Easy DIY Wedding Programs Tutorial

By Amanda Colyer

diy program fan tutorial

For our DIY Wedding programs, I wanted to keep it simple and inexpensive, but still provide my guests with some entertainment. I decided on fan programs — with a fun twist — after seeing some great examples on the web.

diy wedding programs materials

Materials for DIY Wedding Programs:
– A2 sized folded cards (or card stock cut to size and folded)
Golf pencils , pre-drilled with holes wide enough for ribbon to pass through
Popsicle sticks , also pre-drilled
– Scissors
– Needle with a large eye
Corner Rounder Punch
– Thin ribbon
– Double Sided Tape

Note: A2 is a great size because there’s room for content, but they’re not so big that they’re floppy. If you go with a different size, make sure that when folded, the programs will be sturdy enough to write on.

Designing my programs was a snap with Microsoft Word. On the front, I put the basics – names, ceremony details, and bird graphics to match our wedding theme. To jazz up the back, I came up with three wedding related games for our guests to play while they waited for the ceremony to start: a Mad Lib, a fill-in-the-blank, and a word search.

diy wedding programs back

diy wedding programs back

diy wedding programs tutorials

I had tons of ideas for games that I ran out of time to use. How about a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, maze, or connect the dots?

Once you’ve designed your programs (making sure to fit the card dimensions), print the front and back onto the outside of the cards. I used my regular ink jet printer and had no problems.

To start assembling, open up a card and put double stick tape on three sides.

diy wedding programs

Then put double stick tape on both sides of a popsicle stick, covering about half of the stick. Center on the card and press in place.

diy wedding programs

Close the card, pressing to seal the edges.

diy wedding programs fan

Using the corner rounder punch, carefully round all four corners.

diy wedding programs fan

Cut a piece of ribbon that, when halved, is long enough to reach from the end of the popsicle stick to the end of the pencil, while still allowing enough slack to write on the program.

diy wedding programs fan

Thread the halved ribbon through the hole in the popsicle stick.

diy wedding programs fan

Use a lark’s head knot to secure.

diy wedding programs fan

Thread the two cut ends of the ribbon of the ribbon through a golf pencil.

diy wedding fan programs

Knot the ends to secure, then trim.

wedding program fans

Here’s the back of a finished program. Word search, anyone?

wedding program fans

And the finished stack of about 50 wedding programs.

diy wedding program fans

Our guests loved them! I had people coming up to me during the reception to read me their wedding Mad Libs. We got such a kick out of the reactions to these programs — I’m really glad I took the time to do them. They were quick and easy to put together, and total cost ended up being around $25 for 50 programs. The hardest part was drilling holes in the pencils and popsicle sticks. I’m dangerous around power tools, so my husband very nicely did them for me. And isn’t helping each other what marriage is all about?

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84 Comments  |  Filed Under: DIY Wedding, DIY Wedding Programs

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  1. Posted by myDIYweddingday on April 28th, 2009 at 12:32pm

    Oh, these are adorable! So much fun and I love the combo fan/program. Linked to it on my blog...
  2. Posted by Kenesha on May 23rd, 2009 at 5:43pm

    I came across your DIY program and I loved the idea of it. It's taking me sometime to put mine together. Can you tell me the font and letter size that you used? I love them but can't seem to locate it on my computer.
    Thank you
  3. Posted by Brooklyn on June 17th, 2009 at 12:05am

    KUDOS!!! These look amazing! You deserve a huge pat on the back for helping other brides like me who aren't as creative!!
  4. Posted by Stephanie on June 17th, 2009 at 11:21pm

    Love this idea!! I'm always looking for small ways to entertain my guests. Could you tell which font or template you used in Word to create these? How did you get your bird graphics? Thanks!
  5. Posted by Carrie on June 28th, 2009 at 11:57am

    Might we possibly get a template? I am not nearly as design savvy as I need to be to design this.
  6. Posted by Kehinde on July 6th, 2009 at 1:27pm

    Was this 80lb cover stock? I'm concerned they wont be heavy enough to keep my guest cool. Thanks!
  7. Posted by kirstin on July 6th, 2009 at 3:15pm

    This is LOVELY! I will be linking later this month... :)
  8. Posted by Taylor on July 14th, 2009 at 1:16pm

