How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

Over the years, we’ve put countless wedding invitation suites together. Whether they were for this DIY column, for a client or even for our own weddings, we’re always blown away by how different a design can look once a couple puts their own personal spin on the details. Today we’ll show you just how different one of our standard letterpress designs (our Old West Invitation) can look once we add in all of the special details that bring the suite together. Hopefully this column inspires you to think outside the box about your own invitations! Be sure to check out the bottom of the post where we share our favorite DIY resources! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

triptic How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

Bespoke design services are certainly available and a very popular option right now. It stands to reason that couples want a suite that reflects their personal style and the special day that they are planning. While they’re a great option for some, many budgets just can’t accommodate the high prices that come along with the custom design process. It’s not the only option to get something that suits you and also your budget. DIY-ing components of your suite and putting everything together with friends and family can really help the bottom line.

Maybe you want a letterpress invitation but also a vintage postcard reply. That’s when using a rubber stamp on a portion of your wedding invitation suite can come in really handy. Want envelope liners but the high price tag of having them installed blows the budget? Find fun patterned wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper and do it yourself. It will definitely take some extra time and effort but in the end offers the same custom look. The options for customizing your suite are endless (really, they are) so we’ll show you three designs and outline what it took to achieve each look. We’ll also give you some of our go-to resources for the fun stuff so that you can find exactly what you might need!

cactus How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

Our first suite is a fun play on traditional western imagery. We brought in tonal shades of green with the envelopes and a cactus patterned paper. We used the letterpress wedding invitation as well as the coordinating reply card (our Old West Invitation and Old West Reply Card) to keep it simple. For this suite we splurged and used calligraphy addressing because it’s really the best way to get opaque white ink and to add more of a unique touch. Twine always looks great with western design, so we used a peach bakers twine over a belly band to tie the pieces together.

blush How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

For the second design, we wanted to illustrate just how pretty and feminine western design can be. We took the same Old West Invitation but paired it with pretty vintage postcard that featured a peach colored cactus flower and rubber stamped our reply info on the back. Adding in this imagery really helped us tie in the blush envelope and the coordinating chocolate and pink western liner. Of course, tying it together with a pretty Grecian Pink ribbon doesn’t hurt either. This suite was addressed using a digital addressing service. Just because you might not be able to afford a calligrapher doesn’t mean that you must resort to those tacky clear labels. There are many options for guest addressing with style selections to choose from.  There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find something to coordinate with your suite.

navajo How to Add Your Personal Touch to DIY Wedding Invitations

By far the most pricey and customized design of the group, this suite includes custom art and a box mailer. We still used the same Old West invitation design but brought in luxe details like the navajo patterned response card and vintage arrowheads – all enclosed in a little gift box. Thinking “out of the box” can be really fun if you have the time and budget to bring in special details like these (even if they’re actually in a box). Custom guest address labels were used on this design in lieu of calligraphy. We knew the box would need a lot of postage, especially if using vintage postage stamps, but hand lettering and calligraphy needs quite a bit of room to execute. The label is printed out with both your guest address as well as your return address and wraps onto the back of the envelope (or box). It’s especially appropriate for the box mailers since it seals one side of the box shut.

We hope that your mind is a-buzz with ideas of how to make your own wedding invitations custom and unique to you! There are many options out there and it pays off to spend a little time adding some DIY touches your your own invitations.

Resources

Designs used in the tutorial: Old West Letterpress Invitation, Old West Letterpress Reply Card, Old West Coral Patterned Paper

About Envelopes: Adding colored envelopes is always a great option. Often invitation companies will give you a credit if you elect not to use the envelope that they provide with the invitations. Our favorite envelope sources are Paper Source, Paper Presentation and Envelopes.com. Between the three, they offer a wide selection of colors and styles for your to choose from. There are many others out there too if you spend the time to search around.

About Addressing Options

Calligraphy: It’s not for every budget, but calligraphy is a great options for many couples. If you have time, you can even try to learn for yourself with our tutorials and supply kit. Otherwise, calligraphers are plentiful both online and locally. If you’d prefer to work with a local calligrapher, the best way to find a talented and reputable person is currently to go through your local calligraphy guild. Using a local calligrapher can make your life easier and can be less expensive since you can avoid shipping things back and forth. They also tend to accommodate rush jobs more easily. Some calligraphers may not have websites…don’t let this deter you, they can easily email samples to show you their skills!

