Ever been planning a great event, and you just can’t find a decent invitation without paying a fortune? In this tutorial I will be showing you how to use a variety of techniques to create your very own professional, custom party invitations.
Version: CS or Higher
Estimated Completion Time: 1-2 Hours
Final Image Preview:
PSD File: invites_template.psd
Stock Images: Texture, Envelope, Skyline, WineGlass, Beer Glass, Approved Stamp, Streamers
Fonts: Futura Light BT, Futura XBlk BT, Daisy Script, Lucida Handwriting
PSD File: invites_tut.psd
First download the template file. Upon opening this you will see there are three columns. The document represents an A4 sheet of paper. Each column represents one invitation. So when we are finished you will be printing three invites per page.
We will be using the centre column. For no reason other than your workspace is not as limited. Start by creating a new layer, name it invite and draw a rectangle in the centre column with the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), leaving a reasonable border. Fill it with colour using the Paint Bucket Tool.
Download a texture to apply to the invitation. www.imageafter.com have a massive library of royalty free textures. I chose this one. Paste it into your document and shrink it to a managable size using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T / Ctrl+T). Duplicate this layer, then position the two textures one above the other. This is to cover a larger area but keep the pattern small. Cmd+Click (Right-Click) the duplicated layer and choose Merge Down. Name the layer “Texture”.
Cmd-Click (Right-Click) the Texture Layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. This will make our pattern fit our invite. A Clipping Mask means the layer you have selected will only show up on what is on the layer underneath it.
Next we will be creating somewhere for our photographs to go. Create a new layer. Call it “Upright Separator”. Choose the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and draw a narrow rectangle down one side of your invite.
Fill it with White. The problem with this is it blends into the background so we cannot see where it is overlapping the sides of the invite. So i filled my background with a different colour for now. I chose Green as this will not conflict with my Purple colour scheme.
Again cmd-Click the layer and create a Clipping Mask. Then rotate it counter-clockwise slightly using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T).
Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options and apply a drop shadow to the Layer.
Create a new layer and name it “SideBar”. Fill the layer with a colour, I used #181d26 which is a really dark (almost black) blue. and again make it a Clipping Mask. Don’t panic when it seems to wipe everything we have just done.
With the SideBar Layer still selected, hold down cmd and click the thumbnail of the Upright Separator Layer. This should highlight the upright selection. Then choose Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection. This will make our Upright Separator show through from the layer below.
Next, with the layer mask selected, choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) drag a rectangle roughly the side of the blue section to the right of the Upright Separator. Cmd+Click (Right-Click) inside the this selection and choose “Transform Selection”. Then rotate and move it to fit the entire right hand side and press Return.
Making sure your Layer Mask is selected, fill the selection with Black and the Wallpaper Texture should show through once more.
Create a new layer and name it “White Box”. Again make it a Clipping Mask and drag it below the “Upright Separator” Layer. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw a rectangle over your Texture and fill it with White.
Now we are going to have to start and think of a colour scheme. I am going to go with Pink and Purple. Just because they are typical girl colours, and I am making my particular invite for a girl. When you have decided create a new layer above the White Box layer. Name it “Top Separator”. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw a rectangle just overlapping the top of the White Box slightly.
Fill the rectangle with a colour, it does not matter which colour you choose because we will be applying a gradient overlay. Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Select Gradient Overlay, and choose a Pink to White gradient. Also choose Bevel & Emboss. Set them to the settings below.
Rotate your Top Separator slightly clockwise using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T / Ctrl + T).
Download the picture of the Envelope. Paste it in above the White Box Layer and name the layer Envelope 1. Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T / Ctrl+T) to resize and rotate it into position.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Tick the box that says ‘Colorize’ and make your envelope a yellowy colour. Click OK
Next, choose Image > Adjustments > Levels. Edit the input in the left hand box to darken your envelope.
Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. Then click the thumbnail of the envelope (not the layer mask we have just created), Use the Magic Wand Tool (W). Set the tolerance to 30 and click just off to one side of the yellow envelope to highlight the white background that came with the image. Click back onto the layer mask and fill the selection with black to remove it. This will stop the white poking out the top of our Top Seperator.
Now simply duplicate the Envelope Layer, call it Envelope 2 and use the Free Transform Tool to position it. NOTE: Sometimes duplicating a layer can remove Clipping Masks from the levels above the duplicate. Simply Cmd-Click (Right-Click) each of the layers and create the clipping masks once more if this happens.
Next we need to add some text to our invite. I have used a font called Futura XBlk BT. Type the name of the Birthday Boy/Girl and choose a size that goes from one side of the invite to the other. In my case this is 43pt.
