As promised, today’s post is a step-by-step DIY guide to crafting your very own Christmas dinner party invitation which can be later hung as an ornament on the lucky recipients’ Christmas trees.
I really enjoy making beautiful things with paper, and I have tons of the stuff in all colours and patterns you can think of. Yes, I’m a bit of a paper freak and let’s not even talk about ribbons! So when my lovely friends agreed to break away from the norm of meeting for our annual pre-Christmas dinner at a busy London restaurant and come over to mine for some good home cooking instead, I was thrilled. Within minutes, off I went, dreaming up some snazzy ideas for handmade invitations, gorgeous centrepieces and colourful table settings.
I’ve always liked the idea of giving multi-function cards and invitations, so I set out to create an invitation my friends could reuse after our dinner party had passed. Admittedly, this wasn’t very difficult; a Christmas tree ornament was among my very first ideas. My favourite Christmas ornament has always been a bauble of sorts, so that was an obvious starting point.
Follow these simple steps below and in no time, you will have your very own handmade Christmas Dinner Party Invitation Ornaments. Please bear in mind that the quantities and measurements listed here are based on the size and quantity of the invitations I created. I invite you to share photos (or links to photos) of the ones you’ve made in the comments section below this post.
- 2 Sheets of Patterned Scrapbook Cardstock. Here I’m using the 12×12 ‘Gumdrop Sprinkles’ cardstock from the My Mind’s Eye ‘Colourful Christmas collection and the 12×12 Bazzill Dotted Swiss Card in Deep Sea
- 1 Pack Paperchase Paperworks No.46 Sparkling White Paper
- 2 Metres VV Rouleaux 38mm Wire Edge Ribbon in Sharp Green
- 40cm cuts of Flojlsband 10mm Velvet Ribbon from Tiger Stores x 6
- 3/16″ Gold Eyelets x 6 (you’ll get lots of these with your Crop-A-Dile but they’re also available in haberdasheries
- 3M Repositionable Spray Adhesive (you can use masking tape if you prefer)
- Thread (for sewing)
- Martha Stewart Crafts® Circle Cutter
- The Crop-A-Dile by We Are memory Keepers
- Olfa 45mm Rotary Cutter
- X-cut Self Healing A4 Cutting Mat
- Computer & printer (if the details of your invitation will be prepared digitally)
- Pencil (to make guide marks)
- Lighter (to singe ribbon ends)
- Hand Sewing Needle
1. Place your cutting mat on a flat and level surface and use your circle cutter to cut 6 circles from each patterned card stock. My circles were 3 5/8″ each. You should now have a total of 12 circles, 6 for the front and 6 for the back of your invitations. Watch this video for useful tips on how to use the circle cutter. USEFUL TIP: Spray a small amount of repositionable adhesive on the corners of the underside of your card to keep it in place on your cutting mat. This will prevent slippage and ensure your circles are accurate.
2. Prepare the details of your invitation using a suitable software. I used Microsoft PowerPoint, but Pages, Word, Keynote etc works just as well. USEFUL TIP: Insert a circle in your new document, the same size of your circle and work within that circle. Then change the circle outline to ‘none’ before printing. This will ensure that your text fits perfectly within your circle when cutting the inner pages of the invitation.
3. Print the document on your Sparkling White Paper. USEFUL TIP: To maximise the use of your paper, repeat the contents on each page of your document so you can cut more that one inner page from each sheet of paper.
4. Place your cutting mat on a flat and level surface, use your circle cutter to cut 3 5/8″ circles around the printed information. These will be the inner pages of your invitation. USEFUL TIP: Use the negative from the card stock you cut earlier as a guide to ensure your written information is centred. Simply place it above your print, and once centred, make four faint guide marks at the ‘clock positions’ 12, 3, 6 and 9. Do a test spin of your cutter disc without the cutting blade, ensuring that the 3 5/8″ hole follows your guide marks. Insert the cutting blade once you’re satisfied with the position and cut.
5. Gather your circles, arrange in the correct order and alignment. USEFUL TIP: Start by laying the front cover face-down then add each page face-down until you get to the back cover. Because the print is slightly visible from the back of the inner pages, it is easy to see whether you are laying the pages straight as you go along.
6. Pick up your stack and carefully use the Crop-A-Dile tool to punch a hole at the top centre, approximately 0.4cm inside the edge of your circle stack. I used the 3/16″ hole punch on my Crop-A-Dile to allow enough room for the velvet ribbon to slip through without bunching. There is a smaller 1/8″ punch on the opposite side of the tool. USEFUL TIP: Use the ruler guide on the Crop-A-Dile along near the hole punches to ensure you are punching the same distance from the circle edge for each invitation. Watch this video for useful tips on how to use the Crop-A-Dile.
7. On your Crop-A-Dile tool, select the correct top and base combination for the eyelet setter, this what will fix the eyelet in place on your invitations. For my invitations I selected A at the top and 1 at the base as this setting is most suitable for setting 3/16″eyelets.
8. Insert the eyelet into the hole on your invitation, place the base of the Crop-A-Dile setter into the tube of the eyelet and compress the handles to set. USEFUL TIP: To allow enough room for a smooth swivel action when reading the invitation, do not compress the handles too tightly. The tighter you set the eyelets, the less swivel action there will be between pages.
9. Tie a bow using the wire edge ribbon and singe the loose ends with a lighter to prevent the ribbon from fraying when handled. USEFUL TIP: To minimise waste, start your bow at the end of the ribbon, lay the bow flat on your cutting mat, then cut the ribbon at the second free-end of the bow using a rotary cutter. This way you will never cut more ribbon than you need.
10. Attach the bow to the velvet ribbon. With the other ribbon velvet side up, place the bow about half way down the length of it and attach the two using a simple tack stitch on the reverse.
11. Thread the velvet ribbon through the eyelet on your invitation, ensuring the bow is at the front and tie the ends together in a knot at the end.
Voila! Now you have some nifty little invitation ornaments to send your loved ones, and they will be delighted to hang them on their Christmas trees instead of throwing them out with the trash.
I hope my instructions were not too crazy! I must admit, giving instructions for this kind of thing has never been my strong point, given the general order (or lack thereof) of my creative process. I mostly just dream up some fabulous ideas, go splurging on a ton of materials, then work things out as I go along…. Ah well, it makes me happy!
Oh by the way, I experimented with a few colour-ways before my final decision. Here’s a shot of the invitation with pink and green ribbons.
Not hosting an event? No problem, you can customise this project as you wish. How about using it as a greeting card or a gift tag instead? I hope you’ll try your hand at this enjoyable project and I look forward to seeing your photos!