Friday, October 29, 2004


Here's how I made myself some rustic handmade stationery.

First I should explain that whenever I endeavor to create something new, I first look to see if I can make it out of something that I would otherwise throw away. Likewise, I derive a lot of my inspiration from looking at trash and wondering if it can be put to some other use.

With that said, I will continue with my stationery instructions.

I got an envelope I would have otherwise thrown away:

I had my choice of these. Waaaaay too much junk mail in this house.

Then I carefully opened it up. Didn't need to use steam or anything. I don't have the patience for that anyway.

Then I gathered all the other necessary materials:

Handmade paper, envelope, scissors, glue stick. Not pictured is a ruler, a pen, and a cookie sheet, which I realized later I also needed.

I set the open envelope on the paper diagonally because it didn't fit any other way.

Then I began to trace and the pen went right through the paper. Doh! Got the cookie sheet, put it underneath, and kept tracing.

This is what it looked like when I finished:

Then I saw that I needed to know where to fold, so I got a ruler and started making fold lines. I used corners as reference points for drawing the lines.

Here's what it looks like with all the necessary fold lines:

I cut out the envelope:

Then I folded on all the fold lines:

I glued in all the obvious places:

And pressed it shut:

But it wouldn't stick! The paper was too thick (more on that later), and I didn't press it for long enough. So I put the cookie sheet on it, and set something heavy on the cookie sheet:

That didn't last for more than half a minute, though, because I got bored just sitting there. Thankfully, it was enough to get it to stick.

So I set out to find some paper that could fit in this envelope. I got out another sheet of handmade paper, the thinnest one I'd made, and folded it. I tried to stick it in, but the envelope wouldn't close. So I tore some of it off one side (didn't want to cut because it would ruin the look of the other 3 sides of paper) and kept readjusting until it fit in the envelope and it could close.

Here's the torn paper with another handmade sheet next to it for size comparison:

And here it is, folded and in the envelope:

Okay, now for the evaluation...

This project didn't go completely smoothly. There were problems. When I folded the sides, the paper cracked.

This is probably due to the fact that it was too thick and stiff. It could probably have been avoided had I been more careful and diligent in making them as thin as possible.

I have an artist friend who looked at my papermaking post and said I didn't use enough water in the tray. She accurately predicted that the paper would be too thick. Her suggestion to me was to use more water the next time. I will, and am very grateful for her feedback.

As for this one, am I despondent? Heavens no! I loved this project. The cracks are more cosmetic than anything else. The mini stationery set, though only consisting of one envelope and one lone piece of paper, are still useful for the purposes I'd envisioned.


Blogger Cat said...

Awesome! Def. usable and looks very pretty. You will probably develop a knack for sensing how thin/thick to make the paper so it folds well. Additives in the pulp will help as well. You could also try smaller frames to make smaller size notepaper to avoid folding at first.

8:17 PM  

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