How to Create Affordable Japanese Paper Invitations

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charcoal, pink, and white layered bat Mitzvah invitation

Many of our customers would love to incorporate the rich colors, patterns, and quality of Japanese paper into their invitations, but often find it is too costly to fit within their budgets.

If you find yourself in this position, don’t be discouraged. There are ways to incorporate the beauty of Japanese paper into your invitations without breaking the bank. Because this paper is so rich in design, a little can go a long way. By layering small decorative portions, rather than larger sheets, you may be surprised to learn that you can achieve a similar look using much less paper. Read on to learn more, and for some creative suggestions to get you started.

How many invitation layers can I get from one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of Japanese paper?

The card pictured above is an example of a typical layered invitation which incorporates a decorative chiyogami layer; a very popular style.

The following components were used to create this card:

dimensions of layer components of three layer invitation

As seen above, the chiyogami layer measures 5 1/4 inches by 8 1/4 inches. If you were to create invitation cards similar to this one, you could cut two chiyogami layers from one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet, completing just two cards. See below.

2 chiyogami layers per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet:

two chiyogami invitation layers on one sheet

As you can imagine, making typical layered invitations like this, the cost of chiyogami would quickly add up. Although framing your invitation wording with eye catching color and pattern is certainly a great look, many find themselves wondering if it is worth the expense, especially when most of this costly paper will be hidden by the top invitation layer.

Save paper, save money – How can I create more invitations from one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet?

As mentioned above, there are many ways to use smaller portions of Japanese paper to tastefully decorate your invitations. Using less paper means spending less money.

Here are some basic examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Layer in a single strip

Instead of framing invitation wording with a full 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 layer, try running a single strip down one side of the invitation, as pictured below.

The strip on this invitation measures 1 1/2 inches wide x 8 1/2 inches long, fitting the length of the card

Although less chiyogami is being used, there is still enough bright color and pattern present to draw the eye to this card.

invitation layered with chiyogami strip

How many strips can I cut from an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet?

As illustrated in the graphic below:

7 strips per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet

cut strips from 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of chiyogami

Remember, using the full 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 layer described above, you could only get 2 invitations per sheet, not 7. When it comes to making 25, 50, 100 invitations, that’s a difference that really adds up!

Experiment with strip size and location

Remember to experiment with strip width, length, and placement to find the look you prefer. You may find that horizontal strips, diagonal strips, or even multiple strips can create a look you love.

An example of a invitation decorated with three strips of Japanese pearlized paper is shown below.

invitation with three strips of pearlized paper

Note: This invitation was paired with a matching DIY lined envelope.

Layer in decorative squares

Instead of 1 1/2 inch strips, you could also create 1 1/2 inch squares as a unique way of framing invitation wording. See below.

invitation layered with 2 chiyogami squares

How many 1 1/2 inch squares can I get from one 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet?

As illustrated in the graphic below:

35 squares per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet – that’s 17 invitations per sheet!

cut squares from 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of chiyogami

Remember to experiment with square size, placement, and number to find the look you love.

Can you think of a creative way to decorate invitations with a conservative amount of Japanese paper? Post a comment and tell us about it!

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One Comment

  1. Winifred Walker says:

    Instead of placing the 1.5″ strip under the invite “card” , shift the lettering to the right and put the strip over the left edge of the card.