    This is amazing. It has so many functions. A program, an activity to keep them busy, and a fan to keep them cool. I love it and am definitely going to use it. What is the template on word? I cant find the A2. I might be able to use what card stock I buy and just match the measurments. I am very excited about this! Thanks!
  9. Posted by stephanie on July 18th, 2009 at 9:57am

    i'm going got be making some programs like this for a friend-where did you get the large popsicle sticks?
  10. Posted by Maria on July 21st, 2009 at 10:10pm

    this is fabulous! i'm planning a relatives wedding and in the process of making programs... where can i get the box of pencils and popsicle sticks? also, can i actually buy a pile of A2 paper? and from where?
  11. Posted by jess on July 22nd, 2009 at 11:10am

    oooh, the madlib/fan combo is SUCH a cute idea.
  12. Posted by Christina on July 22nd, 2009 at 9:48pm

    Here are some answers from Amanda re: the programs:

    "I believe it was 80 lb cardstock. The popsicle stick helps to reinforce it and keep it from flopping. Unfortunately, I don't have a template made up for these. The popsicle sticks and folded cards were both from Jo Ann's. The pencils were from an online golf store. If you look around, there are a few places like that to get them. The fonts I used were Lainie Day (free for download, just do a Google search), and Verdana, and I'm not sure what sizes I used."
  13. Posted by Maeghan on July 29th, 2009 at 6:52am

    I already have 2 templates made - the Mad Libs and a word search! The fill in the blank is going to be the hardest. I had to make some changes, however. We don't have too much time, so I am actually skipping the popsicle stick. The cardstock is actually heavy enough on its own, once folded over. And, I am securing the pencil in the knot created when I thread the ribbon through.
    Thanks for such a great idea! Our theme is actually brown and green (with a touch of pink), and we are even using birds! Awesome!
  14. Posted by Candice on August 5th, 2009 at 1:40pm

    This is such an amazing idea and I want to do it for my wedding. Is there a template for this by chance that you can share? If so, please send it to my email... cedmo@catocorp.com.

    Thanks so much!!!!!
  15. Posted by Christina on August 5th, 2009 at 9:41pm

    Sorry Candice, there is no template.
  16. Posted by vicki on August 15th, 2009 at 9:20pm

    I love this! What a great idea for programs on hot day!
  17. Posted by Tee Green on August 29th, 2009 at 4:01pm

    This is absolutely different and doable! I am the mother of the bride and I've helped out to the tune of making 75 beach themed invites, so I may as well finish it out with the programs...great job! I love it!
  18. Posted by Christina on August 30th, 2009 at 9:02pm

    Thanks for your comment Tee Green! Let me know how they turn out!
  19. Posted by Miami Bride on September 16th, 2009 at 7:27pm

    Really loved the idea, but since my wedding is in the winter, really no need for a fan. But I did borrow the idea of a word find in my program. Thank you for the great ideas.....

  20. Posted by Veronica on October 26th, 2009 at 1:33pm

    The programs are great! Where did you find the bird graphics? Love them!
  21. Posted by Christina on November 1st, 2009 at 10:10pm

    I will look into this Veronica.
  22. Posted by Julia Speer on January 5th, 2010 at 9:00am

    I need clarification on the A2 card reference above. In word, my daughter has designed two separate pages. How does that print as A2? My printer has A4, A5, A6, and B5.
    Please help!
  23. Posted by crystal on March 7th, 2010 at 3:51pm

    I have looked online and I cannot find the golf pencils online do you have the website you ordered off of?
  24. Posted by Christina on March 9th, 2010 at 11:35am

    Hi Crystal,

    Amazon.com com has them. Go the section in the post where it says Materials for DIY wedding programs and you will see a link to "Golf pencils" which will take you to the amazon listing.
  25. Posted by Sarah on March 20th, 2010 at 10:05pm

    How did you make the mad lib in word? I'm having a hard time fitting the part of speech under the lines and making it look right.
  26. Posted by Claire on May 9th, 2010 at 12:23pm

    What a creative idea. I love it. It has been years since I have tried a mad lib but remember them fondly. So much fun.
  27. Posted by Marsha on May 9th, 2010 at 12:27pm

    I am also having a hard time figuring out the paper size and printing. Did you purchase the paper already folded as a card and which paper setting on your printer did you use to create the fan? These are a great idea!
  28. Posted by Anastasia on May 18th, 2010 at 2:23pm

    Hi All,

    Just an FYI: We're doing this for our wedding also, but I'm going to make them a bit bigger than the A2s. Pencils were bought at staples - $7 for 200. The popsicle sticks I found at a hobby store in downtown Boston for $3 for 80. My backup plan was to get the tongue depressers from a medical supply store.

