Thursday, February 05, 2009

homemade birthday invitations

Yesterday afternoon I made time to make up some invitations for Adelaide's second birthday party which we will be hosting next Sunday. (Her actual birthday is February 13th). To me, Addie's birthday is the most joyous and special of all days of the year. It means so much, not only as the day my daughter - who truly feel is my soul mate - came to be with me, but also as a huge milestone in my own life: giving birth!

For the longest while I really wanted to have a little bird themed party as Adelaide is really interested in birds. But my brain kept coming up with more and more bird party ideas and I found myself becoming overwhelmed with them. I finally realised that I needed to simplify my brain (and output) and so I decided to shelve all those bird party ideas for another year.

To make these invitations, I first went out to find the envelopes for them. These red and white polka-dot ones I picked up at Daiso for $2 per 15 count. I have found that one of the most important steps to take when designing an invitation is to first find the envelopes for them. What is available - colour, size, material - will dictate what your invitation will be. It is not fun to design up a beautiful invitation only to find you can't get an appropriate envelope to send it out in! Often when I am out and about I will keep an eye out for nice and inexpensive envelopes to pick up and keep around for future events, thank-you's, greetings, and the like.

Yesterday afternoon I went through my bin of fabric scraps and selected out many appealing bits (Adelaide helped with this). Using my sharpest scissors, I cut out balloon shapes from the fabric scraps, and then scanned them into photoshop. There we picked out the balloons that turned out the nicest and I began to make an arrangement. When they were all set up I added their 1 pt. strings and ties with the paintbrush tool.

Once my composition was ready, I saved my photoshop file into a .tif and placed it in Illustrator. I do this because I despise working with typography in Photoshop, Illustrator is much better for this kind of work. There I then added the copy, going back to slightly tweak the background image in Photoshop a couple of times until it worked out best for the space. The typefaces are two of my very favourites - Mrs Eaves and Neutraface.

for Adelaide's birthday by you.

I then printed them out onto watercolour paper using my (Canon Pixma iP4200) desktop printer, trimmed them down using a sharp new xacto blade and metal ruler on a cutting mat, and rounded the corners using my corner rounder.

They were designed, printed and ready to go in only a few hours, and all that's left to do now is to deliver them!

46 comments:

wendy said...

oh they are amazing! love everything about the invites. i like what you said about the envelopes! so true :) thanks for sharing the process - so fun to read!

cindy : quaint said...

thank you so much for your invitation tutorial. the invites are charming, i love the fonts you chose, too. your love for adelaide just emanates from everything you do.

Lorenza said...

you are so talented! An inspiration :D Happy Birthday to Adelaide (even if a little early) :) x

Jenny said...

I KNEW I had a secret connection to you - my son Oliver's birthday is also February 13th (though he will be three)! You are really inspirational with your cards (& everything else) - thanks so much for the tutorials. I've downloaded a trial of Illustrator and am having such fun experimenting, thanks so you.

Happy birthday to Adelaide!

jodi said...

these are so beautiful. you are truly so clever...i'm a little jealous of your stationary collection and your creativity!

Casey said...

looks really great! I am sure when she gets older, she will look back at all the loving work you did for her, and appreciate you! I agree on the photoshop/illustrator bit! I love illustrator!

kangaroo said...

very sweet.

Thrifted Treasure said...

Gorgeous invites!! As an ex-graphic designer (stay at home Mum now) I agree with you on preferring Illustrator for typography!

Katie T said...

So beautiful, Sharilyn. Your work is always so inspiring.

May Adelaide have a wonderful 2nd birthday!

Katie

Sweet Em said...

They are beautiful...and since my daughter will be turning two on the SAME DAY...perhaps I could just borrow them. (Totally kidding) Happy Birthday - nearly two year olds are the BEST thing ever, IMHO.

Stacy said...

Those are gorgeous! So impressed.

hellosardine said...

You make the most beautiful cards! Happy 2nd birthday to Adelaide!

April T. said...

