You're on the hunt for gorgeous wedding invitations with an extra special something. You want them to feel less like a card and more like a little present for your guests to unwrap in anticipation. Consider the belly band!
Charming and practical, belly bands are slim, paper bands that fit snugly around your invitations, holding all the pieces of your set together. In this post, I'll walk you through the practical steps for finding, printing and assembling your own!
The belly band design I'm using for this tutorial is an editable template I sell in my Etsy shop. You'll often find matching templates like this available for purchase alongside your invitation set. Alternatively, you can make them yourself with decorative paper from your local craft store.
For a standard 5 x 7 inch invitation, your belly band should measure 11 x 2 inches. If cutting your own for a custom card size, double the width of your card and add an extra inch for the overlap.
Belly bands are best printed on a thinner paper that can easily wrap around your wedding invitations. A 60-70# text weight (roughly 90-100 gsm) works well. You can usually find this online or at your local office supply store.
When deciding whether to print your belly bands at home or at a print shop, consider the ink heaviness and quantity you'll be printing. Does your design have a full color background like the one above? If so, it will consume a lot of ink, which can get expensive. Printing at home is often a more cost-effective solution for DIY stationery, but if you need large quantities of an ink-heavy design, printing through a local print shop might be more budget-friendly. For more money-saving tips, check out The Complete Guide to DIY Stationery.
To get the accurate size, make sure your printer settings are at No Scaling / 100% and that you have the accurate paper size selected. In most cases, this will be an 8.5 x 11 inch template that fits multiple bands per page.
Cut out the individual bands using a paper cutter or an x-acto knife. If you see tiny lines in the corners, these are the trim guides that show you where to cut.
• Glue stick or double-sided tape to adhere the ends
• Bone folder (optional) for a more defined crease
Once your belly bands are printed and trimmed out, you are ready to assemble your invitations! You want a snug fit so that it holds all the cards neatly together, but not so tight that it bends the edge of your invitation.
Stack your cards from largest to smallest with your invitation on the bottom. Tuck the RSVP in its envelope flap (if you have one). Center the belly band on top.
Flip the stack over so that the set is face down with the belly band on the bottom. If your band has a design, make sure this is centered before moving to step 3.
Fold one flap around the invitation, using a bone folder if necessary. Apply a bit of glue to the end and fold the other flap on top so the two ends overlap. Press and hold for a few seconds until the glue dries.
You've now assembled a gorgeous wedding invitation ready to be mailed off to your nearest and dearest!
If you have a large guest list and are concerned about the extra effort it takes to assemble these, don't forget, this is a perfect bonding opportunity to share with your mom, sister, or best friend! Enlist some helping hands and enjoy the preparation for your fabulous day!