Announce your teen's birthday with a handmade invitation.

Homemade Invitations for a Teenager's Birthday

by Erica Loop

Whether you're announcing your child's entry into the teen years, it's her "sweet 16" or she is celebrating any other something-teen birthday, store-bought invitations can get pricey and seem impersonal. Instead of choosing a ready-made invite, you can work together with your teen to create specialized stationery that is specific to your child and her event.

1. Printables

While you might think of printables as a "little kid" activity, you can use a more mature type of downloadable page to make an invitation. Free printable invitation websites, such as Invitationland or FreePrintable.com, allow you to choose a template, insert your own custom text and print the pages onto your own selection of paper. If you have the budget to pay a membership fee -- which will also entitle you to download and print other cards later -- websites such as American Greetings offer a slightly more professional look, but still allow you to customize your creation.

2. Photo Invitations

Make your teen's party invitations truly personal with a fancy photo card. Create your own photo birthday invite by printing a photo of your teen onto an 8-by-10-inch piece of white card stock and folding it in half. Format the page so that the photo is only on one side of the paper. If not, when you fold it in half, you will most likely cut the picture down the middle. You can hand write, add calligraphy, stamp or print wording onto the front -- under or above the photo -- and into the middle of the card. Another option is to add your teen's photo to a ready-made design template on a website such as Shutterfly. This more professional-looking option still allows you to completely customize your invitation, but does also mean spending a fee per printed page.

3. Create Your Own Computer-Based Template

Instead of going with a ready-made template, your teen can use a word processing program to make his own design. Choose a font, size and color for the wording. Help your teen to format the invitation and let him type it up himself. Make a full-page invitation, use a half-page format to fold in half or make smaller half-page front-only invitations that fit two to each printed sheet. Add in clip art or a themed border to complete the homemade craft.

4. Artsy Invitations

Teens who have an artsy edge may enjoy hand-crafting their own drawn or painted invitations. If your paint-loving teen has a flair for water colors, cut pieces of thick water color paper -- you can buy this at most arts or crafts supply stores -- into postcard-sized pieces. Have your teen draw a picture on the front with a pencil, going with a theme that fits her birthday bash. She can hand-paint each invitation for an individualized look. After the paint dries, flip the card over and add the party information on the back with a pen. Teens who are art enthusiasts, but don't have the technical skills to draw or paint their own birthday scene onto an invitation, can create a more abstract type of card. Your teen can paint a modern-looking color block print onto the front or splatter paints onto the front ala Jackson Pollock.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images