Monday, August 30, 2010

"Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Invite

The Project: A "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Invite
**To find directions for the Poem, Belly band, and Custom Envelope Check out my other blogs :-) **

The Cost:  about $50.00 for 7 sets, poems, and belly bands (with Custom envelopes, add $3.00)
**Keep in mind, cost will vary depending on Paper Selection, size, and amount of dolls needed.** If you are creating these on your own, you can get cheaper, but don't be fooled...these are time consuming!!
This is my completed invite complete with Solo Doll, Doll Accordians,Belly Band, Poem, and Initial Sticker.

These are the Dolls unfolded and laying flat. If they were placed standing up, they would be accordian style.
The Story

We all know that the most imporant part of a wedding is the relationship between the Bride and Groom and the journey that they are about to embark on, howeverrrrr...even though they are the "stars" of the show, where would they be without their "co-stars"- their family and friends. Friends and family have most likely been there for you before your significant others were even present in your lives, so it only makes sense to honor those special people in your life as well.
I began my search by googling "Will you be my bridesmaid invites" and found alot of basic cute stuff, but when I stumbled upon this great little invite I knew I could duplicate it. I found the invite on and fell in love with it! This was the original one I saw, and then Ill show you the ones I did and how I created them.
Be Prepared: The directions below are for over-sized dolls and intricate poem cards. It took alot of time and many, many steps to do this invite. I probably didnt need to, and you can definately tone it down if you do this yourself. If you have the time to do them large, I suggest you do, I personally feel it makes a huge difference!!

First Things First:

1-Pick your wedding colors or theme
2-Pick a dress you would like to use on each of the dolls ( if your girls are wearing all different dresses Im sure you can still do this invite but it will be much more difficult to prepare for. Even if you do seperate dresses, maybe just pick one to make it easier on yourself.)
3.Choose your wedding party, how many girls are you having? Who is your bridesmaid and is her dress color different?
4.Decide if you want all girls to be connected as in the one, or if you want to make it more personal as I did, meaning one girl will be seperate from the rest of the invite (namely whoevers invite it is)
5.Create sketches of your dress and sketched of each of the girls hair for later on. (I know it sounds dumb but it helped me alot, see pics below later on)
6.Decide on the girls hair color and buy paper ahead of time for the dresses and hair so you dont have to go back and forth. Remember, it never hurts to buy alittle more instead of too little.

**Do the Math! Its very important to try and calculate how much of everything you need which I also learned the hard way. Remember that if you have 5 girls, you will be making 5 sets of dolls, which means 25 individual dolls...this means, 25 dresses, 25 hairs styles (5 each per girl)**

**Also, before you get started on the actual accordian style (direction #10), decide whether you are making all girls together or keeping one seperate. This will be the difference of whether or not you make more folds. (for example, I had 7 girls but I kept one seperate so I only made 6 folds for the acordian doll and created the other one  seperately)

What you will need: (This will vary for each person)

1-Scissors (2.00 from Michaels)
2-Glue/glue stick/glue dots (whatever you like best) (3.99 from Michaels)
3-Ribbon if you need for your dress (.50 from AC moore)
4-Paper in the colors of your choice ( .59-.99 a sheet at Michaels or AC moore)
5-A cutout tracer to help you with your dolls (0.00)
6-Large oaktag or paper in the size to make all dolls (1.75-5.99 a sheet)
7-Xacto knife for smaller areas (~5.00-14.99)

**You can get .50 ribbon from AC Moore**

Detailed Step-by-Step Directions:

1.Pull up your dresses from online
2.Copy and paste it into a word doc and resized it to a good size and printed it out.
3.Place a white piece of print paper over the printed out dress and basically create a simplified outline of the dress and persons arms and head as shown in the above picture to the lower right. **This cut out will become your tracer for everything else you do, its very important**

- If your picture doesnt have a head, try and use something circular to create it yourself. Thats what I had to do. I used a cap that seemed to fit size wise. Some of it will get covered up later on when placing the hair on so dont worry too much about it.

