DIY Letterpress Invitations

Written by joy uyeno
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DIY Letterpress Invitations
Letterpress printing is an ancient artform that can be replicated at home. (letterpress type - letter header block image by pdtnc from

Letterpress stationery is known for its elegance, signalling quality and expense. With the handcrafted element of the stationery and the heavy weight of the paper, letterpress invitations have become widely used for invitations to weddings and other events. Most people can not afford a full-sized tabletop letterpress machine. However, several companies recently have released affordable letterpress machines for at-home use. You also could rent a letterpress machine and, with a little creativity, learn to create your own letterpress invitations.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Personalised plates
  • Rubber stamps
  • Rubber-based ink
  • 100 per cent cotton paper

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  1. 1

    Plan the information you wish to include on your invitation. Use concise wording--the more letters you need, the more expensive your invitation will be.

  2. 2

    Brainstorm for design ideas. Think about using rubber stamps you already have. You also could consider using stamps sold in local shops or online.

    DIY Letterpress Invitations
    Use rubber stamps to design your letterpress invitations. (Rubber stamp image by Bartlomiej Nowak from
  3. 3

    Buy a personalised plate. You can use rubber stamp letters for this step; however, having a plate made will keep you from the frustration of lining up your letters perfectly for each printing. Personalised plates can be purchased from photoengravers, such as Owosso Graphic Arts.

  4. 4

    Remove the foam backing from your rubber stamps. This will allow you to press hard enough on your invitations to create an indentation. The foam is usually between the rubber and the wooden handle.

  5. 5

    Rent or borrow a letterpress machine. If this is your first time creating letterpress invitations, getting the help of an experienced printer avoids costly mistakes down the road. You can find local printers or universities that have this equipment.

    DIY Letterpress Invitations
    Rent or borrow a machine if you are a beginner at letterpress invitations. (machine image by Pali A from
  6. 6

    Buy a starter letterpress machine. Unless you have about £1,300 to plunk down on a professional machine, beginning designers should start with an affordable kit. These machines range in price from £42 to £130 and can be purchased at retailers such as Paper Source.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to buy a few extra sheets of paper, especially for your first run. It will take some trial and error before you get the hang of how much pressure to put on the stamps to create your desired look.

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