Category Archives: Invitations

Creating A Ticket Invitation in WORD

Play ButtonYesterday I gave you an editable and printable movie ticket invitation in WORD, and today I have a tutorial about manipulating graphics in WORD for those not too familiar with WORD’s graphic capabilities.

If you’re not already familiar with WORD’s graphic capabilities, take less than 10 minutes with this video tutorial to learn about what you can do with graphics right in WORD. You don’t need the expensive but all powerful Photoshop to get creative with your computer. GIMP is a free Windows based graphics manipulation software and can also do many creative things, but has a higher learning curve than WORD’s graphics. For simple stuff a parent might want to do for kids parties  WORD is going to be all you really need, but you’ve got to know how to make it work for you. And here’s a kids tips: WORD’s graphics is a huge help with all those school reports requiring picture covers.

I encourage you to learn what WORD can do and to pass it along to your school age children. If they want to do more creating and less editing and/or putting other peoples images together, let them explore Paint, which most likely came pre-installed in your Windows based computer.  Once they get started doing graphic manipulation with WORD, and when they’re old enough, you can introduce them to GIMP if they want to pursue computer graphics with more sophistication.

I use my movie themes ticket invitation in this demo tutorial, but with what you learn you can create your own kids birthday invitations from scratch.

Movie Theme Tickets

Movie TicketFor any birthday party theme that’s based on a movie, such as a Star Wars Party or a Harry Potter Party or whatever is the newest hot kids release, a ticket style invitation is a natural. I’ve found a really cool looking one on eBay for those of you planning a Star Wars Party.

But does your group of 6 or 8 or 10 year olds really need an invitation created and executed by a graphic artist- and do you need the expense for something they really don’t need? Especially when you can create your own movie ticket themed kids birthday invitation just using Microsoft WORD and images readily available on the internet?

I’ve made for you an editable movie ticket printable birthday invitation in WORD that you can download from my website. Just copy, size and pop into that empty space a graphic from the movie in question, edit in your party particulars where you see text, change any rectangle, line or textbox colors and/or color effects through the drawing toolbar, and you’ve got your personalized invitation that the kids will think is way cool.  Add other related graphics, text that derives from the movie, whatever you want – take your cues from the great job done with the Star Wars ticket invitation referenced and linked to above.

Check the copyright info on any graphic you want to use, but many are available for your personal non-commercial use.

Print your ticket invitation on nice heavyweight cardstock.

It’s really very easy to manipulate images in WORD (as long as you don’t try to get too fancy about it), so don’t be intimidated. And once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll find all kinds of things you can do yourself that you used to pay money for- like all your kids birthday invitations.

All Rolled Up

Rolled InvitationThere are terrific ideas from the folks at Party Depot in their press release about a Wizards of Waverly Place birthday party theme. Their ideas for invitations work for other themes as well, so I want to share them here.

Who says an invitation has to be the size of a standard sheet of paper folded over twice? Well- the Post Office has certain standards you can’t get around if you’re mailing your invitation, but for hand delivery all options are on the table. For any party that’s got an old fashioned type theme like a Medieval party or a Magical party or a Princess Party, make your paper appear old and roll it up like an old fashioned parchment. Tea-stain the paper and/or singe the edges with a lighter for that ancient look. Tie your parchment with a beautiful ribbon. For a Wizards of Waverly Place or a Magic Party, roll your invitation around a dowel that your invitation requests be brought to the party all decorated as a magic wand.

It might not fit inside a rolled up invite, but you can ask your guests to make and bring anything you want in your invitation. For your pirate party you might make paper hats out of newspaper and print your party particulars on them in brightly colored magic marker, AND ask each guest to make or decorate their own paper pirate hat for the party. Or if it’s not a Pirate party, ask them to make or decorate any type hat to bring for the silly hat contest. Or have them design and make paper party hats- now you don’t have to buy them!

Think outside the envelope and your invitations can take almost any form. And when it’s different, your invite gets the kids anxious to come and have a great time at your party.

Ahoy there Matey!

Pirate InvitePirate parties are for either pre-schoolers or young elementary school aged kids. So don’t even think of sending an e-vite, as kids this age (1) LOVE getting real mail and (2) most likely aren’t yet into email.

