Merrier Mail Art: 6 Holiday Envelope Tutorials | Kimberly Shrack | Skillshare

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Merrier Mail Art: 6 Holiday Envelope Tutorials

teacher avatar Kimberly Shrack, Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Preview


    • 2.

      Introduction & Supplies


    • 3.

      Postage Requirements


    • 4.

      Gift Wrapped Envelope


    • 5.

      Tree Farm Envelope


    • 6.

      Gingerbread House Envelope


    • 7.

      Merry & Bright Envelope


    • 8.

      Peace on Earth Envelope


    • 9.

      Candy Cane Envelope


    • 10.

      Class Project


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About This Class

Sending holiday cards is one of my favorite annual holiday traditions. And this year, we’re going EXTRA with it and creating mail art that's merrier than ever!

In this follow-up to my original Merry Mail Art course, you'll learn 6 NEW and different ways to take your holiday envelopes to the next level using supplies you may already have at home, like Crayola markers and paint pens. I walk through each envelope step by step, giving helpful tips and tricks along the way.

So if you want to send a little extra love to your friends and family this holiday season, grab a mug of cocoa and your ugliest sweater and join me in class!

*** To make the most of this class, it is highly recommended that you have a basic understanding of brush calligraphy. If you haven't yet, I recommend taking my Introduction to Modern Brush Calligraphy course. ***

