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Best Ways to DIY Paper Products

LJL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
538
Hi all!
I'm just getting into all of this wedding stuff and I'm considering doing all the paper products myself (and many other things). Ive always been very crafty and I have plenty to time to dedicate to this over the next ~16 months. My questions for you are ... what is the best way to go about this? Is there a good paper device that I could use to do all of my stuff (possibly save the dates, thank yous, invites to wedding, shower, etc)? I've heard raves about the cricut in general but Im not sure that is the right type of machine for this....

Anyone got any ideas? Should I just invest in a nice printer and then buy the different special implements from craft stores along the way?

Any and all help is appreciated!
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
I think it really depends on the look you wind up going for. I DIY'ed two sets of invites- one for our super small ceremony (30 guests- all bridal party and immediate family) and one for the much larger reception (everyone else- 150 people) 3 months later.

I wanted a textural, three dimensional look for the first invites- outside, in the woods, barefoot ceremony- so I purchased papers at a craft store with varying textures in a green/cream/brown color scheme. Two were pre-cut cardstocks in the sizes I wanted; I printed at home the lettering on the cream layer and attached it to the green background card. I spent a lot of time choosing fonts! Then I used a Cricut to cut out a two layer branch design in brown and green; this had to be layered one at a time onto the card I had already assembled. The lettering was printed with the layout and sizing already worked out so it all fit. I used rubber cement for all my adhesive needs, so it all needed to be cleaned up when everything was attached- getting it out from all the little nooks in the braches was a PAIN. I :love: the way they turned out, but it was truly only feasible because I only had to make 30. I did NOT save money and it was fairly labor intensive. Envelopes were green, hand lettered in gold. I considered making my own envelopes, but in the end didn't have the time or really the money- pretty paper is expensive!

The second invites were much more casual- BBQ picnic, I didn't wear a dress. So for those, I chose a picture I really enjoyed of a sunset through the skyline of trees at the my house that I had taken, and photoshopped it up till I really liked it, added the lettering and had it printed at the local print shop. They also printed plain envelopes with my return address. I put a small strip of magnet on the back of each one so they could be easily attached to fridges. This was really easy, I DID save money. I included an engagement photo in each of the invites and it was really well received.

I was really happy with the Cricut cut outs, but I did find it limited in that you have to choose from the designs on the cartridges and it took a long time to get all the pieces cut, and seperated, and trimmed sometimes, and then attached. I also DIY'ed my programs and my thank you banner/and cards and my menu, but all the same stuff applies. Your materials and tools will depend on the look you want!

So, um, that ended up being a novel, but hope it helps! Any idea what style you will end up heading towards?
 

gem_anemone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
682
My husband and I did our own engagement party invites, wedding invites and programs ourselves. The wedding invites were the hardest. I used zazzle.com to come up with a design we liked and get the paper sizes right and my husband drew it up in Photoshop (he's good with that). It took us a while to pick a font I was happy with too because the one used by zazzle was not available for free. We could have bought it for something like $30, but we were not trying to spend that on a font we would never use again. Then he drew the map with the ceremony/reception locations to match the color scheme of the RSVP card and invite. We printed the pieces out on full sheets as it was cheaper than buying precut paper. We used a brand new printer we bought specifically for this. Our old printer was in need of replacement anyway. We got hold of an office paper cutter for free to neatly cut the paper to the correct size. It took a lot of time and there were mistakes, but in the end we got it done and I was really happy with how it turned out! It was way cheaper than ordering them online. What we spent on the whole thing would have been at least tripled to get the invitations, RSVP cards and maps professionally done (not including the printer but if you included the printer in the cost it was still way cheaper). I can totally understand the reason for the cost now that I know how much work goes in to getting it exactly right. haha! :lol:
wedpicxyz%20003%20edit.jpg
For our programs we made the fan type program with the A2 cardstock and the large popsicle stick handle. Hm I thought I had of pic of that on here, but I don't. Here is the inspiration for our program:
http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/easy-diy-wedding-programs-tutorial/
We did not put the pencil on there. We used a little heart stamp as our decoration rather than a bow or a pencil. We put fun facts about us on the back instead of games.
 

LJL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
538
Thanks gem anemone! I think that is mainly the help I was looking for - how to do the printed products... not sure if a new printer is in order (and which one)/how to design the text of it. Seems like the difficulty isnt in the theory of doing it, its the execution - and how to make it perfect. I think Im up for it! :wacko:

Thanks also to audball, I had looked through that thread too but I guess I needed to start clicking on the links in the first thread - there was one in particular that was very helpful in pointing to exactly where to buy certain pieces/envelopes/etc.

