Well, I've done it! I have completed the first major semi-DIY project of the Octopus wedding planning! Want to see the finished results of my handiwork? I hope so, because I'm kind of ridiculously proud of them. I DID A PROJECT, YOU GUYS!
Okay, so here is the outside. The envelopes are Paper Source's A7-size, in chocolate shimmer.
I have intended to do faux-ligraphy on my invitations since forever, and I do love the way it turned out. After a few test runs, I chose a font called FranciscoLucas Briosa from dafont.com for it. I picked it because the flourishes on the capital letters are pretty, but the font is, overall, pretty simple, easy to trace, and forgiving of mistakes. I printed each address onto the envelopes in black (which was, contrary to what I expected, not hard to see at all), then traced them with a gold pen.
I started out using this pen for the tracing, and I heartily DO NOT recommend it:
I'm not exactly sure how to describe what happened with this one, but after fifteen or so envelopes, the ink started looking really faded and the nib wasn't nearly as fine as it was at first. Result? Faded, thick, blurry-looking printing. You can see an example of these less-than-stellar results here:
Obviously not horrible, but the next pen wrote much more clearly, and the ink is much more opaque and shimmery. You can most definitely tell the difference when looking at them in person.
After going through two pens, I wised up to the fact that this was probably not normal, and bought a new pen of much better quality.
This pen lasted me for the rest of my faux-ligraphy adventures, with much clearer and prettier results. I regret the semi-unfortunate quality of the first forty or so envelopes, but not enough to go back, buy new ones, and re-do it all. Live and learn. Also, note to potential faux-ligraphers: it takes friggin' forever. FOREVER. It's kind of relaxing, in a tedious and mesmerizing way, but seriously: between the printing and the tracing, prepare to invest HOURS and HOURS in this. If I hadn't spent the past month in a state of post-master's unemployment with utterly nothing else to do, I can't guarantee I would have stuck with this project.
Anyhoodle, here's the back. Per Jellyfish's recommendation, I bought a return address stamp from Etsy seller SugarLetter, and stamped the back flap in gold ink (using a ColorBox brand inkpad). Well, actually, Mr. Octo stamped the back flap. Apparently, I am a totally incompetent stamper. He took the reins after I completely screwed up five or so envelopes, and did the next ninety-five beautifully. Who knew stamping was one of his untapped skills?
A perfectly-executed stamp by Mr. Octo....
As compared to this hatchet job by yours truly. Note how our names didn't come out right and I "fixed" it with my gold pen. I wish I didn't have to block out my address for privacy's sake, because it's even worse under the brown bar. Sorry, recipient of this envelope.
Inside, another detail that took forever but I just love it anyway: envelope liners. I used a PaperSource decorative vellum paper called White Swirls Gold Dust.
Paper Source also sells plastic templates for creating envelope liners, but trust me: you don't need 'em! The envelopes themselves are their own built-in template! I just dismantled an envelope that I screwed up in the faux-ligraphy printing process, traced the flap, and cut it out. Voila! Instant template!
As many bees have mentioned before me, don't bother trying to make your liner go all the way to the bottom of the envelope. No one can see it, so it's a waste of paper. Halfway down is totally fine. I attached the liners to the envelopes using a plain old craft glue stick. Here's a tip for the remedial DIYers like myself: don't glue the bottom of the liner. I am kind of embarrassed to share that, because it seems so obvious in retrospect, but it didn't occur to me at first. The liner has to slide up and down as you open and close the envelope! I didn't even think of that until the first five or so were done, and now I've got a few envelopes with crunchy, wrinkled liners. Good thing I always started each step using the invites for my elderly, distant relatives who will neither notice nor care about such missteps. ;)
Okay, I think that's enough for this time. In the second installment, I'll show you the actual invitation suite, as well as a cost breakdown and some reflections on the process.
Did you tackle faux-ligraphy, envelope liners, or stamping? How did it turn out?