Constructing the STDs

Oh….these STDs (Save the Dates!) were a labor of love (or something). From the beginning, we knew we wanted to do a STD magnet. Being the ripe old age of 28 29 31 (am I really that old?), we’ve been invited to quite a few weddings in our day and I love having the magnets from these weddings up on my fridge to remind me of those wonderful events.

In the beginning, WAYYYY back in October when I started this process, I figured that these STDs would be easy-peasy to make (and super cheap!). I would simply take the best photo from our engagement shoot; add the monogram and our wedding date, print them out on magnet paper at home….and voila! Done! Since we had our engagement shoot the first weekend in October, I figured I could get these babies out the door and in the mail by the end of November, at the latest. Yeah….we all know that didn’t happen.

What went wrong? It can all be summed up by the simple sentence “graphic design is HARD”. 😛

I have had photoshop installed on my computer for years (never used it) and last year attended a short training on adobe illustrator (which I then went out and purchased).  But the fact is, simply having these programs doesn’t mean you know how to use them. 😉

This was one of the very early draft STDs. I felt like there was something "off" about the graphic I added to the photo, but I couldn't tell what it was that I didn't like OR how to fix it. :S

So what did I do?

1. I got learned and got practiced. I think this is really the main reason why it took me from October – February to get the STDs done: I spent about 120hrs total learning how to use photoshop / illustrator and then creating many, many (MANY) mockups of STDs. The most helpful tutorials, I found, were the free videos on These were FANTASTIC! The videos were so much better than reading instructions online- I literally felt like Jodi from MCP was holding my hand while I was learning. 🙂

One of my fav tutorials was the one on how to get rid of undereye circles- so useful!!

2. I outsourced. After spending hours & hours (& hours!!) on designing the STDs, I just did NOT have the time or energy to do the “production” as well. So, I went the vistaprint route to make the STD magnets & business cards with information about our wedding. Here is the price breakdown for my outsourcing:
250 Business cards in color and on heavy cardstock = $36
200 Large photo magnets (~5″ x 4″) = $87

So for a total of $123, I didn’t have to worry about printing or cutting. Welllll worth it.

3. I made assembly easy and enlisted help! When we finally got the magnets and cards in the mail, Mr.A and I went to the local craft store and (using our 50% off groupon gift certificate!!) purchased everything we needed to finish up the STDs. We didn’t go to a million stores or spend time debating envelope types- no time for that!- we just purchased the materials the store had on hand and then figured out how to make them all work. Here is the price breakdown for the materials we bought at the craft store:
Ribbons= $20.85
Hole punch (for threading ribbons through)= $5.94
Envelopes= $58
Silver glitter spray paint (for spraying the envelopes with)= $8.92
Total Cost of art supplies:
$93.71 $53.71 (The discount was due to have 2 groupons which gave us $40 off!)

Next it was time to watch a few movies, eat junk food and assemble, assemble, assemble.

The kitty tried to help Mr.A with his ribbon tying.

And I have to say, it was pretty fun! What about you- did you completely DIY your STDs, or did you go the outsourcing route like me? (And is anyone else completely cracking up at that sentence?! lol)


About annlili

ecofreak. wino. explorer. small feet.
This entry was posted in budget, Invitations, save the date and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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