Picture of 3D Invitation
Please note: I'm not planning on getting married any time soon, but I'm thrilled to be able to share this idea/technique with folks who are!

While 2D can be nice enough, 3D is much more impressive. In a few simple steps, you turn a plain invitation into something that really pops - and including 3D glasses makes it extra fun.

The steps explained here require some knowledge of Photoshop (or G.I.M.P.), so please feel free to ask any questions if you're having trouble!

Nerdy note: Anaglyphic images are those in which one component of the composite image is red in color and is superposed on another component in a contrasting color (like cyan) to produce a three-dimensional effect when viewed through correspondingly colored filters in the form of spectacles.

If you have any questions, need any advice/assistance, or would rather someone whip these puppies up for you feel free to comment, or shoot me a note here or on Twitter.
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Step 1: You'll Need. . .

Picture of You'll Need. . .
  • Computer with image editing software
  • Paper or cardstock
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Printer (or printing service of your choice)
  • Paper 3D (anaglyph) glasses (this is a good source for them but there are loads of others online too) - one per invite
  • Envelopes

Step 2: First Things First

Picture of First Things First
  1. Determine how many invites you'll be sending out and order your 3D glasses
  2. Create a new file in your image editing software that's the size you'd like (since I'm using a "standard" business envelope, mine is 3.5" x 8.5")
  3. Design and layout your invite however you'd like - it's best to keep it to simple shapes and text. Keep in mind that you can also have some portions that aren't 3D - just make those black and keep them separated from the other layers in the next steps
  4. Merge the layers and make a duplicate

Step 3: Into Another Dimension!

Picture of Into Another Dimension!
  1. Select a vibrant red color (in RGB the color created will be R-255 G-000 B-000) and change the color of the first layer
  2. Select a bright cyan color (in RGB: R-000 G-255 B-255) and change the color of the second layer
  3. Set the opacity of each layer to about 90%
  4. Offset the two slightly so that the cyan layer is to the right of the red (it helps to wear a pair of your 3D glasses while doing this but keep in mind that it may need to be altered when printed - you can also try with the red to the right and see which you like the look of better) - make sure that the layers are only offset from left to right, not up and down
  5. If it isn't already, make sure the red layer is above the cyan
  6. Save as a PDF
  7. Print one copy and check using a pair of 3D glasses to ensure that it's 3D-ified - if not, make adjustments as needed

Step 4: It's in the Mail

Picture of It's in the Mail
  1. Print and cut your invites
  2. Slip each one into an envelope with a pair of 3D glasses
  3. Address, add postage, and mail!
summercamp23 months ago

This is such a creative 3D invitation idea!

sideeffect113 months ago

Thanks for the tip!

tinker2343 years ago
wow amzing idea
shesparticular (author)  tinker2343 years ago
I can`t believe!!!!! My brother been loking for this for weeks now. Thank you very very very much :D I`m sure he will invite you for his wedding !!!!
* looking
please excuse my bad english
shesparticular (author)  GenteDeMassinha3 years ago
Not a problem at all (I actually read it as "looking").
shesparticular (author)  GenteDeMassinha3 years ago
Awesome, thanks so much! And I'd love to come to your brother's wedding :)
Ricram23 years ago
i wonder if you know the offset betwen colours in the print :) ?
shesparticular (author)  Ricram23 years ago
Thanks so much! The colors for the different elements can be offset different amounts to create varying layers of depth.
This tutorial looks like so much fun!!! I decided to feature it on my website. You can see the page here:


If, for any reason, you do not wish to appear on my website, just let me know and I'll remove my post right away!

Very cool, merci! :)
arboles4 years ago
Esta genial, muy buena idea! Felicidades.
shesparticular (author)  arboles4 years ago
Ace Frahm4 years ago
What store carries the glasses? Can you make your own glasses from an arbitrary color pair (other than red-cyan)? How would you know the right RGB print color values to use in your design to match any color pair of transparency?
shesparticular (author)  Ace Frahm4 years ago
There's a store linked above that has them for a particularly low price, but they're also available from Amazon, eBay, and loads of other sources online.

I'm sure you could make other colored glasses, but this isn't something I've done so I can't offer any advice about what would work best (there are some available commercially that have two red lenses which are often sold as "decoder glasses" and some other colors as well). The RGB values are for red and cyan, but because printers vary it's important to check one printed copy before making a whole bunch of them.

Thanks for the questions!
Love the idea! Just wondering if the red lens needs to go to the right eye to match the offset u applied?
shesparticular (author)  MrF_DT_teacher4 years ago
I based the red-to-the-right in the image on other 3D images and it does work with the glasses. Oddly, having the red to the left in the image also works with the glasses, it just looks a bit different. I'd suggest playing with it and seeing which look you prefer.

Thanks so much for the comment!
And thanks for posting this instructable. I'd been looking into 3D a while ago. I'm going to try your idea but with a desaturated photo and multiply the two layers with cyan and red to see if I get the 3G effect. Thanks again
shesparticular (author)  MrF_DT_teacher4 years ago
If you're using a photograph, I'd suggest making sure it has an RGB color profile and separating the color channels to achieve the 3D effect. It's a bit more complicated, but works out really well!
jsilcox4 years ago
The first and second pictures of the 3D glasses are opposite of each other... The colors must be on the correct eyes for the 3D effect to work, otherwise the images don't converge, but diverge and thus won't look right. The second picture of the 3D glasses (although not the standard arrangement) seem to be the ones that make the image your present, look right.

Please clarify this point and fix the images if necessary, so people don't get confused.

Thanks, great idea for a DIY project I just might have to try.
shesparticular (author)  jsilcox4 years ago
Thanks for pointing that out - hopefully it didn't generate too much confusion! It would appear that using the camera that's built into my laptop inverts images (I've now swapped it for a corrected image).
XTL4 years ago
The apparent depth is defined by the amount of separation between the two layers.
So Varying the separation for each design element will make them appear at different depths
Thanks for this info! It certainly makes sense, but it would have taken me a long time to figure this out on my own. :)
shesparticular (author)  XTL4 years ago
Thanks so much for pointing that out! I opted to do it all at the same depth in the hopes that it would make it easier to read without the 3D glasses on but folks could certainly vary them also.
indeepknit4 years ago
Why not also make the 3D glasses? Very nice Instructable! The ideas are a-flowin'! :)
shesparticular (author)  indeepknit4 years ago
I opted for the store-bought ones since they're pretty cheap (especially if you buy a lot of them), but you could certainly make them if you wanted to - you'd just need to track down a good source of red and cyan transparency film.
sunshiine4 years ago
So creative!
shesparticular (author)  sunshiine4 years ago
Thanks so much!
ChrysN4 years ago
shesparticular (author)  ChrysN4 years ago