DIY Vintage Handkerchief Wedding Invitation

DIY Vintage Hanky Wedding Invitation with free template | Download & Print

Last week I revealed a brand new invitation bundle here at Download & Print. I call it Artisan Botanical and it features floral sprays and comes in three delicate vintage colors. I adore how the 15 pieces in this bundle came together, but I’m even more excited with what I am sharing with you today.

I turned the square invitation in the set into a vintage handkerchief that anyone, yes even you, can DIY. It all came together with a magical product I found on Amazon called Blumenthal Lansing Crafter's Images 100-Percent Cotton Poplin Photo Fabric. I haven’t been this excited about a product since I fell for the HUVr hovercraft hoax last year (I would have felt so cool flying up to D&P HQ on my HUVr board). The fabric paper comes in a long roll that can be trimmed down to the size of a regular sheet of paper, and has a wax backing that allows it to be fed through your inkjet printer. It's pure magic, I promise.

After my first test run of the hanky and I realized just how cool this fabric paper is, it quickly dawned on me the world is now my decorating oyster. I could print custom designs and use spray adhesive to stick the fabric to a pair of flats. Shoes! I can make custom shoes! I about lost it at this point and it became very hard to focus on the task at hand. But before I go crazy accessorizing my wardrobe there's a vintage hanky to DIY!

The video tutorial gives you a great feel for just how easy this fabric is to use, or keep reading for the pictorial and step-by-step instructions. Oh, and don't forget the freebie template. As always I can't wait for you to try this for yourself so I'm giving you the template to get you started. Included in this tutorial is the square Artisan Botanical in blush pink, but if this doesn't suit your color palette you can head on over here and check out the design in lavender and cornsilk.


 

SUPPLIES: Download the template

Step 1: Cut Photo Fabric to Size

Cut printable fabric to size for the DIY Vintage hanky invitation| Download & Print

The photo fabric comes in a roll 8.5” wide by 100” long. The first step is to trim this down to the size of a regular sheet of paper so that it will feed through your printer. A standard sheet of paper in North America is 8.5 x 11”, so measure out 11” lengths and cut. I first scored the photo paper at the 11” mark and cut along my score line with scissors, but you can mark off 11” with a pencil and cut if you prefer.

Cut photo fabric paper to size for the DIY vintage hanky invitation | Download & Print

You will need one sheet of photo paper per invitation, so cut as many sheets as you need invitations.

Step 2: Download & Customize the Template

Customize the free vintage hanky invitation in MS Word | Download & Print

Download and install the free vintage fonts on your computer. The fonts that I chose to use are Olympic Branding and Tw Cen MT and these can be downloaded for free following the links. You can choose any fonts that you like however.

After installing the fonts on your computer, open MS Word.

Download the free hanky invitation template and open the file in Word. Add your names and wedding details. The text is completely customizable, so add lines, delete lines, and play around with the formatting until you are 100% happy with the way it looks.

Save the file on your computer so you can come back to it time and time again.

Step 3: Print

flatten out photo fabaric paper | Download & Print

This is where the magic happens. It’s time to print the hanky. I found the photo paper had a tendency to curl toward the wax side so I loosely rolled each sheet in the opposite direction to flatten it out. I also found that placing some sheets of regular paper behind the photo paper when I loaded it into my printer helped the printer pick up the fabric paper. I loaded each sheet of fabric paper individually, so this did add time to the printing process. Each printer is going to act a little differently with the photo fabric paper, as with any non-standard paper, so you may need to find your printer’s quirks and work with them.

Print the vintage hanky invitation on photo fabric paper | Download & Print

Print the hanky template on a sheet of photo fabric.

TIP: Print a copy of the invitation on regular paper first to check for spelling errors, formatting issues, date accuracy etc. Have a second and even third set of eyes read over the invitation before committing them all to print. This way you won’t waste any photo fabric and you won’t be left kicking yourself for overlooking a silly mistake!

Step 4: Remove Wax Backing

Remove wax backing from photo fabaric paper | Download & Print

Peel back the wax backing on the photo paper. Now the photo paper is starting to look and feel like fabric.

Step 5: Trim Invitation

Trim photo fabric paper to hanky size | Download & Print

I decided to finish the edge of the hanky using pinking shears. I had a rotary cutter and pinking blade on hand, and I trimmed around the invitation using these. I lined my ruler up just inside the pink edge of the invitation so as not to get any white in the crimped border.

If you are handy with a sewing machine and want to take the extra time you could also create a rolled hem around the border. Or a serger machine would also put a clean edge on.

For me the pinking shears were quick, easy and cheap, and gave an edge that I was happy with.

trim result of the DIY vintage hanky wedding invitation | Download & Print

How awesome does this look! Once you touch and feel it you will be as rapt with this DIY as I am.

Step 6: Fold & Finish

Stuff DIY vintage hanky wedding invitation into 5.5" square envelope | Download & Print

There are an endless number of ways you can finish this DIY and display the hanky for mailing. I folded the hanky in half and in half again, and stuffed into a 5.5” square envelope that I had finished with our coordinating envelope liner. I also included the coordinating RSVP card and a 4-bar envelope for guests to send back their responses.

I am still doing a happy dance over how this DIY turned out, and will be creating more designs just so I can use the photo fabric again. Stay tuned for these in the coming months. If you are planning a wedding with a vintage vibe and want an invitation that is unique and memorable, the vintage handkerchief is for you. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Download Free Template

(Although all the products listed in this tutorial are products I personally use, I will be compensated if you make a purchase through some of the links provided.)

Anna Skye

Anna Skye helps DIY Brides and Hostesses create their own invitations by sharing printable Word and Photoshop templates on her blog Download & Print.

16 thoughts on “DIY Vintage Handkerchief Wedding Invitation

    • Lisa Fenstermacher says:

      I haven’t tried either of these products, but I would think as long as this fabric will run through an inkjet printer (or whatever printer you have), it would work just fine. If you do try, let us know how it turns out!

  1. Ester says:

    Beautiful and unique idea. Will a corner and edge punch work on this fabric if i use it before peeling the fabric off?

    • Anna Skye says:

      I did a little experiment with a piece of the printable fabric and one of my corner punches and it was a total fail! The punch is not sharp enough to cut the threads and it just frayed the edges really bad. The same thing happened when I tried to cut it on my straight edge paper cutter too. I renumber from an old sewing class that fabric scissors need to be very sharp, and should never be used for cutting paper since it will dull the blade. In the video I was ale to cut the fabric with a rotary pinking blade after the paper backing was removed. Best of luck! Please report back if you find another technique.

    • Lisa Fenstermacher says:

      I’m so happy to hear you love the hankies! We used a roll of photo fabric that was 100″ long. You can cut 9 sheets of regular size paper from this roll, which will get you 9 hankies using our free template. If you use a smaller invitation template that prints two per page, you can get 18 invitations out of the photo fabric.

  2. Rachel says:

    Omg, SWOON! I am so in love with this DIY! I’ve been wanting to make something for my maids, mom and MIL and this would be perfect!

  3. Lucy Halbasch says:

    Thank you for this amazing invitation idea…im planning a Spanish vintage sweet 16 for my daughter and this idea will work perfectly. Do you have a Spanish flair invitation template available? Her colors are royal blue, yellow and orange. Thanks for your help!!

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