Creative Invitation Enthusiast – Sandie Shares Her Design

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Sandie in Connecticut sent us a beautiful handmade wedding invitation ensemble that she created using a combination of metallic, vellum, and linen specialty paper and embellishments. Her two colors, Mars (red) and Autumn Hay (cream), are special papers with a mica-infused metallic finish. Watch our video for your introduction to the world of metallic papers and see how each reacts in different light. In this interview, you’ll hear directly from the designer as she talks about the paper selections she made and the tools she used.


  • 105lb Stardream Mars card stock
  • 80lb Aspire Petallics Autumn Hay text weight paper
  • 29lb Translucent Vellum paper>
  • Linen card stock
  • Aspire Petallics Autumn Hay 7 1/2″ Square Envelope
  • Aspire Petallics Autumn Hay A7 Envelope
  • Aspire Petallics Autumn Hay Response Envelope
  • Interlocking Silver Hearts Favor Charms

To save the audio to your computer, right click and “save as.”

Here is a transcript of the interview:

Thanks for submitting your beautiful wedding invitation design for our Share Your Creativity program. How did you first discover that we were seeking designs from our customers?

Well, I received an LCI e-mail, and there was, I believe, an icon on the side or a clickable graphic of some sort about submitting a design. So I pursued that because I had done this wedding invitation for some friends of ours; I believe it was about a year ago.

Sandie's Mars & Autumn Hay wedding invitation

Let’s talk about the design you submitted which you made for the bride…who is a good friend of yours?

Yes, she is. She actually worked at a local YMCA where my children attended daycare. I’ve known her for many years.

Ok. You went with an interesting and pretty two color combination of Autumn Hay which we sell and Mars which we don’t carry at this time. Were those a close match to her colors?

The Mars was a beautiful, deep, I want to say candy apple red and it happened to be a really good match to her wedding colors, specifically her bridesmaid dresses. I was a little concerned when she had mentioned that she was having red dresses, but she had brought along a fabric swatch and luckily it was a really nice, deep red. So we were trying to match that. There were other reds that we had considered but they were too pink or too orange or too burgundy and we really wanted this specific color. It was just a nice, rich, classy color. We felt that this particular paper had a beautiful metallic finish and it gave us the look that we wanted.

Interlocking Silver Hearts Favor Charm

Now the Autumn Hay is a warm, creamy off-white which I needed to contrast the red. It helps the left-hand panel really pop out and it helps to draw your eyes over to double intertwined heart charm. And that was the focal point for the invitation. It was the purpose of this particular custom invitation. It was the celebration of the union of two hearts. It all fell into place once we looked at all the papers and the finishes.

For this invitation ensemble, you printed on at least three different types of paper which is interesting-the Aspire Petallics Autumn Hay, a vellum layer, and a linen layer. Can you talk about your printing results from each because sometimes metallic paper can be challenging.

Oh yeah.

Did you use laser or inkjet?

Well, the printer that I use is an old Canon inkjet. I’ve done a lot of testing with it, mostly of the trial and error type of course. But I’ve had some pretty good luck with it. Generally, with all the coated papers, they’re not as porous and so the inks take quite a while to dry or to seal. Like for example, the envelopes I did on the Petallics Autumn Hay, and I had printed them and I would spread them out on large sheets of foam core and let them dry for a full day and then they were usually good to go. They wouldn’t smudge and such. The vellums are a little better for printing. But the only thing with vellums is you need to make sure that you invest in a heavy weight vellum because they tend to curl, especially after you’ve printed them. If you want it to lay flat, you’ve got a problem. The linens are very porous paper so it really soaks in the inks well and they dry pretty rapidly. Another thing that I ran into, at least over the summer, was that when you’re dealing with humid weather, it tends to also effect an invitation, so you’ve got to be careful there.

Sandie's Mars & Autumn Hay thank you card

Yeah. For both the wedding invitation and the front of the thank you card booklet, you created a tall, raised and layered section that gives the cards depth. Can you tell me more about this unique look? I’m also curious as to how you achieved the embossing on the metallic card stock.