4. Create a quick sketch of the hairstyles of your friends and label colors or whatever else you want to plan for. You can make this as simple or detailed as you'd like.

 5. When you have chosen your designs, use any paper to make new tracers for each hairstyle. Start by copying the head portion of your original tracer and do this as many times as you need to cover all girls. I had seven girls so I traced it 7 times. This takes some time so be patient. **Be aware that the more curves you make and curls, the harder it is to do. I learned this the hard way!**
6. After you created the amount of these that you needed, you can then start referring back to your hair sketches for each girl. Start one at a time, and draw their hairstyle over the head. This will help how it will really look when you cut them out later and paste them onto the head. Make sure it does overlap the head because the paper needs to have somewhere to stick to.
7. Create all the hair styles and then cut them all out. This will be your tracer for when you cut them out on the colored paper later on.
8. Take the appropriate tracer and trace it onto the correct color paper the number of times needed. (For example,  had 7 girls so I had to make 7 of each hairstyle. 7 blonde, 7 red, 7 black, etccc...)
9. Once all traced out, cut them out as well and put them aside for later. I labeled mine because Im OCD but you dont have to :-)
  Now its time for the bodies and !!

10. Take your large oaktag paper or whatever paper you chose depending on the size of the invite. Place a tracer down on the very edge of the sheet and mark with a pencil where the end of the tracer hits.
11. Fold paper over to the line mark you made, flip over the paper and fold the paper again acordian style the remainder of the paper or until you have made enough folds for each girl ( if you have 6 girls, you should have like 5 folds) When you are done, your paper should look like this: (This is a regular piece of paper bc I didnt take pics of this part, sorry) Same concept though.
12. Take the tracer and place it on top of the folded up paper.
13. Trace over the dress, arms, head, etc until your design is on your oaktag.
14. Get a good pair of scissors and start cutting away at all the sheet of paper at once in the shape of your doll. This will do all 7 dolls, or however many you have, at once!! Saves alot of time but it can hurt your hand.
15.When you have the invite cut, unfold it and see that you should have 7 doll shapes. You cant help but smile when you see it start to come together.
16.Next, xacto knife any inside areas like the area between the dress and the arms. This is tedious and you cant do all 7 at once anymore, you have to do each one seperately! This part definitely stinks!

When you finished doing this 5 or 6 or even 7 times, you will need a huge break! and you can also place these to the side for awhile. yay!!

Next, onto the dresses! Before you start tracing the dresses onto colored paper, unfold one of the accordian dolls and take notice that when you folded the paper, certain dolls are facing different directions. You need to account for this when making the dresses if you are using paper that is textured. If you are using regular paper, than it wont matter but if you are using textured paper as I did, write down the number of dresses facing one way, and the number facng the other way so you know how many to make and on what side of the paper to start tracing. (for example: for me, i had three facing left, and 3 facing right on each 7 invites x3right is 21 right dresses, and 7invites x3left is 21 left dresses) Sounds confusing I know but youll see what I mean. If you mess up once, you wont mess up again trust me :-)

17. When you planned everything out, begin tracing your dress pattern onto colored paper. **JUST THE DRESS, not the whole body over again! Youll need to improvise when it comes to the top bust line...**

18. When you are done tracing as many times as you need, cut them all out.
Now the FUN part!! Putting it all together!!

20. Undo one accordian invite at a time, and start gluing down the dresses. Once dresses are glued on, start gluing on the hair. It doesnt matter in what order you place the girls, thats up to you.
21. Any excess paper can just be cut off. (ex: the bottom of the dresses extend longer than the actual white oaktag and can be cut so both papers are flush)

After you completed all the invites, take a step back and enjoy all your hard work...or stand them up altogether like I did for a good laugh.
Thanks for checking out my How-To Bridal Invites. Sorry so long and tedious. Take a look at the next post of the rest of the invite...the bridal poems!!

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