Every once in a while, I get a big chunk of time to make a stunning envelope. This week presented no such opportunity (we welcomed a new baby into the family a month and a half ago, after all), but I still wanted to make a pretty piece of snail mail to send a thank you note. With the help of the lace butterfly printable, today’s envelope art tutorial comes together quickly!
The Inspiration for This Envelope Art Tutorial
For a long time, I’ve wanted to make an envelope art tutorial based on the rent check envelope below. One thing stopped me, and that was the mountain motif: it’s pretty specific to Colorado and other mountainous areas. I decided that a tutorial with such a motif wouldn’t have wide appeal.
After giving it some thought, I realized that mountains could be swapped out for a butterfly. I also liked the idea of bringing some gold into the motif. And, voilà! Today’s envelope art concept is much quicker and — I think — has wider appeal. Here’s how to make it:
1. Make a Gold Watercolor Circle
Start by using a pencil to draw a circle that’s about 1.75″ (4.45 cm) in diameter in the horizontal middle of a kraft envelope. (I’m using an A7 “Straw Kraft” envelope from Cards & Pockets.) Try to position the circle a bit closer to the top of the envelope than the bottom of the envelope.
Next, moisten a pan of gold watercolor, and use that watercolor to paint the circle.
2. Draw an Embellished Banner
Now, use a pencil to draw two curved rectangles that originate from either edge of of the gold circle. The rectangles should extend to about 3/4″ (~2 cm) from the edges of the envelope.
Next, draw extensions and add embellishments to the banner as shown below:
3. Add a Butterfly and Lettering
Now, cut out a Tiny Butterfly from the Printable Illustrated Lace Butterflies packet. Generously apply glue to the back of the butterfly, then center/glue it on top of the gold circle. Next, use Roman Style lettering to write the recipient’s first name on the left side of the banner. Then, write their last name on the right side of the banner. Finish up by using some of the letters as starting points for embellishments.
4. Draft Out the Recipient’s Address
Now, use a pencil, the Perfect Calligraphy Envelope Generator, and a ruler to make two sets of calligraphy guidelines below your banner.
Just to be safe as far as spacing and centering goes, go ahead and write a draft of the recipient’s address. (I’m using Janet Style calligraphy for this step.)
5. Add Ink
Once you’re happy with your pencil draft, go ahead and trace over everything with your favorite pen/nib combination and sumi ink. (If you don’t have sumi ink, any fairly thick black ink should work.)
Now, take a white gel pen and use it to fill in the letters in the banner. Incorporating white into the design helps to tie everything together!
Once you finish using your white pen to fill in the letters, use it to enhance some of your embellishments. It’s a good idea to add some thin outlines to the banner and a few well-placed dots.
6. Add Postage and Send!
Once you’re finished, search your stamp collection for something that complements this envelope art motif. A stamp design that incorporates golden tones is ideal, but something black and white or a butterfly-themed stamp could be cool, too!
I hope that this envelope art tutorial inspires you to play around with putting together a design like this one! You can’t go wrong with the circle + banner + calligraphy formula. (I love this formula so much that I used it on the TPK calligraphy starter kit box design.) Thanks so much for reading, and happy creating!