I looked at a lot of wedding invitations and fell in love with several designs, yet nothing was ever exactly as I wanted, or if it was, the price was way too much for our budget. At this point, we chose to create our own wedding invitations using a kit from an amazing paper company as our base, and then adding to it to create an elegant invitation with a touch more pizazz that would truly set the tone for our special day.
Step 1: Materials
-"Carmine" Invitation Kit purchased from http://www.invitesite.com The paper in this kit included recycled card stock, and gorgeous red mulberry with mango leaves decorative paper which I loved. Elements were: 8.5x11" Husk Card stock, 6.25 x 12.5" Husk Card Stock, Starfold Wrap Mulberry paper, Exterior 6.5x6.5" Envelopes, A4 RSVP Envelopes, Matching Pre-Cut Envelope liners for RSVP and Main Envelopes, and Red Taffeda Ribbon (Which I did not use for this project.)
-"Java" Colored 12x12 Card Stock from Bazzill Basics
-"Brown" colored single sided 5/8" satin ribbon from http://www.jkmribbon.com
-Ink for your printer
-Fonts were purchased off of http://www.veer.com We used "Pabst" and "Declaration"
-Images were purchased off of http://www.istockphoto.com We made sure to use vector images which allowed us to utilize different elements. Search terms we used were "Vector, Floral, Grunge".
-Stamps created on http://www.zazzle.com
Step 2: Tools
-Rotary Cutter which will give you the ability to cut and score your paper
-Lighter (And possibly a candle for multiple invitations)
-Glue Sticks (Which are provided when you buy the "Carmine" Kit)
-Glue Dots: The Kit also includes some of these, but you will need extra, I suggest using
the "Memory" version, which are large enough dots, but extra thin specifically for attaching
paper or photos to each other.
-Gold Pens for edging.
-Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels color: "Gold". http://www.mytatteredangels.com/
-Printer. (Ours was an HP inkjet printer.)
Step 3: Assembly - Addressing Your Envelopes
If you plan on printing addresses from your computer directly onto your envelope, (ie: return addresses etc), I suggest do so prior to gluing in your envelope liners as this will add thickness to the envelopes and may create complications. Pictured on the left is the address printed directly on the envelope... on the right, we used clear mailing labels, printed on them and then stuck them on.
Or, you could always utilize the handy instructable I submitted for DIY Calligraphy and fake your way through making it look hand written.
Step 4: Adding Liner to the Envelope
I personally think that lined envelopes add an extra touch of luxury. The carmine kit comes with envelope liners. However, if you were doing this from scratch, it's a simple method of sacrificing one envelope as a template, tracing on your desired paper as the liner and cutting by hand.
Using your glue stick, insert your pre-cut envelope liners into each envelope. Fold liner over to apply glue, and then gently press to the inside of the envelope. DO NOT USE A GLUE GUN. I know a bride who's envelopes were falling a part, so she decided to glue gun them together.
Not only are hot objects and paper a bad idea, she also added weight and thickness to her invitation which can increase the postage cost.
Step 5: Adding Some Bling to the Wrap Paper.
Now here's where you get to benefit from my lessons learned. While I loved these kits, I wanted to add some sparkle. I thought the exterior mulberry paper would look lovely if it were edged in gold. So, I went out and purchased a couple bottles of gold nail polish and got to work on each piece. While the effect was lovely, it created an extremely stinky apartment. Doing this project again for someone else, I was able to re-create the effect using a gold marker and a gold gel glitter pen on top. Same look, less stink.
Step 6: Make That Paper Shine!
I also wanted to add a soft shimmer to the exterior of this mulberry paper. For my project, I ended up using "Queen Phyllis" eye makeup from Bare Minerals... adding it to a makeup brush and lightly brushing it over the paper to create a shimmer effect. Result was pretty, but costly. Lo and behold, I discovered a new product by Tattered Angels called glimmer mist! It's effective and fast and adds a fine colored glimmer to any product. So... take the mulberry paper and lay it down with the part that will be facing outside laying up. (Make sure you have something underneath you don't mind getting sprayed too.) Shake the glimmer mist so everything mixes properly, and lightly spray the paper. Allow to dry a few minutes.
