I may have written before about how I thought of the idea to start Simply Rosy, but I think I have simplified it in the past, so here is the full story! It all began when I was planning my own wedding. I have always loved paper-crafting (origami, scrapbooking, etc.), so when looking at invitations, I was drawn to those that had layered paper. In fact, I fell in love with a Paper Source custom design that I saw featured in a bridal magazine.
However, almost everyone I could find who did layered paper designs charged an arm and a leg for them, and like most brides, I was on a budget and could not spend that much for the invitations. The design I liked (one backing layer with a patterned paper band around the middle) seemed fairly simple to make, especially considering that I had paper-crafting experience. I even knew which patterned paper I would want to use, since I wanted something in neutral colors with a floral pattern, and I had always loved Anna Griffin’s “Repousse” pattern.
So, the next step was to work on finding paper suppliers. I started by contacting Paper Source, who referred me to their Kansas City store, since they didn’t have a physical store near me. Annie, their rep in Kansas City at the time, was FANTASTIC! She helped me figure out what pieces I would need, and sent me samples of different colors for the main part of the invitation and the backing piece.
From those samples, I made a mock-up of what I wanted, and my husband (then fiancé) approved the design. I absolutely adored the Luxe line of cardstock that had a subtle texture similar to watercolor paper, so I calculated how much paper I would need. In order to save some money, I ordered the huge “half sheets” of Luxe cardstock at 19.5″ x 27.5″, and planned to cut them down at Kinko’s using their professional rotary paper cutters.
None of the colored papers that Annie had sent matched closely enough to work for the backing layer, so I bought reams of cardstock from an office supply store that had 4 different colors (one was taupe that I used for the backing layer, and I still have about 3 reams worth of those other colors stashed in my “paper closet”…6.5 years later, haha!). If I had just been planning to use the “Repousse” paper for the band, I wouldn’t have needed very much; however, I wanted to make coordinating envelope liners, so I needed a large quantity. I found an online scrapbooking store (Oak Leaf Acre, the website doesn’t seem to exist anymore) that sold scrapbook paper in bulk for a discount.
I also wanted to use double envelopes, which proved to be fairly difficult to find at the time, but I finally discovered that Action Envelopes carried them, so I was able to order my envelopes there. I ordered return address and monogram embossers from AcornSales.com to use for the back of the envelopes and ceremony programs respectively, and my future Mother-in-Law helped me find a local stationery store that carried the tissue paper liners. For my save-the-dates, I just bought some cream, linen-textured card & envelope sets from a local craft store, printed the main info on the right-hand side, and used a coordinating hydrangea rubber stamp from Anna Griffin to decorate the left side, which was a fairly simple project.
Assembling the wedding invitations proved to be much more complicated, but luckily I did have some help from my sister, who was my Maid of Honor. Cutting the huge Luxe sheets at Kinko’s took quite a bit of time, but the personal paper cutter I bought to use for the other pieces was not as accurate. Plus, I cannot even tell you how many of those little double-sided adhesive cartridges from the scrapbooking section that I went through; that alone made the invitations cost significantly more than I had calculated (but still less expensive than purchasing custom ones). Oh, what I would have given to have my professional paper cutter and ATG adhesive gun then!
The envelope liners also were a daunting task, but my father, who is an architect and very familiar with using an Exacto knife, took over that project and finished much faster than I could have. We had a family night (actually a couple, I think) at my apartment to finish assembling the invitations and addressing/stuffing envelopes, and thank goodness I had several other people there to help, because it made the project a fun family event instead of feeling overwhelmed doing it by myself.
Looking back, I realize now that they were technically far from perfect; however, they are sentimentally still one of my favorite projects. I learned so much and felt a huge sense of accomplishment from doing them myself. It was also wonderful to hear so many compliments from family and friends, which is really what encouraged me to start my own small/home business making invitations. It is definitely a great way to satisfy my paper obsession!