Meet Your Teacher

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Kimberly Shrack

Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

Top Teacher

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, so buckle ... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Preview: [MUSIC] It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays, and that means it's time for one of my favorite annual traditions, sending out beautiful and festive holiday mail. My name is Kimberly [inaudible]. I'm a calligrapher and illustrator behind Hoopla! letters. In this course, I'm going to show you how to take your holiday envelopes from boring and blah, to [inaudible] and aah! I'm going to walk you through six different tutorials, all of which use items you've probably already have at home, like, crayola markers, mod podge, and paint pens. So if you're ready to take your holiday cards to the next level, I hope that you'll join me in class. Seen you soon. [MUSIC] 2. Introduction & Supplies: Hi, everyone. Happy holidays and welcome to class. My name is Kimberly Shrack, and I'm the Calligrapher and Illustrator behind Hoopla! Letters, and I'm so excited that you're joining me today. We are going to create some very festive mail art. I'm going to walk you through six different tutorials. Now, if you took last year's Merry Mail Art course, you'll be happy to know that all of these tutorials, totally new, totally different, so you're not getting any repeats here. Now if you did take last year's class, you know that we experiment with lots of different paper crafting techniques like embossing and hot gold foil stamping, which was very cool. But some of you noted like, I don't have all these materials at home. Totally get it, totally understandable. I've heard you and this year, all the tutorials are going to use items you've likely already have at home, like Crayola markers, paint pens, a little bit of Mod Podge if you're into that, decoupage life. Hopefully, you'll be able to create even more mail art this year, since you won't have to wait on Amazon Prime to bring your packages. Before we get started, there are a few things you're going to need. First, you really need to have a basic understanding of calligraphy to get the most out of this class. I'm not going to be explaining how to actually do the calligraphy. I'm going to be showing you how to create the layout and the mail art, so you do need to have a basic understanding. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you head over to my introduction to modern brush calligraphy course. That's going to take you from an absolute beginner to being able to script your name and an address in calligraphy. It really does give you everything you need to know. If you haven't taken that yet, press Pause, head over there, we will be here when you get back. Now, every tutorial includes different supplies and I will share those as we introduce each new one. But there are some things you're going to need no matter what tutorial you're doing. First, of course, is postage. You need to make sure that you have postage stamps applicable to your country of residence. You'll also need envelopes. I'm going to be using all five by seven envelopes today. Five by seven is a good standard size. It's the size of a lot of greeting cards. It's also the size of custom holiday cards you might send out, so you know the ones with the pictures, you guys are like this, back to back. Those are usually five by seven, so that's why I like to stick with this size. Now you can do a different size, but just know that when I'm talking about measurements and things through the tutorials that I'm using five by seven as a reference. You're also going to want a ruler or a T-square, pencil, and an eraser. I recommend a black eraser. If you've taken any of my classes you know I like these because it doesn't take the pigment off the envelope. If you have a dark envelope like this blue one here or honestly even this light blue color. Sometimes a white eraser can take some of the pigment off, so black eraser won't do that. Now, one more little thing before we get started and that is I want to make sure your envelopes get to where they need to go, so in the next video, I'm going to give you a brief overview of postal regulations, which I promised is much quicker, and simpler, and painless than it sounds. See you there. 3. Postage Requirements: Once you have created your beautiful mail art, you're going to want to make sure it gets to where it needs to go. The last thing that we want is for you to drop this art in the mailbox and have it all come back to you. I'm going to walk you through just a few things that you're going to need to send your cards through the postal service. Now, please note this is just within US. If you're in a different country, be sure to check with your postal service to see what the rules and regulations are. Now, I could write a book on this, on postal rules and regulations, because there are a lot of them. For today, I'm just going to give you a really basic high level overview. If you want a little bit more detailed information, check out my envelope essentials course. Then I also have a little post office cheat sheet for you in the resources section of class. The first thing you're going to need on all of your envelopes is a return address. The Postal Service says you should put that return address up in the left-hand corner. I never do that. I always put my return address on the back flat and that's never caused me a problem before, but it does have to be there. If you don't have your return address, if something goes wrong with the card, like maybe you put the address on wrong or maybe a number got smudged and they can't tell where it needs to go, if you don't have a return address, it'll never come back to you and you'll never know if your little card got to where it needed to go. Sometimes, the post-office won't even pick it up if it doesn't have a return address on it. Just make sure that you have it on there. You can script it. You can get a rubber stamp. If you must, you can print labels. I'm not fan of the label, but do what you have to do to get that return address on there. You're also, of course, going to need postage and a lot of folks will ask me, "Well, if I'm doing calligraphy or mail art, do I need extra postage?" The answer to that is probably not. Sure, I know it's not a very satisfactory answer, but let me explain. On its own, in and of itself, calligraphy and mail art does not automatically mean you need extra postage. What requires cards to have extra postage, and by extra I mean anything beyond a single Forever Stamp, are a few things unrelated to the calligraphy or mail art. One of those things is size. If your envelope is small, if it's less than three and a half by five inches or if it's really big, which is longer than 11.5 by six inches, that makes your card what's called nonmachinable. If you've ever been to the post office, you have this massive sorting machine, the mail goes and it sorts out where it needs to go. It's actually very cool. If a letter is deemed nonmachinable, that means it can't go through the machine and that means it's going to be a little bit more expensive, requires some additional postage. If it doesn't meet the size requirements, that means it's nonmachinable. Another thing that could make it nonmachinable is if it weighs more than one ounce. If you're just sending a card, you're fine, that's going to weigh way less than one ounce. But if you are sending a big stack of cards through there or things like that, sometimes with wedding invitations, folks will use the wood cards, things that might be a little bit heavier, those are also nonmachinable. Another thing that might make it nonmachinable is if the surface is uneven. If you've got bumps or uneven surface, that might happen. Again, that happens a lot with wedding invitations because folks will have the invitation suite tight at the string or they'll stick something like a seed packet in there. Anything that makes it uneven or bumpy, that's going to make it nonmachinable and it's going to require extra postage. You're also going to need extra postage if you're sending outside the United States. If you are not sure, if your card is maybe a little bit on the smaller end and doesn't quite meet that requirement or you've got a few things in there you think it might be more than one ounce or not even, my best advice is to script it up, put everything in the envelope, take it to the post office, put it on the table and say, "Can you please tell me how much postage I need for this?" That way you won't drop everything in the mail just to have it sent back to you. That does happen. I've seen that happen to a lot of brides, unfortunately. You need to make sure that you have the correct amount of postage. If you are using a standard size envelope, it's just the card in there and you have nothing else added, so that it is just a flat card and it doesn't weigh more than one ounce, then that's just going to be a single postage stamp for anywhere within the US. Again, if you want more detailed information, head over to my envelope essentials course or you can take a look at the cheat sheet in the class resources section. Got it? Now we are ready to start making our envelopes. See you in the tutorials. 