It is my pleasure to introduce the WedLoft community to Benign Objects, the brainchild of a former college roomie, Rachel Wiles! Rachel is a truly creative “designaholic” who makes art and design look effortless. Her ‘Benign Objects’ include lovely wedding invitations and suites, collage artwork, and beautiful branding and business design!
Best of all— Benign Objects offers DIY options! Or as Rachel calls it: PIY! Ever dream of creating your own whimsical invitations but don’t have a clue where to start? Order an invitation suite from Benign Objects, ‘print-it-yourself,’ put the invitations together and admire with pride!
Benign Objects will also work with you on map/direction cards, table numbers, programs, food/drink labels, thank you notes and much more. The PIY option is Benign Objects’ effort to make great design affordable to brides within any budget.
I could go on and on about Rachel & her Benign Objects, but instead I will share with you one of my favorites—her cotton Save the Dates! Love!
Rachel: I wanted to create a keepsake, something beyond the usual Save the Dates. In fact, ‘Things We Keep’ was sort of the theme behind my wedding, and was carried through everything from the ceremony to the details. It was inspired by recurring thoughts of my deceased grandmothers and the things I keep that were theirs: a sewing kit from my Mamaw, bits of fabric and beads from my Granny’s nightgowns and old necklaces.
I wanted everything to have a treasured feel—something cozy and warm that inspires memories. Fabric emerged as a common bond between them. The use of our silhouettes as a design element was inspired by these cheesy plastic courting-couple silhouettes my Mamaw had on her guest bedroom walls. When I look at them now, they’re pretty awful, but as a kid I found them fascinating and would lie in bed and stare at them until I fell asleep.
I spent about a month scouring and collecting vintage handkerchiefs from EBay, which I then had to wash and iron to prep them for printing. I ended up printing the handkerchiefs myself using the Yudu, a home screenprinting kit I got at Michael’s. If I had to do it over again, I’d farm this part out to a ‘real’ screenprinting shop.
Once the handkerchiefs were printed, they were ironed again and attached with ribbon to a card I had custom printed on both sides. One side featured a red pattern. I put the white handkerchiefs against that pattern for the men to whom we sent the Save the Dates (you know, for a more manly look); women and couples got a more ornate/flowery handkerchief tied against the lovebird background.
The whole thing was stuffed in an envelope and sealed with a custom label and sent on its merry way. They were very well received, and since then I’ve helped several brides achieve the same sort of thing using their local resources and their own ingenuity.