I looked at a lot of wedding invitations and fell in love with several designs, yet nothing was ever exactly as I wanted, or if it was, the price was way too much for our budget. At this point, we chose to create our own wedding invitations using a kit from an amazing paper company as our base, and then adding to it to create an elegant invitation with a touch more pizazz that would truly set the tone for our special day.
-"Carmine" Invitation Kit purchased from http://www.invitesite.com The paper in this kit included recycled card stock, and gorgeous red mulberry with mango leaves decorative paper which I loved. Elements were: 8.5x11" Husk Card stock, 6.25 x 12.5" Husk Card Stock, Starfold Wrap Mulberry paper, Exterior 6.5x6.5" Envelopes, A4 RSVP Envelopes, Matching Pre-Cut Envelope liners for RSVP and Main Envelopes, and Red Taffeda Ribbon (Which I did not use for this project.)
-"Java" Colored 12x12 Card Stock from Bazzill Basics
-"Brown" colored single sided 5/8" satin ribbon from http://www.jkmribbon.com
-Ink for your printer
-Fonts were purchased off of http://www.veer.com We used "Pabst" and "Declaration"
-Images were purchased off of http://www.istockphoto.com We made sure to use vector images which allowed us to utilize different elements. Search terms we used were "Vector, Floral, Grunge".
-Stamps created on http://www.zazzle.com
-Rotary Cutter which will give you the ability to cut and score your paper
-Lighter (And possibly a candle for multiple invitations)
-Glue Sticks (Which are provided when you buy the "Carmine" Kit)
-Glue Dots: The Kit also includes some of these, but you will need extra, I suggest using the "Memory" version, which are large enough dots, but extra thin specifically for attaching paper or photos to each other.
-Gold Pens for edging.
-Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels color: "Gold". http://www.mytatteredangels.com/
-Printer. (Ours was an HP inkjet printer.)
-If you plan on printing addresses from your computer directly onto your envelope, (ie: return addresses etc), I suggest do so prior to gluing in your envelope liners as this will add thickness to the envelopes and may create complications. Pictured on the left is the address printed directly on the envelope... on the right, we used clear mailing labels, printed on them and then stuck them on.
-Using your glue stick, insert your pre-cut envelope liners into each envelope. Fold liner over to apply glue, and then gently press to the inside of the envelope.
-Now here's where you get to benefit from my lessons learned. While I loved these kits, I wanted to add some sparkle. I thought the exterior mulberry paper would look lovely if it were edged in gold. So, I went out and purchased a couple bottles of gold nail polish and got to work on each piece. While the effect was lovely, it created an extremely stinky apartment. Doing this project again for someone else, I was able to re-create the effect using a gold marker and a gold gel glitter pen on top. Same look, less stink.
-I also wanted to add a soft shimmer to the exterior of this mulberry paper. For my project, I ended up using "Queen Phyllis" eye makeup from Bare Minerals... adding it to a makeup brush and lightly brushing it over the paper to create a shimmer effect. Result was pretty, but costly. Lo and behold, I discovered a new product by Tattered Angels called glimmer mist! It's effective and fast and adds a fine colored glimmer to any product. So... take the mulberry paper and lay it down with the part that will be facing outside laying up. (Make sure you have something underneath you don't mind getting sprayed too.) Shake the glimmer mist so everything mixes properly, and lightly spray the paper. Allow to dry a few minutes.
-While paper is drying, take your Bazzill 12x12 Java paper and cut in half using the paper cutting feature of your rotary blade so now you have two pieces that measure 12x6".
-Now changing the cutter so it is in scoring mode, score your 12x6 paper in half so that you can easily fold your java colored paper into a 6x6" booklet.
-Now we're onto our elements section. For us, we opted to have four different parts to the invitation; The invitation, hotel card, maps/directions, RSVP card. The first three parts were all square measuring 5.5x5.5" and were printed on our HP Inkjet home printer on the 12.5x6.25" card stock, and then cut down to size. As stated above, original images were purchased off of istockphoto.com, and fonts from veer.com. Graphics were then created on Adobe InDesignCS3 software.
-For the map, first we took a screen shot of google maps. Image was then brought into Adobe Illustrator where a second layer was created, and the key streets were traced over. It was then transferred over to InDesign where graphic was created and saved as a PDF.
-After the invite, hotel info and map cards were printed up and cut to size, I mounted them onto the java card stock by placing glue dots on each of the four corners of the cards and pressing them gently to the paper to adhere.
-RSVP Cards were printed on the 8.5x11" card stock. The actual cards measured 5.5x4.25" and hence fit 4 to a sheet. We also then flipped the paper over and printed our monogram on the other side which was a merging of our initials together, an 'M' and an 'A'.
-RSVP cards were cut down, and then tucked inside the flap of the RSVP envelope which had our return address printed on it along with the proper postage. (We used superhero stamps for the RSVP envelope because we're closet nerds.) Whole shebang was then tucked inside the booklet.
-Meanwhile satin ribbon was cut to 24" in length and fed through the pre-cut holes in the starfold mulberry paper, shimmer side of the paper down. (Depending on your bow tying skills, it may need to be slightly longer.)
-Place invitation inside and then fold the pointed flaps over securing shut with a single glue dot.
-Tie your ribbon into a neat little bow, using your scissors trim the edges, and then with a lighter, carefully melt the edges of the bow to prevent the satin from fraying. (Good old, Ren Faire trick.) If doing multiple bows, it might be useful to light a candle and utilize the flame from that.
-A quick note about stamps. We ended up custom making our postage on the outside from http://www.zazzle.com For these invites, they are considered 'odd sized' and therefore require more postage. I love using zazzle as it's a great way to make a neat impact. A note however about the image you chose... make sure it's bright enough, if your photo that you upload is too dark, your stamp may appear grainy. Despite it being grainy, I still love our stamp we used, which was a photo of us at Sundance along with our wedding date added on there via Photoshop before being uploaded.
And there you have it! These were truly a labor of love between myself who likes to scrap book and my husband who does graphic design. Even now, we still like to make fancy invitations for events we throw. Our friends love getting them, and claim they're often times more ornate than actual wedding invitations they get, which is nice to hear.
Approximate Cost: $6.50 per invitation INCLUDING postage for invite and RSVP envelope.
A couple more images for the road.