Merry Mail Art: Level Up Your Holiday Cards | Kimberly Shrack | Skillshare

Merry Mail Art: Level Up Your Holiday Cards

Kimberly Shrack, Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

Merry Mail Art: Level Up Your Holiday Cards

Kimberly Shrack, Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

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10 Lessons (1h 37m)
    • 1. Class Preview

    • 2. Introduction & Materials

    • 3. Postal Rules & Regulations

    • 4. Vintage North Pole Envelope

    • 5. Cozy Flannel Envelope

    • 6. Modern Menorah Envelope

    • 7. Winter Wonderland Envelope

    • 8. Chic Winter Botanicals Envelope Tutorial

    • 9. Sneaky Reindeer Envelope

    • 10. Project

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About This Class

Sending holiday cards is one of my favorite annual holiday traditions. And this year, we’re taking it up a notch with some seriously stunning mail art!

In this class, you'll learn 6 different ways to take your holiday mail from “this is nice” to “omg, omg, hang it on the fridge.” Together, we’ll create festive mail art using a variety of media, from paint, glitter and gold foil, to regular ol’ ink and paper. This class includes tutorials suitable for any way you celebrate, whether you gather around the Christmas tree, the menorah, the yule log or even the Festivus pole. 

To make the most of this class, it is highly recommended that you first take the Introduction to Modern Brush Calligraphy course, as well as the Envelope Essentials course.


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Meet Your Teacher

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Kimberly Shrack

Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

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Oh, hello there! I'm Kimberly Shrack, the calligrapher and illustrator behind Hoopla! Letters, formerly Manayunk Calligraphy. I specialize in modern brush and pointed pen calligraphy, and have had the opportunity to do some pretty cool things for some very cool folks, like Anthropologie, Crane & Co., Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock, Pure Barre and oh-so many more. But one of my favorite things to do is help other busy ladies rediscover and cultivate their own creativity through calligraphy and lettering.

My own calligraphy journey started in 2012 when I bought a broad pen kit and a book called Calligraphy for Dummies – yes, really. I wanted to address my wedding invitations and thought it would be a fun project. And it was. But (and I’m about to get woo woo here... See full profile

