94: Papel Picado

Finished invite met with rave reviews from the guests.
Finished invite met with rave reviews from the guests.

I can happily announce after a whirlwind weekend that my dear friend Laura is now a Mrs!  Which means I get to show you the invitations and decorations.

My shoe sketch
My shoe sketch

Laura and I have been friends (and once even roommates successfully!) since our undergraduate days at Luther College.  The nice thing about working with Laura is that she trusts my design sense.  She basically asked for an invitation that had running shoes in it somewhere and that she really liked the look of papel picado.  Papel picado is a traditional paper craft of Mexico, with roots as far back as the Aztecs.  Artisans elaborately perforate pieces of tissue paper with chisels and the resulting designs are hung to celebrate festive events, such as Day of the Dead, Christmas, quinceañeras, and weddings.

Practice runs in the laser!
Practice runs in the laser!  Check back to Week 66 to see our tips on cutting paper!

The biggest challenge I had in designing the invites was balancing the full use of the background while making the design pronounced enough not to get lost.  Ryan’s designer eye helped with line thickness and consistency.  I thought dangling the pair of shoes jauntily from the ampersand added a nice sense of liveliness and fun to the invite, and we used the laser to full advantage with all those curves!

Invite mailing station
Invite mailing station – it was so fun to work with so much COLOR!  We mixed and matched envelopes, tissues and invites so nearly every one sent was a unique combination.
Mixed and matched colors made this very fun.
Mixed and matched colors made this very fun.
Decorations hanging from the gazebo were a nice touch (and the pommander was hanging in the center!). Photo courtesy of Jamie Wallace.
Decorations hanging from the gazebo were a nice touch (and the pomander was hanging in the center!). Photo courtesy of Jamie Wallace.

To continue the papel picado theme to the wedding itself, we purchased card stock in the matching colors (all from Paper Source!) and cut letter sized flags to string around the gazebo.  Traditionally, papel picado are made of tissue so artisans can chisel many layers at a time, but I’m thankful we went with card stock – the wind would have shredded them to pieces!  They withstood the gusts and were able to be transferred to the reception site and used again.

And finally, I was tickled pink that the photographers liked the papel picado so much they incorporated it in to the photo shoots of the bride and groom.  Here’s to your hard won, 10 years in the making happily ever after, Laura and Jesus!

The happy couple. Photo courtesy of Jamie Wallace.
Photo courtesy of Jamie Wallace.

3 thoughts on “94: Papel Picado”

  1. the wedding stationery is amazing and such a great wedding photographer to think of incorporating them into the photographs. Looks like it was a cool wedding to be at. such a lucky couple.

    1. We were using thick cardstock, so to avoid any burn marks on the paper we didn’t stack any. We just laid four out as could fit on the bed and did one layer at a time.

      That said, we’ve layered thinner materials for other projects, but you run the risk of more noticeable burn marks between layers of material, and depending on how light it is, your exhaust might pull the layers apart or otherwise impede a clean cut.

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