Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wedding Invitation Kits - How To DIY

The invitation on this picture is the sample that comes in the box. MY NAME IS NOT ELLA!
Gold glitter and foil dot invitations

It's no secret, everyone knows that weddings can get expensive... (quickly!) and sticking with a fixed budget is challenging (at the very least!). You want your day to be special and personal. One way of achieving this is to tackle a few DIYs. There are simple ways to start flexing your creative muscles such as favours, decorations, centrepieces but invitations? Personally, I felt like invitations were too big of a project to tackle.


I looked at prices for online invitations and still felt like I was over my budget. I remembered that a few years ago, I helped create invitations for my friend's bridal shower and wondered if I could do the same for my wedding invitations. Don't get me wrong, I clearly remember how much swearing, sweat, time and wrestling (with the printer) was involved.

Michaels was having a promotion and I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of wedding invitation kits available. The company "Brides" (found here from Gartner Studios) have timeless options that are very affordable and best of all can be customized to your liking. Basically, these are blank cards which typically come with enveloppes (mine have glitter!), invitation, RSVP and another small blank card for whatever you want (I used it as a direction card). They have online templates which you simply fill out and save as pdf documents on your computer.

I had a lot of questions before and during the process. Although Gartner Studios offers a great FAQ section, I still had questions. Hopefully this post can help you achieve your perfect invitations!

What printer to use? :

How was I going to print the invitations? I was dreading smudges and the lines being crooked. Clearly my printer wasn't going to cut it. Desperately, I literally googled my questions (felt a little embarassed as I felt like I was having a conversation with google).

Read: "What printer to use to print wedding invitations"
Results: Only questions. No answers.

Before resorting to professionals (as I already had the invitations and felt it was besides the point to have someone else print them... did I mention my boxes of blank invitations were collecting dust for weeks at this point?), I checked out Costco and blindly (BUT LUCKILY) fell on the HP Officejet 5740 series.

What size paper  and what settings do I choose? :

Invitation card:

This one was a 5 x 7 inches. You simply have to select it on both the printer and in your advance settings when you print your pdf.

Select "Matte presentation paper", again in your advance settings when you print your pdf and be sure to choose "color" rather than "grayscale".

Finally, I played around with "normal" and "draft" quality. I thought "best" would be the nicest but the ink was thicker and I personally obtained better results with "draft". Print a few pages to see what you like best.

Run a few test sheets on regular 8 x 11 paper. I marked an "x" on the top of the sheet before inserting it in the feeder to see which side the writing would appear. You'll avoid making a mistake before printing on the cards.

It's ok to scrap a few cards. It took me about 20 before I was satisfied with the final results. I can't solely blame the printer. I made a few typos, forgot to change the font on a few cards... but in the end, I saved a few dollars and I have a fabulous printer I get to keep.

For the other small cards:

Each 5 x 7 sheet has two cards. Print on a 5 x 7 setting. This time I used "normal" quality.


I didn't print directly on the enveloppes, I am planning on printing on clear labels, however the larger enveloppe is a standard size that can be found on your printer.

The smaller envelope, I chose the 4 x 6 option, although not exactly the correct size. I edited the text by positioning the text a little bit more to the left and a little higher, to compensate for my smaller enveloppe.

I hope this post can help you in making your own invitations. Unfortunately, you do need a good printer and this process will take you an entire day. However, the results are worth it and any budget conscious bride will appreciate the extra savings!

Good luck!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Fruit Pavlovas For Easter

Happy Easter to all those who celebrated this weekend. For those who didn't, I hope you had a fabulous long weekend and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather (or did some major spring cleaning... whatever makes you happy!).

I had to whip up a last minute desert as my fiance's family are throwing a dinner tonight. I wanted something easy to make, I had no energy or will to tackle a cake. As I was flipping my favorite desert cookbooks (ok, I lie. I only ever flip through Martha Stewart's desert cookbook), I was sold on those pretty individual bite-size Pavlovas.

They are the easiest desert to make and require practically no ingredients. I used whatever fruit I had leftover and added a layer of lemon whipped cream. Couldn't be happier with the result!

I have such fond memories of Pavlovas as a kid. We call them "besy" in polish and devouring them in large quantities helped me develop an acute tolerance for sweetness (I do not kid). Do not be fooled! You do NOT have to follow the sugar quantities to the nearest teaspoon. Cutting out a quarter cup will not be a compromise on taste Your Pavlovas will be FINE. I also didn't bother with the vanilla (again, I lie... I completely forgot) and they were still amazing. 

You can find a similar recipe here, also from Martha Stewart. 


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