I recently offered to throw a baby shower for a good friend of mine, and because this will be her second child and she already has a house full of hand-me-downs, she requested that the gift giving be kept to a minimum. Partially because of that request (and partially because she's a book lover like me) I settled on a "vintage / classic kids' books" shower theme.
The invitations went through an extensive brainstorming and planning phase, after which I finally decided to use vintage Golden Books as the base.
This may not be a new idea entirely; since landing on the concept I've seen a few different versions of Golden Book baby shower invitations. A few use just the covers, discarding the pages.
Yikes. As a book lover throwing a party for a book lover, that idea makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Admittedly, I have that response to pretty much any project I see people blogging about when it involves chopping up vintage books, even having worked in bookstores and witnessed what happens to mass market paperbacks. Or maybe because of it.
Anyway, I trolled St. Vincent dePaul's section of kids' books to find some classic titles in older editions with a bit of age to them. Because the guest list was small, I didn't mind that each of the books was different, but this project might be a little extreme for a guest list of more than a dozen.
Of course, Baby Animals was pretty perfect for this project, but really, nearly any Golden Book can be altered to make the perfect invitation (as shown above).
Using my YA Library Book Slips fabric design as a base in Adobe Illustrator, I designed and printed out some library check-out slips on manila card stock using the family's last name (Geisel, in this case, is a pseudonym) in place of the author and "The New Baby" as the title. These were the "registry" info cards, except in this case they included language inviting people to forego traditional registry gifts in favor of vintage kids' books or small handmade items.
The little envelopes to hold the cards inside the books are made of the same card stock trimmed, folded, and held in place with GlueDots. (If you can't find manila card stock, do what I did and cut some manilla file folders down to 8.5 x 11" sheets using a paper cutter.)
I scanned the front cover (inside and outside) to alter slightly in Photoshop.
For the fronts, I added on each book the words "& Baby Geisel" to the title, matching the the title font and wear pattern as closely as possible.
For printing on the reverse, I moved up the bookplate and made the endpaper pattern fully repeat, before layering on the text in a font similar to the Little Golden Books font. (Click to zoom for detail.)
Printed and trimmed . . .
. . . then scored along the spine and ready to attach . . .
. . . with three glue dots.
I used washi tape tabs to indicate where to open the books . . .
. . . and used more washi tape (white and yellow, so the golden spines still showed through a bit) to cover the spines. Then I tied them up with baker's twine and put them in some shipping envelopes to ready them for mailing (complete with logo for the Geisel Family Library Foundation).
Repeat for all titles.
This project is, admittedly, a bit labor intensive and requires some knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Like the look but want to skip the work? I can put some together for you, too! Contact me for pricing and scheduling by leaving a comment below, or by e-mailing (whoamillie (at) thenightgarden.com).
Thanks for reading!
p.s. you can make these photos larger simply by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.