4. Gift Wrapped Envelope: This tutorial is called gift wrapped, and this one is all about making your beautiful piece of mail art look like a little package. I was inspired to use the craft paper because of the favorite things, some brown paper packages tied up with string, but you can of course, use any color envelope that you want. For this one, you're going to need a craft envelope if you want it to look like mine, and some markers. I am using a black Crayola marker, a red Crayola super tip, and a green Crayola super tip. But you could just as easily use all of these standard markers. This is just what I had on hand. This one, if you noticed, this is very much a rustic, I guess. [LAUGHTER] Point is I wasn't very precious with that. I didn't measure it out. I didn't want it to look like a perfect plaid. I wanted it to look funky and hand-drawn. To width, we are not going to be using any rulers for this one, right now. If you want though, it can be helpful to draw out a little box beforehand. I'm going to go ahead and draw out my name tag here. If you notice on this tag, it's got a little place where the string attaches, I'm going to go ahead and add that. Then I'm just going to mark where I'm going to add the string. Remember to draw lightly so that you can erase it later. [NOISE] Now we are going to draw our name tags, so using your black Crayola marker or whatever marker you're using. I love the Crayola. Crayola markers are very fast becoming one of my all-time favorite brush calligraphy pens, which I know seems crazy, but they get really beautiful script and then you can use it for these nice mono-line things like this. Again, I'm just using the very tip of the brush to get this finer line. Now to get the look that the tag is above it, so we're going to add a little bit of shadow. I'm going to use the broad side of the pen just like I would on a down stroke. I'm going to add a little bit of thickness to the right and bottom of the tag. We aren't going for perfect here, so don't worry about it. You can see it's not exactly a straight line. That's all right. Again, if that does bother you, you can make it perfect, I'm just saying. This is we're going for this rustic look, so don't worry about it if it's off just a little bit. Now we're going to make it look like a gift tag here, add a big old to. Then you can go ahead and write out your address. [MUSIC] Once you have your address on, this is where the real fun can begin. We are going to draw a fun little plaid in the background, and we're going to add some little holly berries and leaves all around. To do the plaid, all you're going to do is draw stripes up and down, strapped down and across. I'm going to start with my green and I like to use the broad side first to get that nice thick stripe. Now again, remember, we aren't going to worry about perfection here so don't feel like you need to burst out that ruler. In fact, you're going to get a more fun and modern look if you don't. You can vary up the spacing between these a little bit. Again, aren't going for perfection. Once you have it all up and down, then you're going to go across. You just want to make sure that you are skipping the area of the gift tag. That's why we do the gift tag first so that we can keep that space nice and blank, again, so that it looks like it's sitting on top of this pretty wrapped package. Now at this point you can definitely stop with the plaid if you want. But I like to add some thin lines in as well again, to give it more of that plaid look. I'm going to draw one thin line on either side of these thick lines here. I went through the tag there. Not too worried about it. Not what I wanted, but you know what, mistakes happen. You're seeing it here. At the end of the day, person you're sending this to is not going to say, "I see a little mistake there." They're going to say, "Oh, my gosh. This is so cool, I can't believe they spent the time to create this just for me." Don't you worry about little mistakes. Now we can add those thin lines going the other direction too. All I'm doing to get this thin line is just using, just like you would an upstroke, a light amount of pressure using just the very tip of the brush. You can see these lines are not straight, not even a little bit. Again, if you want yours to be straight, if you want a perfect plaid, go for it. Now I'm going to make it just say even a little bit more festive. I'm going to draw a red line going through the middle of these. Let's see, we'll go across, and I'm going to skip every other square here just to keep that thread nice and spaced out. I'm going to do the same thing going up and down. Skip that row. Where I'm I looking? There we go. Getting lost in my own little plaid here. Very nice. Skipped another one. Now you have a nice little holiday plaid. Now, I'm going to add just some little holly leaves and berries in here and just to add a bit more color into the tag. I just drew three little dots on either side and now I'm just going to draw some leaves. I know these are not technically holly leaves, but these will fit a little bit better. If you want make it look a little bit more like a holly leaf, go for it. We'll say this is a little [LAUGHTER] mistletoe stem. There you go. Now you have a cute little gift box in rather descend. Let me show you a couple variations on that theme that I did when I was trying to come up with the look that I wanted for this. Here's one that's a little bit more simple. You can see I just went with the bow and the string and then I tied the tag there. It's the same basic idea, just a little bit different layout. For this one, I made the plaid really spaced out and far apart then I added a little holly leaves all over. Those actually are holly leaves [LAUGHTER]. You can see just a little bit of a different look. Here's one more where I did a really dense plaid and then I added a little bow on top. Again, give it that gift look. But these are just again, little variations on the theme. The process is going to be the same where I recommend you start with the tag and the address and then go in and add all the plaid. 