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Christmas-Inspired DIY Wedding Invitations

Today, I thought we’d do a Christmas/Holiday season-inspired invitation using Illustrator and a free vector file. This is a festive time of year, and many choose to get married in a snowy winter wonderland. This layout is also great for holiday party invitations, so it may prove useful even for those who are not getting married in December.

As always, if you need Illustrator help, check out my posts “Illustrator Notes & Problem Solvers“, “The Illustrator Toolbar” and any of the previous tutorials (I go over different techniques in each one). If you’re new to Illustrator, the “pink with photo” Save the date cards tutorial is especially basic, so that’s a good place to start. If you want to see any of the illustrations larger, just click on them (they will open in a new window).

The invite we are making today looks like this (shown printed on natural and white stock to illustrate the different feel the paper color creates – more on that further down in the text):

and here is how:

1. The vector we’re using was created by Polish designer PeHaa and you can download the file here. Unzip it and open the vector file in Illustrator. Note: these vectors (and some of the things we are going to be doing with them) require quite a bit of RAM, so if things seem to be going insanely slow, or not working at all, try shutting down all other applications you have open. Also, if you are using a previous version of Illustrator, I strongly suggest downloading the trial version of Illustrator CS5. It’s free for 30 days, and it is fabulous!

2. Select all the silver/red/pink ornaments and copy them.

3. Create a new 5×7 document and paste the ornaments into it. As you can see, the ornaments are HUGE, so while they’re still selected, go to Transform (if you don’t see the transform palette, go up to Window and select it and it will pop up), make sure the constrain proportions link is active, and type in 7 (inches) in the upper right hand box.

4. Move all the ornaments off of your document (out into the artboard area). Create a new layer. Grab (with the black arrow – the “Selection tool”) the ornament you want to be hanging the lowest and drag it (inducing its shadow) over to the document and place it roughly where you think you want it to be.

5. Create a new layer and drag the next ornament over. Repeat this until you have all 4 “hanging” ornaments placed on your document. If you want more than one of a particular design (I have two heart ornaments on mine), just select it (make sure all parts are selected and group it before you copy), copy and paste it into a new layer. Adjust the size of each ornament to what you want. You will end up with something close to this:

You may notice a greyish tint behind some of the ornaments. To get rid of that, just click slightly to the side of the ornament, and you’ll see a big ring selection. Delete that. (To be sure that you are only selecting part of a design, always use the white arrow – the “Direct selection tool”).

6. Now, we want to add that ornament “on the floor” and to do that, select the ornament you want (and place it on a separate layer). Click on the “string” and the shadow with the white arrow and delete them. Select the ornament and go up to Effect – 3D – Rotate. You want to use the Off-Axis Front option, and then just put your cursor over the 3D block and move it around until you think you like the result. Click ok, and wait.

These are the settings I used, and my ornament ended up looking like this. If you don’t like how yours turned out, just undo it and try again.

7. I wanted this ornament to give the impression of lying on the floor, and in order to do that, just select a shadow from one of the other ornaments and pull it over. Place it in its own layer beneath the layer with the ornament and move it around until you like what you see. We also need a string (in my opinion), and I just drew one with the pen tool. To get it to match the color and stroke weight other “strings”, select it and click on any of the others with the eye dropper tool.

8. As you can see, the strings of the other placed ornaments are not aligned with the top part of the invite, so just go ahead and select them, one at a time, with the white arrow, and while holding down the shift key (to make sure they’re straight), pull up or down until they are aligned with the edge.

9. Now we need to add the text. Create a new layer, select the Text tool, and type in the first line (“together with our parents, we”). Deselect, select the Text tool again and type in the names of the Bride and Groom. Deselect, and select the text tool again and type in the bottom part of the text. Repeat and type in the ampersand. You can of course use any fonts you want, but I used Myriad Pro, Regular, at 12pt for the text and Ribbon 131 Bold BT, bold, 30pt with 30pt leading for the Bride and Groom and Nuptial Script, Medium 30pt with 28pt leading for the ampersand. I used black for all the “other” text and for the Bride and Groom, I used R 184, G 30
and B 87.

As always, if you want to use different fonts, check out my “More Font Ideas For Your Wedding Stationery” post. If you need help downloading new fonts on your computer, check out my post “How To Add Fonts To Your Computer“.

10. Space the text out the way you want it, align everything, and make final adjustments if you need to move any of the ornaments slightly.

That’s it!

These are pretty simple diy wedding invitations, and inexpensive to boot. I printed these on slightly off-white (natural) heavy card stock, cut it to size and trimmed the corners so they’re rounded. You can obviously use any color paper you want – I feel that stark white creates a bit more of a “glam” look, while the natural background gives it a more “cozy” touch. If you feel they need a bit more jazzing up, here are a few other ideas:

Take a small ink pad (like those used for rubber stamping) in a matching color (pick any of the colors in the design, they would all work, even silver) and run it along the edges all around the invite. My favorite ink pads for these types of projects are the ColorBox Cat’s Eye pads. They are small and easy to use, and the quality of the ink is great. You could also use a silver leaf pen for this, but they are more expensive than ink pads.

You can also print the invite slightly smaller than the 5×7 layout I’m using and glue it to a piece of 5×7 red metallic card stock (or any color you want) which gives you a glittery red border.

If you have other ideas that you want to share, I’d love to hear them, and if you have made your own printable wedding invitations with the help of this tutorial, I’d love to see the results. 🙂

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