saving the date part 5: adding it all up.

Finally, the last post on our save-the-dates! You've seen how we made the envelopes and the save-the-date cards. I told you I'd write about the cost breakdown and lessons learned, so here it is. First up, let's see how much they cost us, shall we?

$35.00 - 200 sheets of text weight paper in Lake from PaperSource
$11.50 - large flourish stamp from PaperSource
$7.95 - small flourish stamp from PaperSource
$15.00 - envelope template kit from PaperSource
$5.50 - Colorbox stamp pad in Eggplant from PaperSource
$1.50 - Clear embossing powder (on clearance at JoAnn's)
$3.00 - Double stick adhesive ( 2 rolls - using 50% off coupon at JoAnn's)
$3.00 - Two packs of metal brads (using 50% off coupon at JoAnn's)
$3.59 - 1/16" circle punch (on sale)
$5.00 - Corner rounder (using 50% off coupon at JoAnn's)
$14.40 - 90 sheets of linen textured cardstock (12 x 12) from JoAnn's (6 for $0.96)
$38.16 - Printing costs for 90 full color 12 x 12 sheets*

*Note: The printing company we used had quoted us $.40 per color sheet when I sent them our design. Later we found out that they had quoted us wrong (it should cost more like $.99 per sheet) but they still honored the original quote. We got lucky!

We'll also be using the large and small flourish stamps and the envelope template kit for other projects. I still added them into the cost of the save-the-dates, but they'll be freebies for our invites and other paper goods.

Final price per invite: for 150 save-the-dates, it works out to about $0.96 per save-the-date (not including postage). Not too bad!

Now, onto the lessons learned.

1. Even though making envelopes with PaperSource paper rather than buying PaperSource envelopes is cheaper, I'm not sure it would be worth it for everyone. It is a pain cutting out 150 envelopes. I spread out the work over a week or so, cutting about 20-30 envelopes everyday. Cutting anymore than 30 per day is just torture, don't do it!

2. Sign up for emails from craft stores like JoAnn's and Michaels. You will get coupons pretty much every week for 40-50% off one item. Use these to buy your supplies. You'll save a ton of money!

3. This is an important one. JoAnn's has great sales on 12x12 paper. You can get 6 sheets for $0.96, while one sheet usually costs $0.50. Ask your printing company if they can print on 12x12 paper before you buy it. If they can't print on it, you'll have to find another printer or cut the paper down to 8.5x11. We found out that none of the common printers in our area (FedEx Kinko's, OfficeMax, etc.) knew how to print on 12x12 paper. We ended up using a place in the UP to print all of our save-the-dates to avoid cutting the paper down.

4. It's quickest to make the envelopes and save-the-date cards one step at a time, preferably with help. Get someone (your fiance!) to cut out all of the printed cards (or envelopes) while you stamp them. Put the embossing powder on each stamped surface immediately, but you do not have to heat up the embossing powder right away if you don't want to. It would probably be best to have three people for this process. One to cut, one to stamp, one to emboss. You can round all of the corners and insert the bosses on the save-the-date cards at the end.

5. Embossing allows you to use pigment ink without waiting for it to dry. This is one of the primary reasons we've been embossing all of our paper goods (aside from the fact that it looks good!). The only type of ink I've found in our wedding colors are ColorBox pigment inkpads. The problem with this ink is that it takes forever to dry unless you emboss it. Once you emboss it, it's dry in about 30 seconds.

6. These save-the-dates take time. Make sure you have time to spare before taking on a project like this one! We were working on these for about a month (not everyday of course). Now we know how much time our invites will probably take, so we can plan accordingly.

Hope this helps some of you that are planning to make your own save-the-dates or invites! Happy crafting :)

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