When we first started planning our wedding, we of course were looking for invitations that were already made and ready to order, but some were really expensive, even just 50 or 75 invitations, and to buy envelopes and RSVP cards were an additional cost. Because we plan on having 150-175 guests, we were looking at a pretty penny just for invitations alone. And some of them were just too plain.
I then decided to do something bold- make my own, yes all 150 of them- by hand. I talked to Bubs about it and he loved the idea but said "are you sure you want to do it?" because making each one by hand would be tedious (it is!). So I started off by playing with the idea and ordering a few sample papers, folders, etc. just to see what I can do with them considering I literally had NO CLUE what I wanted it to look like and knew I had to make a few mock-ups before I get it just right.
I ordered the materials from random places (papersource.com, paperandmore.com, anchorpaper.com, and the folders and belly bands from cardsandpockets.com), I then decided I wanted to look into embossing so I bought tons of floral stamps from eBay and other random places along with embossing powder just to see what I can do with it. Total cost roughly is a lot cheaper imo. Below is a picture journey from my original thought, to how it looks like now after making so many changes.
Our colors are pink (like a fuchsia mix) and black, but we are adding pops of colors at the actual reception. Below is just the folder and belly band by itself.
My embossing 'equipment' with the special embossing heat tool (from Michaels and JoAnn's), makes a cool raised effect and had fun playing with certain patterns:
I was then playing with the idea of making my own envelope liners using our picture (I want it black and white but used a color picture to test), I used a cutting mat and a cutting knife along with an envelope template (from papersource.com) to cut out the picture for a perfect fit:
The RSVP cards I also printed and made myself on Photoshop (this was the first trial run, it looks different now but don't have a recent pic of it):
And here is how the invitation currently looks (below), but it's not finished yet and honestly nothing is really final as I tend to change my mind a lot so it can look entirely different from now until months down the road! All the info is just for testing purposes so none of it is real, I just put some random things on the mock up for a more realistic feel. I also decided not to emboss the actual invites because it was just too time consuming and messy, so I will be embossing the mailing envelopes instead.
I decide to custom make the 2 x 2 monogram for the front of the invitation using our baby pictures in black and white which I designed myself. I thought it would be super cute to see us when we were kids, and then when they open the invite, they would see our engagment pictures (which we have yet to take). The monogram itself originally is on metallic paper and I had to have it specially printed (no way was I about to cut 150 squares myself!), but I got a lot of feedback from friends and family and that they preferred the matte paper better, so I might just have to change it to matte.
So how long does it take me to do each invite? It takes me about 5 minutes assuming all I am doing is gluing if everything is already printed.