Now, choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. We are going to add a Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Bevel & Emboss and a Gradient Overlay.
And it should look something like…
Next Duplicate the layer. Again choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options and change the settings to the following.
This will give the text a shiny almost iPhone type effect.
Ok now we need to actually state what the invitation is for. Choose a font, I chose Daisy Script. Type “is turning X” with X representing how old the person is. I have went for 21 as these are usually pretty big events worthy of such a high class invitation.
Again choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Add a Drop Shadow, Outer Glow, Gradient Overlay and a Stroke using the following settings.
Now we are starting to have something resembling a party invitation.
Now we will add some photographs. This will totally create a custom feel to our invitations. Choose a photograph you like and paste it into a new layer above our “is turning x” layer. Name the layer Photo1. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to crop your image and get it to a size (using the Free Transform Tool Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) where it will fit nicely into our sidebar.
Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. Now we have to unlink the layer mask from the photograph, simply click the chain in between the two thumbnails.
Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and draw a rectangle around your photo, ensuring you remain clear of the edge of the invite, the text and the white upright. Then, Cmd-Click/Right-Click this selection and choose Transform Selection.
Cmd-Click/Right-Click the selection again and choose Distort. You can now drag the right hand edge to fit the taper of the White Upright. you can also put a chamfer on the bottom edge, but leave the top and left hand edges square.
Now set your Background Colour to Black (Hit D to default to Black and White, then hit X to swap them round) and, making sure you have the Layer Mask selected, hit Delete. Now you have your photograph shaped to fit, the cool thing about un-linking the Layer Mask is you can drag the layer around, leaving the mask in the same place. So you can choose the exact bit of the photograph you want in the window.
Now, im a big fan of vivid colour. So click on the thumbnail of Photo1 (Not the Layer Mask) and choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. Immediately after, choose Edit > Fade Desaturate. Set the levels to around 70%. This will put a little bit of colour back into the Black and White photo.
Next choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options and add a grey Stroke to the Photo.
Repeat Step 10 for a few more photos to fill up the Side Bar. It is now also ok to chamfer the top edges, so that they appear to fit together. Square off the bottom edge on the last photo.
Next add a new layer and name it Date. Use the Text Tool (T) and type out the date of your party. Use the font Futura Light BT. Select Window > Character and change the horizontal spacing to around 350.
Create a new layer below the text, name it “Date Box” and draw in a rectangle around the date using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Fill it with Grey (#363636).
Change the colour of the text to white.
Create a new layer above the Date Layer and call it Time. Use the Text Tool (T) and write the time your party starts and finishes.
Create a new layer below Time and call it Time Box. Again create a rectangle using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (T). Fill it with colour. I used Purple (#440e62). Again change the text colour to show it against the dark background.
Create a new layer above Time and call it Venue. Type the name and address of the venue.
Again create a new layer calling it “Venue Box” and position it under Venue. Draw a rectangle behind it, but this time fill it with a slightly different colour. I used #8560a9
Change your text to contrast the purple again.
Create a new layer above Venue and call it “Dress Code”. Add a line of text stating how you would like your guests to dress.
Create a new layer below Dress Code and call it “Dress Code Box”. Fill it with the same colour as the Time Box.
Create a new layer above Dress Code and call it “RSVP”. With the text tool you can write it as R.S.V.P, but I prefer to write it as Répondez s’il vous plaît as it looks a bit more classy for this type of invite. Change the font to something calligraph. I chose Lucida Handwriting.
Create a new layer below RSVP and call it “RSVP Highlight”. Create your rectangle and fill it with red (#9e0b0f).
Now create another Layer below this and name it “RSVP By”. Write in a means of contact such as a Phone Number.
Again create a new layer and call it “RSVP By Box” and draw your rectangle in. Fill it with the same colour as Venue Box. Finally, change your text colour to contrast.
Now we will throw in some horizontal separators between each of the boxes to break them up a bit.
Create a new layer above the Upright Separator Layer. Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and draw a horizontal separator. Fill it with White.
Duplicate the layer several times and position a divide between each box we made. Remember to re-apply the clipping mask to the SideBar as it will probably be removed when you duplicate the Horizontal Separator Layer. Also, do not place a divide between the red and purple of the RSVP as we want this information boxed up together.
Choose Horizontal Separator Copy 6 and holding down shift choose the original Horizontal Separator. This will highlight all the layers we have just made. cmd-Click and choose Merge Layers.
Next cmd-Click the Horizontal Separator Layer and choose Merge Down. This will merge it into our Upright Separator layer and will apply the drop shadow to the new separators we have just made.
Create a new layer above the RSVP By Layer and name it Footer Box. Draw a rectangle like we did earlier and fill it with the same colour as Dress Code and Time.
