Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Escort Card Trees

I, like many other brides, fell in love with these escort card trees:

Since I decided to make these trees for our wedding I have had second thoughts because of stories, like Miss Milkshake's, where guests were frustrated by not being able to find their cards. I just couldn't dump this idea though, I was attached to it. Luckily, we are having a cocktail hour so guests should have plenty of time to find their card. (Well, at least I hope so. If not they can sit wherever they want, I don't really care.)

I decided to make our cards out of the copper flashing that I picked up from a hardware store many months ago and back them with paper. I could have done something super fancy with the backs of the cards, but I didn't want to make this already complex project even more time-consuming. Here is the final tree (step by step instructions after the photo):

This is a shot of the tree with 34 cards hanging from the little branches. There will be three trees in all, and we are estimating that they will each need about 30 cards on them, but obviously we don't have our final count yet. It's a pretty full tree, so I may make 4, or I may just hope no one strangles me.

Okay, now onto the how-to. (Sorry the photos are not great, copper is not easy to shoot in a dark room.)
This is the copper flashing I purchased from Lowe's. It runs about $30 and I have quite a bit left.
The flashing is backed with some sort of paper. I don't know what it is or why it is there, but I needed to remove it. When I just tried to peel it off it didn't go well, like taking off a UPC bar code sticker. So, I tried warming the paper side of the copper with my hand for about 5 seconds (just by laying it on top) and it peeled off like magic! You may not have this problem, our house was negative a thousand degrees when I first began this project.

Be careful not to actually touch the face of the copper. The oils on your fingers will create a permanent fingerprint on the surface. You can either wear gloves or just be care to touch only the edges and back that no one will see. I also worked on an old towel because the copper will mark very very easily.

After I decided the size I wanted the cards to be I cut them out of card stock and backed them with double-sided adhesive. A Xyron would work great for this task, unfortunately I got mine a little too late. The cards are about 2" x 2.5" so I cut the copper to be a quarter inch bigger all the way around, 2.5" x 3". Then peeled the adhesive off of the card stock and stuck it approximately in the center of the copper.

The I cut off the corners all the way around.
Then I folded the copper over the card stock. It doesn't have to be even all the way around because you will be covering it up anyhow.

Next I added a squirt of Tacky Glue. I chose Tacky Glue because I know it fondly from my childhood spent crafting. I remembered it making anything stick, even when I glued lace onto a t-shirt (I was a fancy 5 year old, who made her own horrible shirts) and my mom washed it over and over. Another glue may work just as well.

Then I took a piece of ribbon and made a loop and stuck it in the glue. (I got the ribbon for $0.50 a spool a Michael's.)

Finally, I added another piece of the card stock (backed with adhesive) to cover the mess and give the ribbon some extra hold.

The result (Mr. Pineapple refers to them as little purses):

The next step will be to write the guests' names on the card with an extra fine point Sharpie paint pen. I bought a non-Sharpie one first because it was cheaper, but the tip was too thick:
This was just a test of the pen. For the final cards not only will the writing be more delicate, but I will be doing something different for the table number and food choice. (I'll post the results once I start getting RSVPs back).

A few more shots of the finished tree:
Harrison the cat looking for his escort card.

I got the Manzanita branches from Blooms and Branches online. They were the cheapest I found, but I don't know that I would recommend them. There was no protective packaging in the box they were shipped in. Consequently a lot of the little branches were broken off and the 3 main branches were tangled together. Plus they just weren't that nice.
I found the containers on clearance at Michael's for $4. The rocks are from my backyard.

What are you doing for you escort cards?


Tiffany said...

I had an idea WAY back when we first got engaged, but didn't think it was realistic - time, money, etc. But then, just as recently as two weeks ago, when my mother and I were deciding on how to do place cards for everyone, I brought up my idea again. She and I agreed that with some help, it was do-able. We are doing CD's as our place cards. I am making a mix cd with songs that best represent Scott and I - songs that will be at our ceremony, at the reception, songs that mean something to "us" as a couple, etc. Then, my uncle who has oodles of time on his hands, has offered to burn all 150 cd's for us (we are doing one cd per "invite" - so one cd per family, or per couple, or per individual if attending alone). We estimate around 275 people will actually attend our reception, equaling no more than 150 cd's needed. Then, I am making my own cd inserts for each cd...the front of the insert (showing through the front cover) will have a Fall leaf on the top and then something along the lines of "Thanks for sharing in our special day - Scott and Tiffany, 10/18/08". Below that, a long line to write in the name of the family, couple, or individual. Then below that, a smaller line saying "Table # ____". We will write in the names and table numbers. On the back of the insert (when you open the cd), will be a list of the songs on the cd and possibly a small description of why that song is important to us and our big day. We bought dark brown wicker baskets to arrange the cd's in - they will be at the front table as guests walk into the reception. They find their cd, know what table they are seated at, as it also doubles as a wedding favor.

Emily said...

cds are an awesome idea tiffany! and the fact that they double as favors makes them even better! Mrs. Lovebug on weddingbee ( did something similar. Very personal and definitely a keeper for your guests