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Cape Images: Frequently asked questions about ordering

About ordering
    Cape Images specializes in creating custom designs for the events that are extra special for families, schools, and businesses. Our online order forms include a "Special instructions" area where you can describe in detail what you're looking for.

    Unlike many other online firms, we don't limit you to a handful of designs, or only so many characters per line, etc., etc. We'll design a unique product for you, and send you a proof via email so you have final say over how it looks.

    This page includes detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions about our ordering process, design and delivery.

What events can I use your products for?
Can you do custom designs?
Can you put a photograph on the product?
Why do you have a "design charge"?
Do I need a box to mail a bottle?
Can you assemble my message?
Can I assemble my own message?
Can you address and mail my order?

Can I fit a response card in a bottle?
How do I choose type faces for my order?
Do you require a minimum order?
Will I get a proof of my order?
What payment methods do you accept?
How long does an order take?
How do you ship?
What if I have other questions?

What events can I use seed packets for?
   Just about anything! Personalized seed packets make wonderful favors for wedding receptions, birthday parties, retirement celebrations, baptisms or Christenings. Use them to announce any event or hand them out as party favors.
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Do you do custom designs?
   Absolutely!!! We can create a design to fit any occasion. Our creative production staff will happily assist you in turning your ideas into reality. Browse our products pages to see some examples.
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Can you put a photograph
or logo on the product?
   Yes, if you have a scanned or digital photograph, send it to us by email at and we can incorporate it into a personalized design. If you don't have a digital image, mail us a photograph and we'll scan it for you and return the photograph unharmed with your order.
   Go to our mailing address.
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Why do you have
a "design charge"?
   Every order we fill is unique, designed to meet the needs of each customer and your once-in-a-lifetime event. Our designers put their time and talent to work for your order. This is creative work that has to be done whether you order one or 1,000 copies. Our rate is the same whether we're adapting a standard template to fit your information, or starting from scratch with a custom layout.
   We also send you a proof by email and make any changes or corrections you request. So most products include a one-time $9.95 design charge that's independent of the quantity ordered. The price "per item," which is shown separately, reflects the cost of materials, printing, assembly, etc.
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Do I need a box to mail
a Message in a Bottle?
   No! The bottle is the mailer, guaranteeing that your guests will immediately see your rolled-up "message" invitation through the durable clear vinyl. You apply a mailing label and postage stamps directly on the side of the bottle and it's ready for the Post Office.
   For overseas mailing, however, foreign postal regulations do require the bottle to be enclosed in a cardboard box. We can supply these mailers when necessary -- but they ARE NOT needed for U.S. Mail.
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  To save time, can you
assemble my message?
   We can do it all, sending you completely assembled Message in a Bottle invitations ready to be mailed. We can even handle the addressing and postage for you. See the next question.
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To save money, can I
assemble my own message?
   You can order your Message in a Bottle invitations unassembled. We'll design, print and cut the message, and pre-cut the ribbon or twine. Then you can easily roll, tie and insert the message, closing it with a cork. Or you can order empty bottles and corks if you want to design and print your own message.
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Can you address and mail
my Message in a Bottle?
   Yes. This option is included in our price chart. You send us your guest list in an Excel spreadsheet, with the name, address, city, state and zip code in separate columns. We'll print the mailing labels, apply labels and postage to your bottles, and take your finished order to the Post Office. Or save both money and trouble by letting us print your labels for you to apply yourself.
   If you need to add more names after we've printed your labels, we can prepare more for a small manual handling charge.
   For details, see Prices chart.
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Can I put a response card
in a Message in a Bottle?
   Because it has to be rolled to fit into the bottle, we recommend a postcard style R.S.V.P. card. We print these on stiff card stock that can easily be unrolled for mailing. It's not practical to use a response card that fits inside an envelope because it can't be rolled neatly. We put a postcard stamp on the response card when we assemble your Message in a Bottle order.
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How do I choose type
faces for my product?
   Our artists draw from a large library of type fonts to produce our designs. The most popular and versatile type faces are shown on our Available Fonts list, for those situations where a customer wants a specific look, or needs to match an order with other products from other sources. In most cases, our artist will recommend fonts and submit a finished design to the customer for approval at the proof stage.
   If you do want to specify a font, make a note in the "special instructions" portion of the order form. Don't see the font you need? Ask us! Chances are we have it, or something very similar.
   For more information, Go to font list
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  Do I have to order
a minimum quantity?
   For seed packets, the normal minimum order is 500 pieces. Smaller quantities are available, but with a $75 "under minimum" charge.
   Birchcraft invitations and related stationery items are typically priced in increments of 25 pieces.
   There is no minimum for our "Message in a bottle" invitations. You can order one or 1,000. Larger orders cost less per unit.
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Will I get a proof of my
order before it's printed?
   We email a digital proof of every message in a bottle and seed packet for your approval before we print. For invitations and other cards from our Birchcraft line, proofing is done online as part of the ordering process. You can experiment with wording, layout and fonts and get instant proofs until you are satisfied and submit your order.
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What payment methods
do you accept?
   We accept Master Card, Visa, AMEX, Discover, personal or business checks, and money orders. Checks must clear before we can begin work on your order. So if time is short, credit card payment is preferable. Checks or money orders should be mailed to:
   Cape Images
   5621 Athens Lane
   Wilmington, N.C. 28405-3716.
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How long does it take
to get my order delivered?
   We ask that you allow 10 to 14 business days to receive your order. If you waited until the last minute to place an order, please give us a call and we will do our best to get your order to you in time for your event. A "Rush" charge of $10 may apply if we need to design your product ahead of customers who ordered earlier. Note that orders paid by check will be delayed until the check clears.
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How do you ship?
   Orders are shipped via UPS. You may choose ground, second-day air or next-day air shipping, but we normally recommend ground. For most locations on the East Coast, ground shipping is just as fast as second day air -- and costs a lot less. But if necessary to meet a tight deadline for your event, we suggest that you do choose UPS air shipping. All UPS shipments are guaranteed and trackable. Samples are usually sent by U.S. Mail.
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What if I have any
other questions?
   Just ask! You can give us a call toll-free at 1-888-755-0550. Normal business hours are 9-5 Eastern Time M-F. Or email us at

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