Archive | stationery

before I was a blogger …

I used to design custom stationery. It’s really how Jones Design Company began – making wedding invitations, baby announcements, holiday cards. It was my little business that I did from home when my babies were babies. Much of the work was seasonal, which suited our family well. I kinda fell into it and learned along the way. I’ve said it a hundred times before, but I’m a self-taught girl who faked my way through the whole thing.

While creating stationery is no longer my main passion or the direction my business has gone, it has been such a big part of my creative story so far. I have boxes and boxes of samples, proofs, final drafts sitting on the shelves in my office and I thought it would be fun to pull them down, open them up and share a few of my favorites with you. Many of them are old; like from parties or weddings or babies born nearly 10 years ago. Others are projects I’ve worked on more recently for friends or cousins I just can’t say no to. And then there’s a whole stack of cards done for my kids’ birthdays or events we’ve hosted over the years. It’s always fun to look through and see how my style has changed, what trends have passed, and remember these sweet moments.

Have a look at a few favorite designs:

// W E D D I N G S //

wedding-invitations-and-showers

wedding-close

// B A B Y //

baby-announcements-and-showers

baby-close

// H O L I D A Y //

christmas-cards-by-jones-design-company

christmas-cards-close

// P A R T Y //

birthday-invitations-by-jones-design-company

birthday-invitations-close

All this week I’ll be sharing graphic design related posts (a freebie, a tutorial, favorite tips & tricks in Illustrator) as a lead up to my brand new class: Simplified Graphic Design (registration will open next monday).

simplified-graphic-design-logo

More details will come, but I’ll just say it is for beginners who want to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator from a non-techie teacher (that’s me).  I think you’ll love the class and I’m excited about this fun week of posts!

P.S. if you have any graphic design-y questions or tutorials you’d like to see, please post in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them this week.

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pleated projects week: pleated stationery

Today’s pleated project was originally seen on the invitations I created for Audrey’s first birthday.

first birthday invitations with gold pleated tissue paper

I’ve been meaning to do a tutorial for, oh, two years, so I’m glad to finally keep my word.

Would you like to learn how to make pleated stationery?

pleated-stationery-closeup

Here’s what you’ll need:

supplies-for-pleated-stationery

:: tissue paper
:: card stock
:: paper cutter
:: corner punch
:: coordinating thread

 Start by trimming a piece of card stock into your desired size. My favorite stationery is 5 x 7.

cut-paper-into-stationery-size

Round the corners with a corner punch, if you wish.

corner-punch-the-stationery

Cut a long strip of tissue paper {approximately 1.25″ wide}

 cut-tissue-into-strip

Hand fold little pleats in the tissue paper.

make-small-pleats-in-tissue

Then stitch using a contrasting thread through the center of the pleat.

fold-and-stitch-tissue-into-ruffles

There is no need to back stitch – just start at the top and go all the way off the edge of the paper.

stitch-to-end-of-stationery

Trim the excess tissue paper.

cut-off-end-of-tissue

 It makes for a unique way to decorate a plain piece of stationery.

 pleated-statoinery-with-envelope

You can vary where you stitch {this time along the top on a folded note card} for a different look.

floral-pleated-stationery

Or maybe make a fancy bookmark for a reader in your life.

pleated-bookmark-in-book

pleated-bookmark

Sewing pleats to paper is unexpected and adds a feminine touch in a subtle way.

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how to make fancy invitations

Our little girl has a birthday this week.

She had a darling first birthday party {see more here} with pretty invitations, party hats and goodie bags – but she doesn’t remember any of it. We didn’t do a big party last year and so now that she is three and has best friends {as she loves to say}, throwing her a party is a big deal. She’s only been talking about it since last August.

invite-close

We’re not going over-the-top, but it will be a little fancy and so of course I had to do something special with her invitations.

I’ll walk you through how I made these and hopefully share a few helpful tips and tools in case you want to make your own sparkly cards.

First, I designed the invitations in Adobe Illustrator using a silhouette I had already created for another project. I have a tutorial for how to create your own right here. It is not exactly how I made this one, but it works. I’m sure there are a million different ways to create a silhouette – I just like having it in digital format so I can re-size and use for multiple projects. Anyway, design the invitations, print on nice card stock and trim {I use this paper trimmer}.

trim-invites

Next, I used glitter paint to fill in the crown.

glitter-crown

It takes about an hour to dry completely.

In the meantime, switch out the straight blade on the rotary trimmer for a scalloped one {fun, right?!} and cut backing paper to size.

scallop-cut

Besides the paper cutter, my most loved tool is this tape gun. It has rolls of double-sided tape that makes adhering a breeze.

tape-gun

invitation-full

To protect the glitter and mostly because I just love this polka dot tissue paper, I added a piece before inserting into the envelope.

invitation-with-liner

envelope-close

envelope

sticker-label

For the label, I created a template {1.5″ x 11″}, printed on full sheet sticker paper, cut into strips and then cut notches in each end for a ribbon look.

labels

The labels make for an extra special presentation.

We’re excited to celebrate our sweet girl!

One more thought: We can get a little carried away with children’s birthday parties. I know I can. Most three-year-olds don’t care much about details like scalloped edges and tissue paper inserts. And the ruffled tablecloth that I spent all day saturday working on? She’ll probably hardly notice. These things are fun for me and so I go for it. She would be perfectly happy eating cupcakes with her friends at the kitchen table – I think most kids would – but instead we throw them themed parties that cost a fortune and feel a bit over-indulgent. Who are we trying to impress? I’ve had to double-check my motives with each of my kids’ birthdays.  We all love a cute party with fun decorations and a perfectly coordinating food table – I think even our kids do. My oldest adores having decorations up for any celebration. I just want to be mindful of the purpose behind it all: to make my birthday girl/boy feel especially celebrated. Hopefully someday Audrey will look back on these invitations and see that through details like scalloped edges and tissue paper inserts was a mommy who truly loved her and wanted to make her third birthday a fancy one.

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