Ombré color schemes are quickly gaining popularity. Whether you want to dress your bridesmaids in shades of purple or add some pop to your cake with layers that vary from sky blue to navy, an ombré scheme allows you explore a full palette of colors and shades. But you don’t have to wait until your ceremony to infuse your wedding with a serious dose of color. Instead, start with the invitations.
You don’t need to be the next Picasso to pull off ombré watercolor invitations. All you need are some basic art supplies, an iron, and a bit of patience.
- Cardstock or watercolor paper
- Watercolor paints in varying shades
- Paint brushes
- Paper towels
- Computer and printer
- Hold punch
- Paper slicer (also called a paper trimmer)
Step 1: Design the Invitation
Using your computer, design your invitations to include all of the basic printed information (date, location, etc.). I used Microsoft Publisher and chose a sleek vertical design that allowed me to print three invitations per page but there are plenty of other programs and templates available. You can even buy a plain stationary kit and use the templates that come with it to design a more traditionally shaped invitation. Once you’re satisfied with your design, go ahead and print your invitations.
Step 2: Water Down Paint and Paint First Strip
Using a wide paint brush, add some water to your paint and mix it around a bit to ensure that the pigment is evenly distributed. Then, paint a wide strip across the top of your invitation. Since I printed mine three to page, I was able to paint three at once but you can paint them individually if you chose a more traditional layout. Be sure to cover your workspace in newspaper and clear enough space that you can spread out your invitations to dry once they’re painted.
Step 3: Paint Second Strip
Using a more concentrated mixture of paint (in other words, less water), add a darker stripe over the one you’ve already painted. I used a thinner brush for this to give the invitations a bit if depth and drama.
Step 4: Continue Painting, Then Let Dry
Repeat this process to paint stripes on the bottom of your invitation. You can add texture by experimenting with more and less water on your brush, or by letting each stripe dry before adding another layer to get a pretty “bleeding” effect.
Step 5: Seperate the Wedding Invitations
Once your pages have fully dried, use your paper slice to cut them apart into individual invitations. Depending on the type of paper you’ve used, you might see that the edges of your invitations have started to curl. Don’t panic! Just use your iron on a low setting to flatten them out again.
Step 6: Add a Bit of Elegance
For some additional flair, punch two holes in the top each invitation, then string through a small piece of ribbon in a coordinating color. Tie it in a bow and voila, you’re all set!
Step 7 (Optional): Make Matching Envelopes
You can also create a matching envelope to accompany your invitations. To speed up the process, line up a bunch of envelopes top to bottom, with the edges just touching. Then, draw your paintbrush across the whole row in fell swoop, painting all of them at once. Just be sure to position the line of paint so that the return address will still be visible.
As with all things (and especially art), practice makes perfect so print a few extra pages of your invitation in order to experiment. Once your perfect you’re technique, you’ll be good to go, and your guests will appreciate the effort you put into customizing each invitation.