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Baby Shower Invitations, Announcements & Thank You Notes!

As with most things in life, baby showers have evolved. Showers and celebrations, along with the invitations, announcements and thank you notes, are often developed and designed around a specific theme -- no longer is the theme simply Baby! These themes have evolved, and so have the images that are being used. In this issue we will discuss some of these changes and also share some suggestions on how to put together trendy and fashionable designs using non-typical baby images. You may already have these images and tools in your card-crafting supplies.

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Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

Although typical baby images are still being utilized, they are being used in a slightly more upscale or chic manner. After all, it's not just about the baby; the mom and dad-to-be need to be celebrated as well! Gone are the days when baby elephants were simply just gray, pink or blue. Now these images often include other artistic elements such as a pattern or texture like a chevron, paisley or even a rustic or distressed design. An example of this is the chevron pattern, which continues to be very popular and is often seen on elephant images, owls and woodland creatures to name a few.

It is very easy to add patterns and texture to the elements of an invitation, announcement or thank you note. The use of background stamps can result in some wonderful effects. From polka dot, chevron and even woodgrain, the sky is the limit. Embossing folders are another tool that may be used to dress up an image and at the same time add a bit of texture.

Many parents today are taking it a step further by using non-typical baby images in the elements of their baby shower DIY projects. Hot-air balloons are very popular at present and are a great way to announce the arrival of a baby or for use as invitation. Project 1 is a perfect example of this. Two different stamp sets have been used for this card: A Recollections Valentine's Day set was used to generate the hot-air balloons and a Stampin' Up set was used to create the words within the balloon. Take a good look at which stamp sets you have that could be combined to create a different effect. It really is a great way to get more mileage from your supplies! This hot-air balloon theme can be carried through to the actual party itself by stamping the images onto party supplies, banners and even creating 3-D hot-air balloons with paper lanterns and baskets.

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Project 1

Flowers are not just for weddings. The rustic, whimsical design shown in Project 2 makes use of a delightful flower die cut. The delicate and whimsical style of this flower by Elizabeth Craft Designs is the perfect focal point for a baby shower invitation. The combination of the kraft-color cardstock base and the textured, embossed lines lends the perfect amount of rustic flavor to balance with the flower, heart, thread-wrapped butterflies and the gold-glittered flower center.

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Project 2

Often with invitations, extra information such as gift registries, maps and location directions need to be included. The card inside has space on the right inside panel for the shower information and then the left inside panel can be used for further materials. Simply create a little pocket from cardstock, a mini paper bag, or cut a smaller envelope in half to create a pocket to hold all of the extra material. Another option would be to use a decorative paper clip and slip the information underneath.

As mentioned previously, themes are often carried through from the invitation to the shower to the thank you card and even to the announcement. Project 3 shows how a thank you card can be made with some of the same materials. This thank you note card is slightly smaller at 4 1/2 x 3 inches than the A2 size invitation. It is not necessary to copy the original invitation exactly. Simply choose a couple of the same motifs and supplies in order to continue the theme. By using the same images and colors throughout, a consistency is created and the theme is truly conveyed. A bonus is being able to use the same materials multiple times, which also works wonderfully when creating large amounts in assembly-line fashion.

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Project 3

Don't forget that card-making supplies can be used for more than invitations, thank you notes and announcements. Many party decor items can also be made using some of the same supplies. For example, the whimsical flower shown in Projects 2 and 3 is the perfect accent for napkin rings, favor boxes, banners and framed pieces. Think outside of the box and create a corsage for the mom-to-be by starting with a stamped image and then adding ribbon and alphabet beads as shown below. This can even be taken a step further by using the same designs on gift packages, wrapping paper or for use with nursery decor.

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If you are in need of inspiration for on-trend images, or design and color inspiration for baby shower invitations and decor, I encourage you to visit your local baby and children's store. They take all the guesswork out of it and even show vignettes of various themes complete with color combinations and the most up-to-date images! I hope you have been inspired to create!

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