How to Make Your Own Invitations

Invitations that you make yourself do not have to look like something a first-grader would have drawn, unless of course that is the look you want. You can learn how to make your own invitations that can be simple or elegant, depending on the occasion.

To make your own invitations, all you need is the right paper and scrapbooking and craft supplies. Custom invitations say you care and that you are willing to put extra effort into the event. A handmade card can serve as a beautiful memento of a party, wedding or graduation that guests will keep for years to come.

Decide on a Theme
Before getting started, you will want to choose a theme for your invitations. This will already be partly decided by the type of event you have planned. Is it a birthday party, wedding or graduation? Are you having a family get-together, a going-away party or a children's party? Some invitations that you make, such as for a wedding, will be more formal. Others, like ones for a child's birthday party, can be fun and lighthearted. Once you have your theme in mind, you can move on to planning your invitations.

The Basic Invitation
Most invitations are the same size or smaller than a normal-sized greeting card. You want to keep this in mind when preparing to make your cards. You can find a variety of wonderful papers to use for your invitations at office supply stores, craft stores or even your local retail store. You can also purchase ready-to-print invitations. These have been pre-folded and usually include envelopes. They come in a multitude of colors and make the invitation-making process easy from the start.

Invitations From Your Home Computer
The age of computers has done much for the home crafter. You can buy specific software designed to help you make invitations and all kinds of other cards. They have built-in templates and clip art ready to go. Your invitation is only a click away. But you don't need special software because any word processing program can help. You can design and print the whole card or just the parts of the invitation that you need printed. You can also purchase invitation cards designed to be fed through your computer. However, you should test your printer first to find out what it can handle, as thicker papers, like cardstock, may have trouble going through your home printer.

Plan Your Card Well
If you are going to do everything on your computer, choose graphics that aren't overwhelming. Make sure the print can be read clearly if it is going to be layered over a graphic. Print a sample copy, and check it for layout and spelling mistakes before printing all of your invitation cards. When working on personalized invitations, check that every name is spelled correctly and that the name on the card matches the name on the envelope.

Beautiful Handmade Invitations
Elegant wedding and graduation cards can be made with just a few simple articles. Start by purchasing a pre-folded set of cards in your choice of color. Decide on what you want to say, and print the information out on a complementary shade of paper. You want this paper to fit inside the invitation.

Use a paper cutter or fancy-edged scissors to cut these out, and place them inside each card. You can glue them in place or use other options, such as attaching them with scrapbooking brads or hole punching them and fastening them with ribbon. Then add a small charm or other decorative item to the card. On the front of the card, use cut-out letters or decorative scrapbook pens to write your cover message.

Choosing a Message
When choosing what to say on your invitation, the words should fit the occasion. Wedding invitations will have a format different from an invitation to a graduation party. Make sure you include everything you need to say. Be clear on the date, time and place the event is to be held. Enclose extra instructions with a map or telephone number. If you are holding an overnight event for children, be sure to include drop-off and pick-up times.

Accessorize It
Use stickers, scrap booking items, colored pens, decorative threads, stamps or die-cut figures to decorate your invitation. Invitations to a child's birthday party can be printed on regular printer paper, folded into shape and then decorated. Add a few sparkly stickers, a fun stamp saying,"You are Invited" on the front or even a stick of gum taped to the inside. Just make sure that the extra decorations don't make the envelope too heavy, or you might need to pay extra postage.

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