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Do-It-Yourself Bridal Shower Invitations

12 Mar

Whether you’re on a tight budget or just love craft projects, understanding that you aren’t limited to purchasing pre-printed bridal shower invitations is the first step towards stretching your budget and your creativity. Making your own bridal shower invitations can be a fun group project or something you do on your own. Once you have the perfect design, replicating it is simple and fun!Why Choose Do-It-Yourself Bridal Shower InvitationsThe most obvious and popular reason to choose DIY bridal shower invitations is to save money and preserve the budget for things like food, decorations, games and perhaps a special venue.
The next most popular reason to choose DIY bridal shower invitations is because it gives you the opportunity to spread your creative wings and create bridal shower invitations with a personal touch that are completely unique to your personality.When you choose traditional, printed bridal shower invitations, you must choose from a limited amount of customizable options. For instance, you’ll likely have a decent variety of fonts to choose from, but can’t always combine two different fonts or choose one color for the bride’s name, for example, and a contrasting font for the rest of the wording. Your paper choice is usually pre-chosen unless you opt for custom bridal shower invitations, which are incredibly expensive and will still limit you somewhat as to materials.DIY bridal shower invitations allow you to choose pre-printed paper, combine more than one type of paper for a layered look, or even choose a completely different format. You can add embellishments that are meaningful and tie in with whatever bridal shower invitation theme you choose, while many bridal shower invitations you purchase don’t offer embellishment options.You’ll need to allot time for this project, however, especially when you’re trying to design your DIY bridal shower invitations. Visiting paper stores and craft stores is a good way to begin, as well as looking around online for bridal shower invitation elements that appeal to. Once you create a sample you’re happy with, you can either enlist a friend or the entire bridal party to help, perhaps forming an assembly line, or set aside enough time to complete them yourself. Since most bridal showers aren’t as large as the wedding, the number of bridal shower invitations should be manageable and an enjoyable experience.Alternative DIY Bridal Shower Invitation FormatsSince you are making your own bridal shower invitations, remember you aren’t necessarily limited to just choosing paper. You can incorporate fabric, create your own patterns with stamps, use paper punches to create die-cuts on bi-fold or tri-fold bridal shower invitations, or found objects like smooth stones or large leaves.For example, if you want your bridal shower to have a tropical theme because you’re honeymooning in Tahiti, then consider “printing” your bridal shower invitations on banana leaves that you trim down enough to be mailed in a decorative frame, for instance, that fits neatly into a flat, pre-paid mailing box. This approach is ideal if your guest list isn’t too large, otherwise, postage could add up quickly.You might also use a bold fabric that you iron and then glue onto a decorative paper. Ordering a custom stamp that holds your bridal shower invitation wording is easy and relatively inexpensive. Simply paint it with fabric paint, found at the craft store, and stamp onto the fabric. It’s best to test this on various fabric swatches using a generic stamp to ensure this type of bridal shower invitation will hold.Another alternative is creating a bridal shower invitation CD on your computer. You’ll need to borrow a video camera if you don’t have one and get a partner to videotape you inviting your guests to your bridal shower. Then, create a presentation that begins with your short video and finishes with screens that hold the necessary information like time, place and date in print so guests don’t have to continuously replay the video. If you don’t want to include a live video, you could also create a PowerPoint slideshow that includes a photo of yourself on the title slide along with a phrase like “You’re invited to Hannah Smith’s bridal shower.” Then, the subsequent slides could feature your wording against a bridal shower background with music. Simply place these creative and inexpensive bridal shower invitations in decorative jewel cases and mail in decorative CD envelopes.
The Essential Ingredients for DIY Bridal Shower InvitationsIf you plan to print your bridal shower invitations, it’s important to have access to a quality printer, as well as a software program that has card templates. Inkjet printers work well, but you’ll need to carefully remove the printed invitations to avoid smearing the ink if you are printing detailed images or photos. A laser printer results in ink that dries almost instantly, but if you don’t already have one, they are more expensive.Take your time and explore the craft store for paper punches that could enhance your bridal shower invitation with a die-cut image, perhaps a heart, high-heel shoe or a simple shape like a circle. Then, your die-cut shape could frame an aspect of your bridal shower invitation such as your name, monogram or an image or embellishment. You can purchase decorative paper that already features a pattern or color scheme you like and use it as an accent or a background. The main invitation should use a substantial paper like cardstock to give your bridal shower invitations weight and make them more durable.Since you’re making your own bridal shower invitations, feel free to choose any color paper or color combination that highlights your theme or the look you want. For a modern bridal shower invitation, you might choose a chocolate brown paper layered over ice blue vellum. Whatever paper you choose, purchase matching or complimentary envelopes. Wander over to the scrapbooking aisles at your local craft store and explore the variety of dried flowers, vintage buttons and ribbon selections if you want to embellish your bridal shower invitations. You could also attach faux grass blades, twigs or thin bamboo stalks found in the floral section of the crafts store. Don’t forget double-sided tape, glue and sharp scissors or a paper cutter as part of your DIY entourage.Your imagination is your only constraint when designing your DIY hand drawn wedding invitations, so look around and unleash your creativity for a personal and unique bridal shower invitation.


