DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

This is a quick and easy tutorial that will teach you how to make DIY envelopes out of scrapbook paper! InCoWriMo is almost over, and this is a fun way to add some color and pattern to your last few letters.

For those unfamiliar with the event, InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month) is an annual creative challenge. According to the official website:

“InCoWriMo challenges you to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February.”

It’s definitely a chance for pen and paper lovers to put their favorite tools to use! I’ve participated in InCoWriMo’s daily letter challenge in the past, and I enjoyed connecting with friends the old-fashioned way.

Even though I’ve only been able to send a few letters this year, I still wanted to make them a bit more fun :)


For this project, you will need some sheets of scrapbook paper! If you’re like me, you already have a stash of these pretty patterned papers. If not, you can always find some at Michaels or your local craft store. I’ve consistently found great deals on scrapbook paper at Tuesday Morning as well.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

In addition to paper, you’ll also need the following supplies:

  • Paper trimmer (or plain scissors will do)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil for marking measurements
  • Glue pen or glue stick
  • Pens and markers for writing addresses
  • Stamps
  • Greeting card

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

I made this simple stamped greeting using a 4″ x 5.5″ blank card, but this trick should work for any card dimension.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

First, measure the diagonal of the card. My 4″ x 5.5″ card measures 6.75″ from corner to corner.

Round this up to the nearest whole number– in my case, 7″– and then add 1 inch.

Now we have a measurement of 8″.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Measure and lightly mark an 8″ x 8″ square on your sheet of scrapbook paper.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Using a paper trimmer (or scissors), cut out your 8″ x 8″ square.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

You should have plenty of space around your card!

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Next, rotate the square so it’s oriented like a diamond. Fold the two corners in until the points touch.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Flatten the paper into sharp creases.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Fold the bottom corner up until the point is almost aligned with what will become the top of your envelope.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Using a glue pen (I’m using a Kuretake glue pen) or glue stick, attach the bottom fold to the first two folds. Be careful not to glue the entire envelope shut!

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Fold the pointy corner towards the inside of the envelope and secure it with some more glue.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Once the glue is dry, slide your card into the envelope. It should fit snugly!

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Since these are DIY envelopes, there’s no sticky strip to lick. You can use some washi tape to seal the envelope, or glue the edges shut for added security.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Affix a matching stamp. I’m a big fan of the USPS Botanical Art Stamps (I even stood in line for them on the first day they were released).

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Since scrapbook paper is usually patterned, you may have trouble writing the address lines clearly and legibly. Blank labels or address stickers can help!

You could also write the address on a small piece of blank paper and glue it to the front of the envelope.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Dress up your envelope with additional touches! You can add stickers, tapes, or use a corner punch to create rounded flaps.

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Warning: making these is so simple and fun, you might get carried away and make a bunch!

 

Owl Ink | DIY Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

 

Happy InCoWriMo!

Hello 2017!

Owl Ink | Hello 2017

 

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful New Year holiday :)

I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate and sipped a lot of tea, and now we’re back to busy days at work. While we’re still in the first week of the New Year, I thought I’d share a few of my stationery-related resolutions.

1. JUST. WRITE. IT.

I think one of my greatest struggles in blogging is spending too much time pondering whether a post is worth writing. There’s a lot of content out there, and a lot of material has already been covered… so a lot of ideas end up in blog post purgatory, where I somehow talk myself out of them (“but EVERYONE has reviewed Lamy Dark Lilac already, and it’s not even available anymore…”).

This year, I’ll try to get my posts out the door before that happens!

 

Owl Ink | Hello 2017

2. Send more mail

I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with my owlfriend for a while now, and at the beginning I would write to him frequently. As we’ve had more opportunities to visit each other, and he’s spent more time at home, my mailing frequency has decreased.

