Category Archives: Vintage

Casey’s Custom Wedding Invites

Invitation-Tied-Up

Two months from today, I will walk down the aisle to marry my best friend! I can hardly believe it…October 11th is drawing near and soon I’ll officially be Mrs. Finn.

Luckily, the wedding planning process has been smooth sailing so far. We’re both pretty organized people, and we’ve got lots of spreadsheets and excel files tracking everything for the wedding #nerdalert. Because we’ve been engaged for such a long time (20 months!), we’ve had the opportunity to slowly check off the big items on our wedding to-do list. That way we’re not completely overwhelmed, and we can try to enjoy the whole planning process. So when it came to picking a wedding invitation, we were in no rush to just go with any ol’ invite. Nope, we wanted to enjoy the process and choose something that really fit our theme and budget.

Enter, Sydney from Studio255. We met this creative genius back in November of last year, when she shared some tips to add extra glam to your holiday snail mail. Both Bridget & I ended up sending out holiday cards from her shop, and we instantly fell in love with her adorable designs.

I then used Sydney yet again when it came time to jazz up our Save The Date postcards. She designed a custom stamp for us, and I’ve been stamping away ever since.

So, when it came to choosing a wedding invitation vendor…there was no competition, it was Studio255 all the way. I emailed Sydney, and we scheduled a time to chat over the phone. I told her our budget, theme, and vision for the invites…and right away she understood what we wanted to accomplish. She emailed us about 10 personalized options, and we all worked together to tweak the designs until we settled on the right look for us.

Wedding-Invitations-EnvelopesHere are the final invitations, aren’t they gorgeous? I’m not gonna lie, this was Finn’s big project for the wedding. For some reason he was really into the invitations, so I let him make the big decisions. He wanted something that was easy to read, easy to understand, and invites that weren’t over the top formal. I think he nailed it. Stacked-Gray-Wedding-InvitesWe initially tried out a few color options for the invitations, but nothing ever felt right to us. (In fact, at one point we added purple to the design and Finn said “This looks a little too much like Lent.” Ohhhhh boy.) Our bridesmaids are wearing varying shades of gray and silver, so we decided that this color option would work best for the invitations. Nice and simple.

Love-Story
Vows-Written-on-backWe added a few personal touches to the wording, like when we call out our “love story”. Because our wedding has a subtle theme of “love letters”, we definitely wanted this to be incorporated into the invite, so we also added some script to the back of the invitation. (Fun fact: The subtle, cursive words are actually our vows!)

Cursive-HeartAnother detail Sydney incorporated into the design, is this cursive heart. It was on our wedding stamp, so she carried the same look through and added it to the border of the invitation.

Purple-Flowers-Gray-InvitationGray-Twine
Finally, to keep all of the papers neatly together we added some silvery baker’s twine to the mix. It reminds me of tying up a stack of love letters with string, and I thought it fit the look of the wedding, while adding some texture.

Invitation-Tied-UpMy lovely mother offered to put them all together, and bless her heart she did a fantastic job. I’m one lucky bride to have her on my wedding staff.

Casey-loves-MichaelI could go on and on about our wedding invites, but I don’t want to bore you with details. I’m just thrilled with how they turned out, and I can’t say enough good things about working with Sydney from Studio255. She was organized, efficient, and she dealt with our endless tweaks and modifications to her designs. Hall of Fame Graphics Queen in my playbook. If you’re looking for custom invites (or even just a cute address stamp!)…go to her. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

Gray-Wedding-InvitesBut the very best part about our wedding invites…

They were light enough to only need 1 stamp to ship! Woo woo! It’s the little thing in life isn’t it?

Wedding-Invitations-Envelopescasey_sig

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4 thoughts on “Casey’s Custom Wedding Invites

    1. DIY Playbook

      Alysia you should totally get one! We have one that has our address on it too (I think Bridget has one as well). Such a good idea and really “classes up” any letters or cards we send! Studio 255 on Etsy..she is awesome to work with and I think the stamps are relatively inexpensive.

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4 thoughts on “Casey’s Custom Wedding Invites

    1. DIY Playbook

      Alysia you should totally get one! We have one that has our address on it too (I think Bridget has one as well). Such a good idea and really “classes up” any letters or cards we send! Studio 255 on Etsy..she is awesome to work with and I think the stamps are relatively inexpensive.

