Saturday, March 17, 2012

Our DIY Zig-Zag Escort card holder

I have to give props to Mr. Castle, because honestly he did most of the work for this DIY project. This project required a lot of precise measurements and for some reason I was not very good at that... You had to get the measurements right or it wouldn't lay right when you put it down. I was thankful for Mr. Castle's perfectionist nature on this one because I don't think I would have had the patience to do this alone!

To remind you our our escort card display idea, here's our inspiration. 
Image via Etsy / Seller JulieHananDesign

The first step in this project was finding the right paper. I needed a thick card stock paper that was long. I wanted to make as many slots for the escort cards as possible. I decided to make a fold every inch, so two inches for each card slot. A regular sized 8x11 paper would have only given us slots for five escort cards. With 150 guests we would have needed 30 of them to have slots for all our guests! And they would have been so short... I ended up going to a art suply store in NYC called Lee's Art Shop. They had a good selection of card stock but it all seemed to be in the 8x11 size range. Then I came across poster board sized paper and found out that they could cut it for me in store. The paper was 19 1/3 inches by 28 1/2 inches. I asked him to keep the length at 28 1/2 inches, but cut them into 4 1/2 inch strips. I bought three poster boards, cut 4 times gave me 12 strips, soon to be holders. Each one holds 14 cards, so that makes 168 slots. Perfect!

With the strips cut the next step was to get to folding them. That's where Mr. C comes in. I bought a bone folder and I practiced on some extra card stock I had lying around. For some reason I was getting the measurements all wrong and the folds were not even. My practice pieces wouldn't even lay flat on a table, parts of it would be sticking up....So Mr. C came in and took over while I watched and took pictures.

First he measured and made a mark every inch on both sides of the paper. That way when he went to use the bone folder he had a mark on each side to follow.
Then using the ruler as a guide to make a straight line, he used the bone folder to make the crease. In Martha's tutorial she tells you to flip the paper over and alternate which side you crease. That way you fold the paper towards the crease you made with the bone folder. We found that it will fold either way fine, it doesn't need to fold only towards the crease you make. We made all the creases on one side and folded in back and forth and it looks fine. Having to turn the paper over and make marks on both sides was an un-nessasary step in our opinion.
Mr. Castle lines up the ruler.
Then uses the bone folder to make the crease.

I finally got to help by folding the paper!
 Nice and even!
 Halfway there!

Next we needed to mark where we would punch the holes that the ribbon would go through. Mr. Castle took and extra piece of card stock and made a jig of sorts to mark the hole. He lined it up and penciled in the circle. This way each hole was in the same spot on each fold.
Then we got to punching some holes!

Poor Mr. Castle was getting hand cramps at this point, so I took over. I threaded some ribbon through the holes and got an idea of how long it should be. Once I had my first ribbon cut I used it as a template to cut the rest of the ribbon strips. 
Then I ran out of ribbon, so I will have to make a run to Michaels before I can put this on the "done" list... but I did complete one escort card holder by threading the ribbon through both sides and tying off the edges.
I'll cut the frayed edges to make them look better when we get closer to the wedding. I think it looks pretty good! It was a little time consuming, but really only took an evening to complete. I think all the repeated movements, folding, punching, threading made it feel longer than it actually was. We did have 12 to make! All the work was totally worth it. I can't wait to see our "ticket" escort cards proped up in these!

Did you make your own escort card holder? How did it turn out?

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