5. Tree Farm Envelope: This envelope is called Christmas tree farm, and in this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to create this charming little doodle Christmas tree farm all around your name. You're going to need a light blue envelope. This color is pool from Paper Source. You're also going to need a dark green brush pen. This is a Tombow dual brush Number 346. They are also going to want a light green brush pen. This is not a 100 percent necessary, but it does add some extra depth and dimension, so I highly recommend it. I'm just using a standard Crayola Super Tip. You're also going to want a white paint pen and either a gold brush pen or some gold ink or gold paint and a brush. The first thing you want to do is use your ruler or T-square to lightly draw your guidelines, remembering that the name is going to be much larger than the rest of the address. Then you are going to use your dark brush pen to script up the name and the address. Once you have the name and address written, now you can start adding your Christmas trees. I'm going to do three different doodle styles of trees. The first I'm going to do is, we have to zoom in here, the standard little triangle with a stick. That's it, super simple, and I'm just going to scatter these around. I'm going to make some tall and then some short and squat. Just scatter that all around. Now, the second style I'm going to do is a straight line with lots of straight little branches coming off of it. Like a straight line, and then lots of straight diagonal branches coming off of it. This one is a little wider on the bottom there. There we go. That looks better. There's really no rhyme or reason to where you need to put them. Just scatter them around. Sometimes it helps to squint and see where maybe you need to fill in some space. Let's see, we'll do one more right here. Looking good. Got a nice, little tree farm going. Now for my last little doodle tree, I'm going to do another stick tree, but with curly branches. Let me show you what I mean. Start this guy here and then These remind me of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It's like a little sparse. Do one down here. Again, these don't need to be perfect. Curly trees. Let's take a look here. [inaudible] use one right here. Let's see. Actually right here, I think I'll do another triangle tree. At this point, you can go fill in different areas. It's okay to have a couple of the same trees next to one another. Here we go. I like that layout. Maybe I'll do one more little one here. Yeah, that looks good. You can tell I'm thinking about, should I add more? We'll do that for now and remembering there's going to be a stamp here, which is why we've left that blank. Now I'm going to take my light green marker and I'm going to fill in my little triangle trees. Like I said, this step is optional, but I think having just a third shade of green adds a little bit of dimension to it, just makes it a little bit more interesting, and who doesn't like to color, seriously? Who doesn't love coloring? With those trees filled in, now I'm going to add a little shadow on the name here. Whenever you do a shadow, you always want to consider where the light source is, I usually make my light source up in the top left, which means the shadow's going to come on to the right and underneath of these letters here. Using the side of the brush, so that we get a nice, even, thick line. I'm going to go all around my letters here. Just gives it a little bit of added interest. Gives us the chance to add some more green in there. I apologize if you hear that singing, it is nap time. Our parents will appreciate this. Sometimes you just have to get things done at nap time, and sometimes that means the videos have a little bit of extra soundtrack to them. If you hear a little bit of singing that is my one-year-old, giving us a little serenade, so enjoy. There we go. It's looking good. Let me zoom out just a bit. Now it's time to add a little bit of snow. I'm going to take my white paint pen. I'm just going to add some little snowflakes all around. You can add some in bunches, and others just one off again just to give it a little bit of interest. Things don't have to be perfectly symmetrical. In fact, I don't know, with this particular style I wanted to do something that wasn't. I wanted to give it, again, when we want a handmade look, when we want people to know, hey, this is done by hand, and make it a little bit more artistic rather than cookie cutter. Put the dot here and exactly here. Just eyeball it. Now we've got a nice little snow flurry there. Super cute. The very last thing is to add a little bit of gold. You can use a gold brush pen if you want. This one is the Spectrum Noir brush. This is ancient bronze, which is really nice. But I'm going to use some of this Dr. Ph. Martin's Spectralite, gold ink because it looks very metallic and it will make the envelope really shimmer and shine. You have to shake it up really well. I've got a little brush here, and I'm just going to start topping some of the trees, little stars. If you can see just how metallic and shiny that is. So cute, love it. One down here and you can mix and match where you put them. Again, this is going to be one of those eyeball things. Just squint your eyes and see, where can I use a little pop of color? A little bit more. Now, if you don't have gold ink laying around, you can use just regular paint. You can get like a metallic acrylic paint. They have that a lot of times at craft stores. Another thing they have at craft stores that would actually be very cool on this is liquid gold leaf, which would be very fun to put on here. Actually, you could do hot press foil as well if you have a heat pen. If you'd like to learn about using the heat pen, you can check out my other Merry Mail Art course, one of the envelopes we use, foil with a heat pen. Now that I've got some stars, I'm going to start going into these filled-in triangle trees and adding some little gold ornaments. The metallic markers are great, but this just is so much more shiny, and when it dries, it'll really catch the light and be metallic. Because this is acrylic ink, you don't need to worry about this running if it gets wet, this isn't going to run, which is nice. Another option for the metallic is if you have a metallic sharpie, they're actually pretty good. You're not going to get quite as shiny as this, but you will get a very nice little gold. Take a look, how cute is that? I know I've said it with everyone, but maybe this one's my favorite. I don't know, I love them all. But yes. Just the name of the game on this is just to scatter. We don't want to have perfectly separated. We want it to look like a tree farm where things are just picked over, spaced out unevenly. There's a little extra space here, maybe some family came and got their trees. It's okay. You can just space it out. Just have a lot of fun with this one. 6. Gingerbread House Envelope: This is the gingerbread house tutorial, and this one is one of those envelopes that looks really impressive and really complex and very show stopping, but in reality it's actually deceptively easy to make. I'm really excited to share this one with you and I think that you will be very impressed with what you're able to create. You're going to need an A-craft envelope, a white paint pen, pencil, eraser, of course black is best so you don't erase any of the pigment, a T-square or ruler. Then if you are planning on creating more than one of these envelopes, then you're going to need some paper and scissors. The reason for that is we are going to make a template to follow. Why do we need a template? Well, if you're just making one of these, it's not a big deal to measure out the door and measure out the windows and do with them every time. But if you're making 5, 10, 20 of these, that gets really tedious really quickly. We're just going to take our paper and cut out some templates. What you're going to want to do is fold your paper in half. Now, I'm using a five by seven envelope. I want my door to be three inches wide, so I'm going to mark an inch and a half down here. Then I want it to be three-and-half inches tall. I'm going to mark there, and then I'm just going to do a nice little curve. I'm going to do the same thing with the window, but I want the window to be an inch and a half wide. We're going to make it three quarters of an inch wide there because I want it to be an inch and a half total, and we're going to make it an inch and three quarters high. Now remember this is for a five by seven envelope. If you're doing something larger or smaller, you will need to adjust these sizes. Now we're going to cut them out. Then what we'll do is once we get these cut out, we won't have to measure each and every time we create the envelopes. I want that top to be a little bit more rounded, that comes through a little different points. I'm just going to snip that off much better. Let's get the window here. You can also play with the sizes if you want yours to be taller or thinner. It's a little shorter. I'm actually going to trim the edge off there a bit. There we go. Now that's going to make my life a lot easier. I'm going to start out by placing my template here. You can see I've already traced around it getting started. I was actually