10/3 Sugarflower Design’s Crafty Guest Post Part I: Are You Ready To DIY?

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Autumn from Sugarflower Design

Oh, BAB readers, you are in for a TREAT. Today we have a special guest post from the uber talented, stationery-designing hottie behind Sugarflower Design! She’s gonna clue you in on whether you’re truly ready to get your DIY on or not – it may save you a ton of $$$, but it’s not always a cakewalk. 

Hello Broke Ass Bride readers! I’m Autumn. I own Sugarflower Design in Austin, Texas where I’ve been designing wedding stationery for the past 8 years. This guide is meant to be an inside track for those of you hoping to invest some “sweat equity” in your wedding invitations without dipping into your bar budget or breaking out in a pre-wedding stress rash. I’ve encountered many brides along their DIY journey  – some needing rescue, others advice. I bet this is what they would tell you over mojitos and some queso…

 Full-On DIY

This is when you design, print, cut, embellish, assemble and mail
everything yourself with or without the help of (hopefully willing)
friends. Ideally this project should save you money, be FUN and result in
pretty, personalized wedding invitations.

Gettin' crafty!

1) Don’t get in over your head. Making your own wedding stationery is a big project. It’s probably best to keep things simple – focusing on good quality materials and artistic elements you are already familiar with. Gaps in your technical knowledge can become a source of stress or additional cost – particularly if you try something new and ambitious (I could tell you the sad tale of a bride, a new home silk-screening machine and a box of vintage handkerchiefs.)

2) Consider consulting with a pro. Before you get your heart set on a design, and certainly before you purchase expensive materials or equipment, consider investing in an hour of professional design consultation. A pro will catch simple issues that would otherwise derail your project – like postal code regulations, technical issues around printing, etc. That hour could save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.

3) Time vs. Cash. Yes, DIY stationery may save you money, but it also
takes your valuable time. In fact, it can take a LOT of your time. If you
want to tackle all aspects of design and production for 25 invitations –
great. That’s a good weekend-size project. 250 invitations? Think hard.

Slice n' dice!

4) Will it save money? Printing at home isn’t free. Paper, printer ink, envelopes, embellishments, tools for proper cutting, etc. add up fast. Buying small batches of paper and envelope leaves you out of the bulk savings enjoyed by stationery manufacturers. In some cases it can actually be more expensive than buying inexpensive printed stationery. Be sure to research your materials carefully to keep costs low.

5) Will this be fun or stressful? Ladeez, I cannot tell you how many tearful calls and emails I’ve received from brides who’ve come to the end of their crafty-crafter rope. They hate their @&$^)*# printer! The glue is everywhere! I’VE RUINED 63 HANDKERCHIEFS! Be smart about what you can handle.

Picked your project? Tune in for another post from Autumn on how to DIY your own wedding stationery, coming soon!  In the meantime, be sure to check out all the fabulous paperie in Autumn’s Etsy shop!

  • This is an excellent article! As a wedding planner, it is important to share information like this with brides that may be thinking about going the DIY route. They often overlook things that may end up costing them MORE in the long run. I love to educate my clients so that they are able to make the best, most cost-efficient decisions. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mel

    I agree with Nikola. This is an excellent article! DIY and Handmade projects are great way to have hands-on involvement and your projects will certainly bring unique elements to your event, but they are definately hard work and can also be expensive. The tools, materials and time add up quickly. Not to mention that most retailers (stores or online) don't stock enough materials to make 100+ of something. Many times you will have to go to multiple locations to get enough of what you need. Thanks for sharing this information. I can't wait to read part two!

  • Jessica K

    I'm hoping to tackle my own, so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, it will end well and not in a mound of shredded paper and tears.

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  • Great post! Has a lot of good and useful ideas in it. Keep it up.

  • Jaz

    I find your site title amusing =P nice article.. this is good alternative

  • Meeg

    I have DIY'd my stationery (and a lot of other things). With no issues at all. SO not as difficult as people would have you believe – you just have to think about what will work.