Our Wedding: DIY “Letterpress” Wedding Invitations

As I posted previously, my husband and I made “letterpress” save-the-date cards and wedding invitations using the L Letterpress machine. Below are photos of our wedding invitation results (see our save-the-date cards here and my DIY letterpress instructions here). We used the same Crane Lettra paper and envelopes for the invitations and the save-the-date cards. We lined the inner envelopes with decorative paper from a local paper store and created matching belly-bands to hold all the inserts together.

Design, execution and images by Kate

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9 thoughts on “Our Wedding: DIY “Letterpress” Wedding Invitations

  1. Wow… you used the letterpress machine for these? They turned out great! I tried making my wedding invitations and just couldnt get them perfect so I ended up having to pay for them to be letterpressed.

    1. Hi Stacy, I made my custom plate design in Adobe Illustrator and saved to a press quality black and white PDF to send to Boxcar Press. In my instructional post (http://modernlywed.com/2010/11/29/instructions-for-diy-letterpress/ ) you can see the PDF file that I used. If you use Boxcar Press to make your plate, they have additional file type instructions on their website. I believe any black and white PDF will work, so in theory you could even use Word or a similar program to create a simple plate. I hope this helps!

  2. Hi Kate — I’m wondering if you mixed the grey or used a color straight out of a tube. If you did mix b&w ink to get the grey, do you have any tips? Thanks!

    1. Hi Annie, I used both the gray and the yellow straight out of the tube. I have mixed colors for other small projects with success, but I wanted to take the hassle out of color matching for such a large quantity. I am not sure how you would regulate the mixing to ensure you get the same color each batch. Maybe you could use an old set of measuring spoons?

    1. Hi DIY Bride-To-Be! To give you an idea of my at home letterpress costs: the L Letterpress machine was about $150. The paper stock depends on how many you are printing (we sent 135ish but messed up many more than that) and paper type…also, envelopes are more expensive than cards/flat stock. We used crane’s lettra 100% cotton, which seems to be the best paper for letterpress. It was $150 for the paper and $125 for envelopes (we used crane lettra envelopes in four sizes… save the date, outer, inner, response/thank you). Printing plates were $120, but I added other plates in the empty space (like happy birthday, etc) for future use.

      With other misc. expenses (ink, tools, cost to have the paper cut and folded) our grand total was about $700. However, we didn’t use even half of the paper and probably have 1/3 of the envelopes left (You have to buy lettra paper in bulk though.). I did get one quote from a local print shop before we decided to make our own: two color letterpress for 135 invitations (with response, reception card, and thank you notes) only (no save the dates) was $3000.

      I hope this helps!

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