Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Envelope Liner: How-to

Good morning! This weekend I worked on making envelope liners for a set of custom invitations and I figured while I was learning the process I could document it for anyone else who wants to jazz up their invitations.

My envelope liner documentary starts at the Paper Source where I bought: paper for the liners, chip board, double sided tape, and a bone folder. Combine this with the box cutter, ruler, pencil, and cutting mat that I already owned and you get this:

Quick overview of the process: Using the envelope that you're lining make a template from the chip board. With the chip board template cut liner shapes out of the paper. Insert paper into envelope, fold at flap crease and tape into place along the flap. Repeat.

Step 1: Cut a hole in the box... just kidding. I couldn't resist. Open the envelope that will be lined and trace the shape onto the chip board. I recommend using the edge of the chip board instead of placing the envelope in the center-- less cuts means less chance for errors.

Yes. I am that pale.

Step 2: Using a ruler cut the traced shape out of the chip board.

Step 3: Once you have the exact shape of the envelope cut out of the chip board, trim the chip board 1/4 of an inch all the way around, again using the ruler.

Step 4: Test the trimmed chip board template in the envelope. Make sure the seal of the envelope isn't covered by the template.

Step 5: Using the chip board template begin cutting shapes from the liner paper. The chip board is thick enough where you don't need to use a ruler as well with this step BUT the chip board isn't infallible. In the process of making 160 envelope liners, I had to create 2 new chip board templates after the one I had been using got ragged or cut. The chip board was $2 for a pack of 10 sheets so this wasn't a big deal. If you are using Paper Source envelopes they do sell plastic templates that go along with their envelopes but since I didn't use their envelopes and I couldn't use their templates I can't say whether the plastic was more durable. And again, use the edge of the paper so you can make less cuts.

I usually cut 10 or 20 at a time before I moved to the next step but for the first time go through the entire process just to ensure everything works out fine.

Step 6: Insert the liner into the envelope. I usually left a 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch below the seal of the envelope just to allow for a little shifting when it's folded.
Step 7: Using your non-dominant hand hold the paper in place and fold the flap over with your dominant hand. Or do it however feels comfortable. The only reason I specify is that I'm left handed so this may look backwards to you. I know I had a tendency to get confused when I looked up knitting instructions online because they were always done right handed so just trying to be clear. :) Since I couldn't take the photo showing both hands I added on the photo where I'd hold the liner in place when I folded it.

Step 7: Using the bone folder, run the edge along the fold of the flap to get a crisp fold. This time I usually would hold the paper at the flap so I could keep both the flat and folded parts of the liner in place. I bought a plastic bone folder because we were using light colored envelopes but an employee at the Paper Source told me that if you're using darker envelopes to get the most expensive (possibly teflon) bone folder so it doesn't leave a sheen on the darker envelopes.

Step 8: Open the envelope flap leaving the liner still folded and apply double sided tape along the edges. The "double-sided tape" I used was more like thin glue that rolled off the dispenser, so it was very thin and you couldn't see outlines when it adhered. I used Therm O Web Memory Tape Runner which worked great EXCEPT the Paper Source near me apparently never has refills available. I hear that's not the case in most stores but just to save yourself some trouble, when you buy your dispenser-- check they have refills or you'll end up having to buy another dispenser just to get more tape like I did.

Step 9: Things may have shifted when you were applying the tape so re-center the liner left to right in the envelope and make sure the fold of the liner is against the fold of the envelope and then re-fold the envelope over the tape and press gently over the envelope flap to seal the two together!

Step 10: Re-open envelope flap and admire your handiwork.

Re-fold the envelope flap and stack envelopes closed to keep the nice crease in the envelope and liner.

So ta-da! Lovely lined envelopes adding a nice touch to your invitations. With most DIY projects the steps are easy but do take time. To create 160 liners and then add the invitations, it took around 6 hours. Spread out over 2 days it wasn't so bad but just something to keep in mind while you're planning.

Lastly, as I said before, these envelope liners are for custom invitations. I'm sure the bride doesn't want her info splashed all over the internet so I'm trying to think what couple the invitation should be called from here on out. The inspiration we started with was "seaside eleagance...the reception site is really beautiful and elegant, so I don't want any of those casual beachy wedding invitations that I keep seeing." At first I was thinking Odysseus and Penelope since Odysseus had quite the long sea voyage although lately I think Ferdinand and Miranda would be a better match but, honestly, I bet most people's first thought reading that was "I thought Miranda was with Steve..." We are both correct because the Miranda I was thinking was from the Tempest (which I happened to see at the Globe Theatre in London in the rain [it's an ampitheatre] with Vanessa Redgraves as Prospero) not Miranda from Sex in the City (who was with Steve). And Jack/Kate/Sawyer from LOST doesn't really tap into the "elegant" aspect so does anyone have any more seaside couples they want to suggest?

