Save The Dates

I wanted to make clever and simple “save-the-dates” once we decided we were even going to do them in the first place. I wasn’t intending to, assuming that the word-of-mouth would be easier, until my father sat down with me and really reminded me that a lot of my family doesn’t “do” the internet or email, so it would be best to make a paper trail of our wedding plans.

So of course, my first thought was how to do it myself and make it cheap (and cute). Since Zack and I both happen to possess an iconic image about ourselves by way of personality, I figured I could use that to our advantage and keep it simple. Zack=Mustache, Shelby=Glasses. Easy enough right? I just had to add the save-the-date wording, the date itself, and a stamp.

I figured the first step would be to minimize paper. So that meant using a postcard with cheap postcard postage. I purchased 4 packs of Strathmore 140lb. cold-pressed watercolor postcards with pre-printed address lines to keep it clean.

Secondly, I would need to put an image on the postcard, several times over…and over again. This meant I needed a personalized stamp. For this, I used a postcard sized (4×6) linoleum mounted wood block to carve the stamp in. Granted, my only practice carving stamps with my little carving kit was on a floppy piece of eraser, but I figured it would be about the same idea (it was…sort of).

I sketched the inverted image with pencil onto the block, then started carving away. And carving…and carving…and carving. It took a lot more muscle and elbow grease than first thought, but in about two hours or so (I lost count) I had the finished piece. The only trouble I encountered was about two thirds of the way in I realized that I had sketched the date correctly (meaning: not inverted) and it was too late to fix it, so I just skipped it. I realized that I would just have to put the date on some other way, and thankfully I already had number stamps in my craft collection.

Here is the finished block after we had used it and cleaned it.


As you can see, the “T” kept getting a little too inky, as did the two hearts, but the more inky they got, the more the whole stamp became one image, rather than words and images. It was a strange and very much liked transition.

Next we started the inking and stamping process. We glopped on some black ink onto a piece of cardboard (I should have used a nicer surface, but I was excitedly working with what we had, as is my tendency) and used a mini-roller to ink the stamp. We then laid the postcard face down, flipped the stamp, and the PRESSED…HARD. Zack ended up doing most of this work, because I began the process of individually stamping “7” “1” “0” “1” “0” onto every single one with an individual number stamp. Very, very, tedious and somewhat hypnotizing. During this process I was seriously regretting that I hadn’t sketched the date correctly in the first place (but this would have eventually been a huge problem later – read on).

Pressing the Ink

The first few were a bit splotchy until we finally got the right feel. I actually ended up liking a lot of the spotty ones more than the perfectly stamped cards because they felt a bit more real and nitty gritty and extra stampy or something. Here is splotchy one:

Splotchy and Spotty

And a nicely pressed one (although not the best picture…I’m afraid my hands were a bit shaky at this point):

Best Press

We had a veritable factory line going, and they spilled out all over the whole kitchen table, countertops, stove, and on top of drying dishes.


Here you can see that I tried several different styles of dates. A combination of slashes, dots, blues & reds. I ended up preferring the cleanliness of just a dot in between the numbers, and later changed most of them.


One note to add here, is that on the inside of the postcard there was a small piece of colored paper which had a few more details, and an artsy high-contrast photo of us printed off my home printer. That way, if the guest just couldn’t remember which friends of theirs were engaged (with a mustache and glasses to hint)…then they could figure it out when they flipped the postcard over. Apparently, as I later found out, the mailing process did rip some of these cool explanatory pictures off, but all is well; people got the idea (though, some family members still had to make a few phone calls to make sure it was us mailing the cryptic postcard).

There was one last hiccup: about two weeks after making them, we changed-the-date.

Solution? Dry-line white-out, my number stamps, and about one more hour of work. PHEW! This is why I’m glad I didn’t correctly make the date as part of the complete stamp in the first place, or else the whole project would have been a do-over and not quite such a quick-fix.

I can’t even think about the handmade invitations right now, even as excited as I am!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “Save The Dates

  1. Alana says:

    I recognize that guy! What happened to K8?

    • gubba says:

      Zack (that guy you recognize) isn’t with “K8” or Kate or what have you, anymore. That ended about 2 years ago, and then after some time passed in our lives, respectively, we began. And the Save The Dates were made for our wedding actually. Yay!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: