Welcome to the third post in The Photo Project series!
I'm so excited to introduce you to Nicole of West Sheridan today! I "met" Nicole almost two years ago when I was pregnant with the twins. I wanted a favorite quote hand lettered for their nursery, and found Nicole on Etsy. A few months later, we found each other in an online small business group, and started chatting about my rebrand - Nicole designed my logo (which I still LOVE), many of the samples that appear in my product photography, and the lettering on our Christmas cards last year! Nicole's talent and creativity are inspiring, and I'm lucky to call her a friend!
As a hand lettering artist, I take great joy in designing holiday cards and addressing envelopes for clients. As a mom to a 3 year old (plus baby on the way!) and a small business owner, I also understand that it can be difficult to get your act together early enough to send envelopes off for professional treatment! I'm here to share three easy ways to make your snail mail stand out, on your own.
1 | USE COLORED ENVELOPES & GOOD PENS!
When giving your holiday cards a boost, the easiest way to start is to bypass the standard white envelopes that are included with most. I love the quality and color options available at Paper Source stores, especially the red and antique gold (shown in my photos here). If you have a lot of friends and family, it may be more cost effective for you to shop in bulk at Cards and Pockets. Their selection is just as nice, plus shopping online is sometimes easier than getting to a store!
Obviously once you have beautifully hued envelopes you won't want to write on them in regular ol' blue or black ink. No way! The most frequently asked question I get on Instagram is "What pen are you using?", so I will make it easy on you and share the big secret here - the pen doesn't matter, but how you use it. Go to your local craft store with one of your envelopes and try them ALL! Which ones flow best? Show up best? Work best with your handwriting? I know that was an annoying "secret" so here are my favorite white and gold pens.
If you have a lot of addresses to do I recommend sticking with the Gelly Rolls only! They cost about $2 per pen and will last the longest. Plus, they don't have a paint smell like the Pen-Touch, AND they come in just about every color under the sun.
2 | EMBELLISH WHAT YOU'VE GOT
You don't have to be a professional calligrapher with pointed pen and pot of ink to jazz up your handwriting. Here are a few examples:
If you like your cursive this is a good choice. Emphasize the name(s) by going supersized and thickening your down strokes. I like to keep it simple with the address after that, sticking to print and aligning it to one side so I don't have to worry about centering anything. Centering is hard!
I'll be completely honest - thickening the down strokes can take f o r e v e r. If you haven't got time for that (I only do when I'm getting paid by someone else! Ha!) then these examples are for you. On the left, I used two colors to make the names stand out. On the right, I just added some curly flourishes to my "regular" scratchy handwriting. Both ways are quick but still give your envelopes just a little something extra.
If you've gotten this far and are thinking "Yeah, I'm not hand addressing all those envelopes" - I feel you. Get them printed. Save your sanity. You can still make them pop with little time and effort by adding snow, stars, snowmen, or just a little hand drawn frame. The best part is your kids can do it for you!
3 | EMBOSSED RETURN ADDRESSES
If you have a return address stamp this is an awesome and fun way to make your mail stand out. If you don't have a return address stamp, I can make you a great one. Jillian can too. I'm totally unbiased...
This is what you'll need (all materials available at a craft store):
Here is a better tutorial than I could ever do for you.
And here is the result:
I hope you have found something helpful in these tips, either for your holiday cards or any special mail you send! And of course if I can help in any way, feel free to visit me in my shop!
Make sure to come back tomorrow for the last post in this series, from Sami Renee Photography!