I absolutely love these cards. Thanks for the great tutorial, I'm so clueless when it comes to photoshop and Illustrator, this really helps.

crit said...

i couldn't love this blog anymore than i do!

my daughter, lily, just turned two last week (on jan. 30). i completely share the sentiment about your little "soul mate". not only does lily look like me, but she also enjoys a lot of the same things i do. my favorite times are of doing our "projects" watching her explore the world!

your invites are absolutely wonderful. thanks for the step by step on how you did them. :)

best of luck with your sweet little adelaide.

leslie said...

those are perfect. and i love the scanning of the fabric idea. and the buying the envelopes first idea. thanks for those!

Jeannie said...

This is so lovely! It reminds me of my daughter's current favorite book that Adelaide might also enjoy: Emily's Balloon (by Komako Sakai).

Happy birthday to dear Adelaide!

Jacqui Dodds said...

Hi Sharilyn
Thank you for posting about these lovely cards and about the process. I find it interesting that you switch between Photoshop and Illustrator - also thanks for the tip about finding the envelope first - it does make sense. Do you like your canon printer and what is the thickest card/paper it can take? When I try to put card through my all in one printer it seems too thick and the image I try to print moves and does not print in the right place.
Jacqui

Stay-see. said...

wow,Adelaide is really lucky to have you as her mama!And u're lucky as well to have such a wonderful daughter like her :)
i love the invitations it's really pretty and the quilt at ur previous post too,make me feel like making one myself! xD

Kathy said...

You did a great job; its lovely. Happy Birthday to your sweet little girl.

Meghan said...

Neutraface is beautiful. I've recently discovered Avenir, which has a similar mood. (You can find it through linotype.)

My newborn, Maggie, is only a month old but you've tempted me to celebrate if only for the cards sake!

Melissa said...

You are amazing! Thanks for sharing your wonderful talents and tips. You are such an inspiration!

Matt said...

beautiful as always! can you share what model canon you use? i'm needing a new printer. do you like it?

Gül said...

thank you for sharing your lovely design work's progressing steps. I am not a graphical designer at all but your ideas are truly inspirational for daily life.

I wish you all will enjoy the birthday of Miss A.

Tamara said...

Beautiful invitations! Thank you for sharing the process with us in such detail.

Hope she has a lovely day.

High On Craft said...

those are adorable! Just like the birthday girl herself.

I gave you an award btw. You can check it out here:
http://highoncraft.blogspot.com/2009/02/love-ya.html

Clear Pink said...

Time flies. I remember your posts from her birthday last year.

The invites look great. Mrs. Eaves is my favorite font!

Melissa of {craftgasm} said...

I absolutely adore this invite and hearing about your process. Thank you for sharing!

I'm super excited that you got the envelopes at Daiso; after hearing about them for years, I am going to the west coast for the first time this coming weekend, and I will be hitting up a Daiso outside San Francisco! My boyfriend (who's going with me), is luckily for me very understanding, and has allowed me to plan a whole day of our three day vacation around getting to a Daiso.

Breezy Babies said...

ooo, I am working on a calendar for the family and I love neutraface! I wish it were free!

Julie said...

I love your invites! My youngest will be two, two days later, the
15th. but we've yet to work on the invites. She's abit obsessed with dogs, so I'm thinking this will be our theme.

joanna said...

they are so well made!! happy birthday to addie in advance!!

Melissa said...

Can I ask you two questions:
Is there a way to get fonts for cheaper than listed? Do people really pay $200+ for a single font? I'd love a great font collection, but how could I ever afford that?
Also, which corner rounder do you use?
Thanks so much!
You are always an inspiration.
Melissa

kickpleat said...

I love your invitations, so beautiful! I'm sure it will be a wonderful party :) I also would love to know what corner rounder you use...I've had no luck with the cheapies I've purchased and would like to buy a decent one!

Delilah H. said...

Those invitations are really beautiful and creative! I love them!

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great invitation very creative, much nicer than the store bought kind, to be sure. thanks for the posting

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