Archive | stationery

get your free set of valentine note cards + envelopes

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to share a few freebie love note designs.

What’s not to LOVE about watercolor hearts, arrows, rain clouds raining down hearts?

My illustrations were scanned and formatted into sweet little note cards with matching diy envelopes. Keep reading for the how-to and to download the files!

To make the envelopes, here’s what you’ll need:

free-valentine-and-envelopes templates printed on thick white paper / scissors / adhesive (like this) / washi tape (here’s my favorite source)

STEP ONE / cut template on dashed lines


cut-out-envelope-template STEP TWO / fold in sides, press firmly to crease

fold-in-sides STEP THREE / fold up bottom, press firmly to crease

fold-up-bottom-flap STEP FOUR / use glue dots (or other adhesive) to attach bottom flap to sides

glue-dots-on-envelope STEP FIVE / write a love note and slip it in

card-in-envelope STEP SIX / fold down top flap and seal with washi tape

plus-envelope-taped Add a name to the front and send to your valentine!



plus-envelope There are four designs with matching note cards + envelopes, but feel free to mix & match!

These cards and envelopes can be found in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!



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Let’s talk about Christmas Cards

You may not know this about me, but I designed custom Christmas cards for the first 10 years of my business.

By fortunate connections between my sister and a very talented local photographer in Seattle, I worked on projects for some wonderful Seattle families including a pretty famous one by the name of Gates. Each year they ordered 750 handmade cards with handwritten front and return addresses. I did this nine years in a row. Those nine years were insane.

One year, I finalized a design with The Family, gave birth the next day to our son, then worked non-stop on cards for the following 4 weeks. Needless to say, I can’t really remember much about November 2007.

This was all during the time when handmade cards were the rage. Layers of paper, ribbons, vellum, cutouts, a real photo (here’s a sample of some of my past projects). I loved the families I created for and loved the way it helped support our family, but 10 years in and with JDC moving in a different direction, it was time to say no to custom work.

But even after no longer taking custom clients, I continued to design our family’s yearly Christmas cards. It felt wrong for a stationery designer to not design her own cards!

Then one year, I just didn’t have it in me. With four little ones and a blog to keep up with and a hundred other Christmas traditions to carry on, creating our Christmas cards felt like something I needed to let go of.  Rather than giving up on the tradition altogether, I decided to let someone else design our cards. That year was the first time I ordered through Minted.

Honestly, I’ll probably never go back to making Christmas cards myself :)

I’m not saying you shouldn’t if that is something you love to do. In fact, I love receiving handmade cards and so appreciate all the time and effort that goes in to putting your creative touch on your cards. Being your own designer can save you money and you get to create exactly what you want. Plus, it can be very fun.

But if you’re not as inclined to design your own (or you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all the to-dos already stacking up this holiday season!) may I suggest taking a peek at the wonderfulness over on Minted?

I had so much fun looking through all the designs this year, trying out our photo in each one and finally made a selection (they should arrive any day!) There are so many great designs to pick from and I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorites this year:

Favorite Non-Photo Christmas Cards from Minted 2015 / jones design company

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12


Favorite Foil-Pressed Christmas Cards 2015 from Minted /jones design company

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9


Favorite Photo Christmas Cards Minted 2015 / jones design company

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12


So cute, right? There are hundreds of other great designs with fun options for colors and shapes and they even offer envelope addressing for free.

You can order your cards now

// OR //

enter to win a $250 Minted gift card!


Click here to enter.  Minted will select TWO winners.

Giveaway ends Friday November 27th. Good luck!

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audrey’s 5th birthday invitations


My baby is turning 5. What?!

She’s just the best. She brings a girly flair to our family with her constant songs and dancing, she makes us all laugh and maaaybe has her daddy wrapped around her finger. Possibly her mommy and brothers, too.

The kids and I talk about our favorites all the time – favorite colors, favorite food, favorite memory. They all know that my favorite animal is a dolphin (I have been known to cry when I see sea life. I don’t know what it is, they are just so magical and majestic. Sea World is a teary place for me).


So when Audrey told me she wanted to have a dolphin party for her 5th birthday, there may have been a few secret happy tears. She knows her mama loves them and so she likes them too. See? She’s just the best. (Well, except when she’s not.)

Since I’m kinda into designing things, I had fun creating this invitation for her upcoming party. There probably won’t be a lot of decorations or fancy party food since we’re having it at an indoor pool, but I love making invitations and couldn’t help myself with the dolphin theme.