I have quite a stash of envelopes, including a box of colorful ones my friend left when she moved away, so I’m hoping to mail more joy this year. If you’d like to do a letter exchange, please let me know :)

3.  Don’t leave nibs in nib holders

They get rusty. And sad. Just don’t do it :(

 

Owl Ink | Hello 2017
Cute date stamp by Amy Tangerine 

4. Document the small things

I love scrapbooking, but I only document major events– mostly travels. After reading planner posts by The Gentleman Stationer, The London Parchment, and The Finer Point, I’m inspired to be more mindful about recording the minutiae of my days.

I don’t know how I’ll do this yet– the Hobonichi Techo is a tempting (yet intimidating) choice, but so is a blank sketchbook. I’m sure it will take some experimentation.

 

Owl Ink | Hello 2017
My new datebook and a vintage Parker Jotter ballpoint pen

 

Here’s to an amazing 2017!

Owl Ink Review: Zebra Brush Pens

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

 

Zebra brush pens are highly regarded as some of the best brush pens for lettering beginners, and I’d say they deserve that reputation.

They are available in three tip sizes – extra fine, fine, and medium. I own all three, and compare them here.

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

 

Extra Fine Brush

The Extra Fine brush is great for those who struggle with thin upstrokes. I think this is the most challenging part about learning brush lettering — I’m STILL figuring out how to be consistent with my upstrokes!

Because the tip is so tiny, even if you are a bit heavy-handed on the upstroke, it still looks fairly thin.

However, the Extra Fine tip size also writes a bit on the dry side. Just as gel pens with 0.3 tips tend to be scratchier and more skip-prone than 0.5 or 0.7, sometimes the ink flow just can’t keep up with the pen.

Fine Brush

In my opinion, the Fine brush is the juiciest of the three. It’s like the Goldilocks porridge of brush pens — the tip is wide enough for smooth ink flow, but still fine enough to easily create hairlines.

Medium Brush

I was not a huge fan of the Medium brush at first. Compared to the dainty Extra Fine tip, the Medium tip felt like a pair of clunky ’90s platform shoes. I kept getting “bottom-heavy” letters, which happens at the the transition between downstroke and upstroke.

However, with some practice, I found that it IS possible to get really nice line variation. It was just harder to achieve than with the firmer Extra Fine.


Pros:

Waterproof: One really awesome thing about these pens is that they contain waterproof ink! I ran a waterbrush over some scribbles and they stayed completely legible. Not even a smudge. I’m impressed.

Size Variation: With 3 sizes to choose from, I can easily pick the best for the project at hand — whether it’s a quote, an envelope, or a gift tag.

Cons:

Fraying Tips: These are designed as disposable brush pens and as a result, the felt tip does wear down pretty quickly :/ You can prolong the pen’s life if you write exclusively on butter-smooth Rhodia paper or marker paper, but understand that eventually your tips WILL lose their springy hairline-creating abilities.

Not Refillable: Unfortunately the brushes are not refillable. I’ve heard of people prying off the end cap and syringing black ink into the pen barrel to “refill” the pen, but I haven’t tried this myself.

However, that doesn’t mean you should throw out your dried-up brushes! You can create some pretty cool textured effects with a dry brush.

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review
California is about as dry as this pen right now #CAdrought

 


Verdict

Overall I’m a fan of the Zebra brush pens and would definitely recommend them to any beginning lettering artist. They are firm enough that the tips doesn’t squash easily under a heavy hand, but flexible enough to achieve dramatic thicks and thins.

Many experienced artists swear by these as well. Check out Matt Vergotis on Instagram for serious Zebra brush inspiration — he achieves amazing line variation with the Medium brush here.

 

 

A quick little demo of yesterday's post

A video posted by Matt Vergotis (@mattvergotis) on

 

ALSO, an extra tip– if you live within close proximity to a Daiso (it’s like a Japanese dollar store), you might occasionally get lucky and find these brush pens in the arts/stationery aisle. The packaging differs sometimes, but it’s the same pen.

I hope this review has been helpful!

