10 Top Tips to DIY Your Way to Gorgeous Wedding Printables + Free Printable Table Numbers!
Hello, all you lovely Bespoke Bride Readers! I’m Suzanne Furtado and I am happy owner and designer of 2 etsy stores, The ScarletSage Tree and The Indian Paper Forest. I’m simply delighted to be here, and even more delighted to give you my brand new DIY printable design – Rustic Love Table Numbers – as a free downloadable. I’ve included both flat and tented style design options and also separate files for letter and A4 pages. To make it even sweeter for you, I’d like you to know that this design still hasn’t appeared in my stores or anywhere else yet, so this is a Special Preview and treat planned only for Bespoke Bride fans, I hope you love it! Click here to get your free A4 printable table numbers or get them in letter page size here!
I’m also super excited to share with you my Top 10 Tips to DIY your way to Gorgeous Wedding Printables! Some of my earliest DIY Wedding Printables were for my own wedding. Our invitations. Though back then, I was no designer. All the actual, and may I add, very beautiful ad marvelously detailed designing was my darling husband’s (Pssst…he did these photos too, aren’t I lucky?) And my contribution was, well, some ideas, of course, the poem on our invitation (which I had actually written him half a dozen years before), and not forgetting my supervisory (read very possibly nagging) skills. So after our labour of love, our invitation design was finally ready, we were thrilled about a job well finished. But surprise, now came the hardest part. Oh-oh. Most printers refused to take the job, as the invitation was a very odd size. When we did come across a couple of printers open to taking the order, their fees were sky-high fee of course 😀 So our only choice was to DIY print them. We used his humble home printer to print out hundreds of our wedding invitations. And the results turned out to be everything we’d wanted and more. Our wedding guests still tell us they have saved our invitations complete with their little blue paper boxes, and that’s since 9 years and counting.
This experience was a huge learning process for me and a defining AHA moment in my mind – not only did we end up saving a huge chunk of our wedding paper goods budget, but my perception of the ordinary home printer, so far only associated with printing ho-hum documents, school projects, etc, changed and how. Here were invitations for the biggest day in my life, that not only looked beautiful, but also appeared thoroughly professional. The proof of the pudding came when even my advertising colleagues; art directors and commercial designers, who know the inside-out of print technology, could not guess that our invites were churned out on a home printer. And as for how much it cost us, tee hee hee, they, and everyone else simply assumed way, and I mean, way, above.
So without further ado, let me get started with my top 10 tips for gorgeous DIY Wedding Printables. I hope they will help you plan and execute your wedding printables with more ease and finesse. And also experience the fun and joy of yourself creating something beautiful for your big day! Also, while my post speaks of weddings, there’s no reasons why these same tips can’t be applied for DIY Printables you’re planning for any other party or celebration in your life 🙂
1. FIGURE OUT YOUR PRINT PURSE. NOW!
Be an early bird and budget right away for your DIY Printables. I know most of my customers get this bit sorted only after they finalise a design, as did I as a bride, ahem. But here’s the thing I have realise now from my experience as a designer and wedding professional : if you do your tiny bit of research in this area prior to choosing a design, it will not only help things go faster when you’re ready to get set printing, but also possibly much cheaper, as you will be able to work out the most bang for your buck, or if you like, lesser buck for the same bang 😀 I highly recommend doing a routine price check with all the printing options you’re considering. Here’s a few rough and ready checkpoints to get you started: If you’re DIY printing, you may want to check the price of replacing your printer’s colour cartridges, your options and budget for the paper you have in mind. If you’re looking at a local printer, visit the store, understand their pricing and sizes, check if any paper and card stock is available with them and how using their paper helps your pricing. And of course, ask about economy sizing for your pieces, so that you get the most pieces for a chosen page/sheet size. If you are thinking of an online print vendor, again understand their pricing and sizes and get a couple of single samples printed and delivered to check the paper grade used. These little steps will ensure you are familiar with the budget and solution that you’ve opted for, and will also help you to check for any other details that may not occur when you’re rushed for time later.
2. CUSTOM DESIGNED LOVE: If you’ve been searching in vain for a DIY Printable design to reflect the idea and vision you have for your wedding, but haven’t yet found it even after days into the search, then consider having a custom designed DIY printable design created for you. One possibility is to look at ready designs you simply love, but wish only that a little of this and a little of that were different. Ask the designers about the customization you need, and most will be willing, though they may charge an additional fee. The second option is to have a brand new custom design created for you, definitely more expensive, but perfect if you are nowhere close to finding the design or idea that you have in mind. Choose your designer with care. Start a conversation, ask all the questions you want to, go through their body of ready designs. Now gauge whether they love what they do, whether you will be happy to work with them and whether you truly love their design style and sense of aesthetics. If the answers are one big resounding yes, then you’ve found your designer. In either option, be sure to clearly communicate all you have in mind, and after having done that, trust in your chosen designer’s creativity and expertise to bring your idea to life, and allow room for their own interpretation of your ideas and thoughts too. The result will be just the design you’ve been looking for, but even more creative and beautiful than you imagined.