Friday, February 13, 2009


UH-DOOOY I can't believe I forgot to write all about this before! My birthday card design from Minted was an editor's pick! Just a reminder- here is what it looks like:
I also created a second colorway choice, a thank you card and a mailing label for the series for them so I'll make sure to let you know when they're available to for purchase!

The contest was:
"Kids' birthdays come around every year and parents seek to find invites that are void of clich├ęs and aren’t too cutesy. We asked designers to create playful, fun and modern birthday party invitations."

I chose to use Alex as my inspiration who was looking for a party that they were thinking would be centered around clowns, music or art. Here was the description I included along with it:
I think the intersection of clowns (circus), musicians and art is probably Hatch Show Print so I created an energetic Hatch inspired bday invite that rocks ages 1-101.

Since 5 year olds will usually tell you their age quite precisely I thought counting it in seconds would be a cool way to explain how old you're turning. Also once you hit the questionable years... the ones I'm entering... where all of a sudden big numbers are looming-- though I don't care- 30 ain't gonna kill me!-- some people might feel more comfortable obscuring the info just a teensie bit. :)

Hope you enjoy-- again-- I'll let you know when they're debuted!
AVAILABLE NOW: Click here to see Every Second Counts at

Inspiration Board

Back in July I went to enter an inspiration board contest (I forget where but most likely one of the blogs in the "A little of everything that is wedding" section below on the right) but I read the date wrong on the deadline so they weren't able to accept it although they did say they'd keep it on hand for their next contest. I'm guessing it got lost in the shuffle though b/c I haven't seen it anywhere. So I'll show it here!

Going clockwise starting in the top left the images are: St Michel by Josh Derr found on flickr; "Transfixed" by shutterBRI found on flickr); Flowers from Martha Stewart (can't quite find the link but if you REALLY want me to search for it more just let me know in the comments section); Cake by Lovin' Sullivan Cakes; Dress by Angel Sanchez; Flowers from Martha Stewart; Riviera Dress from Siri (they have wonderful dresses- I wish I had just gone for these for my bridesmaids); Veil from Bride's Head Revisited; Necklace featured in a picture on website; Ferris and Sloane invites from The Future Mrs. Darcy.

This is my Sloane + Ferris inspiration board. When I was doing the invitations I had them getting married at the Art Institute of Chicago which was featured in the movie so I stuck with that. I think it's cool without trying too much.

Also I have about 10 other photos that didn't make the final cut into the inspiration board so if you're loving the yellow just let me know and I'll get the extras together.

Have a great friday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moving Sucks

I've moved a little less than 20 times since I left my parents house for college and I have had horror stories from giant trucks complete with big ass truck clutches* dying in a new apartment complex blocking in all the people on the street to not one of the 8 people who promised me showing up to help me move. Bastards. Although my really strong friend, Miguel, came later on and moved all the large furniture I couldn't get myself.

When we moved into our house this past summer we hired movers for the very first time. It was amazing. It was joyous. It kicked ass. The couch that took us two days to get into our last apartment-- came out in 5 minutes! FIVE MINUTES! But the downside is that we are still breaking down boxes to get recycling to take them. So since I figure a lot of people move around their weddings I'll share a new service I just saw on swissmiss.

(Sorry about the play icon in the middle-- there's a rotating series of pictures on the homepage)

Sturdy boxes with handles and no need to packing tape? Wonderful! And you can feel good about yourself because it's environmentally friendly. And if you just like sturdy boxes with handles- that's fine too!

*I've driven standard cars all my life but that didn't stop driving a truck that could FIT my car in the back any easier.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sneak peak!

My BRAND SPANKING NEW website design is ready to be built but I thought I'd give y'all* a sneak peak:

Oooh ahhhh! As you can see there will be a place on each story where you can mark it as your favorite which will result in the "viewer favorites" on the home page as well as places on each story where you can save it to delicious, post it on facebook, twitter it, and more social niceties.

But it may take a little while due to our new love...

And because I'm a dork I'll also post my inspiration board for the website. May come in handy if you're planning a library themed wedding. Or an Austen themed wedding. Or just like those and don't need a "theme" to your wedding. :)

Top to Bottom, Left to Right (there's a lot in there so if you want more specifics about any one just let me know):
[row 1] Mask Invitation for Charlie Trotter's by Also Design; Lovely selection of book cover by Coralie Bickford-Smith via design:related; Vintage Emma book cover found on flickr here;
[row 2] page from Anthropologie catalog (Dec 2008 pg 4); Ashes and Milk website; Jessica Hische website (she is SO talented- go take a look!);
[middle] Colophon found on flickr;
[row 3] Jane Austen, The Complete Novels designed by Kelly Blair for Penguin Books; Vintage Library Card found on flickr; Natalie Portman photo found on flickr;
[row 4] Anthropologie web site; Eccentric Islands book design by Wink; Country website by Mucca; and, lastly, Ad for Walters Art Museum by Principle.

*Yeah, I wrote, "y'all". I worked in Virginia for 3 years, though, so I'm allowed.