Your guide to choosing the right paper, envelopes, and embellishments for your printables

Once you've found the perfect design for your card or party invitation, it's time to print your masterpiece. You can either print at home or take your design to a nearby copy shop, but both options will require you to choose the right paper and envelopes.

Paper type can play an important role in how your printable card or invitation is viewed by the recipient. For example, using textured ivory cardstock on a bridal shower invitation would give it a sophisticated and elegant look. Printing your invitation on a vellum overlay and layering it over the top of a pale rose colored background would produce a similar effect. However, if you were planning a western themed birthday party for your toddler, a brown kraft cardstock with a rustic and casual feel would be a more appropriate choice.

If you're planning to mail your customized card or party invitation, don’t forget that you'll need envelopes as well. The most obvious option is to select envelopes that match the paper you've printed your project on, but choosing a slightly darker or lighter shade can add a little extra visual appeal. For example, if your birthday card design has a plum background, try using lavender envelopes. If desired, you can customize your envelopes even further by printing a matching clip art monogram or border along the side or back flap.

When you're shopping for paper and envelopes, it's usually best to buy in bulk. You'll save money and ensure that you have plenty of extras in case you make a mistake while trimming your project or addressing the envelope. Any leftovers can easily be put to use making packaging for party favors or a souvenir scrapbook full of pictures from the event!