October is a busy time in our house. There are birthdays galore, and I’m getting to the final stages of rehearsal for the musical I’m involved in, not to mention usual school activities and the rapid approach of the Half Term Holiday.
For ease of organisation, we’ve booked a party at a local Soft Play centre for my biggest Pumpkin’s 5th birthday. Not wanting to leave everything to an off-the-shelf feel though, I decided to hand make the invitations. The Soft Play centre has a castle theme, along with wizards, dragons and princesses, so I thought I could pick up on some of that for the invitations, and then hopefully later on, for the cake as well.
I wanted to keep things fairly simple, so it would be straightforward to produce around 15 invitations the same.
I started by sketching out a basic castle shape onto some card from an old cereal packet, which I then cut out to make a template. I wanted them to still have a hand-drawn quality, so I traced round the template using a pencil and then went over the lines freehand using a broad black felt-tip.
The stones were printed on using a small offcut of foam from some packaging material, which I cut to size. I used white paint, and then went over some of them again with black paint to give a bit of texture. When they were dry I outlined them using a fine black felt-tip.
The drawbridge was made using a piece of brown card cut just big enough to cover the print out with the party information, and glued in place. The finishing touch was a flag flying from the ramparts. Pumpkin wanted both red and yellow, so I did some of each. I cut a narrow triangle of thin coloured paper with a flap at one end for attaching, which I curled one way and then the other by running an open scissor blade along the paper to make it look like it was fluttering. They will no doubt get squished in the envelopes, but they looked good when I put them together anyway! Most of the castles just got one colour flag, but I had some left over, so some got a double one.
There were some other details that I considered adding – a number 5 on the flag, grass along the bottom of the walls, maybe a vine growing up a wall, but I ran out of time, and I was reluctant to do anything that might spoil them.
The other school mummies may think I’m nuts for going to so much effort for a party invitation, but I enjoyed the excuse to do a little design and crafting, and Pumpkin was delighted with them and so excited to give them out to his friends at school today, so I think it was worth it. Now I need to get thinking about his cake!