Monday, July 20, 2009

DIY Wedding Invitations : How to make an Envelope

In the interest of cost-savings and personalization, we decided to make our own wedding invitations. If money were no object, I would have loved to have letterpress but alas we have a budget. So we figured that we'd design and make our own so that at least if we weren't splurging on the printing, we'd splurge on the attention we spent on them.

Here's a tutorial on how to make your own envelopes. We ordered paper from French's and got a cover weight in a large size so that we could cut it down.

First you make a template for the envelope. This is probably the most time consuming part because you want to make several trials and mock-ups to ensure that it folds correctly and is the size you want. Once you have a final template, you trace it onto the paper.
Next you cut it out. I highly recommend using a straight edge and exacto knife instead of scissors. It makes for much cleaner lines and corners.
Now score where your fold lines will be. This is especially important on a heavier weight paper so that you get a nice clean line. I used a bone folder.
Use the flat edge of the bone folder to help you get a nice sharp crease when you fold over the edges. Fold all the edges and then glue any pieces that you need to.

Here's our completed envelope. The right side has a pocket. The middle includes the side flaps and over on the left edge is the outside flap for closure.
And here are some completed and folded-up envelopes. I made 50 so that there were extra in the event of mistakes. It probably took me about 3 evenings to work on them. It's relatively time consuming with all the tracing, cutting & folding. But the major benefit is that all it cost us was the paper (~$25) and some new exacto blades. Per piece, it's far less expensive than ordering pre-made ones and we were able to completely customize it for ourselves.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Camera Bag

To help care for my new camera, I made myself a camera bag. It's really basic - felt lined with cotton and hand-sewn with embroidery thread. I added a button and there's a hole in top for the camera strap to fit through should I want to carry it that way. Just a little basic project but a good way to use up some scraps.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

berries to jam

On 4th of July, I went blueberry picking with my friend Sally to Brewer's Farm in Midway, Georgia. It was so quiet and peaceful that it made me really homesick for my grandmother's place in Vermont where we could go out into the old orchard to pick blackberries. That bucket is 5 quarts of berries for only $7.50!

In any case, I took advantage of the slightly cooler weather last night to make up a batch of Peach-Blueberry Jam. Here's the recipe:

2 quarts fresh sliced peaches
1 quart fresh blueberries
6 cups white sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
*Boil it all down until it reaches jam consistency. (check consistency by placing a spoonful of jam onto a plate and putting in the freezer for a few minutes - if it's the right consistency when you take it out, you're ready; if not, keep boiling.) Spoon off the froth. Put into jars, follow the canning process and voila! Preserved jam! This recipe made exactly 5 pints.

These will be in the mix with the rest of the jams for our wedding favors.