How I Design a Party Kit Collection + The Mermaid Style Guide

Today I'm excited to share a peek behind-the-scenes of my design process! Designing an entire printable party kit collection involves a lot of moving parts, but I've developed a system to keep all my inspiration organized and the collections cohesive. Behind the scenes of a stationery designer

If you've been following the blog for the last few months, you've probably noticed the World of Color Wednesday inspiration boards. I start each collection by creating one of those inspiration boards to curate all the images and details that could be included. The key is looking for small details, like the clam shell chairs in Ariel's Undersea Adventure, or the flower frequently seen in Ariel's hair. You can learn more about how I create an inspiration board here.

Next I step away from the computer and start hand-drawing different ideas. This helps me think out of the box to come up with original, never-seen-before ideas. The clam shell image you see started as a sketch that I scanned into my computer then traced digitally in Adobe Illustrator.

The first collection piece that I create is the invitation because that is the very heart of the party. It's the first interaction that guests have; the first impression of what's to follow. It's an opportunity to end up on the fridge or in the dreaded pile-of-forgotten-mail. I want your party to be remembered!

Once the invitation is finalized, I create a style guide with the key elements of the design. If you've seen style guides for brands before, this is very similar! My style guides include the fonts, colors, patterns, and key design elements that will be repeated throughout the remainder of the collection. This is my constant companion while designing the rest of the collection, to make sure everything works well together and each design element is well represented.

For the remaining pieces in the collection, I use a template I created in Adobe Illustrator to make sure the sizes for each piece are accurate and to save time recreating each piece. Before I call the collection "complete", I print off every piece and personally test them by cutting them out and assembling each design. Once each piece gets my stamp of approval, I create an overview image and share the new collection with the world!

I hope this helps you get a better idea of how to design a complete party collection. It's something I am super passionate about and feel so lucky to call it my job!

You can find the Mermaid Party Kit seen above in my Etsy shop, Enchanted Type!

How I Create an Inspiration Board from Disney

Something I've been drawn to since I was a child is theming. I hand wrote dictionaries of Harry Potter words before wikis. I created Halloweenteen newsletters using characters and colors from the popular Disney Channel movie. A cohesive theme with the right colors, patterns and imagery makes my heart sing. One of my favorite parts about Disney are the worlds they create with such attention to detail. While this is seen in many Disney movies, it's also found when visiting Disney Parks around the world. The Imagineers do an amazing job theming each land, from the ride queues to the trash cans, to fully immerse you into the experience. When you enter Adventureland, you feel like you have jumped aboard a jungle cruise ship and escaped to a far away exotic land.

How to Create Inspiration Board from Disneyland

It's so easy to draw inspiration from the themed lands and rides of Disneyland to decorate your home or next party. I thought it would be fun to show you how I draw inspiration from Disney for my designs by giving you a peak behind-the-scenes of my design process.

I start by paying attention to the small details of an area in Disneyland, and take a LOT of pictures. When drawing inspiration from a Disney movie, I spend time re-watching the movie, taking notes and frequently pausing to find quotes or specific design elements that I can pick out (for example: the colorful stacked tea cups from Alice in Wonderland). I will either sketch out an image from the movie, or find a screenshot online of that particular element. I also like to play the soundtrack from that particular movie while designing, because who needs an excuse to listen to Disney music??

Photos from Disney in Lightroom

From there, I gather the key imagery onto an inspiration board, editing photos for a cohesive look. I use the inspiration board to pull colors, match cohesive fonts and create unique design elements. This board acts as a style guide for everything I design in the collection, from the invitation to the coordinating art prints and paper goods (more on that in a later post).

While I love to create designs inspired by Disney, that's where it stops. My goal is create unique designs that are a modern take on the classics. Disney does such a great job creating their own products. I love creating something different that you can't find anywhere else!

I hope that by sharing my inspiration boards, it will spur ideas for your next project or party. Check back every Wednesday for a new inspiration board from a different adventure or fairy tale.  Next week: the completed Grizzly Peak inspiration board!

Get ready for World of Color Wednesday! For those of you unfamiliar, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was a broadcast television series that showcased the new technology of color television. Today, Disney California Adventure plays tribute to that part of Disney history with a spectacular nighttime entertainment show featuring jets of water, lights, lasers and of course music. My own way to pay tribute to the show is by creating a color board every week, inspired by a different land from Disney Parks or character from Disney films. Join me every Wednesday in celebrating the Wonderful World of Color!

How to Print Digital Cards at Home

As the unofficial month of love approaches, I am getting giddy to share my first art print collection with you all. But in the meantime, make sure you check out the digital Valentine card options now available in the shop! They are easy to download, print and spread the love this season as many times as you need, all for the price of a coffee or two! How to Print Digital Cards at Home

For those of you unfamiliar with downloading digital cards, here's a look at how your card can come to life in just 5 minutes:

When you find the perfect card on Etsy, download and save the file to a location you are familiar with on your computer (NOT a smart phone or tablet!). All of my listings include a PDF 8.5 x 11 inch file. Use Adobe Acrobat to open the files on your computer, which is available to download for free here!

Pug Loaf Card Print Screenshot

Open the file using Adobe Acrobat, then click File -> Print. Every print screen looks a little different, but the most important part is to choose None for Page Scaling (see in the picture above).

Pug Loaf Card PrintedPug Loaf Card Printed Closeup

I typically use Superfine White Cover Cardstock paper from Paper Source. but any premium paper will work Use scissors or a paper cutter to cut the card down to 10" by 7" using the dashed line.

Pug Loaf Card Cutout

Now simply fold the card in half and pop in an A7 envelope!

Pug Loaf Card Final

Some people don't have a love-love relationship with their home printer. If that's the case, bring these files to your favorite printer, like Costco, Walgreens, Kinko's or support your local print shop! You may have a favorite online printer too, just make sure to plan ahead for shipping time to send out your Valentines on time.

Chloe the Pug Loaf

Chloe is very "excited" to be featured on this Valentines card. Those of you that are pug owners or lovers are probably familiar with the pug loaf comparison. We frequently say Chloe is "baking in the oven" or "rising to perfection". Maisy doesn't share Chloe's excessive skin situation (thank goodness); we often compare her to a bean. Maisy makes an excellent Easter bunny... (can you guess what's coming soon??)

Have a little one with a class Valentine's party? Make sure you check out the kids-size option, also now available in my Etsy shop.

And before you go, I'm excited to announce the official launch date of my first art print collection... Tune in on February 2nd for the grand reveal! There is lots of pug and Disney goodness that I am SO excited to share with you all!