Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabric Backed Invitations & Tutorial

Ok, so I absolutely could not put off showing you guys my wedding invitations any longer.

 The backs are backed with fabric, making them extra lovely.

See? We picked a fabric that had a nice water-looking effect since we're getting married on the beach.
My long-time friend Crystal from designed the image portion of the invite (with my help, of course!). The original color of the damask that she picked was this really pretty seafoam green/teal blue (see original backside image below), but my printer refused to print in that color, even though I changed the ink cartridges. So I ended up with those blues that you see and that's ok because I love them, too! I told Crystal exactly how I wanted the invite set up and she gave me just that. I love the little seahorses, too (my idea - in case you didn't know, seahorses mate for life. So to me, they symbolize a lifelong commitment to your partner).

My original plan was to use the image that Crystal created for me and the backside that she created for me (see above or click the link for full size), but my printer kept refusing to line up properly. No matter how hard I tried, my printer would just not put the backside on correctly. And when I finally got it to line up, it kept printing it blurry! So I gave up on the backside, even though I ADORE the little logo. I'm thinking that I might use it for my thank you notes instead. When I gave up on the backside, I wanted to cry because the invitations looked so ugly blank on the back. So I headed over to Joann's & found a pack of 'seaside' colored cardstock. Perfect! So now the backs weren't an ugly white, but they were still going to be plain and that bothered me. I started thinking and it came to me... fabric backs! It was such a great idea, I didn't know why I didn't think of it before.

So I got all of my pieces together. I trimmed my invitation piece down to around 4"x6". I cut my seaside cardstock to 5"x7" and I cut my 'water stained' fabric (it was actually a really pretty batik that I found on sale) just the tiniest bit bigger than that.

Next, I used some double-sided tape and carefully placed it around the edges of the back of the invite. I even more carefully centered it on the cardstock. Then I stacked that on top of the fabric and fed it through my sewing machine. I used a seafoam green thread and my regular sewing needle. I used a regular straight stitch. A few of the invites didn't have perfectly straight lines, but I think they sort of look like waves. I like it.

I still thought the front of the invitation looked a little plain, but I found some Martha Stewart sticker bows (though you could make your own) in green, grey and blue on clearance at Walmart for like $1 for a pack of 24. They matched perfectly!

So lets re-cap.

For this project, you will need:
+ Your invitation
+ Cardstock cut slightly larger than your invite
NOTE: You want your cardstock to be cut to your final desired size, 
so make sure your invite is a little smaller than that.
+ Fabric cut slightly larger than your cardstock
+ Thread in a coordinating color
+ Double-sided tape
+ Any other accessories you may want to add
1. Design or have someone design your invitation (can be wedding, birthday, baptism, anything!). Make sure that it is slightly smaller than your desired final size. I wanted my invites to be 5"x7", so I trimmed my invites down to 4"x6".
2. Carefully cut your cardstock in your final size & cut your fabric slightly larger than that (you will trim it later).
3. Carefully center & attach your invite to your cardstock using double-sided tape.
TIP: Attach the tape to the back of the invite & then center and press it onto the cardstock.
4. Stack the invite on top of your fabric (you want the wrong side of the fabric touching the cardstock and the right side facing away). Stitch the pieces together, leaving some space between your stitches and the edge of the cardstock. This will allow for the fabric to fray over time, creating a very cool effect. Don't forget to go forward and back at your start and end point.
NOTE: If your invitation itself is designed in such a way that you can stitch on top of that instead of on top of the cardstock, that could create a really awesome look, too!
5. Add any accessories your want to to your invitation. I added little Martha Stewart bow stickers, but you could choose anything! If your fabric has a really pretty flower or something, you could try cutting that out and sew it on to the front of your invite like an applique. I was going to do this if I could find a good fabric with fish, sand dollars or seashells or something, but I was running out of time and couldn't find anything that I loved.

And that's it! You're done!

New Friend Fridays


  1. I love your invitations! The colors are beautiful and I love how you used the Seahorse in them! Great job!

  2. I love the little seahorses! :)

  3. they are adorable! good job
    and I love the seahorses

  4. Love it. Love the colors! :)

  5. Hi! I'm your newest GFC follower from Fun Follow Friday. Would love it if you'd follow me back at Mom of all Trades.

  6. What a cool idea! I saw my fair share of wedding invites when I was planning back in 2007, but I've never seen one with a fabric backing. What a unique idea! And very pretty too :)

  7. Visiting from New Friend Friday.
    Have a great weekend!

  8. Hello there!

    Happy friday.

    Following from the Fun Follow Friday.


  9. Thanks for joining Fun Follow Friday! I am your newest follower.

  10. I'm a new follower of friendly Friday follow, please follow me back.
    Thanks, Mr. Monkey

  11. really cool and the seahorse makes it extra special!

  12. Those are my favorite colors of blue. They are beautiful. Maybe one day I'll find time to make something like it.
    Thank you for visiting my blog!
    Join my Meetup Monday if you have time Monday!