Layered Wedding Invitations: All About Adhesives

You’ve spent some serious change on wedding invitation printing. They’re beautiful! Maybe you want to add a backing layer to add some pizzazz, or perhaps you want to paste them on an enclosure. I’m willing to bet you don’t want to ruin them with the wrong adhesive. Read on for some very important tips that will help save you some tears and money.

Invitation Adhesive Don’ts
I can’t stress enough how important it is not to use anything water-based to adhere your invitations. In other words, NO GLUE! You don’t want anything that will be messy or will cause ripples on your gorgeous invitations. I also don’t recommend glue dots unless they are flat. The ones that are more tape-like are fine, but any glue dot that is raised at all will leave you with a bumpy effect that you don’t want. However, keep in mind that you want whatever you use to adhere them to be around the entire edge of the piece to avoid gaps. With glue dots, this could take a lot of product and a lot of time.

Lastly, do not use spray mount. I love the stuff, but if you’ve ever used it, you know it can be messy, and can often leave a film or residue on everything in a several feet radius, including your precious invitations.

Invitation Adhesive Do’s
To adhere your invitations to a backing layer or enclosure in a flat/non bumpy, secure way, I recommend two products:

Scotch Brand Double-Sided Tape

This tape is both flat and secure—once it is adhered it is not going anywhere. It won’t add any texture/bumpiness like glue dots, and it won’t ripple or ruin your invitations like water. There is no mess or residue left like spray mount.

To adhere, just apply the tape in four pieces all around the edge of the invitation and follow instructions below.

Scotch Brand Tape Roller

If you have a lot of invitations, it may be worth it to invest in the Scotch Brand Tape Roller. It gives the same nice effect as the double-sided tape above, but can make the process a lot quicker.

To adhere, just roll the tape around all four sides of the back of the invitation and follow instructions below.

Instructions for Adhering Invitations to Backs
Whether using double-sided tape or a tape roller, once you have your adhesive on all four sides of your invitation, hold it slightly above the backing layer and center it by sight (while still holding it in the air above the backing layer). Once you are satisfied it is positioned so the border looks even on all sides (I recommend invitations be sized .375″ smaller than your backs), press down and smoothe. Keep in mind, this is usually a one shot deal. It will likely ruin the invitation to pull it off and redo. That can be daunting, and you may need to practice a bit, but once you have gotten it down it really is fairly easy if you have a steady hand and a good eye.

Please note, the border on your layered invitation will never be 100% even— but don’t get crazy about it. I can assure you your guests will not be bringing out their ruler to check, and will likely never notice. Another thing to note, the larger your border (the greater the difference in size between the two pieces) the less noticeable a slightly off-center invitation will be. In other words, if your invitations aren’t centered perfectly on the backing layer, an 1/8″ border will be more obvious than a 1/4 inch border.

Wedding Invitations: What is a backing layer?

Nothing screams luxury more than a thick, stiff invitation. Conversely, invitations that are thin and bend easily send a message of poor quality and may reflect to the invitation recipient that the event will also be sub par. Thick cover stock is one way to achieve a luxurious feel. Another is to add a backing layer to the invitation.

A backing layer is a piece of cardstock adhered to the invitation itself. The backing layer is slightly larger than the invitation so it adds a border to the piece, creating an opportunity for an additional touch of color.

My favorite cardstock to use for a backing layer is Stardream metallic. Their 105 lb. stock can be purchased precut via cutcardstock.com or envelopemall.com, among others. I recommend the backing layer be sized .375″ greater than the invitation itself. For a 5″x7″ standard invitation for example, the backing layer would be 5″x7″ and the invitation would be 4.625″x 6.625″. This will achieve a .1875″ border all around the edge of the invitation.

The invitation pictured above was digitally printed on 100 lb. matte cover stock. It is adhered to a Stardream 105 lb. lapis lazuli (metallic navy blue) backing layer. The accompanying envelopes are Stardream Antique Gold.

Two Wedding Invitation Trends: Floral & Watercolor

I’m excited to showcase my newest modern floral wedding invitation design now selling at EdenWeddingStudio.com. This invitation combines two popular design elements right now: florals and watercolor artwork. Like all of my invitations, this design is available for menus, thank you notes, placecards, table numbers, and programs (as well as anything else you might need). Enjoy!

Metallic Mania: Foil Printing

For a reflective sheen, and some texture (think letterpress), you may wish to consider foil printing. Like offset printing, it can come with a heavy price tag for wedding invitations, but the effect can be phenomenal. To take gold to the next level, more brides are using this method for their invitations, and several online vendors are now offering this option.

Metallic Mania: Why Offset Printing Is So Expensive

Gold is everywhere right now and the demand for metallic invitations is hot. That little touch of sheen screams luxe. However, metallic printing can be pricey, particularly on a budget. In this series I’ll talk about some of the options for metallic printing, as well as provide some “cheats” to get the metallic effect without breaking the bank.

Printing in Metallic, the Old Fashioned Way: Offset Printing

Life would be a lot easier if we could go to our local Staples and buy a gold metallic cartridge for our HP home printer and be done. Unfortunately, home printers don’t offer metallic printing, and even digital printing, which is the most common option for printing invitations professionally, does not offer a metallic option. Offset printing is the only means by which we can print with metallic ink.

Cost

Offset printing is an expensive route and is generally reserved for larger “runs” (aka a lot of prints – think 5,000 company brochures). According to psprint.com, “offset printing works by transferring ink from a plate to a rubber sheet, which then rolls the ink onto paper, vinyl or other surface.” The cost for the plate, also known as the set-up fee, needs to be spread over 1,000s of prints in order to bring the cost per print down. Since the average number of invitations is 100-200, a person choosing this method to print invitations is going to pay a pretty penny.

Quality

Excellent. The “gold” standard in printing.

Availability

Offset printing is generally offered through both large print companies and some mom and pop print shops, as well as some online printers.

Considerations

If your invitation consists of nothing but text, it may not be worth the price to offset print just so your text is metallic. With the actual printing so small, it may be hard to distinguish whether the text is metallic or not. You may want to reserve this option for when your invitation has a larger expanse of color, if you use it at all.

The sheen of an offset printed metallic is duller and less intense than foil printing. If you’re looking for more of a reflective effect (think aluminum foil), you might be better off having your invitations foil printed.

For more information on offset printing:

https://www.psprint.com/resources/offset-or-digital-printing/

Stay tuned for my next post on foil printing.