One little trick I wanted to share with you is how I add the glitter details. The secret? Glitter glue. This one, to be exact.


I used a free dolphin graphic and glitter digital paper to add to the invitation. The cards are printed on thick matte photo paper from home on this printer.


Then I filled in the outlines with the glitter glue.


And filled in the 5 as well.



The glue dries in about 30 minutes and does not flake off like regular glitter, so it works well for these types of projects.


I also added a few gold dots to a diy envelope liner (plain paper cut to fit).



Didn’t they turn out cute?!


We can’t wait to celebrate our dolphin-loving girl.


Want to learn how to create invitations like the one above? You will love our Simplified Graphic Design class! CLICK HERE to learn more.


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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 //



// B A B Y //



// H O L I D A Y //



// P A R T Y //



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).


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?


Here’s what you’ll need:


:: 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.


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


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


Hand fold little pleats in the tissue paper.


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


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


Trim the excess tissue paper.


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


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


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



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.


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}.


Next, I used glitter paint to fill in the 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.


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



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





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.


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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collaboration with noonday {with a giveaway}

Do you ever feel like you want to make a difference, but you just don’t know how? Like anything you do feels somehow insignificant to a world in need of so much more than you can offer?

Me too.

It’s like we’re plugging a hole in a raft with one hundred more.

But I’ve heard story after story of little acts making a huge impact in one person’s life. A boy who had food to eat that day. A surprise latte that encouraged a hopeless neighbor. A pair of shoes for a child without. These don’t seem like a big deal to most of us – we eat and have jobs and wear clothes like its normal – but to those who need it most, it is a miracle.

I like being part of miracles.

Which is why I love Noonday Collection.


Noonday Collection sells jewelry, gifts, items for the home and accessories – all made by artisans working their way out of poverty.  They also advocate for orphans, offering care and prevention, and support adoption as well.   All items are fair-trade and locally made, which means with each purchase, you are truly making a difference.


I am honored to announce that JDC and Noonday have collaborated on a new journal. I know it’s just a little thing, but I feel so honored to be part of something bigger – helping women across the world make ends meet for their families.


My part was simply to design the cover and the artisans in India turned them in to beautiful works of art. Each is 5 x 7 and printed on super thick cotton paper.

The cotton pages inside are blank so you can jot notes, doodle, dream or journal.


Each journal included information about the artisan who created the journal – it reminds us that even a small purchase can make a big difference in another family’s life.


The journals are now available at Noonday Collection.

I just know you will love them!

To kick things off, we have two lovely journals to give away. Here are the rules:

1. like JDC facebook page {right here}

2. like Noonday Collection facebook page {right here}

3. leave a comment

I’ll announce the winners this week!

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vintage baby shower invitations

Even though my business has moved away from doing custom invitations, I love being able to do a few projects here and there for family and friends.

My dear friend Julia is pregnant with her third baby {the first girl} and I was the invitation-creator for her upcoming shower.

She is one of those friends who makes yummy homemade meals and gives the most thoughtful gifts and so I wanted to reciprocate and make the baby shower invitations special, thoughtful and unique.

She has a love of vintage things, likes sweet but not too girlie, and is definitely not into pink.  And she comes from an Italian family {hence the baby amore}.

I think the combination of the cursive font, scalloped edge, linen, vintage lace, trim and stitched top give it the feminine, vintage feel I was hoping for.

The cards are petite and when put in the envelope there was a enough room to be able to stitch them closed.

Did you know you can sew paper?

Simple handmade invitations.   And a pretty keepsake for the mommy-to-be.

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free printable valentines

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist, a talk show host, or a window dresser {you know, those people who create the displays for department store windows}.

Funny thing is, I sort-of pretend to be all of these now that I am a grown up. I record videos of myself for the blog. I make little displays of products to photograph and pretend to be a stylist. And every once in a while, I pull out my watercolors and indulge the artist dream.

Free Watercolor Valentines / jones design company

A few weeks ago, I was feeling creative and started painting. These valentines are what came out. I think they are pretty cute.

{sweet love}

{love birds}


{pair} this one is my favorite!


The cards are now in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!


