Making Your Own Party Invitations

Many people would like to create handmade invitations, but don't know how to get started. Here are some tips to get your creative juices flowing.

We celebrate a lot of occasions in our lives. Many of these are standard events. Baby showers, birthday parties, retirement parties, wedding showers, etc. For most of them, we send out invitations. But how often do you have trouble finding an invitation that reflects your personal style? Also, it is hard to find invitations for less traditional parties. Perhaps you have thought about making your own invitations, but have no idea where to start. Relax. You don't need to be one of those crafty or creative people to make you own party initiations. It helps, but you don't have to be!

A handmade invitation says a lot about you. It says you are part of the growing trend to make homemade cards, invitations, announcements, etc. It says that you have skills they may have never know about. But most of all, it says that you care enough about the people attending your event that you went to the trouble to make something that took some time, effort and imagination.

Choose you event. Decide on the particulars: When, where, who will be invited, what kind of party it will be, how long it will last, etc. You will want to do this several weeks in advance so that you have enough time to plan all the details and make a gorgeous card. I have sent handmade invitations for a cookie decorating party for my daughter, a bridal shower for my sister-in-law, and for an anniversary party for my parents. Any occasion is suitable for a handmade invitation.

Browse for ideas. Many of my best ideas for cards are inspired from others I have seen. I often find them browsing scrap booking or card sites on the Internet, in gift shops or just from my own head. I am always on the lookout for card ideas. I jot down an idea or two and often sketch (very badly) a simple idea. For instance, you can choose a theme of hearts for a wedding shower, flowers can serve as a theme for a spring birthday or summer get together. Images of cars would be great for a sixteenth birthday party, or tiaras and glitter for a young girl. The trick is to choose something simple and that is related to the party. You don't have to do anything elaborate. Decide on a basic idea of what you want your card to look like and then go shopping!

Select your materials. You will be able to find all your supplies at a local craft store or scrap booking store. Pick some heavy cardstock for the body of the card in a color you like. Pick out some coordinating paper and accessories. They are so many fun things you can use to embellish your invitations and really give them a personal touch. Textured and natural papers, charms, feathers, fun stickers, brads, vellum, glitter and lots of other choices are available. Be flexible. My original idea for an invitation often changes when I see what is available. So don't be afraid to improvise! You will also need some good supplies for putting them together. These areas of the craft store will have excellent glue and other types of fastenings for putting things together. White school glue is definitely not an option. My favorite pick for this task is a glue pen that will allow you to control the amount of glue and provide for repositioning of elements.

Now comes the time for assembling the card. Take the heavy cardstock you bought for the background. Decide how you want the invitation to open, from the side or from the bottom. Cut it to a size that you like for your project. I have made cards in a variety of sizes and they all seem to work. If it is going to be necessary to mail some invitations, Card-sized envelopes are usually available where you picked up your supplies or at a stationary or office store. I like to assemble all the cards at once, element by element, but you can choose to do them one at a time, also. I also like to do the inside before I do the outside. I often mat the party information on the inside as well, and attach it to the cardstock with brads or other fun items. The party information can be hand-written by you or printed in an attractive font on your computer. Next comes the front of the card. This is where you can really allow yourself to shine. Mat elements, use torn edges, create decorative borders, add chunky embellishments and be as creative as you want to be. Before you glue anything down, arrange the elements you have chosen to make sure you like the placement of the matted elements, decorative borders, charms, etc. Allow yourself to change things and express your individuality. There is no right and wrong with this. Allow each element to dry before attaching another.

Your first card may not be perfect, but no one will know but you. The more you do it, the better your cards and invitations will become. This is something to enjoy, not worry about. You might be surprised at your inner creative abilities. Before you know it, you will be designing and crafting your own original Christmas cards.

© High Speed Ventures 2011