Sunday, 13 October 2013

Budget Halloween Invitations

As I mentioned last post, we are having a little Halloween do here and as Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it was time to get those invites out.  I found the perfect ones as a printable pdf...but the Mr objected to the price tag, given that it would probably cost us an additional $20 in printer ink to produce them.  I read somewhere that printer ink is more expensive than Chanel No. 5 and I am sure that is probably true!

Anyway, necessity is the mother of creativity so Miss B and I set to work creating our own budget, printer ink friendly invites and we were both really pleased at how they came out.

Our house is currently being painted and the front of it is half sanded and looking distinctly Miss Haversham-esque so inspired by that and some some very creepy portraits I bought to use as decorations, I decided to go for a haunted/tattered/Victorian kind of vibe.

My favorite part is the blood spattered envelopes!

Spooky Halloween Invites - a quick how-to

1.  Find yourself a creepy font reminiscent of old fashioned handwriting.   I used Jane Austen from available here.

2.  Decide how you would like to word your invite.  I decided upon a formal tone to make it sound more old fashioned - here's my wording if you would like to use it:

Dear "name",

You are cordially invited to attend a Halloween celebration on "date" at my haunted house at "address".  Please come dressed to scare.  The party shall begin at nightfall ("time") and will conclude at "time".  Refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by "date" to "name" ("contact number").

I look forward to seeing you, 


2.  Print out your invites.  Believe it or not, cheap copy paper actually works better for this because of the next step....

3.  To age the paper...  Make up a small amount of strong instant coffee.  I used 2 teaspoons in half a cup of warm water.  It doesn't need to be hot, you just want to disolve the granules.  Scrunch up your invite into a ball and smooth it out.  Then use a large paintbrush or a sponge to gently apply coffee all over your invite.  Be careful not to rub or you may smudge the ink.  As I said, cheap copy paper seemed to absorb more of the coffee than the premium kind.  Hang them up to dry so that they don't touch each other and stick together.

4.   Singe the edges.  You could probably just tear the edges before the aging step if you wanted, but Miss B was keen on burning them.  Run a lighter around one edge at a time and blow out the flame if it catches rather than just chars.  You have to be vigilent or you will end up with too much burned away....ask me how I know this.  Older kids might be able to do this themselves with supervision.

Ta Da!  You now have some spooky invites for the cost of a few sheets of paper and a little coffee!

To make the envelopes

Find yourself a suitable envelope.  I like plainface C6 ones with the triangle flap - much more old fashionedy!

I had to write my names by hand because my printer stubbornly refuses to print envelopes.  I don't know why.  If it was more cooperative I would have simply printed them using the same font but since that was not an option I used this tutorial for fake calligraphy from after drawing some guidelines on the envlopes in very light pencil.  It is very easy, even for those with horrid handwriting like myself.  I did not use her lovely lettering style because writing is so bad I couldn't emulate her but even with my childlike penmanship it looks OK.

All that's left to do is erase your pencil lines and then it is on to the fun bit - creating the blood spatter!

I experimented with using paint, but the most realistic 'blood" was actually Pillar Box Red food colouring purchased from Woolworths, used undiluted.  I think it is the perfect bloody red. 

The Mr tells me that the best way to get a good spatter effect is to use a knitting needle dipped into a long thin vessel filled with your faux blood (I have no idea how he came to know this!), but having neither a suitable vessel or a sacrificial knitting needle I opted to use what I had on hand - a cake pop stick.  You could use a skewer and get the same effect.   Just dip it into the bottle all the way to the bottom and a little flick and voila - gory blood spatters!

It goes without saying that this bit is messy and could potentially stain just about anything and everything.  Cover your work surfaces and preferably do this outside in an area where a few stray bits of red food colouring won't matter.  I did this myself to minimise the mess and still managed to get a few drops of colouring here and there.

No comments:

Post a Comment