Here are some more of my own brush lettering samples :)

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

 

Owl Ink Review | Zebra Brush Pens Review

Owl Ink Review: Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

In my latest JetPens order, I picked up a super cute pen called the Kuretake CocoIro!

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

The CocoIro is a little pen that gets its name from the Japanese words for heart (kokoro) and color (iro). Supposedly, the name means “color of your heart”. A little cheesy, but sure!

The CocoIro pen actually consists of two separate parts: the refill and the pen body.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

Pen bodies are available in many charming colors like Duckegg Blue, Sunflower, and Kiwi. They definitely have a cute, Instagram-ready appeal! I am partial to neutrals though, so I chose Black and Warm Chestnut.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

Ink refills are available in a selection of colors as well. In addition to basic black, they also come in dark muted colors (sepia, bordeaux) and light cheery colors (mint, rose).

Assembly

To assemble the pen, you just remove the cap, stick the refill into the hollow body, and screw it in.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

One thing that slightly bothers me about this pen is the fact that the butt of the refill sticks out. I understand that Kuretake wanted to make the pen cute and compact, but why?? -_- It looks fine with the black pen body, but odd with any other color.

I deal with it by posting the cap and trying to forget it exists.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

Lettering Test

Here is the performance test of the two brush tips I tried: the bristle brush and the super fine brush.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

First I tried the “Super Fine Brush” tip inside the chestnut colored pen body.  I was actually quite surprised by how firm the tip was! Firmness is good though, as it allows for more control during those super-skinny calligraphy upstrokes.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

However, I did notice that pressing down firmly on the brush would cause it to become misshapen. I could reshape the brush tip by pressing it against the paper, but I imagine it might not withstand that sort of abuse for long.

I would compare the tip firmness to another Kuretake pen, the Fudegokochi Super Fine.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

Next up was the “Brush Type” tip inside the black pen body. This performed like any bristle tip —  pretty juicy but also capable of the dry brush effect if you write quickly.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

The ink, while black, is not SUPER dark. Kuretake also has no specs on the archival quality or lightfastness of the ink.

The tip is comparable to the Pentel Pocket Brush.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

 

Something interesting to note: the refills themselves are quite large, and the grip section is thick enough to be used on its own. Because you don’t necessarily need the pen body, I wouldn’t be surprised if some folks prefer using the refill alone.

Verdict

Overall, I really like the CocoIro! I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try it. They are very reasonably priced and I definitely see myself using them in future lettering and calligraphy projects.

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

Pros:

  • Just so CUTE!!!
  • Lightweight, ergonomic shape
  • Affordable price
  • Refillable
  • Extra fine brush is nice and stiff for precise lettering
  • Bristle brush has nice line variation

Cons:

  • Butt of refill sticks out, looks silly
  • Super fine brush tip may wear out easily
  • Ink is not SUPER dark, more like off black
  • Matte surface texture picks up lint and stains over time

 

Owl Ink Review | Kuretake CocoIro Lettering Pens

3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

Summer is here and that means… lots of pretty wedding calligraphy!

I recently created a set of 8 wedding-related calligraphy and watercolor graphics for a project, and thought I’d share 3 out of the set as a free clipart sampler.

They were created with brush pen on watercolor paper, scanned, and cleaned up in Photoshop. (side note: for a tutorial that covers how to clean up lettering in Photoshop, check out my post on How to Add Lettering to a Photo)

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

If you are anything like me, a LOT of your friends are getting married right now. Make some pretty art as a gift for the newlywed couple! You can also try printing them out onto cards or labels.

Here are some examples of art I made with these 3 clipart files. I had fun practicing my graphic design skills on these :)

All images are from Unsplash, my favorite resource for beautiful free stock photos.

Scroll down for the link to download these files!

 

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

Owl Ink - 3 Free Wedding Calligraphy Downloads

 

You can download them HERE. Feel free to remix, modify, and alter these clipart files ~BUT~ personal projects only please– do not use them in anything you intend to sell.  I made these with my own time and I hope you can respect the creative process :) Many thanks and hope you enjoy!