Friday, February 26, 2010

DIY Invitations Part III: Love/Hate Relationship with a Printer


Alright, for all you suprise-spoilers here is our completely printed wedding invitation suite.

Printing these babies at home saved us a lot of moolah but took FOREVER and A YEAR. I kid you not, we spent the better part of two weekends hand feeding paper into our over-worked printer and we're still not quite finished with some of the inner envelopes.
How did we do it? We stalked a few wedding invitation websites and picked out a few layouts/font combinations that we liked and then played around in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher until we came up with a design we both could agree on. We then nitpicked the wording for a few more days, double and triple checked spelling, and then printed out a few dozen samples on regular computer paper.
Tip #1: Play around with your printers settings. Usually there is an advanced tab that is accessible from the print window. We ended up using an HP matte premium paper setting because there was no cardstock options, set our print quality to best, and custom set our printer paper size to fit each component of our invitation suite.
The invitations were DIY BRIDE'S brand from Michaels so some assembly was required. We printed on the white cardstock, wrapped a piece of black ribbon (included) around the invitation and secured with tape under where the cardstock would lay, finally we attached the cardstock with glue dots (included).
Tip #2: Be patient. Little-miss-grabby-hands here pulled a few paper products off the printer before they had a chance to dry and smeared the ink. Thankfully we had a quite a few extras but it was a easy mistake to avoid.
We included lines that asked when our guests will be arriving and where will they be staying on our response cards to ensure we got everyone's OOT bags to them regardless if they were staying at the hotel we have a room block at or not.

Tip #3: Wait your turn. I tried putting stacks and stacks of the card stock in the printer but inevitably the print would misfeed or grab too many and a few pieces would be ruined. To avoid this we hand-fed each piece of cardstock into the printer which took a really long time but proved to be less wasteful.
Time: Approximately 10-12 hours each day for about 4 days. Capitalize on your down time during this project (ie. when things are printing) and start assembling, applying stamps to envelopes, or any other quick project you can do.
Difficulty level: Medium. I consider myself pretty computer savvy but a few times at was at a loss for words as to why things just weren't printing correctly. My only advise is to keep messing around with it and eventually it will work.
-Michael's BRIDE's Invitation Set included invitations, outer envelopes, large response cards (used for details insert), and response envelopes (didn't use): $40 for 40 (purchased with 40% off coupons)= $24
-Michael's BRIDE's all-purpse cards with envelopes: $15 for 40
-Stamps for response envelopes: 1 $0.44 stamp per envelope
-Printer cartridge: We didn't even use a whole cartridge so FREE.
-Test computer paper: Already had lying around so FREE.

Total cost for invitations (made 120): $24 x 3 + $15 x 3 + $0.44 x 120 = $169.80
Total per invitation: $1.42
Grand total per invitation-to-date (invitations, pocketfolds, envelope liners): $2.19

Up next: belly bands, outer envelopes, and mailing them off!!

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