Download the image of the Skyline Silhouette and paste it in above the Footer Box Layer. Name the layer Skyline1 and use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) to shrink it down and move it into place.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Tick the Colorize box and make your skyline a dark purple colour.
Duplicate the layer and name it Skyline2. Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate to make the image black and white. Shrink it slightly and position it using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T).
Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options and add a 1 pixel white stroke to the Skyline2 Layer.
As you can see there is a part of a sky scraper sticking through into our RSVP section. Simply erase this using the Eraser Tool (E).
The envelopes are looking a bit bare. So we will add some more images to liven things up a bit.
Download the image of the Wine Glass. There are plenty of images around on Google etc that you can use, you don’t have to buy the one i am using. Just for tutorial purposes I must use Royalty Free Photographs. Paste it into your document above the Envelope2 Layer. Name the Layer Wine Glass. Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) to position it where you can see it.
Set the Blend Mode to Multiply.
Download the image of the Beer Glass. Paste it in above the Wine Glass Layer and name the layer Beer Glass.
Choose the Magic Wand Tool (W). Set the Tolerance to 10 and select the white around the Beer Glass. Hit delete to remove it.
After this move the wineglass down to hit the Horizontal Separator, as the reflection of the Beer Glass makes the wine glass look out of place.
Download the image of the Approved Stamp. Paste it in above the Envelope 2 Layer. Name the Layer Approved.
Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to about 40%. Then Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) to Resize and Position it.
Download the Streamers picture. Open it in photoshop and choose the Magic Wand Tool (W). Set the Tolerance to 50 and remove the Black Background.
Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool (T). Draw a rectangle over the area to the right of the 2009 balloon and choose Edit > Copy.
Return to our invite and Paste in above the Approved Layer. Name the layer “Streamers”. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and shrink it down using the Free Transform Tool.
Use the eraser tool and remove any overlap above the pink separator
Select the Texture Layer. We need to make it look a bit sharper. Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Levels. Change the left hand value to around 50.
Next choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Tick the colorize box and change the values to make the background purple to go with the rest of our theme.
Create a new layer above the SideBar Layer. Make sure it is NOT a clipping mask like the layers below it. Cmd-Click/Right-Click the layer and choose Release Clipping Mask, or drag the layer above the next layer up and back down to release it. Using the Text Tool (T) write the age of the Birthday Boy/Girl, in my case 21, using the font Futura Xblk BT. Set the font size to 100.
Choose Window > Character and set the Horizontal Spacing to -100.
Using the Free Transform Tool rotate the 21 and position it slightly behind the name on the invite.
Select the texture layer, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw a large rectangle and choose Edit Copy.
Paste the layer in above our 21. Name it “21 Texture”.
Cmd-Click/Right-Click the layer and choose Create Clipping Mask.
Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) and resize the 21 Texture.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Levels. Slide the right arrow to the left to increase the white in the pattern.
Cmd-Click/Right-Click the thumbnail on the original 21 layer and choose Select Pixels.
Choose Select > Modify > Contract. Set the value to 20 and hit ok.
Next choose Select > Inverse. Make sure you have the 21 Texture Layer selected and choose Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection.
Use the Text Tool (T) and select the original 21 layer. Highlight the text and change the colour to White.
Choose Layer > Adjustments > Blending Options and apply a 5 pixel Black Stroke to the 21 Layer.
Do the same to the 21 Texture Layer.
The Name looks a bit too Transparent now. So duplicate the Name Layer. Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Uncheck the Drop Shadow.
Choose the Custom Shape Tool from the Tool Bar.
Choose Shape, the the small Arrow, followed by All. Then find the 5 Point Star.
Create a new layer right at the top of our Layers Pallet. Call it Star 1. Drag out a Star Shape. Hold down the Shift key to constrain the proportions.
Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Add a Gradient Overlay.
Also add a 3px Black Stroke.
Duplicate this Layer several times. Use the Free Transform Tool to Rotate and Resize your stars into place.
Stick your logo on the bottom left and your done with the design.
For printing purposes we must now clone this entire invitation into each of the three columns. So create a New Group and call it Centre. Choose the very top layer of your invite, hold down shift and choose the very bottom layer (Not including the Background Layer). Drag these into the Centre Folder.
Cmd-Click/Right-Click the Centre Folder and choose Duplicate Group. Call the duplicate Left. Drag the invite into the left hand column.
Duplicate it once more and call it Right. Drag this into the right hand column and you are ready to print.
Remember to delete your Background Layer – or fill it with White before your print or it will print an entire sheet of A4 green.
Thank you for taking the time to check out this tutorial. Please leave comments and suggestions below.