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DIY Invitation Guide – By Toni Brockliss

This DIY yourself invitation guide is mainly focused on weddings,

but you can take the information and change it to suit your special

DIY Invitations

• People appreciate the time and love that goes into making
personal invitations
• You feel so proud of yourself when you have completed
your last invite to send
• It saves you money than getting them printed professionally
• With the introduction of the internet, you have access to a
huge variety of fonts and galleries to gather inspiration
• It’s supposed to be fun not a chore so if it’s for a wedding
you can gather a working party of mums, bridesmaids,
grannies and make a fun working bee.
• If you are doing a birth announcement, do them before the
baby is born. It’s a great way to kill time while you are
waiting for your baby to be born.

This is a list of everything you can make for any occasion

out of paper or card-

• Invitation
• Save The Date Card
• Guest Book
• Menu
• Table Place Cards
• Order of Service
• Party Decorations
• Bonbonniere
• Table Scatters
• Thank You Cards
When making an invitation you have to consider

• Theme
• Style
• Time commitment
• Budget

Theme and Style

• The site, setting and theme of your wedding should have an

impact on the invitation you choose.
• Your invitation is meant to give your guests a feel for the
theme and style of your wedding
• Many brides will design their wedding invitations in the
colours of their bridesmaid dresses, flowers, favourite
colour or colours of the reception.


• Beach wedding - Frangipanis, bright colours and raffia

• Traditional - White and black, calligraphy handwriting, plain
• 60 Birthday Party – Maybe a photo of the person with a
favourite colour
• Birth announcement – Pink, Blue or unisex colours and cute

Personal Touches

• Wedding, party or baby invitation should most importantly

reflect your style as a couple.
• You should also consider if your wedding is informal or


• Wedding invitations can be very expensive. If you are on a

tight wedding budget you may need to look for ways to save
on wedding invitations
Tips to save on wedding invitations:

• Choose a simple design and it will cost less than an

elaborate or layered invitation.
• If you desire an elaborate design, keep the cost down by
choosing inexpensive paper.
• Order the right quantity paper and embellishments
• Shop around for embellishments
• Instead of making separate cards, include all your
information on the one card

At The Store

• Make sure you take pen, paper and a calculator to work

out your costs.
• Take your time
• Buy a couple of paper samples to make up some different
prototypes to show your partner. This will also show you
exactly how the invitation will look.
• Don’t have your heart set on paper or embellishments such
as ribbon that is going to run out at the store. Make sure
you speak to the shop girls and ask if there is enough paper
in the warehouse to make your invitations.

10 Steps to creating an invitation

• Choosing your papers

• Calculating your numbers
• Choosing your design
• Wording
• Printing
• Cutting
• Collating
• Gluing
• Embellishing
• Posting
Choosing your Papers

• Can be overwhelming with the amount of choice available


• Can be found at stationary and arts and crafts stores

• Everything from simple card to paper with embossed edges
to recycled paper pressed with dried flowers and leaves.
• There are different weights of paper and different
finishes of paper – shiny, matt, handmade, vellum
• Paper and Card choices
• Most trace papers have a shiny side and a matt non
shiny side.It is usually preferable to print on the non shiny
• If you are using a pen to hand write names use the non shiny
side and test the paper first.

Costs of paper

• Handmade paper with a thread will be more expensive to

use then plain coloured card.
• Plain card and paper doesn’t mean dowdy or cheap it’s what
you do with it that counts.

Size of paper

• Paper comes in 2 sizes

• A4 or Scrapbook 12 x 12
• A4 is easier to run through a printer but you need more.
• Scrapbooking paper allows you to use your off-cuts for table
settings, rsvp, tags etc

Invitations are made in the following sizes

• A5 – 148mm x 210mm C5 envelope 162mm x 229mm

• DL – 99mm x 210mm DL envelope 110mm x 220mm
• Square – 130mm x 130mm SQ Envelope 150mm x 150mm
• A6 – 105mm x 148mm C6 Envelope 114mm x 162mm
• You can make invitations any size and shape you like.

• Remember when planning how many invitations, rsvp,

placecards and order of service you have to do, many
guests are coupled.
For example: You may have a 100 people coming so you
may do -
50 invitations for couples (one per couple)
10 invitations for single people
5 extras in case of mistakes or last minute invites and don’t
forget to keep one for your wedding album.
As a rough guide you would need 65 sheets of each paper
to make enough invitations for 100 people.
• The number of sheets you need also varies depending
on type of invitation you are making. For example you
may get three invitations to an A4 sheet is you are doing
them in thirds. Therefore 65 divided by 3 = approx 22 sheets.
*Remember you will still need 65 envelopes
• When printing your own placecards from an A4 sheet. You
can get 6 x (10cm x 10.5cm) then score in half.

