10 Tips to Designing Killer Invitations
I’ve been an invitation designer/maker for the past six years. It’s what has supported my sewing and crafting projectsξand added that bit of extra income for my family. It all started when I designed my oldest daughter’s Mickey-themed birthday invitation when she was turning two and posted them on my blog (my blog at that time was called Lisa’s Handmade Cards, thus the array of logos). I started getting requests to make them for other kids parties and it grew from there.
I use a Cricut to make my invitations but any electronic cutter or good pair of scissors will do the trick.
My signature look is the sewn pocket invite. The sewing adds that extra detail that puts the quality and cuteness factor over the edge. Plus, we all know how much I love to sew.
Why put the time into making awesome invitations you might ask? Invitations are the first thing the guest sees! It’s the first glimpse of what kind of shindig you’re throwing. If you plan on going all out with an amazing cake, carefullyξthought out decorations, perfectly plated refreshments, and an adorable tin of party favors wrapped up with a bow, does a pack of 8 fill-in-the-blank invitations really say “This party is going to be awesome”? Not so much.
If you want to design unique invitations for your own children’s birthday parties, baby blessings, and holiday get-togethers, here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to take your invites up a notch and help makeξyour party extra special and memorable.
1) Keep it simple.
The more pieces there are, the more difficult it is to crank the invites out. Believe me, they can be time consuming. Unless you are only making five to ten invitations, simple is the way to go. As you can see from some of the photos of the invitations I’ve designed, I haven’t always followed this rule. I have also pulled a few too many all-nighters from not following this rule. If you plan on selling your invitations or you’re having an extra large party, most definitely KEEP IT SIMPLE. When an order of 50 or more invitations comes in you’ll thank me.
2) Build it up
When designing pieces, it may be easier to do things like punch out two holes from the eye for pupils and have your background peeping through (Cricut cartridge style) but building your layers up adds so much depth and detail. When receiving feedback from my etsy customers ‘quality’ and ‘attention to detail’ are the praises I usually receive. I attribute this to years of sewing on paper so that my stitches are nice and uniform, using a heavy 90lb cardstock, and stacking my layers. It’s a detail worth the time.
3) Use the Internet
Making a specific themed invitation? Don’t try to recall from memory what the cartoon character or movie logo looks like. Look up images on the internet or grab a coloring book so you get the details, sizing, and colors just right.
4) Mix it up.
Don’t have a Cricut cut for that Pikachu or does it just have too many small details? Mix it up and find a free image of the character you need and print them in color. Cut them out and add them to your design.
5) Personalize it
There are a lot of great Cricut and Silhouette cuts out there. There’s nothing wrong with picking one of those designs out and just using it. This dino is from Cricut’s Create-a-Critter cartridge. To add a little something extra, I used a numeral three and glued it to his hand like he’s carrying it — instant personalization. Add your child’s name, the age they are turning, a photo, or their initial to any cut to personalize it and make it that much more special.
6) Add some dimension
Emboss it. Texturize it. Make it 3D. Add a pop up dot or two.
7) Don’t forget to embellish
A little ribbon, a few pearls, a bit of felt. An inexpensive embellishment goes a long way.
8) Surprise them
Add an element of surprise such as a pull tag or piece that moves. All these Care Bear invites took was a brad and you have to turn the sun to be able to see the invitation details. A bit of wax paper and the fish invites turn into a treat and an invitation with the fun element of ripping the front open to get the Swedish fish out.
9) Use your words
There’s something about a fun play on words or using sayings from the movie that you are using for your party’s theme that just gets the party started. Not sure what wording to use? Google it. If you’re party’s theme is based on a movie, show, or specific character search for quotes. If you are having a themed pool party, holiday party, or movie night, a great place to look is on Pinterest, etsy, or just plain ol’ Googling it to findξimages. There are a tons of people that have taken the time to think of witty wording ideas already so that you don’t have to. Just find some ideas you like and mash them up to make them work for you. If not, action words are a great place to start. “Come dive on in”, “Join us for a screamin’ good time”, or “pop on over” just make you want to attend, right? A call to action gets the reader ready to act.
10) Make your squares hip
I don’t always do a shaped card, though I do love shaped ones best. If you are sticking to a square or rectangle card, just add one or two of the above tips and you’ll have one devilishly good looking invite.
they make fantastic scrapbook page embellishments after the party! Add a photo of your little one blowing out there candles and done.
Well, that’s it for today’s post. I hope I’ve inspired you with some little nugget of information or with one of my own invitation designs I shared today or one of the many others I’ve posted in the past. Obviously for a rockin’ invite you don’t have to use every tip on your design. It could definitely get out of hand…and cost a heck of a lot to ship. Any other tips you’d add to the list?