Saturday, June 4, 2011

Make Your Own Apron Invitations

After purchasing a beautiful apron from so sarah designs, I decided to make apron shaped invitations for my future sister-in-law Kristin's kitchen-themed bridal shower. I think these invitations are pretty cute and versatile, too. Not only were they nice for a kitchen-themed bridal shower, but I had previously made something similar for a neighborhood cookie swap that we hosted in December. I know that you can purchase apron invitations and even kits to make them, but it isn't too tricky to make your own. It just takes a little bit of time. Personally, I think the extra effort is worth it because hand-made cards are special. But of course, I'm biased. Anyway, I have three general rules of thumb that I have found helpful when mass producing cards:
  1. Don't worry if all of the cards do not look identical. While this might be nice in an ideal world, it's not necessary because the recipients will not see the invitations that the other guests receive.
  2. Use a word processing program for at least one or two elements of your design. This will significantly cut down on the amount of stamping or hand-writing you will have to do, which is essential if you are making more than a handful of cards.
  3. Once you have your card design determined, make and assemble all of the card elements and finished product in assembly line fashion. This is the most efficient way, which preserves your sanity while saving you time!
Materials Needed for Apron Invitations:
  • cardstock (1 sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" = 2 invitations)
  • paper trimmer
  • scissors 
  • pencil (for tracing template)
  • word processing program (I use Microsoft Word)
  • adhesives
  • embellishments (brads, buttons, paper flowers, etc.)
  • ribbon
  • hole punch
  • decorative scissors (optional)
  • clear tape (optional)

Directions for Making Apron Invitations:
{Poem for the front of the card}
  1. Decide what size you want your finished card to be. This may be determined by the size of the envelopes you are using. My finished card size was approximately 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" and they were mailed in store-bought envelopes measuring 4 3/4" x 6 1/2". Tip: Before starting my actual cards, I made a mock-up on scratch paper.
  2. Determine your color scheme and select your cardstock. (I chose turquoise and brown to coordinate with Kristin's kitchen colors and those of the dishes, towels, and other kitchen items that she had registered for. I also added some green which was included in the apron from so sarah designs.) 
  3. Using a paper trimmer, cut an 8 1/2" x 11" inch piece of cardstock into two pieces, each measuring 8 1/2" x 4 1/4".
  4. Using scissors, cut away two arcs or semi-circles to give the paper the apron shape. Tip: If you want it to be symmetrical, fold your mock-up in half and then cut one arc. Then, use your mock-up as a template for your actual invitations. 
  5. Fold paper up so that it forms a "pocket" for the apron. Mine were approximately 3" tall. If desired you can trim the edge with decorative scissors or affix separate pieces of trim. (I cut 3/4" x 4 1/4" strips of chocolate brown cardstock edged with scalloped scissors to make the trim that I adhered to the turquoise cardstock. Layered on top of that is a narrower strip of decorative brown paper.)
  6. Using a hole punch or similar tool, make four holes, one on either side at the top edge of the cut-away arc and one on either side of the bottom edge of the cut-away arc. (See photo.)
  7. Use a word processing program to type up the party details and the poem for the front of the card. For the party details, I named my mom and myself as the hostesses and informed the guests that we invited them to "Stir up some fun!" at a kitchen-themed bridal shower. I revised a poem found here to use on the front of the apron. (See photo.) I was able to fit 4 party detail inserts and 6 poems per page. For graphics I used some black and white clipart of kitchen gadgets that I scaled down and arranged in a row. I printed my poems on white cardstock and the party details on green cardstock. Tip: Print off a trial page on scratch paper to make sure that the size is correct before printing the rest on cardstock.
  8. Use a paper trimmer to cut apart your party detail inserts and poems. I also used small scalloped scissors to add detail to the poems.
  9. Trim cardstock in a coordinating color (I chose green) slightly larger than poems. Adhere poem to cardstock. Adhere the layered piece to outside of apron pocket.
  10. Insert party details into the pocket or affix to the inside paper using adhesives. (The latter is how I chose to do it.)
  11. Cut three lengths of ribbon, one 4 inches long and two that are 3 inches long. Thread the 4 inch long piece of ribbon through the top holes and tie off the ends. Secure with clear tape so that the ribbon lays flat, if desired. Thread the second ribbon through one of the side holes and secure as before. Repeat with the third ribbon in the final hole. Tip: If you are not trying to save on cost and don't care how the back of the card looks, you can use one long piece of ribbon and thread it through all of the holes starting on the left and working your way up and over. It will need to be about 12 inches long. Tip: If you are wanting to save money on ribbon, consider using curling ribbon.
  12. Add embellishments as desired. I used clear gem-type brads to attach paper flowers to the top center part of the apron design.
  13. Purchase or make your own recipe cards to include along with the invitation to extend the kitchen bridal shower theme. 
{I couldn't find a recipe card I liked, so I made this one in Microsoft Word.}
If you need more help making apron shaped cards, you may want to try this template.

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