Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Entertaining at Home: DIY Invitations

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great time hosting a fun dinner party for 16 guests over New Year's Eve. We wanted to do something that was a treat for our friends, and somewhat low-key so that everyone could just relax and enjoy the company.

So, as I was party planning I was thinking of all of the tips I could share with you on entertaining at home. There are a lot of things to consider when planning a seated dinner party anywhere, but there are several challenges when doing it at home.

Let's start from the beginning...creating your guest list & sending invitations. When planning at home, you want to make sure that you can accommodate the number of guests you are expecting to come. (More details on this later, for instance, knowing how many place settings of dishes you have.) Once you've created your guest list, it's time for invitations.

I chose to give a DIY {Do-It-Yourself} a whirl for this party. I packed up and went to Target, where I found a pack of shimmery silver folded cards and envelopes! Perfect!

Next, I thought I would give using stamps a try. For this party, I knew I wanted to use "5-4-3-2-1" as a fun theme for the traditional new year's countdown. Also at Target I picked up some great swirly number stamps, along with a few swirly flourishes just in case.

Like this, but numbers...

My next stop took me to Wal-Mart where I headed straight for the Martha Stewart section on the party aisle. I knew that Martha had some great options for stamping, and knew exactly what I wanted. I picked up her glue stamp pad and an array of her great glitters, and headed home. {I already had the white cardstock that I needed and the pens for addressing the slick, shimmery envelopes.}

Time to make the invitations! After folding all of the silver cards I began the stamping project. I took each of the individual numbers, stamped them on the glue pad (which is clear), and then stamped them on the front of the folded card. I had already selected which colors of glitter I would use for each number, so I glittered each individual number as I stamped them on the card. A helpful hint is to start with the number/letter/image you need in the center and then work your way out. Once I had stamped & glittered all of the 3's, I shook off the glitter and worked on the other numbers.

After I had finished all of the stamping & glittering {and the cleaning!} I set them to dry and worked on the inside of the card, which held all of the important party information. It is important to communicate all of the W's in the invitation...

WHAT TO WEAR (okay, so this doesn't necessarily have to be in there, but I love to include it when I can)

Here is what mine looked like:

I thought I would be able to print the inside of the folded card, but realized {before stamping & glittering} that I would have to add a printed layer since my printer didn't like the slick paper. So, I printed several pages of the invitation on a white card stock, cut them out, and attached them to the folded card with double sided tape.

After this, the invites were ready to go & I popped them in the mail! Check out the finished product...

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