Adding different layers and textures helps to create a more three dimensional invitation and I tend to try and create something that’s a little more visually stimulating, you know, interesting. This particular paper, the Petallics, have a really good tolerance for an embossing. It’s a paper that’s heavy enough to maintain rigidity, but it’s still not too heavy to actually crack or buckle when you’re embossing it. And how I achieved it? Well, this is actually pretty easy. I don’t know if you’re heard of this, but I have a Cuttlebug. It’s an over the counter, hand-crank, die cut embossing machine. What I did was I would cut the strips first and then you’d put them in through this machine with an embossing folder. Basically it presses the paper into the shape. I tend to use the Cuttlebug for a majority of things that I do because it just gives a really nice added dimension.

Does it come with different patterns for embossing?

Well, you buy different folders. Yeah, you can purchase them.


Yeah, they’re called folders. They’re two sided. It’s basically a plastic folder. One side is a positive imprint and the other side is a negative imprint. So when you place the paper in there and you put it through the press, it basically forces the embossing. And it’s very fast which is wonderful because I could put three or four panels into one folder. You roll it through and then you start the process over again. I think I did a hundred and fifty invitations within twenty minutes-for that little portion of that invitation.

Sandie's Mars & Autumn Hay thank you card closeup

Oh great, great. What did the bride and groom think of your gift of invitations?

Well, they loved the invitations. But you have to remember, they were a large part of the design because they had seen many iterations of the design over a period of a few months. Really, the guests whom received the invitations were the ones that were surprised because they hadn’t have been part of it. And actually, at the end of the process, I had asked for their help and so they came on board and helped with assembling everything.

Oh good

Yeah. That was a big help because custom invitations like these tend to be incredibly labor intensive. So it may not look like it, but it does take many weeks to get through a hundred and fifty of them or whatever. It was nice to actually have a little get-together with the bride and groom and they were very excited because they got to be a part of that.

Exactly. That seems like the fun part.

Yeah. (laughter)

Good. In your e-mail, you told me you have a full-time job and you love your *hobby* of creating lots of cards and invitations. Can you talk more about that?

Sure. My full time job; well, I’m an architect. I work for a large, multi-discipline firm that’s here in Connecticut. But a small percentage of architects are actually designers. It’s the rest of us, the ninety-eight percent that actually help to make those visions happen. So I did my own custom wedding invitations about fifteen years ago. And after that, there was no stopping me because people had seen them and it was an opportunity to do all the birthday invitations and lots of other things that came down the pike. So I do this on the side and I try to come up with some new ideas and everybody looks forward to getting my holiday cards.

I bet

A selection of Sandie’s family holiday cards:
Sandie's 2009 holiday card Sandie's 2007 holiday card Sandie's 2005 holiday card

It’s been interesting but it’s been very creative to do something different than my full-time job.

I thank you very much for your time. I think this went really well.

Well thank you Josh. I really appreciate the opportunity. It’s very nice to be able to share your work with the public because if you can’t see what other people are working on, I don’t think you can be as creative. I think it’s a big plus to be able to see what other people are doing and especially if you can help somebody else do something a little bit quicker; get something done without struggling. I’ll find something that somebody’s created and I think, “Oh gosh, now how did they do that? Did that take forty-five minutes or were they able to do it in ten?” A lot of times it’s good to be able to look at somebody’s work and actually read through the directions and see how they got it done a little bit faster.

Sandie just hit the nail on the head and drove home what our Share Your Creativity program is all about-our creative customers sharing their ideas with us and in turn, others learning about the creative process and being inspired by what they see, read, and hear about on our site. What kind of success or challenges have you experienced printing metallic paper, vellum, or linen paper? Post a comment and tell us about it.

Josh avatar
Joshua Birch

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One Comment

  1. Jill Smith says:

    Sandie’s cards are the epitome of creativity. She crafted all 3 of my children’s birth announcements and all 3 became totally unique works of art that reflected our life at the moment. She worked hard to make sure that we were satisfied with the end product and included us on the decisions. Usually it was very hard to decide between the variations because all were so creative and original. I was so proud to send them to family and friends!