Sunday, January 4, 2009

Birthday Party Preparations

So as usual, I'm a bit tardy in getting E's birthday party invitations in the mail. Her birthday always (I say this as if she's had 10+ more of these) creeps up on me. I started thinking about what I was going to do as soon as I figured out what she was going to be for Halloween (yes, pre-party preparations in September/October.) However, with the Christmas doings, I just didn't seem to get my act together to make the invitations until now. I know I could cop-out and just do a theme and buy the fill-in-the-blank invitations...but that wouldn't be the "Martha" way - and this is just something more for Aunt Anne to say, "How am I supposed to compete with this?"

So, the theme for Elizabeth's 3rd birthday party is "Candyland." It was a fun game that I enjoyed playing when I was a tot. Since these invites were a little more labor-intensive than in previous years, I thought I should show you my process. Plus, if it helps you get a little more creative/crafty - all the better!

The main part of the invitation required a little work on my part in PhotoShop. Here is what I started with - the photo of E I took during the photo shoot referenced in my previous post. I liberated a Candyland image...superimposed the image of Elizabeth, and worked up the invite from there...That part, which we'll get to in a little bit, was printed on card stock.

I purchased scrapbook paper that I was alright with (was hoping for a more candy-themed paper, but Michael's is quite limited in their scrapbook paper, in my humble opinion. The candy embellishments, outer wrapping and ribbon were also procured at Michael's. The lollipops were bought at Cracker Barrel. (I must note that I couldn't get 10 of the same kind of lollipop at Cracker Barrel - so if you're going to do something similar, you may need to purchase in advance. I like both kinds, so I'm still quite pleased overall.) Other items I used were stuff I had in my scrapbook work-space - the paper trimmer, self-healing cutting mat, bone paper folder, pencil, eraser, double-sided photo-safe adhesive, scalloped-edge scissors, the Martha Stewart circle cutter (puts the Creative Memories circle cutter to shame!), and the Cricut (had to use it...just for the little circles on the front...which I'll get to in a bit.)

I cut the scrapbook paper in half. Then I trimmed the short side of it by a quarter of an inch. I knew (based on what I had done with the invitation part in PhotoShop that the center piece would need to be 6", so I made reference marks in pencil - one tiny one in the center (you won't be able to see it in the picture), then measured out three inches from either side and those are the pencil lines you can see in the photo above.

Using the awesome Martha Stewart circle cutter and my pencil, I traced a circle for the center - just large enough to bleed off of the folded edge of the scrapbook paper. (Note, the folded part on the front should overlap by about a quarter of an inch. I then cut out the circle with a new pair of Fiskars scalloped-edge scissors - cussing at least twice per invitation because the scissors don't ever seem sharp enough - making sure to keep the folded parts attached to the main circle.

You can see how the scrapbook paper looks when cut out and unfolded.

Again using the Martha Stewart circle cutter, this time with the blade, I cut out the invitation that I created in PhotoShop and printed on card stock.

Next, using the double-sided photo-safe adhesive, I adhered the invitation in the center of the scallop-cut circle.

Using the circles I cut out using my Cricut cutter (any kind of circle cutter would work, I just wanted to play), I wrote "You're Invited" on each one and put a Martha Stewart candy embellishment on the top. Again, using the double-sided photo-safe adhesive, I adhered (albeit very lightly, the "You're Invited" circles on the front of the folded scrapbook paper. I used more adhesive on one side than the other -for easier opening.)

Then I used the double-sided adhesive (would have loved it if I could have just found my double-sided Scotch tape...but I'm sure it will show itself that I don't need it!) I adhered the back scrapbook paper to the back of the lollipop. (I think double-stick tape would have worked a bit better, because the wrapping on the lollipops was somewhat difficult to get the invitation to stick to. However, it should be pretty easy to remove the invitation from the lollipop - should you get a sweet tooth or want to hang on to the invitation!

Finally, I wrapped the entire invitation in the shimmery-kind of cellophane, and tied a bow at the base of the lollipop with sheer ribbon to keep the cellophane intact.

Now, I ask you - who wouldn't want to get one of these cute little invitations from the cutest little soon-to-be three year old???

1 comment:

P.J. said...

AMAZING!!! I think you should open up your own business. I'd hire you in heartbeat. I love creativity and getting new ideas. Thanks for sharing.