How to Make Invitations

On this page we give instructions for making a few different invitations. The first one is from our wedding:

The graphic above shows what our invitation looks like. It has two layers...the bottom layer (which is printed with the ivy border) is made of almond color card stock. The top layer (printed with text and castle) is white tracing paper. We made them as follows:

First we printed the ivy border on the card stock in color. The border is from CorelDraw clipart. Two invitations fit on each sheet...actual size of the invitations is 4.3 inches by 5.6 inches.

The outer border was applied with a gold permanent marker to each invitation using a metal ruler to keep the lines as straight as possible (see diagram below). They were then cut out with scissors.

Next we printed the text, which is a font called Tailends, Nottingham, Dickens Script, Black Chancery or Black Magic (thank you Jill Sibley of the Wedding Crafts Page for supplying those last two names!) depending on where you find it, and the castle graphic on white tracing paper also two to a sheet. We cut those smaller so that they cover the ivy border but not the gold. The ivy border shows through the tracing paper.

Lastly we punched two holes with a mini paper punch through both layers and tied them together with a narrow blue satin ribbon. The mini paper punch punches a hole about half the diameter of a regular punch. With wider ribbon you could probably use the standard size.

We made matching response cards, place cards, table tents and seating cards. The cost for everything (including envelopes which we purchased first to be sure that we could fit the invites into them) was under $9.

The next invitation was made by me for my son Tony's wedding:

The graphic above shows what the invitation looks like. It has two layers...the bottom layer (which is printed with the rose garland border) is made of white card stock. The top layer (printed with text) is white tracing paper. To make them:

  1. First print the border on the card stock in color. Two invitations fit on each sheet...actual size of the invitations is 5.5 inches by 8 inches. The border was created with a graphic I found and downloaded from the internet after doing a search for roses. I've lost track of where the graphic came from so I can't send you there but since there have been several requests for it I've added it to this site. If you click here you can download the whole border or click here you can download just the original graphic to create your own border. (If you are the person who created this graphic or know who created it please let me know so I can give proper credit!)

  2. Next cut the invitations to size. You can use scissors but you will get a straighter cut if you use an xacto knife or paper cutter. (Fiskers makes a personal paper cutter that works really well for this...the price is around $9.95 at Walmart or craft stores.)

  3. Now apply the outer border with a gold paint pen or metallic marker using a metal ruler or piece of thick paper to keep the lines as straight as possible. Position the ruler on top of the invitation so that the width you want the border to be is showing (see diagram below). Be sure to protect your work surface with paper so that it doesn't end up covered with gold streaks!

  4. Next print the text (The font is called Cotillion) on white tracing paper also two to a sheet. If you have a problem getting the thin tracing paper to go through your printer try attaching it to a piece of regular weight paper. Cut those smaller so that they cover the rose garland border but not the gold. The rose garland shows through the tracing paper.

  5. Lastly punch two holes with a mini paper punch through both layers and tie them together with a narrow satin ribbon. The mini paper punch punches a hole about half the diameter of a regular punch. With wider ribbon you could probably use the standard size.

The total cost to make these invitations (including a matching reply post card) was about $25 (we have lots of card stock and envelopes left over which we will use for making birthday cards and other things so they won't go to waste). The tracing paper cost $1.69/50 sheets, the ribbon $.44/spool, the paint pen $2.79. We also used some pink tissue paper which we wrapped the invitations in before putting them in the envelopes...it cost $1.17/package at Walmart. We made a total of 80 invitations. The finished invitation including the reply post card and a map weighed in at under 1 ounce so we were able to mail them for 33 cents each instead of 55 cents.

The graphic above shows what the invitation looks like. It has two layers...the bottom layer is made of card stock in a very light tan color (called adobe). The top layer (printed with text and graphics) is white tracing paper. To make them:

  1. First cut the invitations to size...in this case the card stock only needed to be cut in half. You can use scissors but you will get a straighter cut if you use an xacto knife or paper cutter. (Fiskers makes a personal paper cutter that works really well for this...the price is around $9.95 at Walmart or craft stores.)

  2. Now apply the outer border with a gold paint pen or metallic marker using a metal ruler or piece of thick paper to keep the lines as straight as possible. Position the ruler on top of the invitation so that the width you want the border to be is showing (see diagram above). Be sure to protect your work surface with paper so that it doesn't end up covered with gold streaks!

  3. Next print the text and graphics on white tracing paper also two to a sheet. If you have a problem getting the thin tracing paper to go through your printer try attaching it to a piece of regular weight paper. Cut those smaller so that they don't cover the gold border.

