Whats the name of your handmade business and how did you come up with the name?
My little business is called I Do Invites; the idea of the business of creating bespoke wedding stationery came to me in the middle of the night whilst feeding my newborn. I had been asked by friends and friends of friends for “help” with designing their wedding stationery (I’ve been a graphic designer for 10 years), then one day someone asked me what i did.
I said “I do invites”, they laughed and it wasn’t until they explained that “I do” was a play on words that I understood the joke. So I quickly checked the domain name, saw it was available and bought the url!
How did you get into making crafts?
I have been a graphic designer for 10 years, and have worked in studios around the West Midlands designing logos, business stationery, brochures and catalogues, a whole bunch of point of sale, printed materials, advertising, websites and email campaigns.
A few of my friends (and their friends) approached me to design their wedding stationery and it all began from there! I knew this was what I wanted to do, and even though I freelance as a graphic designer, creating wedding stationery is my job.
How long have you been crafting?
I Do Invites started back in 2014 when I created my first ever set of invites, and on the day stationery which included everything from order of services, place cards, table plan and venue signage. In 2016 I quit my job to give I Do my all.
What kinds of things do you like to make?
I love making weird and wonderful stationery; designs out of the ordinary and have a little nod to the couple’s personal taste - my favourites being a fold out Marauder’s Map for a Harry Potter themed wedding, and a Companion Cube from the game Portal.
What kinds of materials do you use?
I start by designing all the pieces on my Macbook Pro, then when my couples are happy their designs will go off to print. Depending on the type of invites they’re having It might mean I have to trim them using my scalpel, glueing pieces together, tying string or ribbon, every suite I create is bespoke to the couple so no two of the same!
What new crafts do you want to try?
A little bit different to wedding stationery but I used to be quite nifty with a needle and thread (a long time ago), I recently purchased some amazing coloured thread, a new set of needles and a test piece of fabric to practice some stitches and techniques - I want to do some edgy designs, that I might pop on my Etsy page.
What is your favourite craft tool?
I got asked this recently and my answer was “the Pen Tool”, for those of you who know the Adobe Creative Suite and are familiar with the tools you’ll know the Pen Tool is one of the most used, especially in Illustrator - perfect for creating vector graphics!
What’s one of your favourite things you’ve made?
I mentioned the Marauder’s Map invitation suite earlier, designed back in 2016 I think this is still possibly my favourite suite, purely for the theme and the fact that I had to put some real thought in how it was going to be put together to look authentic enough and have the same features (apart from the moving footprints…) that the map in the films had. It took quite a few mockups and tester models to get it right!
What are some of your favourite things to do in your spare time?
I love playing pretend with my daughter (now three years old); she comes up with some amazing games for us to play, a lot of role playing pirates, mermaids, jungle safari so more recently I have to been noting down all of her imaginations. I have been collecting these ideas and began to bring them to life writing short stories with her ideas. Maybe you’ll see these in a bookshop one day!
What advice would you give to people just starting out crafting?
My top tip for new crafters and makers would be to stay positive; it’s so disheartening nowadays to look on Pinterest or Instagram and see something that you’ve been woking on already done by somebody else, especially if you think it’s better than your own creation!? Well don’t feel bad for yourself or feel jealousy! It’s so difficult to be original anymore, so rather than seeing it as your “competition” use it to influence your own designs, maybe they have used a technique that you hadn’t thought of which helps you develop your skills more!
What inspires your designs?
I keep up to date with current design trends, I take inspiration from things all around me and more importantly I have a group of creatives who I meet up with every month; I love this monthly meet up, it gives me a chance to throw some ideas at them for stationery and pieces i’ve been working on. The women all run their own creative business from fine art, handmade children’s clothing, jewellery and commissioned drawings and are a daily inspiration just to get out bed and put the effort in!
Can you tell us about your design process?
There are two types of couples; the ones who know what they want and the ones who don’t - even though its harder work for me to start from scratch with a design with no theme or colour scheme, actually it’s a lot more fun and this is where I get to be more creative than a couple who have chosen their stationery from Pinterest or Instagram!
With either couple i’ll try and arrange a meet up (if they are local), I invite them to mooch through my samples and pick bits they like and don’t like from the suites I have created, it helps me get an idea of the formality of their suite, fonts they like and define more of a theme or colours.
From this I’ll create 4-5 designs using different ideas / fonts / layout and allow my couples to look through the concepts and chose their favourite elements (on occasion I have had the reply “we like number XX, no changes!), or sometimes it might be “we like the colours from XX, the font from XX, the layout from XX please”
Once an initial design has been approved i’ll apply it to the other pieces in the suite; rsvp’s, information cards, envelopes etc. and send them off to print with the couple’s permission. Next is the fun bit, I might have to mount them, fold them, tie them up, wax seal... The list is endless!
I’ll box them up in some I Do Invites branded packaging and post them out.
Do you have a studio space or work from home?
I work from my home office - it was initially a spare room - I have two desks; a designing desk and a crafting desk. This means I don’t find tiny pieces of scraps stuck in my keyboard or brief worksheets that I’ve accidentally glued to the table…
What’s ahead for the future?
I Do Invites has been seen in Rock N Roll Bride, Perfect Wedding and You and Your Wedding magazines and even though I swore off wedding fairs for 2018 I might exhibit at one or two later on in the year as the wedding season quietens down. You will probably see more and more items appear on my Etsy page - some none wedding-y designs too and maybe If i write a best selling children’s book (and illustrate it myself), you might see that in your local Waterstones too!
Oh and a refresh of my brand and website this year…
What’s your top tip for crafting?
Do research into techniques that might make your life easier and your work at a much better standard, it’s easy to get stuck into doing the same thing day in, day out for years but try and keep with the times, challenge yourself to learn new tricks of the trade.
Also, if you are crafting to make money, make sure you know your worth - its hard to stick a big price tag on yourself but in fact when you get that bit nailed, your customers will want to pay for your quality, there’s nothing worse than hearing “oh that’s cheap!”
Where can we find out more?
For an all round overview of what I Do do head to my website:
Social Media links are:
For my inspiration for different wedding themes:
Etsy shop link: