This week I am sharing the French Queen Bee invitation I made for the very first My Favorite Things Party — Bee Theme Party Food Features Honey, Lemon.It was easy to come up with the theme, playing off the pronunciation of my name, Debbee. That’s also what led to the naming of this blog, Debbee’s Buzz.
The French part comes from several things. First, who doesn’t love Paris, the romantic sound of the language, and French food? Well I am a “yes” on all counts! Plus, I have many fond memories of two vacations that included extended stays in Paris. I’ve been fortunate to visit once when newly married with my husband, and another time on a family vacation with our sons.
While on the second trip, we went in search of a street named after a relative who was general to King Louis XIII. This would have been during the time of the Three Musketeers and the evil Cardinal de Richelieu. Ooh la la, I love history! It’s also neat that many of my French ancestral surnames begin with the letter ‘B.’
I’ve always loved to use the French fleur-de-lis and Napoleonic bee symbols or motifs in decor. Come see how I incorporated that vintage imagery into a queen bee theme invitation; using an off-the-shelf wedding kit.
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Start with a KitWhen I saw this wedding invitation kit (Hobby Lobby), I knew it would be perfect for the queen bee invitation. And it was on sale half off too!
Craft stores carry a variety of kits and you can almost always use a coupon — if they aren’t currently on sale. I’ve also seen discontinued wedding invitation kits in Michael’s clearance section. They almost always carry a plain, basic white or ivory kit. Other packages generally have a design motif or pattern that incorporates a single accent color.
- Wedding invitation kit (Hobby Lobby)
- Rubber stamps of bee, hive, crown, etc. with black & metallic gold ink (variety of craft stores)
- Graphic images (downloaded from The Graphics Fairy)
- HP laptop computer & printer
- Microsoft Publisher & Word software
The great part is that these invitation kit sheets are designed to print at home. A practice sheet or two is usually included, along with instructions on how to access online templates to download to your computer for personalization. Those templates incorporate wedding invitation text. But, that’s OK. The important part is that the template itself works with the different sized paper sheets and envelopes included in the kit.
I created my own art, text, font and layout in Publisher, within the wedding kit template. You can do the same in Word or another editor. All you need to create the template is to measure the size of the invitation sheet. Most are five by seven inches.
Graphics Fairy for Vintage, Free Images
For the imagery, I went to The Graphics Fairy website and searched for vintage bee, crown, wreath, frames and garden images. This is a fantastic site:
“Find over 5,000 FREE Vintage Stock images, Illustrations, Old Pictures, Antique Graphics, Vintage Printables, to MAKE craft projects, collage, DIY, scrapbooking, etc! DIY and Craft Tutorials, and Home Decorating Ideas…”
Here are some direct links to Graphics Fairy images I used on the Queen Bee invitation:
I combined the bumblebee with the crown and wreath images to create the design you see on the front side of the invite. Here it is with the scrollwork slip removed and details whited out.
For the reverse side of the queen bee invitation, I used a single vintage frame image.
So What’s the Buzz?
I used three different, standard fonts for the queen bee invitation — Algerian and Edwardian Script ITC on the front side, and Baskerville Old Face on the back. The front side provides the basic party information like date and time. It also says the gathering is a My Favorite Things Party (see How to Host an Extraordinary My Favorite Things Party (Part I).
Since none of my friends had never attended a My Favorite Things party — let alone know what it was — additional explanation was necessary on the reverse side of the invite.
I pretty much have stuck to this script for all four events. Just the play on words varies with the theme of the party. Here’s the back side of the invite for the third party,a Breakfast at Tiffany’s Theme Brunch.
By this year’s party the girls know the drill, so less explanation was necessary. They did elect to raise the dollar amount to $10 for the gift exchange. See DIY Alice in Wonderland Invitation.
Decorating the Outside of Invitation Envelopes
When I made the queen bee invitations, I had an old printer that could be temperamental. So, I hand-addressed the envelopes rather than running each through the printer. If I was to create the envelopes now, I would incorporate one of the many vintage bee images available from Graphics Fairy.
I didn’t use the printer for the envelops until the third, Brunch with Debbie party.
So, for the French queen bee theme party, I used rubber stamps to decorate the front and back of the invitation envelopes. Here’s the area for the return address.
I used black and metallic gold ink pads with the different stamps. Here’s the reverse side of the envelope.
Stamps were also used on the envelopes of the Pretty Peacock Invitation.
Scrollwork Makes Queen Bee Invitation Special
What really attracted me to the wedding invitation kit was the scrollwork. It reminded me of the decorative ironwork seen throughout Paris.
Another of my favorite things is the color combination of black and white — in home decor, clothing and even animals like pandas and penguins. The scrollwork sleeve just slips over the invitation sheet.
More scrollwork appears in the envelope lining. Along with the decorative sleeve, it really add a wow factor to the queen bee invitation. What do you think?
Unfortunately the black and white scrollwork invitation kit is not currently available. But, look at the floral kit I just found at Michael’s this week.
I think these flowered sheets would make a wonderful bee-themed party invite! In fact, if I was making a What Will It Bee baby shower or It Was Meant to Bee bridal shower invitation, I would definitely use this kit.
You could also easily use the same kit to recreate the look of the queen bee invitation; swapping out the scrollwork for the floral cutwork.
Elegant, Easy Invitation Has Parisian Feel
The fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily from the former royal arms of France. A number of historians think it may actually represent a bee. Do you see it?
Napoleon chose the bee as the emblem to represent his status as Emperor. It is a motif rich in meanings. Due to its industrious habits the bee has come to symbolise hard work, diligence, industriousness and orderliness. Because it is also the producer of honey, the bee also symbolises sweetness and benevolence.
Napoleon even affixed bees to his coronation robes. Did you know his nickname was “the bee?”
So with French heritage and the name Debbee, as queen bee for the party, I’m in pretty royal company!
Have you ever handmade party invitations?
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I regularly participate in: Tablescape Thursdays, Metamorphosis Mondays, Merry Monday, Celebrate & Decorate, Beautifully Made, Thursday Favorite Things, Best of the Weekend, Saturday Sparks, Dishing It & Digging It, and Snickerdoodle Sundays