Save a substantial amount of money on invitations, without sacrificing quality, by making them yourself using your computer. It’s easy and fun to create distinctive invitations, at a price you can afford, by layering fine printable paper over a heavyweight card and fastening them together with a unique embellishment.

Start by choosing heavy cover stock for the background. A wide variety of papers are available in many distinctive colors and textures — try the new shimmering metallics, printed cards with subtle designs, or handmade paper embedded with real flower petals.

Next, choose the paper you will print on to layer on top of the background card. Select from translucent vellum to reveal the colored stock beneath, or a crisp opaque white for contrast against darker backgrounds. Be sure your chosen paper is compatible with the printer you will be using; a laser printer or copier is recommended. However, water resistant inkjet ink is available, or you could use an inkjet printer to create the artwork, then photocopy it onto the overlay.

Add your text and any desired graphics, experimenting with different fonts and sizes to design a unique custom look. You can use various methods to fasten the printed overlay to the background card. A faux wax seal could be used to bind the papers together for a sophisticated look; for pure romance, tie them together with sheer chiffon ribbon.

For a unique touch, add a small metal charm or use a dainty crush- proof flower. Your local post office can weigh your finished product to determine the correct postage. Your guests will be impressed by your one of a kind unique invitations and no one will ever guess you made them yourself!

by Melissa Nyssen