Choosing Your Design

• The design layout of your invitation is the hardest part of

your wedding stationary. Once this has been designed
everything else generally flows from this design to your order
of service books, placecard, thank yous, etc..

You can use the following layouts -

• Layers
• Invitation Pockets
• Tri-folds
• Cards
• Envelope and Invitation in one
• Cards with windows cut out
• Sash – great for expensive paper
• Ellison Die-Cut Machine to make your design
• If you make a invitation pocket you will need 1 sheet of paper
per invitation
• Don’t use flimsy paper to make folders as it won’t take the
weight of the invitation

• Generally the names of the people hosting (paying) for the

wedding should be on the invitation but this varies widely.
Even if a couple is paying for a wedding, you don’t want to
forget your Mum and Dad just because they are not
• Wording on an invitation used to be very strict but now
anything goes – but you certainly don’t want to offend
anyone or hurt anybody’s feelings by leaving them out.
• Then you have to factor in deceased relatives,
remarrying, children, etc so basically follow your heart
when it comes to your wording.
• If you want to acknowledge people, consider having a thank
you page in your ceremony booklet.
• You can get information from the Internet, Bridal
Magazines, WA Bridal Magazine which you get for free
when you put an ad in the West Australian. Cristina Re
CD has examples of wording.

General layout of wording on an invitation for a wedding

• Formal or Traditional Wedding – Brides and Grooms Parents

• Guests who are being invited
• Bride and Grooms names
• When it is
• Where it is
• Time is starts
• RSVP information
• Dress Code
• Map
• Gift Registry information – make these or get free cards from
the store you have your registry with

• Wedding invitations are written in the 3rd person.

• Bride, Grooms names and invited guests names are written
in full
• Be specific about who you are inviting
Computers and Printers

• You can buy the Cristina Re Printstation CD for $24.95.

• Excellent value
• Has cutting guidelines
• Option to type in all boxes and change individual names
• Also prints your labels.
• Other computer software is Printing Press Pro
• If you don’t have the cd or software you can set up your
margins on a word document.
• Don’t forget to choose landscape when printing your
invitations length wise.

You must also consider your Printer when making a purchase

for paper suitability-

• Some papers are better suited to a laser printer or

• Textured paper will not allow laser toner to 'set' in the
grooves as the heat rollers can't reach the toner.
• Some inkjet printers cannot print on translucent
• I strongly recommend making a test print first.
• If you don't have a laser printer and wish you did,
consider making a master copy on your inkjet on
plain copy paper and then copying onto your good
paper through a quality photocopier. Clean the
glass first!
• Always check the print preview to see that your
copy fits on the page and test by printing on a plain
sheet of paper, that is cut to size, before you print
on your real stock.
• Never hit the print button for all of your prints before
you do one test print!
• Snap Printers will print your wording on the paper of your
choice or ask a friend who has a computer to print them
for you.

Finding the right font

• Fonts can change the whole look of your invitation.

There are hundreds and hundreds of free font
downloads on the internet

Hand Writing
• Practice before writing on your invitations and envelopes -
preferably on the same stock as your invitations.
• Don’t do the whole task in the one hit
• Use a fancy pen and nice handwriting.
• Ask a friend to do it if you don’t like your own
• Best pens are -
 Francheville Acid Free Glitter Gel
 Mitsubishi Uni-Ball
 Stabilo Permanent Fine Marker


• Paper trimmers can be hired from Stamp-It for $3.50 per

day. You have to pay $30 for bond, but you get that back
when you return the trimmer.
• You can buy a trimmer for around $35.
• Buy additional blades to keep the paper crisp.
• When printing it is helpful to print cutting guides so that
your shapes are not crooked.


• I generally do all my cutting, then collating, then gluing rather

than doing my invitations individually. It allows you to clean
up your work area in-between jobs.
• Collate on a large clean work space – your dinning room
table, work bench or a clean floor


• Double-sided tape is my glue of choice. You can buy a

33 meter roll for $7.
• Glue sticks are fine for sticking most papers together, but
you will need craft glue for ribbons, hearts, wooden
shapes etc
• Keep a pin in the nib of the glue so it doesn’t dry out and
don’t use too much.
• Wet Glue of choice if Glossy Accents. Drys clear.
• When with trace papers, try to avoid gluing trace to Dark
backing papers. Consider using: ribbon, small paper
fasteners or place a wooden shape, sticker or bow over
the top to hide the glue
• Don’t use any wet glue on paper because it will bubble if
you put too much on.
Embellishing and Decorating

• There are so many choices of embellishments when it comes

to decorating your invitations.
• Some of the most popular choices are –


• Make sure you buy enough ribbon for your invitations.

