Semi-DIY Invitations: First Impressions

Because we weren’t having a particularly fancy invitation suite with letterpress, response cards, fold outs and all those other “fixins” and whatnot, I knew I wanted to at least give the envelopes a wow factor.

I searched high and low for A9-sized chocolate envelopes (for my wonky-shaped invitations) in my city but always came home empty-handed. So I planned a trip with one of my bridesmaids over to Atlanta so I could check out PaperSource (the BEST excuse to finally visit such a coveted place in the wedding world!). I called ahead to make sure they had the envelopes I wanted in stock (shimmer chocolate—yummy!!!) and I also planned to do some other wedding-related shopping while in Atlanta to fully justify the $25-in-gas trip.


When I got there, the sales associate already had my lovely envelopes waiting for me! But of course, I couldn’t just grab my envelopes and leave like a good girl on a budget. Noooo, I just HAD to look around. But I’m glad I did, because I ended up finding our liners doing that! Many of you know that PaperSource has an extensive supply of fine papers and they do a great job of displaying them to entice impulse buyers like myself.


Luckily, I found a stack of gorgeously printed paper that was half off! I originally planned to use the pink shimmer paper from this post, but Michaels ran out! Besides, they would have cost me more than the gorgeous brocade paper I ended up with.

I used a template in the store to count out how many liners I could get per sheet of paper. And because that number came to 10 sheets, I got an additional 10% off! Everything in PaperSource has discounts attached to how many of 1 item you buy. SCORE!


I grabbed a few other items (like the liner templates and the ribbon for my bouquet) and then finally pried myself from “Heaven on Earth” to face my fate at the cash register…*

As soon as I had the chance, I began working on assembling our envelopes and liners and addressing them. One session turned into another session into another session… and on and on! It took FOREVER. I even brought our invitations to work one night:

I finally had to delegate some of the work to bridesmaid Ashley (aka mash8!) and even Mr. Lab helped assemble some of the liners. I used Mrs. Sprinkle’s advice and made the liners shorter than the template to save paper.

I used the Paper Source template to trace out one liner partly off the paper to make it shorter. Then I used that liner to trace the other liners out. (Still with me?) It took me a couple tries to find the best layout to get the most liners on one sheet of paper.

My technique worked because I ended up with way too much! And to think, the lady at Paper Source thought I could only get 4 liners per sheet (I got 9!). I have a leftover stack of liners I may use for Christmas card envelopes this year. 🙂

Next, the front of the envelopes! I can’t afford calligraphy and unfortunately, not being able to afford something doesn’t mean you quit liking it. Actually, I wanted it even more because I couldn’t afford it. No worries! That’s why “fauxligraphy” was created! 😀

I bought a metallic pen at my local craft store. I tested it out on the paper the store provides before purchasing to make sure the color was pretty and it wrote with ease. Here’s the pen I got:


Then after several frustrating tries adjusting my printer settings, I printed out all the addresses in black (printer set to light ink). Black was the only color that would show up on the deep chocolate envelopes. I downloaded and used the “Renaissance” font on for free!

And then I began tracing over the addresses with my pen.

Sometimes the pen would clog and I had to shake it or bang it to get a flow going again. Make sure you have a scrap piece of paper to write a little out before going straight to the envelope or you could get blobs of ink on them!

I had to trace over some of the addresses a couple times to get rid of the “faded” look. Sometimes the pen made it through an entire envelope with no problems, other times it was a bit trickier. What seems like a million and one envelopes and days later, I had this:

And my stamps? Ordered from USPS for the actual price of the stamps plus $1 for shipping! They only took two days to arrive! I only used 1-3 stamps per envelope depending on which ones got extra inserts, but I put all of them on my mock invitation to show you the variety:

The best part about the invitation process was finding out that when Mr. Lab took them to the post office, he actually hand canceled all of them for me! I would pay a pretty penny to be a fly on the wall watching him doing that! I just think of all of us detail-obsessed brides being the only ones crazy enough to stand in a crowded post office hand-stamping a box of invitations. I really wish I had a photo of the occasion. LOL! Mr. Lab definitely got extra kisses from me that night! And he still doesn’t get why it was a big deal…

*Next Up: The cost breakdown and the dinner rehearsal and bridesmaids’ brunch invitations!

Previously: Invitations Part 1


Mrs. Labrador

Wedding Date:
November 2009
Introducing Miss Hamster!
Gallery of the Day
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah johnson, Guest @ 11:30 am

    Loved this idea so much, I started lining my own wedding invitation envelopes but as we have square envelopes my partner suggested cutting the linings into squares, turn them around into diamond shape, insert into envelope and stick. This way you get many more to the one sheet of paper.

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