Combining wax, an iron, and a hammer to make this invitation isn’t as scary as it sounds. Using melted wax and parchment paper, you can add a personal image to the back of an otherwise plain invitation. Doing so not only saves a ton on printing costs, but it also creates a completely personalized design that you can’t find anywhere else.
All you’ll need to make this paper suite is pocketfold invites, rubber stamps, and double-sided tape. We love the bride’s creative use of stamps — she includes a primer on how to select and ink them properly.
LOCAL PRINTING: When it comes to short run printing, the local option is my favorite option. Local print shops may not be able to match the price of many online vendors, but you get to have more of a hand in the process, and therefore a little more control over the end result. Some will even let you bring in your own paper, and most will let you use their paper cutters for free (sometimes even if you haven’t printed anything through them). Unfortunately, not all local shops are created equal—some FedEx Office shops are great, others not so much. You’ll need to do your due diligence to find a good match. InkerLinker is also a good place to find amazing, non-FedEx print shops near you.
Here’s a look inside the butterfly-accented wedding invitation. The pocket cards that hold the invitation and inserts were purchased from Paper and More, while the accommodation cards, response cards, and direction cards were all handmade.
Hearne writes, “My invitations were one of my favorite DIY projects from our wedding, and since they were one of the first things I finished, they served as a starting point for the rest of my wedding design.”
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This wedding invitation by Meagan Hearne is ideal for a rustic, romantic affair. What sets it apart is its hand-drawn look, which was created using “KG Eyes Wide Open,” a free font, and an illustrated wreath stamp.
There’s enough variety in paper types, weights, and finishes to make your head spin and keep you busy for weeks. Here’s the basics on what you need to know for choosing what paper you’ll print your DIY wedding invitations on.
This pastel-hued paper suite featured on Michelle Gardella was a true collaborative effort. The bride, Ester, worked with Etsy seller Designs by XO to custom design the invitation using inspirational images that she had pulled from the Internet.
If your wedding falls more on the formal side, then this invitation featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper is definitely for you. Using different hues of purple and monogram stamps, you can create an invitation that is unique, but still conforms to classic traditions.
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Using stamps and embossing powder, the images really pop; finishing touches include the doilies and the silk flowers placed at the top.
However, if a paper cutter sounds like a useful thing that has a place in your office, buy it! You don’t need to shell out $100 for a good one. This $25 trimmer has been a great little workhorse for me for about four years now, through invitations, photo albums, and many, many other late night print jobs.
Paper cutting: The Internet loves to tell you that if you are doing your own DIY wedding invitations, you need to invest in a professional paper cutter, or at least a rotary cutter, along with a tape gun, and the list goes on. You can skip this by ordering paper that’s cut to size—always double check to make sure you can print said format of course—and skipping any taped on embellishments. I promise, a fancy invitation need not have three layers of cardstock and the ability to stand on its own.
Weight: Paper thickness is measured by weight. The higher number you see, in pounds, on the packaging label, the thicker your paper is. This doesn’t mean you have to find the thickest paper you can—most card stocks are a great weight for invitations and can hold up to being mailed.
February 20, 2015January 15, 2018Posted in: DIY, Invitations & Printables, Plan, Wedding Invitations
Swoon-worthy invitations that are easy to create? Definitely a “do!”
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Designing Your Own: If you’re choosing to design your own DIY wedding invitations, you probably have a good idea of what you’re hoping it will look like. You might even have a grasp of some of the skills you’ll be bringing to the table to make that vision a reality. Or, you’re hoping to learn a little more about the process and designing in general. Or maybe you just want to get a little crafty. All of these reasons, and more, are good reasons to do your own invites. We’ve got a whole bunch of extra tutorials, in case you want to brush up on a few skills before you put proverbial pen to paper.
The blogger behind depressioneradarlings couldn’t afford the professional wedding invitations that she wanted, so she took the project into her own hands and only spent $2.30 per invite! This tutorial takes a little more time and patience, but the work definitely pays off.
AT-HOME PRINTING: By far the most accessible, this is easiest option for tackling the project in smaller chunks on weeknights rather than spending hours in a studio or waiting at a print shop. However, you should test paper before buying a ton of it, printers can be especially finicky, and your can’t exactly change the ink your printer uses. If your printer isn’t higher end, you may have very limited paper options. Here’s a little more on at-home printing.
