My very best friend, Maria, has a birthday two weeks after mine.  Usually, we combine our special days, but as any San Franciscan in the know will understand – scheduling a party for a Saturday in October is no easy task (fleet week, homecoming games, jlsf home tour, and the last of the year’s weddings).  This October, one party for both of us did not come to fruition, so my friends generously threw me a bash worthy of royalty at Isa.  Maria decided that she also wanted a dinner party for her birthday, but at someone’s home so that it would have a different feel.  Naturally, I volunteered to have the gathering at my apartment.  I knew that I would have to outdo myself, and started planning immediately. 

As anyone who has been to one of my dinners will attest, my favorite theme is “parisian chic.”  It is simple, straightforward, and elegant.  But, my go-to simply wouldn’t do for this particular occasion.  After poring through magazines in search of inspiration, I came upon an article titled “brit chic.”  Images of the ubiquitous Juicy Couture advertisements came to mind - I knew that I could translate the ads to a fabulous party theme.  Think: teacups, mismatched English china, pearls, butterflies, crowns… and while plain pink is boring, the quintessential femme color combined with soft lilac, pale blue, and buttery yellow is pure perfection! 

My first task was to find flawlessly girlish invitations.  While I adore paperlesspost, hardcopy invites seemed more appropriate.  Nothing that I found ready-made lived up to the ornate image I had in my mind’s eye, so I decided to make my own and headed to Paper Source.  I spent nearly two hours picking things out and putting them back, until I finally settled on blossom circular invitations, adorned with crown stamps, stick-on pearl embellishments, who/what/where stamps, alphabet lettering, pink/gold/black stamp pads, and strawberry envelopes.  The total cost was around $70, but I will be able to reuse the stamps and ink for things like place cards, menu cards, and future party invites.

In the time it took to watch a chic-flick, I created beautifully personalized invitations for Maria’s birthday celebration.  Here are the steps to create this invitation yourself:

1.  Stamp one crown in gold ink on the top-center of each circle

2.  Stamp one crown in gold ink on the back of each envelope

3.  Take the who/what/where stamp and press it into the black ink and then the pink ink (this makes it easier to read, and provides a two-toned effect), and then stamp it onto the middle of the invitation

4.  Using the alphabet letters, stamp the honoree’s monogram in gold vertically on the side of the invitation

5.  Using the alphabet letters again, stamp “TO:” on the front of each envelop

6.  Place a stick-on pearl on three of the crown’s points for added texture and dimension

7.  Handwrite the details of the party using a black Marvy Le Pen – I also wrote the title of the party over the crown on the back of the envelope so that guests would immediately know the content of the envelope

8.  Address the envelopes, and voila!  You have your very own exquisite invitations, made with love

The best part of creating invitations yourself rather than purchasing ready-made versions is that you get exactly what you want, and your guests will have an idea of what to expect from the actual event.  More on Maria’s Brit Chic bash to come!  xx tt