a super prepared for this one, there we go. I'll trace again. Remember you want your lines to be really light, but because I want you to see him in the video, I'm making them darker. You can always measure, make sure it's right in the middle, right centered, but I just eyeball it. Once you have drawn that out, we are going to add the snow around the top. I'm going to draw a little curve here and a little curve here, just making sure that they are nice and even there, and then I am going to draw one smooth line all the way around. You can see that this goes over the top of my door frame just a little bit. I'm going to just draw that up. We're not going to add the snowfall up here quite yet and you will see why, but I just want to get it the width of it here so that I know where that is before I put the windows on. My window is a little wonky there, just trim it. Another good reason to do the template, is you can see when it gets just a little wonky. There we go, that strained it out. Now I'm just going to put this halfway between, I'm going to zoom in here, hold on. Here we go. I'm going to put the window halfway between the snowfall and the edge. That's why we want to draw the snowfall there before we trace this. It does not need to be perfect. Not going for perfection here. I don't know if you've ever made a gingerbread house, but if you've ever made a perfect one, my hat is off to you. Mine usually look structurally unsound to be sure and always more than a little wonky. Zoom back out. Now you've got the windows on. Before we put anything down in ink, we want to get the address on and I will tell you why. When I was practicing these, I did this one, it was this beautiful envelope, this really cool gingerbread house. I was so excited, and then I misspelled the name and I had to start all over. Let's do that address first. I'm going to use my T-square to draw out some lines here. Again, very lightly, minor, a little bit darker so that you can see them. But normally I would keep it very light. Now I'm going to take my white paint pen. You need to shake it up and it always helps to have a scrap paper nearby that you can depress it on. I just use the template because it's easier. Now we can start to actually script out the address. Once you have your address written up and you're like, okay, this is good. I'm good. I didn't make a mistake, then we can start actually drawing on our gingerbread house. We'll start with the door frame here. I'm going to start with the snowfall. So I'm just going to trace around the parts that I drew. Now remember paint pens are pretty opaque, but if you've drawn your pencil on too dark, it might still show through. Another incentive to keep your pencil lines light. The reason I didn't add all the snowfall on top is now we're going to kind of do the snowfall around the name. We didn't if we made it before there was a chance we could run into it this way we give ourselves a little bit of ground. I'm going to not fill that in quite yet. We'll come back to that. Now I'm going to just draw those lines down. Feel free to use a ruler if you want it exactly straight. You can see that I keep shaking the paint pen. Paint pens are notoriously they get stuck a lot. Again, have that scrap piece of paper nearby. Now all I'm doing is tracing around the windows. If you want you could skip this step of drawing it out in pencil, and you can just go right to here. Personally, I like to see where everything is going to go, where the big elements are gonna go rather before I start putting ink down. It is totally up to you. Actually, after you've done a few you might not even need to do that anymore. Now I'm going to draw some icing snowfall around the window, just little wonky curves. Remember, this is icing from an a gingerbread house and does not need to be perfect. Now I'm going to draw a line down the center here and two lines across. Wonky is good. If you want perfection, get out that ruler. I like the women's ago look that you get from being just a little wonky. Now we're going to draw on the roof. All you're going to do is make little scallops. They can be perfectly even or like mine. You can vary them in size. Here we go. I swear on my paint pens decide to jam soon as I turn on the video camera and the camera is going on, they all work great. Now for the second row, you just want to stagger it. You're going to meet the points in the middle of each scallop above. They're just sort of staggers it so that it looks like shingles on a house. Then we're going to do one more row. Okay. All right, we're looking good. Now on the bottom here I'm going to add a little foundation to the house. This is one where I do use the ruler. Just because it's a little easier. Once you have drawn on the foundation, now we can add a little bit of decoration to it. Starting from the door and working our way out, I'm just going to make little x's here. Now it's important to start from the door and work your way out because otherwise, you could end where it doesn't quite match up. This time I was able to space it out correctly, but I've done it sometimes where don't really judge it correctly or it just doesn't really work like it'll end halfway in between an x and we don't want that to happen on the door. It's easier to kind of fudge that when that happens at the end of the envelope. Start out from the door. Now it's time to decorate our gingerbread house. Just like a regular gingerbread house, once we get on their roof, the door, the windows, the foundation, now we can start to add decor. You can do whatever you want for this. I will walk you through what I'm going to do. I'm going to add just some little teardrops shapes up at the top of these. Now one thing to know is that you want to keep it symmetrical, right? Whatever you do on one side, you want to do on the other. You really can't make a mistake here because all gingerbread houses are different, and so all of these envelopes are going to be different too. I add a little heart up there. Let's do another little one down here. Then we'll add a little filigree. Filigree are these little curvy lines that you see, and we're going to add a bunch of those all over here. Add one here and here. We'll do the same thing on the other side. That's kind of the name of the game. Just every time you add it on one side, go ahead and add on the other. You've got a little bit of space here that we can fill in. See we want to do heart or do we want to do more filigree? Let's do, some more filigree. We'll just do a little curve there. I'm going to do some polka dots. Do the same thing on the other side. The sound effects aren't necessary, but it does make things a little bit more fun, right? I'm going to add some more dots right here. Let's add some here as well. If it helps go on Pinterest and look at pictures of gingerbread houses and see how folks decorate them. That will help you be inspired. We'll add a couple little dashes there just to fill in some of that white space, maybe a dot here and a dot here. I'm loving it. let's add hertz on either side of the window here. Then some more polka dots will make these just a little larger. Same thing on the other side. so cute. Now we've got a little bit of space down here. Let's see what should we do there? I'm going to do some curly cues. True story. My husband and I, when we were dating every year, we would get one of those boxed gingerbread house kids, and we would make on. One Would assume that because I'm an artist, I would be really good at it. No, very bad. Our gingerbread houses always looked a little off, but they were always a lot of bud to bake and we still like to do them with our daughters, so it's really come full circle. Now I'm going to fill in those snowfall areas. Paint pens, they're not paint, right?. They're going to leave kind of like pen strokes. It helps to kind of fill it in and like a circular motion. You lose a little bit of that harsh lines. If you want, you can always do all this with a brush and ink as well. If you have white acrylic ink, that would be great. You would just use a brush instead of the paint pen, or you could even use a pointed pen. If you have a pointed pen that you use for calligraphy, dip that in the white acrylic ink. Then when it comes