Digital Addressing Services: Envelopes.com offers addressing on their huge selection of envelopes. It’s a great option for a professional look without hiring a professional calligraphy to hand letter each envelope. Etsy also has many, many sellers that offer this service as well. These vendors do not necessarily stock the envelopes so you’ll need to use the ones provided or find your own.

Guest Address Labels: Etsy is another great source for this service as well. You can also ask your designer or stationer if they offer addressing options to coordinate with the design that you choose. They might offer one or all of the options through their shop.

Our Favorite DIY Supply Resources

Pattterned papers for DIY envelope liners and bellybands: Antiquaria, Paper SourcePaper Mojo

Vintage Postage:  Our favorites source is Verde Studio Vintage Stamps, don’t hesitate to contact Virginia at Verde Studio: she is brilliant at currating a custom mix of vintage postage to suite your needs. Other resources for vintage postage include: Champion Stamp Co.Ebay – USA unused stamps 1901-nowThe Paper Nickel

Ribbon: We love the soft look of rayon taylor’s ribbon available at Antiquaria, for a more organic look check out the gorgeous italian cotton ribbons at Angela LiguoriM&J Trimming has a full assortment of ribbons and trimming to choose from.

Bakers Twine: Baker’s twine now comes in a variety of colors. Here are two great sources: Antiquaria &  The Twinery

Anti­quaria is a mem­ber of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beau­ti­ful work right here or visit the real wedding invitations gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

With Mother’s Day right around the corner and a ton of summer birthdays on our calendar, we’ve had DIY gifts on the brain. As you might could guess, we typically prefer to make our friends and family gifts so that we know that they’re both thoughtful and unique. Today, we’ve put together a gorgeous DIY stationery set, perfect for all of those summer occasions that pop up requiring a killer gift. We used a mix black and white patterned paper for the envelopes and added a punchy coral card to make these sets modern and fun! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

Pattern Stationery FInal DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Pattern Stationery Step1 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Step One: First, you’ll need to make your template for the handmade envelopes. We deconstructed one of our favorite sizes (it also fit nicely on an 8.5″ x 11″ inch sheet of paper, so use that as a consideration) and traced it onto card stock. We then cut it out with scissors to use as our tracing guide for the patterned paper.

Pattern Stationery Step2 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Step Two: Trace your envelope template onto the backs of your patterned paper (we used our Brushed Floral No.1, Brushed Floral No.2, Brushed Geo No.1 and Brushed Geo No.2) and cut them out with scissors.

Pattern Stationery Step3 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Step Three: Fold each side of your envelope inward  to crease. Fold in the two sides (as shown above) and affix double sided tape to the lower fold’s edge. Fold it up to meet the sides and press to adhere. If there are stray pencil lines on the top flap of the envelope, gently erase them with your pencil (see below).

Pattern Stationery Step3 2 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Pattern Stationery Step4 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Step Four: Adding an address label will make writing on the patterned envelopes much easier. We found cute black and white labels and stuck them onto the front of each envelope. This also helps all of the patterns come together into a cohesive set. In addition, you’ll need to add scrapbooking tape onto the top flap of the envelope in lieu of the typical gumming you find in commercial envelopes. (So that they can be sealed for mailing)

Pattern Stationery Step5 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Step Five: Next, we made our patterned note cards using 2 floral pattern stamps. First we stamped the largest floral stamp (our Daisy Pattern Stamp) randomly across the back of the card. As you can see, we stamped some of the prints off of the edge of the card to give it the look of a pattern repeat.

Pattern Stationery Step6 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Step Six: After the large stamping is done, we filled the rest in with our Small Leaves Pattern Stamp. Again, we stamped some off of the edge. Once we were happy with the clusters and spacing, we set the card aside and repeated Step 5 and 6 on the rest of the note cards.

Pattern Stationery Step6 2 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

Each card back is a little different which makes the assortment really fun! You can also experiment with different colored cards and ink colors!

Pattern Stationery FInal 2 DIY Tutorial: Modern Personal Stationery Gift Set

The set is ready to be gifted! Add in some pretty washi tape and some fun postage to complete the gift!

