Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DIY baby announcements

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Last time around (as in, when Elizabeth was born,) I created my own baby announcements. I saw lots of cute announcements at places like tinyprints.com. I liked the style, but honestly, I wasn't willing to pay the price per announcement. So, I did a lot of looking around and experimenting to see if I could do something similar, but a little less expensively. I wanted a professional look, without the price.

This was my solution: I have some skill with Adobe Illustrator, and some experience with designing things. I'll make my own announcements from my desktop printer!

My next challenge - what to print on?

I didn't want to go with a smaller announcement, like a quarter-sheet of regular paper. I didn't feel like there was sufficient space for a good sized photo, and lettering that people could read without a microscope. My printer is picky about paper size and borders, so that cut even more into the space available for the actual design.

I fiddled with printing on 4x6 photo paper, but I had trouble finding envelopes that would properly fit the size, without leftover space in the envelope. I wanted something with some thickness and weight to the card. I wanted something fun, like colorful envelopes.

Finally, I found a place that sold what I was looking for: mountaincow.com All kinds of colors, sizes, and accessories. And, it seemed reasonably priced: $.40 per announcement (card and envelope) plus shipping. The ink for my printer would be less than $40, even printing 75 announcements. I spent about a dollar per announcement (not including postage), and I got some nice extras that you have to pay for on online announcement sites(such as $.50 per announcement to get your return address printed on the envelope).

My one disappointment was that I couldn't trick my printer into printing borderless on my A6 size card (4.5x6.25). I really wanted a borderless card, but I dealt with having a white margin all around my design.

In the end, I got the style of announcement I wanted - a simple, modern design, a colored envelope, a photo on the announcement of the newborn, printed return address, and no waiting for a printing company to take the baby's info, print, and ship to me.

I was able to get all the envelopes addressed and stamped before Elizabeth was born. All that was left for me to do was insert the photo I took, enter in the correct information, and pop the cardstock into the printer. I think I had the announcements out within 2 weeks of Elizabeth's birth.

I intend to do something similar this time around, although I may go with a different card size. And, I wish that I could get a cool new printer that would let me do borderless printing (something like the Epson R1900 would be so fun!) Unfortunately, I think that is not in my future.


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