DIY Bride: Hand-Painted Wedding Invitations
Today I thought I’d share the details behind my hand-painted wedding invitations. This was a BIG project. In hindsight, individually hand painting 75+ wedding invitations, accommodation cards, and RSVP cards was maaaybe not the best use of my time or the best thing for my pre-wedding stress levels. That said, I loved the idea of hand-painted invitations, and I was very happy with the end result (if not my somewhat cramped fingers).
We had originally planned to order our invites from Wedding Paper Divas (our save-the-date source) or Minted.com. The cost for the style we needed was going to be upwards of $400 – $500, so I thought this might be one area that we could save some money with a little DIY love and elbow grease. JC was on board with the idea (especially the spending less money part) as long as I promised not to over-stress about it, as I have been known to do when working on big, self-inflicted craft projects. *Guilty*
I started by sketching out preliminary ideas for the layout, wording, and design. Once I was happy with the overall concept, I used Adobe Illustrator software to create a digital template for the text portion of the invites. [Sidenote: Adobe software is rather expensive to buy. If you are a casual user like me, I would recommend looking into the Adobe Creative Cloud service. This allows you to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) for a more affordable monthly fee. You could also use Microsoft Publisher or Word for this. Illustrator is just one option.]
Once I was happy with the text design, I printed it on plain paper, painted a prototype, and then purchased the raw materials needed to make 75 more of them. Here’s what I used:
- Invitation Card Stock – I purchased all of the blank card stock needed (invitations, smaller accommodation/RSVP-sized cards, and matching envelopes) from Staples for under $40.
- Printer Ink – I printed the text onto the blank cards using my home ink jet printer and needed two full cartridges of ink for the job.
- Acrylic Paints – I used acrylic paint vs. watercolor for the invites, because acrylics dry faster and are less likely to warp the paper (I diluted them with very little to no water for this project).
I started by painting the main invitations assembly line style – first the roses, then the leaves, then the wreaths. There’s no other way to say it; this was extremely time consuming, but I got into a groove and painted them while I watched TV or listened to music. A *HUGE* shout out goes to Bob Marley’s Legend album on vinyl for helping me get through those last 20 invites; you, sir, are the real MVP. JC also provided great moral support throughout the process and helped as much as possible. I got up, celebrated, and high-fived him every time I completed another milestone – ALL of the roses, ALL of the leaves, ALL of those mother-fracking wreaths! Whose bright idea were they anyway??? KIDDING…sort of.
JC even lent his handiwork to the painting, as you can see below! I kept that particular invitation for my own personal keepsake. <3
Once the main invitations were done, I painted the accommodation cards, which were basically a smaller, less involved version of the main invitation design.
The RSVP cards were the last step in the process and thankfully the easiest! I cranked those babies out in no time and had a big glass of wine (or three) to celebrate!
Below are some close-up shots of the details. I look forward to sharing our wedding photographer’s professional photos of the finished invites in the near future.
Overall, I was very happy with the final invitations and received lots of great feedback from our guests. In the end, we saved several hundred dollars by going the DIY route, but there was a major trade-off in terms of time and energy spent. To anyone thinking about undertaking a similar project, I would recommend giving yourself a LOT of time – more than you think you will need – and not cramming it into a three-week period like I did. Of course, everything is obvious in hindsight, amiright?
So, what do you think of the finished project? Have you ever tried to “mass” produce a craft at home? I’d love to hear about your experiences and lessons learned.
Until then, Happy Crafting!