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Smock Design Contest – Custom Letterpress Birthday Party Invitations

Once upon a time we shared with you a whole bunch of gorgeous letterpress designs that we recently honored in our Smock Design Contest. Today we’re back with our first runner up! This design is a custom letterpress birthday party invitation based on our Graham design brought to us by Luxe Expressions in Atlanta. They are printed in bright hues of custom deep pink and green and feature our roxen pattern on the back. Created for an 80s theme 40th birthday party, our guest judge Kristen Magee of Paper Crave says, “The vibrant colors and bold pattern make this such a fun invitation, and the “40” emblem graphic gives the invite a bit of a funky edge. The design is versatile and could be used for so many different types of occasions, but I love it as a 40th birthday party invite. The message it sends is, ‘I’m turning 40, I am completely fabulous, and you are going to have an absolute blast at my party!'” We couldn’t agree more.

Custom Letterpress Birthday Invitations

Brought to us by our friends at Francis-Orr in Corona del Mar, California we just love this ocean inspired letterpress invitation suite, printed for a destination 50th birthday party! It is a custom design featuring motifs from our Social Occasions album in fun tropical colors of midnight and papaya. The letterpress invitations, events cards, and reply cards were tucked inside a patterned folio featuring our Willoughby pattern on the interior and a seahorse on the exterior, both printed in midnight. To bring it all together, the envelope was lined in Willoughby in papaya for a complete package that is bright, festive and just perfect for a fun-filled birthday getaway.

Letterpress Party Invitations

We love these cool letterpress party invitations we recently printed, a sophisticated pairing of midnight and taupe. The front features a modern, minimalist design while the back boasts our roxen pattern – the invitations were then edge painting in metallic silver for the perfect finishing touch. Thank you to our friends at Just Paper & Tea in Washington, DC for bringing us this wonderful design!

Custom Letterpress Birthday Party Invitations

A while back we featured Cydney’s first birthday party and today we wanted to share a few more photos of the custom letterpress birthday party invitations we created with Debra Saba of Luxe Expressions for Cydney’s party. The invitation itself was a 2-color letterpress card printed in custom shades of fuchsia and navy with pretty fuchsia edge painting. It featured custom patterned backing paired with a matching envelope liner and came enclosed with a 1-color letterpress directions card. We love this invitation set!

Custom Letterpress Birthday Party Invitation by Smock

Custom Letterpress Birthday Party Invitation by Smock

Custom Letterpress Birthday Party Invitation by Smock

Custom Letterpress Birthday Party Invitation by Smock

Smock Real Party – Madline’s First Birthday

Today we are thrilled to welcome a guest to the Smock blog, Seana, who recently hosted the most incredible first birthday party for her daughter Madeline. Inspired by the Smock letterpress party invitations she sent to guests, Seana crafted a beautifully handmade, eco-friendly party that has us dreaming up any number of excuses to host great parties. Without further ado, Seana shares with us more about Madeline’s fabulous birthday celebration…
Smock real party: a vibriant first birthday party
A couple months after my daughter Madeline was born, I was perusing the web for eco-friendly paper companies who had cute birth announcements. I came across Smock and fell in love with the Horsey stationery suite. I decided right then and there they would be the invitations for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Needless to say, I never actually sent out birth announcements (I know, bad mom!) but as Madeline’s June thirtieth birthday was approaching, I went back to Smock and bought the invites along with the matching Delft correspondence cards for thank you notes. They became my inspiration for her party! I went with an aqua and coral color scheme and started planning the decorations, cake and menu.
Smock real party: a vibriant first birthday party
It is very important to our family that we make as little impact on our environment as possible so Madeline’s party was planned with that in mind. On my home computer, I designed and printed the happy birthday banner and the party favor nametags. I bought some scrap fabrics and ribbons in coordinating colors in order to make the flag banners and “doilies”. One of my favorite projects was the picture banner. I made a fabric flag banner but left some extra space between the flags, there I used graphic clothes pins to hang home printed pictures of Madeline starting at birth and on through her first year. There won’t be a birthday party for Madeline every year but I will continue to hang the birthday banner, I’ll just change out the number.  I will also continue to hang the picture banner, switching out photos for ones from the year we are celebrating. It will become a birthday decoration tradition and it’s much better to re-use than to buy new every year.
Smock real party: a vibriant first birthday party
The cake, cookies and mini smash cake were fantastic! I went to this really great bakery right down the street from our home in Chicago, The Bleeding Heart Bakery. It is an organic bakery known for their innovative designs and the environmentally responsible way in which they operate their business. I brought in the invites and thank you cards for inspiration and they came up with a delicious carrot cake with the invitation horsey on it. They also made the bird cookies to look like the bird sweetly perched on the horsey’s back. Madeline’s mini smash cake was actually sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar, a request I made so as to curb that sugar overload for such a small body, and they were happy to oblige.
Smock real party: a vibriant first birthday party
I will admit that if there is a way that I can get out of a lot of clean up after a party, I am all for it. One way is to use disposable utensils, plates and napkins. Unfortunately using all of that plastic is just not good for the earth so I set out to find some environmentally ways to make the party easier without compromising quality. After doing my research I found some great alternatives. We used disposable, compostable bamboo plates made by the company Bambu and we used disposable, biodegradable utensils made from potato, yes potato! Called Potatoware, these utensils were strong, in fact a lot less brittle than your regular plastic kind. I really couldn’t justify using paper napkins, so we went with cloth, but that was ok, it gave me another excuse to add some color by tying the rolled utensils with ribbon.

The simple menu consisted of:

• Green salad made from our CSA lettuce, organic cherry tomatoes, onions and artichokes all topped with a goddess dressing.

• Fruit salad made up of our CSA strawberries, in-season organic blueberries and in-season cantaloupe.

• Cheeseburgers with condiments also coming from our CSA.

It’s amazing how you can have a fairly simple meal taste SO good just by using fresh, in-season local food.

Smock real party: a vibriant first birthday party

It was not a very large party, just a few of our close friends and their kids but it was such a nice way to get together to celebrate our little girl’s first year. Madeline is the joy of our lives; she is such a happy one year old and she thoroughly enjoyed her party. We look forward to many more birthdays in the future!

Thank you, Seana, for sharing Madeline’s party celebration with us – we are so completely inspired! And, a big Happy Birthday to Madeline from all of us at Smock!

Smock Real Party Feature – Calling all Parties!

Here at Smock we get to work with some pretty cool people throwing some amazing parties, which we absolutely love. In fact we find it so much fun that we want to share those parties with everyone else! If you’re hosting a great brunch, baby or bridal shower, birthday party, anniversary celebration, or a fabulous spring kick-off barbecue, we want details! Email us at and tell us about your event and you could be featured on Smock’s blog. Parties of all shapes, sizes, and themes are welcome! In the meantime, check out this fabulous baby shower at the incredible Thoughtful Day, a blog we positively adore.

Liony invitation with calligraphy - by Smock

We love this use of our adorable Liony letterpress invitations featuring hand calligraphy by our favorite calligrapher, Debi Zeinert of Blooming Quill, in Whimsy for a first birthday party. It’s simple and oh so sweet, and the perfect way to set the stage for a fantastic birthday celebration.

Letterpress Birthday Party Invitations with Calligraphy

letterpress baby announcement: Smock Liony
These first birthday party invitations were dreamed up by one of our client coordinators here (mom is Andrea, son is Maddox). Andrea used our favorite calligrapher (Debi Zeinert from the Blooming Quill) to write out the invitation in Debi’s “Whimsy” style, using a matching green ink. The envelopes were addressed with matching calligraphy too. So cute and sophisticated and cute!

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