A decade ago, I never would have thought to offer printables on a blog. I was in college at the time, and I was just noticing printables popping up on websites that I followed. I always wondered who on earth actually used printable stationery, invitation, and artwork downloads! To me, things that were printed off at home looked cheap (I suspect that a large part of the problem was my hand-me-down printer and generic ink).
Now that I’m older, wiser, and have a decent inkjet printer, I rejoice in printables! You can find them all over the TPK blog, displayed in my home, and in practically every piece of mail art that I send. I am a true printables convert, and there’s no going back from here. I love how I can draw or calligraph something once, scan it, digitize it, and print it off 100 times if I want to! Today, I’m celebrating printables, springtime, and travel with the “Springtime in Paris” stationery set and a surprise free printable that’s available for the month of June.
The “Springtime in Paris” Printable Stationery Set
In early 2015, I drew a series of four Parisian-themed illustrations using a Nikko G nib and India ink. Many TPK readers will be familiar with the Nikko G nib as — arguably — the best beginner calligraphy nib. However, the Nikko G was actually designed to create artwork with, and it does a beautiful job when used for illustrations! After I finished these illustrations, I liked them so much that I made them into a printable stationery set.
Each A7 (5″ x 7″, 127 mm x 178 mm) card featured in the set is multi-purpose. You can send one as a general greeting card, a birthday card, congratulations … whatever. Anything you’ve got going on, these cards are up for the task! Here’s a brief description of each one:
“Rosy Arc de Triomphe” Card
You may recognize this card from last month, when I made the Rosy Arc de Triomphe available as a printable illustration. This card is wonderful for anyone who has an affinity for travel or France!
“Chatting at the Café” Card
The Parisian lifestyle practically requires at least an afternoon or two per week spent relaxing at a café. This illustration depicts a woman chatting amicably with a server. The tulips in her bag tell us she just got back from the local market!
This card reminds me of a fun story. In college, I had a French professor who spent most of his breaks in Paris. One day, he went to a café there and started chatting with an American gentleman (in French) about the structure of French grammar. Both he and the American agreed: they enjoy French grammatical structures much more than English grammatical structures. After an hour or so, the American said goodbye. After he left, the waitress ran to the professor’s table. “What was he like?!” she demanded. “Who?” my professor asked, confused. “The man you were just talking to! Johnny Depp!!!”
“Afternoon Shopping” Card
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved drawing pretty ladies. I had a lot of fun with this illustration … I love the movement in her dress, her perfectly tilted hat, and the contented turn of her lips.
This illustration is also available as printable artwork for framing, decoupage, or coloring. You can find several different size versions here.
French Toile Pattern
The “Springtime in Paris” Printable Stationery Set also includes a multi-purpose toile pattern. I love using it as an envelope liner, but you can and should feel free to use it for anything you want!
Printing and Assembly
The type of paper that you can print your cards out on depends on your printer. I use an HP OfficeJet 4650 printer, which I purchased last month. I think I may be in love — it prints beautifully on 100 lb. cardstock. I’ve never owned a printer that can do that before! I just make sure to put one piece of cardstock in at a time, and I tell the printer that I’ve loaded it with “photo paper”.
Once you’ve printed the card template, cut it out along the outside guidelines. The resulting cutout will be 10″ (254 mm) wide by 7″ (178 mm) tall.
Next, fold the card in half.
Add a pop of color if you want to. I used watercolor here, but any medium will work!
Once you feel satisfied with how the card looks, send it!
A June Freebie
As I mentioned above, the “French Bouquet” card is available as a free printable for the month of June. If you like it, be sure to download it in the next few weeks. On June 30th, it will disappear as a freebie (though it will always be part of the Parisian Stationery Set).
Whether you’re a Francophile or just someone who appreciates pen and ink drawings, I hope that you enjoy the stationery set! Remember that not all printers can handle card stock, so I recommend testing yours out before purchasing the set. If you don’t have any luck, you can always print on 32# laserjet paper, cut out the drawing, and decoupage it onto cardstock. There’s always a creative workaround!
Thanks very, very much for reading TPK, and have an awesome weekend!