Deciding to make your own wedding invitations can be a little daunting at first. However, with some bit of careful planning, you can end up with beautiful, bespoke stationery at a fraction of the cost. Here, The Wedding Crafter shows you how to do it with their easy 10-step guide.

Choose your design

Your invitations are the first impression guests get about your wedding, so take time to get it right. Also, consider your colour scheme and messaging. Do you want something minimal or detailed?

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Set a budget

You must set a budget from the start as you really don’t want to design your perfect invitation only to find you can’t afford it. Think about how many guests you’re inviting (tip – remember you only need one invite per couple or family, not one per person – it may sound obvious but it’s a common mistake).

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Start with the basic invitation

There are loads of different styles and types of cards. Flat unfolded cards and traditional card blanks are great if you’re on a budget or don’t have much information to include. Wallets are great for including lots of extra information, inserts and RSVP cards as well. There are also in-between options that give you the freedom of a wallet on the budget of a traditional card.

Use a neutral colour for the cards, then add colour through printing, embellishments or ribbons. Alternatively, you can use coloured card and make a great statement. Card textures can make a big difference to the overall feel of an invitation, from rustic matte textures to contemporary pearlescent effects to vintage tapestry styles. Consider printing or foil stamping the front of the cards, or use peel-off stickers (with a steady hand!).

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It’s time to decorate!

This is where you get really creative. Keep things really simple and elegant with ribbon down the spine of the card. Alternatively, you can use ribbon to act as a belt or divider.

You can buy decorative ribbon here.

Decorative papers can be used for panels, strips and wraps to bring an accent of colour or add a bit of glitter. Layer decorative panels with the same card as your base invite printed with your names, initials, dates and so on. You can also use 3D sticky pads to build up depth.

Embellishments come in a huge range of colours and styles, and can bring a dash of colour to the invitation. Mount these on to contrasting cards and papers.

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Print your inserts

Choose your insert from a huge range of colours and textures. Some styles of inserts can be mounted on decorative papers or contrasting card. Take your time to get your insert wording just right.

Try to keep the style of your font in keeping with the rest of the invitation. Also, remember to keep the font clear and easy to read. Accent colours can be introduced by printing in coloured ink, or metallic foil printed inserts can look stunning. However, if you aren’t 100% sure of what you’re doing consider using an insert printing service.

Don’t forget the sticky stuff

Inserts can be stuck into cards really quickly and easily using adhesive tape pens.

Top tip: attach inserts to the left-hand side of the card near the spine, so the insert will fall open when the card is opened.

For sticking embellishments onto cards, PVA craft glue dries quickly and easily and more importantly is clear when dry. For creating raised layering of card and papers then 3D sticky pads give that slight 3D effect. In addition, ribbons can be left loose or secured with a line of adhesive tape pen.

Add the envelopes

Envelopes come in standard sizes, so make sure your invitation will fit in one before you get too far down the line. Also, bear in mind the cost of postage as a letter thicker than 5mm will cost more to send.

The envelope is the first thing people see when receiving your invitation, so consider making it special with pearlescent or textured paper.

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Start creating

Set aside some time for a marathon card making session. Gather all your craftiest friends and family together and open a bottle of wine before you get started. Make this a fun and enjoyable event. If you have lots to get through then a mini production line will be the most efficient way to get everything done in a night. However, if you have more time then it might be more interesting to each do a card from start to finish.

The tool of the trade

You can create really professional-looking invitations by buying cards ready folded and inserts ready cut. However, if you have a large number of invitations to go out on a tight budget then it could save money to buy a few card-making tools. This way you can create everything yourself from scratch – if you’ve got the time of course.

A paper trimmer will let you cut your card and paper from larger sheets. Card folding boards help you to put a crease into a flat piece of card and then fold it neatly. Finally, to fold the cards a bone folder is pretty essential.

If all else fails

Finally, if you’ve followed the steps here and still aren’t sure of what to design, or aren’t confident striking out on your own, then why not buy a DIY invitation kit? You will still save loads of money, without the hard work of coming up with the design yourself.

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