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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-envelope

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-front

heart-card-and-plus-envelope

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!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE

enjoy!

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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!

minted

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

audrey-birthday-party-invitation

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).

audrey-dolphin-birthday-party-side

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.

add-glitter-glue-to-invitation

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.

glitter-glue-dolphin

Then I filled in the outlines with the glitter glue.

spread-glitter-glue-on-dolphin

And filled in the 5 as well.

glitter-glue-5

glitter-glue-on-5

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

glitter-glue-finished

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

audrey-dolphin-party-invitation-top

audrey-dolphin-party-invitation-side

Didn’t they turn out cute?!

audrey-dolphin-birthday-party-invitation

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

double-line-tiny

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

simplified-graphic-design

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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 //

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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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.

journal

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.

journal-and-pencil

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.

journal-binding

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.

journal-inside

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.

journal-top

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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