Will You Be My…

…bridesmaid?

I’ve seen a lot of cute and unique ways floating around on the web how brides have asked their best girls to be bridesmaids at their weddings.  Unfortunately for me, I had asked majority of my bridesmaids over the phone or online practically right after I got engaged, mostly because many of my bridesmaids are family members who I called right away to tell them the big news of my engagement–bff and cousin Henna, Henna’s younger sister, Dancer, and my baby sister, Lil Dillo.

Anyway, just because I’d asked them in the rush of engagement excitement didn’t mean I couldn’t do something sweet for them in terms of how much they mean to me, and there was still one other wonderful lady, Mascara, I hadn’t yet asked about being a member of my bridal party.  Ergo, my natural inclinations to be crafty and creative considered making them some kind of…something.  Eventually, I’d decided to make them all completely handcrafted cards from scratch and mail them in pretty, decorated envelopes.  Aside from being crazy fun and crafty, it would also allow me to try out my newest crafting purchase:  the heat embossing gun.

Before I talk about the embossing gun, let me show you some pictures!  All of my bridesmaids (by the way, Mascara agreed to be a bridesmaid, hooray!) have confirmed they have received the cards, so I feel like I can now reveal them to the blogosphere.  Enjoy!

I used A7 envelopes made out of kraft paper purchased from paperandmore.com, and ran them through my home printer to print the addresses and return address on the back.  I used the font “Albemarle Swash,” which I downloaded for free from some website.  I regret to inform that Albemarle Swash is no longer a free font–must be because it’s so pretty!  In fact, it PAINED me to blur out the address, because it really does look quite smashing, if I do say so myself. (All upcoming photos by Miss Armadillo.)

When the ladies opened their cards, this is what they saw!  The card is made out of bright olive green cardstock, with a layer of cream cardstock on top.  You can’t tell in this picture, but the cream cardstock has a really pretty linen texture to it.  I printed a clip art stock image of a dress form on the cream cardstock, and then cut the silhouette of a dress out on bright purple cardstock and taped it over the front.  I wrapped some shimmery purple ribbon around the waist of the dress silhouette and added a few carefully placed purple rhinestones for some dimension and pop.

A close-up of the dress details:

On the inside was a personalized message to each girl letting them know how much they mean to me and how honored I am that they’ll be standing up with me on my wedding day.  The inside small font is called “Little Days.”  I used “Albemarle Swash” again on the bottom part, and signed it from yours truly!

I think the back of the envelope was my favorite part.  I printed my return address on the flap in “Albemarle Swash,” and for that extra oomph of fanciness, embossed the bottom with white embossing powder over a clear embossing ink.

In theory, the embossing process is pretty simple.  You press your stamp into the embossing ink of your choice, stamp the paper, and sprinkle the embossing powder over top.  Then, you take your heat gun (a small blow dryer set on low would probably also do the trick) and hold it an inch or so away from the paper until the powder starts to melt and turn shiny.  Make sure you move the heat gun as soon as you see the embossing powder change texture so you don’t burn the paper or over-emboss the stuff.  What you should end up with is a beautiful, slightly up-raised design with a smooth, shiny finish!

Here they all are, ready to go off to the postman!

I had so much fun with this project, but what made it all worth it was how much my girls loved them.  Planning my wedding is going to be one of the most fun and stressful times in my life, and I’m so glad I’ll have these wonderful ladies with me to help me through it all.  I hope that through these next few months I’ll be able to show them how grateful I am and how much they mean to me–needless to say, this will be just one of many surprises to come!

Are you doing anything pre-wedding day to show your bridesmaids how much they mean to you?  Did you “pop the question” to your ladies in a special or unique way?

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