Elegant Nautical Escort Cards Tutorial

I knew from the earliest moments of planning the nautical wedding photo shoot that I wanted white lettering on dark blue paper.  This would not be a problem for most people, but my handwriting is atrocious.  I skipped first grade, and went directly to second, where I excelled academically and socially, but failed at the things that required fine motor coordination, like gym, and handwriting.  My parents were worried about their decision to skip me ahead.  Little did they know that that class would be the best my handwriting ever got.  It only went downhill from there.  Seriously.  So clearly not the kind of handwriting you'd like to see on an elegant escort card at a wedding.  But I only have a black and white laser printer, no fancy color printers or a letterpress.  I needed to come up with a solution that would work for me, and without buying expensive equipment.

So I can't write prettily freehand--but I can trace!  So I printed out my escort cards with my regular old black-and-white laser printer directly on the dark blue paper.  (I did a test print on white paper first, so I'd know exactly how it would look).

Once I had the names printed, I was ready to trace!  It was a simple matter to go over the printed script with a white paint pen.  There are a bunch of manufacturers of this type of product, and you can find them at any major craft store, but I bought and used the fine-tip Recollections brand white marker from Michaels.

Once the paint pen was dry (and that only took a couple minutes), I was able to cut my escort cards out and embellish.

I taught myself how to make a simple but lovely boating knot called the Carrick Bend Knot by following the excellent instructions on Animated Knots.  I'm not going to do a tutorial on any of the knots I used in this photo shoot, because I can't do a better job than Animated Knots did.  Just go over there to learn what you need to know!

A few tiny shells accented the rope-edged escort cards beautifully.

I also tried edging the escort cards in all shells.  While I liked the look, I found it too tedious to contemplate doing for all the escort cards for a big event, so I stuck with the knots and rope.

Still, it was nice to have a couple of the all-shell versions sprinkled in there.  Maybe just for members of the bridal party or immediate family or something?

I just love the look of the crisp white text on the dark background; it was perfect for this elegant nautical theme.

A little fussy, yes, but not difficult to make.  I love carrying themes and thoughtful details down through the smallest element of a celebration, so silly little crafts like this make me disproportionately happy.  How about you?  Would you ever spend time decorating escort cards?  Or am I just completely nutty for loving this so much?