I don’t know if you know, but I have a feeling you won’t be surprised: I used to be a diehard scrapbooker. Creative Memories (the MaryKay of scrapbooking) became popular back in the mid-nineties and shortly thereafter, my 11-year-old life savings was spent on paper cutters, fun scissors, tape runners, and stickers.
When it was time to order invites for the wedding, I toyed with the idea of paying for letterpress since I love the look of it (here’s a great shop if interested!). But, ultimately, I wanted the invites more customized than my budget allowed and I realized that I was ridiculous for even thinking about buying wedding invites. Scrapbooking talent gets hidden away on the book shelf, but diy wedding invites are a chance to shine!
I headed to Paper Source to get some inspiration. I found a rubber stamp of a cattail which immediately reminded me of the lake, so I bought it and had the first piece to my invite design puzzle.
Coming from a scrapbooking background, I’ve had a hard time getting used to digital crafting. I’m much better at being creative with my hands, so I was a bit nervous to design the actual invite on the computer screen. A friend told me she had made her invites using PowerPoint, and as a sales proposal pro from my last job, that calmed my nerves a bit. It turns out that fancy processors like Photoshop are not necessary to design an invite.
What it comes down to is if you like being crafty, and don’t mind being knee deep in paper and glue, then you should save some money and make your own invites too. The end product is truly satisfying.
1. Find a stamp or image that fits your vision for your wedding
2. Go to your local paper store and find the right papers for you. Paper source has a great selection of flaps that fit your invite, RSVP card, and whatever else you want to include, and you get a discount when you buy in bulk.
3. Pick 2-3 fonts that fit together. Preferably a fun/loud font, a nice script font, and a regular, easy-to-read font. Dafont has great free fonts that you can download to your computer.
Figure out what the heck you want to write on your invite. There are so many ways to do it…from traditional to modern to funky to crazy. What fits you?
4. Now that you know what you want to write, go to PowerPoint, page setup, and then input the printed size of your invite. Don’t have PowerPoint either? Try PicMonkey or another free design site.
5. Start designing! Play with the fonts, add lines, hearts, whatever suits your fancy. Make a few versions and ask your friends and family to cast their vote. This was helpful since my favorite draft was hard to read, and I needed an outsider to remind me that a readable invite was just as important as the aesthetic.
6. Once you have finalized your design, start printing. Do a few test runs before you print out the whole slew, just to make sure it is formatted correctly.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the info card and RSVP card.
8. If you decided to go with a stamp, I would advise embossing the stamp with embossing powder and an embossing heat tool. This makes your invite 3D and makes up for the lack of letterpress. Plus, embossing is like magic…from powder to pretty in seconds!
9. Print the addresses and return address on the envelopes. I used the printer, but hand written would be lovely too, as long as your handwriting is lovely.
10. Make envelope liners for your envelopes. This is a pain, but it adds such a beautiful touch when your guests first open their invite. I bought the paper source template, and started hand cutting. One trick to save paper is that you don’t have to line the bottom where no one will see. That paper ain’t cheap, so might as well save a few sheets.
11. Assemble your invites. However you decide to do it, just assemble them how you like. Don’t forget the RSVP card stamp!
12. Add embellishments. I chose to wrap a band around my invites, some pretty string, and a heart that I cut out from leftover envelope liner paper. Get creative and put those paper scraps to use!
13. Stuff, seal, stamp, and send!
Whew! That was a little tiring.
Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
P.S. Paper Source didn’t sponsor this post – I just truly love the store!