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1. Class Preview: It is the season for being cozy, baking cookies, shopping too much, eating way too much, and my personal favorite, sending holiday cards. This year, we're taking things up a notch and turning our annual holiday card envelopes into little works of art. Festive bill makes Santa say, whoa, whoa, holy moly, these are good. My name is Kim Shrack and I am the calligrapher and illustrator behind Hoopla letters. In this class, I'm going to walk you through six different ways to take your holiday mail from "This is nice," to "Oh my God, oh my God, hang it on the fridge." Together, we'll create festive mail art using a variety of media from paint, glitter, and gold foil to regular all ink and paper. This class includes tutorials suitable to anyway you celebrate. Whether you gather around the Christmas tree, the menorah, the yule log or even the festivus pole. If you're ready to get in the holiday spirit and start a new tradition that is sure to make you your mail carriers favorite, then I hope you'll join me for this class. See you soon. 2. Introduction & Materials: Hello and welcome to class. I'm Kim Shrack, the calligrapher and illustrator behind Hoopla! Letters. Today I'm going to show you how to create some seriously gorgeous and festive mail art. You'll not only have the opportunity to show off your calligraphy skills, but you'll also learn some new illustration and paper crafting techniques. Plus, I can all but guarantee this will start a new tradition among your family and friends. You're about to become the reason they run to the mailbox every morning in December. So I hope you're ready for your new holiday star status. Before we get started, there are a few things you need. First, this will all go much smoother for you if you have a basic understanding of calligraphy. Sure, you can just use your regular handwriting, but we're going over the top here so calligraphy is a must. If you haven't yet, please check out my Introduction to modern brush calligraphy online class for a crash course in the basics. Another helpful resource is my envelope essentials online course. I'll go over basic etiquette and post the rules in the following videos. But if you would like more detailed instructions on how to address an envelope, give it a watch. Ask for supplies; what you need will depend on which tutorials you plan on following. But for all of the designs, you'll need an envelope, obviously, you're going to need a pen, and you're going to need proper postage and a ruler. Other supplies we'll be using include acrylic paint, stamps, embossing tools, markers, foil quills, and a whole lot more. Don't feel like you need to take copious notes. In the resources section of class, you'll find a list of materials for each tutorial and links to where you can purchase them. But remember, all of these are suggestions. I'm showing you a wide variety of tools so you can see the possibilities. I'll also share basic alternatives in each tutorial as well. Speaking of tutorials, here are the different designs we'll be making today: Vintage north pole, modern menorah, Sheikh winter botanicals, cozy flannel, sneaky reindeer, and winter wonderland. Are you pumped? Me too. So go grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate and join me in the next video to learn how to make sure your beautiful work of envelope art gets to where it needs to go. 3. Postal Rules & Regulations: Before we put pen to paper, we need to make sure we aren't forgetting the most important part. No matter how pretty it is, this is still mail and as mail, there are certain requirements. Today we'll be discussing rules for US mail. If you're international, be sure to look up the postal regulations from your country. Let's get into it. I know this seems basic, but don't forget you need an address. Most US addresses can be written in three lines, you have the name, the street address, the city, state, and ZIP Code. Now if your recipient lives in an apartment or a condo, they'll also have a unit number. The unit number can stay on the second line with the street address, or it can be bumped to its own separate line. If you are mailing a letter outside the US, you'll also need to add a separate line at the bottom for the country. One important note about international mail, the country name needs to be in English so it can be properly read by the US Post Office. But the street address, city and province, if that's applicable, must be written in the appropriate local language. Otherwise, a month after Christmas, you may get a very beaten-up letter in the mail with a big Return to Sender stamp emblazoned on the front. Of course, you also need a return address. You may have noticed that you don't see any return addresses on the example I've showed you. That's because I put all my return addresses on the back flap of my envelope. Technically, the USPS requires you to put them in the top left corner. But seriously, I never do and I have never had an issue with delivery or delivery returns. One of the most common questions I receive about addressing envelopes is about the non-machinable rule. If you aren't familiar with this, the post office uses equipment to sort and process mail. It's held pretty incredible. Now to be machinable, your letter must be no smaller than 3.5 by five by 0.07 inches, no larger than 11.5 inches long by six and eighth inches high and a quarter inch thick, also must be rectangular. A non-machinable envelope is one that can't be processed in the equipment. This includes envelopes that are not rectangular, including square envelopes unfortunately, envelopes that are too rigid, so meaning there's no give at all. If the envelope has clasps or buttons or string, or if it's more than a quarter inch thick or has an uneven thickness, or if the address is written along the small side of the envelope instead of the long side. What does all that mean for you and your holiday cards? If your letter is machinable and weighs less than one ounce, which is like the size of the standard letter or greeting card, and you're sending within the US, you can use just one Forever Stamp. If it meets these qualifications and is going outside the US, you can use just one global Forever Stamp or three regular Forever Stamps if that's all you have on hand. But what if your letter is non-machinable? My recommendation is to take a trip to the post office, show them a completed letter, and ask what the postage would be. They will weigh it and can tell you exactly what you will need. This is especially good if you are sending out a bunch of envelopes at once. Because the last thing you want is to have all of them returned to you. Now I know what you're thinking, the Post Office at the holidays, are you crazy? First of all, I love the post office at the holidays because it's like being in the presence of athletes at the Olympic Village. There is a buzz in the air, this is their time to shine. But if your local post office is plagued by long lines and you can't bear to wait in them, know that as of January 2020, the surcharge for non-machinable envelopes under one ounce is $0.15 within the US and $0.21 for international. Now, you may not know this, but the post office sell stamps in small increments like that, and you can calculate ahead of time and order online. But if you can, you really should go in and say hi and good job and bring them cookies because they totally deserve it. One final note before we start making, and that is on the use of Vintage Stamps. If you plan on using Vintage Stamps, again, my recommendation is to take a completed letter and envelope to the post office, have them weigh it, check for machine ability, and then they can tell you the exact postage that will be required. Then you just need to make sure that when combined, your Vintage Stamps add up to that amount and then you should be fine. 4. Vintage North Pole Envelope: Hello everyone and happy holidays. I'm super excited that you've decided to join me for these holiday mail art tutorials. Up first, we are going to do the vintage North Pole. When I think of Santa Claus, I always imagine the old Coca Cola Santa Claus up in his workshop with a nice fire going, scripting things with dip ink in one hand and then a cookie in the other. I try to capture that vibe with this particular tutorial. Now I'm going to be using pointed pen today. You can use a brush pen or whatever you have on hand. To get that really vintagy look, I decided to use a pointed pen. Here are the things you're going to need. You're going to need a red five by seven envelope. Now it doesn't have to be red. But again, for the look I'm going for, I thought we had red because I wanted some white script. The one thing though to remember is that all of these that I'm doing are an A7 envelope or five by seven. Your envelope is a little smaller or larger. Yours might look a little different. On A7 red envelope, you're