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Sunday, April 13, 2008

DIY Invitations - A Cost Analysis

I've had people ask me about how much it cost to make my invitations. I never really had time to figure it out, but now that they're almost done, I think it's probably time to find out what these puppies cost us.

Some of these amounts are just really good estimates--I didn't save every receipt for every ink pad, tape runner, etc. so I just went with what I know they cost and estimated the total. Also, for some things--like envelopes, paper, etc.--I ordered more than I needed. Because I'll end up being able to use the extra for other projects, I didn't think it was fair to include those in the cost. So for some things, like a big pack of paper, I divided the total cost of it by 250 (the number of sheets in the pack), and then multiplied that cost by the number of sheets I used. Hopefully that makes sense.

Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Invitation Envelopes-A7 & RSVP Envelopes-4Bar (Envelopemall.com): $49.83
  • Astrobright Glisten-Lunar Blue Cover Weight Paper for Pocketfolds (Anchorpaper.com): $29.93 (Note: I actually paid $41.44 for the paper I ordered--130 sheets. However, I was actually sent around 180 sheets, which I'll be able to use for programs, so I cut the cost of that down accordingly).
  • Stardream Aquamarine Cover Weight Paper for Invite Backing (Anchorpaper.com): $14.30 (Again, I have quite a bit of extra, but I'm not sure what else I'll be able to use it for--so I counted the full amount)
  • Classic Linen Recycled Bright White Paper for Invitations and Inserts (Anchorpaper.com): $35.13
  • Shipping for All Paper Products (Anchorpaper.com): $14.02
  • Super Tacky Tape, 9 rolls (PaperSource.com): $39.15
  • Ribbon for Belly Bands, 2 rolls (Save-on-Crafts.com): $16.36
  • Flower Stamp (Ebay Seller): $7.20
  • Custom Address Stamp (Rubberstamps.net): $14.90
  • Ink Pads and Embossing Powder, 3 of each (Michael's, Joann Fabrics): $21.00
  • Embossing Buddy (Michael's): $4.00
  • Professional Cutting Services (Copy Center at Work): $16.00
  • AdTech Permanent Tape Runner Refills, 4 Double Packs (Michael's): $8.50
  • USPS Postage for 100 Invitations and RSVPs: $99.00 (Note: 58 cents to mail invitations, 41 cents for RSVPs)

This brings the grand total to: $369.32 for 130 invitations (I only purchased postage for and mailed 100 of them so far. I made a LOT of extras--probably too many)

=$3.07 per invite WITH postage

Removing postage from the total = $270.32 for 130 invitations

=$2.08 per invite WITHOUT postage

Obviously, invitations can be done for much cheaper. But I really wanted something that was made especially for us, BY me. And all in all, I think that's a pretty good price for pocketfold invitations.

One thing that definitely needs to be considered is time. I did not keep track of how many hours I spent making these things... and I'm glad I didn't, because it would probably be staggering. They took a really, really long time. There's no doubt about that. Luckily, I was able to break up the process over several weeks and months, so it wasn't so bad. But you definitely have to be committed to being in this project for the long haul if you want to DIY your invitations in this fashion. For me, it was worth it because I love the finished product and they feel like they are completely and totally mine. But just be warned.

I hope this helps someone!


Kelly said...

This helps a lot. I am in the design process and it is taking forever, so I too would not want to know how many hours I have put into it so far. I enjoy it though and I am sure you did too.

I have a question though...where did you have them printed? Am I just dumb and overlooked it? That is what I have been debating about for my own, so I'd love to know how you did it. Thanks!

Heather said...

I was able to print them through a combination of at home and at work. We didn't even go through an ink catridge, so I didn't count it as an expense.

Hailey said...

I logged in all the hours it took me to make the pocket folders from scratch, along with all the inserts, plus invites. Even with the help of 6 friends putting things together, it still took over 80 hours. I only made about 70 invites.
Anyway, I can relate.

Katie328 said...

I love your instructions on the pocketfold. Did you use microsoft publisher for the inserts. I would love more detail on how you accomplished other items!

Anonymous said...

I love your page, I love how detailed you are. I also loved how your invitations came out. I just was wondering how you did the RSVP cards, the directions, etc? did you have to resize them in microsoft publisher? did you end up cutting them? Also what is invite backing? Gosh so many questions..sorry.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for stating exactly what papers you used! I run across descriptions like "Card stock" and "paper" all the time- you definitely went above and beyond!