How to Host a Safe Birthday Party

26 Sep

When Lynn Morley planned her son’s first birthday party she knew what she wanted. The Belton, Missouri, mom envisioned a small get-together with family surrounding her son Alexander as he blew out the big number one candle atop his cake. What Morley didn’t plan on is her son being so enchanted with the flames that he lunged forward in his high chair to grab the candle. “I pulled it back just in time,” recalls Morley. “My husband and I blew it out for him.” That was three years ago. As Morley prepares for her second son’s first birthday party, she doesn’t plan on lighting any candles.
“What’s interesting is that no one at the party—all experienced parents—thought to caution us about the candle,” confides Morley. Normally vigilant parents can easily become distracted from safety issues at birthday celebrations. And these events can pose serious risks from the cake candle to the small plastic toys often found in goodie bags. The distractions add up when you have other children and parents attending the festivities too. Look over some of the top birthday hazards to make sure that your child’s special day stays happy, not hazardous.


“There are so many food items that are considered unsafe until a child reaches the age of 4,” says Dr. Christine Wood, pediatrician and author of How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It. She lists popular party foods such as hot dogs, grapes, hard candy, popcorn, chunks of cheese, meat, carrots, celery, taffy, dried fruits, marshmallows, and others as posing choking risks.
Dr. Wood advises some simple precautions to avoid problems. First, make sure that the children attending the party—including the birthday child—sit while eating. “Almost any food can become a choking hazard if children are running around or laughing.” Second, avoid known choking foods or make sure these foods are cut into small pieces.
Choking is a serious hazard for little kids. According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17,537 children visited emergency rooms around the country in 2001 with nonfatal choking problems. Of those choking incidences, 60 percent were from food items, 31 percent were from nonfood items, and 9 percent were from unknown substances.
If a child does appear to be choking, either because he is unable to breathe, breathing is labored, or he’s turning color, Dr. Bryan Burke, a pediatrician at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, relays the importance of parents reacting quickly. Sometimes the child is still able to breathe while the object is lodged in the airway, but if a child’s breathing is blocked completely, you have only four minutes before the lack of oxygen will lead to death, says Dr. Burke.
Dr. Burke, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents take a CPR course and familiarize themselves with how to react in emergency situations.
Additionally, when planning the party, ask parents of party guests if their children have any food allergies so that you can avoid serving those foods or restrict the food to certain areas.

Decorations and Wrappings

With all the party excitement, you may not realize that some common party items—such as gift-wrapping and balloons—can prevent breathing if inhaled or swallowed. Dr. Burke recalls vividly a case where he was called to remove a balloon from a child’s throat. Unfortunately, the four-year-old died before ever reaching the hospital.
While you don’t have to ban balloons from your festivities altogether, be careful where you place them. Tape balloons high above children’s heads and don’t let anyone play with them. Save balloon animals until children are older and won’t place the balloons in their mouths.
Gather up wrapping paper, ribbons, and packaging as soon as your child is done opening gifts. Remember that you’re not just trying to ensure your own child’s safety, but also that of other children attending the party.

Your House

Take a childproofing tour of your house. This is a great time to check between couch cushions and under beds for hazardous items. “Small things like marbles, watch batteries, pen caps, or buttons can be a real choking problem,” says Dr. Wood. Reinstall childproofing devices such as outlet covers and gates at stairs if necessary.
Before the party, determine where guests will put their coats and purses. Dr. Wood points out that many items that a child might stumble onto in a purse left on the floor can be dangerous, such as medications, keys, or pocket knives.
If you have a family pool, there must be at least one adult who will stay in the pool for the entire event and watch the children. If your pool is covered, lock outside doors or pool gates so that children will not find their way into your pool and drown.


Like small pieces of food, tiny toys can also put your child at risk of choking. Opt for party favors that are large enough that they cannot be swallowed. Dr. Wood explains that any item that can fit through a toilet paper roll can potentially fit in your child’s mouth and create airway problems.
Remember that gifts your child receives may be unsuitable for your child’s age—such as a toy intended for preschoolers with small parts. Tuck these gifts away and save them for your child to enjoy once she’s old enough.

Have Fun—Get Help!

Parties are supposed to be fun, not stressful. If you are aware of common party dangers you’ll be better able to prevent an accident and enjoy your child’s special day. Perhaps the best celebration advice comes from pediatrician Dr. Dan McGee, of the DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan: “Don’t do it all yourself. Find someone or hire a babysitter to help you manage the party, especially if you are expecting a lot of guests.” Now, who’s ready to party?
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