HOW TO make layered fabric wedding invitations, part 3 (FINAL PART!)
After you’ve dyed your fabric (Part 1) and printed your fabric (Part 2), print your paper pages.
We used a normal Brother desktop printer for this full load of prints, and we didn’t need to change the ink cartridge or anything. It did initially have trouble feeding the vellum, but we found out that tray feeding worked out really well. If you’re using an unusual kind of paper, make sure to test and re-test in your printer!
We chose this arrangement of paper because our wedding has three events all over North America, so we wanted our little “map” logo to show through with the information for each event in the general location it would happen in. The first two sheets were vellum (a very cheap kind, #110 technical vellum for drafting, which is sold in art stores in bound tear-out book form). If you’re using vellum, make sure it’s the opacity and thickness you want- and if you’re printing it yourself instead of bringing it to a printer, make sure it’s in a printable size! Most of the vellum packages we saw (particularly the fancy-shmancy ones) came in sizes too large for our printer, and the thought of cutting 150 sheets of it was not appealing.
We sprayed the sheets of vellum with spray fabric glitter by Tulip. We bought some paper glitter (“smooch spray” was the brand), but it ended up laying on too heavy for the number of layers we had, and the fabric stuff kept the paper from wrinkling.
Our backing sheet is a semi-glittery cardstock purchased from the craft store in the scrapbooking section. We wanted something with a bit more structure than the fabric and vellum to keep the whole thing together.
This is very IMPORTANT: After printing your paper, DO NOT CUT IT! You’ll want it to stay 8.5×11 until the very last step.
1) Print your paper. Make sure you have at least one mock-up of the final (particularly if you’re using a translucent paper) so you know how everything lines up.
2) Line up all layers of your invitation, including the top fabric layer. You may want to pin all the layers together, but we found the pins actually bent the paper enough that the final products ended up slightly off from each other. It worked better to just feed it through the sewing machine while holding it all together.
3) Prepare your sewing machine. I highly, HIGHLY recommend hardcore quilting thread (Gutermann) for both the thread and the bobbin. Regular thread breaks often from sewing through all those layers. Also, make sure to adjust your thread tension (the little dial with the numbers on it). Check your machine’s manual for more specifics. Remember that ANY time the thread breaks and your machine sews with no thread, each dive of the needle will create a hole in your paper. Sewing over it more than once puts a lot of unsightly holes in!
4) Sew away! Use the width guides to make sure you’re going in a consistent, straight line. I recommend a wide zig zag stitch, because you won’t want to do any reverse stitches to make sure the thread stays in place. Note that the fabric may not end up perfectly aligned with the invites- that’s fine as long as none of your writing on your paper shows through. You’ll be cutting these down anyway.
5) Cut your invitations. Use an exacto and a self-healing cutting mat. Mark your mat so you know exactly which line to cut on- I marked exactly where half of 8.5×11 would be, so that I could line up the MIDDLE of the invitations. If I’d lined up only one side, most of these would end up off-center. I cut off all edges that didn’t match up- sometimes from the fabric, sometimes from the paper. Each of these is totally individual! You’ll want these slightly smaller anyway, since you’re trying to get them into envelopes!
6) Do the envelopes. Print these with easy templates in your word processing program of choice, or from Stamps.com, which offers envelope design along with the actual postage (they also, I just found out, offer photo stamps FREE- as in the stamp only costs what a normal stamp would be if you print it from your home printer!!).
7) Stuff envelopes and mail!
I’d love your comments or questions on these- please steal this idea!!