Introduction: 35mm Film Save the Date

Picture of 35mm Film Save the Date

Please note: I'm not planning on getting married any time soon, but I'm thrilled to be able to share this idea/technique with folks who are!

Folks who gravitate towards older media (I am one of these folks) will always have a special place in their heart for things like film cameras and albums on vinyl. Using reloadable film canisters to send out "save the date" notices to your friends and family is not only an perfect way to show your love for whomever you're getting hitched to, but also for film.

These require some items you may not have around the house and take some time to design and put together, but in then end they're really worth it. The same technique could be used for a number of applications (moving or birth announcements, holiday greetings, or invites to any sort of super awesome gathering - even for the big day itself).


If you have any questions, need any advice/assistance, or would rather someone whip these puppies up for you feel free to comment, or shoot me a note here or on Twitter.

Step 1: You'll Need. . .

Picture of You'll Need. . .
  • Reloadable film canisters (one per "save the date" needed - they are sold individually as well as in multiples and are available in metal or plastic)1
  • Transparency film (make sure to get the right kind for your printer) - you'll need one sheet for each 5 "save the date"'s2
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Computer with photo editing program (and text editing program if you want to also make labels) and printer
  • Tape
  • Superglue, hot glue, or epoxy
  • Stickers/labels (optional) - Avery 5360 fits the outside of the canisters rather well
  • Small padded mailing envelopes (I used these)
1 I love B&H for these, but lots of other places online also carry them (B&H has them individually and in lots of 100). If you are going to order from B&H, please remember that their website does not allow online ordering on the Sabbath
2 You can use paper instead if you prefer - either plain or fancy

Step 2: Set 'Em Up

Picture of Set 'Em Up
  1. Disassemble your film cartridges and measure the inner spool (most are just a smidge under an inch and a half, but it's better to be safe than sorry)
  2. Create a new file in your photo editing program that measures 11" x 1.38" (assuming your paper is standard (8.5" x 11") sized)
  3. Design your "save the date" notice making sure to leave at least 3" on the left side blank (this portion will be hidden inside the film canister) and leave .25" blank on the right side so that it won't get cut off when you print them. You can use whatever sorts of text or images you'd like and play with the opacity, etc. to get the look you think is best1
  4. In order to use fewer sheets of paper, create a new file that measures 11" x 8.5" 2 and replicate your completed design to fill the sheet
  5. Save the file as a PNG
1 The "film strip" design I created is attached here as a PDF, but it will need to be modified some to be used here (I've also attached a PDF with the leader countdown numbers that I used). In terms of images, I used a very tight shot of a kiss, text, and the leader countdown numbers (for motion picture film) - photos of you and your intended would also be a great idea.
2 In Photoshop, you'll want to go to Image --> Canvas Size. . . - I'm not sure where it is in GIMP, but there should be a similar option

Step 3: Print, Cut, and Tape

Picture of Print, Cut, and Tape
  1. Print one copy of the file for your awesome "save the date" on your transparency film or selected paper
  2. Make adjustments to the file (opacity, etc.) if needed
  3. Print out as many as you need
  4. Cut apart each of the strips using scissors or a paper cutter
  5. Open one of your film canisters and locate the inner core
  6. Affix the "bare" end of the strip to the core using a small piece of tape
  7. Wrap the strip around the core once and affix with another piece of tape

Step 4: It's What's Inside That Counts

Picture of It's What's Inside That Counts
  1. Place the core with the transparency film back inside of the outer portion of the cartridge so that the "tail" portion is through the slot
  2. Hold the top of the core and carefully twist the cartridge so that the film is coiled inside, leaving about a half an inch sticking out
  3. Run a small bead of glue (BE CAREFUL not to glue the film to the outside or use too much glue) around the top of the cartridge and pop the top cap back on (this will help ensure they don't pop open while in transport)
  4. Use a small sticker to attach the end of the film to the outside of the cartridge (optional but suggested)

Step 5: Dressing Up the Exterior (Optional)

Picture of Dressing Up the Exterior (Optional)
If you don't like the look of the outside of your cartridges you can make stickers to cover them
  1. Using Microsoft Word or a similar program, locate the label preset for a 2.8" x 1.5" labels (Avery 5360) (a Word document with the template is attached)
  2. Design a label (sticking to text is probably best, and when laying it out make sure to consider how it will wrap around the canister)
  3. Position your text/images on the labels in a manner you find pleasing - if you want the text to be vertically as opposed to horizontally, go to Format --> Text Direction. . .
  4. Print!
  5. Peel and stick onto the canisters
Alternately, you can do it the "hard way" (I opted for this way):
  1. Create a new file in your photo editing program that measures 2.8" x 1.5"
  2. Design a label (sticking to text is probably best, but you can also make it look like an actual film canister if you'd like and when laying it out make sure to consider how it will wrap around the canister)
  3. Save as a JPG
  4. Import this into Word (using the template provided here) by selecting Insert --> Photo --> Picture From File. . .
  5. Resize the image if needed, and copy and paste into each of the label spots
  6. Print!
  7. Peel and stick onto the canisters