also going to need something to script with. Like I said, I decided to go with pointed pen. I'm using a Nikko G nib, which comes to a really nice fine point. Great for beginners, but also one of my favorite nibs as well. I'm using a white ink. I'm going to be using the FW Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic. It has a nice little pearly look to it. This is the color. It's called white pearl. But again, use whatever method you prefer to write. Now you can see I got a lot of other little goodies here today. You're also going to want some vintage Christmas stamps or some vintage holiday stamps. You might be wondering, can I actually send these through the mail? The answer is yes, you can. I know we talked a little bit about it in the last video, but you can absolutely send these in the mail as long as you have the correct amount of postage. You're going to want to gather some of these up. Now where do you get vintage stamps? Well some people sell them in curated packs. You can go ahead and buy a curated pack already, but those tend to be a little bit more expensive. Where I get all my vintage stamps is on eBay. So you got to eBay. You type in vintage mint non-hinge. So MNH, and those will give you stamps that you can still use to send. Now they usually come in big bulk piles, and so you have to sort through them to find the holiday ones. If you don't have time for that, you can buy big bulks of holiday specific stamps as well. You're going to need those vintage stamps. You're also going to need some wax for a wax seal and then our very own little wax seal here. Mine has a little heart on it. If you have a monogram one, that would be great. You had a little snowflake even better. Then of course, some matches to light your wax seal. Now some people use, they'll put the envelope sealing wax in a hot glue gun. You can do that as well. But I have the old school. Just light it. You're also going to want a glue stick just to get the stamps on. So you can definitely lick the stamps if you want. But these are going to make them stay on better. Also, I don't know about you guys, but I just remember that old Seinfeld episode where George's fiance licked all the old stamps, got sick and died. I'm not trying to do that, not this close to the holidays. That's what you're going to need. Of course, you also need a ruler and a pencil. Then I'm also going to recommend for all of these tutorials if you're using a colored envelope to always use a black eraser to get rid of any of those pencil marks. Let's get started. I've got my envelope here. Now the first thing I want to do was actually about to start doing lines, making lines for my address. But we actually need to do something first. We need to go through all our vintage stamps and pick out the ones we want and arrange them. Because what we don't want to happen is for us to write the address and then realize to get the correct amount of postage, we have to end up covering up some of our lovely writing. So we don't want to have to do that. I'm going to get my calculator out here. By calculator, I of course mean my phone. We're going to start doing a little math here. Now because I am going to be using the wax seal, that's going to make my envelope uneven. I'm going to need to make up 70 cents out of these stamps here. Let's just dive in and get started. Here we have a nice 25 cent one. Let's see. What else do we have here? I really like these little mailboxes. Those are super cute. It's 13 cents. Right now I'm just placing them on the envelope. I'll worry about where to place them in a minute. We've got a nice one here that's 20 cents. We're getting closer. Right now, we're at 58 cents. We need to get up to 70. Let's see. This one's very nice. A little drum. This puts us at 73 cents. So we're all good there. Now we get to do the fun part, which is arranging them and deciding the best look here. Because we had some that were higher value, like the 25 and the 20, this isn't going to extend all along the top of the envelope, but sometimes you may end up needing so many that it's going to go all the way across, which again, is part of the reason that we want to wait until we've got this all laid out before we do anything. We could just put it just like that all the way across or let's see, we can do a little bit of stacking. It might be nice. Yeah. I think I like the stacking. So we'll put this here or here. Maybe that goes a little too low. You know what? We'll just do this. Nice. Here you can see, here's the arrangement that I did for the sample. You can see we did the same thing. Here's another sample. You can see we had quite a few more. So we really covered in that space there. Now that you have them all laid out, you're not going to glue them down just yet. What we're going to do is we're going to use our pencil and just very lightly mark around them. We know we're not to script our address because we do not want to script in that area. Again, really light pencil marks. You probably can't even see it on mine right now because we're making it very, very light. Now that you have that done, you can go in with your ruler or your t-square and script and draw out some guidelines for yourself. Now I'm going to go ahead and script out this address. Now that that's scripted out, we can go ahead and add our vintage stamps. Now we have the front of our envelope done. I'm going to give this a second to dry and then we're going to flip it over and we're going to add our wax seal. Once everything on the front is all dry and you have erased your pencil lines and you've actually put your card in the envelope. This is a tutorial. So I don't have anything in there. We're sealing an empty envelope, but you want to definitely make sure your letter is in there before you do this. Otherwise, you're going to have to do it again and we don't want that. I've got my little wax seal here. I've got my matches. Let's give this a try. Now that was a little bit difficult to see from that angle, but you just want to get it into a puddle. Then you're going to take your seal and you're just going to let it rest right on top. Now we're just going to wait for it to dry. It's going to be very quick. There we go. Now we have a nice little wax seal on it. You can see that this envelope, like a lot of the tutorials, is going to take a little bit of time. What I would recommend doing if you're sending out a bunch of holiday cards, is do it assembly line style. Start by organizing what stamps are going to go where, then scripting all the addresses, then adding all the stamps and then stealing it once all the cards are inside. I hope you enjoyed this one. 5. Cozy Flannel Envelope: This next tutorial I like to call cozy flannel. We are going to do an envelope based on one of my most favorite holiday winter trends and that is buffalo check. This is actually the easiest one of a whole bunch and honestly, it's one of my favorites. It's hard for me to choose a total favorite, but this would be way up there. The great news is you don't need many supplies. First, of course, you'll need an envelope. This is a five by seven red envelope, obviously. I've been saying you can use whatever colors you want, but for this one you really got to use red. I also have some India ink here, some black India ink you could also use acrylic if you really, really watered it down. But because I'm a calligrapher, have lots of ink on hand. This works great. You're also going to want a white paint pen. I'm using the postcard white paint pen and then a paintbrush. This is actually a mod podge brush that I use in decoupage, but it was a square tip. It actually works really great for painting out these stripes. You're also going to want a pallet with some water. You can see I've got a little bit of water in there because we are going to be watering down this ink affair amount. Let's get started. Once you've gathered all of your supplies, we can get started. Now the first thing we need to do is mixed up our ink that we're going to be using. If you take a look at the example you just showed, you can see that one of the hallmarks of this buffalo check pattern is that all the lines themselves have a little bit of transparency to them. Then in the center there pretty solid black. We want to get some transparency to our black ink, and that means mixing it with some water. Now I have a scrap piece of the same red envelope here so we can test it out. This takes a little bit of finessing. I'm just going to walk you through the process here. A little bit of ink goes a tremendously long way. I'm actually going to just use my paintbrush here to get just a little bit a blacking. Honestly, that is plenty like one and a half brush folds. Now I've got some water over here. I'm going to start adding water to the mix just a brush full at a time. Again, a little bit of ink goes a long way. Even though this might not look like much. We're actually probably going to need to water down