For my baby’s first birthday, I tried making some pretty, feminine birthday invitations instead of buying a box of cards and filling in the blanks like I usually do.
They turned out very sweet and fun, just like the birthday girl.
Rose Ruffle Cards
Step 1: Print text onto cards
Step 2: Cut ribbon into strips, about 14 inches
Step 3: Use long, straight stitch down the center of each ribbon
Step 4: Pull one string and bunch the ribbon into ruffles
Step 5: Sew ruffled ribbon directly onto card, rotating into a spiral
Step 6: Adhere a photo using decorative tape
Step 7: Round the corners of cards with corner cutter
Step 1: Design and print text
First I designed the text and chose the colors I wanted to use. I went with ivory and dark teal. I thought it was a beautiful and fun color, especially because it is a swim party. The cards are the simple packs from Michaels. If I were to redo this project, I would use flat 5×7 cards instead of the smaller, folded cards. It was kind of hard to fit all of the text onto the 4×5.5 cards. But they were on sale for $3, so I used those.
Step 2: Cut ribbon into strips
Mine were about 14 inches in length. I bought pretty ribbon from Michaels that looks like cotton linen. But really you don’t have to use ribbon; you can use strips of extra fabric from long IKEA curtains or a cotton shirt cut into strips.
Step 3: Straight stitch through the center of each ribbon
To make ruffles, stitch down the middle of each strip of ribbon with a straight wide stitch, leaving a long thread at both ends. Do not backstitch. Remove from machine.
About a year ago my good friend and I took our first sewing classes at Common Thread Studio on Mission Street in South Pasadena. (I really want to live in South Pasadena someday.) Now, even though I am still a beginner, I find sewing fun, relaxing, and addicting. My two older girls (ages 8 and 6) just love it too. I have learned that letting them be involved is much easier than trying to occupy them long enough for me to get something done without them! I learned how to do this simple ruffle in my beginner’s sewing class.
Step 4: Pull one string to push and bunch the ribbon together
My daughters actually sewed and bunched for me. It looked way too fun, and they insisted on helping to make their sister’s invitations, so I supervised.
Step 5: Sew ruffled ribbon directly onto card
To sew in a spiral, place the end of the ribbon in the middle of the card and stitch directly onto the card for about four stitches. Either turn and rotate in a spiral as you stitch, or lift the foot with the needle down and rotate slightly, then replace the foot and continue for another four stitches. Repeat until you get to the end of the ribbon. Backstitch both ends. Even though my daughters wanted to help with this part of the sewing, I said no thanks.
Most of mine were off-center, but they still look nice. If you really want them in the center or in a certain place, you can stitch onto a separate matching cardstock, cut out the flower, and glue it to the center of your card. This will also hide the stitching.
(Oops, I didn’t backstitch. I’m new at this.)
Step 6: Attach photo to the inside of the card
I decided to print a photo of the birthday girl and attach it with decorative tape—another option to hide the stitching. The tape might take away from the classy look of the ruffle flower, but I like it anyway. It gives the invitation a little more personality and color. Plus, it’s for a baby birthday swim party, and it needs to be cheerful. I rounded the corners of the photo with a corner cutter.
Step 7: Round the corners of the cards with a corner cutter
Finally, to make the simple design look a little bit softer and finished, I rounded the corners.
I added some of the same teal chevron stripe tape to the envelopes.
In case you were wondering about postage, it did require twenty cents extra postage because it was puffy.
And that is my attempt at doing something cute and creative. It feels great, and I will have to make something else by hand very soon.
I borrowed the original idea for this card from my amazing friend Emily at Jones Design Company. My idea started with her baby announcement from a few years ago, which I was so overjoyed and honored to receive in the mail. The texture and lovely simplicity was so genius. Emily also has a tutorial for making pleated invitations. Thank you, Emily, for encouraging me to be creative. By the way—I’m taking The Blog Class and learning everything about blogging from Emily at JDC and her husband. It has saved me a ton of time. You can click here to learn more about The Blog Class.
My inspiration for the color I chose was this picture frame my oldest daughter recently picked out at Target.
The idea for the ruffle flower came from my washcloths–from Target, of course.
Here’s the matching bib I made with the extra ribbon and one of those weird small burp cloths, cut in half. If I did this again, I would put the flower higher.
Ivory Paper Cards: Michaels, $3 (on sale) for 25 cards
Ribbon: Michaels, $3.99 for 4 yards (not on sale, ugh) I needed 3 rolls, 12 yards
Corner cutter: Michaels, Fiskars, the tiny corner cutter, not the wide one, about $8
Chevron stripe tape: Michaels, $1.99
Fonts: I used one called KG Eyes Wide Open and Copperplate Gothic Light
Total: $25, but I bet if you plan ahead, find some fabric around your house, and use coupons, you could do it for much cheaper
I had a lot of fun making these rose cards / invitations, and I put one in my daughter’s baby book to remember her first birthday. I know everyone always says this, but they really do grow up too fast.
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