Jen: We all love the simplicity and efficiency that e-mail invitations offer us when we are hosting or RSVPing for a party. But, haven’t we all had that disappointing experience of opening up an e-vite to some brightly colored (not in a good way) image with strange clipart and an annoying catchphrase that does not compel us to attend a said gathering? And are baby shower invites not the worst combination of pastels and rattles and phrases like “Be it a boy or a girl, we simply can’t say? But let’s shower the mommy before the delivery day!” (yes, that is a real invitation out there)? So, imagine my excitement when I took a look at paperlesspost.com and saw a plethora of simple and classy options for baby shower invites. I loved the variety of designs and the intuitive use of this online e-vite tool and knew right away this was the way to go for us. The only downsides were that there was a limit for free invites (all of which I used up for our attendees) and some of those who received invites had some confusion on how to return messages we sent or RSVP. So maybe not intuitive on all sides.
Heather: I have a reluctant affection for e-vites. However I’ve found appreciation for these three things: they are quick and timely, everyone gets to see who is and isn’t coming (people like this, people!) and they are inexpensive. With that said, whenever I utilize an e-vite for a gathering I always have a little sadness in skipping the old-fashioned way. I love snail mail like I love #2 pencils and old chairs. So again, with this being on behalf of a good friend and all, we didn’t want to skip sending something for the guests to have and to hold. We also had a few unique things to explain and a couple of items for each guest to bring along.
I kept picturing a nostalgic library card sleeve like this, something to inspire the mailing and something to hold all the information we wanted to communicate.
So I made a template using old manilla folders I had.
I trimmed until it folded right and fit into the envelopes I planned to use. Then I used this sample as my template to trace about ten more. Making the bottom about 1/4 inch wider on both sides, I folded the flaps over like this:
I folded the bottom half up to the top half and glued it into place.
One of the items I wanted to send out to guests ahead of time was a bookplate to sign and bring along. I went searching my house for inspiration. I hoped to discover some funky old paper or something that would get my creative thoughts flowing. After tearing my craft closet apart, there stacked high enough to need a ladder was old Reader’s Digest books, with printed bookplates on the first page. Yes! The colors were various shades of aqua and green. Perfect.
I ripped them out and trimmed them to a size that could slip into the sleeve. Being two bookplates short, we collaboratively visited about five thrift stores searching for more. Kristin saved the day, and though we paid $2.99 each rather than the $0.25 each I had spent a few years ago, it was worth it to me.
Next, I made an old’ fashioned style flashcard, a little bigger than the bookplate and about 6 inches long, rounding the corners like so.
Lastly, I punched a hole and reinforced it for fun. At the end of a sharing time, we planned to tie all together as a keepsake for L.
I typed up and numbered all the directions needed to communicate about the mailing, bundled them up, tied it with some aqua string and shipped them out. Done.
Kristin: Today good ol’ fashioned snail mail correspondence is often laced with junk mail and credit card offers – rarely containing anything worth looking forward to. Imagine our guests’ surprise (mine included) when they received this oh-so-perfect “packet” to help prep them for the shower and introduce our theme. This idea was perfectly executed and so cohesive with the other components of the shower. J and H rocked this invite!
Heather: Ladies, the one thing we forgot? To send a copy of either one to Lyndsay. Ha! She kindly called us the day before the shower, just to check on what time the shower she thought we were having was? All our efforts to put her at ease and there she was wondering if she’d possibly made up the fact we were having a shower for her. Classy.
Stay tuned tomorrow to see how Kristin worked all these beginning pieces into her DIY decor – baby shower part 3: decorations.