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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Holiday Save the Dates {DIY Style!}

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Just so we're clear: I am not a graphic designer. However, I often play one on this blog. I trip and shuffle my way through color fills and fonts, pdf files and clip art. I can get a job done, but since I lack the required skills and training of a professional, it takes me DECADES to manipulate my work.

That being said, I'll have to admit that I was both overjoyed and terrified when my friend Marie asked me to do her Holiday Save the Dates. Marie and I go way back. WAY back. We were lab partners in biology our sophomore year in high school - that's how we met. We became friends over the dissection of our fetal pig we named Wilma. Good times have ensued ever since. And now she's getting married and I couldn't be happier for her. Like me, she too waited (and waited) until she found the right guy! And I love the fact that she met her love at a wedding. At his twin sister's wedding. In Bali. That's right, Bali. I'm sure you know the one. Cool, right?

Marie is a laid back kind of gal. Her mom is not. Her mom is more like me - specific in her likes and dislikes. I knew I could make Marie happy, but I was so worried about her mom. I wanted to do the best job I could, but was concerned that I was lacking in a skill set that would result in hideous Save the Dates. Hideous! No one wants hideous.

So I jumped in with both feet and hoped for the best. There was a specific design the bride was liking, so I took it and basically knocked it off to suit the couple. I emailed layouts and texted pictures to the bride pretty much all of last week. I lined up paper colors I'd narrowed down, sent font options - all that kind of stuff. We were all juggling different ideas - should I mail them from here? Do we want return address labels? Envelope liners? It's hard to do it all via text and email! So last week I sent off two completed Save the Dates and then held my breath. Marie called me on Friday and set up a three way call that included her mom. I swear, I thought I was going to faint when I heard her voice. My immediate thoughts were, "She hates them. I have to start over. What am I going to do if she hates them? She hates them. She hates me. What if Marie hates them too?" Oh, my mind was going in a bazillion directions at once.

And then the gushing began. And the thank yous. And more gushing. They did not hate them at all. They LOVED them! I swear, I sat down, put my head on the table and nearly started to cry I was so relieved. I just didn't want to mess up my friend's Save the Dates. I wanted her to be over-the-moon happy with them because you know what? A bride SHOULD be over-the-moon happy with everything associated with her wedding. And yes, I wanted to please her mom too.

So without further adieu, here are the Save the Dates I did.

All the paper came from Paper Source. We used A7 folded cards in Superfine Soft White with A7 envelopes in Red. I lined the envelopes with their bulk paper in Leaf using an A7 liner template. I used a corner punch to get the top of the liner rounded just right as I wasn't totally digging the template corner. It was just too fat of a corner for the envelopes. The design idea came from a Save the Date the bride found on-line. Clearly, I am not as clever as this Save the Date may portray me to be. All the patterns and fills and art came from free online sources. I simply recolored them and dropped them in (I say "simply" but it's anything but simple when you're only playing the part of a graphic designer.). These were my "practice" pieces, so they aren't exactly perfect.

*Santa not included.

The inside was pretty basic - I used the Juice font for the stuff in red and Gabriola in dark gray for everything else.Then I decided that I couldn't just do the cards and liners. I mean, they had to have some sort of snazziness to them, so I decided to do some envelope wrappers. There are plenty of downloadable formats on-line, but I couldn't find one that I could manipulate the way I wanted. So once again, I started pretending I was a graphic designer. By the time I got those damn things done, I wanted to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick. They drove me crazy!!! But I finally got them done.

I did some last minute return address labels for the back in the same design style as the front. Not sure if they are going to use them or not, but I sent them along just in case they decide to. I think there were 111 cards total. Whew! That pales in comparison to the fifty or so that The Candyman and I cranked out!

And there are tools that I used to get this done too: a bone folder, double sided tape, full sheet labels, a paper cutter and scissors. In fact, I invested in a new paper cutter to get the last bit of this done. I had to. HAD TO. My little cheap piece-of-crap paper cutter was my excuse to buy this:

Look at how beautiful my new Swingline is, all shiny and new in the morning sunshine! It took a little getting used to, but now I ♥ it. Need some paper cut? Come on over, we'll play with my Swingline.

I finished these on Friday and FedEx'd them out to the Mother of the Bride on Saturday. I am praying that they are all to her liking. I'm wigging out again though because as I was writing this blog, I noticed what might be a typo on one of the address labels. A typo. Really, Louise? After ALL of this? I swear, I felt like I checked and double checked everything a bazillion times. But, I did send extra blank cards and envelopes, just in case they needed more or I did mess something up that I didn't catch. Again, I only play a graphic designer.

So what do you think? Did I do my friend proud or should I be hanging my head in shame? Doing something DIY is SO different when it's not your own!

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Reader Comments (10)


December 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflo

Yes, PROUD! They Rock! :)

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom

I adore these. You did good, lady!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

And I love the pun.

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterflo

Aren't they wonderful??? We are THRILLED! Mom thinks Louise should go into business full time!! Of course, I always knew she'd rock it - she has more talent in one pinky than I have in my whole body!!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWee

BADASS! DIY and beautiful, jeez! :)

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlizzie [love your way]

Too fun lady. Keep on with your DIY amazing self!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChic 'n Cheap Living

Louise did a fantastic job with our Save the Dates. She has an incredible talent and we so appreciate all the hard work she put into making the announcements so special. They are way beyond our expectations! Thank you Louise; you're terrific!

Terry (MOB)

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

Can I get all 12 years old for a second? Thank you. Ahem:

OMG! Those are SOOOO cute!! Like, seriously!!!!

For reals. I designed our SaveTheDates and I only play at graphic design too so I know how hard it is to get everything right, but really, these are fantastic. Be proud!

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLira

MOB/Terry - Thank you SO MUCH! I am so glad you like them!!! Whew!

December 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

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