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my cousin’s wedding invitations

My second littlest cousin is getting married this fall. We adore her fiance and can’t wait for their special wedding day.

jen + brett

{aren’t they the most darling couple?! Photos by the talented Stacy Jacobsen}

Jen asked me to create her invitations and I was so pleased to do them for her. She wanted something vintage-y, fun, a little bit formal and the groom wanted to somehow incorporate a ‘tree with roots’ {love you, brett!}. Here is what we came up with:

wedding invitation suite

The package came in a navy envelope with cute wraparound labels.

envelope front

envelope back

All of the invitation pieces were bundled with a striped wrap and tied with twine.

invitation all tied up with twine

invitation close up

The tree with roots turned out really cute with their initials subtly added.

rsvp card

rsvp envelope

We used envelopes in curry from Paper Source for the rsvp card. I love the pop of color.

driving directions ferry schedule

The wedding is at a gorgeous farm across the sound from Seattle, so we included a ferry schedule for local travelers.

registry card

And a dainty registry card.

dot line

I started jones design company 10 years ago doing custom invitations for brides, new babies, parties and holiday cards.  As our family has grown and I’ve entered this blogging world, my business has changed and custom design work has taken a back seat.

I get questions every once in a while asking about design projects and it makes me sad to say no. Especially when I don’t have a list of great referrals to offer. I always suggest my friends Rae {www.armommy.com} and Lindsay {www.lindsayletters.com}, but with one just having a baby and another expecting her first, I know they are both limited with how much work they can take on too.

So I thought this might be a good chance to open up the comments to those of you who are stationery designers. If you have a business doing invitations, announcements, or other graphic design please leave a link to your website in the comments. Feel free to leave a little snippet about what you do or services you offer.

If you are looking for custom design work, please check through the comments to see if someone fits your aesthetic. I hope it becomes a great resource.

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valentines for your valentines


Do you have a valentine?


Or a friend who is extra sweet?


Do your kids want to send something special to their best buddies?


Introducing a collection of printable valentines perfect for your valentines.


These valentines are printable files – simply download the pdf, print on your favorite card stock and trim along the dotted lines {provided in the file}.

If you don’t have a printer at home or the office, any print shop {kinkos, office depot, etc.} can print the files for you. Each design is 3.5 x 5 and formatted with four cards per page. The file is yours to keep and you are welcome to print as many as you like.

You will need Adobe reader in order to view the full pdf,
which you can download for free {HERE}.


Select your favorite design and purchase by using the ‘buy now’ button under each card.

big heart

big heart | $2.95


i love you

i love you | $2.95



ampersand | $2.95



loopy | $2.95



brackets | $2.95


scallop dots

scallop dots | $2.95



plaid | $2.95



cherry | $2.95



umbrella | $2.95


Do you * l o v e * more than one? Purchase them all for $7.95


How sweet.

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embellished note cards

Did you receive anything wonderful for Christmas? Or attend any special parties? Maybe you enjoyed lunch out with a girlfriend or a casual get-together with your neighbors? I do hope so : that is what makes the holidays so much fun.

Have you sent a thank you note yet?

If not, I have just the project for you.


I have created four different printable note cards that you can download and print at home.


You can simply print and cut and use them as they are.


Or you can embellish the cards to give them a bit more personality. I’ll show you four of my favorite options: rounded corners, layered, glittered edges and watercolored.



This one is pretty straight-forward. But I always love the simplicity and modern sensibility of rounded corners on a note card.


You can purchase a corner rounder at most craft stores in the scrapbook section. Mine is from the Creative Memories line and I’ve had it for at least 10 years! You can purchase it {here}.


Another simple way to dress up a plain notecard – give it a layer of color.


First trim off 1/16th inch from each side {so that the finished card size is 3 3/8 x 4 7/8}


Cut your background paper {a solid color cardstock is great, or your favorite scrapbook paper} to 3 1/2 x 5.


Now attach the layers.


I use that crazy tape gun {purchase here}, but I also think Glue Dots {or strips} are pretty ingenious.


Stick on a couple of glue strips, then center on the cardstock and press to adhere.




Stickles is a great product of glitter glue that dries to look like you just glittered the edges {not lumpy like you think glitter glue would dry}. I’m assuming you can get it at most craft stores or you can get it online {here}


Using a scrap piece of paper behind, angle the tip against the edge of the note card, gently squeeze and run a line of glitter all the way down each side.



So pretty.


Pull out your children’s water color set {or you own!} and paint just the edges of the note cards.


Or paint a thin line just a smidge away from the edges.





Four easy ways to make the cards your own.


