Save the Date, Part 2
Yes, it is silly that there are two parts to the Save the Date saga. It’s not even a real part of the wedding. But, like projects have a funny way of doing, our Save the Date ordeal managed to spiral out of control, and that’s how we ended up with two save the dates- the video and a mailable.
So after the idea for the video sprang from my mind fully-formed, like one of Zeus’s children, I was super pumped. I was imagining perhaps sending out a simple email with the link to the website. But then my love for fancy mail, manifested as a tiny devil sitting on my shoulder, started whispering in my ear. “Don’t you want to send people something they can hold in their hands?” it said. “An email will just end up in the spam folder.”
“You’re right,” I said. “We have to make super labor-intensive and bulky Save the Dates. And they have to be rigid enough to incur a special charge at the post office.”
And so it was decided.
At first, I imagined an easy postcard. Then I was like, “Let’s do a clear etched 1/16″ acrylic piece over a watercolor background.” And we were like, “Great.” Then Nick was like, “Well, the acrylic really should be matte.” Okay, so it’s going to be 1/8″ instead (P95 acrylic, the matte stuff, doesn’t come any thinner than that), no biggie. And then I was like, “Well, I really think the letters should be gold.” Okay, let’s go on Amazon and try to find the shiniest gold paint around with which we could fill the etched letters. And then we were like, “Well, we should really use a vintage postcard of Garnerville for the background. And we need to print it on really, really, thick stock that very few online printing services offer.” Okay, let’s spend several days looking for a printer and then pay extra for a proof.
So that’s what we did.
The easiest part, the printed cards with the vintage image of Garnerville, came from THikit.com, a printer that specializes in extra thick stock, as you might have guessed from the name. We chose 32 pt Mohawk Superfine Eggshell paper in Bright White. They printed these suckers so fast- I think it was like a one day turnaround. Highly recommend for all your thick paper printing needs. But since we can’t ever take anything at face value, we modded these upon arrival- we spray painted the edges gold. This is a service that THikit provides, but I didn’t want to pay an extra $25+. And spray painting ourselves was really easy and quick- just align the cards (I did two batches of 50), press between two pieces of heavy stock or other material (we used acrylic), rubber band securely in one direction, then spray the non- banded sides. Let dry, rotate the bands, and repeat. Easy peasy and they look awesome.
So the hard part- the acrylic pieces. As I mentioned, we used a type of acrylic called P95. One side of the material is frosted to reduce glare, and it has the added effect of looking really, really nice. It’s a bit pricier than your average clear acrylic, but I got a good price at interstateplastics.com. We then laser-etched our design into the frosted face, keeping the paper masking intact. In testing this idea, we discovered that if we applied the gold paint directly to the etch, it loses a lot of shine when it settles into the acrylic, so we first filled the etching with a layer of white latex paint, left over from a recent bathroom renovation extravaganza. This greatly increases the shine and smoothness, although it is not perfect and can be hard to control as well. We hope our guests forgive us.
After the white paint dried, then, and only then, could we finally apply the gold paint. We used my favorite paint in the entire goddamn world, the Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding I won’t shut up about. We used q-tips to apply and then stared at it until it dried. We peeled off the masking (pain in the a$$, also) and, voila, Save the Dates, in only 1 billion easy steps.
I think they really convey the theme of the wedding, which is, “Overly Ambitious and Difficult to Execute,” don’t you?
JK, I love these. They were a lot of work, but it was a good warmup for the remaining months I have left to pull off this wedding. Phase 1 is complete. Now onto the rest.
OH MY! These save-the-dates are the most amazing things ever. I LOVE that they are DIY but are “Overly Ambitious and Difficult to Execute”. I am totally pinning this and doing it when my turn comes around!
Thanks for the kind words Kasia – we are very proud to have been part of your project. The end result is incredible. We look forward to working with you again.
What company did you use to then etch the plastic?
Thanks for stopping by my blog! We actually own a laser cutter- so we were able to do it ourselves. It’s not usually too hard to track down a place with a laser cutter, though! A lot of cities have Maker Spaces or studios where you can either have your work etched or get certified to use the machine yourself! I mostly know of places in the NYC area- if you’re from around here, let me know and I’ll be happy to give you a list of places that might be able to help you out!