Step 7: Creating Your Base - Part 1
Here's a random note about invitations... there is no single right way to do them. They can be as simple or complicated as you want them to be, and there are a million and ten different ways to design them. For me, there are two basic things to think about when it comes to your invitations:
1. What information do you want on them?
2. How would you like that information to be presented?
For our elements/information we chose:
For how the info was presented, I decided I wanted all these elements to be bound in such a way that there was only ONE piece of paper for the guest to potentially lose. Hence, the idea of a 'book' type setup was born.
Take your Bazzill 12x12 Java paper and cut in half using the paper cutting feature of your rotary blade so now you have two pieces that measure 12x6".
Step 8: Creating Your Base - Part 2
Now changing the cutter so it is in scoring mode, score your 12x6 paper in half so that you can easily fold your java colored paper into a 6x6" booklet.
Step 9: Creating Your Elements
Now we're onto our elements section. For us, we opted to have four different parts to the invitation; The invitation, hotel card, maps/directions, RSVP card. The first three parts were all square measuring 5.5x5.5" and were printed on our HP Inkjet home printer on the 12.5x6.25" card stock, and then cut down to size. As stated above, original images were purchased off of istockphoto.com, and fonts from veer.com. Graphics were then created on Adobe InDesignCS3 software.
Step 10: A Note About Maps
For the map, first we took a screen shot of google maps. Image was then brought into Adobe Illustrator where a second layer was created, and the key streets were traced over. It was then transferred over to InDesign where graphic was created and saved as a PDF.
Step 11: Mounting Your Elements Onto the Base
After the invite, hotel info and map cards were printed up and cut to size, I mounted them onto the java card stock by placing glue dots on each of the four corners of the cards and pressing them gently to the paper to adhere.
I suggest using Glue Dots. They are my favorite. They also have 'memory' glue dots which are made for scrap booking. They are thin, but have a high tack.
Step 12: RSVP Cards
RSVP Cards were printed on the 8.5x11" card stock. The actual cards measured 5.5x4.25" and hence fit 4 to a sheet. We also then flipped the paper over and printed our monogram on the other side which was a merging of our initials together, an 'M' and an 'A'.
Step 13: Finishing Up the RSVP
RSVP cards were cut down, and then tucked inside the flap of the RSVP envelope which had our return address printed on it along with the proper postage. (We used superhero stamps for the RSVP envelope because we're closet nerds.) Whole shebang was then tucked inside the booklet.
Step 14: Wrapping Up Your Invite
Meanwhile satin ribbon was cut to 24" in length and fed through the pre-cut holes in the starfold mulberry paper, shimmer side of the paper down. (Depending on your bow tying skills, it may need to be slightly longer.)
Step 15: Wrapping Up Your Invite Part 2
Place invitation inside and then fold the pointed flaps over securing shut with a single glue dot.
Step 16: Tie and Finish the Ribbon
Tie your ribbon into a neat little bow, using your scissors trim the edges, and then with a lighter, carefully melt the edges of the bow to prevent the satin from fraying. (Good old, Ren Faire trick.) If doing multiple bows, it might be useful to light a candle and utilize the flame from that.
Step 17: Stamps
A quick note about stamps. We ended up custom making our postage on the outside from http://www.zazzle.com For these invites, they are considered 'odd sized' and therefore require more postage. The weight and thickness of your invitation will also determine the cost to send it. I highly recommend taking a sample invitation to the post office before buying postage.
I love using zazzle as it's a great way to make a neat impact. A note however about the image you chose... make sure it's bright enough, if your photo that you upload is too dark, your stamp may appear grainy. Despite it being grainy, I still love our stamp we used, which was a photo of us at Sundance along with our wedding date added on there via Photoshop before being uploaded.
Step 18: The End
And there you have it! These were truly a labor of love between myself who likes to scrap book and my husband who does graphic design. Even now, we still like to make fancy invitations for events we throw. Our friends love getting them, and claim they're often times more ornate than actual wedding invitations they get, which is nice to hear.
Approximate Cost: $6.50 per invitation INCLUDING postage for invite and RSVP envelope.
A couple more images for the road.