How to Create Your Own Wedding-Program Fans

Updated on March 2, 2018
This silhouette wedding program timeline can be purchased as a digital option to print and assemble yourself at home as a unique and handy way to layout the big days events and introduce your bridal party.
This silhouette wedding program timeline can be purchased as a digital option to print and assemble yourself at home as a unique and handy way to layout the big days events and introduce your bridal party. | Source

Wedding Programs Made Easy

Creating your own wedding program fans can save hundreds of dollars on your wedding day!

Bellow we walk you through the easy step by step process to create your very own professional looking wedding fan programs.

Photo provided by Paint the Day Designs clients from their big day.  Not for re-use.
Photo provided by Paint the Day Designs clients from their big day. Not for re-use.

Be sure you have allocated enough time before your event for printing, cutting and assembly. If you have not done this before or have not enlisted friends and/or family it may take longer - especially if you are making a couple hundred wedding programs.

We do not recommend beginning this project just days before your wedding - give yourself adequate time for any unforeseen circumstances such as printer mishaps or delays in obtaining the items you need (if you need to order online this is especially important to consider)

Materials Needed

  • 8.5" x 11" Card Stock, (80-110lb Recommended Weight)
  • Paper Trimmer/Cutter
  • Popsicle or other Craft Sticks
  • Glue or other Adhesive, (Paper glue recommended)
Mason Jar Wedding Fans
Mason Jar Wedding Fans | Source

What type of wedding program will you be using?

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Printing

After you have created your own wedding program either in Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, or chosen to purchase a printable wedding program or digital template that you've edited the wording for yourself, you will want to print these on standard card stock - I will be using templates provided as 8.5" x 11" for reference.

Ensure that the paper weight is not too heavy if you are printing at home; most printers can handle 80-100lb cover weight. Staples, Kinkos, Office Max also offer great printing options and quality prices.

Paper Brands

LCI Paper is a good vendor with great paper options. We also recommend checking out Cards and Pockets or Paper and More.  Staples also offers some cheaper options at a lower cover weight if your printer cannot handle the thicker stocks.
LCI Paper is a good vendor with great paper options. We also recommend checking out Cards and Pockets or Paper and More. Staples also offers some cheaper options at a lower cover weight if your printer cannot handle the thicker stocks. | Source

Paper Choices

There are lots of brands of card stock out there, and just as many finishes, but we recommend ordering sample sheets of various kinds to ensure your printer works well with them. If you have an older printer we recommend sticking with lower end cover weights and smooth finishes.

If you will be printing on shimmer card stock a laser printer may be the better solution. Inkjet smears very easily on shimmer stocks from personal experience.

Printing a sample or having them printed at a local print shop is very much recommended if you would like to use this kind of finish!

Source

Cutting

Now that you have all of your programs printed, you will now move on to cutting. There are a few ways to go about this - and depending on the size program you are making you may have to cut more or less.

For a template that has a final 5" x 7" cutting size you will probably have guide lines to be able to cut along around the outside of the wedding program.

For a full sheet program, similar to the silhouette fan programs pictured, you would cut directly down the middle only to a final size of 5.5" x 8.5"

There are many tools to do the cutting, and you don't have to spend a lot to get a good quality trimmer. Here are your options:

  • Guillotine :: A guillotine arm cutter can be bought on the market today fairly cheap. I'm sure many may remember the large guillotine cutters from school where the teacher would cut 200 worksheets at a time.
  • Rotary Trimmer :: A rotary trimmer works great, but should be used one at a time - it's the cheapest option but takes the longest to do.
  • Scissors :: Good ole' fashioned scissors. These are not really recommended as you can't guarantee the best - or straightest - cut. However, if you're in a pinch and you have confidence in a steady hand, go for it!

These are the wavy sticks that we use in our product line - they are 8" jumbo wavy sticks, but you can always use Popsicle sticks instead!
These are the wavy sticks that we use in our product line - they are 8" jumbo wavy sticks, but you can always use Popsicle sticks instead!

Sticks and Glue

Now that we have a nice stack of neatly trimmed wedding programs it's time to assemble!

You will want to place the front side of your program face down on the table (be sure the surface is clean or you may end up with unwanted debris on your lovely product).

From there you will take your stick and put some glue lightly at the top of the stick, about a quarter of the way down and gently put it in the lower mid-section of your program (see video below for alignment positioning).

Once you have adjusted the stick's position in place you can now put about 1/4" from the edges a thin line of paper glue (I recommend ZipDry's Paper Glue from personal experience) - paper glue is usually better than other glues to prevent bleed through. The lighter the line, the less likely it will be to bleed to the other side.

Once you have your square of glue, take the backside of your program (or if you are doing single sided programs it is recommended you have blank cards of the same size as the program card for additional black support) and gently lay it over the glue - DO NOT PRESS YET.

Move the program around a bit to line up all the edges, and once you are satisfied with the positioning, only then would you gently press - start from the bottom and gently run a flat hand from bottom to top to prevent air bubbles and shifting.

A Video Guide on Assembly from LCI Paper

Add some pretty ribbon to match your DIY program details!
Add some pretty ribbon to match your DIY program details! | Source

Finishing Touches

From here, feel free to add some special finishes to your fan programs like:

  • Rhinestones
  • Ribbon or hemp tied to the handles
  • Monogram tags tied from ribbons on the handles
  • Use corner punches to round the corners for a polished look.
  • Some sparkle mist spray or paint if you're crafty (be sure to not go too heavy with the spray or you'll end up with ruined programs - yikes!)

And there you have it! A beautiful wedding program fan that can save you hundreds of dollars and give you some bonding time with your bridal squad.

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Questions & Answers

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      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        15 months ago from The Caribbean

        The wedding program fan is so classy and appealing. Thanks for sharing this exquisite program design with clear DIY instructions.

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