a fair amount. Let's go ahead and just give that a try. That actually looks pretty good. I know it's a little bit difficult to tell on the video, but we've got some opacity there. We've got some transparency rather that we can see through that. Then it's so little wet, but let's see when we cross it if we get that darker middle. Now we can always fudge that a little bit. But yeah, we do. We get a little bit darker middle. That's good. Add just a tiny bit more water. Try it again. You do want to let it dry a little bit. I'm testing these. I'm not letting it dry quite as much as I normally would. But you can see that actually, this is looking pretty good. A little bit of ink, pretty fair. Amount of water. Now, once you have that done, you can get your envelope. Now I have a scrap piece of paper because again, we're going to be going off the edges here. I'm going to go ahead and use my cool little mod podge brush for this. I'm just going to start painting these stripes. I'm not going to worry about them being perfectly straight. Perfectly spaced apart or going for a rustic. Looks so good. Love it. That actually is looking pretty good and even when we look there, we can see that the middle squares are a little bit darker. But I want to really exaggerate that. Let me get this India ink here and let me just get a little bit of the straight ink on there so you can see just a little bit. I'm going to start by adding the squares. Now, this is a step you can totally skip. I just want to make mine very pronounced. Looking good. Now I'm going to take a little break and let it dry. See you in a couple of minutes. Once everything is dry, we can write our address. One note about this drawing, it's going to be dry before it looks dry. You can see here I've added the ink that wasn't it at all diluted. It has a shiny look. You might think, why isn't this drying? It is totally dry. It just doesn't exactly look like it. Now, there's no need to do guidelines here, because we already have some. I'm just going to dive and again, I'm using a postcard paint pan, white. Love these paint pens. There you go. Once that's dry, you can add on your stamp and drop this in the mail cozy little flannel, just like with the others. Great way to do this as an assembly line. Get all of the envelopes painted and then go in and add the address of you pop on some made for TV, Christmas movies and do this, it will go so fast and like, look how cool this is. Very easy to do, but with a huge impact. My favorite mail art. Hope you enjoy this one. 6. Modern Menorah Envelope: This next tutorial is called the Modern Menorah. For this tutorial, you're going to need a dark blue A7 envelope. Remember, you can use a larger or smaller envelope, but what I'm using today are all 5" by 7", so just keep that in mind. You're also going to need some light blue acrylic paint. I'm using FolkArt Sky Mist, which is an exciting name there, and then you want some gold acrylic paint. This is another FolkArt brand that It's just called Brushed Metal, and this one is Antique Gold. I really like the way that this turned out. I wanted to share with you the exact colors. I got both of these at Michaels. You're also going to want a paintbrush. We're going to be using a dry brush today, because you see we want to get this really cool texture that we've got going on here. My inspiration behind this one was woodblock. I love woodblock printing, but I don't have any candle-shaped woodblocks lying around. Tried to make stamps out of potatoes, not joking, I did try this. It didn't turn out great. To get that nice, that cool textured woodblock look, we're going to be using a dry brush. You may also want to have just a palette nearby so that you can put your paint in there. You're also going to want a pen to script out your address. I am using the Spectrum Noir Metallic Ancient Bronze. See if the focus will kick in. It's not going to. There we go. Ancient Bronze, because it matched my paint really well. But you can also just use a white ink here. You can use any kind of gold ink that you want. You can even use light blue, and that would match as well. You're also going to want some washi tape. The pattern doesn't matter. We're going to be using it to block off an area, as well as some scissors. All right. Let's get started. Once you've gathered all your supplies, your first step is going to be to script out your address. Again, I'm using the Spectrum Noir Metallic Ancient Bronze to script out mine, but you can use whatever kind of brush pen you want. You could also use a paintbrush, or a pointed pen nib, and use this acrylic paint. Water it down just a little bit, and use that to script as well. But for today we're going to be using this pen, because I really love it. You might not be able to see here but I have drawn out some guidelines for my address, and also very importantly, I have marked off where my stamp would go. We don't want the candles to end up getting covered up by the stamp. First things first, let me write my address. My address is all scripted out. Now you're going to want to wait until it dries, because I'm using a brush marker. It's very dry already. Now we're going to cover up the address temporarily with some washi tape. You definitely want to use washi tape over a masking or a scotch tape, because this is made to go on paper, and it is easily removed, and it will not tear any of the paper when it comes off, which is important. If you have decided to paint this on using the acrylic gold paint, I would go ahead and square out, do a spot with your washi tape first, and then once your candles are painted and dried, then you can go ahead and script the address. The washi tape should not peel up your paint, but it could get rid of some of the pigment, and we do not want that. Don't be too precious about this. It doesn't need to be perfect. That being said, I do like my edges to be sharp. You can see instead of just tearing the washi tape, I'm cutting it. I can be a little precious, I guess. Now that the address is all nice and covered, we can get started on our candles. I'm actually going to go ahead now and erase some of these guidelines on the side, just to get that done before, here we go. I'm going to leave the stamp, because I want to make sure I remember where that is. You're going to want to get a scrap piece of paper to put underneath your envelope, because we are going to be painting to the edge. I've put just a little bit of blue in here, and I've got a nice dry brush. You can see I've actually already used it to get it even just a little bit stiffer, because I want that nice textured look. What I'm going to do is I like to go from end, to end, to end, to end, to end. We want to make sure that we're watching out for this stamp here. I usually like to start on this side first. I'm going to make this candle nice and short, so that the flame does not interfere with our stamp. We do not want our beautiful work to be covered up by a stamp. I'm just going to leave it like that. You can see it's really textured. Gives it that modern playful look. I'm going to do about the same size over here. Maybe a little taller. Get that really pretty texture that you only get from using a dry brush, don't thin out your acrylic paint here. Let it be thick so you can get that nice texture. I'm just going to work it from end to end until I have eight candles. Once you have all eight of your candles painted, let's just make sure 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Counted correctly. You can go ahead and add the flames. I've got this really pretty gold acrylic. I want to keep my paintbrush dry. I'm just going to wipe off any excess. A paper towel would have been better. But there's a reason that my husband's nickname for me as Inky, because I'm always covered in paint. Keeping that brush nice and dry, we're going to go get some of this gold paint, and start adding our flames. These don't need to be very intricate flames, in fact, because we want that woodblock look, they're not going to be. They're going to be just little teardrops. You can add a little curve at the top if it suits you. Having this nice texture is going to give it a really cool look. I also like to have some of my flames go off the page. I just think it gives it a really neat look. We're getting just a snapshot of the menorah, not the whole thing. Now we're just going to give this a few minutes to dry, and I'll be right back. Once your envelope is nice and dry, at least the candle parts, now we can start to peel off our washi tape. You want to do this very slowly so that we don't accidentally rip our paper. Again, this is why we want to use washi tape instead of a scotch tape, or even a masking tape, because that will pull up the paper. It's all done, and I love the way that it looks. I love it so much. If you wanted to, you could go back in and you'll touch some things up, but I don't see anything I want to touch up. Like I said, I'm fine with imperfections. In fact, we want them, because we want to get that modern, we're going for that modern, cool, textured look. The last thing to do would be to add your stamp. You can get lots of really beautiful Hanukkah stamps this time of year. I highly recommend going to your post office, or you can order them online. Get something to match the color scheme here, and you are all finished. 