Thursday, July 25, 2013

Paint Strip Moving Announcement

I mentioned in a recent post that we moved back to Illinois from California.  We've been here 9 months already and I'm finally getting around to sharing the moving announcements I made.

I didn't originally plan to make them myself.  I actually found some I loved at but they seemed too expensive.  Given the fact that I had just quit my job, and that we were in the middle of buying a new house, I felt guilty spending that much money on moving announcements.

So, I searched the internet to find cute alternatives and stumbled upon this DIY moving announcement using Behr paint strips.  I don't get credit for the idea.  I copied my version from ones I saw on Bunches of Joy and Oh So Beautiful Paper.  The main difference between mine and theirs, though, is that they made it look easy.  It wasn't!  Nor was it cheap.  What I thought was going to be a quick, money-saving project actually took a lot of time and money.

My original plan was to save money by mailing them as a postcard (no buying envelopes and using only $0.32 postage stamps).  However, the ink smudged so easily that I worried they wouldn't hold up in the mail.  I didn't want them to arrive in people's mailboxes completely illegible so I bought a fixative artwork spray to keep the ink from smearing.

The spray had really strong fumes and took a long time to dry.  I had to spray them in our bathroom with the windows open and let them dry for about an hour.  Below is a photo of this process which I did over the course of a few days - - my printer could only handle so many at once before it started jamming and smearing.  Annoying.

Sneak peek of my professional art studio (aka, the bathroom).  This was the bathroom in our old house that we rented in California.  
It was such a cute house!  I will do a post on it someday.  

Even with the fixative spray, I worried they would get wet or damaged in the mail.  So I decided I should probably buy envelopes too . . . which then required buying first-class stamps.  Not so cheap anymore.

Not only that, but so many of the paint strips got ruined because of printer jams and smeared ink.  I had to make numerous trips to Home Depot to get more paint strips (I should've budgeted for gas money!).  The paint strips were free, but I felt conspicuous pocketing more than 10 at a time so I made multiple trips.  In all, I think I "borrowed" about 50-75.

Anyway . . . I ran out of ink midway through printing (printing those suckers used a lot of ink!).  I had to run to Staples (twice!) to buy more ink cartridges which ran about $40 bucks a pop.  Ka ching.

Designing the layout and choosing fonts was fun, but it took awhile to get it right.  I had to play around with the spacing and font sizes to get everything lined up properly.  It took a few test prints before I got it right.

This TUTORIAL is helpful if you want step-by-step instructions.  Mine only worked by trial and error.  Designing them also depends on your print settings and the program you're using (I used Microsoft Word).  It would've been much easier with design software and a decent printer.

Despite all the mishaps and unexpected expenses, I loved how they turned out.  However, I learned that trying to save money can get really expensive.

The announcements pictured here are examples that don't include our real contact info.  As you might have guessed, we don't really live on Candy Lane.

Supplies Used:
Behr Paint Strips (available at Home Depot)
- Home Computer & Printer (Tip:  I set the paper size on my computer to 5x7 to design the layout)
- Krylon Workable Fixatif
- A7 (5.25 x 7.25) Envelopes
- First-Class Postage Stamps

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