Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DIY Birthday Invitations Fit for a Tween

So my daughter is turning 11 (going on 30) and suddenly it hits me that gone are the days of character themed parties and child-like activities.  No matter how cute Hello Kitty is or how beautiful those Disney princesses are, it's time to transition into "A Whole New World"... (oh, I'll miss Aladdin!!).... a new world of teenage stuff that I'm just not prepared for yet!  So how do I find a birthday theme that would accommodate a tween?  Well, I went right to the source and asked my daughter what she liked.   ... "Pink and Purple" ...  that's all she gave me to go on.  I can barely remember yesterday let alone my own childhood so I don't know much about this "tween" phase, but I do know that if I don't get this right, there'll be plenty of attitude coming my way!

Accepting that my little girl is transforming into preadolescence is a tough pill to swallow and reminiscing of easier times brought a few tears to my eyes.  I've wanted to hit a pause button on life many times just to cherish special moments a little longer, but life keeps going whether you want it to or not.  So as I fought through the tears, I somehow managed to design an invitation that I hoped would express my daughter's style (for the moment).  And I'm pretty dang proud of how they turned out, especially since my daughter actually approved of them!! ......

Handmade Birthday Invitations
Would you believe the cost to make these totally awesome invites ran me a whopping $2?  Listen, in these tough economic times I'm all about finding the steal of a deal and passing the savings on to you just makes it even more Sah-weet!!...

I'm sure there's an easier, softer way, but here's how I did it:

1.  Use any photo editing program that has patterned background images or find your favorite images from the internet [no copyrighted material of course!] and insert them into the program. 

2.  Create a "template" by setting up a new image with the appropriate measurements and then adding in the patterned images you wish to complete your photo.  My template consisted of two different patterned backgrounds, a solid bar of color with a floral image duplicated down the center, and a solid square left blank for the details of the party to be filled in later.

3.  Next,  add the Main Text ~ "You're Invited" ~ "It's Party Time" ~ etc. along the left hand side. Have fun playing with different fonts and seeing what can fit.  I used the "Blackjack" font, but I know I tried a zillion others before finally selecting that one.  (Now would be a good time to make matching "Thank You" cards too!)

4.  Save your image and insert it into a blank Word Document.  Format the text wrapping to "behind text"

5.  Adjust your page settings and/or margins to accomodate as many images as you can. You can either insert the picture each time and then adjust the formatting or you can just "copy" the original image and paste it throughout the document.

6.  Manually type in the details of the party (For - Date - Time - Place - RSVP)  Lining everything up is the key.  You will definitely have to adjust font sizes and page spacing to fit everything perfectly. Complete where necessary or you could just leave it blank to handwrite the information in yourself if you'd prefer.
7.  Print your document on card stock and cut each invite out.

8.  Viola! Now you can send the invites "as is" either as a postcard or placed into an addressed envelope.  But I wanted to dress mine up a bit more and make them a little extra special (mostly because my daughter's reaction so far was, "Eh!!") 

I don't scrapbook or keepsake things much so going beyond this point was surely a stretch!!  I know I wanted to use a crystal or gemstone of somekind and black scrapbook paper so I priced what Joann's or Michael's had in stock.  I happened to stop at Target to pick up a few household items before going to Joann's and would you believe in their $1 Dollar Spot section I found a tiny package of rhinestone flower gems and black scrapbook paper?!?!... HOW SUPER COOL WAS THAT??!!! I just saved myself some gas in not having to make the extra trip to Joann's!! WOOT!! :)

Thank You Target Dollar Spot!!
9.  Back home I manually "broke" each floral gem into individual petals and then glued them onto my printed  invites.

10.  Once the gems dried, I glued the printed invite onto the black scrapbook paper.

 11.  To finalize the invitations I used decorative scissors to embellish the ends and popped them into envelopes I already had on hand that I previously purchased here.

And my daughter's overall reaction?...  "NIIIICE!!  I love them!! Thanks Mom!!"  .... anything for my (not so) little girl!! ......

Granted, these invitations would cost more than $2 if you didn't already have a few necessities on hand  or weren't lucky enough to find supplies so cheap, but thankfully I did!!  If money happens to grow on your trees, than you could just purchase everything you'll need at your local craft store regardless of the price! ... (and then send me a tree!!)

If you have any questions or tips to make this tutorial easier, feel free to let me know!
Have a Beautiful Day!

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