I’ve been waiting and waiting to ask my girls if they will be my bridesmaids.  L already popped the question to me, now it was my turn to pop a question to them.  I wanted to come up with a cute way to ask them, and in a previous post I mentioned that I was tossing around the idea of a wine bottle with a customized label (I would make the label, not buy) or getting them a cupcake and creating some sort of note.

I couldn’t wait any longer – I had to do this.  There have been so many times when I wanted to call or email them with a question or suggestion, but couldn’t because I haven’t asked them yet.  Not to say that I haven’t already asked them for advice and opinions, because I have – I just haven’t been able to ask them bridesmaid-related questions like, what do you think about this dress for you guys?

I’m sure that they all know that I am going to ask them, because we’ve talked about it in the past and these are my very best friends, but I am no way going to assume they will be my bridesmaids.  We were all in another friend’s wedding a few years ago who never actually asked us.  She just started sending us stuff for dresses and asked us when we wanted to go try them on, etc.  We all would have said yes regardless, but it was a little annoying that she didn’t ask.

Back to deciding how to do it.  I ended up with the cupcake idea.  There is one that I have to mail (A lives in CA) and two others that would be easier to mail so I could ask sooner.  I figured mailing a cupcake would be a whole lot cheaper than mailing a bottle of wine.  And cheaper to buy or make too.

I was going to make the cupcakes so it would be less expensive, but then I would still have to hunt out boxes that would be appropriate to mail them in.  So I went to a new cupcake bakery in town and they sell individual boxes to go with the cupcakes for $2 – so I just decided to get those and buy the cupcakes while I was there.  They’re definitely prettier than mine would have been, they are super tasty and really, not that expensive.

When I walked in and ordered 5 cupcakes with gift boxes and then a 6th cupcake (there is no way I could walk out of that store with a bag full of cupcakes and not be able to eat one!) the woman asked what the occasion was.  When I told her I was asking friends to be my bridesmaids, she thought it was absolutely the cutest idea ever.  She spread the news to the two other women who worked there who were equally as giddy.  The thing about these guys that work at SAS Cupcakes is that it didn’t seem fake.  One woman suggested putting small little penants in the cupcakes.  She came back with two options.  One had a ring on it and said “Congratulations!”, but I didn’t like that because it felt like I was congratulating myself – or congratulating my girls for asking them.  It was really meant more for someone to give it to a bride.  The second was a Valentine’s one that said “Be Mine”, she suggested that one so it was like, “be my bridesmaid”.  Plus, it was pink and black so it wasn’t too Valentine-y.

I chose cupcakes that had pink icing, they boxed them up for me and sent me on my way.  The whole time they made a fuss about me being a bride and it was cute.  I’d lie if I said it didn’t make me feel special.  They normally charge for the penants, but gave them to me for free – plus they gave me the 6th cupcake for myself for free :).

When I got home, I got started on making the cards to go with them.  I already had an idea of what I wanted to do.  Our colors are navy, green and pink.  I found some navy postcards on sale at Paper Source the other day.  It was a pack of 50 for $3.00.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but figured for that price I would pick them up and use them for something. 

Each card was going to start with the navy postcard.  I was going to add a pink layer and then a green and white polka dot paper as the top layer.  I then would use my Gocco to print the phrase on the green paper.    Pretty exciting because I already had everything I needed for this. 

The navy postcards were previously purchased with no purpose in mind.  The pink was a roll of wrapping paper (also from PaperSource) that I bought to use to line the envelopes of our save the dates.  And the green was a random piece of 12×12 scrapbooking paper that I bought awhile ago to use for something else.  I had one sheet and wasn’t sure it would be enough since I had used small pieces for other stuff, but somehow I managed to get 5 pieces out of it.

So, without further ado, here is the step-by-step process and the finished product at the end.

First I started by designing the text for the card.  I use the term ‘design’ loosley, because all I really did was type it up in Word using the Curlz font.  I did, however, know how big it needed to be.  The navy postcards are 6″ x 4.25″.  I wanted a small border showing, so I would cut the second layer (pink) a .5″ smaller: 5.5″ x 3.75″ –  and then the final layer (green – where the text would be) a .5″ smaller than that: 5″ x 3.25″.  I think the text came out to somewhere around 4″ x almost 3″.  I used a font size of about 40.  I printed it on a laser printer so that it would be compatiable with my Gocco.  (To burn a Gocco screen, the image needs to be carbon based.  So, printed from a laser jet, copy machine or drawn/written using a carbon based pen).

Since the Gocco screens are hard to get and can be expensive, I burned both messages on one screen.  This is me aligning the two pages on my Gocco getting ready to burn the screen.

I closed the lid and checked to make sure everything was lined up correctly and there were no overlaps or letters getting cut off.

I insterted a screen onto the bottom side of the glass and then screwed in the two flash bulbs into the separeate “bulb house” and inserted that part onto the top of the Gocco.  Press down firmly in one motion and let the bulbs flash.  This is what burns the image onto the screen.

Open the Gocco and peel back the papers that are most likely stuck to the screen (that’s a good thing).  You can see my text on the screen now.

Next step was to cut the green paper to the correct size (5″ x 3.25″).  I was really surprised that I managed to get all 5 pieces out of it – and just barely.  I’ve realized that I am a messy crafter.  This is surprising because I like to be neat.  I start off good, but a mess always follows.  I need more of a system.  For instance, I probably should have cut all the paper first, then got out the Gocco and done that.  I had stuff all over the table and scraps everywhere.

