Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding Week! DIY Invites

I’m kicking off a new blog goal today – to post every day for a week once a month.  To keep my goal fun and focused; each week will have a theme.  This week:
Weddings with Miss Meghan Elizabeth!  Who doesn’t love weddings?

Wedding Week Monday: DIY Invites
I made all of my own wedding invitations and it was my absolute favorite DIY project from the entire wedding.  I know I make jewelry on Etsy, but my number one art medium is paper, and I adore classic letter writing.   I am also a fan of keeping weddings affordable - the cost breakdown for the project is also included at the end of this post!
Getting Started:
I highly recommend a simple “base” DIY kit to get you started.  The world of wedding invitations is huge and it’s helpful to have a simple canvas to work from.  Craft stores have some beautiful options and don’t forget to use your 40% coupons!  This DIY will be based on 75 invites, so you’ll probably need two kits.
Most kits will include cards, envelopes, possibly an enclosure, and RSVP cards and envelops.  I used one of Martha Stewards kits and was very happy with the quality.

The "base" kit will now become our canvas.  All kinds of details can now be added to make the invites your own.  I'll take you through the different areas you should think about when designing your final product.
Envelope Liner:
I’m a huge fan of the envelop liner.  They add that extra something special and a reason for your guests to keep the envelope that you worked so hard to address.  My husband and I decided on red, white and blue for our wedding colors and I based my theme on the paisley pattern of my favorite purse.  (Can you guess where it’s from?!)  I photo copied it to make my own paper! Take apart an extra envelope to make a template for the liners. Cutting the liners with a rotary cutter helps it go a lot faster! And just glue them inside.

I printed all of the invitations myself with our home printer.  One ink cartridge is plenty for 75 invitations.  Play with your formatting, fonts, and ink colors.  Most of the DIY kits come with a template you can download and trial invitations to practice on.  Tip! Don’t feel like you need to stick with the fonts that are already loaded on your computer.  You can download thousands of free fonts from the internet to give you something truly unique to your wedding.
Photo by Catharine Morris
If I could have had any invitations they would have been letterpress, but they are so expensive.  To give my DIY some texture I found a whole punch that matched the enclosures – I punched it backwards and the flower petals jumped off the page giving the dimension I was looking for.
Photo by Catharine Morris
Final Touch:
My DIY kit came with invitation enclosures with lace like cut outs.  To help this stand out I simply added navy blue colored card stock to the back of the invitations.

Address Labels:
By all means – if you have beautiful handwriting, address your own envelopes.  I do not – so I opted for printing labels.  I love the wrap around design and I printed them on clear shipping labels.  You can email me @ and I’ll send you the template.  As an added bonus – I simply change the ink color and font and use the same files to print all of my holiday cards!
Yes – I believe these are important!  Stamps are just another way you can get in a personalized touch on your wedding invitation.  Don’t rely on your local post office for your choices; they never have everything that’s available.  Order from and shipping is free!  I found these awesome star stamps that I paired with flag stamps to tie in my wedding colors.  I love the look of two stamps.  Feel free to use two or more for your own postage.  Have a sample invitation weighed so you know how much postage you’ll need.

And when you mail your beautiful handmade invites you worked so hard on ask your post office to hand cancel them.  Most won’t charge for this and your envelopes won’t get messed up going through the machine.

So that’s the invites – from your base kit to the final visit to the post office.
Here’s the cost break down:

(2) Kits @$40 each (use 40% coupon on each)          =          $48.00
(40) Photocopies $.50 each                                         =          $20.00
(1) Printer Ink Cartridge @$35                                  =          $35.00
(1) Hole Punch @$10.50 (use 40% coupon)              =          $6.30
(75) Stamps @.44 each                                               =          $33.00
(1) Address Label pack                                               =          $15.00
(3) pack of A7 cardstock                                            =          $15.00
(1) Wedding Stamp                                                    =          $5.95
(1) Pack of round stickers to seal envelopes               =          $10.95
                                                            TOTAL           =          $189.20 / 75 = $2.50

$2.50 per invite is not a bad way to DIY.  And because we did a website for RSVP I used all the RSVP cards and envelopes for thank you cards.

Stay Tuned tomorrow as Wedding Week continues!
Monday - DIY invitations
Tuesday - Alternative Guest "book"
Wednesday - Miss Meghan Elizabeth's Bridal Collection
Thursday - Coolest Wedding Favors Ever!
Friday - An inspiration board from Etsy!


  1. I love the lace cut-outs! There are so many great DIY wedding ideas on Etsy... even though I got married almost 10 years ago I still find myself browsing through them!

  2. Good tip about starting with a store kit and then embellishing it. I bet that saved you a lot of headaches!


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