Deciding to make your own wedding invitations can be a little daunting at first, but with a bit of careful planning you can end up with beautiful, totally 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. Look at sites selling invitations online and in magazines such as Wedding Ideas as they can provide inspiration. You will soon learn what you do and don’t like.
Then order lots of samples, as you might totally change your mind when you see them, or suddenly be inspired by the best bits of different samples. The Wedding Crafter’s ‘Design your own wedding invitations kit’ is a pack designed to give beginners chance to have a play with different card shapes, inserts, ribbons and embellishments that can be tailored to suit any wedding colour scheme.
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 we get so many calls from brides that have ordered too many).
Start with the basic invitation
There are loads of different styles and types of cards, depending on your budget and how much information you need to include. When you order your samples, try to make sure you have some of each style to see what would work practically for you.
Flat unfolded cards and traditional card blanks are great if you’re on a budget or don’t have huge amounts of information to include. Wallets are great for including lots of extra information inserts, RSVP cards as well as the main invitations themselves. 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 themselves, then add colour through printing, embellishments or ribbons, or 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!).
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. Adding a diamanté ribbon buckle makes the invitation look much more expensive than it actually is, and saves you having to tie neat ribbon bows.
Decorative papers can be used for panels, strips and wraps to bring in a splash of your accent 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, and 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.
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. The Wedding Crafter has free templates which can really help if you aren’t confident with computer word processing packages.
Try to keep the style of your font in keeping with the rest of the invitation, and bear in mind that some fonts are quite difficult to read. Accent colours can be introduced by printing in coloured ink, or metallic foil printed inserts can look stunning. 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 (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 then 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. Ribbons can be either 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 a little bit special with a pearlescent or textured one to match the invite.
Set aside some time for a marathon card making session. Gather all your craftiest friends and family together and open a bottle of wine, then get started. 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. If you have more time then it might be more interesting to each do a card from start to finish.
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, then create everything yourself from scratch – if you’ve got 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…
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 from The Wedding Crafter? You will still save loads of money, without the hard work of coming up with the design yourself. Your order will be delivered in a pack with everything you need to create the invitations, and a set of instructions on how to do it. All you need to do is print the insert (or get it printed for you), buy your sticky stuff, then move straight on to the latter stages of this step by step.
Want more stationery inspiration? Take a look at the top stationery trends for 2014 right here! And if you’ve made your own stationery, we’d love to see it. Come and post a picture in the Wedding Ideas Forum.