Step 6: Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

Picture of Signed, Sealed, Delivered!
  1. Package each cartridge up (small padded envelopes work well and according to my local USPS branch it would cost $1.71 per to send them in the U.S. and slightly more for international postage)
  2. Address and add postage
  3. Send them off to all your friends and family
  4. Await calls, emails, and notes telling you how amazing, creative, and fun they are and how they can't wait to attend your special day and see what other tricks you've got up your sleeve!
If you have any questions, need any advice/assistance, or would rather someone whip these puppies up for you feel free to comment, or shoot me a note here or on Twitter.

Comments

AnnaZ26 made it! (author)2016-11-02

Hej, you can bay her https://www.etsy.com/listing/470318370/original-a...

or mw-reklama.pl :)

Danielalisset (author)2016-08-07

hello my name is Daniela Villalta. I was wondering if you can do this for me? I'm throwing a surprise birthday party for my boyfriend. The theme I'm doing is film. These is an amazing film invitation. Is there any way you can do them for me? How much would you charge for 40? My email is danielavillalta13@yahoo.com

TashMelville (author)2016-02-26

Hi Good Day,

Would you be able to make 75 of these for my wedding?

Thank you very much for your interest.
Unfortunately due to work and personal commitments, I'm not sure that I
would be able to assist you with this. Please do let me know if you have
any questions, and I'd be happy to help as much as possible.

Francescamassive (author)2015-07-15

Good morning, I would love to order these from you. I require 400 units to the UK.

Would you be able to facilitate this?

Do you ship to the UK?

At what total cost?

Thanks in advance,

Francesca

Hello, I make these for save the dates, weddings and birthdays for my customers on request. You can email me if you are still looking ?

Gtereza21 (author)Paperlilies2015-08-22

Can you email me? I can't figure out how to email from here.
Gtereza21@yahoo.com

I am based in the UK

Thank you very much for your interest. Unfortunately due to work and personal commitments, I'm not sure that I would be able to assist you with this. Please do let me know if you have any questions, and I'd be happy to help as much as possible.

Gtereza21 (author)2015-08-01

You should don these for people. Unfortunately I am not very crafty so this is too complicated for me! I wish I could do this!

Gtereza21 (author)Gtereza212015-08-01

Are you available to still do these?

Paperlilies (author)Gtereza212015-08-17

Hello, I make these for save the dates, weddings and birthdays for my customers on request. You can email me if you are still looking ?

shesparticular (author)Gtereza212015-08-01

Unfortunately due to personal and work commitments probably not - did you have questions I could help with?

Gtereza21 (author)shesparticular2015-08-02

Aw well thanks anyways :) I will reach out for help!

nyatangapamela (author)2014-02-09

Thank you so much! I enjoyed making these. The feedback was amazing. I decided to leave mine with the original film brand showing rather than covering with our names. Thought it'd look more "retro". I can't wait til the wedding!

So glad they turned out well! Would love to see them!

hannahsmallming (author)2011-08-05

i like it~ so poetic~

Thanks!

sutek (author)2011-07-31

Fantastic invite idea. I believe the more trouble you go to with the invite the more likely people will make the effort to attend. I voted for you!!

shesparticular (author)sutek2011-07-31

Thanks so much!

fegundez1 (author)2011-07-23

you can put them into film canisters as well with another label for shipping/ safekeeping. you mam are surely very imaginative future coolest mom for sure!

shesparticular (author)fegundez12011-07-23

I opted not to use film canisters only because it would make the cost of shipping even higher, but if you had a way to hand deliver them I think that would be awesome!

xavec (author)2011-07-20

I have to say, I really love this :)

shesparticular (author)xavec2011-07-20

That is so nice of you, thank you!

ramhardikar (author)2011-07-19

Good one!

Thanks!

ynze (author)2011-07-16

Very smart!

shesparticular (author)ynze2011-07-16

Thanks so much! Please feel free to rate and vote :)

ynze (author)shesparticular2011-07-16

I did already. Both :D

shesparticular (author)ynze2011-07-16

Thank you!

whatsisface (author)2011-07-16

Brilliant! Super-original and much more personal than a standard MS Publisher/etc invite!

Thank you so much! I think they turned out great and am so glad folks like them!

Ninzerbean (author)2011-07-15

Wonderful!

You're so nice - thank you!

mikeasaurus (author)2011-07-15

so creative!

Coming from you that is such a tremendously huge compliment - thank you!!

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