Designing my kids’ birthday invitations

I may never be the “crafty” mom. I look at ideas on Pintrest and while I see such cute things, I really have no desire to do all that work. I would rather go down and buy something than whip out my glue gun. (As the kids get older, I do find myself sometime trying to be a little “crafty” – or at least if the project is easy.)

One of the projects I am willing to take on is designing my kids their own birthday invitations. I began doing this last year for Jase’s birthday after seeing a fellow mom handle out invitations that were obviously designed for her child rather than store bought. I looked at them and thought, “I can do that.”

I found out she got hers from Etsy (the marketplace for crafty people to sell their products). For about $6-8 you can have someone design them for your child’s party. You can either print them from your home computer or print them at your local photo place such as Wal-Mart or Walgreens. Or you can buy them off Etsy already printed with envelopes. (prices vary per vendor)

Now you could just go to Wal-Mart’s website or a place like Shutterfly or Vista Print and create your own invitations, but these have a limited amount of designs and may not  have the theme your child wants.

Since I have done some graphic design in the past, I knew this was something I could do. The first thing I did was look at the ones on Etsy for ideas – both wording and background art. Once I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, I began looking for artwork.

For Jase’s Star Wars/Clone Wars invitation, I typed Clone Wars background into my search engine. (Also try desktop or wallpaper in your search.) I looked for designs that had a clear place to write. This means you need any characters on the left or right side of the picture with some background material that you can type the actual invitation wording over.

birthday invitation

Once you find the background, bring it into your software. I use Corel Draw though you could use Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Elements or even Word (though I find Word hard to use for this type of work.) I use Corel Draw because I am familiar with it from doing flyers or manipulating artwork for my blog.

Add your copy and then simply print on your home printer or down at your local photo place. Last year, I ordered them online at Walmart. You can pick up envelopes at any office-supply store (or Wal-Mart). This year’s invitation for Lexie cost $3.50 for 18 invitations – that is printing, shipping and tax from Wal-mart. I have envelopes left over from Jase’s party last year.

This year Jase is into Halo, so I will be looking for Halo backgrounds. Lexie’s birthday is next month. She picked out a Barbie fairy cake, so I designed this invitation for her.

lexie invitation

So while I may not be making all the decorations for their party or creating a super cute goodie bag, I can at least give them an awesome invitation that fits their theme exactly.