How to Make Professional-Looking Invitations

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Making your own invitations can be financially beneficial, but many homemade invitations suffer from an appearance that is distinctly--well, homemade. This does not have to be the case, however. It is possible to making professional-looking invitations at home with some simple supplies and a close attention to detail. With invitations that are homemade but professional in appearance, you will save money on the cost of your event, and your guests will never even know the difference.

Things You'll Need

  • Card stock in the colors of your choice
  • Craft paper or scrapbooking paper that reflects your preferred theme
  • Craft glue
  • Die cutting machine or paper cutter
  • Craft supplies (such as a hole punch)
  • Decorative items (ribbons, raffia, photographs, rubber stamps, pressed flowers, embossed stickers, or wax seals)
  • Research professional invitations that are commercially available to choose a style that you would like to use. Check sites like Real Simple for template ideas. Consider the event and the type of invitation that you will need. If it is for a birthday party, the invitation can be fairly simple and informal. An invitation for a wedding should be more formal and sophisticated. Make sure you assess your own skills carefully. If you are familiar with crafts and have completed projects in the past, you might be ready for something more challenging. If this is one of your first design experiences, consider keeping things simple to avoid getting yourself into more than you can handle.

  • Sketch out a design of the invitation that you want to make. Be sure to make note of details such as types and colors of paper, texture qualities, decorative details, even font style for the print. By spending time preparing in advance, you will save yourself time and money.

  • Cut the card stock to the size of your choice. To make the invitations look as professional as possible, use a paper cutter to create an even line or a die-cutting machine to create cutout shape invitations. Because folding card stock can be a challenge, fold very carefully to keep the professional appearance, or use only a single-layered invitation.

  • Apply decorative items to the invitation. Be sure to select items that are simple and yet effective. A single rubber stamp image themed to the event can provide a professional appearance. A layer of textured lace paper can be beautiful and appropriate for the occasion and still appear very professional on the invitation. Embellish the invitations with a few pressed flowers added in just the right places, or a single pressed flower for an elegant simplicity effect. Add a photograph to the front of the invitation and layer a piece of transparent decorative paper over the front with a ribbon or piece of raffia at the top.

  • Use professional fonts instead of the standard fonts that are available in word processing programs. Most word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, give you the option of downloading extra fonts that will allow you to select exactly the right font for the event. Choose wisely, being sure to choose a font that is readable but effective.

  • Add a wax seal to the envelope to finish off the professional appearance. Wax seals will not be appropriate for every event, but for more formal events a wax seal can add just the right professional note.

Tips & Warnings

  • Simplicity is the key to a professional-looking invitation. The primary goal should be keeping the invitation simple and uncluttered.
  • Be sure to take the time to make a test invitation before starting on the larger project of making all of the invitations. The trial run will allow you to discover what does and does not work and will give you a sense of any changes you need to make before investing in more supplies.
  • DIY invitation kits can be very useful for making professional-looking invitations, although consider the cost carefully. It might be a good idea to purchase a DIY kit, but compare the cost to the commercial invitations. You might find that the kit is no less expensive than the invitations you can order.

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