Only one week left to enter our DIY Contest! Simply use an old/used item in a DIY project and send me 4-6 photos (600 pixels wide), instructions and a list of materials to amanda @ruffledblog.com. The first place winner will receive $500, and the second place winner a $100 gift certificate to Wendy Mink Jewelry, so get cracking!
Our next participant is Heather, who recycled vintage postcards and used them as save-the-date cards. She shares how she removed the ink on used postcards, but this can be a quick project if you have unused vintage postcards.
- Vintage postcards – they can be found at most antique stores…some searching is required, but that’s part of the fun. Postcards that have never been used are most desirable, but those are pretty hard to find, so those written on with ball point pen or pencil are best as a second choice.
- Rubber gloves
- Paper towels
- A pot used to boil water.
- Typewriter (optional).
The postcards before:
First, find your postcards. You may want to get a few more than you actually need. In doing this project I found that some of the postcards that looked like they would be the easiest to clean up were actually impossible to clean and were unusable. Save yourself a trip and just get a few extras at the beginning.
Secondly, the postcards need to be prepared. To remove the stamp: Boil water on the stove until it starts to steam. Hold the postcard over the steam to loosen stamp (this may take 5 minutes or so) and remove the stamp with tweezers. I suggest removing the stamps first so that you can avoid having the ink on your save the date message running!
Next, the postcards need to be cleaned of any old writing. Postcards that were written on with pencil are the easiest because they can usually just be erased. To remove ballpoint pen ink: put on rubber gloves, get out bleach, q-tips, and a paper towel which has been run under water and then rung out so that it is slightly damp. Dip one q-tip in bleach and run the q-tip along each line of text. The ink should start to disappear. After bleaching a few rows of text, wipe the postcard clean with the damp paper towel. Continue this process until the ink is gone. It may take a few swipes, and some ink may not come off at all. The postmark will not be removed, but I think having the old postmark is one of the best things about these save the date cards.
Finally, type out your message! You’ll need to keep it simple as there is not a lot of room on old postcards, but we were able to include all necessary information. The postcards don’t have to be typed out on a typewriter, although it does add to the authenticity of the postcards. I went out and bought a typewriter to do these save the dates because I knew I would use it in the future. Some libraries still provide usage of typewriters.
These save the date cards take time, but in my opinion, they’re worth it. Because most of them can be found for between 25 cents and 1 dollar they tend to be cheaper than normal save the dates, and they can be mailed for 28 cents instead of the usual 44 cents.