The bride designed the “album” cover with a friend and screenprinted the RSVPs, which served as a game of Mad Libs.
This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.
This adorable DVD wedding invitation by Red Prairie Press will definitely get your guests excited for the big day! This non-traditional option is best for couples who love to shoot home videos or those with a quirky sense of style.
Understanding layout styles A guide to programs for designing your invites An introduction to typography Wedding invitation wording samples
GOCCO: Gocco printing is a pretty, small-scale version of screen printing, which is why the Internet loves it so much. However, gocco is also an almost entirely dead art at this point, so if you’re taking it up simply for your invitation printing… maybe step back from the Internet for a week, and then decide. (Editor’s note: Both Meg and Maddie did this and… uh… probably wouldn’t advise it to anyone.) You can look up screen printers in your area for a similar style of printing, but it’s a pricier option, much like letterpress.
POSTAGE and Quantities: The number one tip you need when it comes to sending out your invites, is that your guest list number does not equal the number of invites your sending. Do the math on how many couples you have ahead of time, and you won’t make the common mistake of ordering about double the invites you need.
Wedding Window gives helpful pointers to ensure that your typography and spacing are picture perfect.
Then, she sent them to a printing company and made all of the finishing touches (including the custom postage stamps) using an assortment of affordable websites. The envelope addresses were printed at home using a free font that Ester found online.
With its white-on-white design, these invites featured on Polka Dot Bride are lovely for a wonderland wedding or for a bride with a classic sense of style. The flocked paper and buckle add a unique touch without being costly.
Attention to detail doesn’t have to require emptying out your pockets! These eye-catching invites we spotted on DIY Bride were made with card stock, an embossing folder, glue dots, Microsoft Word and a die-cutting machine.
These invitations created by a Weddingbee user couldn’t be more perfect for a destination wedding! The bride provides amazingly detailed step-by-step instructions and a price breakdown for each component of the paper suite. She even includes a section with photos that fans have sent in of their customized passport invitations inspired by her design.
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Packaging And Embellishments: If you’re adding embellishments, or you’re mailing more than just an invite plus an RSVP card (we opted to mail more info, because of the destination aspect), keep track of the weight of your invitation suite once it’s all packed up. Depending on its size, you may be facing more postage fees than a simple stamp will cover. You can get a postage estimate using a kitchen scale and checking on the USPS website. Through the USPS website I also learned that square invites and envelopes cost more in postage, by a significant amount. It’s not worth it.
For a semi-homemade approach, purchase a simple invitation set and then enhance it with unique, patterned accents! Color printing can be pretty costly, so this is a budget-friendly way to add a pop of color.
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(And obviously, if you designed or printed your own DIY Wedding invitations, share a picture in the comments, stat!)
Buying/Finding A Design: If you don’t have design experience, and you’re not fond of pushing images and text around on pages (aka, does the idea of designing a flyer for a Bake Sale or some other event excite you, or does it make you hide under your desk?), you’re going to need to find someone to design your DIY wedding invitations for you. Fear not! Thanks to the Internet (and Etsy, bless), there are tons of places to get an invitation design. Some are even our sponsors! Here’s a short list of places to check out.
These invitations will require a lot of patience and hours of assembly time, so make sure you plan accordingly if you decide to take it on.
Letterpress: The designer and paper lover’s dream, letterpress is visually lovely and highly coveted all over Pinterest. However, it is expensive because it is a fine art that requires some heavy machinery. Letterpress is the option to use when you want to support the artists making it, not because you think you should. Thomas Printers is a great option for people looking for letterpress invites on a reasonable budget. The other option to letterpress is to build your own, but you better have a serious love for the actual craft. The majority of your guests, sadly, won’t know or won’t care that your invites are letterpressed.
Printable Press e.m. papers Paper Source Minted Wedding Paper Divas Etsy Paper Choices For DIY WEdding INVITATIONS
ADDRESSES: You can choose to address your invitations by hand, or you can decide to print labels. Don’t let the WIC bully you into thinking your own handwriting isn’t good enough, or that the convenience of labels is tacky. As for the actual addresses, here are a few tips on how to address invitations formally, accounting for a whole host of last name conventions.
