How to DIY bleach-stamped invitations (and more!)

Guestpost by Ang on Apr. 29th

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The only thing that stuck out from my original invite brain storming session was the idea to bleach the invitation paper. I just loved the look and couldn't live without it.

Of course this meant I got immensely high (on bleach y'all!). I got together with my mom, and a friend of hers who's a distributor for Stampin' Up (I totally used her for her stamp collection. I'm evil.) and went to town!

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This works better on dark colors, and with thick card stock.  Experiment with individual pieces beforehand to make sure you like the look.  The brand/weight/dye of the paper will all effect the outcome. So the process is immensely complicated (she said sarcastically). Read carefully and proceed with caution.

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Materials:

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Step 1:
Layer a plastic container (disposable Gladware works great) with several layers of paper towel. I did three sheets folded in quarters. Saturate the towel with bleach (I used splash-less because it was thicker). The more saturated the towels are, the messier and bolder the imprint will be. I happened to like this look as I think it makes it look more worn and "vintagey".

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Step 2:
Layout your pocket fold envelope with the outside facing up. If you're using a rolling stamp, roll it several times for full coverage in the bleach, then roll over the pocket fold. If you're using a standard stamp, just treat it like a regular 'ole stamp pad. Use a combination of stamps or the same stamp in a haphazard pattern to achieve the look you want.

Step 3:
Put aside and let oxidize. It can take up to 10 minutes to see the full effect. Set them aside to dry. Do NOT let them overlap or you get something nasty lookin'. We also bleach-stamped a corner of the envelopes to make sure the design looked cohesive.

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Step 4:
Now, on to bleach-spraying the inside of the invitations and the envelopes (envelopes are optional but make the look complete). Fill a travel sized spray bottle with bleach, hold it 1-2 feet away and spray.

DO NOT OVER DO IT! You will be soooooo tempted, you're going to think "Ugh, that's not enough, just a little more". That is a mistake. With a spray it takes longer to fully oxidize, and if you spray too much you're going to end up with something fugly.

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Step 5:
Let's design the invite! The actual invite portion consists of four parts. The card stock backing, the vellum the text was printed on, the info card, and the tickets. (The tickets were very confusing to my mother as she was terrified that people would forget them and not be allowed into the wedding.) The PSD document (for both the tickets and the invites) have been included to help out, but you might have to adjust for your printer settings, page size, etc. It's set up for 6 1/4 " square cards, with 2 to a page.

Choose your image for the card stock backing. Since we were doing a vintage rustic sort of thing I did a tree. You can obviously tweak this for whatever you're doing. Use a darker color so it can be seen through the vellum that will be over it. Basically, you just print it out and cut to size. This is the easy part.

Keep in mind that everyone's printers are different so you're going to have to mess around with your settings to get it right. Also keep in mind that if you have a colored card stock, everything that is white on the computer will show up the card stock color.

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Step 6:
The vellum is a two stage process. First, choose your full background. You can use the damask design already on the PSD file that is pretty simple and looks nice, or choose your own design! Print it the design onto the vellum but don't cut it, because we have to print the text. Once the text is set up, put the vellum in the printer and print your text. (If you want a more subtle effect, print on the side that DOESN'T have the damask on it, because it'll make it look more muted. Try one both ways and see which you like better.) Once printed, cut the vellum ¼" smaller on all sides than the card stock.

Step 7:
For the tickets, just swap out your info for mine, print and cut. I hate to be so vague, but they're incredibly customizable. Just make sure they fit appropriately in your folded invite!

Optional step: You can print an info card like mine. Use leftover card stock and design it with all the pertinent info including map, RSVP cards etc. Now print and cut as before.

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Step 8:
Let's put those bad boys together! My suggestion is to collate the vellum and card stock ahead of time to make life easier. Center and line the card stock and the vellum up on the flat part of the pocket fold. Using a hole punch, put two holes in the top, then insert grommets and set them. We used a Crop-o-dile which punches holes AND sets grommets, YAY for multitasking!

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Step 9:


Tuck info card and tickets (or maps or RSVP cards or what have you) into the pocket. Wrap invite with ribbon and thread bird tag (see bird tag instructions link below) through it. Tie with a big foofy bow (I also considered using twine or hemp for this but couldn't find one I liked).

TA DAHHHH Your invites are all done and GORG-E-MOUS! And your house smells clean!

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About Ang

Ang lives a life of semi-organized chaos with her new husband (Tee Hee) and their three slobbery hairy dog-children.