If you’ve ever created an envelope that you would like to add a little bit of “oomph” to, then you’ll enjoy this two-part series! In it, you’ll learn four simple envelope embellishments that take minimal time to make, yet pack a serious visual punch. Today, we’ll cover the first two tutorials, and on Friday I will have two more for you!
Thin Flourish Envelope Embellishments
“Thin Flourish” envelope embellishments can be added to any envelope, even as an afterthought! To make an envelope like this, you’ll want to start by writing the address in an elegant calligraphy style like the Janet, as shown below. (You can find the printable envelope guideline template in Amazing Envelopes for a Latté.) Make sure you are using a watery ink that facilitates thin upstrokes, such as Walker’s Copperplate Ink or McCaffery’s Black Ink.
Once the ink has dried, erase your pencil guidelines.
Next, use the same ink and a very light touch to draw curves and swirls coming off of the letters and numbers in the address. The placement of the curves/swirls should be totally random; don’t be afraid to intersect other letters!
The curves should be thin enough that, after you’re finished, all of the original lettering should stand out well. Once you’re satisfied with your flourishy envelope embellishments, you can add stamps and send!
All in all, drawing the swirls and curves takes about a minute to do. I love the look of this quick envelope embellishment technique, and I hope you keep it in mind the next time you want to make a gorgeous piece without spending all afternoon on it!
Retro Envelope Embellishments
These groovy envelope embellishments only require watercolor paint and a dip pen plus black ink! To get started making a piece like this one, you can begin by writing the recipient’s name on the envelope with a left justification. I used Roman Style hand-lettering and Cardinal Red Ziller ink here, but you can use any lettering and ink combination that appeals to you!
Once the watercolor calligraphy has dried, use the same color of watercolor to paint different sizes of circles around the envelope. The placement of the circles should be totally random!
After you’re finished painting, the envelope will look something like the one below:
At this point, you’ll want to take your dip pen — or a standard gel pen or fine-tipped black marker; it really doesn’t matter — and draw an outline around each circle. Your goal is to *not* be exact! Non-perfect outlines give the piece a more creative look.
The envelope looks cool just like that, but now you’re going to take it a step further! Use the same pen to randomly form groups of circles with straight lines, as shown below.
You don’t need to follow any set rules for connecting the circles. In the end, it will all come together to look like you meticulously planned the layout from the get-go!
Once the ink has dried, you can add a stamp or two and get the envelope on its way!
These “Retro” envelope embellishments take slightly longer to make than the “Thin Flourish” embellishments, but the process is still uncomplicated, fun, and creative! Remember: the steps in both tutorials are simply suggestions. You should feel free to modify them as you see fit!
I hope that you enjoyed both of today’s envelope art embellishments tutorials, and that you feel inspired by this post. Just as a reminder, next month I’ll be traveling to teach two workshops in Portland. The Sunday, 9/25 workshop is sold out, but there are still three spots available on Saturday the 24th! I’d absolutely love to see you there … because the only way to make Portland even more enjoyable than usual is with an afternoon of calligraphy. 😉
I’ll continue this envelope embellishments series this weekend with two more tutorials! In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your day, and thanks very, very much for reading the TPK blog!