I made these for my wedding this past August in Brooklyn, NY. These include over 160 hand-made cloth books which were mailed in boxes as invitations, a retro save-the-date postcard featuring self-timed photographs, surprise tissue programs, a hand painted ketubah, and more. I designed each piece myself and assembled everything with the help of my now, husband Eddie as well as other family members.

Each invitation consists of a hardbound book, with a white book cloth exterior, magenta flocked interior and milkweed speckled cover stock. Each of the 160 books was completely made by hand, including the design, printing, and binding. My husband and I trimmed all of the papers and book boards and adhered them with PVA glue. After we finished making the shells (an effort that took around 4.5 months), we adhered the interior pages.

The RSVP page had a fuchsia envelope, custom card with a thought bubble for writing the bride and groom a note, and a handcrafted label. It was enclosed with 4 black photo corners. When removed from the book, there was a surprise message to be found on the page. For directions, I adhered a black half moon enclosure with a folded parchment map inside. A simple “Pull Me” instructed guests to pull out the paper to see the hand illustrated map.

The imagery inside the book was inspired by old Victorian botanic encyclopedias. As the wedding was at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I wanted the design to reflect the illustrations. The final page has a silhouette of the bride, groom and their dog Chum Chum. The books were tied with a black silk ribbon and of course handmade stickers of an old Dahlia that was designed to match the books’ colors: black, fuchsia and the cream of the paper. The book was placed in a cream box with fuchsia tissue paper, then wrapped in brown paper and another custom label. Even the stamp was custom made–a photo of us at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in front of the Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom, holding a sign that said “Look Inside.”

For our Save the Date we shot 3 photos to give our vertical jumbo postcard an ‘old time’ feel. In each photo we held real signs with Victorian style type. The first photo was taken at Coney Island in Brooklyn. The second on the Brooklyn Bridge (Chum Chum is in the basket!) and the third is on a row boat at the Central Park boathouse. The website was designed to match the Save-the-Date and printed invitation. In addition, when it came time to send out thank you notes, we mailed out cards with the same sign, this time saying “Grazie” as we honeymooned in Florence, Italy.

Other pieces included flower pot favors that also acted as seating cards, table number cards (all having different antique flower illustrations), a hand painted ketubah, hand-trimmed and designed circular menus, and ceremony programs–each program had a different cover and in the inside there was a small pink envelope that enclosed an “H” monogrammed tissue for “happy tears.” In addition all of the materials for gift bags were designed and handmade. My mother decorated all of the yarmulkes by hand.

I created a PDF book to show how I made the invitations (click each image to enlarge)

Ms Polka Dot says: We were blown away when Shana sent this to us! The thought and planning, the care and the effort that went into creating just the right feel for these invitations, thank you cards and everything in between, is just astounding in its creativity. Click on the images, pour over them and enjoy them as we did! Thank you so much Shana for sending them to us and congratulations on your wedding to Eddie!

For the traditionally inclined bride, there is nothing more elegant than white on white. Feel like a true princess on your wedding day with this classic, yet sophisticated invitation. With subtle layers of shimmering pearl paper, exquisite flock and sparkling silver accessories, this invitation promises a dreamy, opulent and irresistibly romantic affair.

Step One

Print or photocopy desired invitation wording onto a sheet of plain paper, such as the shimmering pearl pictured. Allow enough space on the left side, approximately 75mm, for the paper and ribbon. Trim to a size of 140mm x 140mm.

Step Two

Take a sheet of flocked paper with  a horizontal design and carefully cut out a panel using a pair of sharp scissors or a paper trimmer. Trim to a length of 140mm and carefully attach to the top of the invitation with adhesive tape.

Step Three

Cut a piece of white ribbon to 150mm. Adhere to the invitation using an adhesive tape roller. Tuck the ends around the back of the invitation and fasten for a neat finish. Cut another piece of ribbon to 120mm. Make a buckle bow, please refer to instructions below.

Buckle Bows

Making a pretty buckle bow is easier than it looks. You need only a buckle and a length of ribbon to create this beautiful, yet versatile embellishment. You can learn how to create a single or double buckle bow.

Step One

Cristina Re Buckle Bow 1

To make a single buckle bow, cut a piece of ribbon to a length of 100mm. To make a double buckle bow, cut two pieces of ribbon to 60mm and 90mm. Fold the ends of the ribbon in to the centre as shown and secure with adhesive tape. Be sparing with the tape to ensure the ribbon has a nice loop on either side of the join.

Step Two

Cristina Re Buckle Bow 2

Thread the first bow made in step one through a buckle as shown. The single buckle bow is now complete. If making a double buckle bow, thread the shortest bow through the buckle, and leave the second bow for step three.

Step Three

Cristina Re Buckle Bow 3

To finish the double buckle bow, affix the second bow to the back of the buckle using adhesive tape. Attach these beautiful buckle bows to invitations, menus, booklets and more. The possibilities are endless!

Helpful Hint

When familiar with the process of making a buckle bow, experiment with different ribbon layers and positioning to achieve some exciting and unique looks. Try making the ribbon element for two double buckle bows and join them together to form a small cross. These embellishments look great on bombonierre boxes and lolly bags.

Ms Polka Dot says: Elle from Cristina Re joins us with a project to make your own invitation. We love the scalloped edge on the paper which adds such an elegant touch. Thank you Elle for sharing this project with us.

Cristina Re‘s stylish boutique Where a Girl Goes offers a variety of papercraft workshops. The Brilliant Bride workshop provides expert tuition for participants to be inspired and create the wedding  of their dreams.

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies

Hello dotties! I am thrilled to be sharing my first exclusive DIY project for Polka Dot Bride today: fabric fortune cookies complete with printable love-themed printable fortunes. Pick some fabrics that coordinate with your wedding style and you’ll have the perfect low-cost favours that will have your guests talking.

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies tutorial materials

You will need:

  • Fabrics in 3-4 different patterns (including polka dots, naturally)
  • Iron-on interfacing
  • Wire
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Circular object (such as a small bowl or cup) to trace around
  • Printable love fortunes

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies tutorial 1

1. Iron the interfacing onto your fabric. Allow to cool.

2. Trace around the bowl onto the back of the interfacing. Repeat until you’ve done as many circles as required.

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies tutorial 2

3. Cut out the circles.

4. Apply a thin line of glue along the centre of the underside of the circle.

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies tutorial 3

5. Cut a piece of wire the same length as the diameter of the circle. Lay in the line of glue. Allow to dry thoroughly.

6. Place a fortune along the wire in the circle.

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies tutorial 4

7. Fold up the circle and pinch at the top.

8. Hold the edges of the circle where it meets the wire, and push up the centre of the wire so it folds into a fortune cookie shape.

Atypical Type A - Fabric fortune cookies 2

Ms Polka Dot says: All this cuteness – and so simple to make, and a real talking point for your guests! Guess which one we like the best……?  Thank you Alicia!

I am Alicia Parsons, the Atypical Type A. I live in Adelaide, South Australia in a modest townhouse with my new hubby Ryan (aka The Man). I am the owner and graphic designer behind Akimbo, which specialises in quirky invitations, announcements and greetings.