Monday, August 25, 2014

Wedding Invitations: Steampunk Style

I'm taking a brief break from telling you about my road trip to talk about the second set of invitations I did this summer. When I first met with the couple, they told me their theme was steampunk. I had only the vaguest idea what steampunk was, so of course, my first step was to google, what is steampunk? Well, if you are ever trying to do research on steampunk, it seems that everyone has their own idea what steampunk should be. From my image research and the many blogs/websites I read, my conclusion was this: industrial elements meet Victorian fashion. From there, I looked at one of the bride's Pinterest page to get a better idea of what they were thinking when they decided on this theme for their wedding. Then it was image research time. I downloaded a bunch of images of gears, watches, skeleton keys, bikes, and carnations (a flower they mentioned in our design meeting) and got to work.
First, I sketched everything out as separate elements in my sketchbook. After I sketched the elements, I took tracing paper and used a brown pen to ink them.

The pieces. My sketches
Then everything got scanned into Photoshop and I played with scale and placement of each individual element. I came up with several different compositions for them to choose from. Then I played with fonts and picked a couple that seemed to fit with the art and theme.
Then I had an aha! moment. I would take a ponchette envelope to put the invite in, and stamp gears on each flap, so that when you opened the invitation, it was like the gears were turning to open it. I learned how to use easy cut while I was in school, but hadn't done a project using it since then. It was fun revisiting this technique. To make the gears, first I traced the different size flaps into my sketchbook. Then I drew a gear on each. I transferred this to the easy cut block by using graphite scribbled on the back of the paper. (I know,really advanced, but the transfer paper wasn't working). Actually carving the stamps took a really long time. Especially because I had to redo the longer gear. Originally, I had to do it on two small pieces of easy cut board because I didn't have a big enough piece to do it on one, and I wanted to show the brides how it would look. So that took extra time but it was worth the effort not to have a line down the middle of every gear.
Then came stamping the envelopes. The flaps would alternate silver and gold so as to incorporate more metal finishes in the piece. I was pleasantly surprised by the time this took to get them all stamped. It took a couple hours, but I thought it would take me a day. They covered the floor of my art room while they were drying.

The first stamp. I was so nervous! But it worked really well!
A close up
All of the envelopes drying on my floor. I couldn't walk anywhere!

Then it was assembly time. This also went faster then I expected. I glued the invites in, placed the postcard response card in, and that was that.
Time to glue!

The final product:
The outside
TA DA! What was inside
The back of the envelope
A closer look at the invitation

I also designed some stationary for the brides' personal use. I got to use both my new printer and my new paper cutter for this, so that was fun! It also made me realize that I could offer more stationary options when I do open that section of my etsy store.

Overall, I was really happy with this project. I feel that it was something I had never done before, and that I was still able to execute it well, even though it wasn't flowers! (Although I did manage to squeeze some flowers in there). The couple was very happy with them, and so I felt that I had accomplished what I had set out to do!
If you or anyone you know would like custom designed invitations, please contact me at:

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