The Best DIY Wedding Invitation Ideas

Weddings can be an expensive business. You can save money by making your own wedding invitations. Most people are afraid to go down this path because they think it will look less professional. It doesn’t have to be! With these great DIY wedding invitation ideas you’re wedding will start off with a bang!

You can do it via a photo software program, through a designer friend or with your own hands and imagination.

Traditional with a twist:

If you prefer to go with a flat or folded invitation within an envelope but still want to save money you can opt to print your invitation with the following technique:

  • Thermography: It’s cheaper than engraving or embossing but still has the same effect.  When printing, the ink is raised on the paper and the wording or decorations pop out of the page. If you flip the paper over there is no impression on the back.
  • Flower pressed: Press some flowers that you found in your garden under a book for two days. Take it out and paste it on your invite.
  • Custom made rubber stamps: Saves time. Some stationery shops let you create your own stamp with your own information on it. Works well for printed return addres lables.
  • Envelope sans card: make a fold out envelope with all your information written or pasted on the envelope itself! It can take up a lot of your time designing and making, but the end product is totally worth it!

Other shapes:

  • Hands and feet: Trace your feet or hands or design your wedding invitation  in the shape of flip flops.
  • Or finish your card off with a laser cut tree.
  • Wheel:  Make your own DIY wheel that spins to reveal wedding information separated into categories. Use two recycled chipboard circles.
  • Use a simple flow chart to convey your message.
  • Custom made envelope: Wrap your invite in an old newspaper and tie it up with a piece of twine.
  • Cartoon pull strip: Attach a string to the invitation. When someone pulls the string to get to the card, you can make it look like a cartoon bride is pulling her groom towards the church.
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We live in a technological age. Almost anything can be done on a computer nowadays. You can choose to print your wedding invitations by downloading templates from websites or send an e-vite.

  • Printed

All you need is paper and a printer.  There are several websites online from which you can download wedding invitation templates. Most of the templates are blank so that you can fill in your information any way you want to.  You can also change the colour schemes so that it suits your wedding theme. Some websites even let you design your invitations on the website itself.

You can visit the following websites: “Design own wedding invitations online” “Rustic free printable wedding invitations.” “DIY wedding invitations”


  • To not waste any paper or ink, print out a draft every time before you start printing it in bulk. Sometimes it’s nicer to see it on paper than just on the computer screen.
  • Proofread! This can save a lot of ink and paper. Proofread it as many times you can (ask someone else to run their eye over it as well) before you hit print.
  • Use coloured paper instead of coloured ink.
  • E-invite: Create an eco-friendly online invitation.

Wedding invitation kits.  

Need some help? Some companies or stationery shops supply you with wedding invitation kits. They provide you with all the materials you’re going to need – the rest is up to you!

One Big Day Creations situated in Pietermarizburg supplies you with DIY kits or you can try this website:

3D objects

Who says your wedding invitations have to be flat? Now you can surprise your guests with a very unique 3D invitation.

  • Message in a bottle: perfect for a beach wedding.

You can buy the bottles in bulk, but if you want to save money (and the earth) simultaneously you can even use second hand bottles aquired from flea markets or car boot sales. Ask your family to collect Coca-Cola glass bottles.

The bottles don’t have to be uniform: it can come in all shapes and sizes, as long as they resemble your colour scheme or wedding theme.  You can decorate the bottles with things that resemble your wedding destination: if it is right on the beach, throw some sand in the Coca-Cola bottles. You can put the invite as the wrapper outside or just tie a flower with a ribbon or seaweed grass to decorate it.

Instead of sand put a scented candle (coconut, vanilla) inside the bottle.

Tip: package it carefully if you’re planning on mailing it.

  • Boxes:

Who says you need to put your invites in an envelope? You can package your invites in a small square box or a long rectangular one.  Tie it up with a ribbon or a piece of string.

Tip: Make sure everything is secure before you mail it.

  • Christmas Decorations

If you’re exchanging vows around the holiday season, you can make your wedding invite into a Christmas decoration. Not only is this very unique, your guests can use it again and again and again. It’ll be a mini momento of your wedding.

Try to find a  transparent ball which you can open or unscrew. Print the wedding invitation or information onto long thin strips of paper (you can even print it on coloured paper).  Stuff it into the transparent Christmas ball.

Or you can send a Christmas stocking (bought or made on your own: knitted) with your wedding invitation and some goodies stuffed inside.

  • Mug:

Print a photo of you two with the wedding date and the destination on a coffee mug. It is both practical and unique.

  • Video message:

Let someone record you while you sit on a couch and welcome and inform your guests about your wedding. It doesn’t have to be done professionally.

If you’re happy with the end result, copy it on DVD’s and send it to your guests.

Tip: Find a time when your are both relaxed and in a good mood.

  • Film roll:

If you and your future partner share a love of photography you can extend this into your wedding invitation: print your information on the inside of a film roll

  • Origami:

Transform your wedding invitation into an origami-folded heart shape. If the guests want to know what it says they have to unfold it.  It doesn’t have to be a heart. Experiment with all the origami shapes.

Here are some more fun, unique and quirky DIY wedding invitations ideas:

  • Passports or plane tickets:

Especially unique for a destination wedding!

On the “passport” card you can paste a photo of you two with a simple invitation message and the RSVP card can double as a “boarding pass”.

  • Encrypted messages:

Design your invitation with a 3D picture which can only be viewed through 3D glasses which you will supply.

Or make a scratch card invite: when you scratch it, it reveals the date.

  • “Tie the knot” – literally!

You can attach a rope to your box or tie the pages of a card together. When it is closed it is loose, but when folded open the string or rope pulls into a knot.  See a picture on

  • Books and stationery:

If you are a lover of books or a journalist: send the invitation inside the front of a book or make a mock newspaper with your wedding on the front page. Or just use newspaper typography and newspaper-inspired fonts. Send a pencil along with a “Pencil us in” instruction: “Make the date. Don’t forget.”

  • Chocolate bar

Print the wedding information on the wrapper that goes around the chocolate.

  • Photo booth pics:

Hold up signs eg. “You’re invited to our wedding”, “RSVP” ,“Yes” ,“No”. You can pull happy and sad faces for a cute dramatic effect.  The signs can alo read the date and wedding venue.

  • Thumb prints heart

Put you and your partner’s thumb prints on the card in a shape of a heart. See picture on

  • Blow up Balloon invite:

Print your wedding details on a balloon. Your guests can blow up the balloon to know what’s what.

  • Send Post cards:

This is very cheap and unique. Or use post cards for reply cards. Put your address or email address on the card.

You need to start planning your invitations four months in advance. Remember to send the invitations at least two months before the big day.

Shireen Louw is a wedding photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Check out her latest wedding photos on her blog.

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