There are some things I fully encourage doing yourself, invitations are not one of them. While I can’t say my effort was a failure as I am pleased with the results, I can definitely say it wasn’t worth it. My invitation battle went something like this: Initially I wanted to make my own because it seemed like a good way to save money and an easy project, as time progressed I wasn’t sure if I would have time or if it would in fact be cheaper once I purchased all the supplies, and then after much searching for an ideal invitation with no luck I once again was back on track with making my own. Invitations were difficult for me as I feel like they are a major waste of paper and something the majority of people end up just throwing away. The thought of spending hundreds of dollars on future trash was too much to swallow. I had this brilliant, eco-friendly plan to make handmade paper from junk mail and office shreds. However the response to that was outstandingly negative as many people warned me that it would be extremely time-consuming, inconsistent, and difficult if not impossible to print on. The stubborn side of me wanted to do it anyway to prove everyone wrong but the logical side of me acknowledged that they were all probably right. The ball got rolling when I heard that the Blue Dot Paper Shop was downsizing and thus having a sale. I found enough supplies for 100 invitations including envelopes for about $30. I ordered linen paper and red vellum. However when the paper arrived I wasn’t a huge fan of the vellum and it didn’t occur to me originally that I should probably be using a heavier quality paper for an invitation. So I ended up ordering linen card stock and went on a search elsewhere to replace the vellum. The search was futile as I was unable to find anything that matched the picture in my mind and the thought kept creeping in my mind of my original plan to be eco-friendly. I knew if I didn’t use that vellum it would essentially be wasted because there is only so much scrap booking you can do with red vellum. I decided to use it and move forward. I also purchased ribbon, two rubber stamps, and some little stick on pearls. The total for everything came in right around $50 and as I had planned to have enough for 100 invitations, that is of course, $.50 per invitation.
Bear with the poor quality of the pictures as they were taken with my Blackberry.
I must preface with the fact that Murphy’s Law very much applies to invitations. From printing to cutting to attaching, I ran into issues. My biggest sources of annoyance were that stamp ink does not dry on vellum, thus creating smudging and smearing, and the many, many tedious steps involved. If you are having issues cutting people from your guest list, consider making your own invitations. By the middle of the project you will no doubt be willing to cut people if it means having one less invitation to make! Don’t get me wrong, I am a crafty person with a good deal of patience for projects such as these. However, while I know most people will trash my handmade works of art, I still wanted them to look nice (sans smeared ink and curly vellum). This added pressure may be why the project took a bad turn. I first had to design the print on my computer and then fit it accordingly on the 8.5 x 11 paper to insure that when I cut it, it was equally laid out. Perhaps if you are a pro in graphic design or have some fancy program this would be easier, I on the other hand used Microsoft Word. After cutting both the card stock and vellum, I had to stamp them, punch holes in them, attach them with ribbon, and embellish them with the little pearls. I also stamped the envelopes so they would coordinate. As I mentioned, vellum curls. This problem is generally alleviated by putting it under something heavy for a while but none the less still a pain. If I had simply printed invitations on the card stock, this project may have had a much more positive outcome. If you decide to make your own invitations my bits of wisdom are this: Keep it Simple and Get Some Help! Avoid multiple pieces which translate to multiple steps and time. I took on this project solo from the creation to the envelope stuffing. If you have some willing bridesmaids, your mom, or anyone else who is interested in helping definitely accept the help. I only made 60 and at this point my biggest fear is not quite having enough, a very possible reality, and having to make more! With that being said my best piece of advice, save this one for the pros. I can’t say the savings in money outweighed the time and stress involved. For another even easier option, head to Glo for many online options that involve no paper, no postage, and no trash at the end!
Has anyone else made their own invitations? What was your experience?