How To Print Your Party Invitations Yourself For Cheap

Updated on July 25, 2017

What Is A Printable Party?

A printable party is simply a party that you print most of the items you use. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on Invitations. However, you can print just about anything from invitations to banners to cupcake toppers.

You can also make them yourself in programs like Photoshop or you can hire someone like myself or another graphic artist to do it for you. You can find some great graphic artists and printable invitations for your party on Etsy.

My shop is Events You Can Print. Check it out.

Where To Print?

Once you have a design, a digital file that needs to be printing, you have to decide where to print your invitation.

Some things to think about are cost, paper type, and location.

1. I personally suggest not printing at home unless you have a small amount of invitations to print. Invitations, printing at home, can drain your ink supply in a home printer and it can become very costly.

2. If you want a cardstock feel for your invitations - most of my customers prefer KINKOS or Staples or an online printer like VistaPrint. If this is the case, you want to make sure that your digital file is of the correct dimensions - in regards to ink bleed and proportions. You will get a professional look, though not without the price and the locations may not be very convenient. So choose your time management well when you use these printers.

3. Finally, you can print at places like CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart. I generally send my customers to Walmart. I know their printing personally. This is where I do my printing. I like the matte feel of the prints, the cost is fairly cheap and it's convenient and easy to use.

Printing at Walmart

This article is going to help you print at Walmart, because that's the one place I know the most about.

Make your account at Walmart.com (make sure to remember your username and password)

Upload your digital file to their 'albums' and then you are set to find he nearest Walmart and set up shop for printing at their INSTANT PRINTS kiosk.

Find the nearest Walmart and set up shop at their 'instant prints' kiosks. On the first page - you need to choose the INSTANT PRINTS option.
Find the nearest Walmart and set up shop at their 'instant prints' kiosks. On the first page - you need to choose the INSTANT PRINTS option.
Choose the Walmart.com to retrieve your photo album from online.
Choose the Walmart.com to retrieve your photo album from online.

Log Into The Website

From this place, you put in your username and password, this way you get the album you need to print on their kiosk computer.

If you are retrieve it properly, it will state that on the screen and bring you to the menu to choose the photos you need to print.

Choose the album you want to print. Follow the prompts on the screen.
Choose the album you want to print. Follow the prompts on the screen.
Choose the Standard Print Option. It's the cheapest option and they look great!
Choose the Standard Print Option. It's the cheapest option and they look great!
Choose the 4X6 option on the screen and ignore the exclamation mark in the corner.
Choose the 4X6 option on the screen and ignore the exclamation mark in the corner.
Use the indicators below the file to choose how many invitations you need. And press Next at the bottom of the screen.
Use the indicators below the file to choose how many invitations you need. And press Next at the bottom of the screen.

How Many People Are Coming?

By this point, I am going to hope that you already have a guest list and know how many people you need to invite. You will have asked your graphic designer to make your invitation in the 4X6 format. This is because we mentioned before that this is the cheapest dimension for the Walmart printing kiosk, roughly $0.29 when you do it in store and $0.09 when you do it online.

Figure out how many invitations you need and as a party planner, I suggest you print a few extras in case they get lost or you forgot to add someone to the guest list.

While at Walmart, you can pick up SOCIAL ENVELOPES. They come in the 4x6 and the 5x7 varieties. Generally with lots of different colors and usually with the sticky back on the flap - so you don't have to lick the envelope!

This step will get you! Don't forget to make sure your "No Crop" indicator is check marked. This will make it so the print doesn't cut any edges off your invitation and it doesn't change the design in any way.
This step will get you! Don't forget to make sure your "No Crop" indicator is check marked. This will make it so the print doesn't cut any edges off your invitation and it doesn't change the design in any way.

Glossy VS Matte Photo Paper

You can decide which photo finish you like best. It's a personal preference - though I personally favor the matte finish, because it has less glare and doesn't reflect the light as harshly.

Walmart only uses photo finish, so you have these two choices. After the last step, press NEXT until you get to the photo finish choice on the screen shown below.

Both of these types of photo paper are described as a 'gloss' finish for the photo. In the case of invitations, you get these two choices when it comes to printing.

With the matte finish, there is less shine to the photo. It's smoother than a glossy photo, but matte tends to feel rough to the touch, like there are small bumps across the surface.

With the glossy finish, it's just what it sounds like. It's glossy. The photo is shiny, the surface slick and reflects light, can cause a glare on the photo when looking at it in a certain light.

You can choose the method of paper type you like best. Walmart uses the photo paper only - so decide which one you like best. I am partial to the matte photo for my invitations. But, it's a personal choice.
You can choose the method of paper type you like best. Walmart uses the photo paper only - so decide which one you like best. I am partial to the matte photo for my invitations. But, it's a personal choice.
Once you have decided on the finish, you can add the print to your cart. As you can see, 35 invitations is pretty cheap at just over $10.
Once you have decided on the finish, you can add the print to your cart. As you can see, 35 invitations is pretty cheap at just over $10.
Click the check out to move the order right along. Step by Step.
Click the check out to move the order right along. Step by Step.
You will have to put your information in and then NEXT to get it to upload your order and save it. If you have successfully ordered - you will see this screen.
You will have to put your information in and then NEXT to get it to upload your order and save it. If you have successfully ordered - you will see this screen.
The kiosk will print out your ticket and it tells you how long you have to wait for your order. Make sure you slip it in your pocket and keep it safe so you can retrieve your invitation prints.
The kiosk will print out your ticket and it tells you how long you have to wait for your order. Make sure you slip it in your pocket and keep it safe so you can retrieve your invitation prints.

What More Do You Need

While you wait for your prints to load and become ready, you can wander the store. That's another reason why I love to use Walmart for my prints when I am printing for a party.

Make sure to grab your social envelopes we discussed earlier. It's usually located in the office supplies section of the store, where you might find packing tape and packing supplies.

From there, you can decide if you also want address labels - if you do, you can get the Avery brand and design them online or once again ask your graphic artist to make them in the same theme as your party and invitations.

If you are going to do address labels, you will have to print those at home on your printer, so make sure you have plenty of ink for your printer. All those supplies can be found in the office supplies section of Walmart. Gather them all up and by the time you get them in the cart, your prints will be ready to pick up.

At the kiosk, they have a scanner, you scan your ticket's barcode and it will beep. The screen will tell you they are retrieving your order. There's a small door below to open and get your prints.
At the kiosk, they have a scanner, you scan your ticket's barcode and it will beep. The screen will tell you they are retrieving your order. There's a small door below to open and get your prints.
Finally, your prints are ready! Pull them out of the door and get ready to stuff envelopes! They should look beautiful and exactly like the digital file.
Finally, your prints are ready! Pull them out of the door and get ready to stuff envelopes! They should look beautiful and exactly like the digital file.

Comments

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    • profile image

      amber 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for the article! If I want to design my own invitation, how would I save the invite to print as a picture file? For example, if I make the invitation in a program like Microsoft Word or Publisher, how do I get it to be a picture file that will print instead of a .doc or .pub?

    • profile image

      Coolhandluke 

      3 years ago

      Hi, I loved this write up. Been debating how to do my son's birthday invites. This has been very informative. Thank you. Hugs from SoCal.

    • rgarnett profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachael Fields 

      4 years ago from KC, MO

      Thanks @grand old lady - I'm glad it was helpful!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Great hub! I love DIY and printing one's own party invitations is a wonderful idea. This hub is thoroughly useful, talking about the small details that can produce great changes for your invitations, such as card stock and finish, and useful tips like getting the envelopes first so you can adjust your cards to fit the envelopes.

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