Hello and welcome to my first blog. I had a hard time deciding what to write about in the design world, so I decided to write about something I recently worked on in the design/arts & crafts world … my DIY wedding invitations!
When I started planning for our wedding I got overwhelmed. The price of everything was more than I could have imagined, including the wedding invitations I liked on minted.com with a price tag of $658. I realized I could use my creativity as a tool to save money throughout our wedding planning process, and that’s when I decided to make the invitations myself. I had a hard time coming up with an idea that would not look too “scrapbooky” or “crafty” and then it hit me … a stamp!
Where do you get a stamp though? Well, not only do they have stamp shops but there was one right by my house. I found out that I could use my own vector design and it would only cost $40 for a 3” x 6” stamp. I loved the idea of a stamp because I would be able to design my own invitation, pick my ink colors and use a variety of my favorite papers. Before I decided to move forward though, I wanted to make sure I could get a thick quality paper stock that wasn’t too expensive
I drove up to Clampitt Paper in Fort Worth, I have ordered paper from them for many commercial print jobs and they are very helpful. They have so many awesome papers varying in color, texture and weight. I asked them if I could grab some samples from their sample room and they had no problem with it. I needed uncoated paper in the thickest weight I could find. I grabbed some large sample sheets of the Neenah Classic Crest ® 165lb cover in several colors. It turned out that all of the samples were enough to make around 180 invitations, including the mess ups. Nothing beats free!
Next I designed the invitation. I knew I wanted to use several fonts and different elements to make the design look solid as a one color piece since I wouldn’t be able to use a variety of colors. Since we are Texans, I added in a little “tie the knot rope” element as a separation line between information details.
I sent my file to Thomas Rubber Stamps in Fort Worth, bought a few different colors of large archival ink pads from Michaels, crossed my fingers and hoped that all of this would turn out how I wanted. I was so nervous when I got the stamp back (which only took two days after I sent the file), but once I stamped it for the first time on the paper it turned out GREAT! I loved the “stamped” look and I loved that each invitation was slightly different than the other. Before I started stamping everything, I measured out a grid on each sheet of paper so that I could stamp inside my pencil lines to make sure they would be straight when I cut them.
I was so happy with the result and excited that my idea was turning out so well that I decided to order another stamp for the RSVP card and one for our return address to keep our invitations consistent in style. I designed the stamps and sent them to be made at Thomas Rubber Stamps again. The RSVP stamp was 4″ x 3.5″ for $29 and the return address stamp was 1.75″ x 1″ for $14 (I still use this stamp for all of our outgoing mail!).
After I finished stamping all of the invitations and RSVP cards, I took them to Kinkos and cut them on their free paper cutters. This was pretty easy since I had my pre-measured pencil lines on all of the sheets.
Once finished cutting, I bought some natural and bright white colored invitation envelopes at Kay’s Hallmark for $.40 each (they sell them as singles). I also decided that the invitations needed something more FUN, I wanted them simple but they were a little too simple. I ordered some extra large pink and navy (our wedding colors) tissue confetti on Etsy for $7. This did the trick and gave the invitations just what they needed (along with a small dab of glitter rubbed on each invitation). The last thing I needed was paper clips to clip the RSVP card and invitation together, so I bought two boxes of regal paper clips from office max . These worked perfect and tied everything together as a whole.
In the end, 180 invitations cost me a total of:
- Paper – FREE
- Stamps – $83
- Ink – $12
- Cutting – FREE
- Envelopes – $72
- Confetti – $7
- Paper Clips – $5
Total – $179
This equals out to about $1 per invitation set, which is an awesome price for an amazing quality substantial paper stock and a well designed unique invitation that looked professional. Most people pay around $4-$12 dollars for invitation sets with similar paper/design quality. Our invitations got a ton of compliments and we are very proud of them!