Understanding Paper Weights

It can be very difficult and confusing to understand the terminology behind paper weights. We have put together this guide to help understand and clear up the measurements. There are two basic systems in use; the U.S. system which denotes the weight in pounds (#) or the Metric system which indicates the weight in grams / meter square (g/m2). The U.S. system is more difficult to understand because the same number in #’s can be used for thicker card stock or thinner text papers. Whereas the metric system is standard across all weights of papers. For example, a card stock may be a 80# Cover or 80# Text. But in the Metric system, the same papers would simply be 216 g/m2 and 104 g/m2, respectively (the first being twice as thick as the second) Therefore, we have provided the following chart to help see how the #’s translate to g/m2. We have also tried to provide reference points with things you can find in your house. For example, regular copy paper and a standard 3 x 5 Index Card. Arranged from Lightest to Heaviest Papers

Paper Pound (#’s) Metric (g/m2)
LIGHTEST Vellum Paper 17# 17# 64 g/m2
Reference: Copy Paper 20# 75 g/m2
Solid Text 60# 60# 90 g/m2
Parchment Text 60# 60# 90 g/m2
Vellum Paper 27# 27# 101 g/m2
Vellum Paper 29# 29# 109 g/m2
Vellum Paper 30# 30# 113 g/m2
Solid Text Paper 70# 70# 104 g/m2
Recycled Text Paper 70# 70# 104 g/m2
Linen Text Paper 70# 70# 104 g/m2
Embossed Metallic Text Paper 70# 70# 104 g/m2
Pearlescent Metallic Text Paper 80# / 81# 80# / 81# 118 g/m2
Vellum Card Stock 36# 36# 135 g/m2
Solid Card Stock 65# (Opaque) 65# 175 g/m2
Parchment Card Stock 65# 65# 175 g/m2
Vellum Card Stock 48# 48# 180 g/m2
Reference: 3″ x 5″ Index Card 110# Index 200 g/m2
Solid Card Stock 74# (110# Index) 74# (110# Index) 200 g/m2
Solid Card Stock 80# (Opaque) 80# 216 g/m2
Linen Card Stock 80# 80# 216 g/m2
Laid Card Stock 80# 80# 216 g/m2
Recycled Card Stock 80# 80# 216 g/m2
Embossed Metallic Card Stock 80# 80# 216 g/m2
Patterned Card Stock 80# 80# 216 g/m2
Canvas Card Stock 80# 80# 216 g/m2
HEAVIEST Pearlescent Metallic Card Stock 92# / 105# / 107# 92# / 105# / 107# 249 / 284 / 289 g/m2

Putting Everything Together

Now comes the final task. Once you’ve printed out the invitations and sized them accordingly, only a few steps remain.

Inserts

With the invitation, you will want to include various inserts depending on the type of ceremony you are having. Some of these can include the following:

  • Reception Cards, Time and address for the Reception
  • Maps & Directions, Visual guides for guests to ease the way for guests
  • Quotes or Poems, A memorable note from the bride and groom to their guests

Binding

If you’re affixing a vellum overlay on top of the card stock or have several loose papers that need to be binded together, there are different ways of attaching the vellum. Here are a few of the methods that can be used.

Glue Vellum can be attached to card stock using the appropriate glue. View our article on Gluing Vellum for more tips.
Hole Punch You can punch holes in your paper and run ribbon through the holes in the card stock and vellum to tie the items together
Eyelets Just like hole punches, eyelets can also serve as a very elegant method in keeping the papers together with ribbon. You’ll need a special eyelet kit in order to do this.

Addressing

Once you have your invitations put together, now the envelopes need to be addressed with the recipients information. Many people choose to handwrite the addresses or print labels off their computer to save time.

If handwriting the labels, be sure to use a pen that will write well on the envelopes. Ballpoint pens work fine on all our envelopes except for the vellum envelopes. For those, we recommend Gel Pens. In fact Gel Pens, look great on any type of envelope and there are many colors available to match your invitations.

To save time, many customers use printed labels. If you are using a colored envelope, clear labels work great and look very nice. If you are not using a clear label, be sure to use a label that matches the color of the envelope you are using to mail the invitation.

Picking the Envelopes

There are also a variety of envelopes that can be matched up with the paper. They range from the traditional White and Sand envelopes to our popular Metallic Envelopes. You can either choose an envelope that matches exactly in color or go with an envelope that contrasts nicely with the paper color.

You can’t go wrong with any of these. All of the different types of envelopes will bring out the beauty in your invitation. Choose what fits your personality the best, and remember to have fun! Linen Envelopes Linen Envelopes offer a traditional look to the invitation. This grooved envelope gives a classy finish to your invitation. They come in Bright White, Warm White, and Lively Ivory. If you would like your invitation to match your envelope, you can find the same colors in Linen Card Stock. These envelopes come in a square flap. Vellum Envelopes Vellum is a new way to jazz up your invitation. It has a very modern look to it that will make quite a statement. You can choose from bold and bright, to soft and elegant. You can find matching vellum paper to make your invitation look like a complete set. The vellum envelopes are offered in many different colors with square flaps. Metallic Envelopes Metallic envelopes have an eye-catching sparkle that will turn your invitations into an exquisite masterpiece. Its unique reflective shimmer gives any invitation a special touch. The are available in a variety of colors with square flaps. Solid Announcement EnvelopesThe most traditional envelopes that wedding invitations are mailed in are the Text Announcement envelopes. A simple charm is exuded through these announcement envelopes. They are offered in White and Sand. There are many sizes to choose from. The announcements have a smooth finish and are made of a nice quality text paper to match our White & Sand Card Stocks.