Elegant, romantic, classy…expensive? Nope — this elegant invitation was created using Microsoft Word, which you may already have and use on a regular basis.
All the basics to get you from start to finish without crying (too much)
One caveat: The tutorial warns not to press too lightly or too heavily on the stamps, or you could smudge the ink. Purchase extra card stock just in case!
Having an outdoor ceremony? This boho-chic invitation featured on Boho Weddings has a natural, organic feel to it.
These reception inserts were done on a home computer and printed out at Target for around $20.
As a graphic designer and someone who pulled out all the stops designing her own wedding invitations, believe me when I say you can make DIY wedding invitations as simple or as complicated as you want. A lot of people go into making their own invitations hoping to save money, but I’ll tell you up front: there are plenty of affordable places to get nice invites with less work than it will take you to DIY wedding invitations. However, if you have specific reasons to go DIY on your paper (like, you want to bring your specific idea to life, or you want to get creative) read on. (Fun fact: Every APW editor DIYed their wedding invitations, so we’ve got your back here.)
Wedding invitations are one of the most popular DIY projects that brides take on, either to save money (professional invites range from $1 to $10+) or create a one-of-a-kind design that guests won’t see anywhere else.
If you’re buying your own paper, you can find a good selection at local office shops when it comes to card stocks and glossy photo paper. However, if you’re looking for linens or specialty papers, you may have to go online. Always get a sample before buying a huge stack of paper, and do a test print, to make sure that whoever or where ever you’re printing from can actually use the paper you’ve selected with your design and medium. Here are a few other places to buy paper from.
There’s huge variety when it comes to the execution of DIY wedding invitations these days, so before you start buying paper or ink, you need to think about the final form of your invite: how will it look, and what process do you want to use to make it? Here are just a few options, and their pros and cons.
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This whimsical wedding invitation from Create and Babble was designed and put together by a mother of the bride for her daughter’s big day — talk about a labor of love! The butterfly cutout and pink vellum wrap sets the tone for a springtime wedding but we also think this design would work for a bridal shower as well.
This OnceWed tutorial is a great choice for an artsy bride who is looking to be a little more creative with her paper suite.
The die-cutting machine cuts through different material, from paper to cork, which gives your invitations an intricate look. You can also use it to make monogrammed items for your wedding or a photo scrapbook after the big day.
RSVPS: Whether you choose to include a card for your guests to drop in the mail, a phone number to call, an email address to reply to, or a website to visit in order to collect your RSVPs, prepare yourself to have to hunt down more than a few people, regardless of your chosen method. We saved paper by only sending physical RSVP cards to our older guests (i.e., those who do not, and never will, own a computer or a smart phone) because we knew we’d have to chase down responses anyway. So we saved a little bit of money where we felt it might be thrown away otherwise. Here are a few more tips for collecting RSVPs.
ONLINE PRINTING: There’s a pretty wide variety when it comes printing via online companies, so always make sure you can get a proof of your invitation. With some companies, that may cost extra, but it’s usually not very much. Much like with at-home printing, your paper options will usually be limited to whatever the company carries, and each company’s paper set is going to be slightly different. You can usually request paper samples for free. Here are a few companies I’ve used with good results:
Finish: Your paper finish will affect how you’re able to print and how much ink your invitation will take. Glossy papers take a lot more ink and longer to dry. Linen papers and papers with more texture have a much higher tendency to bleed, and so they won’t work with some at-home printers where you can’t change your ink settings. If you’re not interested in researching finishes because you’re not a weird nerd (like myself) who likes to feel on paper, a matte card stock is an easy, relatively foolproof option that will more than likely work for the printer you’re using.
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You’ll need a sewing machine, pinking shears, a corner rounder, and fabric of your choice to complete this project from Project Wedding.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite do-it-yourself invitation tutorials. Whether you’re interested in personalizing a basic paper suite or want to design one from scratch, there’s something for every skill set. Happy DIYing!
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Now that you’ve covered how you’ll be printing or creating your invite, let’s talk about how you’ll put your information together in a pretty way.