time to fill these big spots in, you can use a brush with the acrylic ink. Because I'm trying to do things that I think you might already have at home. We'd stuck with the paint pen method, but that is definitely a viable option. Now one other thing too, you might want to add a little bit of color. Maybe where I added the curlicues, maybe you would rather have little gumdrops that would be really cute in some bright holiday colors. I wanted to keep mine pretty simple, I was about to say the royal icing, which I guess it's what it's supposed to be but with just white on craft, but you can always add color in there. Remember all these envelope tutorials, you can make your own. I did have a lot of fun on Pinterest looking at gingerbread houses. It's given me lots of ideas for this year. Ideas that I'm sure won't look as good in real life as they do on Pinterest but does anything. There you go. There's a little gingerbread house envelope, so you would just put your stamp up here so it will cover up that a bit, but that's okay. Once you give this time to dry, you can go in with your eraser and erase all those guidelines. Seriously, how cute is this? I love it so much and think how excited you would be to get this in the mail. Go ahead and give this one a try. I think you're really going to impress yourself. 7. Merry & Bright Envelope: Next tutorial is called Merry and Bright and we are going to create a super fun, super bright envelope using gouache and a couple of different styles of brushes. Gouache if you aren't familiar, is just an opaque watercolor. You can also do this using Tombow dual tip brush pens if you don't have gouache handy. The only thing is you're not going to be able to get letters that are quite so thick in one stroke, you'll probably have to go over them a couple of times. But if you've got brush markers on hand in lots of different colors, you can do that instead of the gouache. Here's what you're going to need. You're going to need a white envelope, gouache of course, and remember gouache is an opaque watercolor. If you don't have this and you'd like to try it out, you can get gouache at your local art supply store or even your local craft store like Michaels or Joann's, most of those places will have gouache as well. You're going to want a square brush to use for the bold lettering. We will either for the bold lettering, it'll either be a first name or a last name. Depending on how long the name is, you might need to use different size brushes. I am using a size 6 square brush and that works great for names that are 5-6 letters long. If you're going to do something larger than that, I'd recommend bumping down to maybe a four. Square brush, that's going to be for the name. Then you're also going to want a round brush that's going to be used for scripting out the address and the last name if you did the first name up here. I'm using a size 4 round brush, but again, you can use whatever size works best for you. You're also going to want a T-square, a pencil and an eraser. If you're using gouache, I highly recommend you get a black eraser. Again, that's not going to pull up the pigment on the gouache, that is a really good option there. The first thing we want to do is draw out our guidelines. Now, this envelope does require just a little bit of planning. Are you going to use the first name? Are you going to use the last name here? What you could do if you wanted to use the last name, you could do in the smaller text [inaudible], and then the last name, and then here instead of having the last name, for this example, you would put family. But it does require a little bit of planning before you start laying it out. Think about that, how you want to do it. Let's go ahead, let's do the family one here. I'm going to draw this here, that's going to be the line for the large name and remember, you should be using very light strokes so that the word family would go on this line. This would be the street, and this would be the city state zip. We've got that laid out. Now, what you can do is you can script everything on pencil, but just know that with gouache even though it is opaque, you still can see through it. If you look there, you can still see the paper coming through underneath. If you're using light colors, you're probably going to be able to see the pencil marks through. This is a good time to just wing it, and that's what we're going to do. Now, we're choosing colors, the colors that you want to use. Of course, you can go with the standard red and green if you would like, there's nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to go with a more bright holiday colored light palette, something that it's just a lot of bright and funky and a little bit more modern than the red and green. Let's go ahead and get started. I'm going to pull out my gouache tray here, turn it around and then you should have some clean water. I'm going to start with my square brush and start with the lime green. Now, when you are working with a square brush, you want to really follow the curve of your lines to get this nice even thickness the whole way around. You'll see what I mean as I go. Point is, it's not like when you're doing calligraphy where you're holding at an angle and adjusting your pressure. You're going to keep the same pressure the whole way through. I'm just going to pull down, I'm keeping the same pressure the whole way through and go over a little bit more. You can see here I painted over my guideline and you're going to be able to see that in there. That's kind of a bummer, but this is just an example for you guys, so I'll let it slide this time. But that's what I mean by, if you script out ahead of time, you're going to be able to see that line in there, and I'm guessing that's something you want to avoid. Now, we move on to the next color. I'm going to do like a dark, bright pink here. You can see I'm having the brush touch the paper at 90 degrees. I'm holding it directly above the paper, not at an angle like we do in calligraphy, instead, you want to hold it directly above. You can curve it around and here's a tip. If you're doing an O just like in calligraphy, instead of starting at the very top of the O, you want to start a little bit over to the right. If you noticed, I started right here and then moved around, that way you'll get a curve on top. If you start here, it'll be a little bit more difficult to get that curve on top. We're going to go next with a royal blue. Now, I want to square the bottom there, so I'm going to get my brush and just square that off. Sometimes it can look a little brushy at the end. If you can see there how it looks a little different. You can just go ahead and square that off with your brush or you can leave it brushy too, depends on the look you're going for. Spread that paint around a little bit. I will go for an orange. For the consistency of the gouache, you want it to be pretty thin so that you can make it run. You saw when I did the J, it was a little bit on the thicker side, it didn't make it the whole way around. You want it to be a little bit on the thinner side, but not so thin that the edges bleeds over the place. What I usually do is, I do make that a little bit wider. I usually start with one brush full of water. You'll see I get my water on my brush and then the gouache is solid, this palette it's all solid. I just wet it and then test out the consistency to see what I get. It's easier to add more water than it is to take away. It's fine to err on the side of not enough water versus too much. You'll know, and the more you do it, the better at it you'll get. What I recommend is, if you've never worked with gouache before, before you start on your envelope, get a spare piece of paper like a scrap piece of paper, and try it out. Now I'm going to end it with of a dark teal. That is how I just follow the curve there, and I'm going to run out of paint, that's okay. I'm just going to get a little bit more. Here we go. Really bright fun color palette there. I'm done with the square brush. I'm going to use my round brush, and I'm going to write out the family and then the address. You can pick a color that you've already used, but I'm going to use, I don't know what shape to call this, a brighter