The time is nigh, the pressure is mounting, you are freaking out, but never fear, it’s time for another installment of The Paper Place Guide to:
Now for the part of the series you’ve all been waiting for: how to actually use the decorative papers (outlined in the last installment) in your invitation.
Decorative papers are beautiful on their own as prints, or when used in home accents, but in invitations, they bring in an element of design and interest that otherwise might be lacking in the typography or illustrative graphics, which means it’s a great material for people who don’t have advanced skills in that type of visual art.
And that is okay, not all of us are artists or Martha-crafty, instead you may have better social skills, less angst and have never needed to knit a poncho in prison! So for you, we have beautiful patterned papers.
I’ve made some layout examples using photoshop (real life examples will follow below) when making the print file of your design, it’s important to visualize in this way where your decorative paper will go, and allow space for it.
BANDS Strips of decorative paper cut to the size of your invitation can be placed in a number of ways: as a header flush with the top of your card, as a break between the title and body text of your invitation, as a side embellishment or as a loop tying multiple cards together. There are some very good reasons why bands are a traditional look, they’re pretty simple, and will give you maximum yield (how many small pieces you get out of your big piece) from your sheets of paper.
Adding another layer of paper can change up that traditional look, or adding semi-transparent patterned washi tape instead can help transition between opaque cardstock and opaque decorative paper layer.
TRIANGLES A dynamic shape that adds interest to the card, directing the eye to the body text. The impact can vary by the sharpness of the angle. Pro tip: when doing triangles, first cut strips the desired length of your card, and the width, plus .5″ of the triangle pitch, use both positive and negative pieces in your designs.
DIAGONAL not just for your bangs anymore! Asymmetry is interesting and really easy. You can also add a small layer underneath, like a an origami fold. Suggestion: Try a different pattern for that small under layer, and pick it up as your featured paper in the reply card.
Different shapes and configurations can completely change your card and make it pop in a way you hadn’t expected. Purchase a few sample sheets and experiment!
Our envelopes are all unlined, this is by design; some people don’t like a lined envelope, others like the custom look, so these suit both groups. We have a template pack that contains liner templates for every envelope we carry. If you are ordering envelopes with us through Envelopments, they carry papers specifically for liners and will cut them to size for you.
Decorative envelope liners are a great way to carry through and showcase the paper used in your invitation. It’s a special touch that makes for a cohesive and impressive package.
Another way to use our decorative papers is to make your own envelopes from them. Depending on the paper you use, the effect can range from rustic or contemporary (ex: Nepalese) to stunningly sophisticated (ex: Japanese decorative, Chiyo) . This is a great idea for someone having a small wedding or party, or looking to set some special guests apart, it’s really easy with our templates, and when just doing a few it’s not that time consuming. If you are having a wedding of 100? I would not suggest this level of customization unless you have an assembly line of friends and family backing you up because they love you that much… or because you have amassed blackmail material over the years for just this occasion. Props on your foresight.
CUTTING When cutting your decorative papers, precision is important, as is making a neat cut–which can be especially difficult on delicate tissue or really thick card stock. I would suggest investing in a cutterpede–a device we carry that comes with a rulered board on which your paper rests (providing you with precise measurements), and a notched ruler that goes overtop of your desired cut line on which a razor device safely fits and runs along. Aside from this, a guillotine cutter may also work, small versions of the traditionally large steel-armed cutter are available at arts and craft stores. You can also used a cutting mat (self-healing is the best) and a ruler with an x-acto knife. Depending on what you are doing, this could either be really tedious, or just what you need. If you are cutting tissue, depending on your method, it might be best to place a sheet of plain printer paper on top, just to apply pressure uniformly and prevent tearing. Alternately, if you are doing a mass of straight cuts, we can send out your paper for custom cutting,
If you’re unsure, you can ask any staff member for advice on what might best work for you.
FOLDING When making a folded card, you will get a precise crisp line if you use a bone folder to score and then press your fold. Just… get one. I’ve recently given in and bought my own and I loves it! I loves it like it were me own bony child!
ADHESIVES We carry a wide array of adhesives perfect for gluing paper to paper or paper to cardstock. The product we recommend most for wedding invitations is the glue runner ($10.95 for the glue and dispenser, $4.95 for refills). It’s a Japanese product that dispenses glue in a thin line like correction tape, and acts like double-sided tape. It’s the best thing ever. It doesn’t have the moisture level of white glue or glue sticks–which means it won’t warp and ripple your paper. It will sit perfectly flat and comes out in a precisely straight line, you can even use a ruler as a guide when trying to get the very edge of paper or card stock. The only material I would not suggest using it with are the sukashi papers and tissues. When doing samples with it, I found that the glue oxidizes slightly–changing colour in a way that only reacts with tissue materials. When using tissues and Sukashi, and light amount of a glue stick, Uhu or the Yamato rice paste glue stick, or, depending on the use, double-sided tape may prove appropriate. Again, let us know what you’re doing and we will do our very best to guide you!
GETTING IT DONE
After cutting your expected numbers by remembering couples and families, It’s prudent to overbuy by 10% so that you have extra in case anything goes wrong. It can totally break your schedule and flow, wasting time if you have to run back to the store for one more thing. You have to put your pants back on and everything (look you guys, I… really hate pants.) More card stock, envelopes, an extra quarter sheet of chiyo, and more glue won’t go to waste if you are doing place cards, menus and thank yous, you will use it. Unused and unopened items like glue and twine can be returned if you really have no use for it and you kept your receipt. it’s best to make your sample, ensure all your measurements are correct, print your invitations and then have all of your separate elements ready to go so that you can take your horrible pants off, put the Parks & Rec marathon on and get to work.*
GUIDES TO COME: Using Stamps & Punches for Invitations, Embellishments (washi tape, ribbon, twines, stickers, etc)
Additionally, if there is something that has not yet been covered and you would like to see a guide on the subject, leave a comment! The same goes for any questions about the items covered in these guides so far.
*I have gotten through every major project by watching television. I completed my thesis to Veronica Mars, I got an A+ so I recommend my method to everyone.