Earlier this month I took on a project of epic proportions that I DO NOT recommend trying at home, kids. It took me several full days of designing on the computer + mocking up + researching paper sizes + printing + measuring for crop marks + perforating & cutting all 4 sides then finally folding – One month later, my hands and back no longer hurt and my cuts have healed. While I can say that it was truly more work than I anticipated, I must say…I did a damn good job, and everyone loved them! Cheers to DIY and a happy sister-in-law 🙂
I had about 115 finished invitations when it was all said and done. I needed 80, but I wanted a few extra to keep and photograph for my portfolio. I also don’t trust myself to cut in a straight line, regardless of how much guidance a straight edge can offer me, so I wanted to over prepare in the event of any mishaps…which thankfully there were few if any along the way! Here’s a few photos of the process along with the tools that helped me create them all…
on the screen
•Rotary Cutter, 1 blade did the trick
•110# 11×17″ paper
•Pen •Cutting mat(s)
•Silhouette SD cutting machine (I used this for perforating the invitations, but you can definitely use much cheaper, more available tools to do this.)
•Printer + Ink (XL for a cannon printer took care of the entire project, dual sided!)
Aside from designing these bad boys on the computer, here’s how they manifested into 115 physical Perforated Trifold invitations…
1.) MEASURE, PART I
First, I measured all of the paper to cut the 11×17″ sheets in half, and the trim marks for the top & bottom. The smallest mailable size for a postcard that the US Postal service accepts is 3.5″ x 5″ so I wasn’t sure how my varying, hand cut measuring was going to fly. But it turned out to work just fine! Thankfully 🙂
2.) CUT, PART I
Then I took all 60ish 11×17″ sheets, and cut them in half using my straight edge + rotary blade in order to feed through my tiny printer.
3.) PRINT BOTH SIDES
Printing both sides proved a little tricky at first – messing with settings (fit to page, bleed options, size of paper etc…) to finally get one that looked decent. When I finally discovered a setting that would work, I had to feed the paper in 1 time for the front, wait for the printer to see that it was “out of paper” and feed the other side through. I tried just setting it back down in the loading tray after side 1 was finished, but it kept jamming the paper, so I had to literally wait for the printer to say it was out, then re-feed. ANNOYING.
4.) MEASURE, PART 2
I had to now measure where the perforation was going to go in order to line it up on my Silhouette SD cutting mat.
I was sort of multitasking steps 3-5 during this process which proved to really hurt my back. After printing & measuring, I’d line up the lines on the cutting mat with my measurements on the printed piece and feed it through my Silhouette SD click perforate as the setting and go. This may not sound like a very taxing part of the process, but you try feeding each of the 115 invitations through INDIVIDUALLY. It. Took. Forever.
6.) CUT, PART 2
After steps 1-5 were complete, I had a nice pile of 115 invitations that bled off the paper and needed all 4 sides to be trimmed, and the fold to be scored. COOL. The rotary blade was awesome for this purpose, though it did slice off a chunk of my finger twice in the same spot…the entire process took a long time…but this part was my least favorite since it was the same motions over and over again and my hand ended up hurting for 2 days straight. No pain no gain. From 8pm – 2am I cut. I kept telling myself that they would get done that night so I never had to look at them again…and I succeeded in my mission. THANK GOD.
7.) SCORE, FOLD
Cutting was done…now the final step to these babies was to score the center fold and close each of the invitations up till this lovely stack of 115 invitations was staring at me. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen…