Lined Envelopes

Ready to get a little wild? Well throw caution to the wind, erode all boundaries, unleash your inner rock star, and let’s decorate some wedding envelopes!

Oh, not what you thought we were going to say? (And is that a bottle of tequila in your hand?). Perhaps it’s true — embellishing envelopes is not everybody’s idea of living life on the edge, but that’s only because they’re going about it all wrong.

Envelopes are the perfect way to add a pop of the unexpected to your wedding. After all, when your guests receive your wedding invites they’ll expect a modest envelope with a sensible background. But instead – POW! – you’ll give them a flash of color and intensity. Now you understand. Good. Let’s get started…



  • Envelopes
  • Thin craft paper (in or matching your wedding colours)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paper or cardstock


Step 1: Measure the width


Using your ruler, measure the width of the envelope.

Step 2: Measure the depth



Starting just below the opening, measure the distance to the edge of the flap. In the example above this is 5 centimeters (or roughly 2 inches).

Step 3: Draw the base



Using the width and depth measurements that you just acquired, draw the base of the envelope on a piece of paper or cardstock.

Step 4: Draw the flap




Align the envelope with your drawing of the base, so that the top line is in line with the base of the flap and trace around it.

Step 5: Measure the border



Measure the width of the lickable part on the envelope flap. Using your ruler, and your envelope as a guide, draw this border onto your envelope pattern

Step 6: Cut out the template



Follow the inside border line to cut out your pattern. Trim either side of the envelope base so that it can easily slide inside your envelope. Test it out once you have cut it to ensure that it is the correct size.

Step 7: Trace onto pretty paper  


Using the cutout, draw the pattern onto the reverse side of your pretty paper and cut it out.

Step 8: Place in envelope



Slide the pretty paper pattern into the envelope and align it so that the flap has an even border. Once you’re happy, fold the flap down to form a crease in the pretty paper. This will act as a guide.

Step 9: Glue flap down





Paint a thin layer of glue on the flap of the envelope, then fold it over the pretty paper to stick it down. Using the back of the pencil, gently smooth it down and get rid of any air bubbles or creases.

Step 10: Repeat



Repeat with your other envelopes until they all pop with colour.

You’re not really limited by anything here, so exercise a bit of reckless abandon and get creative with the paper!



Rubber Stamped Favor Bags

While there is a little competition from a certain diamond ring, stamps are pretty much a DIY bride’s best friend. And now that you’re about to learn how to make them yourself (in any shape you like) things are about to get pretty exciting.

It’s just that you can do so much with stamps – decorate your wedding invitations, escort cards, welcome bags, napkins, table cloths, and just about anything else you can get your hands on (leave the groom, animals, and all small children alone, please)

Of course finding the right stamp for your wedding can be difficult, and setting up an extensive stamp collection can be pricey – not to mention it has the potential to make you drool, hunch, and stroke your new wedding purchase with a disturbing, feverish enthusiasm. No? Just me then…

Happily, it need never come to that, because making a DIY rubber stamp is super easy!

Supplies better


  • Rubber/eraser
  • Pencil
  • X-acto knife or similar blade
  • Shapes to trace around (optional)
  • Ink or paint (depending what you plan to use the stamp on)


Step 1: Select your shape

Step 1 - place shape on rubber

If you’re going to trace around a shape, secure it to your rubber/eraser. I’ve chosen to use a cute confetti leaf that I love, but just about any shape will work – from basic hearts to elaborate filigree patterns, chevron stripes and flowers. If you’re going to draw something freehand, you have a few extra seconds to chill out.

Step 2: Trace or draw your design

Step 2 - trace around shape

Trace around the shape you’ve chosen. Try to be as accurate as you can. If you’re drawing freehand, this is your time to shine – draw your design onto the rubber/eraser.

Step 3: Fill in the details

Step 4 - fill in the centre

Get in touch with your perfectionist side and fill in any details that you’d like to include in your stamp – this can be as simple as the veins in a leaf and as elaborate as details on rose petals or even writing.

Step 4: Carve for your life

Step 5 - cut around the shape

Using your X-acto knife or other carving blade, carefully work around the stamp to cut away about a ¼ of an inch from all sides of the shape. You’ll get the best results if you work in sections and rather than cut around the entire shape at once, do it piece by piece.

Step 5: Smooth out the edges

Step 6 - cut around the entire shape

Once the entire shape has been carved out, use your X-acto knife or carving blade to smooth out the edges and make the entirety as smooth as possible.

Step 6: Cut out the inside details

Step 7 - cut the inside of the shape

Now slowly begin to carve out the details you drew inside of your shape. Work slowly and carefully to make these as smooth as possible. And remember that any surface that is raised (left untouched) will be the coloured part of your stamp, while any surface that you carve away will be the white part.

Step 10 - stamp it up

Your first stamp is done. Now play with other stamp shapes and concepts until you achieve exactly what you want. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with more elaborate designs – or try simple polka dots or waves for fun borders.

Step 11 - stamp a bag


Step 12 - create cute bags and stationery


Finished product 2

When you’re all finished, dip your stamp into an inkpad or cover with paint (I used textile paint) and go nuts – your thank-you cards, place cards, bags, door hangers etc will thank you for it.


Kate + Joe’s Colorful Fall Farmhouse Wedding

We love it when couples take on a theme – like a fall wedding in the country – and make it so wonderfully personal that it knocks our socks off. That’s just what Kate and Joe did with their fresh and colorful big day!

In Kate’s own words: When Kaylan asked me to write a little bit about some of my handmade details for our wedding, I was beyond excited!  I had been planning our wedding for 9 months, but I can’t lie; for months before we were engaged, I already had been nosing around wedding blogs for fun ideas.  I took a lot of inspiration from the beautiful outdoor wedding of Lena Corwin (seen here  She has been an inspiring artist to me and her vintage details pulled at my heart strings.  Joe and I knew that we wanted our wedding to be low-key and comfortable.  Everything was held at Joe’s mother, Tami’s, horse farm which holds a farmhouse from the 1800s and a barn full of horses.  We used the front walk to the porch for the ceremony and had guests sit on hay bales from the barn.  The reception took place in a beautiful, large tent in the yard.  We wanted to incorporate some lawn games, a bonfire and make use of the private and open property.

I spent all nine months busy at my desk and in the basement crafting.  I wanted to incorporate the fall season with some pumpkins in our decor.  Pumpkins lined the ceremony aisle and I created stuffed calico pumpkins for the table decor.  I followed this tutorial and used many different floral themed fabrics:  I also wanted to build on the fall outdoor theme with some homemade arrows and feathers. These tutorials fit the bill and were really fun to make:

We started the process with save-the-date postcards that were hand stamped and the photograph was taken by my brother Dave.  We wanted them to be special so the photo was taken at the location of our first date, The Oaks theater in Oakmont where we had seen the 1930’s movie Freaks and shared a Sprite. Our min-dachshund, Riggs, joined us for the photo shoot.  All of the wedding stationary has handmade by Joe and I simply on our computer and we used wood-grain patterned paper from Target.  I hand carved some stamps and the pumpkin and arrow theme carried through on the stationary.  Our reply cards were Pantone postcards purchased from Amazon. Easy and fun!

My dress was from Bhldn and I couldn’t have found anything more perfect.  I loved that it looked vintage, it had sleeves and an interesting lace.  The only alterations needed were the sleeve ruffles pulled up a few inches and the hem cut, both alterations done flawlessly by my multi-talented sister-in-law, Marisa.  I added some quirky oxfords from ModCloth since I knew we would be outside and maybe in the mud.  I wore my sister’s necklace as a headpiece, my bridesmaids helped with hair and makeup, and I wore my Grandmother Anderson’s diamond necklace and my Grandmother Beck’s opal ring.  I added my mother’s paisley scarf and a hand-made looking cream sweater I had already owned to keep warm once the sun went down.  My bridesmaids, my sister and two best friends, were patient with me during our search for dresses.  They ultimately wore dresses from ModCloth, J.Crew, and Family Affairs. Each wore a different colored cardigan from ModCloth and we all wore earrings from CGM Findings.   I found superhero pins on Etsy and created boutonnieres for the guys. I loved being able to pin Superman on my dadís lapel.  The groomsmen wore a shirts from Gap with gray pants and suspenders from H&M. The best woman wore a dress from ModCloth.  My nieces as flower girls wore pink lace dresses from Gap and headbands made my their mothers from ribbon and faux flowers. They threw confetti from tissue paper scraps in painted pails.  My nephew was the ring bearer, and although he was too shy to walk down the aisle, he held our rings closely on an antique ring pillow from my mother’s cousin.   Our rings weren’t the traditional wedding bands.  My tiny turquoise and gold ring is from Catbird and Joeís tungsten band was purchased on Etsy.

The bouquets that my sister-in-law, Marisa, had crafted the night before, had blown my mind! I would never have dreamt of such beautiful, personalized arrangements and she wowed us. All of the table florals were a mix of dahlias and burgundy celosia from and extra bunches of mums and roses that we picked up at the grocery store the day before.  Some greenery was cut from the familyís gardens and added for a hand picked look. I can’t express how happy I was with the florals.  I had also purchased many types of coleus (my favorite plant) online and they had become big and beautiful by the time September rolled around.  We incorporated a tree potting in our ceremony and used a small oak sapling found in the woods at the farm.  We added soil from my mother’s yard and water from the farm.  It was a meaningful symbol to combine out families and homes.  I also had my two sister-in-law read at the ceremony.  My brother Dave cut wood discs for the table decor and made beanbag toss boards for the lawn games.  My uncle Randy hand made the wooden signage to direct guests up to the house.

