Firefly Invitation Tutorial--Shepherd Book's Box of Strawberries

I struggled with what to do for the invitation to the Firefly themed birthday party for a long time.  Send a video e-vite "wave?"  I know nothing about video production.  It would have been awful.  I needed something decidedly more low-tech.  But inspiration eluded me...until I remembered the scene where Kaylee and Shepherd Book meet, as she's looking to book passengers on Serenity.  Book secures a spot on the ship by showing Kaylee something in a small brown box--something that turns out to be freshly picked strawberries.

Bam!  I knew what to do.  A simple text invitation, but in an envelope that looks like Book's box of strawberries.

I started by looking at a screen capture of the box from the show, and doing some Googling (because of course other Firefly fans had already done all the hard work figuring out the details for me).  I learned that the box was a vintage find, an old Bahia brand cigar box.  

It was a simple matter to find the logo, clear off the background, and create a simple document I could use to print on cardstock.  If you just want to use my file and do exactly what I did, here it is.  

Print the PDF file with the logo on brown cardstock.  Fold twice, to create a pocket for the invitation and the envelope flap.

It looked a little too clean and crisp for me, but a little bit of scuffing with some sandpaper took care of that quickly.

Cut a rectangle of strawberry print scrapbook paper slightly narrower than the width of the brown cardstock.  This will be the envelope liner.  You don't need the liner to extend all the way to the bottom of the envelope--nobody will ever see below a couple inches beneath the fold, so don't waste your paper.  Attach with glue (I used a hot glue gun) above the top fold only.  If you do the whole thing, it'll get all wonky when you fold up the envelope.  Less effort AND better results?  Count me in.  If you're using pre-made envelopes, follow the instructions in this post to line your envelope.

Fold the bottom half of the envelope up, and glue in place.  Again, I used my trusty hot glue gun.  You could use regular glue and weight it down and wait for it to dry, but why?

The last little detail was the curling label on Book's wooden box.  I just hand-cut rectangles of printer paper and raided my daughters' art supplies for colored pencils.  Start coloring, not worrying if you are getting complete coverage, on a diagonal.  Take another pencil, and do the same thing in the opposite diagonal direction, to create a subtle criss-cross texture.  Use several different shades of the same colors and keep layering.  It's an incredibly simple technique, but it makes such a beautiful, organic, textured look.  Once the color is on, curl up an edge, and glue that sucker on!  (Note, if you're actually sending through the mail, that curled edge might get caught on the sorting machines.  I probably would hand-deliver if you're doing the curl.)

What do you think?