Monday, May 23, 2011

(Em)bossy Brides - Embossing Wedding Craft Ideas and DIY

my new mom gift for emerson's mom, corrie.  photo by me.

I promised a post on how I made my own social cards, and here it is.  On Sunday afternoon, the duckling was sleeping and the husband was watching baseball (therefore also sleeping), so I took the opportunity to whip out my box of embossing stuff to make this post for you.  How thoughtful, no?  For those of you not familiar with embossing, I'll give you the 30 second elevator pitch on what embossing is - you take a rubber stamp, ink it with embossing ink, stamp it on your paper, sprinkle embossing powder over the ink, use an embossing (heating) gun on the powder, and the stamp puffs & lifts up off the paper.  It's all quite magical, really. 

I should confess that once I start embossing, it's hard to stop.  The same can be said whenever I'm around guacamole.  So while I started out with modest aspirations to simply show my cute custom stamp and how it can be used, I ended up with a pile of personalized letterhead, a gift for a new mom and "couple's" stationery for my friends Chelsey and Shane.  So rather than keep these items to myself, I'm going to show them all to you as well as make suggestions as to how you can put some of these ideas to good use, helping you cross something off your wedding to do list (bridesmaids gifts, anyone?).

First up is the custom stamp.  This will be followed by a few examples of variations using the stamp, then some monogrammed cards I made for a new mom friend, followed by the couple's stationery and then finally the how-to and a few ideas on how to use embossing for your wedding needs.  Seriously, it will take me longer to write this post than it took me to make all this stuff. 

The Stamp.  I ordered the stamp with the patient and friendly guidance of Carol, a manager at my local Paper Source store (I actually used Paper Source four years ago, before they came to Brooklyn, for all my own wedding paper needs, buying everything at one of their Boston locations.  As you can imagine I was beyond jazzed when they showed up a few months ago two blocks from my house. Spectacular).  Carol not only helped me place my custom stamp order but also showed me how to use an embossing gun.  I was hooked.  I think I went back four more times that week before my custom stamp was even ready to buy more embossing powders and stamps.

You've seen the social cards and envelopes I made here, but I can also use my stamp to make letterhead and stationery by "blocking" out my contact info, meaning I place a scrap piece of paper between my contact info and the rubber stamp when putting it to the paper, so that I can use just the name portion of my stamp.

White on white?  Yes, please.

Cute enough, but we are just getting started!

After the jump, Corrie's gift, Chelsey & Shane's stationery, the how-to and embossing ideas for your wedding.


Corrie, a florist who I often recommend to my brides, just had a baby girl named Emerson, and with an upcoming visit scheduled, I thought it would be nice to make her some Emerson inspired correspondence cards for thank you notes and the such.  I keep a box of miscellaneous paper around for cases just like this, so after digging around for a few minutes, I came up with these cute note cards, a purchase from Paper Source a few months back, and these pretty envelopes.  I've had them so long I have no idea where they are from.  Sorry, pretty envelope maker!

I just love the texture you get with embossing.

Here the are, ready to be gift wrapped (I like to knit, so I just nabbed some green yarn from my knitting stash to bind the cards and envelopes together).

Again, all things I had laying around.  The pom poms and tissue paper will be making another appearance here soon when I cover the (second) biggest party of the millennium, the duckling's first birthday party.

Had enough yet? Me neither!

Moving onto my couple themed stationery for Chelsey & Shane.

Ok, here's a photo recap of how simple embossing is.  As much as I love crafts, my free time is limited, thanks to mommyhood, a full time job and my American Idol Season 10 online pool commissioner status, so this is a great, quick crafting project that doesn't require any real artistic abilities to speak of.  You really just have to have hands. 

Step One: get your supplies.

Available at any craft store, your necessities include an embossing gun, embossing ink pad (I went with clear), embossing powder in any color(s) of your choosing and any rubber stamps that suit your fancy.  You'll also need card stock to emboss onto, and I also recommend scrap sheets of paper, one per powder color, to catch the extra powder, as it can be reused.

Step two: ink up your stamp of choice

Step Three: put the stamp to the paper

Step four: sprinkle powder on your stamp

Step five: tap off the excess powder (onto your scrap paper for recycling)

Step six: moving evenly back and forth about an inch above the stamp, apply heat from the embossing gun to the stamp.  You can see the top right corner of the "E" puffing up.  Go, "E", go, you're looking hot.

So how to put all this to use for your own wedding?  Here are a few of many ideas (maybe Carol will send over some examples from her embossing oeuvre.  She's a pro, so her stuff is totally rad).

Bridesmaid's gifts
Create a custom rubber address stamp (along with great papers and ink pads) for each of your bridesmaids.  Type stamps, like mine, are obviously available through Paper Source.  There's also a really lovely calligraphy custom stamp service available from Paperfinger.  And of course you'll be presenting them with handmade (by you) embossed envelopes to get them started.  You could also create stamps of just their names, minus the addresses, if your maids are of the more nomadic mindset.  See below for Paperfinger's stamp.  I mean...
Table Numbers
Emboss your table numbers with a lovely graphic that coordinates with your theme.  Here's a lovely mum stamp from Paper Source that I could do all sorts of damage with.  Offset the stamp on the upper corner for a more custom look.
I love this calligraphy scroll, a great option for your programs.

Here are two cute options for embossing your menu cards. 

I need a nap.  

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