photo size". i used 8x10 & 5x5 for this particular project.

i hope that helps. let me know if you have any other questions...& so glad you are visiting.

Lovely Scribbles said...

WOW. These invitations are amazing!! I haven't dabbled in illustrator for awhile, but I may have to pick it up again. You really did an incredible job. If I received one of these invites in the mail, I would just have to keep it for inspiration. So, so cute!! :)

Amy said...

Those are awesome!!!

Sharnel said...

Lovely post. Great to see how the invite came together.
I'm glad my daugther's birthday cake was part of the inspiration. I just loved the lollipop workshop topper, it was adorable.
I've now got it under a glass dome in her room. TOO CUTE!
I'm loving your blog, so will be back for more.

Kim - The TomKat Studio said...

These invitations are so spectacular, Jess! Absolutely gorgeous and so creative with the bakery envelopes! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

Anonymous said...

wow! this blog is are very creative, inspiring, and so real...I love it!!! I will definitely be coming back to your blog :)
I was wondering if you could share or know of any tutorials that would show you how to layout the work(invites or tags) on illustrator to send it to print? I have created a design for a 2x2 favor tags for my sister in laws baby shower and I am lost on how to set it up to send it to print to kinkos or any other place. Please help! I trully apreciate it.


Rebecca said...

Love this and her party! :) Love all the details! :) I'm a details girl too! :)

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