This Thursday (September 15, 2016) I’m holding a craft night at The Write Image! Click here for more info.
We’re going to be exploring flourished brush calligraphy and we’ll be decorating mugs with our fancy skills. Materials and dinner provided.
This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. They provide excellent quality printing and amazing printing options to make your holiday cards stand out this year.
I’ve got 6+ easy ways to embellish your envelopes this year. Don’t get stuck with boring print labels or chicken scratch! Make your snail mail pop with a few tips that require little to no technique. :)
Getting fun snail mail is possibly one of my favorite aspects of this time of year. I love getting something other than business offers and bills! Colored envelopes will certainly help make those invites pop.
I went through Tiny Prints for my Christmas cards this year and got one of their laser-cut designs (See all of their offerings here). It’s unique, well designed and I didn’t have to spend a million hours getting it squared away. Major win! I’m dedicated to having enough time to enjoy the holidays this year. No chicken with her head cut off over here, please!
I’m incredibly partial to Kraft envelopes (greengrocer kraft is fabulous). They work well with both light and dark pens and they stand out in a pile of mail. The envelopes featured in this tutorial are from Tiny Prints. I’ve been incredibly impressed how well they handle ink and how easily I can write on them with my super sharp calligraphy nibs.
Next up, gather all random scrapbook supplies you own. Heck, head over to Walmart and browse their crafty section. You’ll find some great stuff for next to nothing.
To do the techniques seen above, you’ll want to collect a few things:
You’ll want a few different patterns of washi tape, and perhaps a few different widths, too. When in doubt, collect all the black, white, gold and silver washi tape you can get your hands on. It goes with practically everything and every season.
You can use any kind of pen for these techniques. I used dip pen and ink for many of these samples, but just use any kind of pen you have. Ballpoint pens, however? NO. Throw all of those out of your house right now. They’re terrible. Shame on you for having them around. :)
So let’s get going, shall we?
When doing your addresses on a straight line, use the chalk pencil and the clear ruler to mark out those lines. Otherwise:
Use washi tape as a decorative way to keep your lines straight.
Tape a vertical and horizontal strip and write in the bottom right section OR use it to slant your baseline. Layer multiple strips of tape for more depth.
Use alphabet stickers to draw attention to different letters.
For a cursive style, use block letter stickers for the first letter of each name. For block style writing, replace a random letter with a sticker.
I found these stickers at Walmart for about $1-2 each. I’m sure you can find them at just about any craft supply store as well.
AROUND AND AROUND
Use circular sticker labels (I used Avery 2 1/2″ labels) to structure your envelope’s layout.
Print or letter just the address within the label (this is great if you want a hand-lettered touch, but you have LOADS of addresses to do) and write the name outside the sticker.
In the top version, I used the border of the label as a baseline and wrote the name around the diameter. It looked a little empty so I drew a little holly berry illustration on there. You could draw something there, or keep it simple and stick the circle in the center of the envelope.
Wrap the label around the back and write the name on a large scale all the way across the envelope.
GLITTER GLUE DETAILS
Glitter glue is my best friend. It’s all the sparkle of glitter without the mess of loose glitter everywhere (I swear that stuff multiplies). My favorite brand is Stickles. Sparkliest of them all.
Pipe out a wavy line in glitter glue. Use that line as your guide for the baseline of the recipient’s name.
Or Letter out your address and use glitter glue to add accents on hairlines and at the terminals of each line.
Grab a marker and go to town! Write out the first name as large as the envelope will allow. Cursive styles work best. I used a Tombow dual brush marker here. You can use a casual, grungy style nicely. Then letter the rest of the address in a normal style, save for the ZIP. Make the ZIP huge.
ADD SOME BLING
Letter the address as you would prefer then stick some rhinestones on it. Yup. Simple. But it’s so fun go get in the mail! I like to use PVA glue to fasten them on. It’s a strong glue that dries clear.
I hope you have some fun sending out mail this year!
Learn calligraphy online at istilllovecalligraphy.com. You’ll learn the basics of pointed pen, flourishing, addressing envelopes and developing your own style. The course comes complete with a beginner kit of supplies and personal coaching from calligraphy experts Melissa Esplin and Erika Paulsen. Click here to find out more.
The silence over here has been killing me! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around our house. Chris got the renovation bug not too long ago and we’ve been working our tails off on completing the last unfinished bedroom in our house (pics soon!) and updating all closets. The new closets are heavenly!
While in spring cleaning/nesting mode, I’ve taken the opportunity to re-organize my sewing patterns. They’re out of control. I’ve drafted about as many patterns as I’ve bought, so coming up with a good system for easy storage was necessary.
