How to Print and Assemble Multi-layer Wedding Invitations




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:

Jane Whatever
and Brad Doe

Together with their parents

Invite you to celebrate their marriage

January 1

One o'clock in the afternoon

Churchy Church
City, State

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.



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    9 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. Wish I had seen this before I did my invitations for my daughters. They were a nightmare trying to figure out the program and learning all the good stuff they have that doesn't work properly.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Those look so cool! I am wondering, are the type in the picture the only type you can make? Or could you do it with more 3d, like where the letters come out of the page? I'm talking about some of the ones at that I want for my wedding coming up in March. How would you do that, with the 3d letters? is it possible by hand? Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Can you add an image of exactly what you want, with the 3d letters? I bet we can figure something out...

    Stercus Fit

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I do not know how they do it (and I really want to learn but time is an issue), but I know that scrapbookers often print on vellum, tweed ribbon, and transparencies. They have tricks for accomplishing this. ;) For future reference, check out scrapbook how-tos on how they do this. If it requires a special printer (like a Cricut), Joann's, Michael's, and other scrapbook stores often have scrapbook days which I'm sure if you asked nicely they'd let you use the tools. :) These are absolutely beautiful. If you don't mind my asking, do you know about how much each invite came out to? And how many man hours it required? Thanks!!

    2 replies
    ean5Stercus Fit

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the suggestion about the scrapbook people. They sure do have lots of specialized equipment. Our details were--- ---$15 for the handmade paper, envelopes, ribbon, and vellum (including the thank you note and a little envelope) from an invitation kit (we found three boxes of discontinued invitation kit at a discount store. If we hadn't, I would not have used the vellum) ---printing $50 at Kinko's (includes the resume-quality paper.) I am SURE you could do this for cheaper or even free if you used your office copier, but I was so fed up with the vellum difficulties at that point that I just said "you do it." ---woman + man hours---about 5. My sister did the stamping and my fiance and I did the assembling. Not too bad, but made more pleasant with help. ---We made 150 invitations. ---$0.43 per invitation, including the thank you note. ---Mail was $0.42 per invitation, plus another stamp for a reply card (just a little piece of cardstock) and another for the thank-you note. ---We bought a rubber stamper for $8 and a stamp pad for $3, but these are optional or you might already have some or be able to borrow them. ---We used printed labels to address and return-address the envelopes, and also to label the reply cards. DEFINATELY label the reply cards. You don't know how many I got back with no name written. ---ALSO MAKE SURE you make extra invitations up front. About 15% extra. It is torture to have to do the whole process again when you realize that you forgot to invite some people or your great aunt loses hers and needs another.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Those look great!
    I made something quite similar for my wedding invites, but managed to find something called laser vellum. (Seems to be quite common.) It had the nice translucent look of vellum, but worked perfectly on a laser printer so saved a step.

    Love the idea for Thank You notes, too.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    This is so cool and nerdy! Keeping me in touch with my engineering roots... And the invitations are gorgeous.