I have been itching to share this project for months, but out of respect to my sister-in-law I had to make sure these were mailed out to guests first. As I mentioned previously, my sister and I are hosting a baby shower for my SIL in April. We chose “She is Going to Pop” for the party theme. You can check out our Pop Baby Shower inspiration board to see where we are going with the theme. You’ll notice we had our hearts set on printed balloon invitations.
The only problem with printed balloon invitations? Well, we only have a about 15 invitees, and most places that print on balloons require a minimum in the hundreds. Our spirit was bruised, but not defeated. We set out to experiment printing on balloons ourselves. We initially thought stamping on the balloon might work. The “permanent” ink we had smeared and the stamping seemed a bit laborious.
On a whim I tried writing on a balloon with a Sharpie. I blew up the balloon with a hand pump and used a hair binder to “tie it off”. I wrote on the inflated balloon with the Sharpie. At first glance, I was not impressed. It looked like, well, someone had written on a balloon with a Sharpie. But then something magical happened. When we released the air from the balloon and it began to deflate, we watched before our eyes as the hand-written letters shrunk and shriveled into almost perfect type. The printed, or should I say hand-printed, balloons looked amazing in their deflated state.
As we were making the invites I snapped some pictures of the magic that happens when they are deflated. If you scroll down quickly through these images it will be like a virtual flip book, as if you were there watching the balloon deflate.
To get the nicest possible effect when the balloons were inflated, we used lettering stencils. One had 1″ letters. The other 2″ letters. With the smaller stencil I wrote “Andrea is going to” in pink and then below in orange Sharpie, I wrote “POP” in the larger letters. Thankfully we found out the day before it is a girl, which made our color selections easier. The stencil helped keep things looking neat in their inflated state and then, of course, magic happened when the balloons shrunk down to their deflated size. The lettering shrunk to about 4 times smaller and the color of the ink appears darker in the shrunken state. The text is readable on the balloon, but small enough to still entice guests to inflate to get a closer look.
To finish off the invitations, we attached the balloons to melon-colored greeting cards with a blank inside. To attach the balloons, we taped a length of yarn to the front of the card with a small piece of clear tape. Then we laid the balloon on top and tied the yarn into a cute little bow.
The color scheme for the invites was inspired by a piece of scrapbook paper with a brown background and melon and pink dots. It was from my sister’s stash and we only had one sheet of it. We really wanted to use it on the invitations, so I recreated the pattern and colors as closely as I could in Adobe Illustrator. Once I had the pattern set, we made printable wrap-around address labels and inserts for the invitations.
We printed the wrap-around address labels onto full sheet sticker paper with my home color printer. The larger section with the to address goes on the front of the envelope. Then the label folds around to the back of the envelop, where the smaller section displays the from address.
To keep our hand written balloons simple, we deviated further from our inspiration invites and did not include any party details on the balloon itself. Instead we printed the information like a traditional invitation and put it inside the invitation cards. The key to making this quick and simple, was printing the invitation on the full page sticker paper. We fit four to a page. Then we cut them out and adhered them inside the cards. Way easier then glue or tape.
We are so pleased with how the entire invitation turned out. I think it sets the stage perfectly for the “POP” theme and a nice, modern girly color scheme. I am really excited to get into the actual party planning and bring this theme to life!