In-store stationery can be purchased with the assistance of on-site consultants, who will help you navigate the various template designs. Many retailers offer free proofs so you can catch mistakes; others charge $5 to $20 per proof. Be sure to ask for a few extra envelopes (in case you make an error when addressing).
Online stationery often comes in styles your neighborhood shop may not carry. After choosing a pattern, type in your wording (before you hit "Purchase," make sure to spell-check). If you're worried about judging colors on-screen, request paper-and-ink samples; many companies will send them for free. If you'd like to do the printing yourself, opt for imprintables (sold at many online outlets), which are blank, predesigned invitations that can be made at home on your computer and printer.
Shown counterclockwise from upper left:
Personal Calling Cards by Felix Doolittle
Select from 144 designs. Rounded edges.
To buy: $50 for 40, felixdoolittle.com.
Little Fish Birth Announcements by Linda & Harriett
Shown in orange and sea blue; custom colors available. Soy ink.
To buy: Unfortunately, this product is no longer available.
Espadrille Bright Note Pads by Boatman Geller
To buy: $9, boatmangeller.com.
Blossom Folded Notes by Carrot & Stick Press
Envelopes are printed with the return address.
To buy: Unfortunately, this design is no longer available. Find similar designs at carrotstickpress.com.
Still on the lookout for the perfect cards? Find even more personal stationery options.