blue. I think goes really nicely with this pallet. My words are so little white here. If I was doing this not on a video, I would wait for this to dry but because I don't want to make you sit here, I'm going to go ahead and try just to do it without running into that. There you go, so now I have the address all scripted up. I've got a little bit of white space here, which is fine, you can leave it like that, but to drive home this bright theme, I'm going to add a little string of lights. I'm going to use a dark blue here, and just very lightly be a little bit heavier than that. There we go. Draw a little line there, just a little curly Q don't need to make it perfect. Then using my color palette up here, I'm going to pull some of those colors out and I'm going to add little lights. Just all around we did the green there unzoom as you can see, get ready, hang on. There we go. I like to give you a fair warning before Zoom because it always makes me dizzy. I may add some pink there. Cute. Let's see we have some of that blue already, so I'll skip that and we'll go with orange. Then finally we'll add some of that teal. We have some little brightly colored lights to go along with their envelope. What I would do next is I would wait for this to dry and then I would erase the guidelines. You might be thinking, well, if this is a watercolor, what happens if it gets wet? Exactly what you think would happen, It bleeds everywhere. What we want to do before we send this out as we want to seal it. I have some special wax that I use for wedding invitations and things like that. That really seals it up nice and tight, but if you don't have that at home, which I'm guessing you don't. A white taper candle will work just as well. In fact, when I'm doing my own personal cards and I don't want to use up that expensive wax. That's what I use. I use a white taper candle. I can't do it here because again, this is still wet. But once it's dry, you take the candle and you just rub it over the top. If you hold it up to the light, you'll see a little sheen where the wax is, and that's just going to protect it from splashes of water. If this gets soaked, like if somebody drops it in a puddle, then it is going to just bleed everywhere. But that's going to be the case for most ink. As long as you have it pretty well sealed up with the wax it should be okay to still get to where it's going. The Postal Service is a really great job of keeping the letters nice and dry. They've got those big waterproof packs. Of course, stuff happens sometimes, but for the most part, as long as you seal it with that wax, you can maybe even use a little bit of cheap hairspray. Sometimes that works as well. I find that the wax works a little bit better. But you can definitely use cheap hairspray in a pinch, just make sure you hold it pretty far up otherwise it will stain everything but the wax won't stain it and it won't discolor it. Cheap white taper candle, you can get them at the $ Store for 25 cents. That is a great way to seal it up. Let me show you a few variations on the theme. Here's an example of one I did, where I added the string of lights up at the top and then I centered everything down here, and I also staggered these letters around a little bit. That's one way you could do it. Here's another example where I did the zip code on its own line and I mimicked the colors up here. That's a little fun way you can add some more of that color. Then this one might be my favorite. I took a white paint pen, and I added different patterns into each of the letters. I started with some stars, some stripes, and big polka dots. Some little xs, and some tiny polka dots. That was a fun way to jazz it up a little bit. whatever you want to do, you can definitely vary this up a little bit depending on how many people you're sending it to do and how much time you have. But I do think that these pretty bright colors offer something just a little bit different than the standard red and green, and hopefully, you will enjoy making these as much as I did. 8. Peace on Earth Envelope: This tutorial is called peace on Earth, and we're going to be creating this little dove using paper cutting techniques. What you're going to need is a dark blue envelope. This is called knight from Paper Source. You're also going to need some white paper. I'm using a text white paper, but printer paper will be fine in a pinch. You're also going to want something to script with, I am using a Tombow Fudenosuke. But any small brush pen or monoline pen will work there. You're also going to want a template if you don't want to draw the dove yourself. This is available on the class resources section a silver paint pen, this is liquid chrome. If you've never tried liquid chrome go get it, [LAUGHTER] it's the most amazing silver paint pen ever. Now you also need green paper for your olive branch. But if you're like me and didn't have any green paper on hand, just use a green marker to color in some of your white paper. You're also going to need scissors and some Mod Podge and a brush to spread that Mod Podge on with. This one is a little bit involved, this one has a lot of different steps. But I mean, come on, look at the result of that. This one is totally worth it, [LAUGHTER] even though it does have a few steps to it. The first thing you want to do is cut out your dove. What you'll want to do is place this template under your white paper, trace it and then cut it out. Now, if this part trips you up a little bit, you can skip that. We are going for, like I said, the Matisse paper cutting look so you'll see that I've got some sharp edges, some curved edges, some things that are snipped off. The point is I'm not trying to be perfect here, I want that paper cut look. Now if you have something like a cricket machine and you want to do this, 50 of this it may or might not benefit you too, [LAUGHTER] to put that in the cricket instead. But if you're just doing a handful of this cutting them out is no big deal, and honestly it's going to give you a much cooler, more authentic look. Once you have that cut out, we then want to cut out our little olive branch. I'm going to use a scrap of the white paper, and I'm just going to color it then with the green, [BACKGROUND] I'm just using a Tombow dual brush right now, you can use any marker you want. You can also use like wash or acrylic paint, it doesn't have to be markers, this is just what I have in front of me here. Then I am going to cut out some little leafy branch here. [BACKGROUND] Again, this doesn't need to be perfect, in fact, it shouldn't be [LAUGHTER] to get the look that we're going for. Just like a little branch there. Once you have everything cut out, you can go ahead and write the address on. You can see here that it's at an angle. The angle doesn't totally matter, it needs to be more horizontal than up and down, which is, this is about 601, it's still more horizontal. That would still makes it easy enough for the postal service to read, you just don't want it to be going straight up and down, so it can be diagonal. If you want to draw some guidelines before you can do that, you want to be using a smaller brush pen, I'm using a Tombow Fudenosuke, and I'm going to use a funkier style. Most of my styles are pretty funky, but [LAUGHTER] because of the shape that we're doing using this bouncy script allows me to really fill in the shape more. [MUSIC] Once you have your address written, you're going to want to make sure you erase any lines, if you did guidelines or I can see some of the lines where I traced out my paper cut, and now the fun stuff begins. We are going to glue on our dove here. We are using Mod Podge, if you've never used Mod Podge before, this is for decoupage, so it's not only glue, but it's also a sealant. This is going to seal our paper onto the envelope so you can see it has a little sheen to it. This is the mat kind. Even the mat kind has a little bit of a sheen to it, but this is going to protect the paper from coming up at all. First thing we want to do is lay it all out, and see how it looks. It's pretty cute. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to thin this out a little bit. It's always good to lay it out, make sure it looks the way you want, that's better. Now I'm going to take my Mod Podge, and this is a little messy and now it dries clear, so don't worry about like, no I got it on my envelope, it dries clear, so I'm just going to add some glue here, I told you it gets messy. Sometimes it's fun to get messy. [LAUGHTER] just something my four-year-old that's like her life mantras [LAUGHTER] getting messy. There we go, so now that's down. You'll see little spots where the glue touched, and right now it's white but it will dry clear. Now I'm going to rush the Mod Podge on to the back of a dove here. I'm not too worried about getting it on the envelope again because we're going to seal the whole envelope with the Mod Podge. [BACKGROUND] Place that on. So pretty. I love it. But we're not quite done yet. Now I'm going to take my liquid chrome marker with my silver marker here, and I'm going to start adding some stars. Now you can fill this in you can leave them blank, you can do more like asterisk stars, you can do some of that more mid-century modern starburst. I'm going to do a mix of like the standard little, let me call it doodle star [LAUGHTER] and some asterisk stars. Just want it to look like everything's twinkling. Now, it's hard to tell in the video, but this paint pen, when it says it's liquid chrome, it means it. This is a very cool, very shiny silver marker. Now I'm going to go back and look at the spacing there and I'm going to start adding some dots, just sporadically around. Again, when I give the look of twinkling, and one of the ways you can do that is by spacing things out. I don't want to say randomly because it's not random, I'm looking and I'm seeing where spots would go, but you can leave some blank space, leave some negative space there to give the stars a little room to twinkle. I love it so much. Now once you're done with that, you will take the Mod Podge and you will paint it all the way over. Again, if you look at this example, you can see with the light hit it, you can see where I've painted it and it does leave some brushstrokes on there, but for the most part, that looks the same, it doesn't alter the color this is still very white. Now this is that one work if you just use regular glue, but if you use the Mod Podge, it's going to seal that up really nice for you, and then you'll be able to mail it off. 9. Candy Cane Envelope: This tutorial is called the candy cane. In this one, we're going make our script look like a nice little peppermint twist. For this tutorial, you're going to need either a white or pink envelope. This is blossom from Paper Source and this looks very cool with the peppermint here. You're also going to have a red brush pen. I'm using a Crayola super tip and a white paint pen, so I have a couple here on hand. Paint pens are notorious for clogging and sticking, so I always have a couple with me in case one one a little. [LAUGHTER] The first thing that we want to do is go ahead and draw out our guidelines. You know what? I'm going to use the pink envelope today. Remember you want your guidelines to be really light in color. I'm going to make mine a little darker just so you can see them. Just looking at this example, the name is very large, then we have teeny-tiny little address, and then we bump up the size on the zip code. So we're going to keep that in mind as we draw out our guidelines. I'm not going to measure it, I'm just going to eyeball it. If you really want perfection here, go for it, you can measure it, but I'm just not going to be too precious about it. Remember, we're bumping up the size of the zip code, so I'm going to make that space a little bit larger. I actually might even end up going down a little bit more. When you are doing your calligraphy here, you want to make sure that you are spacing out the strokes. Here's what I mean by that. If you look at a letter like the letter R, where you might trace over the down stroke so you go down and then typically when you're drawing the letter R, you trace over that down stroke and then you come out. Same with the letter H, you bring the down stroke and you trace up over and then come out and do the edge. For this, because you want to give it the look like it's twisting and turning around, I want to space those out. So make sure the upstroke doesn't overlap the down stroke on letters like that. I'm going to go ahead and get my marker here and start scripting. [MUSIC] You can see that's nice and thick there. Now I'm going to use just the very tip of the brush to write out the address. [MUSIC] Once we get down to the zip code here, you're going to make it a little thicker again, so that we can give it that candy cane look. Now for a good little measure, let's add a couple of candy canes on either side of the address. Just a little, really drive home the theme here. [LAUGHTER] Now we are going to go ahead and [NOISE] add on the white stripes. So you need your paint pen, shake it up. I recommend you have a little test piece of paper close by. Remember what I said about paint pens? [LAUGHTER] That one was acting silly so we're going to go with this one here. That one's looking good. I'm going to zoom in here. Hold on. [NOISE] Now I'm going to follow the lines here and go around. So I'm going to start out on the angle and then I'm going to make sure that that angle bends and turns with the shape of the letter as I draw my stripes. [MUSIC] Now when you get to a point like this where there's some overlap, I like to think about, okay, if this was real, you wouldn't see the part on the bottom. So I just skip over that little portion so that it would look more like what it would look like if it was an actual little candy cane twisting and turning. [MUSIC] You have a little candy cane name there. I'm going to go ahead and do the same for these little candy canes that we've created over here, [MUSIC] as well as the zip code. [MUSIC] There you have it, a little peppermint card. Now all you would do now is erase those guidelines and send it off to someone sweet. 10. Class Project: That's a wrap. We are all finished. I really hope you enjoyed those six holiday mail art tutorials. I had so much fun [LAUGHTER] making these, and I really hope that you have fun making them as well. I bet you can guess what our class project is. That's right. We are making some holiday mail art. [LAUGHTER] For your class project, I want you to take at least one of the tutorials and create your very own piece of Mylar. Now I know you're going to be creating these for friends and family, which is awesome. What's not awesome is sharing the names and addresses of your friends and family on the Internet. What I would like you to do for the class project is do one of the tutorials, but instead of addressing it to a real life person at a real-life address, I want you to address it to your favorite holiday character. Maybe it's going to Buddy the Elf in New York or Clark Griswold in Chicago, or Ebenezer Scrooge in London. Whoever it is, whoever your favorite character is, come up with their address and create a piece of mail art. Now, like I said, you can use at least one tutorial, but feel free to do as many as you want and why don't you mash them up. If you like some elements from one and some elements for another, combine them. Let's see what you come up with. We can always add our own personal flavor to all of these. Now, in addition to sharing your class project here on Skillshare, I would also love it if you could share it online as well. If you're on Instagram, be sure to share an image of your fake address, not the real one. [LAUGHTER] The fake addresses and tag at Hoopla letters. If you tag me, then I can share it with the world and everyone can swoon over your beautiful mail art. If you enjoyed this class, I encourage you to check out some of my others. I have another merrier mail art class which has six additional tutorials that you can learn from. I also have classes on developing your own calligraphy style, creating art with calligraphy. If you're looking to create some holiday gifts maybe for folks, that's a good class to take. I also have some classes on digital calligraphy. Creating a logo using Adobe Illustrator for the iPad. Lots of courses. Go check it out, take a look and in the meantime, happy scripting, and happy holidays. [MUSIC]