Invitation Printing Guidelines

Printing a perfect layout can seem overwhelming, but here are some guidelines to follow in order to get you started. We’ve also included some links to articles which demonstrate how to put together some of the styles mentioned from start to finish.

These instructions will work with most programs like Microsoft Word, Publisher, Powerpoint, etc…

  1. Before printing with your actual card stock, it is best to test using regular 8 1/2” x 11” copy paper. You can draw lines on the paper where you plan to cut and see how the text will be centered.
  2. Depending on how close your text needs to be near the cuts, the cut lines can either be arranged so they are in away from the page edge or the cuts can be set to use the borders of the paper. The second method reduces the number of cuts you need to make since the paper edge serves as 2 cuts.

  3. Adjust your margins so they are as small as possible and you have more freedom to move your text around the page. Do this by going to “File” | “Page Setup” and adjusting the margins to 0.25” as shown below.
  4. Change the orientation of the page to print Portrait or Landscape depending on the invitation style.

  5. Now we will create a text box where all the wording will be entered. In the menu, go to “Insert” | “Insert Text Box”. In the text box, enter all the relevant text for the invitation and center it accordingly.

  6. To help your creative juices, we have Sample Wordings and Verses on our site that you can use or alter per your needs.
  7. If you are printing A-6 or A-7 size (2 Panel Cards to a sheet), copy and paste the box so you have 2 per page. For A-2, copy and paste so you have 4 on the page.
  8. You can move the boxes around by selecting the border of the box and using the mouse or the cursor keys.
  9. Be sure to turn the borders OFF around the text boxes. If the cuts aren’t perfect, the borders will leave unsightly lines in your invitation. Do this by right clicking on the border of the text box, select “Format Text Box”, go to “Line” and select “No Line”

  10. Print out a test sheet on the copy paper and see where the boxes end up printing and how far they are from where your cut lines are.
  11. Adjust the text boxes accordingly until you get the proper centering.
  12. Print out the draft and have a friend proofread the text to make sure everything is gramatically correct and properly spelled.
  13. Once everything is fine, insert your card stock or vellum and print away!
  14. For thicker papers such as card stock, it may help to use the manual feed tray of your printer which is designed to handle thicker papers.

Picking the Invitation Papers

With such a wide variety of wedding paper available, the choices can be daunting. We’ll go over the major categories available and help you narrow your selection

Card Stock, Linen & Smooth

You’ll need a nice quality base for your invitations. Whether it’s panel card or panel folder style that you’re using, you’ll want something that holds up well and feel strong to the touch. Many of our customers choose to go with our Solid Card Stock or Linen Card Stock as the base. All the card stocks are strong in weight and will fold well. They are also all compatible with inkjet and laser printers. There are different weights available in the card stock, so which one to choose? We recommend choosing the color you like best. Our customers have reported excellent results with all the different types. The difference between the Smooth Card Stock and the Linen Card Stock is that the linen has a textured feel to it. Just like linen cloth, the linen has slight criss cross patterns on it that give it a very elegant touch. If you are looking for a smooth feel, than the Regular Card Stock would be best. Card Stock TipYou can also get creative with the card stocks by using two different colors and having the top be about 1/4” or 1/8” smaller than the bottom color on all edges. This creates a unique 2 colored effect.

Linen Text Paper

Linen Text Paperis thinner than the card stock and can be used for various inserts that go in the invitation, such as the Maps & Directions or Reception Information. You can also use the same 2 colored technique defined above with the Linen Paper over Card Stock.

Vellum Paper

Use our Vellum Paperto add the extra flair and elegance to your invitation. You can use the vellum in many different and creative ways, but the most popular is to use it as an overlay. All the weights work well as overlays, but if you have text underneath the vellum that needs to be easily read, you’ll want to use a white (17# or 29#) vellum or a pastel colored vellum.

Color Themes

The variety of color combination themes that can be used are endless. Many choose to go with pastel themes or bright colors that contrast nicely with each other. Combinations like Pastel Pink & White, Red & Silver or Blue & Gold are just some of the infinite possibilities. You can’t go wrong!

Determining the Right Size

Wedding Invitations can be customized to a variety of sizes. In order to determine, which size will be best for your invitation, it is best to start off with the sizes of envelopes available. Once you know what sizes that the invitation must be mailed in, the main invitation card can be sized accordingly.

Envelope Sizes

The chart below shows the common sizes of envelopes available. You will want to make your invitation sized accordingly to the largest envelope that it will be fitting in.

