How to make your own wedding invitations blue wedding suite inspired by Portugal

The Anatomy of a Design (Make Your own Wedding Invitations)

Are you Looking for Inspiration and Ideas on How you can Make your own Wedding Invitations?


This helpful guide gives you a brief view into what inspired me to design one of the collections that is closest to my heart and something that as a designer I spent a long time dreaming about doing. I hope that you can also be inspired by a design, or some imagery that you are also passionate about which can ultimately help you to make your own wedding invitations, with a plethora of luxurious touches. If you have a great taste and a good eye for detail, it’s not such a colossal undertaking to create your own wedding invitations.

Do you need to have a defined-complete plan and idea of what your final wedding invitation suite will look like?

The good news is that NO.

You don’t need to know exactly which colour theme you need.  Or have a full mood board picture set up, for this to be successful. If you don’t have all the answers but you do have a rough idea of what you want to aim for to make your own wedding invitations, then I believe that you will find this guide helpful. This guide will show you how my and your design process can gently evolve over time so that you can step, by step bring your dream wedding stationery suite into existence.


I’m Rubana, the head designer and owner of Crimson Letters, lavishly designed custom wedding invitations and stationery. If you’re looking just for inspiration, or for some rather special, unparalleled beautiful handmade, hand painted stationery for a special event, why not get in touch and have a quick chat? My email is or simply get in touch on my contact page.


Make your own wedding invitations



First of all I’d like to share my Portfolio page with you where you can see a range of moody designs that I love to create. To create a completely original, sophisticated design is really not that hard at all and if you are a relatively good designer. Believe me, you don’t have to be the best, epic, prolific design out there. If you have reasonable artistic skills – I’m here to show you how you can take your ideas and create your own wedding invitations at home. I will show you how I start and create an impactful, dramatic yet refined design around a core design.


Here are the contents:

  1. Make your own wedding invitations – It all starts with inspiration or imagery
  2. Create artwork based on your inspiration
  3. A strong foundation
  4. Let the designs sit – or not
  5. Think about crest design
  6. Love letter style invitation
  7. Using vellum to add lightness



1.  Make your own wedding invitations – It all starts with inspiration or imagery

Whenever I feel the creative urge come on, it’s usually due to some powerful imagery or inspiration that has utterly inspired me. Whether it’s some online imagery that I have found after some research, or whether it’s my own amateur photography from travelling around Europe, I always look for an original point of design to start from.


An editorial that I collaborated on in Algarve the south of Portugal, at the Estoi Palace, was the main focal point that I used to build my design out from.  The azulejos have long inspired me and it was about time that I set about using them to design something extra special.


Azulejos blue tiles for design inspiration

The above photograph is from an editorial in Portugal, which you can see here.  Photography Passionate Wedding


2. Create artwork based on your inspiration

To start the whole process to make your own wedding invitations, a strong design accent like azulejos is the best place to begin. Using the above azulejos, I set about with my watercolour artwork, building up layer upon layer, shade upon shade of gentle brushstrokes of paint until I had hand painted two full versions of a wall with Portuguese themed blue tiled illustrations. I carefully finished the watercolour artwork off with some gouache hand painted squares on top of the finished watercolour to represent the tile pattern, which you can see from the second image below.

For the third illustration (below) I focused on a close up detail for the blue watercolour design to add some depth to the overall design.



Blue Tiled Wall Watercolour - Azulejos watercolour copy

Azulejo Portugal - Blue Tile Illustration - Coworker Gift paint detail

Swirly detail of an Azulejos tile watercolour illustration

Watercolour illustrations above the property of Rubana, from Crimson Letters


3.  Make your own wedding invitations – a strong foundation

If you can bring in some strong design accents such as the illustrations that I have used above, it can give your wedding invitations quite a dynamic lift and really give it the basis upon which you can build the entire rest of the wedding stationery design upon. This is the starting point that I personally used and built and entirely new design around.


4. Let the designs sit

If you have the luxury of time, don’t be afraid to allow yourself time and let your core designs sit. If you don’t know what to do next, take some time! Personally, after I had invested the time into creating the above watercolours, I had a large client order come through and I no longer had the bandwidth to play around, develop new art pieces to complete my dream stationery suite. So, I simply let it sit and left those designs on the side as my passion project.

However, you might be able to carry straight on with the other core elements, so let me show you what to do next.


5. Think about crest design

Another essential element of design that you need to think about when it comes to homemade wedding invitations is crest design. A crest design is a decorative element that can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, see here for some examples.

I had previously created a new series of design work for a client. We had to go through so many design iterations, that I had lots of spare artwork in stock. It was based on a baroque, filigree sort of design. I thought, what a great starting point that would be to shape a new crest design.

Here it is below. For me, this curvy design aligned perfectly with the blue ornate azulejos watercolours that I had been developing above.


Crest Design inspiration to Make your own wedding invitations


Next, after scanning the design in, I played around with a mirrored images to see how the layout would unfold.

Crest design development for wedding invitations

Once, you have chosen the final layout, I printed this design straight out on to some beige paper that I had in stock. Before starting the next stage, I made sure that I added the wording in calligraphy first. Otherwise, if I made a mistake with the calligraphy I would have wasted all of that work adding gold ink to the crest design.


Once you have added the wording to your card (I preferred to opt for a love letter sort of an invitation). Following on, with a pencil I drew some leaves around the design so that in the end the crest design would be asymmetrical and continued with my calligraphy nib, using gold ink, slowly constructed the crest.





6. Make your own invitations with a love letter style invitation

Why go for a conventional small card invitation? I like to shake things up every now and then and this was one of those times! I was tired of seeing exactly the same shaped invitation time after time and felt as though I was on auto-repeat. It was time to do something slightly different and again – stand out from the crowd. I decided to go for a love letter style invitation, that was not only unconventional, but also this way I could have ample space to play with some editorial style calligraphy.


Gold wedding invitation crest design for a love letter style invite

Portuguese style wedding invitations for high end, intimate destination weddings



7. Using vellum to add lightness

Finally, I used vellum to bring a lighter feel and to add a refined touch to the stationery suite. I used the baroque black crest design from above to develop another crest design and added gold on top, as you can see below.


Azulejos blue tile artwork with gold filigree for a Portuguese themed destination wedding stationery suite



Here is the final collection that you can see here.



This article was created to give you some inspiration for your wedding stationery. At Crimson Letters I believe that we find inspiration in the beautiful world around us, I know I certainly do! That’s why everything I create is made with love and passion so that I can produce unique, bespoke wedding stationery that my couples will love.


Are you ready to get started on your luxury handmade wedding invitations suite? These intricate designs take some time to prepare, so if you’d like to work with me don’t delay! Email me at or get in touch here.



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