Kickoff to the Holiday Envelope Address Art Series! Technique #1

Welcome to the kickoff of the Holiday Envelope Address Art Series!

So happy to have you here and to share some creative ways to make your envelopes pop this holiday season.   

Fair warning...

Some of these techniques may seem TOO extensive for an addressing list of over 50...heck, maybe even less than that!  BUT.  The great thing is, is that you'll be able to watch the full video of the process below and then you can also adapt to use certain parts of the technique for your envelopes!

So let's get into it!  Here's the envelope we'll be creating today:

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If you just want to watch the video tutorial, scroll all the way to the bottom now!

What You'll Need

Simon Says Stamp: Falling Snow Stencil [Currently Out of Stock at SSS - See Similar Product linked via Amazon to the left]

Simon Says Stamp: Falling Snow Stencil [Currently Out of Stock at SSS - See Similar Product linked via Amazon to the left]

Plus,

  • Paper Towel
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Washi Tape

Note: If you have black envelopes already, you're all set! In the video, I show the process of using an envelope punch with black cardstock so that you can make your own envelopes if necessary!  Also, the white ink I used for the stencil and stamps is called Versa Magic Archival Chalk Ink but I wasn't able to find a link for it.  The Hero Arts Dye Ink shown above will work just as well!

Step By Step Instructions For Creating a Envelope from Cardstock 

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If you already have a black envelope that you can use grab those!  If not, we can use the Envelope Punch with some Black Cardstock to make our own! 

If you want to skip past the section in the video explaining envelope creation, and jump right to the background and lettering, jump to approximately 4:25

The Envelope Punch lists the size of the actual Holiday Card you're wanting to send and then beside it, lists the size of cardstock you'll need in order to create an envelope with a perfect fit (leaving an 1/8" margin on all sides for your holiday card to fit right in).

In my examples, I only had 9"x12" black cardstock to work with so I chose to go with the 5"x6" (atypical size card, I know) that I would need a 9" x 9" pieces of cardstock.

After trimming down my 9"x12" Black Cardstock to 9"x9" with my paper trimmer, I looked back to the Envelope Punch board to see my Score Line value. This value is found in the 'Score Line' column and it provides the number where I'll line up the first edge of the 9"x9" sheet.  For the size I'm working with, the Score Line column reads 4.25.

Here's is a screen shot of what this means. Place the 9"x9" sheet adjacent to the top edge of the envelope punch and align it with the value in the Score Line Column.  My paper is aligned here to the 4.25 mark.

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After this is aligned, press down the Punch Button (big teal button in the center) for the first punch of your envelope.

Once the punch is made, take the score stick (teal stick that is located within the board on the upper right corner) and score your cardstock from directly below the Punch Button, diagonal down and to the right along the Score Line.   This will all be shown in the video tutorial so don't miss that YouTube link at the bottom of this post!

 

Now, all you have to do is rotate your cardstock 90 degrees CCW, align the previously scored line with the teal pointed piece at the base of the Punch Button and then Punch, Score and Repeat!

Continue to rotate the sheet 90 degrees CCW, aligning the score line with the teal pointed piece and then Punch the button and score the new line.

When you're finished, you'll have 4 punched triangles, 4 score lines and a center area that will soon be filled with your creations!  For the time being, keep your envelope's flaps unfolded so you can work on a flat surface and we'll assemble the envelope at the end!

After creating your envelope...

1.  Adhere your envelope to the work surface using Post It tape ( the 2" thick version is great for masking off the flaps of the envelope so that you protect them from any art media you're using) right along the scored edges of your rectangular (or square) shaped envelope front.  

2.  Align the stencil so that you are happy with the placement of where the snowfall will end up and adhere temporarily with a piece of washi tape to keep in place as your add ink. Don't worry about putting ink down in the area where the stamps will be because covering it up won't be a problem!

3.  Take your Ink Blending Tool with a new sponge attached and your white ink and generously load up the sponge by applying it to the ink pad.  Then, with a gentle circular motion, apply the white ink over the stencil being careful to only get ink overtop the plastic of the stencil and not onto any part of the black envelope that you may not have covered with the Post It Tape.  (If you've completely protected your edges with the Post It Tape, then have at it! You're a pro!)

4.  Just to be safe, take your heat gun, turn it on and let it heat up for a few seconds and then dry your stenciled surface thoroughly so that the white ink won't interfere with the next step!

Now that your background is started, we can get to the Addressing part!

