(Closed) DIY Invitations

posted 10 years ago in DIY
Post # 3
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

Hi Sweetart — Here’s my two cents and sources of inspiration…

I don’t have a photo of my actual invite b/c our photog didn’t put it up on her public blog site, so I will share the original I modelled mine after. It is from EmiInk.com  If you really want to know what changes I made and how I did mine, you can PM me.

A friend of mine who’s participated in like a bazillion weddings told me *after* i did my invites that for sanity’s sake, I should stay away from anything that involved threading/tying ribbons, grommets, wax seals or stuffing items into bottles. Ah well, they looked really pretty, even if I did go a little nuts. (Esp. after I screwed up and found a typo and had to *remove* all the grommets, ribbon, peel back the washi paper, remove the typed portion and replace everything…on 100 invites.)

So, big tip #1:  PROOF, PROOF, PROOF! If you use a script-y font, I recommend copy and pasting it after you’ve laid it out into a Word doc and changing the font to something very large and very simple so you can double check that your m’s and n’s aren’t mixed up, etc.

Tip #2 is on using Illustrator/Photoshop. I posted this in Bride888’s thread about using programs to design your invites. See here. It applies more if you are using photos, not so much if you are doing text only (like in the picture).

Tip #3: Get a corner rounder. It just makes the whole thing look more clean and professional, in my opinion. 

Inspiration: In order to touch/feel and figure out how to put them together, I checked out invites at a bridal show. You could also go to your local stationery store and look through their massive binders full of invites.  Magazines and online are great, but it’s hard to figure out how to reverse engineer something when you can’t touch it.

Tip #4: It’s helpful to already have a look/feel in mind before you start, otherwise you just have masses of stuff that you like, and no cohesive pattern. My inspiration started with my dress, which was made of kimono fabric, and so we planned everything around that pastel palette and Asian look. BUT hey, there’s no law that says your invite has to match your color scheme or theme. As long as it conveys the feel (i.e. formal vs. casual; don’t send something with goofy, funky design elements and crazy fonts if you’re having a formal sit-down dinner), you’ll be OK. 

Resources: I bought most of my supplies from LCIPaper.com and our local craft shops. I discovered some cool sources for "brushes" (Photoshop) and other design elements at BlueVertigo.com and at Scrapgirls.comdafont.com is also a cool place to find fonts; they helpfully group them by style.

Post # 5
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

Hi Sweetart!

Ummm…I don’t know how long it took in the end b/c I did a lot of it while sitting in front of the TV watching ridiculously addicting reality shows and while manning a trade show booth. Also, I had that total screw-up and had to re-do 80% of them b/c I didn’t proof ’em properly. (And I work in publishing, groan!)  The longest, most time consuming part was the grommeting. But if you get a handheld one that crunches the grommet at the same time it punches the hole, you’ll probably be better off than I was!

I used a more script font. It was called "AL Afternoon Delight". I found it here: http://www.specialtyfonts.com/pers/fontsA-B.htm and I have seen it very commonly used lately. (Right after I selected it, I started seeing it popping up ALL OVER — ads, books, magazines — and complained to my FI that everyone was stealing my font, and that b/c my invite would not get mailed for 6 more months, everyone would think *I* was the biter!)  

That dafont link I provided has really cool fonts — it’s a great place to start your collection. 

I also used a block capitals (serif) font for our names (to set them off and make them more readable), but I can’t remember what it was called. It was pretty basic, tho’. (So my invite was basically the opposite of the pictured one — block font names, script-y everything else.

I used our really basic home printer — it’s an Epson ink-jet — to do almost everything wedding related, and definitely our entire invitation suite was done on it. B/c I was really anal about coordinating everything — the RSVP cards and the "Additional Info" cards both had strips of matching washi paper on the edges; the map card did not — and rounded the edges and lined the envelopes with matching paper, a lot of people thought we bought the invites. They did look handmade, but that was sort of the point. Home printers now have gotten so sophisticated that you can do a lot yourself. Yeah, letterpress would have been awesome, but it just was not in our budget. There’s really no way you could match that at home.

If you would rather concentrate on the hand details like hand tied ribbon or specialty papers, then I do not see any reason why you would need it professionally printed. And some of the ladies here have done some beautiful DIY screened prints, and I’m sure their guests thought they purchased their invites as well.

I don’t think that the average person knows enough about printing to sit around and critique your invite over whether you printed at home or at a pro shop. They’ll be more impressed by the hand touches and excited about the fact that you’re getting married. 

Sorry for the long post! 

Post # 6
Member
4 posts
Wannabee

I made my own invitations, from the design to the assembly.  I’ll start off by saying it is a lot of work and takes a lot of time, BUT it is worth it in the end to know that you made them.  I designed the invite and the inserts.  We couldn’t afford letterpress printing (though I love, love, love), and I could have definitely used my trusty Epson to do the printing, but I decided to save myself a little grief by having them printed (I used http://www.catprint.bz).  It wasn’t so much the printing that was an issue, it was morseo the trimming of each card to size, and with them, you can place custom size orders (no min qty, either).

I wanted pocketfolds, but I definitely did not want to pay the price for them, so I decided to make my own.  I purchased all my cardstock from http://www.textstyledesigns.com; one set I had trimmed to the size I needed, the rest was a stock size. I bought my ribbon from http://www.papermart.com, and my envelopes from http://www.envelopemall.com.   I layered my cardstock, which gave otherwise lightweight, flimsy cardstock a bit more firmness.  I only did this for the main invitation, and the rest of my inserts I left alone (no mounting on another pc of cardstock), and layered them at varying heights in the pocket.  While it’s pretty to layer, it makes for a heavier postage, and really, no one is going to care if your directions card is mounted on pretty cardstock or not.  

In the end, it took about 7 hours, a bit of a backache and fear of arthritis to make 160 invitations, and this didn’t include the design time.  

Some tips: PROOFREAD.  It can’t be mentioned enough.  You’ll be staring at the same words for so long it’s super easy to miss something.  Have someone else read it.  A few times.

Make a sample.  Feel the paper, see how long it took, and you can figure out what works and what doesn’t.  I’d also try to stay away from thick bows or knots because it will make the envelope bulky and difficult to mail.  

Start with choosing the size of your envelope.  You might decide a particular line is perfect and they don’t make the size you need and you’ll have to re-size everything. (Remember square envelopes are more postage)

Really flourishy, curly fonts are very pretty, but should be used in moderation in my opinion.  Too much of it can make an invitation difficult to read.

Tape rollers by Xyron are fantastic and easy to use for adhesive.  Lots of other great brands, I’m sure. If you are trimming your own stuff, invest in a good paper trimmer and scorer.

And finally.  Have fun!  It’s a really personal project and can be overwhelming, but definitely have fun with it!  If you have any question, please ask!  (This post was so much shorter in my head lol)

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