    Also - this is where I found a template:
    by Aylee (www.ayleebits.com)

    There are a few different shapes to choose from.

    Good luck!
  29. Posted by Heather on May 23rd, 2010 at 6:53pm

    I am getting ready to borrow this idea for our programs. I love it!!
    I can't seem to figure out how to make the puzzles. The only puzzle makers I can find online don't look dood at all. Please help!!
  30. Posted by Caitlin on May 25th, 2010 at 11:54am

    I really love this idea! I am curious to know which fonts you used.
  31. Posted by Meghan on May 28th, 2010 at 3:08am

    Anyone have any tips on how to make the madlibs? I can't figure out how to put the noun, verd, etc. under the blank line.
  32. Posted by Norma H on May 31st, 2010 at 11:39am

    I absolutely love this idea!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us DIY brides!
  33. Posted by amy on June 8th, 2010 at 11:47am

    love this idea! only 2 weeks left, though, 'til our wedding! would you be willing to send me the template?
  34. Posted by Krystel on June 10th, 2010 at 2:07pm

    I absolutely LOVE this! I'm working on our programs right now. Actually, we're doing a bird theme and I *REALLY* want those two images you used! Any chance you can share them or link to where you found them?!
  35. Posted by Andrea on June 16th, 2010 at 11:34am

    Hi Amanda!
    What did you use to make the games on the back of the programs? They are so adorable, but I have no idea how to do that!

  36. Posted by Kate on June 16th, 2010 at 4:27pm

    I echo some of the comments above - how did you put the word forms underneath the blank line? I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do this!
  37. Posted by Ynette on June 18th, 2010 at 1:08am

    This is the cutest thing. I can likely do the fan part, not sure about the crossword puzzle and other games. I'm sure if I searched I could find which template you used. Great ideas though!
  38. Posted by KeyWestKelly on June 26th, 2010 at 9:04pm

    OMG! I flippin love this. I'm getting married in October on the beach in Key West & these will be perfect! What size drill bit did your husband use to drill the pencils & were they circle or the hexagon shaped? Also, how did you design the word search & madlibs with noun, adj, etc under the lines?
  39. Posted by Lindsey on July 21st, 2010 at 5:20pm

    LOVE this! Thanks for the idea! But where in the world can we find Popsicle sticks and pencils with holes? Or are they all hand-drilled?
  40. Posted by Christina on July 21st, 2010 at 6:01pm

    Lindsey, you need to drill them yourself.
  41. Posted by Lindsey on July 21st, 2010 at 7:00pm

    Thanks! A wedding project the Fiance will enjoy!
  42. Posted by caley on November 15th, 2010 at 1:39pm

    Love this idea! Any way you have a temeplate you can email me?? I would greatly appreacite it!
  43. Posted by RobbieLee on December 5th, 2010 at 10:22pm

    How fun! It's a great way to keep guests entertained before the ceremony begins!
  44. Posted by Amy on May 3rd, 2011 at 2:09pm

    What does your front say.. that's the hardest thing.. i can't seem to figure out if i'm putting what SHOULD be on there on there without cluttering it.. i love yours.. plain & simple & it looks like it's short & to the point.. Could you possibly tell me what you put for the ceremony details..? Also do you have the templates for the games?... I was just going to make the front side when i saw this on another site but i love the creativity of having a little game too! .. Just not sure how i can create it!
  45. Posted by Marla Greco on May 17th, 2011 at 4:11pm


    I had to write a comment, hope all is well! I am looking up programs to make for our upcoming wedding and stumbled upon your page on google. What a small world! They are super cute, great idea!!

