One of the major themes for our wedding that surfaced early on is the drive to do as much as we can ourselves, or with the help of our friends and families. We’ve both found that the sometimes arduous work involved with creating something yourself is vastly out-weighed by the pleasure of looking upon something you have created yourself. It is also the only real way to let your personalities show through the work.

We knew we could design our wedding invitations and hand them off to one of the many local letterpress printing shops and end up with something beautiful. However, this didn’t feel right to us. Beyond just designing them ourselves, we wanted to fabricate them ourselves as well. Not only did we think the process would be fun and educational, but it also made the most sense for something as important as our wedding invitations. Another reason is the application of embracing constraints. By choosing to make them ourselves we limited our options drastically, making decisions much easier to make along the way. Modern print methods, and to a lesser extent letterpress, make almost anything possible. This can be a daunting realization when staring at a blank canvas.

In our case, deciding to produce our invites in-house not only led to an ease in decision making, but conversely opened us up to a new level of customization and rarely seen effects that traditional methods wouldn’t allow. Luckily for us, there is a friendly neighborhood TechShop around the corner from our house. Just a two-minute walk down the street was an incredible warehouse filled with custom-fabrication machinery for us to use. Of particular interest was their laser-cutters, the application of which will become clear as you scroll down…

Main Invitation Card


  1. Cover Paper in Pure White from Paper-Source
  2. 80# Kraft Cardstock 
  3. Off-white thread
  4. Laser cutter
  5. A graphic designer fiance
  6. Xacto knife
  7. Sewing Machine

Ian designed the main invitation card beautifully and spent hours and hours at TechShop on the laser cutter. It took twenty minutes for every four cards. The kraft backings were also laser cut. Using an Xacto knife, the trees were punched out carefully and bent forward to create the 3D effect. The front cards were then sewn to the kraft backings with a sewing machine.

RSVP and Map


  1. 80# Kraft Cardstock
  2. Printer
  3. Stamps

The RSVP cards were printed on our inkjet printer and individual names were stamped with red ink. 

Field Guide


  1. 80# Kraft Cardstock
  2. Laser Cutter
  3. White 8.5”x14” Legal Paper
  4. Printer
  5. Letraset Letratac Adhesive Dots

The front and back covers of the Field Guide were laser cut. Sketches of local wildlife were drawn, scanned and printed onto legal paper. They were then glued onto the front and back covers with the adhesive dots. 

Wooden Buttons


  1.  Sticks of birch pine, oak, and manzanita (from the Collins’ property and also donated from friends)
  2. Band saw
  3. Drill press
  4. Sand paper

The wood buttons were cut using a band saw at TechShop. Each button was hand drilled and sanded.

Kraft Paper Band


  1. Text Paper in Paper Bag from Paper-Source
  2. Removable glue

The text paper was cut into thirds and then each band was folded into thirds to wrap around the entire bundle. The removable glue was used to keep the wrap closed.

Return Envelope and #10 Envelope


  1. 4 Bar Envelopes in Paper Bag from Paper Source
  2. #10 String and Button Envelopes in Paper Bag from Paper Source
  3. Stamps 

Each return envelope was stamped with the return address and the C/I logo. The #10 envelopes were also individually stamped with a stamp kit. 

All the contents:

The main invitation card, RSVP and map, Field Guide and Return Envelope were put into a bundle and wrapped with the kraft paper band. Red and white twine was wrapped around the entire finished bundle and a wooden button, individually picked for each family, was attached. It was then put into the #10 envelope and closed. 

Total cost: less than $200.

Full photo-set is on Flickr.

Hope you all enjoyed them and please RSVP on time! :)

Absolutely in love with every bit of these. The care in fabrication and the details are exquisite.