8.5 x 11 paper (80 – 100 lb weight is best for the pocketfolds, 60 lb is nice for the inserts but you can go thinner) Each invite will use one (1) sheet for the pocket fold and two (2) sheets for the inserts.
Tacky paper glue and/or glue stick
Paper trimmer Not necessary, but a nice to have instead of using scissors for everything, to make clean straight cuts
Paper scorer or bone folder Again, not necessary, but on thicker paper it helps keep the folds clean.
Ribbon To close off the invitation in a classy way
Corner puncher Make rounded corners on your invites
Heat embossing tools and materials (A stamp that you would like to emboss, pigment ink, embossing powder and an embossing heat tool)
Printer Instead of printing elsewhere, you can print from home with nice results
Design Program for your computer To help design your inserts; choices include Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Gimp, Paint.net.
Embossing I used my Sizzix machine to emboss the paper (create a raised image, without using heat), which turns out lovely but it used a lot of extra paper and time.
I. Creating the Pocketfolds
Cut your paper as shown below (made to scale). Save your scraps, too, you will use them to make the second “edge” of the pocket.
Fold along the light dotted lines. Fold up the pocket and glue the edge. Take your spare edge, glue both sides, and use it on the other side of the pocket.
II. Creating the Inserts
I used two types of inserts; for most of my guests, I sent invitations that only had three inserts in them and directed them to RSVP online. A few received invitations that had RSVP card and envelopes in them.
The following are the measurements I used. A simple rule of thumb is to make the inserts just a little smaller than the pocket – so I made them a little less than 4 inches wide and just under 6.5 in tall. From there, I “guestimated” the heights so they would look pretty even and made sure to place the copy below the edge of the next insert.
I cut these out individually with my paper trimmer and allowed for some fluctuation in widths and heights because it will never be perfect. I also printed the inserts with “cheat guides” on the edges to help me cut quicker and faster.
A) Without a mail-in RSVP card
B) With a mail-in RSVP card
A tip for your RSVPs—the RSVP will need to be cut a little thinner so that it will fit in your envelope. These measurements are a guide, but you will need to cut even thinner than this to make them fit cleanly in the envelope. Use 4 BAR envelopes (3 5/8 x 5 1/8) for these.
After cutting your inserts, glue the main invitation piece in the middle of your pocketfold. I recommend a glue stick for the middle and light tacky paper glue around the edges for a secure look that's not bumpy from the glue.
Simple things like these can all add a nice elegant touch without going over budget.
Making rounded corners
Adding a ribbon around it, tying it off with a bow or a gold sticker or circle (for a flatter and cheaper alternative for postage reasons)
Coloring the edges of the inserts with stamp ink
Heat embossing and nice stamped image
Creating a map on the back of your directions card
A quick guide to Heat Embossing: You need pigment ink--this is because pigment ink stamp pads are slow drying. There are many methods to embossing, but for a quick and easy heat emboss, use your stamp with the pigment ink and after it's stamped on the paper, cover the stamped image in an embossing powder. You can get a cheap little canister at Jo-Ann's for $3.99.
Dump off the excess embossing powder. Often you'll find bits of powder sticking to the paper. A nice water color paint brush (you know, the cheap kind) will help you get rid of that. Then you use an embossing heat tool and wait until it melts and gets shiny and run it all along the stamp so it all gets shiny and melted. I picked my heat tool up at Jo-Ann for about $20.
Once it starts, it goes pretty quick; don't hover over it too long once it's melted because you'll start to warp the paper!
Tip: I tried the glue pads instead of a pigment ink and found that I got a lot of excess embossing powder on the paper with it. Black pigment ink occasionally showed through my gold embossing powder. The best solution was to get a gold pigment ink pad and use the gold embossing powder. That way if the embossing powder didn't completely cover the image, you couldn't tell at all because the ink itself was gold too!
IV. Final Thoughts
Here is my finished product; however, I changed the bows to just wrapping the ribbon around the whole thing and closing it off with a gold circle. Little did I know that envelopes can be too thick for regular postage!
With 80 lb paper for the pocketfolds and 60 lb paper for the inserts, I was just under the one ounce limit for regular postage; the mail-in RSVP invitations did require extra postage, but choosing different paper can make a difference.