7. Winter Wonderland Envelope: All right, gang. This next tutorial is called winter wonderland. As you can see, this one is very festive, very sparkly. If you look closely, you can see that we've got glitter in here, which is always a great thing. Always love some glitter. For this tutorial, we are going to be doing some embossing. If you've never done embossing before, I've got good news for you. It's super-duper, easy and it makes a really, really cool effect for your envelopes and other art projects. If you don't have embossing tools and you're not interested in purchasing them, you can always do everything I'm doing in this tutorial, you can do it with just plain white ink. Let's get started with what you'll need. First, of course, you need your five by seven envelope. I'm going with dark blue here. You can go with a lighter color if you'd like. I've tried it with lighter colors and it looks good, but I just really like the pop that you get with the darker blue. You're also going to need an embossing pen. The way that embossing works is that we put down this, it's a special ink that's sticks like glue. Then we pour on this embossing powder, again, something you'll need, we'll talk about in a second. We then turn on a heat gun. That he gun melts the powder and it allows it to stick on your envelope or whatever project you're working on. It creates a nice embossed, raised surface. Depending on the type of embossing powder you're using, it could be either glittery or shiny, or even metallic. Lots of cool options there. This particular embossing pen is from American Crafts, and I got this at Paper Source. In fact, I got all of the supplies that we'll be using today at Paper Source. I have joked with my husband that when I die, I want my ashes spread at Paper Source. I'm not sure how open the store will be to that, but point is I love the store a lot. You can get these embossing pens and lots of different tips. We're using the broad tip today. You're also going to need some embossing powder. For the address, I've got just plain white embossing powder, because I find that with the text the glitter powers don't show up as well, they may get a little difficult to read. But for the snowflakes were going to glitter it up. I got the very aptly named Snowflake Tinsel embossing powder. It comes with a lot of glitter in it, you can see it makes a really pretty snowflake. You're also going to need a watermark stamp pad. This is the VersaMark watermark stamp pad. Now, this is going to be for our snowflake stamps. Just like this embossing pen has the glue in it that we need, the VersaMark watermark stand pad also has the glue that we need to get all that embossing powder to stick. Then of course you're going to need some snowflake stamps. I got mine in a variety of sizes and a variety of patterns because I really wanted to get everything looking a little bit different. If you just have the one, it's totally fine. If you've got some in different sizes and patterns that makes it extra cool. Finally you're going to need a heat gun. Now, technically you can do embossing with a blow dryer, but, this is a big but, it's going to take you forever. The heat guns are not super expensive. I believe this one was around $15. It's going to save you so much time that I highly recommend it. I've had it for years and it lasts a long time. Same goes with this embossing powder. I think I have had these two for years and I'm not even close to running out. Go ahead and gather up your supplies and we will get started. Once you've gathered all of your supplies, step 1 is going to be to script out your address. First things first you might wonder what happened to my black tablecloth here. Whenever I'm working with embossing powder or glitter or basically anything that goes everywhere I use a little art tray, so you can see. This belongs to my toddler for her own little art projects, but I like to borrow it every now and again because it keeps things nice and contained. You may not be able to see in the video here, but I've gone ahead and marked out a spot with ink pencil for the stamp and guidelines for my address as well. Now, with a stamp, we can have some of the snowflakes overlapping in that area, but we don't want to put a really pretty snowflake right there just to have the whole thing covered up. That's why I have gone ahead and marked that. You're going to script out your address using your embossing pen. This is like a glue, it's like an ink glue, and it will dry. We want to make sure that we get our powder on before it does. It's not going to be immediate. It stays wet for a little bit, but you don't want to script your address and then go have lunch and then come back because it'll definitely be unusable by that point. I'm going to go ahead and script out my address with this pen. Once you have your address off-script, then we're going to go ahead and pour our white embossing powder over it. We want to make sure that your powder is covering all of the address. It might seem like we're wasting a lot here but we're not, most of it it's going to go back into this little bucket here. That actually brings me to another little handy tool. Also got this at Paper Source, it's where I get all my embossing tools. It's just like a little tray that you dump the excess powder in, and then it's got a funnel so that you can easily put it back into the tube. Not a 100 percent necessary, but definitely saves you some headaches. You're going to try to dump off everything and it should leave you with a pretty clean-cut there. I'm going to go ahead and dust any excess off. Doesn't have to be perfect. There's no need to be really precious about this, but you want to get as much excess off as possible. That's looking pretty good. Again, because by rule of thumb, powders and glitters go everywhere, I'm going to go ahead and just fill this backup so you can see how this works too. Even though it looks like we use a ton of that powder, you can see we really didn't. The jug is basically the little pregnancy brain, I know jug is not the right word, but it's the only kind that I'm with right now that's full. You can see we didn't use a ton. All I was doing there was just blowing off some more excess. Now we get our heat gun. If you take a look at this, you'll see how textured it is. Let me go ahead and yeah. You can see that it's like lots of little granules together like sand. What we're going to do with the heat gun is we're actually going to melt these together. I'm going to go ahead and turn this heat gun on and watch what happens. All right, so you can see that if you look closely here, I'll go ahead and fix that focus. You can see that it's now it's nice and smooth. It's shiny. It comes up with a really great texture for us. Now, as soon as you've done the heat gun, it's sealed. That's not going to come off. Now it's actually a good time to erase any of your guidelines. I would go ahead and keep the stamp guideline because you're going to definitely want to see that when we start to do our snowflakes. I have misplaced my black eraser, but you definitely want to use a black eraser for this one. I'm sure I'll spot it as I'm creating snowflakes. That actually brings me to our next step and that is putting on our snowflake. I'm going to get out, again, this is the VersaMark watermark ink. It is going to go on clear. I'm just going to take these snowflake stamps and put them all around. Now, one thing to know about stamps and with this ink pad, is this ink pad is really juicy so you don't need to add a lot. You actually want to be careful about how hard you're pressing the stamp on, because you don't want to get any of these edges on the paper, because that ink doesn't really come off. It'll leave a little stain. Now, because we're using a dark paper, it's not going to be that noticeable, but just you don't need a ton of pressure to get a nice stamp. I've got all these different patterns and sizes of snowflake stamps. I'm going to go ahead and just stamp them all over. I know it's a little difficult to see. I'm going to go ahead and hold this up to the light here so you can get a look at it. We've done all that stamping and you can see it leaves a little dark mark. That's why you want to be careful when you are doing this because if you get excess on there, it's going to leave that little dark mark. I'm actually holding it up like that, I see another little spot. It needs one, again, you don't need to get this perfectly even. Snowflakes aren't perfectly even, so neither will this. Now we get to do the