Monday, March 29, 2010

Invitation Creation, Part 5: The Laser Cut Pocketfolds That Could Have Been

Oh, sweet laser cutter, how do I love what you can do to paper products! But it wasn't meant to be, and our guests will never see these amazing pocketfold covers that were in my original invitations plans.

I've alluded to the fact that the invitations suite I spent the past week posting about wasn't my original design, so now that you've seen the final versions, I'll go into what I'd previously wanted to do.

It all started back in November, when I decided laser cutting an intricate design on pocketfolds was the end all, be all way to do our invitations. Mr. Cola spent some time doing some mock ups for me on the cutter, to gauge how much time it would actually take to implement my designs, but the news wasn't so good. The inside wood grain paper that you already saw us use took about 23 minutes to cut two, and my plans for the pocketfold took about 13 minutes each, plus another couple minutes to cut our names in the wood grain paper layer under the pocketfold cover.

Well, you can do the math as well as I can, with the designs I had my heart set on, we were looking at spending a HUGE amount of time laser cutting, not to mention all the printing, gluing and assembly of the rest of the invite elements. But you know what? I was fine with it. Who needs to have a life when you could be working on amazing wedding invitations, right? Mr. C warned me that if we went ahead with this plan, I would be the one babysitting the laser cutter, not him, and he claims he tried to talk me out of it (which I totally don't remember!), but I was already in the mindset that this was what we were doing.

Fast forward to mid January, and it was time to actually start working on the invites. Luckily it was the wood grain paper we started with, so I still did get one portion of the invites to have a laser cut aspect, because the rest of my dreams went down the drain. It took us about 20 hours one weekend, and 10 hours the following weekend to complete all the wood grain sheets, and it was at that point that Mr. Cola got really frustrated. While it was me who was running the laser cutter, doing the swap in/swap out for all the sheets, while we caught up on episodes of Lost on my laptop, he was getting really sick of spending so much time in his office.

We kind of had a blow up that night, and although it was probably pretty tame fight compared to what most people have, it threw me a bit. We NEVER fight, and invitations were not something I wanted to put our relationship in a bad place over. So on the way home from his office, I redesigned our invites in my mind, trying to keep as many of the elements as I could, but do away with the rest of the laser cutting, and came up with the final version I showed you all in my last post:

They were scaled back, but still very pretty, and we could still use the laser cut wood sheets, as well as all the green paper I'd already purchased for pocketfolds. And definitely worth it to avoid any more arguments, as well as a huge time saver. And probably the best part was that Mr. Cola agreed to let us have laser cut escort cards instead! (These escort cards have since taken a life of their own and now involve LED lights....but that's another post for another day.)

I still love my original pocketfold designs though, so wanted to share with you all what could have been. Laser cutters can do amazing things to paper if you have enough time! This is the mock up of the cover of the pocket fold, which would have had a ribbon belly band over our names.

And upon opening the first flap of the tri-fold, there were going to be three cut flowers, with the purple backing from the inserts showing through:

With the full cover design there would have been a place for the RSVP card and envelope on the inside, held in place with photo corners (instead of under the belly band on the back side as in our final version).

And this is a look at the pocketfold opened up, how it would have been positioned to laser cut it. Beautiful? Yes. Worth 13 minutes each, plus set up time, and an unhappy Mr. Cola? Not really....

I'm really glad I got to show you all the original design of our invitations, since I worked really hard on it! But I'm also glad that I waited a while, it gave me more time to put things into perspective, and let go of my slight bitterness about the change of plans. It was definitely a learning experience, if anything else: listen to Mr. Cola more closely when he tries to talk me out of something that's not going to make him happy. He almost always goes along with what I want, so if he's going to make a stink about something, I really should pay attention. And from now on, if he does try to talk me out of something, I'm just going to remember back to our stupid fight over invitations, and listen up!

Have you had a learning experience about your relationship that sprung from working on any of your wedding plans or projects?


  1. That is the most incredible pocketfold I've ever seen.... wowza.

    I've definitely had to take a step back from planning my wedding & all my DIY dreams! I was losing sight of our relationship & putting way too much focus on the wedding. Now I'm a semi-DIY queen. Morgan, you're the reigning DIY goddess & queen! Beautiful work :)

  2. Your original design is G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S! I don't think I've seen anything so detailed before! But I think I could have done what you did with the amount of time they took, and a grumpy fiance :)


    Seriously, DIY with laser cut detailing? What kind of machine is that bw? I'm super curious. Both your original and new designs are so lovely and showcase such a whimsical, pretty vibe. I'd definitely keep your invite if I got it!

  4. These are so awesome!!I'm loving all the details. I can't imagine the time you put into these beautiful invitations.

  5. Everything you do is amazing so I don't know why you worry about anything. The invitations look so fabulous. Your guests are going to be blown away!

  6. Wow, those are gorgeous! I love the texture of the paper, and of course, the awesome laser cuts! I think your real invites turned out beautifully as well, though - definitely not worth an unhappy fiance to do the original version . . . and you can always use this technique for smaller-scale projects like Christmas cards, or even the rehearsal dinner invites!

  7. How did you find someone to do laser cutting?