I think the invites, programs, and table numbers should be easy enough - I just havent figured if I want to do the STDs myself... I was thinking magnets and I feel like I can't do those alone. Gotta think more :confused:
 

gem_anemone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
682
We did magnet STD's in a photobooth style. We have a nice camera and a tripod that we set up to take pics of ourselves and we edited them ourselves, but when it came to printing on a magnet we decided it was out of our area of expertise. There are places online where you can submit your own photos and have the company help you with the background and then they make them for you. Getting them made was one of DH's tasks. I'm not sure what company he went with but if you want to know, let me know and I can ask him. We did ones very similar to the first one on this page:
http://www.wedshare.com/blog/2009/08/27/do-it-yourself-photo-booth-style-wedding-save-the-dates-and-invitations-1139.html
 

LJL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
538
aviastar|1353291457|3309818 said:
I think it really depends on the look you wind up going for. I DIY'ed two sets of invites- one for our super small ceremony (30 guests- all bridal party and immediate family) and one for the much larger reception (everyone else- 150 people) 3 months later.

I wanted a textural, three dimensional look for the first invites- outside, in the woods, barefoot ceremony- so I purchased papers at a craft store with varying textures in a green/cream/brown color scheme. Two were pre-cut cardstocks in the sizes I wanted; I printed at home the lettering on the cream layer and attached it to the green background card. I spent a lot of time choosing fonts! Then I used a Cricut to cut out a two layer branch design in brown and green; this had to be layered one at a time onto the card I had already assembled. The lettering was printed with the layout and sizing already worked out so it all fit. I used rubber cement for all my adhesive needs, so it all needed to be cleaned up when everything was attached- getting it out from all the little nooks in the braches was a PAIN. I :love: the way they turned out, but it was truly only feasible because I only had to make 30. I did NOT save money and it was fairly labor intensive. Envelopes were green, hand lettered in gold. I considered making my own envelopes, but in the end didn't have the time or really the money- pretty paper is expensive!

The second invites were much more casual- BBQ picnic, I didn't wear a dress. So for those, I chose a picture I really enjoyed of a sunset through the skyline of trees at the my house that I had taken, and photoshopped it up till I really liked it, added the lettering and had it printed at the local print shop. They also printed plain envelopes with my return address. I put a small strip of magnet on the back of each one so they could be easily attached to fridges. This was really easy, I DID save money. I included an engagement photo in each of the invites and it was really well received.

I was really happy with the Cricut cut outs, but I did find it limited in that you have to choose from the designs on the cartridges and it took a long time to get all the pieces cut, and seperated, and trimmed sometimes, and then attached. I also DIY'ed my programs and my thank you banner/and cards and my menu, but all the same stuff applies. Your materials and tools will depend on the look you want!

So, um, that ended up being a novel, but hope it helps! Any idea what style you will end up heading towards?
ahh! sorry aviastar, somehow I didnt see this. I think we are looking in the realm of 150-200 invitees (I made a preliminary list and its ~100 so...yeaaaahhh) and I am thinking semi-formal. I am thinking of trying to cut costs on labels by hand lettering but can't figure out if I will get too messy!

And you really spoke right to my concern on the Cricut - you have to buy those freakin cartridges. It seems like the tool that keeps on costing you... and I just dont know that I would find EXACTLY what Im looking for.

gem anemone - yes, i WOULD like that website - please and thank you!! The picture thing is definitely something that I could do.


Thanks for all your help ladies! I will definitely keep you posted on what Im able to do.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
There are other die-cut machines that have online catalogues of images and more ability to edit them...and now I am never going to be able to remember what it is called. I'll check for you; but I think they are fairly expensive. I used a friend's Cricut for my stuff and was lucky to find an image I liked among her cartridges. If you think you are going to use it for all your paper stuff, it might be worth it, but for 200 invites- I'd go with printing, not scrapping.

As for a printer, I found the best one was the free little no-frills HP we got with a computer probably 8 years ago. Mostly for the very simple reason that it wasn't sensitive at all- it always printed square, at whatever size I set the tray, and it could take big stacks of cardstock without getting jammed or stuttering and smearing the ink. That was the biggest problem with the big fancy printer I tried- it kind of pushed the card out the last few mm and it invariably smeared the last line of text- drove me crazy! Oh, and it only wanted to take one piece of cardstock at a time. Honestly, if you have an image you want printed flat, at least get a quote from a local print shop- mine did invites and envelopes for about $1.00/set and you know the printing will be right.

I was really happy I decided to DIY this stuff, though, it will feel so personal to you and it's so much fun to see it all come together!
 
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