Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wedding Programs Part 1: Program Covers

Sorry I've been absent lately Posh Purpose readers!  My wedding day is coming up quick and I've been busy/stressed.  Besides the guest list/RSVPs and waiting to figure out exactly how many people we are going to host at the wedding, I've gotten behind on my crafty projects.

One of my biggest tasks has been creating the wedding programs.  I don't believe in spending tons of money on programs, but I did want something a little nicer than a folded sheet of cheap copy paper.  Also, while programs aren't a huge visual focal point at a wedding, every person will direct their eyes and attention to the program in order to follow along the service...therefore, using my wedding cost logic, it is worth spending the money and time on a program that is made of nice paper and looks attractive.

I looked around at a number of places online, but they were all either too expensive for my tastes ($2.35 at a minimum!) or they were all kinds of fugly/didn't fit with my wedding at all.  I found an article online at Paper Source and decided to attempt the booklet program.

I decided to explore using my Silhouette Cameo machine to fashion up some program covers.  I had bought the Cameo several months ago in anticipation of all things wedding using Christmas money (at the time, Overstock.com had the best deal and I also had a groupon offer that saved me another $15).  While I love the Cameo and all it can do...it's user software and owner's manual isn't the most helpful.  After much trial and error, I decided to make a doily design cut out with a W monogram (my new initial!).  I'm using doilies throughout the reception, so I thought it would be a good way to tie the ceremony and the reception together.

I visited the lovely people at Paper Source (I'd heard from another bride that Paper Source was the best quality bulk paper to buy and it was better than anything at the craft store).  I'll spare you the hour long discussion I had with the ladies there, but ultimately I decided on using the A6 folded card as the program cover in the blossom color (the "guts" of the program will be printed on text weight paper in the stardream quartz shade and the whole thing will be tied off with a ribbon...but more on that later).

Paper Source
A6 Folded Card in Blossom

After setting up the design and calibrating the design to fit the A6 card (this was a pain in the tush and it took Mr. 3's IT guru powers to figure this part out), I began printing/cutting them out....one at a time....until I got to 130 programs...

program cover

Part of the issue is that the Silhouette dimensions would only allow me to fit one A6 sized card per print session and everything that you do on the Cameo has to be one by one (there is no auto feed like you have with an office printer).  Further, the Cameo operates by putting the media material (i.e. the A6 card) onto a sticky cutting mat, cutting out the design, and then you have to peel the media from the mat leaving the sticky bits behind which must also be peeled off.

left over "bits"

The Cameo comes with one cutting mat and I decided to speed up the process by ordering a second mat and a scraping tool (to get the little bits off) through Amazon.com.  That way, while one program was cutting, I could prepare the other mat.

It still took forever.  Make sure to allow plenty of time if you are going to use the Cameo for any large volume of materials if you can't fit more than one item on the mat.  All told, it probably took me about 24 hours to design, order supplies, and cut out the programs.

Luckily, I still LOVE them.  Price wise it was really cost effective.  Paper Source offers bulk discounts and each pack of A6 cards is $6.50 for 20 cards.  If you order 10 or more packs you get a 10% discount.  At the time, I thought I would need to make about 180 covers, plus I needed one pack for trial and error testing, so I ordered 10 packs and qualified for the discount (Paper Source didn't have enough of the A6 cards in the blossom color, but if you order in store, Paper Source will waive shipping costs for orders over $50).  Since I wound up only printing about 130 covers plus testing, the covers wound up costing about $43 for the A6 cards...which is about 33 cents a piece.  I'm not including the cost of the other items (cutting mat, blades, Cameo, etc), because I'm able to use those for other wedding projects and I will probably keep using the Cameo for future post-wedding crafting projects.

Stay tuned for the rest of the wedding programs....