Materials

Patterned Paper (Brushed Floral No.1, Brushed Floral No.2, Brushed Geo No.1, Brushed Geo No.2)

Pattern Stamps (Daisy Pattern, Small Leaf Pattern)

Address Labels

Note Cards cut to fit in your handmade envelope

Card Stock

Double Sided Tape

Scrapbooking Tape

Pencil

Scissors

Washi tape and Postage for gifting

Photography: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Sometimes it’s good to get back to DIY basics. Patterned invitation backers can break the budget for many couples because there is so much time and labor involved. We always like to encourage people to take matters into their own hands – and today we’ll show you exactly how to do that! Over the years, we’ve experimented with backers of all sorts as well as different methods to DIY-ing them. This simple tutorial yields beautiful results if you’re precise and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, so to speak! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

Patterned Backer Final DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Patterned Backer Step1 DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Step One: First you’ll want to decide what paper or material you’d like to use on the back of your invitations. We selected this Botanical Fern Paper in text weight to coordinate with the fern invitation design. Vertical directional patterns like this one mean that you’ll only get one backer out of each 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of text paper. If you’d like to get two backers per sheet, select a non-directional or horizontal pattern. Measure your invitation precisely (very, very precisely), and cut your text paper to that size. Our invitation was 5″ x 7″ so that is the size we cut our paper.

Patterned Backer Step2 DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Step Two: Gather all of your materials together. This will be your invitation, pre-cut paper backers, and spray glue. When using spray glue, it is important that you do your project in a ventilated location, preferably outside. Make sure that you have a clean, sturdy table so that you can move immediately to the next step. Hold the patterned paper, back side facing you, and spray with a light coat of spray adhesive (see photo below). When the entire surface is covered, move immediately to Step Three.

Patterned Backer Step2 2 DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Patterned Backer Step3 DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Step Three: On your clean and firm surface, place one invitation face down. Very carefully align the top corners of the backer to the top corners of the invitation. Slowly adhere the paper down the back until you’ve reached the bottom corners. Set aside. The key here is to really get the backer on carefully and straight. It’s just a matter of being precise and having the paper cut correctly to start.

Repeat Step Two and Three until all of your invitations are complete. Then move on to Step Four.

Patterned Backer Step4 DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Step Four: Check your invitations and see if there are any paper edges peeking over the edge of the invitation. If there is, carefully trim them off with a ruler and craft knife, being certain not to cut into the invitation itself. Once you’ve checked them all, let them cure. Overnight is best and you can also weigh them down under a heavy book if you’d like. The key is to make certain that they’re really well adhered.

Patterned Backer Final 2 DIY Tutorial: How to Back Invitations with Patterned Paper

Bookbinding linen, which has a study paper back adhered, is another really beautiful and classic option for backing your invitation (see the blush linen backer in the photo above). There are numerous colors to choose from and it’s just as easy to use as paper! No fraying involved!

Materials

Invitations

Patterned Paper or Book Binding Linen

Spray Adhesive

Ruler and Craft Knife

Anti­quaria is a mem­ber of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beau­ti­ful work right here or visit the real wedding invitations gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photography: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Spring is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited! When we stumbled across this gorgeous double sided watercolor paper by Rifle Paper Co., we just knew that it would be making a starring appearance in a future DIY tutorial. To kick off the season, we’ve designed a gorgeous, pastel invitation suite that would be perfect for any spring or summer event. The decorative watercolor paper trifold is just icing on the cake! We absolutely love it  this season as an alternative to the envelope liner! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

Watercolor Fold Final DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Watercolor Fold Step1 2 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step One: Gather and cut the decorative paper that is destined to be your trifold wrap around your invitation. To fit an A7 (5″ x 7″) card cut the paper into rectangles measuring 7″ tall by 11″ long. This will allow for an inch of overlap around your invitation card. The decorative paper that you choose doesn’t have to be double sided like ours is but we would recommend selecting a paper with a pretty back, either clean white or a color or pattern. Remember that the back will be seen when your guests view the invitation!

Watercolor Fold Step2 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step Two: For ease of folding and to make sure the line was straight, we scored one side of our decorative paper at the 2.5″ mark. Fold along the line and set the paper aside.

Watercolor Fold Step3 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step Three: Next we stamped our invitation piece on an A7 card. For this design we used our Mod Invitation Stamp and an antique pewter stamp pad. For a step-by-step video tutorial about this printing process go here.

Watercolor Fold Step4 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step Four: Next, we folded the other side of our decorative paper trifold around the A7 card, making sure it was a snug fit. We used a bone folder to make a crisp, folded edge.

Watercolor Fold Step5 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step Five: Insert the A7 invitation card into the trifold decorative paper with double sided tape or stick glue. Put the tape on all four corners of the back of your card. Carefully place it over the center of the trifold and press it down to adhere it to the decorative paper.

