Pumpkin Birthday Invitation

I designed this invitation for a twin first birthday party! They were born at the end of November and their mother, Jenny, was inspired by all the fall colors, leaves, and of course pumpkins!

This was my first official invitation design job. Jenny asked me months ago about work for her twin daughters’ first birthday party. At the time, I had signs in mind, but when I asked her about it recently, she started sending me invitation ideas and this project was born — so to speak. She sent me several images of examples of what she was looking for and we discussed colors and content.


I sketched up the design quickly one night on piece of lightweight marker paper over a piece of graph paper so I could use the lines as a reference while placing the design. I made it true to size to begin with  and started playing around with watercolor. Of course, we needed two pumpkins and I wanted them to be similar to each other, but not exactly the same. I wanted the color to be vibrant enough to be visible, but not so saturated that it interfered with legibility. Truth be told, I had to search for images of autumn leaves to see how they are shaped and what colors they turn. There are some great photographers out there who capture the beauty in nature simply and skillfully. The photo I referenced most was titled “Subtle Changes” by Jacky Parker.

As for the lettering, Jenny wanted a loose cursive for the calligraphy. I lettered in the basic party information with the intent to erase it and just type it in, but I liked what I came up with and just left it. I will probably play around with text later on. Possibilities are endless with font. I then scanned each piece into the computer.

ink sketch

I kept the watercolor piece and the inked letter piece separate for a few reasons. If I know me, there is a wide margin for error with mixed media that I have limited experience with. Keeping them separate allowed me to be flexible with editing both now and maybe down the road. It also made the lines clear and I was able to manipulate the text a bit. I made the invitations a size that would fit two on one sheet of paper — ivory cardstock — and left the crop lines in so that the person making the prints would know where to cut the bleed off.

watercolor leaves

I had 2 extra printed — one for each twin’s keepsake. I also addressed the envelopes for each invitation. I continued the theme of loose calligraphy and handwritten capitals and we chose white ink. It was a pleasure to finally see the finished product all put together and delivered. I was very happy with the invitations and she was ecstatic.

final invitation