Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DIY Photo Envelope Liner tutorial

Now that you've seen our invitations, I want to show you how to make my favorite part: the envelope liners! This was by far the part of the invitation that we've gotten the most feedback on. It's an unexpected touch, and everyone seems to think they're really cool. It was a lot of work, but I'm so glad we did it.

The idea started when I saw this photo on Style Me Pretty from a New York City wedding.
Style Me Pretty / Photo by Christian Oth Studio / Stationery by Cheree Berry
It tied together my obsession with pretty paper and our Chicago theme. The first step was to find the right photo. Chicago has an amazing skyline, but it was hard to find a shot that was tall rather than wide. This is important because otherwise the triangle on top would a) cut off tops of the buildings on either end of the skyline, and b) show a lot of sky instead of skyline. Fortunately, a Google image search found me this photo taken from the Skydeck of the Sears Tower.
Flickr account of shoffman11
It features the Hancock Building, Trump Tower, and my old work building. I cropped it to the correct size of the envelope, made it black-and-white, and adjusted the color levels and sharpness in iPhoto to enhance the lines of the buildings.

I printed off 90 copies on our home printer. I tried making copies at Kinkos, but the quality was best at home. Even though it's a black-and-white image, printing them in color also made the image look better.

Then, I gathered my supplies:
  • one of your envelopes
  • liners
  • scissors
  • pen
  • ruler
  • bone folder
  • tape runner
First, you need to make a template for your liner. To do this, you'll need to sacrifice one envelope. Carefully tear the back flaps open...
 ...and then cut off the side flaps. That's your template!
Next, place your template on top of whatever you'd like to use as your envelope liner and use the pen to trace around the edges of the template. It's important to recruit your fiancé(e) to do this with you.
I just want to note here that your envelope liner does not need to be as deep as the envelope. Ours was just long enough that it covered the exposed diamond (the flap and just underneath it).

The next step is to cut out your liner. Be sure to cut just inside the lines because a) the liner needs to be slightly smaller than the envelope to slide in easily, and b) you don't want pen marks showing on your envelope.
Next, use your tape runner along the bottom edge of the liner.
Carefully slide the liner into the envelope and line it up.
 Press down to secure it in place.
Take your ruler and line it up with the crease in the envelope. Then, run your bone folder across the edge of the ruler to make a crisp fold in your liner.
 Fold over your liner and use your tape runner along both edges of the triangle.
Fold the flap down to stick the liner into place. And that's it! Your finished product will look like this.
You can use any kind of paper to line envelopes. I used a photo, but you can use patterned scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, book pages, newspaper, magazine pages...anything!

It took a lot of time to do 90 envelopes, but I think it was completely worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I hope this helps some of you do it, too!

1 comment:

  1. Wait!!!! You MADE these???!!!! I had NOOOO idea!! Quit your day job and go work for Papyrus! You would make a KILLING!! LOVE THEM LOVE THEM LOVE THEM!!