Have you seen this cartoon by Poofytoo floating around the internet lately?
Yep, that's me. And so while I'm all for the ease and convenience of Evite (and it's a website I use, both as a host and attendee), there's still something completely magical about getting an invitation in the mail. Especially when you're a kid.
I like to set the tone of a party with the invitations. Sometimes that's with a simple but adorable printable, like this one from Frog Prince Paperie:
But most often I like to craft my own. Largely because my (awesome) kids come up with creative party themes and if I want an invitation to match, it's either learn graphic design or handcraft something! Graphic design not being my thing, I pull out the paper and glue.
Like my daughter's Under the Sea Tea Party. Not something I could find in party stores, and I hadn't even discovered Etsy yet (can you imagine??). I hand-painted these with watercolors, taking my inspiration from a How to Draw Mermaids and Fairies book my daughter had.
(Do they look familiar? I still draw mermaids like that, most recently on cookies.)
My daughter asked for a Rainbow Unicorn birthday party for her 5th birthday. You'd think with the revival of all-things-80s I'd be able to find something, but no. Scrapbook paper and lots of glue later, we had something rainbowy, unicorny, and sufficiently sparkly for her tastes.
The invitations I make seem to keep getting bigger and more elaborate. Which usually means that I need to hand-deliver them, instead of sending them through the mail. A little cumbersome, but worth the effort!
Her birthday last year was seriously fun for me, an English and Anthropology major. Egyptology!
I had a blast making invitations that looked like leather-bound archaeological field journals, and writing a letter in early 20th century formal letter style explaining the "history" of our dig site and beseeching the young archaeologists to come help us solve the mystery of the missing professor.
I have always loved paper art and paper sculpture. So this invitation for my youngest daughter's Strawberry Picnic first birthday was especially fun to make! I have a particular fondness for pop-up books, and have made several over the years, so I'm sure you'll see some of those techniques appearing in my future creations!
But this year I learned the joy of using the die-cut machine at my local scrapbook store. It only took only minutes to make these adorable cupcake invitations for my daughter's Sprinkles birthday party! The hardest part of making the invitation was finding a sprinkles paper, which I ended up having to make myself (despite my severely limited graphics skills).
I absolutely love working on these projects, and my girls do, too. They see the invitations being made and mailed, and it means that their parties are right around the corner--finally going to happen!
If you don't feel up to making an elaborate invitation yourself, I don't blame you. I only do it because I enjoy it. Because I've been obsessed with papercrafts since I was old enough to stop eating paper and start making stuff with it. The printables out there these days are amazing, and endlessly customizable. Designers are often willing to create custom designs for you (like Frog Prince Paperie did for our Butterfly Birthday party).
You can embellish cards with ribbons or lace, like this one from Dionne Lashell:
Or how about a custom belly band for your invitations? Like these, to wrap around your invitations from Elle Z Designs:
Or how about these amazing handkerchief invitations? They may be the coolest invite idea I've ever seen.
And the most brilliant idea I've heard about recently, was including an actual RSVP card with the invitation for a child's party. Sure, it'll cost you an extra stamp and a little extra time. But remember that cartoon up top? The guests will get the thrill of receiving an actual invitation, and then your child will have the joy of receiving responses in the mail. I know my girls would absolutely adore that. Definitely going on the to-do list for the next birthday party!
What's your favorite way to invite guests? Have a favorite designer or invitation store? I'm always on the lookout for cool new ideas and sources!