Begin with plain, heavy parchment papers. Baroque or floral border trimming also works. Medieval colors were generally rich and robust; think of the forest greens and the falun reds in the works of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Paint dyes came from the natural hues of plant materials; look at a Hieronymus Bosch masterpiece for samples of the blues, browns, or pinks that will make great paper or ink colors.
Next comes the computer part. Don’t be intimidated by the term “desktop publishing." It simply means using whatever computer software program that’s available to create graphics on paper.
If you have Microsoft Word, open Word. Click on File and from the list of choices select New. In older versions of Word, a window will open that shows you your template choices. In newer versions, a sidebar will pop open on the right-hand side of your screen; look for Templates and then choose On My Computer. Look for a greeting card template, and use that if one is available.
If it’s not available, just open a blank page on Word. Click on File and from the list of choices select Page Setup. A box will pop open with tabs for Margins, Paper, and Layout. Go to the Margins tab. Change the Top margin to 6.5 inches. That’s necessary because your paper will be 11 inches long, you will be folding your invitation halfway down that page at 5.5 inches. The extra inch guarantees that your wording will be spaced away from the top fold of the card you are creating.
You can also use the template for the brochure that folds into thirds. If you are unable to find matching #10 parchment envelopes, use a heavy, creamy paper. You can even put colorful paper inserts into the envelopes and glue them to the flaps before you add your invitations and response cards.
If money is no object, print the invitation on the full sheet of parchment paper, roll it up, tie it with cotton lace, and mail it in a tube!
Microsoft Publisher is another popular desktop application. Just open it, choose New, and you will find a template called Greeting Card. Adobe Photoshop also offers easy help.