5.  After you've dried the white ink, you can either take some time to lay out your names and address with a pencil first, or skip to the next step.  The design that I've shared with this envelope has a bit of an arced shape to the first names and last and then the address lines are back on a horizontal plane below.  Using a pencil to sketch a centered arc as a guideline and then some tick marks as to where your address lines should extend across to can be helpful!  (However, that will add to your time per envelope and after a few, you may feel comfortable to just eyeball the placement! Either way, do what you're comfortable with!)

6.  Pick up your EK Powder Tool, which is a powder that we'll spread all over the surface to minimize any static cling and any left over tackiness from the white ink.  This step preps us to use the glue pen with Perfect Pearls next!

7.  With your Zig Glue Pen, write out your names along the arc that we talked about.  I chose to go with (2) first names in Perfect Pearls but you may need to switch that up to be "The Swanson Family" or something else.  In that case, maybe the "Swanson" is the only part that is in Perfect Pearls and the "The" and "Family" are in the white gel pen, above and below.  Feel free to email me if you have questions about the placement of what you want to write!

8.  After the glue has turned completely clear (no areas of wet light blue anymore), it's ready for the fun part! Applying your Perfect Pearls!  I chose to use a mix of both gold and copper.  You could use any color here that you want, by itself or mixed as I've chosen to do.  As you'll see in the video tutorial below, I put a little bit of each color into its cap, and then with the brush (that comes with your Perfect Pearls), I blot out the gold and copper into different areas of the glued lettering.  Then in circular motions, I brush/rub the Perfect Pearls into the glue, rubbing off onto a paper towel if I think the one color may overpower the other.

9.  Once your envelope is a mess of Perfect Pearls, have no fear! Take your folded paper towel (or a Swiffer dry cloth works great too!) and gently start wiping/lightly rubbing the envelope to clear away the excess material. This also will buffer the Perfect Pearls into the glue and help it to really be adhered.  

10. In order to set your Perfect Pearls for its journey through the Postal Service, you will need to take your Distress Spray Bottle (or any bottle will do with a fine mist) and lightly mist your envelope.  The water sets the Perfect Pearls and since your white ink for the snow stencil was permanent/archival, it won't be disrupted by the water!  Take your heat gun to the surface again and dry completely.

Finally, Let's add the address and the finishing touches!

11.  To write the address and some of the finishing highlights, I used the Uniball Signo Broad White -my favorite white gel pen!  I kept the last name on the same arc as the first names and then the 1st line of the address on a horizontal line beneath it.  After writing those out in a Sans Serif style, I decided to add the Serif to the last name to make it bit more distinguished in comparison.  I went with a script for the city and state and applied a "faux calligraphy" technique to add the thick downstrokes in since a gel pen does not have a brush tip to do this for us.  Finally, I chose to space the zip code out with dots between each number, centered under the City/State.

12.  Looking at the envelope, I wanted there to be just a little something more so I took my white gel pen and worked on the Perfect Pearls section a bit.  I chose to draw a loose outline around the "Brian and Sarah," following the shape of the letters roughly around and then bringing the ends of both lines to terminate back at the last name, "Swanson."  To me, this makes the names almost look like a packaged deal.  

13.  Next, highlights and shadows were added to Perfect Pearls first names.  When doing this, it's helpful to actually place an object on your work surface where you imagine the light source to be.  For my example, that light source is coming in from the upper left corner.  Therefore, all of my linear/dotted highlights are on the left side of the letters.  I used the Pilot Envelope Pen to give me a rich black shadow that still popped off the black of my cardstock.  Since these are the shadows, the black lines are placed to the right of the letter, the area that would be blocked to the light source.

14.  Finally, I wanted to add one last touch to the background - who doesn't like a good snowflake stamp?  I had (2) sets of snowflake stamps from Hero Arts so I chose a larger size flake and more medium size flake.  Since these were clear stamps, they need an acrylic block, or something similar, to mount them on to apply the pressure to the surface.  After getting the stamps on the clear block and evenly pressing them into my white ink pad, I distributed them around the address a bit haphazardly...as snowflakes tend to be :).

if you read through that, first you deserve ice cream.

Then you deserve to know that all you need to do now is adhere the flaps with some Tombow Permanent Tape Runner and you've got yourself an envelope!

If any of the steps above were too confusing to read through, the video is below!

Thanks so much for following along and I'll be back on Monday with Technique #2!  

Have a great weekend, friends!

Molly

 

Technique #1: THE VIDEO

*If you want to skip past the section in the video explaining envelope creation from a piece of cardstock, and jump right to the background and lettering, jump to approximately 4:25