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What You Need For DIY Invites

July 11th, 2012 by Jeannine

What You Need for DIY Invites!

So you want to make your own invitations… First of all, kudos for taking on this massive task! Although it is quite an undertaking, don’t be overwhelmed, after all, it will be worth the trouble in the end. Homemade invitations are a great way to personalize your wedding. Guests will surely appreciate all the effort you put into it, making each invitation extra special. But where do you begin? Let’s start with gathering up some supplies. I went to one of my favourite invitation supply stores, The Essential Packaging Store in Surrey. I met up with owner Anna Ludwinowski and asked for her advice on items that you need to have before starting this project. I’ve broken them down into 2 categories…


  • Cardstock – This is the base of the invitation, best for simple flat cards. Use cardstock that is firm and with a nice sheen or texture to make your invitations more interesting. Anna warns that not all cardstock can be used with home printers so be careful!

“We usually recommend using the lighter weight text stock as opposed to the heavier cardstock; many home printers can jam with the cardstock or not pick it up properly resulting in crooked printing.”

In addition, Anna says you can also use cardstock to make a decorative band around your invitation in order to carry the theme of the invitation from the inside to the outside.

“Just cut it into strips of a desired width, wrap it around and secure it at the back with double sided tape.”

  • Paper – You need paper that you can print all your invitation info on so before you choose a fancier type of paper, check to make sure that it will work with your printer. Try using a patterned paper as a mat so your invitation will have a stylish border.

“The Envelopments line of papers offers a select group of patterns that range from elegant and traditional to fresh and contemporary. The current selection is available on the Envelopments page on our website.”

  • Envelopes – You can’t mail invitations without envelopes! Make sure you cut your cardstock to fit the envelopes because envelopes do not come in custom sizes unless you special order them.

“Unfortunately, envelopes cannot be customized but there are many stock sizes available that can accommodate most creations. A good tip is to select your envelope first.”

  • Tape runner or double-sided tape – Anna recommends these more than glue because they are easy to use, not messy, and it adheres to these surfaces very well…

“Paper, ribbon, embellishments, favour boxes and bags.”

  • Paper cutter/trimmer – Scissors are handy but only paper cutters and trimmers will give you straight edges, not to mention less cutting time. Save the scissors for smaller jobs. You can buy decent cutters at craft stores or even Costco. I bought mine from there and it was a cutter/trimmer combo that worked really well!
  • Pencil & Ruler – Lots of measurements will be made I’m sure and you’ll need a pencil and a ruler to make note of it. Measure twice before cutting!
  • Scissors – Whether your cutting tape or trimming edges, scissors are always handy to have when doing any craft project.

Not Necessary but Nice to Have

  • Hand punch – These are great for punching holes in cardstock to thread ribbon through, but also…

“Hand punches can also be used to punch decorative corners on invitations or announcements.  There are hundreds of styles to choose from.”

  • Ribbon slides – Glamorize your invitations by adding some bling with these slides. It adds a lot of class but keep in mind, it can drive up your invitation cost.

  • Ribbon – They come in different widths, the thin ones are perfect for wrapping around the invitation as an adornment, the thicker ones can be tied around a pocketfold to close it. You can tie them in different knots or bows, depending on your style to help beautify your invitation.

Anna also warns that making your own invitations can still be tricky, even for the experienced DIYer. An example would be making your own pocketfolds. It’s probably not worth the hassle because Anna says it can be a challenge to cut, score and glue everything together, and then multiply that by the number of invitations you have to make. Save yourself the headache and buy pre-made pocketfolds or order from a professional.

Keep in mind that DIY invitations is not for everyone. Long story short, if you have the skills, supplies and time for this project, go for it and if not, best to ask those who know what they’re doing… like the ladies at The Essential Packaging Store or any other invitation designer you trust. Check out their Surrey store for lots (and I mean LOTS) of inspiration on anything stationery and packaging.

All photos courtesy Vancity Bride

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  • July 11th, 2012 at 11:01 am
    Vinnie says:

    I’ve been thinking of DIY-ing my invitations, but nothing complicated or fancy! This is a great vendor, Jeanine :)


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