Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Programs! Get yer programs!

I have learned an important lesson in tackling all the DIY projects that I did in the past few weeks: DIY is not easy for large weddings. "Large" is a relative term, I understand, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when your invite list approaches 200, it doesn't take too many projects before you're entering a world of pain, son.* I'm glad I did it—I love the way our invites look, and I'm glad people will be able to follow the ceremony better—but WOW was that more work than I thought it would be! (But notice, not so much that I stopped, or that I didn't still have time to tell you about it! :)

So. The last thing project I tackled this winter break was programs, with the help of Spaniel BM-Noe (the very same wonderful lady who helped me with the envelope liners... I should have added a special line in the acknowledgments thanking her specifically for helping me to assemble these beasts).

Before I start 'splaining to you how to make these monsters programs yourselves, here is where I got the tutorial and templates. Below are the things I learned and tweaks I made to make the project go a little more smoothly.

Step 1. Download your Word templates. The problems I ran into here were that the template image didn't align itself to the edges of the page, and I had to mess around a lot with the alignment. In the end, it didn't work: I couldn't cut perfectly on the line, so you could see them in every program, and one of the pages seemed to print with the template image off-set by about 1/4" despite all of my fussing with it, so I ended up deleting the guides. It made cutting later a little harder, but here's my trick:
  • Set up a Word document with margins 1/2" all the way around.
  • Format the document for two columns with 1" space in between them.
  • Set the header (footer? the CAPS DESCRIPTION) of each page as follows: page 1 ends at 9", page 2 at 9.5", page 3 at 10", and page 4 at 10.5". You could make a fifth page that ends at the bottom, if your printer can print that close to the edge of the page OR if you get legal size paper (8.5" x 14").
Enter your text (I'll share mine in a future post if there is interest) and copy it into the second column on each page.

Step 2. Print your program pages. I used colored (ivory) printer paper, 20-lb weight (you can use card stock, but it will be harder to punch through later!).

Step 3. Cut cut cut! This was one of the more boring parts of the project, so BM-Noe and I watched a movie while doing it.* A rotary trimmer and a lever paper cutter (borrowed from FMIL Spaniel) made this job a lot faster!

Step 4. Prepare backing papers. I used black card stock (11" x 17" from Envelopper Inc., so I couldn't print the template directly onto them. My hack was a little complicated, so here's what I did.
  • Print a full size larger background layer template (4.75" x 11") onto white printer paper and cut the top half out. I actually needed a 12" long back—you will have to fold the top of it over the text pages—so I just used the top of the template for the holes and didn't need the full length (I used a ruler for the rest of it!).
  • Measure and cut backings.
Okay, maybe that wasn't that complicated. It took me awhile to figure out, though!

Next, we marked and folded the top of the backing papers, wrapped the printer paper background template around the top, and punched holes. I bought two hole punchers so we could work on it simultaneously, which was good because if one person had to punch that many holes through thick card stock, they would start to have a very, very bad day. (If you plan to do this yourself, be prepared to take lots of breaks. My hands hurt for two days afterward, even with help.)

Step 5. Punch holes in text paper. We tried to punch all of the holes at once (the card stock and the paper), but it was just too thick. Since we didn't print the template on the text paper (see problems with Step 1!), we just held each set of four pages against the background where we would want them, and used the background as a template for where to place the holes.

Step 5. Set eyelets. I really wanted to do this because I think it looks more finished (and even invested in a Crop-A-Dile eyelet punch
for the task!), but I had bought 1/8" eyelets and they were too small to hold all of the papers together. Boo! We tried to pick up some larger ones at Michael's, but they actually didn't have enough of the size I needed so we skipped it. The message here is that if you want to use eyelets, get eyelets that are bigger than 1/8" and have them in sufficient quantities before getting your friend over to help you!

Step 6. Cut and tie ribbon. I wasn't really sure how much ribbon each program would need (I'd estimated 12" each and bought an extra roll just in case), but after some trial and error we realized each one needed 16"! And that's for really small bows! Thank goodness for the extra roll!

(Don't make the programs angry... they outnumber us!)

Step 7. Store the programs. I'm kind of still working on this one. :) So far I've left them stacked on top of each other with the ribbons, but they curl that way, and I don't think that will look so nice as people grab them on the wedding day. So I've been looking for a big scrapbooking box or two where I can lay them all flat for the next couple of months, but no luck yet.

I think the programs are going to be helpful in explaining our multicultural ceremony so that no one feels lost, but I can also understand why people skip them! Are you making programs for your ceremony? Why did you decide to (or not to)?

*Can you tell which movie? ;)

1 comment:

  1. ahhh! I'm doing programs like this! I was about to start typing stuff in soon! Thanks for the template!


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