Our caterer, Rob, was a dear friend from Sugar Catering in Pittsburgh and knocked the backyard barbeque out of the park.  I could have never dreamed it would be so delicious!  All homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, veggie and beef burgers, salads and local corn on the cob were some of the offerings.  My dad even cooked up a batch of hot sausage with peppers.  He also created a bar top for our bartenders.  It turned out great and very useful.   For the dessert table, I glued clay pots and saucers together to hold treats and used vintage paper table cloths to add color.  My mother made mini cheesecakes, families members brought cookie trays, and my mother-in-law baked 10 pies for the desert table!  We also had cupcakes from Oakmont Bakery in Oakmont, PA.   For favors, we had a popcorn bar from Pittsburgh Popcorn ( Guests could fill paper bags with their flavor of choice.  What a hit!

The porch was decked out in crafty decorations.  I made tissue paper garlands and yarn rope garlands.  Tissue poms and paper orbs dangled for a crafty look.  Hay bales were covered in vintage table cloths and bed sheets.  The dance floor had handmade dip-dyed flags and vintage pompom garlands hanging over head.  Vintage suitcases from my aunt collected cards.  Family photos decorated the welcome table and we asked for marital advice for our first anniversary.  The tables were dressed with plastic lace-look table cloths from WalMart, craft paper runners, hand dip-dyed napkins purchased in bulk on Ebay, and small quilt fabric squares as coasters.  We added mason jars for drinking glasses, collected glass pitchers from Goodwill and a close friend for ice water,  and a jar of crayons to color on the craft paper.  Each setting included vintage floral themed plates collected from a friend and Goodwill, faux-silver flatware.  Spray painted jars and bottles held arranged bunches of dahlias, celosia and other colorful flowers.  Fabric feathers, homemade arrows and fabric pumpkins were arranged on the table tops for a homemade, country look.

Oh, and the seating chart- one of my faves. I had sifted through my parents slide collection and labeled each name on sides. I simply washi taped them to an old window and propped it on a easel so light could peer through. It was a joy to see guests looking through each slide and I Ben included some from my parents wedding. It was very personal and tied in my family to our love of photography and preserving special moments in time.

I loved every second of the stress-filled planning for our wedding, but around noon on our wedding day, all of that stress melted away.  I never dreamt I could be so calm and happy in those moments leading up to the ceremony.  I’m normally a nervous wreck in front of a group!  I’m so happy to have put all of the handmade details into our day and wouldn’t have changed it for the world.








Couple: Kate Wilson & Joe Wilson
Date: September 29, 2012
Location: Pennsylvania

Printable Summer Invitation and Thank You Card from VanillaRetro

spring invite banner image

It’s that time of year where thousands of brides and grooms are preparing to send their wedding invitations – in the northern hemisphere at least. For there is no more popular season to get hitched in than summer (although, there is an increasing number of fall weddings in the past couple of years).

Now, if you’re fortunate to live in a warm climate, (which pretty much rules out the northern UK where I’m from) you can almost guarantee perfectly warm, dry weather on your big day, which is the reason most couples opt for summertime nuptials. Every anniversary henceforth shall hopefully be spent sipping wine on a sun-soaked veranda somewhere, enjoying the prolonged sunlight and toasting to another year together as a happily married couple.

But I suppose there is a downside to a summer wedding. And that lies, in some part, with the invitations. January and February are not the most affluent months of the year, with many of us suffering the after-effects of a slight overspend during the Christmas holidays, and with invitations costing, on average, in excess of £200 (or $400), it can be quite an outlay for those on a tight budget.  But woe is the bride and groom who do not send their invitations in time, and risk losing a significant proportion of their guests to their annual family holiday. Yup, summertime isn’t just popular for weddings.

spring summer invite 1

So, here is a simple solution for you summertime brides-to-be: our FREE printable wedding invitation template designed by VanillaRetro, exclusively for DIY Bride.

The design is tastefully vintage, with floral attributes and a modern simplicity.  Simply download and print (using Windows Photo Viewer, select the option to print two to a page to get 5 x 7-in. printouts), carefully trim to size, then fill in your details by hand . All you need is a home printer and a good card stock. Combine with ivory, pink, peach, or lime envelopes to add a splash of color to your invitations, and you’re good to go. And, because we love giving you the full package, why not also download the matching Thank You cards too?

spring summer invite 2


If you have any questions or feedback on the design for VanillaRetro, please let us know below in the comments!  Thanks, and enjoy the free download!

Download the Free Templates:


Thank you card



Christine’s Heartfelt Bridal Shower

It’s not often we get to showcase bridal showers so imagine how excited we are to share this beautiful handmade shower for Christine. All of the heartfelt details were crafted with the help of all the bridesmaids! A special shout-out to Christine’s roommate, Sharon, for making the watercoloring. It’s beautiful!

The event was hosted at Blue Dahlia Bistro in Austin where their cozy outdoor seating area provided the perfect spot for Christine and her guests to spend a playful, joyous afternoon.



Subject: Christine Li & Ben Yang
Date: November 03, 2012
Location: Austin,Texas