Stephanie offers her readers tips on how to print their own wedding program fans, saving them time and money in the process.
Wedding Fans Made Easy
Creating your own fans from your wedding programs can save hundreds of dollars!
Below, you'll find easy, step-by-step instructions to help you create your very own professional-looking wedding-fan programs.
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.
We do not recommend beginning this project just days before your wedding. Give yourself adequate time for unforeseen circumstances such as printer mishaps or shipping delays (if you order supplies online).
- 8.5″ x 11″ paper (80-pound to 110-pound recommended weight)
- Paper Trimmer/Cutter
- Popsicle or Other Craft Sticks
- Glue or Other Adhesive (Paper glue recommended)
Step 1: Print Your Programs
After you have created your own wedding program in Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word, chosen to purchase a printable wedding program or use a digital template that you've edited yourself, you will want to print your programs on standard cardstock—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-pound to 100-pound cover weight. Staples, Kinkos, and Office Max also offer great printing options and quality prices.
Step 2: Choose Your Paper
There are lots of brands of cardstock 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 cardstock. 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!
Step 3: Cut Your Programs, If Needed
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 guidelines 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 cheaply. I'm sure many may remember the large guillotine cutters from school the teacher would use to 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!
Step 4: Assemble and Glue the Fans
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.
Step 5: Apply Finishing Touches
From here, feel free to add some special finishes to your fan programs like:
- 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 not to 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.
nikitha p from India on June 12, 2020:
Very informative hub thanks for sharing.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 18, 2017:
The wedding program fan is so classy and appealing. Thanks for sharing this exquisite program design with clear DIY instructions.