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Playing School

Raise your hand if you “played school” growing up. Trust me… no one’s judging.
While some young girls played Barbies or dolls, my sisters and I were busy “playing school” in our basement. Thanks to our fabulous mother, our basement “classroom” was complete with educational posters, office supplies galore, official grade books, and even activity books for our usually imaginary students. The sad reality was that all three sisters insisted on being the teacher, so we rarely had any opportunity for student participation. This unfortunate reality didn’t stop us. We still filled those grade books with grades (who these grades belonged to, I’m still unsure), we still lectured about the content we needed to cover, and we still documented all of our classroom discipline issues on the chalkboard. Yikes!
That little classroom was far more effective than we could ever realize at the time. The grade books, lesson plans, and students may be long gone (hopefully), but our love for the classroom is still around. All three sisters are still playing school, this time, with three big differences:
                       1. Degrees
                       2. Paychecks
                       3. No more imaginary students  
Oh, and one more thing survived the test of time (and my mom’s obsession with “getting rid of clutter”)… our one and only classroom desk. When I look at this vintage school desk, I have no choice but to think of the endless hours I spent hanging out with my wonderful sisters in this influential classroom.
Vinage School Desk Makeover
It must have been one of our “unruly students” who did a number on the top of this desk. If I am going to look at this rehabbed vintage desk in my new home, I cannot be reminded of those darn trouble makers.
 DIY Vintage School Desk
Here is a piece of hot glue, mixed with glitter and fuzz, dried on the seat of this gem. This has got to go…
Staining an old Desk

I want to breathe new life into this treasured memory and add this childhood treasure into the new home of two teachers. To start the rehab of this vintage desk and bring it from drab to far more fab, I followed these simple steps:

                      1. sand
                      2. wipe down
                      3. stain
                      4. wipe down
                      5. enjoy!
  
To start the sanding process you will need…
Supplies to refinish a school desk

Note: I used a power sander, but with a little more blood, sweat and tears, regular sand paper could work

The large surfaces were much easier to sand. The smaller pieces were a tad more difficult only because it was awkward to get the power sander into the small areas. To avoid this awkwardness, you can ditch the power sander in these areas and use plain sand paper instead.

 A few tips when using a power sander:

                      1. Go with the grain of the wood for optimal results
                      2. Use some muscle when sanding
                      3. Keep sanding until all surfaces are uniform
Sanding a vintage school desk

 Sanding an old school desk

A couple hours later with a lot less day light…

old school desk

… the sanding was complete!

school desk makeover
Next step: Take a little soap and water and wipe down the entire desk. You want to make sure you wipe off ALL of the sanding dust to prepare it for staining. Once you wipe down the entire desk, paying close attention to any small groves or uneven surfaces, let the desk sit and dry over night. You may have to wipe the desk a couple times to successfull remove all of the dust you created with the sander.
vintage school desk tutorial

To start with the staining process, you will need stain (any color), an old paint brush that you plan on throwing away, a few pieces of old cloth that will also be thrown away, and I used rubber gloves to protect my hands from staining.

I started staining the smaller parts of the desk first and avoided the larger surfaces until the very end. Remember when using stain you want to brush on the stain go in the same direction as the grain of the wood. You also want to make sure that you keep the stain on for a few minutes and then evenly wipe off all of the excess. Make sure to wipe the stain off of the wood using the grain as your guide! If you are looking for a darker finish after you have wiped off your stain, repeat this process until you reach your desired shade!

Staining an old desk
Vintage Desk Stain

DIY Vintage School Desk
Here’s a fellow teacher and DIY-in-training getting in on the fun. 😉 This was his first stain project! #soproud
School Desk Stain Tutorial
School Desk Refinish
After all of the sides and legs of the desk were stained, we stained the seat and the tabletop of the desk. Here is a picture of the stain before we wiped it off, hence the shining surface. Disclaimer: Do not wait too long to wipe off your stain, especially in warmer weather. If you wait too, too long, the stain can turn thick and be very difficult to wipe off, causing a huge mess and a undesirable finished product.
Staining tutorial

DIY Desk Stain
After the staining process is complete, make sure you discard all of your stained cloth. I’m all about re-using material project after project, but staining material is definitely an exception. You don’t want to keep these dirty cloths around, as can become combustible material (thanks dad). 
After we wiped down our “new” desk and threw away all of our stained materials, I watched in pure excitement as this old treasure started to take on new life! Check out our A+ work….
School Desk Makeover
Vintage School Desk
School desk
Vintage School Desk

Am I the only one that feels it is absolutely necessary to bring hints of your childhood into your home? How have you incorporated a piece of childhood into your home’s decor? Give me your tips and tricks!

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2 thoughts on “Playing School

  1. Juanita Applebaum

    Hi Bridget just so I know what I am getting into. How long did it take you to sand the desk?

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Juanita,
    I would allow 1-2 hours of sanding, depending on your level of experience. If you end up making one…. we’d love to see a picture!! Good Luck!

    Reply

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2 thoughts on “Playing School

  1. Juanita Applebaum

    Hi Bridget just so I know what I am getting into. How long did it take you to sand the desk?

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Juanita,
    I would allow 1-2 hours of sanding, depending on your level of experience. If you end up making one…. we’d love to see a picture!! Good Luck!

    Reply

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