How to Design Printable Birthday Party Invitations for Teens

How to Make Your Own Birthday Invitations

Mother and daughter using laptop together at home
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Your teen's birthday is approaching and it is time to plan the party. One of the first things you need to do is send out invitations and they are very easy and fun to create at home on the computer.

Why You Should Send Printed Birthday Invitations

We live in the digital age and it is very easy to invite all of your guests online. You could use email, a Facebook event page or even have your teen send out a text to their friends. That is the easy way, but it is also impersonal!

There is still something special about sending an invitation in the mail. It is nice for the teen guests to receive their own 'snail mail' and adds a personal touch to the invite.

Also, it is easy for e-invites to get lost in the digital landscape and the event can be forgotten. With a printed invite, the teen and their parents have a hard copy to post on their bulletin board or refrigerator as a reminder of the fun event that is coming up.

Printed cards are a novelty today and this is one way to make your teen's birthday party stand out.

Set the Party Theme With the Invitation

Theme parties are a ton of fun and kids of all ages will love planning a party with a theme that fits their personality. The printed invitation is the perfect way to set the stage and all it takes is adding the right graphics.

When printing your own birthday party invitations, you have control. Here are a few ideas for popular party themes.

  • Sports Themed Party - Add a graphic of a football, soccer ball or your kid's favorite sport. There are many free images and graphics available online for any sport.
  • Shop 'til You Drop Party - Include some clipart of designer shopping bags. Do a search for 'shopping graphics' and you will find some fun and funky options available.
  • Groovy 60's Blast from the Past Party -  Get all hippie on the invitations, using tie-dyed paper and add peace signs and flowers in groovy colors.

What to Include in Birthday Invitations

Mother and daughter using laptop together at home
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Birthday invitations are very easy to create on your computer and many software programs have templates available that will help you with the initial layout. All you need to do is add a graphic or picture and fill in the essential information.

Essentials to Include in the Birthday Invitation

Every party invitation needs to include four basic pieces of information:

  1. What
    • Is it a birthday party? It seems obvious, but be clear that this is a birthday party for your teenager and include how old they will be.
    • Do you have a theme? If you have set a special theme, let guests know. Also, be sure to inform them if it is a pool party or at another special venue. It will help them decide how to dress and prepare for the occasion.
  2. Who
    • This is another obvious point, but don't overlook it. Include your teen's name.
    • Include your name, email and phone number as well. This lets other parents can know that they contact you with any questions. Include this line in a discreet location with words like: "For more information or if you have questions, call me..."
  3. Where
    • Will the party be at your home or are your renting a venue?
    • Include the address so parents know where to drop off their teen.
  4.  When
    • Include the date and time of the birthday party.
    • Be sure to include both the start and end times of the party. This will help parents know when to pick their teen up.

A Few Tips for Your Invitations

  • Double check all of the information! It is easy to overlook a simple mistake in the date and time or even the address. Have your teen or spouse proofread it as well.
  • Include any special instructions. For a pool party or one with water games, teens will need to bring swimwear. If the party is at the mall, where will you meet the guests? Do you expect the guests to match their clothing to the theme or dress up in a costume?
  • Ask for an RSVP. Set up a Facebook event page (and include the link) or ask parents to email you whether their teen can attend or not. Include a date you would like to receive it by. This is essential for your planning and will make the event easier on you.
  • Send them 6 weeks out. It is proper etiquette to send any party invitation at least six weeks in advance. This gives busy teens a chance to mark the party on their calendar and RSVP. 
  • Print on cardstock. Cardstock is a heavier paper than the average sheets you run through the inkjet printer. It is available in many colors and designs, folds well and is perfect for cards.

Personalize the Design of Your Teen's Birthday Invites

Cherry Blossoms Sweet 16 Birthday party Invitation Template
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Once you have the basic information gathered for the birthday invitations, it is time to add a personal style. This is the fun part!

Choose a Graphic or Photo

Work with your teen to find and choose a great graphic or photo to include on the face of the card. They are probably great at finding cool images and should have a say in what they want the card to look like.

Image Size

Be sure that the image or graphic is not too small for printing. Many graphics that are online are low resolution and may not look good on paper. When you find one you like, do a test print to make sure it is the right size for your card.

Set the Theme

Use the graphic to set the theme for the party. A pair of swim flippers or a lifeguard ring instantly tells the invited guests that it is a pool party. Likewise, a bunch of roses or a tiara will indicate that this is a fancy affair and a soccer ball will tell them that the party has a sports theme.

The image will set the stage for the party and you can elaborate on the details inside the card.

The Invitation Layout

Creating a folded invitation is easy and is a traditional invitation layout. For a more modern flair, consider designing your card on a single page without a fold.

The Traditional Folded Card

  • Use your feature image or graphic on the front of the card. Leave a blank border around it and show off that fancy paper you chose.
  • Include the details (who, what, where, etc.) on the inside.
  • Add hand-written notes from your teen opposite the printed party details. A metallic marker is fun for this and it adds a personal touch.
  • Depending on your template, you should be able to fit two single-folded cards on one letter-sized sheet of cardstock paper.

The Modern Card

This is a fun design and can best be described as having the look of a restaurant's drink menu. Everything is one side of the card and no folding is needed. It looks great on really fancy papers!

  • Include your chosen graphic in the header and add long, simple graphics (party streamers and balloons or vines and roses) along the sides.
  • Use the center section to type all of the party details. Choose large fonts for a catch phrase like "It's Party Time!"
  • Depending on the template, you may get two or four invitations on a single letter-sized sheet of cardstock.

Print Your Cards and Mail Them

Once you are happy with your design, print one out as a test. When you are happy with that, print out the entire batch.

  1. Have your teen help you cut and fold the cards.
  2. Encourage them to include handwritten notes. Even "Hope you can come!" is a nice addition.
  3. Address and stamp the envelopes, insert the invites and take a trip to the mailbox.

Congratulations! You have just created a special invitation to your teen's birthday party and saved money by doing it yourself! Now, enjoy the rest of the party planning experience!

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