  46. Posted by Ashley on May 18th, 2011 at 10:17pm

    I am using this idea for my June 11 wedding programs & they are turning out so much better than I even imagined - THANK YOU for the idea and tutorial!!
  47. Posted by Mishayla on June 7th, 2011 at 12:34am

    Here is a link that I used to make the word search. You can put whatever words you want, how many lines, etc. My fiance told me about the site after I kept struggling with spacing. :)http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp

    Has anyone been able to find the bird clip art? I'm having trouble finding it.
  48. Posted by Christina on June 7th, 2011 at 12:54pm

    Hi Mishayala... I was playing with this puzzlemaker a few months ago. It's awesome. And free too! Thanks for reminding me about it. I am going to do a blog post about it soon.
  49. Posted by Kay on June 11th, 2011 at 11:47pm

    I love this idea so much and am borrowing it for my wedding programs! It was really hard finding a wedding mad lib template so I wrote one based off a crappy version I found online (the original did not make sense or work). This one has been tested and approved for hilarity. I hope you guys find it useful!

    "Wedding Wishes"
    A Mad Lib

    We are so (emotion) for Jill and Jack! They are the
    most (adjective) (plural noun) and we wish them many
    (adjective) days for the rest of their lives together.
    My best advice? Don’t forget to (verb) before you
    (verb) and (verb) after the (verb).
    Jack should always (verb) Jill’s (noun) and
    Jill should always (verb) Jack’s (noun). We
    wish you (number) years of happiness
    and (adjective) (plural noun).
  50. Posted by Jenna on June 25th, 2011 at 7:03am

    I just finished this project for my Nyly third wedding, and I have some tips: The craft store in my neighborhood Michaels, did not have a2 cardstock so I bought stock that was 5 x 6.5.....worked perfectly. Brand was called Reflections. The cardstock came with envelopes also, but I just set those aside for another project. I made150 fans and it took 8 spools of ribbon. We used glue sticks to adhere the cards and saved the tape for the craft stick...sped up process. We used a Dremmel to drill holes, cant remember bit size, but we played around for awhile. It's helpful if you make sure the needle you bought fits through the hole you made. we ran into this as I bought a crafting needle which ended up being too thick. Last, we used Design I D to create the program. Way easier than Word, and copied and rewrote our mad lib.We had a hard time finding an exact template. With four people and pre-drilled sticks and pencils, It took us 3 hours to complete 150.
  51. Posted by Christina on June 26th, 2011 at 9:52pm

    Thanks so much for the helpful info Jenna!
  52. Posted by Kimberly on July 2nd, 2011 at 7:40pm

    Amanda, where do you get the A2 cards? Also, do you have a printing service print them for you or run them through your own printer? Any advice you can give is appreciated!
  53. Posted by Anissa on July 21st, 2011 at 2:26pm

    Where is your bird graphic from? I love it and it matches with my wedding theme perfectly! Would love to use if you wouldn't mind sharing it with me or telling me where to look. Thanks!
  54. Posted by Blair Elizabeth on July 22nd, 2011 at 3:37pm

    We just did this for our wedding! We made 250 of them so it was quite a task but well worth it!!
  55. Posted by Jackie on July 27th, 2011 at 11:35pm

    If you want someone to design and or print them for you I used the site below!
    I printed them myself but she designed them and it was great!

  56. Posted by Lesley Pattinson on September 10th, 2011 at 6:15am

    What a brilliant tutorial and such a cute idea :)
  57. Posted by Matt Chapman on September 14th, 2011 at 3:57pm

    Hello,I was wondering where could I find pre-drilled golf pencils? Can anyone enlighten me,please.
  58. Posted by Christina on September 14th, 2011 at 4:03pm

    I've yet to find pre drilled pencils. You have to drill them yourself.
  59. Posted by Maribel on September 26th, 2011 at 2:40am

    I found a couple of birds on http://www.clker.com. There are several in different colors. You just need to signup as a user and save the images. You can even upload your own or modify them and create new colors, shapes, etc. This is the direct link to a brown one (without the ring though): http://www.clker.com/clipart-gray-bird-silhouette.html.
  60. Posted by Macy on October 4th, 2011 at 1:03pm

    Absolutely love this!
  61. Posted by Nicki on April 24th, 2012 at 11:17am

    I know others have asked but would you mind sharing the template you used for printing? I love this idea and want to make sure it looks as beautiful as yours did!
  62. Posted by Kayla on April 24th, 2012 at 1:59pm

    These programs are so cute and I have been busy trying to recreate them for my upcoming wedding. I'm at the printing stages now but am having issues with formatting. I've set the margins to zero to make sure it prints exactly on the a2 folded card but when I do a test print on white copy paper, it either gets cut off at the top or has extra paper before the template. How do you get it to print directly on the card?? Please help!!
  63. Posted by Courtney on June 1st, 2012 at 2:20pm

