Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Making Our Save the Dates, Part 2 (Wrap-Around Labels)

With the save the date inserts completed, now it was time to move on to something not-at-all important - the labels.  Ah yes, the little detail that ensures our guests will actually get to receive these little gems.  Or, at the very least, that the post office returns them to us in the event they can't be delivered.  The wrap-around labels were Mr. NM's job, and he spent a long time researching appropriate sizing and possible designs.  We bought a stock SF skyline image from to use on the labels.

We opened the image in Publisher and cropped it so that only the top skyline picture was showing.  For our A6 envelopes, we decided to make each label 6 x 2.25 inches, which breaks down to 4" for the front address and 2" for the return address.  Mr. NM drew a black border this size to facilitate cutting them later on.  He then resized the image inside this box and played with the brightness/contrast to give us enough white space to write out names and addresses.  Copying and pasting the layout several times gave him 7 labels per page. 

{screenshot from Publisher}

After they were all printed, I trimmed them down into sets of 3 because that's how many could go through the Xyron at the same time. 

This was our first time using the Xyron and we went into with only a basic understanding of how it worked.  And when I say basic, I mean something along the lines of, "This machine puts adhesive on the back of paper."  But how it worked, we had no idea.  For those of you out there in the same boat, I'm including these next pictures just for you.

Load your paper into the machine and turn the crank until it paper comes out the other side.

Once it's all the way through, you push down the clear plastic lever and slide the orange piece (the cutter) across the paper to cut it.

Now your original paper has a plastic film on top, and on the back the adhesive is covered with a waxy piece of paper like the paper stickers are attached to.

This is a good time to trim these apart into 3 separate stickers.

Remove the plastic film.

Now your sticker is ready to be removed from the backing.  Tip: remove it slowly!  Otherwise the paper has a tendency to roll up on itself, meaning you have to carefully pry it apart or, worst case scenario, reprint the whole thing.

Next, there's the anxiety-provoking process of sticking them on the envelopes.  Perhaps we could have made this more exact by marking the envelopes in some way, but it also would have been more time-consuming.  So instead we just eyeballed it, and most of the time that was totally sufficient.

We slapped a simple forever stamp on each one and dropped them in the mail.  

It was nice to be able to collaborate with Mr. NM and two of my Party People during the process, and I am beyond thrilled with how the whole thing came together!  We haven't had any returned to us yet *knock on wood* so it seems that these label measurements and the font sizes we used worked well.  And after all that hard work, it's SO incredibly gratifying to hear people say that they thought your save the dates were gorgeous!  I mean, I certainly thought so, but it's nice to know the sentiment is shared. 

Up next: cost and resource break-down

Have you ever used wraparound labels?  If so, what was your method?

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