How to Make Wedding Invitations by Hand

how to make wedding invitations by hand

You Can Make Wedding Invitations by Hand Using Canva and Stamping Supplies

This month I combined the Craft Challenge with a client project, so you get to learn how to make wedding invitations by hand!! What better way to bust a craft stash than with a massive project that uses up a whole bunch of paper?! My client is getting married in Hawaii in January 2018, and she wanted to have her invitations fit in with the tropical theme of her wedding. She asked me to design an invitation with matching envelopes to fit her style and her wedding style. Since she wanted to keep her invitation expense low I decided to keep the design simple and the invitations fairly easy to make. It’s easy enough that anyone can make wedding invitations by hand with a little practice!

How I Created the Wedding Invitations

To create the wedding invitations I had to work with my client to determine her wedding style. Since she chose a tropical, Hawaiian feeling, and had a green color palette, I came up with a few designs that fit that styling. To develop the wedding invitations I used an online application called Canva, and uploaded my artwork to create the invitations. You could use a similar program, like Adobe Creative Cloud, to do the same thing. Canva has some pre-made templates for wedding invitations if you need ideas, sample wording, or a starting point. This is really handy if you’re new to graphic design!

In Canva I chose a 5 inch by 7 inch template as a starting point. This size is the traditional invitation size, and I had a great idea for jazzing up a simple printed invite that needed a larger piece of paper. In Canva I dragged and dropped the elements I uploaded until I had developed a few different designs. I sent my client screen shots of the different designs I had come up with, so she could choose what she liked the best and suggest any changes. We went back and forth a couple times to tweak the design, and adjust the wording. When she was happy with the finished product and gave me the go ahead to proceed to print I downloaded the invitation we finalized. Remember to save your work as you go, so you don’t lose any of your designs!

How to Print the Invitations

In Canva you can download the finished design in pdf, png and jpg. Pdf provides you with the highest print quality, so it’s the ideal format for when you are ready to print. To download your design in Canva you click on Download, select PDF-Print, then click on the green download button. To print this download, you open the PDF document, then click the print button (Printer Icon) on the upper left hand side of the screen. Select the printer model, and adjust your printer settings. Set your printer settings to “100%” scale to ensure your designs will print the intended size. Adjust any other settings before clicking on the print button.

For a 5″ x 7″ design I print two copies per page using my printer’s settings, so that I can save on paper. I also adjust for using a heavier weight paper. For my client’s invitations I used a mid-weight opalescent card stock, so I chose the card stock setting to let my printer know it had to make adjustments for the heavier paper. My printer is also an ink jet, so I had to be sure that I quickly grabbed each sheet of paper from the print tray, to set aside and lay it flat to dry before stacking anything on top of it. Because I was using a watercolor design the little puddles of ink that you get in darker spots looked more realistic, like I had hand watercolor painted each invitation.

How to Cut the Invitations

I used a paper trimmer to cut the invitations from the letter sized sheet of paper. I made sure to trim off the white edges first, then cut the invitations apart, ensuring they were both 5″ x 7″ once trimmed. You can cut the invitations by hand using scissors, but the design may not look as professional when you are done. Using a paper trimmer enables you to achieve a crisp, straight edge that looks very professional when you’re done. Ensure your cutting blade is sharp to achieve the crisp cut in one pass.

How to Make Wedding Invitations by Hand that Look Professional

You could stop with the simple printed invitation that is designed using software and printed in high quality. The result would be similar to ordering your wedding invitations online through a printing company. Or, you could make wedding invitations by hand look more professional by adding a luxurious element to elevate the design. That’s what I did for my client’s Hawaiian themed wedding invitations. I added a large embossed pineapple to the back of her invitations. Not only did her invitations look and feel professional, they had a luxurious embossed texture that you usually have to pay a lot for when you use a professional printer.

To elevate the design further, I also added a hand stamped design to the flap of the invitation sized envelopes I used to coordinate with the opalescent paper I used for the invitations. I did not emboss the envelope’s design, because adding heat to a flap that has envelope glue on it generally isn’t a good idea. I also tend to avoid adding too many dimensional elements to envelopes to prevent damage when it’s in the mail. My client didn’t have a preference for the envelope design and told me to use a variety of designs, if I wanted to. So, I chose two different shades of ink that coordinated with her wedding colors and the invitations, and used those with a variety of tropical stamps to hand stamp all the envelope flaps. Here’s how the pieces turned out:

Technique Time: How to Emboss!

Embossing is one of my favorite stamping techniques! It’s luxurious, adds texture and is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I practiced for a bit before I moved onto any final products. This meant I would have a clean finished version and a little less frustration. Trial and error is worth it!

Step 1: Use an embossing buddy to remove the static from the paper.

Step 2: Using Versamark ink and the stamp of your choice, stamp the image onto the paper. If you’re using photopolymer stamps use a stampin’ pad to apply your image.

Step 3: Add embossing powder to the wet image (It’s easier to go all one color. If using multiple colors, be careful to get the powder only where you want it, and to do one color at a time. So, do step 3, then 4 for one color in one area, then repeat using the other color in the other area.)

Step 4: Lightly tap off excess embossing powder (I put it back in the jar and have the jar on a tray to catch any spills).

Step 5: Using the heat set tool on setting 2 move it in small circles over the image until the embossing powder melts together. Be careful not to touch the image with the heat gun, or to touch your fingers onto the image until the embossing powder has melted and cooled completely.

Your finished product will look like this:

Embossing powders come in a variety of colors and finishes. I made the four pineapples above using five different colors of embossing powder. The bottom of the pineapples is the same – it’s all gold. The tops are four different shades of green, and two different finishes: a matte finish and a glitter/sparkle finish. Stampin’ Up! made the gold embossing powder and the emerald glitter embossing powder. The mint glitter, pesto green and tourmaline green embossing powders are made by Recollections, which is from Michaels.

Now that you know how to make wedding invitations by hand, you are set to make invitations for all sorts of events!!

2017 Craft Challenge Blog Hop

Check out this month’s blog posts from the other Craft Challenge participants to get your DIY fix. Get inspired with a variety of other ideas and play along to bust your craft stash too!

Emily from A Pop of Red: Pastel Word Art
Martha from The Art in Martha: Embroidered Spirograph Pillow
Mary from Sew Much Love, Mary: Pastel Easter Wreath
Vanessa from Social Stampers: How to Make Wedding Invitations By Hand
Megan from Make Something Mondays: Polka Dot Gift Card Holder
Carin from Eclectic Soapbox: Spring Ribbon Wreath
Heather from Shiftmama: Folded Paper Keepsake Book
Jemma from Thimble and Twig: Spring Easter Wreath

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