Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some Assembly Required

We completed the design for the save-the-dates and once again I fooled myself into thinking, "the hard part is over." He was happy. I was happy. The creative stuff was done and it was time to get serious and mathy. I did as my DIY bride books advised and made a detailed list of materials and started searching for deals.

I'm not the best math-er for sure. First, I wanted to find the best place to order the prints that will become the background and magnetic quotes for the save the dates. I checked all the photo sites for deals for large groups of photos and then realized I didn't need 200+ prints (guest list X 2). I needed one per household, duh. Much like carpenter's tell you "measure twice, cut once" I advise DIY brides to count at least 3 times and have someone check your math before you buy. Especially if you've been rearranging the guest list and your brain is number soup.

The next big lesson for me was always do a test. In the case of this project we order a print of each to see how they'd come out. It's never a bad move. If everything's great your a few mouse clicks and an hour from your lovely prints. On the other hand the time, money and stress saved if they're not right is immeasurable. It's hard to err on the side of caution when you're excited, but it must be done.

The next items on the to-do list were to price out magnetic sheets, 4x6 envelopes and postage. It turns out it's not so easy to find to find 4x6 envelopes. They are kind of like a reasonably priced meal at the airport, rare. After reading three different blogs posts about how crafters went to office supply stores and came home empty handed I checked Amazon. God bless 'em, 50 envelopes for $5.95, sold. Does it seem stupid to anyone else that 4x6 is the standard size for so many things and you can't find corresponding envelopes?

Postage was much trickier because I was told (and read somewhere) that there's special rules for mailing magnets. After much stressful searching it turned out magnets are "unregulated" unless they're strong enough to move the needle on a compass from several feet away. Phew, kind of, I'm still nervous. We'll mail one as a test before we drop the other 49 into the mailbox. More caution, aren't you proud? You would be if you need how much I'm dying to dive in to this project (and of course show it off).

Magnetic sheets are not as easy to find as one might think. It did not help matters that I started by searching for the wrong size, number soup! Mike and I had our typical discussion where I assumed we'd do a simple construction and he through out flashier more time consuming ideas. I then totaled up doing all the assembly ourselves start to finish. After that I totaled up if Vista Print did the magnets and we did the rest (cutting apart the poetry words, putting the two pieces together and mailing), it was a whole $6 cheaper to do it ourselves. Dream honeymoon here we come! Of course we've established my mathematics abilities so it my be even less of a savings...

Is it still worth it? Run your fingers back up the DIY chart to the part about "why are you doing this?" Unlike, a lot of my other projects this is truly the first impression of my day and saving money is great, but even if we break even I'll be something unique we made together. I hope people enjoy it and when they put a finger painting on the fridge after the wedding think "what a day."

The test prints were beautiful, but there was a snag. I loved our tree bark with climbing vine frame in high resolution, blown up to 200% on the computer, but in 4x6 well ick. So, we'll tweak them before we proceed. At least we have a solid idea what we need, where to get it and how much it will cost. I did win a small victory in convincing Mike that letting Vista Print do the magnets was the way to go, yay! Slightly less work on my plate and I'll have my craft cutter! We decided to go with a Silhouette after reading a lot more reviews, polling brides on the DIY boards and comparing features (research, research, research). It should be here end of next week!

So, to re-cap, the design needs tweaking, we're not doing the whole construction process ourselves and you can in fact mail magnets without crashing planes!

1 comment:

  1. Here is the lovely "Project Planning Sheet" from my DIY bride book for my follow DIY brides:
    I recommend saving it to your desktop so you have easy access and can print as many as you need.


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