DIY party invites

DS’s birthday is coming up and I stupidly kindly agreed to throwing his first proper party with school friends. I’ve been shopping on Etsy and various other websites for party invites, and as fabulous as they are, I’m not really willing to pay for a PDF file and still have to get them printed at a further cost.

I decided to put my Photoshop skills to the test and make my own invites, thank you cards and labels for the cake boxes as cheap as possible, while ensuring they are just as good as the ones on Etsy. Here’s how they turned out…

Party invites

invitationblogI downloaded images from Shutterstock for my invites, but you can get your images from anywhere as long as they are high resolution.

To make sure the print is high quality, set the image resolution to at least 300 pixels per inch. Change the image size to how big you’d like your invites to be – mine are 4x6in. Once you’ve created the invite, save it in PSD format so you can make any alterations later on and save another in CMYK mode JPEG format, which is best for print.

There are lots of websites (Snapfish, Truprint, Photobox, Boots Photo etc) that offer a number of free prints the first time you register. I used Boots Photo to print out my invites, as they offered 20 free prints with 99p delivery charge. I bought C6 size envelopes in Morrisons (25 for 50p), which brings the total cost of my party invites to £1.49 for 20!

(I’ve changed DS’s name, the location of his party and my telephone number on the image for obvious reasons…)

Cake box labels

thankyoucard3I’m not keen on giving out slices of cake wrapped in tissue at parties, as often the tissue (and everything else in the party bag) are soaked in grease, cream and icing, so I purchased 25 small cake boxes on eBay. I wanted to jazz them up a bit so I made labels for the boxes.

I measured the face of the box (9x6in) and set the image size slightly smaller to 7x4in on Photoshop. The image is from the same set of football images on Shutterstock, and I made the green font match the green on the image.

Again I saved the image in PSD and JPEG formats, before opening a new blank canvas as A4 size (210mm × 297mm) and dragging the JPEG version over continuously until I filled up the page. I saved this as a high resolution JPEG image before opening again in Preview and sending to print. I used normal white paper and a standard laser printer, so my total cost, without including one sheet of paper and ink (let’s not be pedantic…) was £0.

Thank you cards

thankyoublogEver since DS could write, I’ve always insisted on thank you cards for birthday presents. If someone took the time to buy and wrap you a gift, you can spare a few minutes to scribble a few words on a sheet. And anyway, it’s good to practise writing cards and using a pencil. We don’t really bother for Christmas presents, as it’s so close to his birthday, it may be a bit cruel to spend hours on end writing cards…

As he’ll have a fair number of cards to write out, I thought I’d spare him the same repetitive sentences and have them printed on the card, that way he only needs to fill in the name and present.

I haven’t printed the cards yet, but I’ve purchased cardstock from Amazon for £3.78 and I plan to print them using a standard printer. I’ve managed to fit two 5x7in invites onto an A4 sheet – you can fit three 4x6in if you want them smaller.


Are we growing up or just going down?

And so I have reached the grand old age of twenty-two. It is a bit of a nothing age; you still feel youthful and exuberant, but responsibility looms and the pressure to get a career started is on. Elders no longer ask, ‘what do you want to be when you’re older?’, as it is expected that you already have a plan underway. In your teens you were dreaming a world away, but as we timidly step into our twenties, we feel the need to progress in our lives before we hit the dreaded thirties and the next thing we know, it is a downward spiral from there.

I like to think I have crossed a few things off the list – drivers licence, car, degree, marriage, baby. One of my biggest fears is not having done enough. I need to feel like I have succeeded in something, even if it is just getting through the day with something completed. I have a mental list of different experiences and life accomplishments which must all be ticked off.

I have a full-time job, but that is far from ticking the ‘successful career’ box. I need a master plan that will lead me into riches and provide all the toys DS will ever want, whilst simultaneously being the best mummy. Watch this space, I will not settle for anything less.


I had planned DH’s birthday event last night for the past three months. Obviously it did not actually take every day leading up to October to plan it, but the initial booking of the tickets required me to get in there early.

Tickets for what I hear you ask? Marlowe Comedy Club, which is a comedy night (hence the name) held in Bramleys Canterbury once every month. I gathered our friends from our hometown by the means of Facebook; the thought of using any other form of communication seems absurd to me. DH was unaware of what was happening, but I did have a scare when Facebook decided to remind me on my homepage that the event was approaching. In massive letters ‘DH’s SURPRISE Birthday Event’ was surely a giveaway, but luckily he was quite unobservant.

So the night came and my mother stayed over to look after DS; I am so glad he was a good boy as I am always anxious when someone else takes charge. I led DH into the town centre towards the Cathedral much to his confusion. Regardless of our lack of faith, he seemed to think I was taking him to mass. We bypassed the Cathedral and arrived at the Seven Stars pub for pre-drinks, where our friends were waiting for us.

It was such a good night seeing the group together, we had not seen them for months. We all lead our separate lives, be it in Canterbury, Gravesend or London, and so it is hard to organise everyone to be in the same place at once. The comedy was hilarious and the drinks were good. Overall, making it a very successful night.

All of us with a drink in hand almost made it feel like we were in the Pocock in Gravesend again, but the wooden piano in the corner and the girl sitting with a book gave it away.