I've told you that we worked very hard to keep our wedding economical. The first stop for saving money on our DIY wedding was our wedding invitations.
I've been scrapbooking for about a decade and making cards here and there for about as long. I figured that I could handle the invitations. And I did. It ended up saving me about $200.
I chose a gatefold design...I just liked the look. And as much as I despise the task of printing on vellum, I do like the look. So I bit the bullet and designed my invitations to include a vellum overlay.
The printed portion of the invitation was fairly easy. I had to buy my envelopes, so I used them to decide on my size. I picked ivory envelopes to give everything a bit more of a vintage feel and to blend with the tea stained paper that I was using for my flowers.
The card base was a 5x7" piece of silver gray cardstock. I cut these from 12x12 sheets that I purchased for 4/$1. I chose a couple of fonts and a scroll design and built the layout in Microsoft Publisher. They were all printed on my HP inkjet.
I used the remainders of the gray cardstock to make the RSVP cards. They were also designed on Publisher.The maps and directions were designed and printed onto plain white paper.
Once those were done, I printed on that pesky vellum. I used 8 1/2 x 11" sheets with each sheet containing vellum for two invitations. I chose the phrase "Eat, drink, and be married!". It took me a day to whittle that down from three initial choices, but it seemed the most lighthearted and the most like us.
I carefully laid the vellum out throughout my scrapbook and crop rooms in order to let them dry without smudging. I did wreck a couple of them, but overall there was only a little bit of error and waste. It turned out better than I thought it would...one of those things that came from learning the hard way on other projects. The first time I used vellum it was a smudgy disaster.
It was a bit of a trial and error process to get the gatefold design just right. I started each invite with a piece of 12x12 plum cardstock. Just like the silver gray, I bought the paper at 4/$1. I wrecked a couple of sheets of paper before I figured it out.
I cut it down to a 12x7 and marked the width out 2.5" from the center on each side. I scored lines at these marks and used a bone folder to crease the paper along those lines and fold the outside flaps in.
I cut the sides down to 2.5" from the right hand crease line and 2.75" from the left hand crease line. This allowed the two sides to slightly overlap when folded into the center.
Once I had the width of my folds, I marked the center of the height and cut diagonally with my paper trimmer to the points from both top and bottom.
It was a slow process, but it went fairly smoothly once I figured out the measurements I needed to use. I also did everything in an assembly line style, completing one step on all of the papers before moving to the next step. That seemed to keep me on track and reduced the amount of errors I made in measurements.
The printed cardstock was adhered to the center of the purple gatefold with an adhesive runner. The vellum was laid over the top of the printed cardstock.
Once the gatefolds were turned in, I wrapped a pair of ribbons around (one silver, one purple) and tied a knot. The edges were cut at an angle to prevent fraying. The ribbon was tied loose enough to slide on and off the card for opening.
The finishing touch was the paper flower glued to the center of the knot. The paper flowers were fairly simple to make. I used a Fiskars flower punch and tea stained book pages. Two flowers were offset and glued together. I curled the edges and inked them purple. A purple starburst was punched from the leftovers of the purple cardstock and adhered to the center of each flower. An adhesive crystal was then placed on top of each starburst.
The total cost for my invitations and envelopes ended up at about $60. I was very happy with the way they turned out.
Now...to share a little bit of wisdom I learned along the way. Postage can be a headache. If you are mailing invitations of any kind, I suggest you go to your local post office and request a dimensional standards template.
The template will tell you what sizes will qualify for particular postage charges. In my case, the invitations were too thick for standard postage since they couldn't easily fit through the slit cut in the template. That meant that my postage was 0.60 per item.
The template was also handy for determining what postage to place on the RSVP cards. I designed them to fit within the postcard space, thus saving us about $0.13 per item.
And there you have it. If you have a little bit of craftiness in you (and access to a basic design program and printer), you can do this yourself. It's worth it if you're wanting to pinch a few pennies here and there.