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Watercolor calligraphy placecards? Of course.

When my friend Michelle started planning a celebration for her law school dinner, she wanted a big crowd for dinner with zero chaos. She had seen the invitations I made for Sammi and Tony’s engagement party, and asked if I could lend a crafty hand for her dinner.

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We decided on a watercolory aesthetic in shades of blue and teal – playing off of the venerable D.C. restaurant Oyamel’s bright, playful decor.

Inspired by a DIY from Paper & Stitch, I dip-dyed sturdy cardstock squares in a custom blend of watercolor inks (Cobalt Turquoise and Cerulean Blue) from Blick Art Supplies. 

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I wanted the cards to have a faint ombre look, so I mixed two bowls – one of just Cerulean, and one with a 2:1 ratio of Turquoise and Cerulean. I kept the mixes fairly concentrated, and used wide bowls so I’d have an easy(ish) time dipping the paper. I’d recommend testing on scrap paper as you go to ensure that you are getting the right hue and intensity. Also remember that colors dry a little brighter than when they’re wet!

First, I dipped the card two thirds of the way (or maybe three quarters for some!) in the lighter Cerulean bowl. Dip, dip, and dry the edges, then on to the brighter mixed bowl, where I dipped maybe up to halfway of what was already dyed. I played around with angles here – have fun with it!

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Make sure to tap the edges on paper towels before laying them out to dry. After tapping the edges and removing any water bubbles, I laid the cards out on rows of paper towels. Once finished, I covered them with paper towels and a few heavy books, per Paper & Stitch’s recommendation. This is an essential step to making sure the wet cards dry flat and neat! NOTE — if your paper towels have patterns….. you will see those in the finished product. I’d recommend using unpatterned paper towels or even cheesecloth if this will be an issue for you!

I let the cards dry a full day before adding calligraphy. I used a wide nib that gives a playful thick-and-thin stroke, and got to it!

Rooftop party scheming

I’m hosting an engagement party this spring. It’s not going to be crazy, but I’m SO excited for it, you guys. How come, you ask?

watercolor balloons

balloon inspiration thanks to Ruffled!

First, this couple is near & dear to our hearts. The bride is like a little sister to me, and the groom went to high school & played sports with my husband. What a coincidence that they’re getting married, you say? Well, we get full credit for that – they met at a housewarming party we had in our last apartment! Hosting is extra fun when you throw a little matchmaking into the game.

Second, I’m still in wedding withdrawal. All the fun planning & designing & scheming & pinning… I could do it five times over. I wish we could have had two weddings, a summer one and a winter one, but that speaks more to my obsession with seasons than anything else… (also Steve will kill me if I joke one more time about buying another wedding dress!)

Third, oh my gosh, spring. Spring weather, spring dresses, spring colors. Maybe the start of a tan. Can this party please hurry up?!

I don’t normally start planning something so far in advance, but what the heck. I’ve got pastels on the mind and I’m ready. Starting with party colors and invitations! Collaborating on invitation design with Caitlin Creative Works was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning, so yeah, I’m a LITTLE excited for this part.

Which one do you guys like best?!

Neon Sorbet Colors

pastel palette

Copy of neon pastel

Summery Blues Palette

blues paletteCopy of summery blues

Pink Whimsy Palette

pinks paletteCopy of pink whimsy

Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know!

Next up: signature cocktail brainstorm. And with that, I’m off for a drink!

Thanks to Canva for the easy & FREE design software that lets me pretend I’m a designer. 😉