NAME SIZE
A-1 (4 Bar) 3 5/8” x 5 1/8”
A-2 4 3/8” x 5 3/4”
A-6 4 3/4” x 6 1/2”
A-7 5 1/4” x 7 1/4”
A-9* 5 3/4” x 8 3/4”
* Not available in all colors

Inner & Outer Envelopes

You can either send your invitation inside an inner envelope which is mailed inside an outside envelope. Or you can mail the invitation directly inside a single envelope. The advantage of using an inner and outer envelope is the inner envelope stays clean during mailing and as a keepsake for the recipient. Sending the invitation without an inner envelope is more cost efficient.

If choosing to use inner and outer envelopes, many of our customers choose A6 as the inner envelope and A7 as the outer envelope. Or you can mail it without an inner envelope in either the A6, A7 or A9.

The main difference between the Announcement and Baronial Envelopes is that Announcements have a square flap and Baronials have a pointed flap.

Response Envelopes

Many of our customers include self addressed stamped envelopes to allow the invitee to indicate whether or not they will be attending the event. The sizes of these envelopes is either 4 Bar or A2 depending on the paper or color choice.

Paper Sizes

Once you’ve decided approximately the size of envelope you’ll be using, you can determine the size of paper you will need. Think about the size you want your invitations, and how many you can obtain from a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet. The more you can get from one sheet, the less expensive your project will be.

Be sure to size the paper about 1/4” less than the envelope size to ensure proper fitting. Panel Cards will give you twice as many per sheet versus Panel Folders.

SIZE STYLE CARDS PER SHEET*
A-2 Panel Card 4
A-2 Panel Folder 2
A-6 Panel Card 2
A-6 Panel Folder 1
A-7 Panel Card 2
A-7 Panel Folder 1
* Based on a Standard 8 1/2” x 11” Sheet

Based on what size you decide, you can layout your templates accordingly on the computer.

Understanding Wedding Invitation Styles

Most wedding invitations are designed as Panel Cards or Panel Folders. We’ve listed many of the different styles that you can start with to design your invitations. Have a creative new idea? Please be sure to let us know and we’ll include it in here.

Panel Cards

A panel card is a simple unfolded one sided card. Panel cards are simpler than panel folders but can be presented in various beautiful ways listed below. Also, panel cards can be more economical as you can make 2 cards per sheet of paper.

Standalone Style

The text can be printed directly onto the panel card and presented on its own. With the right font selection, it offers a clean and elegant look.

Overlay Style

The panel card can also be enhanced with a vellum overlay. The invitation text can be either printed directly onto the vellum and attached to the card, or the text can be printed on the panel card and the vellum can be left blank on top.

Panel Folder

Panel folders offer a more traditional look. Panel folders are folded in half or bi-fold, giving you an outside and an inside to write in, much like a standard greeting card. Panel folders can also be created in different unique ways of their own.

Outside Printed Style

Most wedding invitations that are panel folder are done in this style. The text is printed on the outside flap and your inserts can be included inside.

Inside Printed Style

Text can also be printed on the inside and can be folded in a way that leaves the names of the Bride and Groom visible on the front. A favorite quote can also be included on the front flap as a lead in to the inside of the invitation.

Tri Fold Style

The invitations can also be varied from the bi-fold design. Also popular is a tri-fold design where there are three folds to the card.

Make Your Own Wedding Invitation

Making your own invitations can be an exciting opportunity to create something unique and reflective of your personality. Wedding invitations come in many different varieties and choosing what to do can be a confusing task.

We’ve created this invitation guide to help you sort through all the differences and make the selection process easier with helpful tips and ideas. The tutorial will walk through the different styles of invitations; picking the right types of paper, color, size and color; printing the invitation and assembling the final product.

Remember, that these techniques can be used for any type of announcement or invitation. The tips given can be applied to Baby Announcements, Graduation Announcements, Holiday Cards and Business Announcements to name a few.

Please check back often to this guide. We will constantly be adding more pictures and tips as well.

Pentagon Petal Card Template

Template designs by mirkwooddesigns.com

 

To print template, right click on template image below and select ‘Print Picture’

Design Ideas Create a Tooth Fairy Card! Use colorful paper to create the card. Decorate with beautiful stamps and emboss. Find an interesting coin from an exotic country, and place in the center, along with a small amount of “fairy dust” (glitter). Fold. Your personal Tooth Fairy can place the card under the pillow of your favorite toothless child!

Tips for Best Results

  • Use a photocopier to enlarge or reduce the image to suit your needs.
  • Fold along the dotted lines
  • Use a straightedge to score fold lines, making certain the lines are accurate.
  • Follow our scoring instructions to obtain crisp folds.

Recommended Papers for this Project

 

 

Pyramid Box Template

Template designs by mirkwooddesigns.com

To print template, right click on template image below and select ‘Print Picture’   Tips for Best Results

  • Use a photocopier to enlarge or reduce the image to suit your needs.
  • Fold along the dotted lines
  • Use a straightedge to score fold lines, making certain the lines are accurate.
  • Follow our scoring instructions to obtain crisp folds.

Recommended Papers for this Project