If you’d like to create your own thank you notes, please purchase the digital file by clicking on the buy now button below.  Each card is formatted with four to a page so you can print just your favorite sentiment, or all of them.  You’ll need adobe reader to view the pdf which you can download for free {here}

download   print

Just in case you are curious:

I have a Canon Pixma ip8500 printer which I think is great. It is a photo quality printer that has 8 ink cartridges and takes heavy paper nicely. I appreciate that. However, it is discontinued. I’m doing a bit of research on other great printer options, but as of now, I don’t have a great suggestion as I haven’t given any other ones a try.  I wouldn’t want to make a recommendation without knowing if it is a good one or not.

I can say that if you are hoping to print stationery from home, try to find a printer that will accept heavy paper {up to 120 lb}.  I’m guessing that the more ink cartridges the better the color will be, so maybe look for one with multiple colors rather than the basic black, magenta, cyan & yellow {mine takes those plus green, red, photo magenta and photo cyan}.

One more thing:

Paper Source has a really great selection of card stock & envelopes. One of my favorites to print on is this paper:


{luxe white}

If you are looking for a super heavy paper, the luxe white comes in 300 gsm as well. You may want to double check that your printer will accept such thick paper, but it is wonderful!

I love all of the colors of their cover weight paper



And if you are in need of envelopes, they have some great ones as well


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holiday confections {invitations}

My sister hosted the most wonderful holiday party last night.

I wanted to do a ‘cookie swap’ party, but with a slight spin on it.  Rather than send the guests home with paper plates full of delicious treats, it seemed like a fun idea for the girls to package the sweets up with pretty ribbons and tags and boxes and bags.

My sister agreed to host it, she put together a guest list of some of her darling friends and the cookie exchange party idea came together.

My new blog-friend Lindsay used her amazing calligraphy talent to design the most perfectly clever invitations.


I printed her artwork on heavy paper, rounded the corners, wrapped it in parchment paper and tied on a tag with bakers twine {purchased here}.


Can you read the invite? So cute.



The envelopes got some special treatment with a sweet banner as well.

Thank you to Lindsay for such beautiful work!


If you are in need of calligraphy or design work, she’s your girl.

{photos of the party to come on monday :}

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feeling good

I’m feeling good about myself this morning :


: our family christmas cards are ready to be put in the mail


Since I make cards for a living, I always feel this self-induced pressure to send out my ‘best creation yet’ for our holiday card.


But by the end of the season, I’m typically out of new ideas and our card doesn’t get the royal treatment. This year was no exception, but I did go to the extra effort to hand cut each one and I do love how they turned out.


p.s. If you’re last name is Jamieson, Ostan, Coonrad or Allen : would you mind sending me your address?

: teacher gifts are finished and packaged.


The boys’ beloved teachers are getting a set of gift tags with some string and a navy blue flower pin. 


A little something out of the norm for their sweet teachers.

: while taking these photos, santa’s little helper found my stack of tissue.


IMG_8267  IMG_8266

I think gift un-wrapping will be very exciting for her this year.

: but I’ll tell you what I’m not feeling good about :

Our christmas tree stand didn’t enjoy being moved {for the third time this season} and decided to fall over just minutes after admiring it in its new perfect spot. Oops. Only a few ornaments were injured in the fall, but we now have a tree with a broken stand leaning against the wall.


We are hosting a big party here on Saturday, so I guess the good news is that it will be fixed by then. Don’t you love hosting parties for that very reason? All of the little tasks you’ve wanted to finish get done {and the bathrooms get cleaned as well}.


Now off I go to the mall to buy myself some boots. And maybe a skirt. Or two.

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free printable holiday gift tags

My sister and her sister-in-law have a little holiday motto:

wrapped and done by december one

The amazing part about it is that they actually adhere to it!

{me, not so much}


Perhaps, like my sister, you have found {or made} the perfect gifts and you are at the wrapping stage.  Or maybe you are more like me and you haven’t even written a gift list yet. Either way, when you do get to the wrapping part, you’ll need some cute gift tags, right?


Because I love a creatively wrapped package, I’ve created a collection of gift tags to adorn presents this Christmas.


And because I think you are the greatest reader-friends ever, I’d like to give the collection to you as an early {mini} Christmas gift.


Simply download the pdf, print on cardstock, trim, punch a hole and tie onto your loved ones’ gifts.


IMG_7967 IMG_7971


 You can download the tags in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!


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