Next, I lined up the paper I would be printing on.  You can see through the glass on top of the Gocco so I could match everything up.  Then, I inked the screen and insterted it back into the Gocco.  I only inked the “will you be my bridesmaid” part first because it was hard to line up sheets for both messages and I didn’t want to risk messing it up.  I used the white paper to mark where the bottom of the green paper would be so that I could easily line up all the pieces.

Press down firmly to make a print.

Voila!  I removed the paper and set it off to the side to dry and inserted the next piece and printed. Etc.

The instructions say to liberally ink the screen, but I did it minimally since I was only printing 5 cards and didn’t want to waste ink.  Speaking of not wanting to waste ink, I took a scrap piece of card stock and scraped the unused ink and spread it on the “will you be my maid of honor” text. 

This is the screen once I scraped off the excess ink and moved it to the second phrase.  I had to add a little extra from the tube too.  I didn’t want to risk the print not coming out dark enough since I didn’t have any extra pieces of green paper in the event of an error.

Next, I cute the pink pieces from the roll of wrapping paper.  It is PaperSource wrapping paper in fuschia.  I love it because it doesn’t have the shiny finish on it.  I must admit though that it was much harder to cut out the small pieces than I originally thought it would be.  Since it’s rolled up it was hard to keep flat.  Plus the length of the paper was larger than my paper cutter, so first I had to cut the length of and then cut it in half so it would fit on my paper cutter.  All the while, trying to cut as straight as possible.  Then I had to trim all sides so that I knew it was straight, and finally trim down to size.

These are the PaperSource postcards in Night that would serve as the base of the notecard.

I started using a glue stick on the pink pieces to stick them to the postcards because I didn’t want to waste my Xyron adhesive.  Then I thought to myself, isn’t this exactly why I bought the Xyron?!  Why yes, yes it was.  This was one of those purchases I made over the summer when I was anticipating the engagement.  I have the Xyron 5″ Creation Station.  It puts an even layer of adhesive on the back of anything up to 5″ wide.  I wanted one of the bigger ones, but they were just too expensive.  I bought this one with a 50% off coupon from AC Moore.  I had used a smaller Xyron before and liked it, and this one didn’t disappoint.  It’s so fast, easy and mess free.  No more having to use multiple pieces of scrap paper to put under the piece I’m using the glue stick on.  No more getting glue all over my fingertips (I told you, I’m a messy crafter).  Plus, I was able to put it down and smooth it out easily without any of the weird creases that I got with a glue stick when using thin paper – and no glue clumps either. 

Simply put the paper in the feeder and turn the crank and watch it come out the other side.

It’s got a handy-dandy little cutter on the other side that slides across easily to cut your project off the roll.

Once you cut it off, peel back the celophane paper.  The adhesive is on the white, waxy paper which gets stuck to your project.  The celophane pulls the adhesive off of the white part where your project is not.  Make sense?  Sort of?

Once you peel the celophane off, easily peel off your project.  I did that and then stuck it onto the post card.  This one is a little off center, but the others are better.  There are a few different kinds of adhesive you can buy for the Xryon.  I was using the permanent kind because that’s what came with it.  They also have a removable kind, a laminate and a magnet/laminate.

After the Gocco ink dried, I repeated this process with the green pieces.  Rather than doing each piece individually and cutting it off, I kept feeding them through one after another to save adhesive.  Every time you cut a piece off, you get at least an inch of wasted adhesive (you can see in one of the photos above).  I wanted to get the most for my money so I put them close together so I wasn’t wasteful.

I then positioned them on top of the pink layer to finish off the front.  I think they look really great!  I was really very happy with them!

I added a piece of the pink in the same size as before to the back so that I could write a note to each girl.

This is the cupcake all boxed up.  They suggest wrapping the box in Saran wrap if you’re not going to eat them that day.  Since it could be a couple days before my girls get them, I went the extra mile.  Each box has a small elevated cardboard piece in the bottom with a circle cut in it meant to steady the cupcake.  Well, I cut some wooden skewers and put two in each cupcake to help steady it even more.  I know they’ll get tossed around in the mail and the icing will smush, but every little bit helps.  Plus, even if they’re smushed, they’ll still taste good.  I also took out that cardboard piece and wrapped saran wrap over the cupcake and underneath the cardboard and placed it back in the box.  Then I wrapped the whole box in Saran wrap like they suggest.

Note cards with personal notes on each one.

I was sad because the notecards were bigger than the cupcake box which was a challenge when I wrapped them to mail.  There was no way around it, they had to get bent a little.  But luckily the wording lined up perfectly and was centered on the box!

All wrapped up, addressed and ready to go!

I dropped these babies off at the post office this morning.  I think most girls will get them tomorrow (fingers crossed), and A will probably get hers Saturday.

Here’s a breakdown of the project:

PaperSource Postcards – Pack of 50 in Night – onsale for $3.00
PaperSource Wrapping Paper – Fuschia – $5/roll (bought to actually use for Save the Date envelope liners)
PaperSource Green and White Polka Dot Scrapbooking Paper – one piece – I don’t remember how much it was because I randomly bought it weeks ago.
5 Cupcakes from SAS Cupcakse – $2.75/each
5 Cupcake Gift Boxes from SAS Cupcakes – $2/each
5 “Be Mine” Cupcake Penants from SAS Cupcakes – they were ‘on the house’, not sure how much they charge for them
Brown shipping paper – already had
Gocco screens, ink and bulbs – already had
Shipping for 5 cupcakes – $24

I think my girls will be happy to get a cupcake in the mail – and I sure hope they say “YES!”

Since I was so happy with the way the notecards came out, I’m going to sell them in my Etsy shop.  Check back, they’ll be up soon – and remember, everything in there is customizable (colors, set ups, etc.).