For some strange reason that I can no longer fathom, I decided that I would make our wedding programs myself. I contemplated not sharing this post until after the wedding to avoid spoiling what you'll see if you come, but hey, this way you'll just know the process I went through to make them!
I'm not sure where I found this inspiration image, but I liked that they were fans (rather than books), were graphic, and had a little color on them.
First up was to design the program in Photoshop. I actually did this last Spring before I had any idea I'd ever blog, so all I have to show you as far as the design process is the final product. I can say that it was a lot like designing the recipe art I made. It just took finding cute fonts from dafont.com and lots and lots of trial and error of placement, size, etc.
The front of the program.
Then I went to Kinko's and got two printed per page, making them 5.5 square inches each (adding up to 11" wide so they would fit a regular sheet of cardstock perfectly). A word of warning: do not go to Kinko's. I've been at least 15 times in the past month getting various things printed for the wedding, and I have had a terrible experience every single time. Seriously, something always goes wrong, and not just a little wrong. John, who is much more patient and even-keeled than I am, can attest to Kinko's sucking. The final product is usually good (...usually), but the process of getting there is so far beyond painful.
Anyway, once I got all 360 sheets home, I had to cut them. It was really important that I cut them exactly in half so that the front and back would match up perfectly. I used my mom's old school tried and true paper cutter. First I trimmed off the excess at the bottom.
I put a little piece of tape to help me remember exactly where to put the edge of my paper.
Then I chopped them in half.
Many many cuts later (720 to be exact), I had a stack to work with.
I decided I wanted to round the corners to make them look a little more finished, so I picked up a corner rounder at JoAnn's and was a little skeptical about how well it would work. It has little white guides that help you place the paper in the right spot, and then you push the little lever.
It actually worked really well!
2,880 corners (4 for the front and 4 for the back of each program) and some serious tendonitis later, I was ready to start assembling.
I got hot glue to attach the stick, and an adhesive applicator to stick the two sides together.
First I put the stick on the back. I was a little nervous that you'd be able to see the lumpy glue through the paper, but I just made sure to press it down with the flat table underneath to make sure it was nice and smooth.
I marked each stick with a little line to make sure I glued them in roughly the same spot every time (see the little black line on the stick near the edge of the paper?). I put the line higher than where I actually wanted to glue it so it wouldn't be visible after the program is assembled.
Next I applied a strip of adhesive in each corner, then stuck the two sides together. It's clear adhesive... so you can't really see it.
Now, you may have realized that I skipped putting a colorful piece of paper between the two sides like my inspiration programs had. I decided to add color another way, because cutting all of that extra paper and rounding the corners seemed like it would take a lot more time. I decided to add ribbon instead... which may have taken even more time than the paper would have. Live and learn, right?
I had to go to Hobby Lobby 6 times over the course of the past month to get enough teal ribbon to tie at the top of each stick. I cut 360 pieces of 12" ribbon and marked the half way point to make sure I'd glue them in the right spot.
Just kidding. Come on, I hope you didn't believe that. Next I tied about 200 bows, and then decided I was too tired to tie any more. Luckily, my mom offered to finish them up for me. Thank you thank you, mom!
In the end I do think I'm glad I did them myself, but wowza I am super glad to be done with these. I hope that anyone reading this that comes to the wedding will treasure their program until the end of time. Take it home. Frame it. Worship it.
Have any of you spent a crazy amount of time and/or money on a DIY project only to later wish you had just paid for someone else to do it for you?