An invitation in a bottle hand delivered to each guest’s front porch or walk is ideal for a pirate party. You can recycle your water or soda bottles, labels removed. Make your invitation full page (8 ½ x 11” size) rather than quarter-fold for this presentation. Tea stain the paper, even crinkle them up and then iron them, to make them look authentic. You can also scorch the edges with a lighter for full effect.

If you’ve not got the time for all that, and driving to each child’s house for the delivery, I’ve created a simple downloadable and editable pirate party invitation for you on my website. Just edit in the underlined variables, remove the underlining, and print as many as you need. These are quarter-fold invitations that fit in a standard invitation sized envelope.

Feel free to edit the wording, the graphics, anything at all to personalize your invitation. It would be good fun to have your birthday child get all dressed up as a pirate, with the bandana, the eye patch, the striped shirt, and use a photo of it all on the front instead of the graphic I provide. This works especially well if you want them all to come dressed up as pirates- which of course, you do.

The invitations are your first shot at getting them all excited about and eager for your Pirate Birthday Party, so make it intriguing and appealing on their level (not on your adult level).

Chef Hat

Cooking Party Invitation

Chef HatI’ve been blogging all week about cooking as a great party theme, so I might as well finish the week on the same topic. What you’re missing so far for a complete cooking themed party is your invitation, so here we go.

Many websites suggest using a cheap wooden spoon with a recipe card invitation prettily tied to it for your invitation. There are a multitude of free printable recipe cards online that you could choose one from, and then hand write your invitations as the free ones don’t seem to allow for computer editing. This is a great idea, but it does need to be hand delivered.

A recipe card sized invitation is perfect for a post card type invitation, so I made one you can download. The first page of this downloadable WORD invitation is the back (the mailing/address side) and pages 2 and 3 are the front: two different editable invitations that you can choose from. Print just the front on card stock and put it in an envelope, or print out front and back on both sides of the card stock and send it as a postcard.

However you format your invitation, it’s always best to have it intriguing and interesting to get the kids excited about and anticipating your party starting right when they get it. Pg2 of my invitation is designed to rouse their curiosity, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” [perversely, this poem is also about eating and cooking]:

The time has come, [Name] says,
To cook up delicious things:
To whip–to stir—and mix it all up—
Create goodies that are fit for a King.
Bring your tummy for all that’s yummy
And we’ll make your taste buds sing!

The other option on p3 is a more standard presentation of your party invitation. To use either wording options, you will have to edit all 4 of the text boxes containing your party info on the page.

You can also delete everything except the graphic on the page and create your own invitation. It’s a real pain in the neck to get everything lined up for printing out both sides of your post card invitation, so if you do create your own, feel free to use my template for lining things up.

Invitation

Getting Them Excited

InvitationI’ve said it time and again: the real purpose of invitations is to build excitement for your party. This not only makes your birthday child feel special for days ahead of the event, it gets your guests engaged in your party activities before they even arrive. And engaged kids aren’t wandering off making messes, causing problems or forcing you to be the bad cop.

And the best way to build that excitement is to leave your invited guests wondering what’s in store and creating the impression that it’s not just another “same old” birthday party. Your wording should leave them wondering, such as “Can you Survive?” for an adventure or Survivor party. You can make your invitation in mirror image wording that they have to figure out. Or, do the invitation as one big anagram they have to decode.

Here’s an article with other interesting ideas for making your invitation as attention getting as it should be.

RSVP

Getting those RSVPs

RSVPAs per a recent New York Times Op/Ed piece, it’s not just me that is amazed when parents don’t RSVP to their kids’ invitations. Life does seem to have devolved even as technology makes sending messages so much easier.

So how do you get those parents to let you know their intentions so you can plan properly and not spend money on non-existent guests? Here’s a couple of tips:

• Request your RSVP by a date certain, i.e. RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 11th.
• Make it clear WHY you need a response, i.e. please RSVP by Tuesday Jan 11th so I can plan properly and have enough food and goody bags for all.
• Give an email address is addition to a phone number- makes it just a bit easier for parents that don’t really know you to respond.
• Instead of the standard “RSVP”, try being more explicit, i.e. “please either call (phone #) or email (email address) by Tuesday, Jan 11th to let us know if you can attend or not so we can plan our food and activities appropriately”.

If these changes to the usual RSVP request don’t get you a higher percentage of responses, it’s hopeless, and a sad commentary on our society today. There needs to always be time for the niceties and considerations for others.