    How did you get the word search letters to stay in form??
  64. Posted by Randi on June 6th, 2012 at 10:23am

    I LOVE this! Would there be a way to get the template for this? I'm not super Microsoft Word literate when it comes to things like this :) Thanks!!!
  65. Posted by Crystai on July 9th, 2012 at 9:18pm

    Could you tell me the width ribbon you used?
  66. Posted by Crystai on July 9th, 2012 at 9:42pm

    Also, I'm having trouble understanding how much ribbon you used for each fan?
  67. Posted by Maria on September 14th, 2012 at 12:54pm

    Hi! I really really love your wedding programs and have attempted to create something like it but it just does not compare. I am wondering if anyone has the template if they could e-mail this to me??? My e-mail is mstein_03@yahoo.com I would greatly appreciate it!!! Thank you!
  68. Posted by Brittany on January 20th, 2013 at 2:01pm

    Love the idea of this! can you tell us where you bought all of your materials? ( pre drilled popsicle sticks/pencils, Paper) Sounds like a fabulous idea for $25 for 50 programs!!! great job girl!
  69. Posted by Keara on April 7th, 2013 at 10:10pm

    where did you find the birds? im curious as i did a quick search online for clip art. do you have a better idea of where to find them?
  70. Posted by Keira Moyer on April 19th, 2013 at 12:42pm

    Where did you get your bird clip art?
  71. Posted by ashley on May 22nd, 2013 at 8:03pm

    I am doing this and I have folded and taped my cardstock but am finding that it is popping open but I only put tape in the corners and in the middle on the non folded side. I also tried the scrap book type double sides tape with the tool so you don't have to rip the tape off every time same results!
  72. Posted by Sara on June 3rd, 2013 at 5:36pm

    Hi! Love your invites, where did you find your bird graphics? Thanks!
  73. Posted by Heather on June 20th, 2013 at 10:09am

    Hello! Could I ask where you found the bird graphics that you used on these programs? They are adorable, and I have been searching for that kind of graphic, but haven't been able to find them. Thank you!
  74. Posted by Nhu on July 7th, 2013 at 3:01pm

    I love these! Where did you get the template for the Mad Lib, word search, and fill in the blank games? Is this something you have saved still and could e-mail me? Thanks!
  75. Posted by Cherrise on September 24th, 2013 at 7:53pm

    What is the actual size of the A2 sized folded cards?
  76. Posted by Allison on January 25th, 2014 at 5:52am

    Hi! I love your programs! Is there any way to purchase the template from you? I especially love having the birds on the front.
  77. Posted by Jenna Joyal on February 4th, 2014 at 3:54pm

    Hi, just wondering if you have a template that you send out? would really love to make these for my wedding. Thanks
  78. Posted by Nazreen Davids on March 4th, 2014 at 5:56am

    Hi I was so excited when I saw your programs. It is really awesome and would like to use it for my wedding. Do you have a template that you can maybe forward to me. I am so inlove with the fan program.

    Thank you once again.
  79. Posted by Christine on May 8th, 2014 at 5:38pm

    Really enjoyed reading and loved this post & your work! Can I pls double check the corner rounder punch you used is for 10mm?

  80. Posted by Yajaira Diaz on May 30th, 2014 at 5:07pm

    These are amazing! What are the dimensions of the programs once folded? & how thick was the paper you used? Beautifully done!
  81. Posted by Ronda on July 29th, 2014 at 7:29am

    that is exactly what I was going to do except the touch with the pencil and ribbon!!! I wanted our guests to have something that was fun, entertaining yet functional if it was hot outside. Looking forward to doing this project soon since the wedding is in less than 3 weeks!!! Thank you for posting!!!
  82. Posted by Katie on November 20th, 2014 at 3:10pm

    I just wanted to comment to say that I love these programs, I made these programs, and I used these programs for our wedding. We saved the tongue depressors and pencils to sell, so if anyone is interested, we have almost 200. You can e-mail me at gbkatie7 (at) aol.com if you are interested.
    Thanks again, Christina!
  83. Posted by Christina on November 26th, 2014 at 10:06am

    Glad they turned out for you, Katie!
  84. Posted by Angela Myers on April 27th, 2015 at 2:01pm

    How did you make your mad lib & word search? Did you create them with Word? Thanks!!
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