These DIY watercolor wedding invitations were the unifying element for our garden wedding.
We tried to tie everything from our coffee filter roses and fresh flowers to our cake and escort cards back to these.
I love making cards. In elementary school, I drew fish themed valentines for every student in my grade. (Yeah, I know what you are thinking; “Fish themed valentines?” What can I say, I like fish.) Even now, I make most of my cards. So, when it came time to decide on wedding stationary, I knew that I wanted to make my own wedding invitations. Jaime was a bit hesitant about making our own invitations, but after seeing a friend’s DIY wedding invitations and a few sketches with ideas, he was on board.
Since our wedding was in a garden, I thought flowers might be nice. Back in the good old days when I actually used a pen and paper (instead of a keyboard) a regular basis, I doodled a lot. When I wasn’t drawing fish, I was usually drawing flowers, usually roses. Accordingly, these seemed like a good choice for the invitations. Plus I always think of roses when I think of wedding flowers.
I started by drawing a couple of different motifs incorporating roses, daisies, and butterflies, which we ended up resizing and using in different combinations on our wedding stationary. I then scanned the pictures into jpg files. Using Microsoft Publisher, Jaime laid out my drawings and added text.
We then printed the invitations on our inkjet printer. (It is funny how easy that sounds, but this was actually the most difficult and time consuming part for us.) The layout would look fine on the screen, but then when we tried to print the cards the layout (usually due to added printing margins) would be off. After quite a bit of hair pulling, tweaking of our printer settings and Publisher files, and experimenting with creative solutions, we were finally able to get the layout right.
Invitations: For the invitations we cut the paper into 4 5/8″ by 6 1/8″ pieces using a paper cutter. We then printed a copy of the invitation in the center of a couple of 8 1/2″ by 11″ sheets of paper to make “runner” sheets. We placed double sided tape (the kind you can reposition) around the edges of the printed invitation on the runner sheet. We then placed a piece of the cut paper on the runner sheet and ran it through the printer.
Response cards: We printed the response cards four per a sheet of 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper. We ran each piece of paper through the printer twice to print the card and the response address. We then cut the paper in fourths to make (4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″) response postcards.
We then painted the cards, one color at a time, letting them dry between colors. This was quite a production and for a week or so there were cards covering pretty much every surface in our apartment. Some friends and family generously helped us paint the invitations. (Thank you all again!) When the watercolor was dry we added some accents using an iridescent watercolor medium. We estimate that we painted approximately 1,000 pieces of paper between our invitation suite and programs. This was out biggest wedding project. In retrospect, deciding to hand paint around 1,000 pieces of paper seems a bit crazy, but at the time we were so focused on just getting them done that I didn’t really think about just how big of project this was.
Finally, we cut moss cover weight paper into 5″ by 7″ pieces for the backing for the main invitation. We used a glue tape runner to glue the invitation onto the backing.
We mailed the cards in envelopes which we lined with gold wrapping paper. (For how to make an envelop liner see this post.)
To make these invitations, we used:
- Luxe White Fino Cover Weight Paper
- Moss Cover Weight Paper (for wedding invitation backing) (from Paper Source)
- Watercolor paints and brushes
- Iridescent watercolor medium
- Glue tape runner
Looking for other wedding projects? Check out this page.
I was not paid or perked for this post. I just wanted to share our DIY watercolor wedding invitations.