  4. Now apply a gold border to the tracing paper using the method described above.

  5. Lastly punch two holes with a mini paper punch through both layers and tie them together with a narrow gold ribbon. The mini paper punch punches a hole about half the diameter of a regular punch. With wider ribbon you could probably use the standard size.

The total cost to make these invitations (including a matching reply post card) was about $30 (we have lots of card stock and envelopes left over which we will use for making birthday cards and other things so they won't go to waste). Prices of the paper and envelopes can be found in the Price Comparison Table. The tracing paper cost $1.69/50 sheets, the ribbon $.80/spool, the paint pens $2.79 each. We also used some gold tissue paper which we wrapped the invitations in before putting them in the envelopes...it cost about $2.00/package at Michaels. I made a total of 80 invitations. The finished invitation including the reply post card and a map weighed in at under 1 ounce so Becky was able to mail them for 33 cents each instead of 55 cents.

Here is Wendy's description of how to make the invitations (thanks for sharing it with us Wendy!):

These invites are "self-mailers," which means there is no envelope whatsoever; they are completely self-contained.

We are using postcard paper; it comes as a regular 8.5" x 11" paper, but is scored so that you can neatly separate it into four postcards. We will be removing ONE of the quadrants. I'll describe the front and back separately.

FRONT

The upper left panel is the map to the church and reception, and brief info on hotels, airports, and the guests-only webpage (still in development). The upper right panel is the invitation text. The lower left panel is the front of the response card, stamped by us, with our return address ("The Green and Stengel Wedding" so any more conservative guests can pretend that we are not living together); the lower left corner of this panel (if you detach the card) has a small image of the cartoon Nick and Wendy Wedding.

Flipping it over....

The upper left panel is our Nick and Wendy Wedding cartoon. (Wendy had an artistic friend draw this for her)



The upper right panel is the address panel. Our return address is in what becomes the upper left corner of the panel when everything is folded, and, again, the lower left of the panel has a small image of the cartoon Nick and Wendy Wedding. We will hand address the invitations on this panel.

The lower right panel is the response card, with "I/We [ ] accept with pleasure [ ] regret I/we can't attend." and a "Guest's Meal Preference (please circle)". Then, there's a line for each guests' name, with the choices for meal next to them. We will adjust the number of lines for the number of guests. This takes the place of an inner envelope AND the response card; every person invited will be listed specifically here, and there won't be room for write-in guests.

This all folds up along the score lines. The bottom panel folds up, covering the map. Then, the invitation panel folds in, covering the response card panel. We will then seal the package with a clear round sticker. The final mailer shows the large Nick and Wendy cartoon, and the formal address panel.

The guests can then detach the response card and mail it back (pre-paid). They can either separate the map/info card from the invite, or keep them together for easy reference. FRONT

The upper left panel is the map to the church and reception, and brief info on hotels, airports, and the guests-only webpage (still in development). The upper right panel is the invitation text. The lower left panel is the front of the response card, stamped by us, with our return address ("The Green and Stengel Wedding" so any more conservative guests can pretend that we are not living together); the lower left corner of this panel (if you detach the card) has a small image of the cartoon Nick and Wendy Wedding.

Flipping it over....

The upper left panel is our Nick and Wendy Wedding cartoon. (Wendy had an artistic friend draw this for her)



The upper right panel is the address panel. Our return address is in what becomes the upper left corner of the panel when everything is folded, and, again, the lower left of the panel has a small image of the cartoon Nick and Wendy Wedding. We will hand address the invitations on this panel.

The lower right panel is the response card, with "I/We [ ] accept with pleasure [ ] regret I/we can't attend." and a "Guest's Meal Preference (please circle)". Then, there's a line for each guests' name, with the choices for meal next to them. We will adjust the number of lines for the number of guests. This takes the place of an inner envelope AND the response card; every person invited will be listed specifically here, and there won't be room for write-in guests.

This all folds up along the score lines. The bottom panel folds up, covering the map. Then, the invitation panel folds in, covering the response card panel. We will then seal the package with a clear round sticker. The final mailer shows the large Nick and Wendy cartoon, and the formal address panel.

The guests can then detach the response card and mail it back (pre-paid). They can either separate the map/info card from the invite, or keep them together for easy reference.

If you decide to make your own invitations watch out for "kits". These have premade cards, matching envelopes and sometimes even software but you can probably buy the cheapest invitations out of a catalog for about the same price and save yourself a lot of trouble.