Handmade invitations and thank-you cards

Homemade is the new black! When planning your next party, consider making your very own invitations and thank-you cards. The personal touch will wow your guests, gives you a fun project and could even cut some of the party costs.

Handmade invitation

Recycled homemade invitations

Recycled invitations are a great way to reuse everyday materials and cut party planning costs. When making invitations out of recycled materials, chances are not all of your invitations will be the same — and that’s OK. As long as you have the same information on each invitation, you can create a unique and eco-friendly invite.


  • Paper bags
  • Scrap paper
  • Colored ballpoint craft markers
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Miscellaneous items around your house: extra buttons, string, ribbon and paper clips


  1. Cut an 11 x 9-inch rectangle out of a paper bag (cut one for each invite), set aside.
  2. Cut a 5 x 8-inch rectangle out of a paper bag.
  3. Cut a 4 x 7-inch rectangle out of scrap paper.
  4. Carefully rip the four sides of the scrap paper to create a unique look.
  5. Write the party details on the blank side of the scrap paper.
  6. Glue the scrap paper to the blank side of the 5 x 8-inch paper bag rectangle.
  7. Finish with an optional decoration (ribbon bow, glued button, etc.).
  8. Fold the 11 x 9-inch paper bag rectangle in half to create an envelope. Tape the sides.

Homemade photo invitations

Photo invitations allow you to personalize the details and announce the theme for your upcoming party. Take a picture of your focal point or theme and display it on the front of your invitation.


  • Cardstock paper (cut to desired size)
  • Blank envelopes
  • Photo printer paper
  • Double-sided tape
  • Colored ballpoint craft markers


  1. Take a picture of your focal point or theme for the party.
  2. In your printer settings, scale the picture to slightly smaller than the cardstock paper.
  3. Print the picture on photo printer paper (print one for each invite).
  4. Adhere the printed picture to one side of the cardstock.
  5. Write the party details on the other side of the cardstock.

Photo ideas:

  • A headshot of your child for his or her birthday party
  • Beach scenery for a beach party
  • Flowers for a bridal shower
  • Wine glasses for a girl’s night out
  • Pregnant belly for a baby shower
  • Items to complement a theme party (for example, a photo of Lego bricks for a Lego party)


Tip: You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make a photo invite. Use Instagram or photo editing software to enhance your picture.

Mommy bloggers share their photography secrets >>

Scrapbook invitations

Scrapbook invitations are very similar to creating a page in a scrapbook, just on a smaller scale. If you are actively into scrapbooking, you probably have all the materials you need to create an invitation. Be careful not to make the invite too thick or heavy, or it will cost you more to send in the mail.

Thank-you cards

There are a few ways to make a memorable thank-you card. The easiest way is to make matching thank-you cards while you’re making the party invitations. Leave the cards blank or write “thank you” across the top so you can fill in a personalized message after the party.

To complement your photo invitations, take a picture of your child or you with the gift with a thank-you note on the back of the photo. You can also use photo editing software to write your thank-you message directly on the photo.


To follow good party etiquette, send your thank-you cards no later than two weeks after the party has concluded.

Handwritten thank-you notes >>

More on invites and thank you cards

How to get your kids to write thank-you notes
DIY invitations for the big game
Simplify the birthday party


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