- 4 years ago
Designing your Invitation
The set of layered cardstock was designed to establish the foundation where the layers lend itself to design variations. After you create your invitation inspiration board, you can now easily envision the design, color, and materials you’ll need to make it come to fruition.
Decorating your Layering Sheet
The Middle Layer sheet (7 x 7) can be covered in fabric (silk or lace) or decorative lightweight embossed or flocked paper depending on your design. Shopping for your fabric and notions is the most fun part of your invitation project. Remember to purchase only thin and natural fabric (i.e. cotton laces, dupioni silk). Take notice that synthetic silk looks perfect. The dupioni silks have more variations due to its natural nature, but they make a world of difference in its appeal.
Fabric is usually measured by the yard. For a quick conversion, 1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches. This means that when you buy a yard of fabric you’re getting 1 yard x the width of the fabric (most common widths are 36″, 45″, 54″, 60″). Be sure you know what the usable widths are as some fabrics have borders. Usable widths are usually 1-2 inches less than the full, though in some cases the entire width is usable. Silks and laces are usually 54 or 60 inches in width.
Let say you chose silk with a 54 inches width. A yard of this fabric will yield about 24 (8×8 piece) to cover the middle layer of your invitation kit. If you are making 100 invitations, you will need about 5 yards. A yard costs between $8-$12 at the Garment District in downtown Los Angeles. Using the mid-price of $10/yard each 8×8 piece will cost about $.42 cents ($10/24 pcs). Do buy an extra half or full yard, just in case! Provision for extra invitations for your “B” list as well as a courtesy invitation to relatives who may not be able to come. Most brides have 10-15 extra invites.
The price of lace fabrics range from $8-$20, unless you go for the French orChantillylaces ($35-$60 per yard). But I must admit, the French laces are gorgeous! My suggestion is to go for a reasonably priced lace for layering and if you must splurge, knock yourself out with beautiful beaded appliques. It will save you a ton of work and time!
If you find silk or lace with a width of 60 inches (no borders), you will yield about 28 (8×8 pc). If you’re doing 50 invitations, you only need two yards. Using the mid-price of $10/yard each 8×8 piece will cost about $.36 cents ($10/28 pcs).
If you find a lace fabric with borders and you absolutely love the lace, the borders are very useful in decorating your table numbers to match your invitation. Be sure to know how much of the remainder of the fabric per yard you can use for your 8×8 pieces and base your yardage requirement on this.
Designate a time for cutting all the 8 x8 piece of fabric or paper for your middle layer sheet. Do the cutting all at once so you can move smoothly along in the process. After the fabric/paper is cut to size, make sure you pile them neatly so they don’t get creased. I am stickler for details so I would run a warm iron to smooth out heavy creases. This is an optional step, but again, makes a big difference in the final product.
Wrapping the Middle Layer
Apply a thin but very even layer of glue on one side of the middle layer (7×7 cardstock) where you will adhere the fabric or paper. Lay the 8×8 flat on your mat, center the middle layer before you set it on the fabric. Once centered, rub the paper to prevent puckering and make sure it sticks to the fabric. Turn it over and use your bone folder to give it the perfect pressure to eliminate air bubbles and ensure that you get good adherence. Do this a few pieces at a time. Lay the pieces out on a clean table surface to dry. I would do 15-20 at the time.
After they are dry, put a piece of bond paper to pile them together to ensure that they won’t stick to each other. After you neatly pile them, put a heavy book and other heavy objects to weigh them down. (If you are still keeping your college books, you now have a second use for them!) In bookmaking, you will need a press of boards and clamps to “cure” the layers, but for our purposes, we can set the layers by putting a heavy book on top of the pile.
I usually let the layers dry out for a day. In the meantime, I can resume working on the rest of the layers and repeat the process. This can go very quickly if you are working with a family member or friends. ‘Tis a good time to get caught up on girl talk or wedding planning.
Wrapping the Corners
The type of material you use, whether it is thin fabric or decorative paper, will determine how you will wrap the corners of the layering sheet. It requires some practice to make neat corners. So try to get some cardstocks to practice on. You can get cheap ones at Office Depot (or at work 🙂 Here’s where your extra fabric will come in handy. Make sure you cut the material no closer than 1/4″ to the corners of the cardstock/layering sheet.
1. Cut off the corners of your material at a diagonal. Fold, and glue one side of the material down on the board.
2. Use a bone folder to press the paper down at a slight angle over the corner.
3. Glue and fold the paper on the adjacent side in the same way.
Formatting your Top Layer for printing
The top, layer is 5.5 x 5.5 inches. Format the page layout to make this the finished sized. When adding your invitation wording, try to limit the lines to about 12-14 lines. The less lines, means bigger font size and room for other creative touches.
The formatting or position of text on this top layer will also depend the invitation design and the finishing touches and embellishments.
Print prototype or sample of the top layer on a regular bond paper or cardstock to make sure that the formatting is correct and fits according to your design. You will already have an idea of how the top layer should look during the design concept phase.
Assembling your invitation
1. Carefully adhere middle layer over the base layer. Use double sided tape for this step.
2. Set your top printed layer over the middle layer according to your design. Use double sided tape for this step.
3. Put decorative or finishing touches on top layer according to your design.
4. Print the return address on the envelop flap.
4. The invitation and response cards are inserted into the envelope in size order with the invitation first. The response envelope is placed face down on top of the invitation, with the response card facing up, under the envelop flap.
5. Wedding invitation should be mailed 8-10 weeks prior to the wedding allowing your guests adequate time to respond and ensuring that you will get a reliable head count a week or two before the event. If a Save the Date card was sent prior to your formal invitation a 6-8 weeks lead should be sufficient.
6. The address on a wedding invitation should be handwritten; printed labels are not appropriate (though calligraphy done by computer directly on the envelope is gaining popularity and acceptability).
7. Postage for Invitations are usually higher due to size and weight. Prior to mailing, take the finished invitation to the Post Office and weigh to determine postage. Before inserting your invitation, put the stamp on the envelop. This is easier and neater.
8. When mailing your invitations, separate those that are going oversees (if any). The cost of the stamp for invitations being sent outside theU.S.varies, so this will be weighed and priced separately. Remember not to putU.S.stamp in the RSVP envelop for those going overseas. Your guests will have to do this on their end.
Have fun with your project. Prepare to receive a lot of compliments from your wedding guests. If you’d like you can print at the back of the bottom sheet the following: Lovingly Made by Hand by ____ (You!)
What a nice gift of heART and hand for your wedding guests! This first impression will definitely last forever!