Thursday, December 9, 2021

Knowing full well our wedding invitations would one day end up in the bin, the idea of allocating any more of our tight wedding budget that we really had to wasn't a fun one.

So instead of spending money, we spent a whole lot of time and creativity hand making invites for each of our 100 guests at home.

It was an ambitious project, and one that we spent many weekends and late nights researching and executing. 

Yes, there were failed attempts, a few sheets of our precious handmade paper wasted and plenty of times we thought we would have been better off just sending out a mass text with all the details.

But we did it. It worked, despite all the moments we thought it wouldn't.

For just over $120 (for all materials and supplies excluding household items), we made beautiful, luxury invites for our wedding. 

And after a lot of requests from my fellow brides and grooms, I'm sharing exactly how we did it...


Let me start by saying, it gets better after this.

Yes, we are starting with the hardest part. So buckle up, get yourself in a good mood and get ready to get crafty.

To start you'll need to get yourself a paper making deckle, which you can either buy, or do it the hard way (like we did of course) by making one yourself one with an A4 frame, some scrap timber and mesh.

You'll also need a blender, tub of water, sponge, bath towel, paper towel and iron, as well as whatever scrap paper you want to make your sheets from.

We did a mix of light paper and tan cardboard, and mixed different amounts of tan into each as we wanted a variety of different shades for our paper. We also found a gold bit of tinsel in the cupboard and cut it up to create some fun gold speckle sheets as well.

To figure out what to do, we watched this tutorial, which I'm going to direct you to as well. It takes you through all the steps of blending, pouring, sponging and ironing way better than I ever could.

To create the stack of sheets we needed, we dedicated an entire weekend to this part. With Scott on all the technical parts and me in control of what we blended up (read: the styling).

TOTAL COST: $10.65

Since we used scrap paper (seriously, check your recycling bin!) and had almost everything else at home, the only supplies we needed to buy for this part were the frame ($6.00) and netting ($4.65) to make our deckle.


This is where I really stepped up! I designed every part of the invitations, from what was written on them, to the fonts we chose, to the bits and bobs we used to bring everything together.

I did a basic design up in Photoshop, with simple text and a minimal design. Like, really simple, because I didn't want to distract from our carefully crafted paper with anything too intricate.

I made sure I could fit four invites per sheet, not only to conserve our supply, but also because I wanted the invites to fit in a standard A6 envelope.

I made three seperate files; one for the main invite (what, where and when), one for the details (transport, dress code and rsvp) and one for the part that wrapped them together, which simply featured our wedding date in roman numerals.

Then I sourced the fun stuff! I got standard gold eyelets, some luxe silk ribbon and a big roll of twine so the invites could be full of texture. I gave myself a hundred dollar budget for these things so I could really have some fun with it, but if you're working with something a little tighter these things could easily be stripped back.

TOTAL COST: $89.95

For this part we needed to buy eyelet pliers ($16.50), eyelets ($6.95), two rolls of silk ribbon ($48.00) and a 10m roll of twine ($18.50).


We had a year between when we made our paper and invite designs and when we finally got to print them (thanks covid). 

Yep, a whole year spent wondering if what we'd dreamed up in our head would actually work. We crossed our fingers that the paper would catch in our very basic printer, that the text would be legible and that we wouldn't loose too many sheets to the printer going rogue.

If the printing didn't work, we'd just have a pile full of fancy paper we couldn't actually use, and an entire weekend we couldn't get back.

But, as you've probably guessed, it did.

We didn't use anything fancy, just our bottom of the line HP printer, so really, don't worry if you don't have anything fancier. The only thing you'll need is a top feeder printer, so you can guide the sheets in and make sure they catch, and also assist them out on the other end when required.

We didn't a lot of test runs to make sure we were printing the highest quality versions our little printer would allow, and here's how we set things up:

- We saved each file as a PDF (this gave us higher quality than formats like jpeg or PNG).

- We set the copies per page to 4

- We adjusted the quality to 'Best' under the 'Media & Quality' tab

That's it! We didn't worry too much about the paper feeding in perfectly straight as we gave ourselves plenty of space to work with on the sides, and we knew we could adjust things when it came to the final step.


We had everything we needed at home already for this part, and since we only used black ink even that wouldn't have stretched things too far. In fact, we didn't even go through an entire cartridge, failed attempts and all!


Now that we had all our pieces, it was time to put everything together!

Like I said, we printed four invites to a sheet and we just ripped them into quarters to split them up. We used a ruler to make sure things were neat and tidy, but ditched the scissors as we wanted our invites to have a raw edge.

Then, Scott added the gold eyelets (because getting through that thick paper takes strength!) while I added the ribbons and wrapped everything together with the twine.

I picked up some standard brown paper envelopes and used a calligraphy pen to write each person's name on the front.

And just like that, our handmade wedding invitations were complete!

TOTAL COST: $21.00

For this final part, all we needed to buy was a bunch of envelopes ($18.00) and the calligraphy pen I used to letter them ($3.00).

FINAL COST: $121.60

(Although if you want to get technical, I did also spend $11 on stamps to post a handful out to those we won't be seeing over Christmas!).

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