Hand Stamped Wedding Invitations for Kenzie & Abe

Hellooooooooooooo! (elloooo, ello, ellllo, elllloooooo) and welcome to my sporadic blog. It's funny, I'm ALWAYS making something. I have no shortage of projects I could share, but sometimes I can't stop my making long enough to take pictures and write about them. My maker minutes are limited and 90% of the ideas I have will never turn in to real things because I have more ideas than time. This is why most of the things I end up sharing lately have some sort of a deadline. I work well with deadlines- deadlines get things done around here!

My next deadline is September 5th. My youngest sister is getting married and I'm making her wedding dress, so right now my evenings are filled with lace appliqué. I'll get it done, and luckily my sis is laid back and doesn't mind that she won't actually try on her wedding dress until the week before her wedding when I fly out to Utah. Don't worry, we did a muslin fitting, so hopefully it will fit like a glove and all that will be left to do is hem. I'll share more about the dress (and pictures!) after the wedding. But before dressmaking commenced, Matt and I designed and made their wedding invites. Yes, sometimes I make things that don't involve a sewing machine. I don't profess to be any sort of graphic designer, but I am really happy with the way these turned out so I wanted to share.

PS my sister is gorgeous.

I thought that a hand carved stamp would make these invites special and fit with the rustic theme, so in true Holli form I made things exponentially more complex by suggesting that we hand stamp all the invitations. All three hundred. Three, zero, zero. Yes, it took forever, and yes, this was quite ambitious for a novice stamp carver (I've really only carved a couple small ones before this) but after some trial and error we made it happen. Obviously they aren't perfect, but that is part of the charm of handmade, right?
I designed the stamp by hand with this sketch and then rubbed the pencil drawing on to the stamp block. This was part of the error- it really didn't transfer well so I had to re-draw it on the stamp. I also had some issues with the letters carved in to the tree. I knew they needed to be reversed in order to come out the right way when they were stamped, so I reversed them on my drawing. But then I flipped the drawing over on to the stamp and rubbed it, which essentially reversed them again, making the letters readable as I carved. I should have caught that mistake before carving, but it wasn't until I made my first print that I realized my mistake. My solution? Carve the letters out and make another small stamp with the letters on it- properly reversed, instead of double reversed. I used this to stamp the letters in each heart, on each invitation (300!) after they had all dried. Eek.
As for supplies, I used a speed ball linoleum cutter (like this one, purchased from Amazon a while back), a combination of screen printing ink and block printing ink, a speedy cut block, and a hard rubber brayer for applying the ink. (None of these are affiliate links, by the way, they just link to where I happened to buy them)
Like I said, I'm novice, so I won't do a tutorial here for how to carve your own stamps, but I learned a lot and was inspired to try it out by Miriam from Mad Mim (this one, this one, this one and this one are some of my faves) and I found a good basic tutorial here. 
The text part of the invitation and the enclosure for the ceremony invite were designed using InDesign. We used Photoshop to design the invites for my sister Chelsie's wedding (whose dress I also made, blogged about it here) and let me tell you, I sure wish I'd had InDesign then. It is much more intuitive for text design, at least for a novice like me. It came together so quickly, it almost made up for all the time the stamping took! :)
And just for kicks, here's Chelsie and Tyler's invitation from their wedding- I guess I never took a picture of the printed invite so I just have the files, but we had them printed on matte paper at vista print.
invite front
invite back
enclosure card front
enclosure card back
I know, I know. My sisters are beautiful. The two above are twins, but my sister Erin is just as gorgeous. They are funny and kind and awesome too, so, I kinda lucked out in the sister (and brother!) department. Can't wait to see my family in a couple of weeks!!