Some Assembly Required

June 27th, 2013


Another round of wedding invitations out the door. Sometime in December my cousin Joni asked if I would make wedding invitations and some other paper products for her son Troy’s upcoming July wedding. My answer was of course “Yes!!” It’s a good thing I come from a big family because so far the cousins are keeping me in business.

We met to discuss specifics the week of Christmas and I was introduced to Troy’s lovely fiance Sara and her parents. Joni had an idea for the invites and showed me a “booklet” invite she had found online. It was different in that it featured several photos of the engaged couple. Since Sara and Troy had spent good money buying the rights to all of their engagement photos Joni reasoned why not use them. I loved the idea but soon realized I would have to figure out how to create them.

The booklet would include four pages of varying lengths printed front and back and then held together with grommets. That shouldn’t be to hard. Of course I knew right away I wouldn’t be able to get away with using my home printer so I would have to use a professional print shop.

They also needed RSVP cards and I tried really hard to figure out how to make them part of the booklet but couldn’t come up with a solution. They would have to be perforated so they could be torn out of the booklet and that would have cost a bundle at the printers. Plus because they were Postcard size they were actually smaller than the booklet pages. So in the end we just printed them as separate Postcards.

I sent Sara three different designs to choose from and once she had made her selection I sent it on to the printer and then attempted to describe to him what I wanted. This proved harder than I thought it would be. Once we finally figured it out he got to printing.

I went on a search for grommets. Yes, this is going to be yet another wild, and crazy tale which will once again prove the perils of procrastination. Any organized wedding invitation designer would have figured this situation out months ago. They would have been scouring online supply sites looking for the appropriate grommet as well as the appropriate “grommet making tool”, but folks, that just isn’t me.

I needed to have the invitations done the upcoming Saturday so on Thursday morning I hopped in my car and drove an hour to Lincoln thinking I would just pop into one of my local craft supply stores, head for the scrapbook supply section, buy some grommets and a Crop-A-Dile and be on my way. Ahhh, the best laid plans.

My first stop was Michaels. They had a Crop-A-Dile but only three measly packages of grommets, 25 per pack. Uhhh, I was making 275 invitations so I needed at the least, 300 grommets. Better head for Hobby Lobby, but do I buy the Crop-A-Dile here in case they don’t have one at the next stop? Naahh, surely they will have one at Hobby Lobby.

I get to Hobby Lobby only to discover you still have to circle the parking lot a hundred times to find a decent parking spot on a weekday morning. I once again have no problem locating a Crop-A-Dile but find one box of grommets. A plastic box divided into six sections full of several shades of silver and gold grommets. Not exactly the color or size I was hoping for. I went back and scoured the scrapbook aisles once again. What the heck! Don’t people use grommets in scrapbooking anymore? I did, but of course I probably haven’t old school scrapbooked for a good eight years. Panic was starting to creep in.

I then remembered my ever-resourceful sister mentioning to me the night before, “If you can’t find grommets with the scrapbook stuff they might have some with the fabric.” Ahh yes, the fabric department. I pointed my tiny little Hobby Lobby cart toward fabrics. I then had to casually pretend to look at fabric for a good ten minutes while waiting for an old grandma to get done blocking the grommet section. She finally cleared out and there they were, the perfect size and color. Exactly what I needed. And there right beside them was a simple little tool to attach them for half the price of a Crop-A-Dile. Things were looking up. that is until I realized they came in packages of 25 and they only had three packages. Again, I needed 275! I decided to try the old, “Excuse me ma’am, do you know if you have any more of these in back?” tactic. Which of course was met with, “Nope. Everything we have is out on the floor but we should get another shipment next Friday.” Auuugghh. Like that’s going to help me, Miss Procrastination! I decided to get the Crop-A-Dile and hope for the best with the little box of scrapbook grommets.

And then because I am incapable of making a trip to Lincoln without having to stop and replenish some make-up product at the Clinique counter, I headed toward the mall. It was during that drive that it hit me, “Didn’t they just open a brand new JoAnn’s Fabrics right by the mall?” Holy crap, is it possible? So I floored it for the former Linens N’ Things which was now a JoAnn’s Superstore. I zoomed right past the nice lady offering me a map with directions on where to find everything in the shiny, new store and instead roamed the aisles. I once again headed to the scrapbook stuff, and once again had no luck. I mean how out of it am I that I thought people still used grommets?

I then asked a kind employee where I could find grommets for fabric. And she led me to the giant drapery grommets. “Nope, that’s not it they are way smaller, they might be called eyelets.” I said. “Ahhh, yes.” she led me right to them. I swear I saw a sunbeam from heaven shining down on those grommets hanging on their hooks. They were exactly what I was looking for and there was that simple little tool again hanging right next to them. And best of all, they came in packs of 100 and there was a whole peg full of packages. I grabbed three packages and headed up front to pay. And because God must have known I was having a rough morning, my eyelet and eyelet tool purchase was placed inside a cute, little pink tote bag that they were giving away with any purchase over $20 during their Grand Opening week. I’m such a sucker for tote bags. I mean you did notice I mentioned Clinique earlier right?

It was now close to 1 p.m. and I still needed to go to work. Again, thank goodness for flexible hours. So I headed back to York and it was at the exact moment that I turned off the interstate at the York interchange that it hit me… “I just bought 300 eyelets to make 275 wedding invitations THAT TAKE TWO EYELETS PER INVITE!!!!” Holy crap! Why didn’t that thought come to me 45 minutes ago when I was still within the Lincoln city limits???? Blurg!!

The next morning I made a call to JoAnn’s in Grand Island (just a bit closer than Lincoln) to see if they had my eyelets. Yep, sure did, four packages of them. Things were looking up. I dispatched the design assistants (my parents) to G.I. and headed to work. That afternoon the printer called to say my invites were ready. I went to pick them up and was thrilled that he had drilled the holes for the grommets in all of the pages. But then I noticed something was wrong on one of the pages. The little burlap flag on the one page was only half there. Part of it was missing. Something must have gone wrong in the PDF’ing process. I ended up having to have that page re-printed the next morning, on Saturday. Blurg again!

Piles 2

Luckily Sara had said I could get them to her on Sunday. So on Saturday afternoon “Kerri’s Sweatshop” was open for business. The design assistants had smartly picked up a second eyelet tool when they went to G.I. so my sister Kelli and I got to work. Stack, grommet, smoosh. Stack, grommet, smoosh. That went on for the rest of the afternoon and this is what we ended up with.

Invite front

Spread 1
First Spread

Spread 2
Second Spread

Spread 3
Third Spread.

And dang if I didn’t forget to get a shot of the RSVP card. Oh well, it was a pain in the butt anyway. Stay tuned for more Sara & Troy wedding posts, I’ve still got wedding programs, a bride banner and some chalkboards to get done before July 13th!

One Response to “Some Assembly Required”

  1. Ally Says:

    What were the sizes of each the cover, first spread, second spread and third spread? In the image they look like different sizes.

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