Vintage Americana Baby Shower Invite

I had the honor of designing a very special baby shower invite for my dear friend, Kelly. We were in design school together and nearly spent every day together in class, but didn’t become good friends until a few years after graduation. Needless to say, with a shared love of design, fine papers, and the meaningful thought that goes into the details … I wanted to make this invite very special.

Kelly’s nursery theme was “Vintage Americana” so we (the hostesses) decided that would be the shower theme as well. Too fitting if you know Kelly! She is expecting a boy and so I kept the font choices masculine, classic, with a nostalgic nod to the type treatments of vintage war posters. The more I designed, the more fun I had. I turned to the invitation style of today’s modern weddings with varying sized cards typically stacked in the envelope with different information on each sheet. This layered-paper approach gave me freedom to add lots of detail without getting cluttered. I used various papers of the same hue from my stash of sample sheets from various projects over the years. This was a great exercise in creativity.

Here is a little peek into how this invite came to  be …

I created a “3” card that was a mini-flashcard style to sit at the top of my stack, with the look of a hand-stamped number “3.” The answer to the fill in the blank of “Baby” reads on the backside of the card along with her registry information, a fun additional lesson, and lyrics to a school yard song. Next in the lineup was a vintage linen postcard that I purchased from the Flea Market. The idea behind the postcards was to create a “Greetings from” postcard collection from around the United States. This would serve as her “Blessings” book and it would allow ALL of her invitees to participate even if they couldn’t be there in person to sign a guestbook. Each postcard was stamped with these fun set of 50 Greetings from State Stamps on Etsy. Next was the “We Want YOU” card, clearly inspired by the War enlistment posters. This was the perfect place to list the hostesses, or “sponsors.” I used two vintage illustrations from books passed on to me by my mother-in-law. The illustration with Christopher Robin and a very vintage-style Pooh is from the sweet little book When We Were Very Young. And the adorable marching children carrying the flag is by Genevieve Foster 1939, Stories of Early America. The Mail Ticket tag came next, and it was a nod to vintage Air Mail and Postal documents, and this card served as the instructions for recipients on what to do with the vintage postcard. Each recipient was instructed to write their blessings, well wishes and encouragements to her on the postcard and drop it in the mail to be received by her in the days leading up to the shower. **Side note, the mommy-to-be, Kelly, has absolutely loved receiving all the vintage postcards in the mail.** Last, but not least comes the Invitation card. I have a small collection of vintage Dick and Jane flashcards that I used in my daughter’s nursery, and so I used those as my inspiration for the invite card. I combined the style of the word flash cards with the addition flash cards to create “1+1=baby.” I coffee-stained each of the cards to age them before printing them. I wanted the invitation wording to look like someone just used an old flashcard and “wrote in” the information with their fine penmanship. To keep all the elements secure, I used red and blue rubber bands alternately between invites. Kelly’s invitation was adorned with real vintage stamps to complete the look.

Kelly never ceases to amaze me with her reactions. I was on the phone with her as she opened the invite and sweetly marveled at the details. It makes everything worth it when you know you made someone feel loved with a design you created just for them. I cannot wait for the day of her shower to arrive to celebrate this big milestone with my friend.