Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days to Happily Ever After – Day 3 - Let’s Invite People!

We’re going to switch gears today to some paper crafting (which I love to do!) and talk about making wedding invitations. Yep, we handmade each invitation and sent out 170 of them. We have a fairly small space for the wedding, and a larger space for the reception, so immediate family only was invited to the ceremony, and more distant relatives and our friends invited to the reception.  This was a tough call, but we just drew a line and stuck by it. Jess is getting the smaller, more intimate wedding she wanted, as well as the big, rockin’ party she also wanted. So far, at 2½ weeks before the wedding date, we have 67% of our RSVPs returned. We are aggressively contacting the rest so I can give a head count to the caterer. I don’t know if that’s “socially acceptable”, but am doing it anyway. There are too many to assume they’re coming or not, and I want enough food to feed everyone, but not pay for dozens of meals for people who don’t come.

Okay, back to the construction of these beauties. I would like to say the invitations were less expensive to make than purchasing the pre-printed kind, but I think you can find fairly nice ones online for only $1 or so each. I think we had just over a dollar in each of ours.

All supplies for these invitations, with the exception of the satin ribbon, were purchased at Hobby Lobby at 50% off. The ribbon is from WalMart.

I started by doing some internet research and found two sites with templates, instructions, and end products that Jessica liked. These sites are The Cheshire Kat and Labor of Love.

The steps we took to produce our invitations were not photographed. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming, knowing the number we needed to make. You’ll see end-product photos, and I think the tutorials in the links I posted are pretty easy to follow if you ever want to make something like these.

We started with 12” brown Kraft paper, cut to 7x12”.  I purchased a Martha Stewart scoring board from Amazon before starting the folding. That was an invaluable tool when measuring and scoring the folds on that Kraft paper. We used part of the 5” of paper left from the original 12” piece to make the pocket that we glued onto the inside of the folds.

The inside piece with wedding/reception information was half of a sheet of white pearlized paper. Those were from the scrapbooking section, and we got two pieces from each sheet. Regular price was 59 cents each, but purchased at 50% off, so each half sheet was 15 cents. Kind of pricey, yes, but that was the “elegance” part of the vintage elegance we wanted.  Those were printed on the computer and adhered to the middle section.

The pocket held an RSVP stamped, self-addressed postcard, a second card with motel and web site info, and the wedding invitations had a third postcard with reception info.

After the inside was put together, we wrapped the outside in wired burlap ribbon. This ribbon was $9.99 for a 10-yard roll. I picked up a couple of them when all the ribbon was half-priced, then was able to special order the remaining quantity I would need, also at half-price. We had quite a long wait for that, though, because the HL warehouse was out of inventory for several weeks. I have to give a ton of credit to the clerk at the store I went to – she kept me informed every few weeks about her inability to order it for me. Finally, I ordered some from Amazon, but it was different, and we didn’t like it as much. The day that arrived in my mail, the clerk called and said the HL rolls had arrived. Isn’t that how it works? We happily made the 60-mile drive to pick it up.

The burlap ribbon was hot glued in strategic spots to keep it in place.

We just tied the satin ribbon as a belly band to keep the invitation closed.  That proved problematic for the USPS, though. That ribbon knot on top? That made our envelope thick enough that it could be treated as a package if the delivering post office wanted to. I didn’t know that when we mailed them since my Postmaster treated it as an envelope, knowing they were borderline for thickness. We know of three invitations that were charged postage due when delivered. My sincere hope is those were the only three.

We used brown Kraft envelopes (again, special ordered at 50% off). I did have to use an envelope adhesive and chip clips to keep them closed until the adhesive dried. Each envelope was printed individually on the computer. We loved having the last names in a much larger font than the rest. Since there were no inside envelopes, everyone who was invited had their name in the address. The return address is the monogram we designed.

We had many compliments on these invitations, the sweetest coming from a 24 year-old male friend of my daughter’s just today. He was one of our “no response” people, and she texted him this morning as we reviewed the guest list. His reply was that he was sorry he couldn’t attend, “but your invitation was so precious!”. LOL.


More burlap fun in the coming days – come back and see!

The Nester 31 Day Series





  1. just beautiful! how grand brown paper and burlap look with pearlized paper and satin ribbon.

    I can imagine how much work they were but what a labor of love.

  2. Your creativity astounds me! I can't believe all the hard work that went into making those gorgeous invitations.

    Thanks for your last comment on my blog about those dishes I recently found at GW. Yeah, "my" GW has a lot of good stuff. I think it's because of the location. It's in the heart of a lot of wealthier suburbs. ;-)


Thanks for sharing!