Hand-Crafted Invitations from 'Natural Wedding'

Posted by on May 21, 2011

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Gordana Sermek / Dreamstime


Hand-crafting your own invitations is fulfilling and can give stunning results, explains Louise Moon in "The Natural Wedding" (Rizzoli). You could design and create a card from scratch or embellish a plain, ready-made ecocard. Collage and simple printing techniques are easy to master, and there are some quick-fix decoration tips below. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon playing with ideas to see what works for you both. For a vintage-themed wedding you could invest in some antique wooden printing stamps.

hand made wedding invitations
Use letters of varying sizes and typefaces to create a simple but fashionable design. You can find stamps online or at flea markets and antique fairs. Keep an eye out for unusual patterns, such as lovebirds or flowers. One of my favorite ways to print natural designs is to use fresh leaves. Choose a leaf with a prominent vein pattern, brush ecopaint onto its back, and press it onto a card or paper. Use a single color with a variety of leaf shapes for a contemporary effect. For more ideas and methods, "Printing by Hand" by Lena Corwin has lots of lovely techniques, including stencilling.


Cutting, sticking and layering materials can produce a wow-factor card, even if you are a relative craft novice. Plan your pattern first, and draw around a template for regular shapes. Use recycled and reused papers or magazine pages, vintage fabrics and antique buttons. 

If you are having an intimate wedding, a beautifully handwritten invitation is a delightful indulgence. If you feel your own handwriting isn’t up to the task, you could ask a friend or find a professional calligrapher.

Linocutting involves carving a design into a small offcut of linoleum (supplies are available from art stores and aren’t expensive). You can easily create letters and intricate designs and then print them onto your chosen paper. The block is re-inked between each print, so every card has a charming one-off quality. Check local art colleges for courses, or learn the skills and get expert advice at a craft studio. If you don’t feel artistic, it’s easy to trace an existing design onto the lino. 

Woodcutting is a more skilled method, where you carve the design into a block of wood with chisels. For this, you will definitely need to invest some time mastering the techniques, but the finished woodblock will make an amazing ornament and memento of your day. 

The ink is squeezed through a stencil onto the paper or card below. You can design and cut stencils yourself or buy them ready-made. It’s possible to screen print onto a variety of media, from handmade paper to vintage textiles. For instructions and inspiration, see "Simple Screenprinting" by Annie Stromquist.

Tips for Home-Crafted Cards

— Design your invitations to minimize paper wastage. 
— Consider how your embellishments will fare in the mail. If you are worried, mail a trial invite to yourself to check that it survives. 
— If you don’t have the skills to make the invites you would love, why not learn them? Workshops are available for techniques such as screen printing and letterpress. 
— Bear in mind the number of cards you will be making, and keep to a process that you feel comfortable repeating. 
— Find ecocraft supplies online. 

Wedding planner tip: Try framing one of your invitations as a lasting reminder of your special day.

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