Print the insides of the cards first, if you're going to use your printer for this, then decorate the fronts of the invitations. You can also print something on the front and add decorations after, if you like.
You can make the invitations in vertical or horizontal format, with a top or left hinge. Use one of our templates, or practice on a piece of plain paper, marking each section with pencil ("front," "inside") and folding it to make sure you have it right.
Template images are in jpg format, and are designed to fit on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper or card stock at a resolution of 200ppi. Be sure to make the template layer invisible before printing!
- The layout for a 4-fold paper invitation will have the front upside-down in the top left quarter. The inside will be right-side-up in the bottom right quarter. This makes a left-hinged invitation. To make a top-hinged invitation, the front will go right-side up in the bottom right quarter, and the inside will be upside-down in the top left quarter. You will get one invitation per page, made on regular weight printing paper. The front and inside will be printed on the same side of the page, in one run.
- If you are printing on cardstock, you'll get two invitations per page, cut in half and each half folded in half (after printing, of course!) For these, you'll print the fronts of two invitations in the top and bottom right quarters, and the insides will be laid out in the same areas, and printed on the other side of the page, making it a two-run printing job. That makes left-hinged invitations. For top-hinged invitations print on the bottom left and bottom right quarters, one printing run for the fronts, one run for the insides on the flip side of the page.
- Remember to leave margins between the sections, twice the size of the page margins (twice because they will stradle the fold lines, leaving half of each inner margin around each quarter. This way you have even margins all around.
- If you use colored paper or card stock, remember most printers will not print white or a lighter color that will cover the paper color. So if you want a lighter area, you may want to use crayons, or paper cutouts to fill in the lighter areas after printing. In addition, the ink colors may blend somewhat with the paper color, resulting in colors you did not intend. For example, if you print a red balloon on blue paper, it may turn out more like purple.
- Once you have the invitations laid out in your computer program, make a practice run with your printer to make sure you have everything right. If you are using cardstock, make sure you know which way to put the paper for the second run through the computer. If you make a small x in pencil in the top right corner of both sides of the page before printing either side, you'll see what's happening, and help avoid confusion, such as printing front and back on the same side, or having one side upside-down!