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This blog shares the latest news about {So Happi Together}, an event design and planning firm, along with my personal inspirations, ideas and love musings.

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Printing Your Paper Goods at Home

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nothing beats a good stationer. period.

A good stationer wears many, many hats. S/he is a designer. S/he is a printer. S/he is a stylist. S/he is a graphic artist. S/he is a vision-communicator. S/he is a dream-realizer. Because seriously, you can have a vision of what you want your wedding to look and feel like, and a stationer can take your jumbled, dis-jointed thoughts and ideas and translate them into a coherent piece of design that is then displayed on paper and other forms.

However, I know that many brides feel that they do not have the budget for a stationer. Don't fret! There are actually some ways you can still reasonably commission a talented stationer on a budget, and I will get to that soon. First, I wanted to mention the different ways you can print your paper goods from home - if you decide to brave the design process yourself.

Eddie (the hubs) is a designer and we have access to all types of programs, fonts, and printers that made it an easy option to design and print out paper good ourselves. I love that we did this, but have to admit that it was probably one of the most difficult periods of our wedding planning process. We had a super happy and fun engagement period where we didn't really argue about anything and came to decisions and compromises fairly easily. However, I would be lying if I didn't admit that I nearly went crazy a few times during the month or so of designing and screen printing all of our own invitations, programs, and other paper goods. So, while you know I am an avid supporter of DIY, a word of caution, DIYing your paper goods is not for the faint of heart.

I have already posted about how we printed our own invitation suite, but here is a reminder of what our paper goods looked like. They were seriously a labor of LOVE.

above images courtesy of Connie M Chung photography

above images courtesy of Amelia Lyon Photography

We screen printed the invitations, programs  and favor envelopes on my Riso Print PG5 gocco machine. I had purchased it from printaddictjapan off of etsy months before we were engaged and once we were engaged, saved it to use for the wedding. You see, the screens and bulbs can only be used once. Well, technically if you clean your screens, you can use them again and even re-burn images on to blank parts of your screen - which is something that I did quite often to save money and it turned out really nicely!

While teaching myself how to use the gocco, I found that this video on etsy was really helpful. Another tip that came in handy is if your mat becomes kind of dusty and your paper does not seem to be sticking to it very well, use a lint roller on the mat and it will make it sticky again! This saved my life many times!

If we had the budget, I would have LOVED to letterpress everything paper-ly possible. If you have seen my business cards (which I will be posting about soon), you know I love letterpress and will invest in some quality prints and papers. Lucky for brides today, there is a letterpress-at-home machine now available at stores - the L Letterpress.
I first saw this at my favorite scrapbooking, card-making store and was intrigued because it is manufactured by the same company as my home-die-cutting machine, QuicKutz, Inc. My QuicKutz Squeeze and tabletop Revolution systems have been reliable and overused for many years and still show no signs of aging. Then I found out that Paper Source was  also goingto begin carrying the L Letterpress, so I decided to do some research. While I don't think it will ever replace the "real-deal" of authentic letterpress (the impressions are not as deep and the sizes are obviously limited), I think it is a nice little tool to invest in if you are a crafty person anyways and can plan to continue to use the tool after your wedding. One of the most informative reviews I found was by Paper Crave here, answering the issue of custom plates and print quality.
Samples of the L Letterpress machine print quality. Images from the Lifestyle Crafts blog

Finally, an option that I simply cannot get over, is the amazing "Print Yourself" package offered by the ever-talented and gorgeous Megan of MaeMae Paperie. Megan offers a great bridal line as well as customized work. Two of my favorites from her recent collection are The Gilly Suite and Walter (named after her grandfather - how cute is she?!), pictured below.

images from MaeMae Paperie's inspiring blog
I simply love how Megan is able to create a whole suite with such a variety of elements and designs that is still cohesive. I feel like her collections tell a story filled with fun, little surprises here and there. You can choose to have her customize a piece from her collection with your colors and information and pay a small fee to have the image sent to you to print yourself, as many times as you like, on your own paper and at your own price. Isn't that amazing?! So, you get a professional design and you can choose your printing format and save costs if professional printing is not in your budget. 

Even MORE amazing is the fact that she also offers to do custom designs for you if you don't feel like something in her collection exactly speaks to your wedding aesthetic. I don't know how she does this and REALLY don't know how she offers it for the price that she does... but seriously, check this option out and contact Megan before she realizes that she is getting robbed, I tell ya'! ;)

So, I end this way-too-long post with some images from some of MaeMae Paperie's recent custom designs. How can you NOT fall in love? Can you tell I have a serious girl-crush on Megan? 


Sandy said...

Wow that truly is a labor of love and a lot of work but it truly paid off! I love how personal your stationery is and I bet it was a great bonding experience with your fiance (at the time)! I had no idea MaeMae Paperie offered a "Print Yourself" package.. and they are soo gorgeous that they look totally custom! My fave set of hers is the last grey one... I just love all the little details on it!

ever ours said...

love this post!

loved your invites too.

and you're right...how can one not LOVE megan's work?!

Type & Swash said...

LOVE this post!

Unknown said...

What beautiful paper goods you had!! Everything looks just lovely!

I included a photo of you in your *stunning* wedding dress on my blog today! You looked SO gorgeous! xo

connieMchung said...

oh my. totally brought me back to the good times slaving over those invites. but i gotta say, hard work definitely pays off.

Jessica said...

I love your wedding stationery especially the design of the petals. :)It's so fresh and whimsical.

I agree with your sentiments about stationers. They are also the most patient people on the planet.