This Instructable shares my hard-learned knowledge about how to print and assemble wedding invitations. All you need is an army of minions, opposable thumbs, and patience.
Step 1: Acquire Paper
You will need some sort of medium on which to print your wedding invitations. I chose to have a 3-layer invitation, consisting of vellum, regular paper bearing the words, and a larger sheet of handmade paper. I got the vellum and the handmade paper as part of a invitation kit, but needed to add the middle layer when I learned that you cannot print on either vellum or handmade paper (according to Kinko's and Staples.) My paper measured 4.5" by 7.5" for the vellum and printed paper and 5.5" by 8.5" for the handmade paper.
Step 2: Print Words
With the size of paper I used, I was able to print 2 pages landscape-style on each piece of paper. You are going to have to trim the paper anyway, so might as well save some trees when you can. Arrange your words and print multiple test copies and get everybody to proof-read. When you are sure you are ready, make your copies using any copier to which you have access. I printed mine at Kinko's, because they were willing to trim the paper to the exact size I wanted.
Make 10% extra, since it is easier to do invitations in bulk.
There are many etiquette sources which can tell you what you should print on a wedding invitation. I chose a contemporary wording:
and Brad Doe
Together with their parents
Invite you to celebrate their marriage
One o'clock in the afternoon
Step 3: Prepare Paper
First, trim all the paper to the correct sizes. I strongly recommend the use of a large slicer, which can speed things up considerably. This is the first step where an army of minions comes in handy (try bribing them with food.)
Again, the sizes I used were:
4.5" by 7.5" for the vellum and the printed paper
5.5" by 8.5" for the handmade paper
In order to have ribbon holding the papers together, you will need to punch two holes in the top of each paper. I used a regular hole punch. The holes will have to match up between the sheets. The distance between holes is up to you, but I had 2/3 of an inch between the centers of the two holes. The holes were 1 inch down from the top of the vellum and printed paper and 1.5 inches down from the top of the handmade paper.
If you prefer to have your invitation held together without ribbon, you can skip the holes. I love double sided tape for this purpose.
Step 4: Obtain Ribbon
I used 0.75" satin ribbon cut into 5" lengths, plus extra to accommodate the angle. Leaving a little extra ribbon at the ends is wise, because it is difficult to avoid fraying the ends during the next steps. You will need one piece of ribbon for each invitation.
Layering ribbons of different colors/types would look nice, too.
Step 5: Affix Ribbon to All Three Layers
Starting from the front of the upper layer, push each end of the ribbon through its hole and pull all the way through. Repeat until all three paper layers are attached. Even out the ribbon so equal lengths come out each hole.
Step 6: Pull Ribbon Back Through, Forming a Bow
Cross the ribbon lengths on the reverse and pull each of them back through the opposite hole. You can twist the ribbon in the back so that the appropriate side is showing on the front. When you are done, the pages will be firmly attached and the ribbon will look like a beautiful bow.
Step 7: Finish
Admire your beautiful handiwork while putting the invitation in an appropriately sized envelope. I used a leaf-design rubber stamp and a silver stamp pad to dress up the envelope as shown.
Don't forget to take the assembled invitation, envelope, and any inserts to the post office to have it weighed. It is not necessarily going to weigh less than 1 ounce, so you may have to pay more for postage.
Step 8: Bonus Step: Matching Thank-you Note
The kit which contained the vellum and handmade paper came with a "reply card" which we didn't use. I chose to include a reply postcard with the original invitation in order to save the reply card and envelope for a thank you note. I used the same leaf-design rubber stamp and silver stamp pad, along with a "thank you" rubber stamp, to create a matching thank-you note, which I made with the original invitations and kept on hand to send thank you notes when gifts come in.