DIY Baby Shower Invitations

Tampa Bay Baby Shower DIY Invitations (5 of 6)

I've always loved to design publications and I have lofty goals to pursue more formal graphic design training this year so that I can create things for both myself and others. I usually have outlets to leverage this skill set within my education work but I love when I have the chance to try something new, just because!

Next month I'll be hosting a baby shower for Ash & Ben. Sometimes Pinterest overwhelms my inner perfectionist and squelches my inner artist so I steered clear and trusted that I'd be able to think of all the shower elements on my own (what a concept!) I knew when I started planning the shower that I wanted to create most of the things needed under a general theme (children's books) and color scheme (blue, yellow and green with neutral accents).

Rather than purchasing stock invitations from the store or ordering a custom design, I decided to give my creative juices a workout. I did not use any instructions or blogs to create these invitations, but I thought sharing the process back so that someone else might find inspiration to make their own!

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General supplies needed  for these invitations include: 

1.) Microsoft Publisher or some type of design program

2.) Internet and a computer that can download files {so that you can use pretty fonts!}

3.) Cardstock, a color printer and a corner rounder punch (or a local Staples store if you'd prefer to have them do it!)

4.) A package of cording (twine would also work!)

5.) A package of envelopes (I used 4.35 x 5.75 kraft paper envelopes from Michaels)

6.) 4-5 sheets of Avery 8660 clear mailing labels

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Design Tips

  • I would recommend picking out your envelopes first so that you can create a custom sized document for your design that you know will fit in the envelope. I created these invitations in Microsoft Publisher and used a blank, custom sized 4 x 5.5 sized template. This worked perfectly so that I knew everything within the design was sized accordingly.
  • I    L O V E  custom fonts and use them every chance I get. My favorite site is DaFont and they have hundreds of fonts to choose from. For this project, I used Traveling Typewriter [the text you see at the top of the invitation], Type Keys Filled [the dark, circular text] and Clemente [a sans serif font that worked well for the body of the invitation]. These fonts are free to download and super easy to install!
  • The icons I used, like the header banner and the yellow book, are free clip art pieces that can be found by doing a simple graphic or vector search on Google. Make sure that the files you're using are available from the artist and if you can leave a tip, do!
  • The content of the invitation is just text boxes on top of each other. Using the line shape tool to create dividers helps organize the page and Publisher makes it easy to group and move items, too!
  • When I finished the invitation, I changed the page size to 8.5 x 11, copied the invitation so that there were two on a page. This will save you paper, time and ink! My final file was a PDF saved as a "commercial press" file (300 dpi). Don't worry if none of that made sense-- just check your saving drop down menu options and you will see it!

After printing/cutting them and rounding the corners {a total design must in my opinion :) }, I designed labels for the book registry tags. Label design is soooo easy in Microsoft Office. Simply open a new file, select insert-- labels and choose the brand/model number you have purchased. Then, you can fill in the template with any text you'd like!

I used the Typewriter font from the invitation and printed them on clear labels so that they would compliment the Kraft paper tags.

The tags were light and thin so I knew I'd be able to attach them to the invitations, like a mini-present design, while staying within the envelope's content space. I purchased a multi-colored, neutral tone pack of cording for a couple bucks at Michaels and it worked perfectly to secure these lil' guys.

After printing the book registry tags, I used the same label template to create mailing and return address labels. It's so fun to package invitations using a non-traditional envelope and custom labels-- I know the second these get pulled from the mailbox they'll catch the invitee's eye while also staying within the branding of the shower. Yay {graphic design nerd happiness}!

Today I'll drop these by the post office and it makes me really happy! I hope they get some refrigerator facetime before we get together to celebrate in October :)

All in all, I probably spent about 5-6 hours on these invitations. Keep in mind, however, that I am 1.) always multi-tasking 2.) a perfectionist and 3.) a slow crafter.

I spent about $.50 on each invitation (not including postage) though, which is amazing and helps justify the time! Most importantly, they are personalized to Ash and Ben which is what I wanted. I'm already thinking of ideas to design shower thank you notes and baby announcements using some of these design elements!

All Mondays need inspiration and creativity, don't you think? I hope this little bit from me to you empowers you to do something that awakens your inner artist today!

in His love,

Laura