Watercolor Fold Step6 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step Six: For the reply card, we wanted to add some pattern and color to tie together the coral and turquoise sides of our decorative paper. For the reply card itself, we cut 4bar cards (3 1/2″ x 4 7/8″) out of our Paloma Patterned Coral Cover Paper and stamped our Mod  Reply Card Stamp on the blank, non-patterned side. We used a turquoise colored 4bar envelope stamped with our Mod Banner Return Address Stamp to coordinate. You will get four 4bar cards out of one sheet of card stock.

Watercolor Fold Step7 DIY Tutorial: Spring Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Step Seven: The last step puts all of the gorgeous finishing touches on the suite. We used the Paloma Coral Paper again, except in text weight, to make the belly bands wrapped around the suite. We cut them into strips of 2″ x 11″ – meaning you will get four belly bands per sheet of paper. After taping the belly band, we tied a piece of ribbon around the band to soften the look and add a bit of texture to the design.

We stamped the same return address (Mod Banner Return Address Stamp) on the back flap of a blush envelope before addressing them and sending them on their merry way! We promise that each guest will be truly delighted to receive such a present in their mailbox!

Materials

Mod  Invitation Stamp

Mod  Reply Card Stamp

Mod Banner Return Address Stamp

Stamp Pad in Antique Pewter

Decorative Paper (we used these ombré gift wrap sheets from Rifle Paper Co.) cut to 7″ x 11″

A7 Cards in Superfine White

A7 Envelopes in Luxe Blush

Paloma Coral Patterned Paper in Cover and Text weight

4bar Envelopes in Pool

Double sided tape or stick glue

Scoring Board

Ribbon

Anti­quaria is a mem­ber of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beau­ti­ful work right here or visit the real wedding invitations gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Tutorial: Hand Tinted Letterpress Save the Dates

Hand tinting was historically used to color black and white photographs before color photography was invented. It was also used on prints made by etching as a means to color them. For this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use this technique to bring a unique, vintage look to your letterpress save the dates or wedding invitations. Not only is it beautiful, it’s also super easy (as in two steps)! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

Hand tint Save the Date Final 1 DIY Tutorial: Hand Tinted Letterpress Save the Dates

Hand tinted Save the Date Step1 DIY Tutorial: Hand Tinted Letterpress Save the Dates

Step One: We chose two colors for this design: green and pink. When deciding what to do with your letterpress design, consider historical references for colors (searching hand tinted etching or photographs yields nice results).

First, we mixed our green color. We wanted it to be a little yellow tinged so we added some yellow to the green in our palette (see the upper left mixing area). The color needs to be very diluted to have it tint and not paint too heavily cover your letterpress print. Make sure to test your colors on an extra piece to make sure you have the technique down before starting the project.

Another key factor is how dry the brush is when it’s tinting the paper. You do not want it to be wet. Brushing it first against a paper towel helps keep the tint from being to watery. Again, it helps to work through this in testing.

Paint your first color in the desired area (in our case, green on the leaves) and set it aside to dry. Repeat on all cards.

Hand tinted Save the Date Step2 DIY Tutorial: Hand Tinted Letterpress Save the Dates

Step Two: Next, you’ll be adding in your second color to the flowers on the design. Mix up your desired color and test it on your spare piece until the color and dilution is right. Brush on the color (in our case, pink) in the desired areas. Set aside to dry and repeat on the rest of your cards.

Hand tinted Save the Date Final 5 DIY Tutorial: Hand Tinted Letterpress Save the Dates

Letterpress printing works exceptionally well with hand tinting because it created an indented texture when the print is made. This helps keep your tint in place and prevents coloring outside the lines or blotchiness. If you do end up with too much water on the print, it’s easy to quickly dab it with a clean paper towel and absorb any excess. No harm done!

Hand tint Save the Date FInal 2 DIY Tutorial: Hand Tinted Letterpress Save the Dates

We found that the tinting technique worked most beautifully and effectively on our botanical collection of letterpress cards. The softness and vintage appeal lends to the charm of the designs. Of course, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination!

Materials

Savannah Letterpress Save the Date Card. We recommend ordering extra pieces (10% overage) for testing.

Watercolors

Paint brush. We recommend a very nice, small brush so that you have control and precision.

Water cup

Anti­quaria is a mem­ber of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beau­ti­ful work right here or visit the real save the dates gallery for more save the date ideas!

Photo Credits: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper