Homemade Baby Birth Announcements

Family and friends will be thrilled to see how special your child or grandchild's homemads baby birth announcement is.

Birth announcements are an important way to welcome your newborn into his life. Although he hasn't had much time to develop relationships, this tradition is a wonderful first step to bonding with extended family. Sending handmade greetings is a cinch with a few helpful hints on how to make a professional presentation.

Before you get started, make a list of who you'll be sending the announcement to. Knowing how many you need to produce will make it easier to determine the style and complexity of the card. If you're just sending out 25, you can get away with a time-consuming design. But if your list of closest friends and family adds up to 100 addresses, you'll do yourself good by thinking up a design that can be photocopied""or at least quickly reproduced.

Deciding whether you'd like an elegant polished piece or a more casual free-form note is next. This settles what paper to choose. No matter what style you're trying to achieve, heavy varieties of paper are the best medium. Card stock is particularly attractive for its rigid and finished quality. Cardboard, brown packaging, index cards and hand-pressed papers are some creative alternatives. You can browse all of your options at your nearest art, office and stationery supply store.

When designing your announcement, there are a few things you need to include. Having your child's birth certificate handy is helpful. All the birth statistics should be mentioned: date, time, weight, height""and most importantly""name.

These facts can be handwritten with fancy ink or printed up on your computer. Using cutout magazine letters in a ransom style is always a fun way to write""you can even use newspaper datelines from your baby's birthday. Or, if you feel up to the task, this is an excellent opportunity to refine your calligraphy skills.

Beyond that, you can get as creative as you like. Have baby's little sister announce his birth or even send the announcement directly from your family's new addition. Embellish the card with your child's first picture, decorative ribbons, foliage, stickers, buttons or magazine cuttings. Use stencils to make cutouts or line drawings.

Layered cards are very fashionable. Use a hole punch and ribbon, laces or jute to sew the layers of cards together. This technique can be better than using glue because it's more forgiving and less messy. For added interest use vellum, paper doilies or fabric. If you do plan to use fabric, be sure to use pinking shears or fabric glue to prevent raveling.

Complete your announcement with a decorated envelope. Plain stationery envelopes are available in a variety of colors and sizes to suit your needs. Take one design detail from the card and carry it over to the envelope. Sometimes just the color of ink used is enough to tie the stationery together.

Always remember less is more. Keeping it simple keeps it classy. An overabundance of decoration will create a sensory overload and distract from the focus: your new baby. So good luck and happy card making. May you enjoy this keepsake-quality record of your baby's birth forever""and congratulations on the new arrival!

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