3. PRINT-IT-YOURSELF. So you’re wavering over DIY printing yourself or getting a print vendor to do it for you, and yes, both choices have their pros and cons. Getting it all done from a printer, copyshop or even from an online print site are great options, and help you save on time and effort. Though after trying DIY printing once, you will probably pick this road less traveled. It’s easier, faster and cheaper than you think. And loads more fun than you can imagine. And, last but not the least, there’s something priceless about getting down and involved with your wedding details, be it a big or small project; there’s an indescribable feeling, and every little thing you create gets wrapped up with the happy anticipation of your fast approaching big day. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed about it all, simply ask your willing and able bridesmaids and friends to help you out!
4. 3 MUST-ASK PRINT-READY QUESTIONS
Now there may well be a dozen or more must-ask questions for your DIY Printables designer, when you pen down your own list, so yes, do ask those as well! But here’s my 3 must-asks to get your DIY printing, and budgeting for it, better sorted.
Question 1: What is the size? Get exact sizes of your pieces from your designer, a must to budget for your DIY printing or to get accurate pricing from printers. Also useful to plan and buy your paper and corresponding envelopes if any, and check on your postage budget.
Question 2: What layout is my final file going to be in? This helps you correctly calculate the paper size, and number of sheets needed – always plan for 5-10 extra sheets in case of any printing errors etc. For example, I, and for that matter most printable designers out there, offer most final files in letter/A4 page size, with 2 or more pieces of the design as fit, so customers can simply buy these easily available economy size sheets for all their designs, and then print and cut pieces to size as needed. And here’s an extra tip for larger pieces like invitations, menus, programs etc: Ask your designer if your design is better suited to be printed on pre-cut paper, and if you can then opt for a single piece pdf to print from. Pre-cut paper is paper that is already cut to the exact size of your piece, like 5X7 paper meant to print 5X7 designs on. So when you print your design on pre-cut paper, you save yourself the task of cutting your pieces to size.
Question 3: Do the final file specs of my designer and printer match? If using a professional printer or an online print website, etc, ask the print vendor about the final file specs they need, and then check with your designer if these are possible, will cost extra, etc. This way, you won’t have any last-minute glitches between coordinating specs and policies between your printer and designer.
5. YOUR PRECIOUS PALETTE.
If your DIY Printable design is going to be customised with your colour choices, then it’s important you choose your colours well at the time of ordering your design. Keep in mind that colours vary from screen(monitor) to screen, and also screen to printer, and printer to printer. Which makes it difficult to get a 100% perfect colour result. However, you can do a few things to ensure that your gorgeous wedding colour palette makes it onto paper as closely as is possible. Do test print your design at the proof stage if possible, and perferably from the printer that you will finally use. If your Printable design vendor offers a colour chart to choose from, it may be a good idea to print out the chart itself, again preferably from the printer that you will finally use, and then make your colour selection from what you see on the printed chart. There are also a lot of dedicated colour websites out there. My personal favourite is colourlovers.com, you can browse every possible colour and shade you have in mind, and also create your own palettes. I often guide my brides here if they can’t find their exact shade on my colour guide.
6. PAPER WOWS. TRULY.
One of my dearest cousins tied the knot last year, and I had the honour of designing the invitations. The wedding palette he and his gorgeous bride chose was navy and yellow and their theme was lovebirds with a song. I came up with a paper-cut invitation design, and I suggested they use a matte shimmered navy paper for the folded card invitations and envelopes, and have the invitation wording printed on thinly lined white paper, which was then pasted on the inside of the navy card. Yes, the design would have worked on any regular card stock, but would it have had that wow effect? No. In all my years of experience, I’ve noticed that a beautiful design on regular paper gets praised, but choose just a slightly unusual paper, either with a fresh texture or colour or a different finish, and the very same
design is marveled at, and often remembered for years to come. The paper you choose can take your printable design notches higher, so once you’ve finalised your DIY printable design, take a little time to explore paper options and settle on the one that feels like a wow. Remember to buy a few sample sheets of the papers that you absolutely must shortlist, and test print on these before you make your final choice and buy your whole lot. And one pointer when DIY printing on a home printer – ensure the paper’s under 300 gsm/140 lb in thickness/weight. I would like to clarify here that it’s not about buying the most expensive paper you can afford, but about finding the right one for your design – a perfect fit for your wedding theme or your personal style. For example, someone picked an unusual paper to print their invitations on in 2012, and now that’s a huge trend only because it fits so beautifully – simple unassuming kraft paper meets rustic, country themed wedding; result – made for each other!