In the past, I’ve bought envelopes the same size as as standard pattern envelopes and tried to stuff drafted patterns into those. It’s not terribly effective for me, since most of my pattern envelopes end up sitting on my desk for weeks simply because I’m too annoyed with the thought of putting them away.
A few fellow sewers mentioned to me how they organize patterns in clear sleeves in three-ring binders. Genius. Wanting them to look polished in my new closets, I went for leather binders*. They’re gorgeous. So far I’ve only separated out tops and bottoms. I’m filling these binders fast, so I’ll likely need to branch out to more categories. Here’s how I’ve done it (and you can too):
I never cut into store bought patterns. They always remain intact, I simply trace the appropriate size on tracing paper and make adjustments there. I bought a giant roll of 36″ wide x 50 yard tracing paper at a local art supply store for somewhere around $20. If you sew, it’s a worthwhile investment. Store bought patterns stay in their envelopes and those envelopes get stored in a box. Pattern tracings, PDF patterns and self-drafted patterns get stored in binders for easy-access.
Pack the sheet protectors with your pattern (one pattern per protector).
Label the protector. I labeled it with the pattern maker (i.e. Megan Nielsen, Hey June, Self-drafted), pattern name or description and traced size or estimated draft size at the bottom.
Sort. Alphabetical order, style, preferred fabric type, etc. Figure out a system to easily find your patterns and your done!
I had a lot of fun busting out my brush markers and washi tapes to fancy-up the labels for each pattern. The lettering is far from perfect, but it was great practice.
Let’s end on a keeping-it-real note. This is how awesome my studio looks at the moment. I’ve got a lot of organizing ahead of me, but with binders, cute boxes and new shelving I feel unstoppable!! WEEEEE!!
How do you organize your sewing patterns? Do share in the comments below!
I’m hating the silence over here. We’ve been busy packing up Black Friday orders, driving 700 miles, nursing some serious head colds and doing laundry. Anxious to get some creative time under my belt this week, I made a couple necklaces with Penelope. She rummaged through my jewelry stuff and strung any kind of pendant and bead onto a leather string. I played around with some leather and metal and came up with this. I love how my new necklace turned out. It’s reminiscent of a bolo tie because of the length and windsor knot-like shape of the leather piece.
I found this laser cut scale leather in a scrap bin at Michael Levine back in May when I went to LA. It’s such a small piece. It’s so nice to be able to use small scraps for things like this, I feel like there’s no waste that way!
Make one with me!
If you’re going the vegan route, go for felt instead of faux leather. Felt will wear and look better over time than faux leather.
Click below to read the rest of the instructions!
Inspired by Ford’s Fiesta Movement, let’s talk about accessories and styles that we have yet to conquer. For me. . .
In the last 10 years there have been one or two times when I’ve worn a hat for fun. And It’s been off in about 30 minutes after a lot of scratching and adjusting. Perhaps it stems from the bowl cut of my youth. I went from long locks to my buns to an early 90s girlish boy-cut at 8 years old. From then until I was 11, much of my day-to-day was focused on dressing like a girl. Several times strangers mistakenly called out “Young Man!” in my general direction. Dressing like a girl didn’t include wearing hats. At least none of the hats I found interesting.
Just over a year ago I found myself needing some head coverage in downtown SF. All I had was a scarf on-hand, so I worked magic and made a turbeanie (a turban-like beanie). I loved it, but couldn’t seem to replicate it. Until now.
What styles do you struggle with? High-low trends? Boxy tunics? Leggings? Ankle boots?
The turbeanie feels much more feminine than a regular beanie, but so much less work than the oh-so-popluar turban headbands. I don’t have to do my hair in order to make it look done!
One of the best parts? I have everything I need on-hand. I bet you do, too. Let’s do wrap a turbeanie together!
Your scarf or fabric – a simple cut of some lightweight knit would be perfect – should be 2 yards by about 18 inches or so.
If you have an extra wide scarf, fold it in half.
If you’re going for a beanie look, tie your hair into loose piggy tails to keep your hair from going all over the place. You could alternatively tie this turban with a topknot or any other hairstyle.
Find the center of your scarf and line up the hem along the nape of your neck.
Pull both ends so the line at the nape of the neck is tight. Cross ends over.
Cross ends again.
This creates the popular turban look you see in headbands everywhere.
Take the ends to the back and cross over to the front.
tuck remaining tails into the fabric. Be sure to keep any corners on the inside of the folds of fabric.
Adjust the turban as needed.
Remove the hair ties and style your hair as needed. I like how this stays on my head, but isn’t as restricting as a regular beanie. Hope you like it, too!
Alternatively, you could watch my little how-to to see it done in real-time.