Friday, May 21, 2010

A Personalized Happy Anniversary!

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When I saw that my post was scheduled for today, my parents' wedding anniversary, I knew I wanted to create something for them. I found my inspiration in these wallpaper patterns found at Design Sponge, and love the "specialness" of lined envelopes. I decided to make a personalized card that they could frame if they choose to.

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For this recipe you'll need:

An organic pattern. I already had this one, but I purchased it from .istock where they have lots of styles to choose from.
A flourishy font with a delicious ampersand. This one is called Mutlu, and it's free!
A classic serif font. I chose Goudy Trajan, available here for less than $10 for the style I chose.
Natural, neutral colors, with one dark accent color. I chose Eggshell, Sand, Winter Blue and Ivory.
Cardstock, lightweight stock (for the envelope liner) and an envelope that complement your colors. Xpedx paper stores carry tons of options in color, texture, weight, even transparent vellum sheets that can be purchased individually. I like to buy unique bargain basement envelopes and keep them on hand for occasions like this! I used a 7.5" square cream-colored envelope, with an off-white vellum sheet for the liner; and a tan parchment cardstock with a ribbed textured cream paper for the design panel of the card.

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To make this card, I measured my envelope and trimmed my card stock 1/4" smaller in height and width (since my paper wasn't large enough to do a folding card from one sheet, I created the front and back panels individually, then just carefully used invisible tape to join them). Download your fonts and pattern, and open the software program of your choice—I used Illustrator. It's ideal to use a program that allows you to make transparent elements to get the rich layered effect.

I set up guides that were 1/4" smaller than my trimmed card, so the parchment cardstock would frame the panel I created. I started with the pattern and enlarged it—almost to my outside dimensions. I left a thin border of the cream paper to frame the "inset" portion of the design. Then I pulled in the flavorful ampersand. I made it transparent to subtly blend it with the background pattern then enlarged it. I added my parents' names in the dark color, letter-spacing them to achieve a more elegant look.

And this is where the hands on craftiness starts...I cut out the front panel, and glued it in the center of the parchment cardstock. Then I printed the pattern (only) on the vellum sheet. I trimmed the width to barely less than the width of the envelope. I inserted it into the envelope, then marked and trimmed to just below the flap glue. I printed the same pattern on a cream sheet and trimmed and glued it to the inside of the card, for a designated message space.
I always place my finished pieces under a couple of heavy books, to make sure they don't curl as the glue dries.
Happy Anniversary dad and mom!

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  1. Love it! Great DIY wedding invite idea too!

  2. so true! thanks! (the colors don't look as good here as they do in real life

  3. I wish there was a way to see a visual step by step process!

  4. To Anonymous:
    I think that's an interesting idea--Heather, what do you think?


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