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Steph's DIY passport invites - pictures, instructions and advice

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These are finally done and in the mail today!  I think I've been working on them too long because I was becoming super critical and thinking about all the things I should have changed.

 

Anyway, here is how I did it - its long but hopefully will be helpful to future DIYers.

 

Materials:         

 

champagne & dark blue metallic 80lb paper & envelopes from papersandmore.com

Ribbon from Michaels

Silk thread from Michaels

Rotary paper cutter from work

Scotch wrinkle free glue stick from Target

Corner hole punch from Michaels and regular hole punch

 

If I had to do it again, Iâ€d go with different colors.  I really wanted off-white – like ivory color wedding dresses – but couldnâ€t find that.  I thought the white might be too blah since I was using that for envelopes too (too much of a pain to print on dark paper and my wedding color (turquoise) is not available in metallic).  I do like the champagne but things print and look different on color paper than they do on white.  And my one big piece of advice to everyone is DONâ€T use dark paper!  Honestly you canâ€t do it yourself – you need it professionally printed and Iâ€m not talking about Office Depot of Kinkos – you need a real print shop.  Even they could not digitally print on the paper and had to “press†it.  Maybe its just the metallic and plain cardstock is OK.  But factor the extra cost into your project.

 

Design:            

 

I used the Aylee template and did the whole thing in Word.  I wish I had Photoshop and all the neat graphic capabilities that go along with it, but I had to just rely on fonts, pictures and colors.  I kept the passport stamp watermark on the inside pages but changed the inside cover to look more like a traditional passport (not the new ones) with the hexagon shaped designs and centered emblem.  I found a compass in clip art and shrunk that down, lightened it and repeated it for the background.  I also used a large one for the center emblem.  I took the invite wording from things Iâ€ve seen on BDW and added something to recognize that weâ€ve been together forever.  Iâ€m really happy with the way that turned out.  The inside pages are the standard info – accommodations, itinerary and travel info.

 

The RSVP I designed myself.  I thought about using the Vistaprint postcard everyone has used but I had a hard time trying to fit all the info on it the postcard considering the address and stamp are on the same side.  Since I did boarding passes for the STD, I wanted something different so a luggage tag it was.  The wording is borrowed from other BDW brides.

 

One of my favorite things is the envelope liners I made.  Since I wasnâ€t using colored envelopes, I wanted to do something to make them stand out a little.  I used that same compass and changed the colors to navy and turquoise, shrunk it down and printed on entire sheets of paper.  I cut the pieces just slightly smaller than the envelope and voile – it brings the whole thing together.

 

Printing:

 

Boy was this part a pain in the butt.  First was the issue with things looking different on champagne as opposed to white so I had to spend some time tweaking colors and doing test prints.  I used my work printer so itâ€s a good commercial quality laser printer.  The one sided prints came out fine but the 2 sided ones didnâ€t.  No matter how I changed it up (print 2 sided, print single side and reefed, wait between prints, etc) the second side always printed lighter – like the paper wasnâ€t absorbing any more.  I finally gave up and figured nobody else would even notice – it wasnâ€t that drastic and really, once I set it aside for a few days, I didnâ€t even notice anymore.  Then the second side just didnâ€t line up exactly the same.  Left to right was OK, but top to bottom was a little off so I had to do some extra trimming.  But once assembled you canâ€t notice a size difference.

 

The covers were taken to Ameripress.  As mentioned above, this could not be printed.  I considered having a stamp made and getting a gold inkpad but was worried Iâ€d screw that up.  I also considered having a stencil made but same thing.  Plus both were pretty pricey.  I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead with the press job and it was costing me more anyway, I decided to go with gold.  I was expecting it to be the gold leaf foil like a real passport, but itâ€s just gold color.  Iâ€m disappointed but nothing I can do about it now.

 

Envelopes were crazy too.  Neither Word nor my printer would accept the size of envelopes since they were too small – A2 and 4 Bar.  I had to “trick†the system.  For the RSVP, I used the Monarch but lined up to print in just the middle.  Then I had to take a piece of paper and cut it to Monarch size and stick it under the envelope flap so it would feed into the printer.  It took a long time to print because I kept having to swap out the insert into the next envelope but it worked. The main envelopes were a little easier – same method but used the #10 format and was able to use a real envelope to feed it. 

 

Assembly:

 

I used a rotary paper cutter and after the STDs and other DIY projects I have become a pro at cutting.  Folding wasnâ€t bad either since it wasnâ€t heavy cardstock.  The real challenge came with putting it all together.  I was hesitant about using staples because my center page had a picture going across the middle so the placement would have been odd.  Iâ€ve never used a glue gun and wasnâ€t sure if that work anyway with it being such a thin line.  I donâ€t know what possessed me but I decided to sew them together using beading thread that is the EXACT same color as my champagne paper.  I sewed the 2 champagne color sheets and then glued the navy covers to the outside.

 

At the last minute I decided to make a pocket to hold everything together – it wasnâ€t in the original plan but I thought dumping everything into the envelope didnâ€t look right.  I had a lot of extra navy paper so I just folded that to the dimensions between the passport size and the envelope size and its perfect.  Once I put the passport inside it looked too dark so I had to add another champagne sheet behind it, but it looks like a real travel folder youâ€d get from a travel agent.  I think my guests will be surprised.  Lastly, I had to figure out how to close the folders.  I considered a bally band but was out of paper by this point.  Then I thought Iâ€d tie it with colored raffia.  I ultimately decided to do a wax seal with a palm tree and am quite happy with it.

 

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Awesome job! They are absolutely beautiful, and the presentation is so nice. Sounds like you had a ton of challenges to overcome while doing these, but I love your write-up. Thanks for sharing it with us!

 

I've been overthinking every aspect of ours also (boarding passes, not passports). Time to just get them done and get it off my plate!

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