Archive for Paper

Fancy Envelope Flaps

While browsing craft projects on Pinterest, I found a neat tutorial for dressing up plain white envelopes with scraps of patterned paper (their samples are shown at left). I have plenty of the latter, so I just had to find a few store-bought envelopes and break out the glue and scissors.

I figured it would work better with a square flap (and I prefer these to pointed styles), so I pulled out some envelopes I bought from TG Envelope. I only used one white envelope, and the rest with some colored envelopes (partly to use up the black or brown envelopes I don’t use that often). All you do is adhere the scrap to the straightedge of the flap, and then trim the edge to the shape of the flap. Super easy, and I think they turned out pretty well:

Decorated Envelopes

Decorated Envelopes - Close-up

Perhaps a bit map heavy, from this sample. One of the maps is from an old atlas, and then the rest are half store-bought scrapbook paper and half patterned paper I printed at home. What’s nice is that you don’t really need that much paper, so you can definitely use up those scraps that seem to nice to throw away.

I think next I want to try this technique on some pointed flaps, and also on some handmade envelopes, so there could be patterned envelope with patterned flap, or patterned envelope with solid color flap. Or maybe a collage of paper scraps, like in strips or other patterns.


Notebook Revamp

A few months ago, I found this gorgeous paper at Paper Source (this image from the manufacturer doesn’t do it justice), and didn’t want to pass it up. I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d do with it, but I bought 2 sheets, with the intention of covering a notebook or something.

Finally, this week, I got around to using this lovely paper, and I did in fact cover a notebook with it. Just a cheap notebook from Daiso, with smooth, white pages, so it was a sort of upgrade. I added a label from Paper Source and some white vinyl tape over the binding, and it was done!

Aqua Damask Notebook (by Valerie.)

It was super easy, especially with a Xyron machine to put the adhesive on the paper, so I went ahead and did another one for the notebook swap I organized on

Map Notebook - Front Cover (by Valerie.)    Map Notebook - Back Cover (by Valerie.)

My partner likes maps, and I found this one in an old atlas that I bought from a used book sale (intending to make envelopes or collages from it). I chose the eastern part of the US for the cover, to include where she lives, and the rest went on the back cover. The notebook itself is also from Daiso, and I picked out a few others from there that I thought she’d like.

Crazy for Notebooks Swap - Swap-bot (Sent) (by Valerie.)

Now I only wish the rest of my swaps would get going soon, so I can have something else to work on. In the meantime, I might poke around Send Something to find someone to send exchange mail with.

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More Postcards

Here are 4 more nengajo, and what may be the final ones in the batch. I’m losing a bit of momentum and kind of want to move onto something else. We’ll see if I have any left in me though.

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #9 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #10 (by Valerie.)

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #11 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #12 (by Valerie.)


Postcards, Continued

I’ve been working along on my “nengajo,” or New Year’s Day postcards, and have scanned them in batches. I would have made more, but I haven’t been feeling entirely well over the last few days, so I had to take it easy.

Here’s the first batch, finished on Friday:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #2 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #3 (by Valerie.)

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #4 (by Valerie.)

And the second batch, finished last night:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #5 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #6 (by Valerie.)

I want to mix up the colors more, but this is how they’ve worked out so far. I really like the textured cardstock I have, especially the Japanese “tsumugi” style (I think I got these from Hanko Designs or a local shop carrying their stock), I don’t really want to use the smooth variety. I might need to get some more after these postcards are done!

I’m not sure how many more I want to make, partly because I’m not sure how many I want to send out beyond the ones for swaps. I started a list the other day, so I should finish that and make sure I have the addresses I need, and then keep going.

Beyond that, I came across some simple projects on the Martha Stewart site, listed among ideas for easy handmade gifts.

I have plenty of maps saved in my clipping boxes, but I’d have to buy the coasters and sealant first. The matchbox one, though it’s not the primary part of the project, would be easy, and I have some blank matchboxes. We’ll see though… :)

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My dining room table is covered in all sorts of paper and crafting supplies, and I’ve been trying my hand at making postcards again. I saw some lovely ones done by Dumpsterdiversanonymous and wanted to play around, but I’m not entirely happy with the results so far.

Here’s the first one, a combination of an old Family Circle magazine from the 60s, as well as a bit of an ad from a Japanese booklet of local businesses. I wish I’d done the circle stickers vertically instead, but so it goes.

Pizza Hash Postcard (by Valerie.)

I let that sit for a bit, and then came up with an idea to make postcards for New Year’s, as a little project to keep me busy. I don’t celebrate any holidays during December, but I’m all for ringing in the New Year when it comes. And I know that in Japan, it’s common to send a postcard to friends and family so it arrives on New Year’s Day, so I thought I would do something similar. (The postcards are called nengajo, and you can read more about them and other holiday traditions on Wikipedia’s Japanese New Year page.)

I’d like to make a batch of these postcards, to send to friends, so I thought it would help to have a template or pattern of some sort. I had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted, and put together a mockup in Illustrator, just to see if it would make sense. I found some Japanese-style patterns to use, and here’s what I came up with:

New Year's Postcard Concept

This is just a sample, but my intent is to use different colors, patterns, and images but stick with the same overall design. I have plenty of papers, clippings, and whatever else to work with, so this way I can focus on the selection and combination of those materials. I can even customize them for particular people if I want.

I put together my first card tonight, to make sure it worked all right in paper form, and here’s what I came up with:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #1 (by Valerie.)

I’m not feeling entirely enamored with it at the moment, but I think it’s actually ok and will work with other combinations as well. What do you think?

Meanwhile, I’ve also been looking for new swaps on Swap-bot, and tonight I happened across one that sounds perfect for me: 2010 Nengajo (Japanese New Year Postcards). I think I can manage to make 3 cards by the deadline, but we’ll see how the ones for friends go first.

Separately, I’m also running a notebook swap, inspired by one that was already running for European swappers only. This one’s for the US only, but you just send $8 of notebooks and get the same in return.