glitter. I'm going to get my snowflake tinsel embossing powder. I'm actually going to go ahead and dump it on here because we are going to the edge. Just try to keep the mess contained as much as possible. So much glitter. Again, it seems like we're dumping out the whole tab. That's the word, tab. Oh, man, but we're really not going to use that much. These tabs last a long time, trust me. I'm going to give it, let's see, we're going to go in here and we're going to have to clean up a little bit of this. I'm going to move this out of the way for one second. I'm going to get the eraser of my pencil and I'm just going to get some of these little excess spots off. Sometimes you just need to loosen them a little bit and then you can blow them off. I'm just going loosen some of these up. Let's see if we can blow them off here. Yeah, that got most of it. Do a little bit more. Yikes, now I'm messing up my snowflakes. Now that you have you have some excess dust around it's okay. In fact, it looks pretty cool because it looks like a snow flurry. You might also notice at this point maybe I could use a couple more snowflakes here and there. Actually, I'm seeing that. I'm going to do a couple more little tiny guys. We'll do one here and right here. Now I'm just going to add some of my powder and we'll dump this bank in. Very nice. Now, because we know glitter will go everywhere, we're going to go ahead, get rid of it and put it right back in the tab here. You can see the tab is almost totally full again. The reason I keep pointing that out is I know nobody wants to waste a lot of money on things that they're going to only use once or twice. I just want to show you that it really does go along way, It's not just me talking. I'm going to get a little of this excess off. Now, we are going to take our heat gun and we are going to set this baby. All right, look how pretty that is. It's a winter wonderland for sure, you can see the stamp would go right here. This would be really great for if you have a snowflaky stamp or there's a stamp that comes out every Christmas that's like an homage to the book Snowy Day, and that would be perfect right here. I don't have any on hand, as you can imagine, we're filming this well before Christmas, maybe the note of being pregnant gave it away. I have to go ahead and bust the illusion, but that would be really perfect there as well. We're going to go ahead and do a little close up here so you can see how sparkly that is, look at that. It's very sparkly and you can see what fine detail we can get. These are very intricate stamps and very intricate patterns. It captures it really, really well. Now, if you don't have stamps and you think something, you're like, "I don't really need to invest in stamps." That's okay. You can actually draw these on, draw on simpler versions of this with your embossing pen and then do the same method. So now you might be wondering, well, won't all this glitter come off in the mail? The answer is no because we embossed it, it's going to stay put. Maybe a little, some will flake off every now and then, because the glitter is different than the material of the embossing powder. But for the most part, it's going to stay put and your recipient is going to have a beautiful shiny snow flaky surprise in their mailbox. I really hope you enjoyed this one, you can have a ton of fun with this. This is one too that your kids can even help with, if you want them to help. If you want to do it on your own though, that's totally fine too. Be sure to share photos of all of these tutorials, but especially this one, because I think you're really going to like it. 8. Chic Winter Botanicals Envelope Tutorial: Okay gang, this tutorial is called Chic Winter Botanicals, and for this one, we are going to be using a method you may not have used before, using hot foil. We're going to foil stamp all of our drawing and text on here. Look at how pretty and shiny that is. This is not a metallic pen, this is actual foil that we are going to put onto our envelope. What do you need for this? Well, first of course, you're going to need an envelope. I've got five by seven green envelopes here. Then you're going to need some tools you may not have on hand, or tools that you might not have used before. The first is a heat stamping pencil. This little guy is plugged in, and it is super duper hot, right there on the tip. Now this is a broader tip, you can also get super, super fine tips as well. The brand is called We R Memory Keepers. They do a lot of scrapbooking stuffs. If you're not scrapbooker, you may have not heard of them before, and this is called the Foil Quill Freestyle Pen. You're also going to need some heat activated foil. I've got copper here, but you can get it in so many different colors. What I've got here is the foil quill. Again it's the same brand, heat activated foil, and I've got mine in copper. Now I've got a really big one here. You can also just buy little small packs. In fact, when you buy one of these pens, they usually come with a sample of the different foils, so you might not even need to get any extra foil. You can get these supplies at places like Michaels, Joanns, or even online. Now if you are very into drawing florals and you want to do a design that's all your own, you can totally do that. But if you would like something that's already done for you, that you can just trace, I have also provided a template for you to use. This is one of my designs that I sketched up, and we are going to use this to create our beautiful envelope. This comes with the class enrollment, it'll be in the resources section of class, and you'll of course, need a printer to be able to print that out. Now one thing to note is, this is size five by seven, for a five by seven envelope which is actually 5.25 by 7.25, and so you want to make sure that that's the size you're using. Without any further ado, let's get started. Once you have gathered all of your supplies, the first thing that we want to do, is cover our envelope in this heat transferable foil. You want to cut a piece that's slightly larger than your envelope, and you want to make sure that the foil part is up. If you take a look here, I've gone ahead and partially done this. Let me undo it here. If you take a look underneath, you'll see that the heat foil underneath is like a dull silver, you don't want that to be facing up. I know it seems like, well, we want the foil to be on the envelope, it should be facing down, but we don't, so that needs to be facing up. Like I said, you're going to cut it slightly larger than your envelope, and then you are going to tape it down with washi tape. Again, we want to use washi tape because that won't tear our envelope when we lift it up. You saw when I lifted it up there, it came off very smoothly, no problems. The best way to do this, is to take one end, and then get some washi tape on the other end like I've done here, and you're just going to pull it tight, so that we have a nice smooth surface on the front. If you take a look there, you can see that that's pretty tight. We don't want this to be shuffling around, because then we're going to get an uneven look when we apply our foil. Then you're just going to do it to the shorter sides as well just to make sure that this thing stays put. Once that's nice and secure, what we're going to do is transfer over this design on to this, and it's actually really easy. All we're going to do, is place this on top and then use a ballpoint pen and just trace over the design. Once you trace over the design, what happens is it leaves a little imprint on our foil without actually transferring any of it over. So it just leaves a little imprint, and then we will trace over it with our heat pen here. Now one thing you want to make sure of, is that your envelope is the right way. This is the side up. Now I say this from experience. Unfortunately, I have done all of this and then got it totally incorrect, and then I had to redo it. So don't be like me there. I'm just going to fold over the edge here to get a nice crisp edge. When you cut the template out, you do want to leave some space around it, so that you've got room to fold it. There's the top. I'm just going to secure that there, and then I'm going to fold over the bottom. There is no need here to tape it down, unless you want to, if you don't feel like it'll stay put. But as long as you have it folded, it should stay put well enough for you to do the tracing. Then do the same thing with the edges over here. Now I know this seems like a whole lot of work for an envelope, and you're right, it's a fair amount of work for an envelope. This is one of those things where you might want to save these for your extra special ones, because it does take a little bit of time to do. I mean seriously look at that, look how beautiful it is, the impact is really, really great. Even though it takes a little bit of time, it's totally worth it. That being said, do