I’ve been in wedding planning mode lately and I just sent out the first round of invitations. To keep things within budget, I designed them myself and had them printed online. You do not have to design your own invitation – you can purchase a digital copy from etsy (some as low as $10), minted ($50 for unlimited use) or use a template directly from an online printing service like PSPrint (free with the cost of printing).
*for more information on print at home invites, scroll to the bottom of this post
The only problem with printing at home is that I had been obsessing over the pretty envelope addressing options available at Minted.com. So I did it myself. Here’s the easiest way to print your own envelopes.
This is just an example for a basic envelope – you can add images to your envelopes or additional wording. Maybe some greenery above the address? Or a border pattern? Or a monogram in the corner? It’s really up to you! Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning.
How to Print Your Envelopes at Home
The first thing you want to do is setup an address list in microsoft excel. You are going to label the first 7 cells in the top row accordingly: Last, First, Plus, Address, City, State, Zip. Next you input your addresses underneath. I arranged mine alphabetically by last name, because that’s the easiest way to keep track.
Under “Plus” you want to put things like “& guest” or “& family”. Or the second name, if you are addressing the envelope to two people with different last names – like “John Smith and Jane Adams”. If you are addressing the invitation to a married couple, put “Mr. & Mrs. John” under first name and then “Smith” under last name.
After you’ve completed your address list, save it and then open up a new microsoft word document. Click on File > Page Setup. Change Paper Size to 4×6, or whatever size envelope you use.
*Run a test print on a piece of paper that is cut to size BEFORE you order the invitations. I learned the hard way with my save the dates that my printer / computer would not print on that particular size envelope. I recommend sticking with 4×6. Most printers have a 4×6 setting.
Now that you’ve got the correct size page, let’s begin. First thing I did was type “Please Deliver To:” in size 48 font. I’ll explain how to get fancy fonts at the end of this post. You can also put your return address in the left corner if you want. Or you can put it on the back of the envelope at the end.
Next, go to Tools > Mail Merge Manager. Now we’re just going to go down the list of options. Click create new > envelopes under step 1. Just go ahead and click “cancel”. You just need to complete step 1 to get to step 2. It’s annoying.
Anyways, step 2 is where the magic happens. Go to Get List > Open Data Source. Locate and select your address list excel document.
Now on to step 3. Click on the “contact” tabs. Now drag the categories onto your document in the following order. Line 1: First [HIT SPACE] Last [HIT SPACE] Guest. Line 2: Address Line 3: City [Comma, HIT SPACE] State [HIT SPACE] Zip.
It should look like this:
You can get fancy with step 4 and filter out certain results. I didn’t use it. I didn’t really find it necessary for wedding envelopes. So on to step 5. If you click on “ABC” you can preview your addresses. This is where you want to test out different fonts to see how the envelopes will look.
*Scroll to the bottom of this post if you want to learn how to download & install new “fancy” fonts
I also like a larger gap between the lines, so I adjusted the line spacing in my example to 1.5. To do this, highlight the text and go to Format > paragraph and adjust the line spacing in the dropdown menu.
I suggest you flip through all your envelopes to make sure there aren’t any glaring issues with any of your addresses.
When you’ve got it looking the way you want, proceed to step 6. This is important. You want to click on the second icon, “merge to new document”, not the first icon. The first icon will send the envelopes right to the printer and the second icon will open them in a new document. I highly suggest you print the envelopes in small batches (5 at the most) so you can watch for printing errors. Envelopes get stuck in the printer all the time and sometimes ink smears when you print too much. If you print in small batches, you can make sure they all look their best.
When you are ready to print, you need to figure out how to feed your envelope into your particular printer. With my printer, you simply adjust the paper tray to a 4×6 size. That’s pretty normal. You also need to figure out which direction to put the envelope in.
The easiest way I’ve found to figure this out if by printing a blank page. Mark the top left corner with a dot. When it comes back out of the printer, see how the page has turned. I found that I have to insert the envelope facedown, with the top of the envelope on the right.
Once you’ve figured out how to put your envelopes in the printer, make sure all your envelopes are facing the right direction. Seriously check every envelope. There were about 10 in my stack of envelopes that were facing the wrong direction right out of the box.
Now print them! You’re done!
If you want, you can create a second 4×6 document with your return address for the back of the envelope. You want your address to be centered at top end of the envelope – on the flap. I did not do this step, because I bought an address stamp from etsy awhile ago and I like using it.
Downloading specialty fonts is super easy. If you’ve got a MAC, you simply download the file and double click on all of the .tff files. A dialoge box will open and you click on install font. Boom. You’re done.
If you are using a pc, follow these directions.
*I used Shellahera Script in the example
There are a number of ways you can create beautiful DIY Invites. You can purchase a digital copy from etsy (some as low as $10), minted ($50 for unlimited use) or use a template directly from an online printing service like PSPrint (free with the cost of printing). Or if you can, you can always design your own.
I recommend printing your invitations with PsPrint.com. You can always print them yourself at home, but I’ve found that to not always be consistent. You will get better results from a professional printer. They run great sales (I paid somewhere around $60 for full color invitations, front & back) and they have great costumer service. They always double check your files before printing – if they notice something weird, they’ll contact you to fix it. Nobody wants a typo or a grainy image on their wedding invitations.