Two of my good friends are pregnant for the first time, and I’m helping to throw separate baby showers for both of them along with some of the other women in my church small group. The original plan was to have the invitations for the first shower ready to go by this morning. On Thursday (T-minus 3 days) I realized with a start that I hadn’t done anything about the invitations! Not only that, because it’s been a scatterbrained few weeks, I had misplaced the address list and had no idea how many people were invited. I’m usually one of those people who knows exactly where everything is. Need an x-acto knife? In the office, in the top drawer of the plastic organizer to the left of my desk. But not this time! The address list was nowhere to be found.
Liz came over on Friday night (T-minus 2 days) to brainstorm decor ideas and color schemes so that I could coordinate the invitations. We first thought about an all-white base with accents of pink — white tablecloths and dishes, with pink flowers and napkins. We had some inside knowledge that the parents-to-be were calling their baby “Junebug” so I went on istockphoto.com to try to find some cute bug illustrations.
As I was paging through the 929 results for bug (Insect: Arthropod), we came across this adorable baby bee illustration. Liz and I both gave a simultaneous “awwwwww.” After staring at the image with goofy smiles on our faces, we decided to go with a yellow-and-white color scheme instead of pink-and-white!
I purchased the image and started pulling together some possible layouts in Illustrator after Liz went home. Saturday morning (T-minus 1 day), Steve slept in but I got up early-ish and worked more on the invitations, then printed them out on my laser printer. Since I couldn’t remember how many people were invited (I was thinking maybe around 30?), I printed out 28. Easy enough to make more later.
Saturday night (T-minus 12 hours), the mother-to-be kindly emailed me the address list, and I addressed the invitations. I had one extra left over — yes! Liz happened to come over that evening and gently pointed out that I had forgotten to include a request for guests to bring baby photos of themselves on the invitation, so I made another sheet and inserted it — good thing I hadn’t sealed any envelopes yet!
Here are the results, with some additional description and explanation…
Here is what went into the vellum envelopes (still leftover from my wedding invitations and 2005 Christmas cards!), going clockwise from the top:
- “Cover sheet” that shows through vellum envelope. White box is for the address.
- Invitation with pertinent information.
- Map and directions.
- Whoops! Forgot to add this info onto the invitation so it got its own sheet.
The cover sheet is below. I made little white daisies with yellow centers in Illustrator and sprinkled them in the corner and around the baby bee. Since my HP Color LaserJet 2605dn doesn’t print to the edge of the page, I purposefully left a white margin around the sides of the light yellow background.
The addresses got written in the white box, then slipped into the vellum envelope. I wrote the name of the recipient on top for a cool layered effect.
Below is the invitation. I printed just the bee on white cardstock, then printed out the invitation part (with daisies scattered about again) on normal white paper with a slight bleed. I cut and trimmed the invitation layer to size, then rounded the corners of both the cardstock and the invitation layer with rounded corner punches. (My hand was hurting after 28 invites x 2 sheets x 4 corners!) Using an x-acto knife, I cut along the outline of the bee’s leg, stomach, and arm, then glued the yellow layer down, tucking the top edge underneath the leg/arm/belly cutout.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten to add information to ask attendees to bring a baby photo with them to the invitation. So I made another insert to go in between the invitation and the map. I made a gradient box background for the bee, a gradient box “bed,” and then clipped everything with another box in Illustrator. One more white box with a drop shadow effect in Illustrator, and I had a “photo”!
No close-up of the map, but that was drawn in Illustrator as well, with varying stroke widths for the streets. The ends of the street-paths were clipped with a mask in Illustrator for a nice smooth edge.
I’m pleased with how the invitations turned out. The parents-to-be and the other shower organizers were pleased, too. Whew!
This was a surprisingly economical project. I already had the printer, the paper cutter, the x-acto knife and cutting mat, the white printer paper, and the white cardstock, so my only purchase was the stock illustration (about $5)! Maybe the only downside I can think of is that it’s laser-printer toner on normal paper (not acid-free), so it’s not exactly a keepsake…
I discovered yesterday morning that the same artist has other baby bee vector drawings at iStockPhoto, so we may make use of those in the decorations for the party because they are so cute! I will probably use one of them for matching thank-you-cards that the mother-to-be can use.