you want to do 50 of these in a row? Probably not, unless you do it over the course of several days. This is great for a really special envelope or invitation. Now I'm just going to take my ballpoint pen, and I'm just going to trace over these lines. Now you don't need to push extra hard. You don't want to have a super light touch. I definitely don't recommend a felt tip. You want to use a ballpoint tip with a hard surface so that it will indent there. I'm just going go ahead and trace over these lines. You can see I have traced all that. Now we're going to take this off, and you can see we've got some nice little indentations there where we can see exactly what we need to trace over with the heat gun. You'll notice also that I went ahead and scripted out the address there just to give me something to go on. I highly recommend you do that, because the last thing you want to do is get all this work done and then realize that you don't have enough room for the address. Now it's time to go in with our heat pencil or heat pen. What I recommend that you do is have this heating up as you're doing the tracing that way it'll be nice and hot by the time you're ready to trace. Now, I always like to start with the address. Again, because if I make a mistake, I won't have already done all this other work. It's always a good idea to start with the address. I'm going to go ahead and trace over all of this, and you'll see that we've got these lines that definitely you can see them, but they're pretty faint. You'll see that as we start to do the heat pencil rather, it's going to be very noticeable, so we're not going to have to wonder did we already go over this one? It's going to be noticeable. Now, one final little tip. You may have noticed, as I was doing this, is I actually didn't trace all of these little lines. I only traced the long middle line. I found that when I traced every single tiny one, it made it difficult for me to see as I was doing the heat gun. Some of these shapes I just did broad strokes. After you've done a couple of these, you might not need to, for example, do all the detail in the pedal when you do this initial trace, because you'll know this is where the flower goes, and you can add your own little detail in there. Same goes for these evergreen balls which are super easy to do. So you don't need to add all that detail in there, just save you a little bit of time. Just a little bit of tip. All right, here I go. Now I have gone ahead and used my heat gun. I've traced everything, so now it's the moment of truth. We're going to peel the washy tape off the back. We just want to be very slow about it. We don't want to, after all of our hard work, rip it up. Take a look at what we've got here. So beautiful you can see how the light catches that foil. Yes, I know it was a lot of work, but come on. Look how beautiful it is. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here, adjust that focus so you can get a nice clear view. Look at that, and this is not coming off. This isn't a pen, it's not paint, this is hot foil that has been heat stamped permanently onto our envelope. Yes, it did take a lot of time, but totally worth it, I think at least. Like I said, you can definitely do this for all of your envelopes or you can save this for a special few. Again, you can get all of these heat tools at places like Jo-Ann's, or Michaels, or you can get them online. Now, if you like this look, but don't want to do the heat tool, you can always transfer your template design over to the envelope using that indentation method that we used. You'll have to push a little harder to get it to indent onto your envelope instead of the foil, because of course, the foil is very thin, the envelope is not, and then you could trace over that with a metallic pen. But my feeling is if you're going to go to that trouble, you might as well just go ahead and go whole hog, and we get this beautiful foil piece. Definitely something to experiment with, especially if you enjoy paper crafting, I highly recommend it. So I hope you enjoyed this one. 9. Sneaky Reindeer Envelope: If you're looking for something fun and kid friendly, this sneaky reindeer tutorial is the way to go. To make it extra special, you can even let your kids help put these together, and I promise they will still look great. Here's what you need. You're going to need a white A7 envelope. You can use other colors too, but because I want to use red and green ink, I'm going to stick with white. You're also going to want a paper bag. Now if you have rolls of butcher paper at home that will work just fine too. I don't, but I have a lot of paper bags. You can definitely use that we will do a little up-cycling here. Now bonus, if you've been shopping at stores like Trader Joe's and they have a nice holiday print on them, you could do something a little funky with those as well. You're also going to want some brown acrylic paint. This is just folk art multi-service paint, it doesn't need to be anything fancy at all and you're going to want a craft paintbrush. Now again, it doesn't need to look like this, this is a dry bristle brush, but you do want a dry brush because we want to get a lot of texture. We're going to be using this paint to create the reindeer fur, so even an old toothbrush will work fine for this. You just want something with nice tough bristles. Then you're also going to want of course, your pens to script your calligraphy. I'm choosing to do mine in red and green but again, you can do whatever you want. You'll need a glue stick, a pencil, some black and white paint pens, scissors, and finally you'll also need this little reindeer template. Now you can also draw your own if you'd like, but if you want to use the template that is available for download in the resources section of class. This is another tutorial that is a little bit labor-intensive. If you plan on sending multiples, I recommend doing it assembly line style, that is complete all the addresses first then move on to the painting, then do the cutting, etc. If you have kids to help, it'll go much faster. The first thing you want to do is print out your reindeer template, or if you prefer to draw one yourself, you can do that as well. This is in the resources section of class. You're going to want to lay this on your envelope and trace around it so that we can see where it goes. I've already gone ahead and done that here. The reason that I like to trace this out before we do any cutting, is I want to see exactly where this reindeer head is going to go before I start scripting the address. I also want to make sure there's going to be room for the stamp and it looks like there is, so we are all good. If you would like, you can also trace it along the back, so you can have like the back of the reindeer head. It's up to you. I've gone ahead and traced along the back as well. Now you're looking at this and you're seeing how the antlers overlap and wondering how we're going to handle that, we will get to it. Once you have your reindeer traced, so you can see lines here. I traced mine a little bit darker than I normally would because I want you to be able to see it on the screen. You do want to keep these lines nice and light, then you're going to use your ruler to draw some guidelines for your address. The first thing you want is your reindeer template. Now, you can always draw a reindeer of your own and cut it out and use it as a template, or you can use the reindeer template that I've provided, it's in the resources section of class, it's just a PDF you can download and print. Now one thing to note is, this is sized for a five by seven envelope, so if your envelope is smaller or larger, you're going to want to play with the print size a little bit until you find the size that works for your envelope. The first thing you want to do is trace around the templates. You're going to put the bottom of the reindeer's head at the bottom of the template here, try to keep it centered, but again, this is a kid project it doesn't need to look perfect but try to keep it as centered as you can and then you're just going to trace around the antlers. I've gone ahead and done this and I've traced very dark, because I want you to be able to see it. Now normally, when you are doing this you want to keep your pencil marks as light as possible, because you're going to have to erase them later. One thing you want to check to make sure when you've placed your template on here, is that there's room for a stamp. If you are using a five by seven envelope, then this template should leave you plenty of room for a stamp, but if not you might want to give it a double-check. You also going to want to draw some guidelines for your address. As you can see I've already gone ahead and done that here. How many guidelines, that's going to depend on the length of your address. But because we have this cool little space right here, let's say you typically are doing a three line