Thursday, 9 June 2011

Saving the Date: Waterfall Card Tutorial

As soon as I asked my husband-to-be if he'd prefer lollipop or filmstrip STDs, he immediately pricked up his ears. The plan was always that I was going to be making all the stationery and decorations myself,* but suddenly my man was offering assistance. It wasn't until we started making the STDs that I fully realised how grateful I was - and how good he is at doing stuff with paper ("It's just lady-tools, isn't it?").

* Later it turned out my mum would make a very large portion of the decorations too.

Anyway, we opted for a filmstrip-style design. But we wanted something a little different, a lot fun, and somewhat interactive. Here's what we came up with:

It's a postcard, a photo booth strip, and a waterfall, all in one. We received such awe-filled praise from our guests-to-be that, apart from feeling very pleased with ourselves, we want to share what we've done. So here's a little step-by-step on how to make a waterfall save the date postcard.

A few words of advice before you begin: decide on - and print - the final photos you want to use BEFORE cutting any card. It'll save you loads of time, stress and wastage. Even though you'll probably take some amazing photos that you love, you might have to let go of them and accept that they don't work. For this project the photos were portrait and roughly passport-sized (4.3cm x 5.6cm to be exact). All relevant measurements I give will relate to this size.

For the mechanics of the card:

1. Cut your card to size, and print your message on the back. (If you've chosen an image to print on the front, like we did, print this too now.) Our cards were postcard size - A6/C6.

2. Cut a strip of card that is as long as the postcard is wide and wide enough to be sturdy (2). Ours were 2.4cm wide by 10.5cm long.

3. Cut another strip that is as long as an A4 piece of paper, portrait-wise, and as wide as your photos (3). Ours were 4.3cm wide by 29.7cm long.

4. Measure where you want your small strip (4a) - about a fifth of the way up from the bottom of the card is good. Measure where the large strip needs to be folded - one end needs to join to the small strip (4b). And you don't want it to extend past the top of the postcard, so you'll need to make a fold there (4c).

Then fold and score the large strip like this:

so that the intervals between folds are half the height of your photos, except for the first one (the part where your large strip will join onto your small strip).

5. Fix the small strip across the postcard - with glue, double-sided tape, eyelets, brads, whatever you want. Just make sure you only fix it at the edges because the large strip needs to move underneath the small strip (5).

6. Fix the large strip to the small strip with glue or double-sided tape (4b again).

7. If you want to, back your photos with patterned paper:

- do this before sticking the photos down.

8. Then stick them down, the last photo in the sequence first (on top of the part that joins the small strip), by applying the glue or double-sided tape to the large strip and then putting the photo in place (it's much easier this way round, trust me!).

9. To make sure your recipients know what to do when they receive the card, give them a little instruction (9). Alternatively, you can punch a hole and add a ribbon if you prefer, or anything else you can think of.

Et voila!

It took us about 10 hours altogether to make 50 of these. That DOESN'T include the time we spent agonizing over the photos, which I don't really want to talk about! The chosen pics in the end were a compromise but we're essentially happy with them... except that we are a little gutted that this one had to be vetoed (yes, my fault, because I didn't like my expression):

Still, we had fun! I hope you like them!


  1. What a great idea....they look stunning.

  2. Having seen one in real life I know just how stunning they are, definate WOW factor. You're so talented

  3. Wohoo thanks for sharing this, Cheryl!! Lovely lovely.. you are getting married too? Congratulations!! :))) I made a Save the Date card too last few months but mine was more simple :) Take care, dear. Enjoy your day! :)

  4. Hop you like them....????
    Wow this is awesome!!!I love it!!
    GREAT idea and looks fab!!!!!

  5. They were truly amazing, so original and totally different. Such imagination to come up with the whole concept, will keep mine forever.

  6. Wow! They are amazing - I can just imagine everyone putting these are on their mantelpieces to admire!

  7. WHAT!? This is FABULOUS! I LOOOVE IT!! Great design and the fold out feature is so COOL!