Pi Day Birthday Party Invitation

March 21, 2014, In: Entertaining, Hand Lettering

Last Friday, March 14th, was ‘Pi Day’ (March 14 or… 3.14 or… pi, get it?!). If you love all things math and science, that’s a pretty cool thing. My sister Marie happens to be one of those people. Her birthday also happens to fall on that day.

This year was her 40th and we knew we had to do something spectacular. I was in-between terms at the college where I teach and I decided to surprise her with a visit. That’s when my other sister Sharleen suggested a pi, or PIE theme party.

She had me at pie.

And oh, she asked, could you bake the pies. Maybe between five or six of them? I have a crazy family. I said yes, which must make me crazy too (we’ll share the pies in another post).

But first, we needed an invitation.

40th Birthday Invitation

I needed to figure out a way to tie pi, pie and 40th birthday all together. Hmmm, I needed to doodle.

pi invitation roughs

I decided on the ‘Happy Birthday’ song but replaced ‘birthday’ with ‘pi day’ and shaped it like pie. I sketched everything out in pencil.

pi day pencil

Using tracing paper, I traced over my pencil sketch in pen. I wanted the lines to be sharp. I could have brought the sketch into Illustrator and traced the lines in vector, but I wanted to maintain a hand-drawn look. Somewhere along the way I decided the pie needed a birthday candle. What’s a birthday pie without a candle?

pi drawing pen

I scanned the inked drawing and saved it as a bitmap. In inDesign, I placed a background chalkboard texture. Over that, I placed my scan and set the fill color to white. I turned the opacity down to about 90% so just a bit of the chalkboard would show through. I wanted the line ‘Happy Pie Day Dear Marie’ to jump out a bit because I wanted people to see her name and that part of the drawing was representing pie filling. So I duplicated the scan and adjusted the picture box so only that line showed, then I set the fill to yellow.

The inside of the invitation I decided to keep simple. I had played around with the idea of an equation and decided that could work. I kept it simple since we had a couple tricky details we wanted to make sure people saw… the party was going to be on 3.15 (not 3.14) and it was a surprise.


It worked, Marie was totally surprised and everyone showed up on the right day!

pi invite

Salute, Denise

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Denise + Sharleen

Two sisters dedicated to living a creative and inspired life. Our goal is to share fresh ideas, connect with like-minded people, teach something new, and bring beauty to everyday moments.

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