Many brides are disappointed when the ribbon runs out at
the shop.
• Buy enough ribbon to tie bows without being all thumbs.
• Tie your bow first, then untie it, then cut your ribbon as a
measurement. Measure carefully - If you cut them too small
you will scream.
• You will need more ribbon the wider it gets.
• Attach ribbon with glue, tape or staple for a fun look.
• If you cut ribbon on a slight slant it won’t fray on the edges
and always fold your ribbon under your card.
• Cut your ribbon on a sharp angle to thread through a


• Prima flowers come in all shapes, sizes and colours

• You can buy small prima flowers and get 200 in a bottle
• Large prima flowers come in packs of 100 for $12.95 which
means that you can decorate your invitation for 13 cents
• Attach flowers with fasteners, craft glue or glossy accents


• Different finishes, shapes and colours they go perfectly with

ribbon for a simple but effective look
• A small piece of tape with make sure your buckle sits


• You can buy packs of 50 feathers from Spotlight in any

• Attach with glue, fasteners or a little piece of double-sided
Paper Fasteners

• Any size, shape or colour, paper fasteners also come with

pearl, diamante or flower finishing.
• When using paper fasteners, brads or pins, poke a hole
through the paper with a pin.


• You can buy stamps and stamp the image on your invitation
or envelope.
• You can get your stamps made at Stamp-It.
• Size D wood mounted stamp is around $20
• Can hire a heat gun from Stamp-It for $9.50 per day
• Lots of different looks to stamping, different embossing
powder colours and texture
• When using embossing powders, put the powder in an
empty ice-cream container so that you can put your whole
invitation into it with getting it everywhere.
• If you use Utee it can give the same look as a wax seal


• KI has lots of shapes and circles with words that you can use
on your invitation. If the circles are blank you can use rub-on
words or stamps to put your personal touch on it

Wooden Shapes

• Decorate with wooden shapes.

• Lots of different shapes, sizes and objects
• Popular on childrens party invitations or baby


• Lots of different charms in gold, antique gold, silver or

• Charms have tiny holes so that you can thread cord through
them and tie them on your projects.

• If you are handy on the computer with a program like
Photoshop, you can make invitations with pictures and then
print them on card.
• Lovely for a individual look or adding personal photographs
of the people the invitation is for
• Go to a photobooth and take photos together and do a long
invitation with photos running down the side – great for an
engagement party


• Punches come in 3 different sizes and in all shapes

• You can also do different border or corner punching to
achieve a look

Decorative Scissors

• Can be used to finish off your design.

• If you are having a formal wedding, you can choose scissors
to look like a scroll or Victorian edging.

Dried flowers or leaves

• You can also make your own paper using dried flowers.
• Handle with care as dired flowers are very delicate and can
break up
• 2 sheets of grease proof paper, place the flowers or leaves
between the 2 sheets then iron together on a low setting

Dry Embossing
• Fiskars Dry Embossing tools and patterns give an expensive
looking finish to your invitation papers or card.
• Time consuming so choose an easy design or make sure
you have enough time to complete your project.

• Any finish, object or colour – stickers are great for adding
personal touches to an invitation.
• Use stickers seals for your envelopes


• Weddings – 6 to 8 weeks before the date. This also allows

for RSVP returns and confirming numbers with caterers etc
• Overseas guests need as much warning as possible to
save for flights and accommodation etc.
• Making Save the Date cards and sending them before the
invitation is very helpful.
• Birthdays – 4 weeks before
• Baby Showers – leave enough time before a birth incase you
have your baby early
• Birth Announcements – within the first month
• Thank You – within 2 weeks of your event
• When you address your envelopes always include a return
address on the back.
• Make sure you get them weighed properly at the post office
to work out your costs.
• Use a nice pen to write your envelopes
• If you are using Cristina Re Printstation CD you have the
option to print your own labels.
• Best labels to use are the Avery Standard Labels
• Buy those from Office Works
• If you don’t have the CD – set up labels with your margins on
a word document
• Plaster hearts and wax are likely to break in the mail.
Always have invitations `Franked' at the counter at the
Post Office

Bonbonniere Boxes

• Use the Ellison Die-cut machine to make your boxes

• Re-enforce with double-sided tape
• If you are using flimsy paper, line your box with cheap
• Transparent Film looks great for matching your colour

Table Scatters
• Can be made with a punch.
• Just punch the shape out of your paper and scatter on
your table


• Around candles, candle holders

• Don’t get too close to the open flame
• Don’t use glue as it will melt
• Use paper fasteners