7. COLOUR ME RAD. So printing on coloured paper needs a whole separate point. You bet. It’s because I love love love colored paper and also printing on colored paper requires some extra pointers and attention. Paper in every glorious colour has me enthralled, my little home office is filled with more coloured paper samples than I know what to do with, and I find myself especially unable to leave the handmade paper stores I frequent in Bombay, as I seem to gaze longingly and forever at those rich creams and subtle pastels, those jeweled tones and bright summer hues… Digitally printing on coloured paper produces some fabulous results, more so if the paper also happens to have an unusual finish; pearlised, textured, handmade with botanicals pressed into the paper, etc. You don’t need to
think twice about digital prints on pale or light coloured paper such as cream, blush, ivory etc, the colour results are almost similar to using white paper. However, printing on deeper or brighter coloured paper results in the printed colours appearing muted or sometimes not showing at all, the deeper the colour papers get. Papers in deep, saturated shades like red, magenta, turquoise are great for printable designs in darker hues like black, chocolate, pewter. Brightly coloured paper like orange, mango, chartreuse, coral is good for most digitally printed colours to show up prettily on them although slightly muted, but if your design has any pale, light colours, those will not show up at all in print. Again, test print your design on samples when considering coloured papers, and if your design prints fine on the coloured paper of your choice, yay, you and everyone else will love the unusual effect!
8. CUT IT OUT, RIGHT!
Once you’ve printed your designs, cutting them down to size is a very crucial part of your DIY Printables’ finishing process. Cutting your pieces cleanly and smoothly is important to give them a beautiful professional finish. And this is not a tough result to achieve at all, it’s very very simple and quick too, you just need a few correct tools and pointers. If you’re getting your design printed and finished from a print vendor, then this part of the process is, of course, usually taken care of by them too. Though if it’s not all straight lines but an unusual shape, like circles, curved bracket edges, etc, some printers may decline on the cutting. Before you begin your cutting, find a clear table top to work on. For straight lined designs, use either a paper cutter craft blade or a paper cutter machine. Please do not use a scissor, as it does not give you one smooth, continuous cut, and in the case of thicker card paper, it also ends up bending edges unevenly as it cuts. If your design is unusually shaped, then your only option to cut it out is a pair of scissors, though do remember to have a steady hand, and do not lift the scissors away from the paper until you’ve cut one piece completely. There’s also a vast variety of paper punches available today, in different shapes and sizes. These are perfect to cut out your circle designs and experiment with other unusual shapes, and also give regular straight lined pieces unusual decorative edges.
9. GOING GREEN:
If you’re an eco-conscious bridal couple, hats off to you! I think it’s beautiful when a couple is mindful of making environment-friendly choices as they plan their wedding. Even if it may not extend to every single aspect of the wedding, it’s still wonderful to tick off even a few green choices. Here’s just a couple of suggestions for going green with your wedding paper goods:
1. Check out green paper options. You can use recycled paper, post-consumer waste paper or tree-free paper to print your paper goods on. A large percentage of handmade paper is made from waste cloth and textiles.
2. Consider plantable invitations. You can print on plantable paper that has seeds actually embedded in it, and this makes a lasting green statement – a chain effect that also inspires your guests to share your ideology.
3. Find an environment-friendly print company to work with. Many printers are also doing their bit for mother Earth. Using vegetable/soy inks, wind power electricity and recycled paper stocks are just some of the ways printers are going green.
10. DIY ON DIY: YOUR FINISHING TOUCH.
So you have your DIY printable design ready, and suddenly a little DIY idea strikes you to add on as an additional touch – go for it! Little personal touches go a long way in making your wedding details original and extraordinary and YOU. Let your creative side explore the possibilities. You may decide to send out your invitations with just a tiny bit of glitter sprinkled on the envelopes to reflect that hint of gold in your palette. You may want to punch a hole in your place cards and rope through some knots for your nautical seaside do. You could choose to paste a single delicate cabochon, in russet, purple, plum hues, on your wedding programs to glam them up some more while matching the berry tones in your wedding colours. If you’re worried about the thin line between craftsy and elegant, dwell on your ideas a bit – reflect on the style and tone you have in mind for your wedding, and if your idea not only fits nicely in there, but adds to the whole effect, it’s a winner. The possibilities are endless, but not your time on hand; so please jot down any ideas on a list, flesh out materials and time needed for them, and once you have your heart set on the ones you are going for, run with them asap!
And that brings us to the end of my tips. Though there’s just one more thing I’d like you to remember, and this is huge. It applies to your DIY Wedding Printables, your other wedding details and your entire wedding day itself – “A wedding is a celebration, and not a performance. If at the end of it, you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.” Whoever came up with this one, sure nailed it. Wishing you that perfect wedding day, and a marriage filled with love and laughter always!
Much Bespoke Love
Suzanne x x