DIY Pocketfold Invitations
All right, I am going to jump right in. Pocketfolds MIGHT be the most ambitious of craft projects, just short of a DIY wedding dress (shudder). As others who have gone before me have sagely expressed…it’s not a true craft project if feelings of frustration, annoyance, and true rage do not follow closely behind! I am in the midst of creating our invitations, and the DIY pocketfold invitations are the current craft-in-progress.
In designing Lauren Amelie, Mr. Dragon and I selected a Midnight Blue cover-stock pocketfold, also known as Stardream Lapis Lazuli. Stardream is not the most budget-friendly of paper choices, but other metallic papers were not the right blue we wanted. (We are going with a navy or darker blue in our color palette.) First, I started out by trolling the internet for pre-made pocketfold options. I found pocketfolds that offered a color similar to Lapis Luzuli, but there was always a problem: sometimes construction, sometimes the vendor did not offer coordinating envelopes, always too expensive. The cheapest pocketfolds I found, in the numbers I needed, totaled out to over $180 (metallic pocketfolds run roughly double the cost of matte)—ALWAYS. After getting a price quote from Anchor Paper (Mrs. Ballet Flat is also a fan!) of $50…my path was clear. I was going to make…my own…DIY pocketfold invitations. Oh, the horror!
After resigning myself to my fate, I got started.
Anchor Paper is fabulous because not only is their customer service (and prices) outstanding, but they also do custom cuts, so in no way did I have to deal with cutting my pocketfold stock down to size. HUGE help. Also, they gave me a lovely bonus to my order: They happened to send me the leftovers from the cut, which happen to be the perfect size to create our menus—for no extra cost. I don’t know if they usually do that or if they were just being super amazing that day, but it brought a tear to my eye nevertheless.
Again, this is just the system for assembling DIY pocketfold invitations that is currently working for me—please feel free to make adjustments to these instructions so that they they work for you! And again, in full disclosure, this is a big project—I’m a little crafty crazy, so…yeah.
Supplies for 120 A7 Signature* DIY pocketfold invitations (plus extras for mistakes):
- 160 6.75″ x 14″ sheets of cover stock (120 full sheets for the main pocketfold, 30 sheets for the pockets [4 pockets can come out of each single sheet], the rest for mistakes)
- A few dispensers of archival, permanent ½” double stick tape
- Paper cutter, with scoring tool
- Small scissors
- Ink pen (with ink that matches your cover stock—super important)
- Beverages, snacks, a comfy chair, and The Office on DVD for entertainment (TV on DVD is CRUCIAL for crafting!)
Note 1: One caveat on the paper measurements. Our pocketfolds have different dimensions than you might see on other DIY pocketfold invitations instructions because our invitations include a significant embellishment on the belly band. The big-booty button I am pasting to our belly band requires that I slightly reduce the size of our pocketfold so that the entire thing fits in the A7 envelope.
Note 2: Be SURE to make one complete invitation mock-up before beginning mass assembly of your DIY pocketfold invitations. You will have a nervous breakdown if you finish your invitations…only to find they don’t fit in the envelope. This is one step you must not skimp on. (Imagine me with my serious Miss Snapdragon face on.)
Step 1: Pull out the trusty invitation mock-up that you have so dutifully created. Using a plain piece of cardboard or stiff paper, you are going to create a template for the front flap. Trace and cut. The purpose of this template is to easily recreate the pointy part of the front flap.
Step 2: Using your newly created template, trace the pointy part (the top part in the picture you see above—NOT the flat sides) onto the sheets that will be used for the main pocketfold. I am using a blue ink pen because the ink blends into the blue color of my pocketfold, thus being more forgiving of inky mistakes.
Step 3: Cut those puppies out (following the ink marks you made using your trusty template)!
Step 4: Using your SCORING TOOL in your paper cutter, score at 4 and ?”…
…then again at 4 and ¾”.
Step 5: Foldy McFolderson! Some people swear by bone folders—I am okie dokie without one. It’ll depend on your particular crafty situation, as well as your personal preferences. Snapsister (who is basically the High Priestess of Crafting) says I need to get with it and use one…so I will bow to her wisdom and knowledge. 🙂
Step 6: On to the pocket components of our DIY pocketfold invitations! Again, count out the number of cover stock sheets you will need to create the pockets. For me, I was able to get four pockets out of each sheet. Now measure and cut each sheet to the correct dimensions. My pocket cutouts needed to be 5.5″ x 3.5″, allowing for 0.5″ adhesive flaps on each side. (This will make sense later on when we get to the taping portion of this how-to.) See below for how the cuts lay out. The narrow strips you see at the top are scrap.
Step 7: NOW, you are going to create another sturdy template to use to create cut-lines using your invitation mock-up OR using the measurements you have settled on from creating your invitation mock-up. You will see this template is a bit different in style from the one you made for the front flap. The pockets show mistakes much more obviously, as well as being more difficult to cut, since they are small. For this reason the tracing step for the pockets is two-fold. Read on to see!
Your trusty pocket template:
Step 8: We are going to trace our pocket template onto our cover stock. First, trace one side with your ink pen down to about where the bottom point of your point will be (should be in the middle of your template). Then make a small end mark at the lowest point of the slant onto your cover stock. This mark won’t show because it falls where you will be adhering the pocket to the main part of your DIY pocketfold invitations. You will be using the small mark to help you line up the pocket on your paper cutter.
Reverse and trace the other side of your pocket.
Step 9: Cut according to your template.
Step 10: Next, score 0.5″ flaps on the straight sides of your pocket.
Then cut little squares where seen in the pic. This is needed so you can fold in the flaps properly.
Fold, fold fold!
Step 11: OK, time to put all of this together. Using your double-sided tape, apply a strip to the bottom of the pocket-holding page of your main pocketfold, then add a strip each to the sides of the actual pocket. In terms of application, the bottom flap of you pocket should sit BEHIND the side flaps. This will reduce the likelihood of the bottom flap interfering when you scoot your DIY pocketfold invitation inserts into the pocket. Very important!
Step 12: Stick it! Now you should feel free to play around with the dimensions, especially if you—unlike me—are declining to stick a bulky button to the front of your DIY pocketfold invitations. Also, my design preferred a wider front flap—you may like a narrower front page.
So, this process is undeniably laborious, but so far I have been quite pleased with the results. Our tight budget combined with the lack of appropriately colored pre-made pocketfolds meant that DIY pocketfold invitations were the correct route for us. For other brides like me, I hope you found this tutorial helpful!
Anybody else take on an intense craft project? Was it worth it or not?
*A popularly named “signature” pocketfold is oriented so that the inserts are stashed on the right hand flap, in a pocket that sits on the bottom portion of the page. You’ll see that this is a different style than the fantastic DIY pocketfold invitations post from Mrs. Ballet Flat. This style is more work intensive, but for me, it was the style I selected for our particular invite design.