address, let me pull in the sample we've made here. This would normally be a three-line address but I've gone ahead and made it four so that we can add the zip code into this little space right here, if that's really nice, so you can do that as well. If you want the reindeer to appear on both the front and back of the envelope, you're also going to trace the outline on the back as well. I know you might be thinking well, ''How are we going to do this with the antlers overlapping, the flap there?'' Don't you worry, I will show you how. But it's really cute to do the reindeer on the back as well because it looks like the reindeer is looking at you from the front and then you can see him from the back. It's cute but it's not necessary if you want to skip that particular step. Now that you've got everything traced out you can go ahead and sketch out your address. Once you have that sketched out, if you like the way it's looking you can go ahead and put it down in ink. I am using some pen tell sign brushes in red and green just to give it a little bit of pop of color. Once your address is completed, we can get started on creating the reindeer. This is where your kids can help. Now, one note on just the lettering style, because this is a really fun funky envelope, I decided to use a really playful style. This is a great chance if you enjoy doing block lettering, block lettering can look really cute with this one as well. For the reindeer, first thing we want to do is we are going to cut up our template here. We want to have a template for both the head and the antlers, so I'm just going to go ahead and trim these off. Once you have a little piece of your paper bag cut out, we're just going to cut it roughly in half, maybe a little less. Now, we want to create the reindeer head. We want it to look nice and furry, and so we're going to be adding some brown paint. Here is where your kiddos can help. We're going to take just a little bit of the craft paint and add a little dollop on there, a dollop over here, and then we're going to use our dry brush to create a fur-like texture. Now, it's okay if some of the original paper bag is showing through, we actually want that, because we want it to look nice and textured, and having that shine through really helps that. Now, I am doing this on an old tablecloth, so I'm not so worried about getting paint on it, but if you're doing this at home, definitely put down newspaper. If you are planning on sending out a lot of these, then you can paint the whole bag. But because I'm just doing one, I'm not that worried about doing a whole lot more than just this. Now we have this really fun texture on there, going to give us the look of fur. What I'm going to do is set this aside and let it dry. For the antlers, we want to cut out four different antlers because we want to have two for the front and two for the back. Now, if you're just doing the front, of course, you only need two. Now, you can go ahead and trace this on your paper and cut it out or to create a less work for yourself, you can just trace it one time, so I'll go ahead and trace this here. Because this is a paper bag and it's the same color on every side, we can get away with just cutting once and folding it over. Now, one note about this when you're cutting, is you want to add a little bit of extra length to the bottom, because we want these antlers to hide underneath the head that we are creating. Once you have that traced, you can go ahead and start folding, and we can cut that out. Once you have these cut out, we can start gluing. I just have a little glue stick here. This is another part that your kids can help out with. We're just going to start gluing down these antlers. Now, this one has some pencil marks on it, again, that would be something that I would be drawing my pencil very light on there so that I could erase it, so you just want to watch out for that. Once you have those glued down, you really want to go back and just make sure that all the edges are really glued down. You don't want this to get caught down from the postal machine and then have it rip everything off. You just want to go back and make double sure those are glued down. I'm just going to add a little bit. You also want to use glue that dries clear like this. Now, you might be wondering, well Kim, you have just glued over the flap of the envelope. How are they ever going to get that open? Well, this is where you can use scissors. If you have X-Acto knife, an X-Acto knife works great too, but if you don't, just scissors will do. Here you go. Then, just along that edge there, you just want to reglue it. Again, this is something your kids can help you with, they probably have more experience with glue sticks than you do. Because I don't have very much experience with a glue stick. I know how to hot glue, I'm a pro with the hot glue. Here you go. Again, you would just want to go back and make sure all of that was glued down really nicely, but then that creates that little space for the flap. Now, at this point, your paint should be nice and dry. Because we want this head to go on both the front and the back, we're going to fold this. Now, I'm just going to fold mine in half because I'm only doing one, but if you're doing a lot of them, you can actually fold it up into smaller pieces so that you get more bang for your buck. Now, one thing we do want to do is add just the tinniest little extra space at the bottom here, maybe like an eighth of an inch, because we want this to go around the front and over onto the back. I'm just going to trace. Now I have this cute little guy ready to go. You can see what we'll do here, so we're just going to slide this under our envelope. I'll just cover this bad boy in glue. I know I keep saying it, but put the kids to work here. Give them something to help with, and this is something they can definitely do. I know sometimes when you do kid-friendly projects, you're like, "Yeah, that's kid-friendly, but it doesn't really look like my taste or anything I'd like to send out." But this is one where because the design is already created for you and you're doing the handwriting, you can really still get a beautiful project even if your kids maybe aren't as careful as you would like them to be. How cute is that? One thing I want to note about these cuts is don't be real particular about how these corners and things look, don't try to make it extra smooth. My inspiration for this, I'm sure you all have heard of Matisse, and he did a lot of cutouts in his art, and I love, love, love that look. This is a way that we can get that wood blocky, edgy look by cutting, so we don't want to be too precious about our cuts. Now that that's there, if we want to draw on our eyes, I like to use a white paint pen because it's going to be more opaque than just regular white pen. If you have acrylic paint, you can do that too. You can see what I mean too about doing things in an assembly line. If you do all of these individually, you're like, "Oh my gosh, this will take forever." But if you do it assembly-line style, you guys can turn on a Christmas movie and get it done. Here he is, peeking up. Now, if you want him to look like he's looking up at the address, what you could do is just add those little black spots right there and it will make him look like he is looking up. This one, he's looking very surprised. He's been caught going through Santa Claus' cookie jar, he's in shock. Wait, he's got the deer in headlights look. Guys, I didn't plan that, but the pun works, so we're going to stick with it. Now, you can see it's messy right now, because of all the pencil marks. Now, I'm going to go ahead and erase this once all the glue and everything is dry. But for you, again, just make sure you're keeping those pencil marks very, very light so that you don't have very much erasing to do at the end. But how cute is that? How much would you love to get that in your mailbox? Your kids will be so excited to help. 10. Project: Feeling inspired? Well now it's your turn. For your project, I want you to create your very own work of festive male art using at least one of the templates that we did today as inspiration. When you're finished, please share pictures of your work in the project section here on Skillshare and on Instagram. I love to share student work, so if you post to Instagram, be sure to tag me @hooplaletters so that I can repost and share. Now remember, if you're using a real address on your envelopes, in your photos, you need to obscure at least the city, state and zip code for privacy purposes. Just lay a pen over that line or smudge it in your photo editing app on your phone. Lastly, if you enjoyed this class, please rate and review so other Skillshare students can find it and join in on all the inky fun. I have oodles of other classes on my channel and more to come, so be sure to give me a follow. In the meantime, have a very happy holiday season, and happy scripting.