A big thank you to Inspired Goodness for inviting me to guest blog about my wedding projects! My name is Cara, and I live in Chicago with my husband and dog. I am a consultant and Michael is a medical school student, completing his last year of med school. Our dog, Boris, keeps us very busy with long walks and intense squirrel (and rabbit) pursuits.
Michael and I were married last November 2007 in Springfield, IL, our hometown. We went to junior high together, and were friends through high school, but it wasn’t until the summer before our senior year of college when we met back up…and the rest is history! I had so much fun with the wedding planning process and I couldn’t resist sharing some of the projects that were so fun and easy to complete! I hope you enjoy making these D.I.Y.s as much as I did!
D.I.Y. Invitations - Embossing
- Paper – printed and cut to size
- Stamp pad
- Stamp pad re-fill – If you don’t get the ink re-fill, I would buy at least 2 stamp pads. I used 1 stamp pad + 1 bottle of ink, adding few drops to the ink pad after every 25 invitations or so.
- Embossing powder – 1 container
- Embossing Heat Gun
- Wet cloth
- Clean scrap paper
The quantities above will supply approximately 125 invitations, with 3 stamped pieces per invitation: reply card, reception card, and invitation itself. That is, 375 pieces of stamped paper, total. I only needed 100 invitations, but I printed enough for 125. Looking back, I only messed up 10 pieces of paper, so I guess I could have printed much less…but I wanted to be safe!
Make sure the invitation paper has been printed and cut to size before you begin the embossing. The point of embossing is to add a raised, glossy finish to the paper, and once embossed, the paper will not (easily) travel through a printer again!
There are a few options for ink and embossing powder: You can choose clear ink and colored powder, or colored ink and clear powder (or, colored ink and colored powder…). I chose brown ink and clear powder, for a few reasons: I found a color of brown ink that I liked, and I wanted clear powder because it was less messy (or just less noticeable) when I spilled! You should test out the options before you begin with your invitations. I bought my supplies at Paper Source, and they let me play with the colors before buying.
- Clear a large flat area for your invitations – you will need room for the stamping, pouring, embossing, and drying.
- Line your stamping and powder pouring areas with clean paper. Have extra paper on hand to replace, if your stamping gets messy.
- Practice your stamp a few times on scrap paper, before stamping the actual invitation. If necessary, make guide marks on the top of your stamp, so you know exactly where to place it, in relation to your invitation. This was especially important for me, because I wanted the stamp close to the text but not overlapping, and also because I was using only a portion of the stamp on the invitation.
- Once you are comfortable with the stamp spacing and amount of ink needed, load your stamp with ink, and stamp the invitation paper.
- Transfer the stamped paper to a clean piece of scrap paper, and pour a generous amount of embossing powder over the ink. Shake the invitation gently to ensure all the ink is covered with powder – don’t be afraid to use more than you’ll need, and don’t worry if it falls on the paper below. You can re-use it!
- Pour off any excess powder.
- Transfer the paper to a clean surface. Carefully, hold the edges of the invitation, turn on the embossing gun, and hold 2-3 inches above the paper. Fan the embossing gun over the ink and powder, for about 5 seconds or until the powder is melted and appears glossy. Don't forget to distribute the heat around the paper – if the heat concentrates too long in one area, it will burn your paper.
- Set the invitation aside to cool (about 5 min). I found that my paper had a tendency to curl at the edges. If your paper starts to curl, wait until the embossing has dried, and then place between 2 clean sheets of paper, under a heavy, flat object, like a book.
- While the invitation dries, gather the excess embossing powder for re-use: fold the scrap paper into a funnel shape, and pour the excess powder back into its original container.
- Clean the stamp after every 4-5 uses, to ensures cleaner lines on your invite. I used a damp cloth or paper towel to clean the stamp. Note: After cleaning the stamp itself, make sure your fingers are also clean, before touching any of the invitations, as the ink tends to rub off the towels onto your hands!
- Repeat with the remaining invitations. Once you are comfortable with the process, you can speed it up a bit. Follow the steps above with 4 to 5 invites at a time – stamp 4 in a row (set aside), powder them (set aside), heat them, let cool; clean stamp, clean powder, repeat.
The end result will be very pretty, and very personalized invitations for your guests!