Emma + Brian’s Star Map Wedding Invitations

These beautiful wedding invitations from designer Emma Mällinen might appear to be a simple black and white design – when in fact they’re so much more! The invitation features silver screen printing on black paper, classic Baskerville text letterpress printed on white paper, blind deboss elements – and a truly stunning star map meets tidal chart design!


From Emma: Preparing for our wedding in June has been one of the most exciting times of my life. As a graphic designer I have felt like a kid in a candy shop. There are so many things to design or customize, and over the past year I have made everything from favor box labels, to conversation starters, to all of our event signage. I’ve treated myself to all the colorful visual possibilities. Romantic lettering? Check. Bold flowers? Check. Creative language? Check. But when it came time to design our wedding invitations it felt different, like a big responsibility.


The invitations turned out to reflect us more than we could’ve even dreamed of. Our initial inspiration came from our wedding site on the Cape Cod seaside. It was Brian’s family house, overlooking the sweeping sand flats at low-tide. We loved the way the sky and the sea melded together for a few hours each day, and we thought this an apt metaphor for our own union in the same place.


We created an image of a vintage star map and a tidal chart meeting – a reference to our evening ceremony overlooking the same view. For the reverse side, we took pieces of this illustration and used them as structural elements, printing them in blind deboss around our classically arranged text. The text design was based on historical treatise frontispieces and was set in Baskerville.


The wonderful people at Mama’s Sauce did an amazing job with the technically complicated order. The diagram of the vintage star atlas and coastal tide map were screen printed in silver ink on French Paper Poptone 100C Black Licorice. This paper was then duplexed to Crane Lettra 110C Cotton, on which our text was letterpress printed in black with accompanying blind deboss.


All of these choices reflected our unique relationship: the invitations were spiritual without referring to specific religious symbols; the language was our own colorful style; and the color palette was serious but playful with deboss. We added a purple silk envelope to bring a dash of color and sent off our invitations knowing they would be cherished for a long time to come!


Thanks Emma!

Design + Envelope Calligraphy: Emma Mällinen 

Printing: Mama’s Sauce

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Emma Mällinen

Seasonal Stationery: Mother’s Day Cards, Part 1

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Whether you prefer cards that are sweet and sentimental or funny and quirky (or both!) – here are a few cards to tell mom how much you love her:


1. My Dear Fellow Co.

2. Letter & Lark

3. Rifle Paper Co.

4. Cardtorial

5. Ink Meets Paper

6. Sycamore Street Press


7. Sugar Paper

8. Wit & Whistle

9. Denote Stationery & Design

10. Moglea

11. Honizukle

12. Quirky Paper Co.

I also rounded up 16 favorite Mother’s Day cards over on the Etsy blog last week – and you can find 150+ beautiful Mother’s Day cards in the OSBP Market List right here!

Friday Happy Hour: The Peak Bloom

Among all the attractions Washington, DC offers, one of the briefest but most glorious are the annual spring cherry blossoms. A gift from Japan at the turn of the last century, the product of decades of lobbying by writer and geographer Eliza Scidmore, DC is crawling with cherry blossom trees. For a vanishingly short time each spring, they bloom and then quickly loose their petals in clouds of pink flower confetti that fall with every breeze. Did I say it was glorious? (If you do visit for the cherry blossoms, skip the crowded Tidal Basin and visit some of the quieter groves, like the one in Capitol Hill’s Congressional Cemetery or Georgetown’s Dumbarton Oaks.) Nole asked for a cocktail this week to celebrate the flowers, so here’s a light and air (and pink) gin sour that tries to capture some of their spirit. – Andrew

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

The Peak Bloom Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipe Card by Shauna Lynn Illustration for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Peak Bloom

2 oz American Gin
1 oz Lemon
1 oz Cherry Blossom Honey Syrup
1 tbsp Strawberry Preserves
Splash of Soda Water (Optional)

Combine the gin, lemon, syrup, and preserves in a cocktail shaker and add three or four big square ice cubes. Shake well and fine strain (pouring through a tea strainer or using a strainer spoon with a tightly coil) into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

We talked about American gins, in contrast to drier English-style gins, last week when we wrote about our updated Gin Rickey. Emphasizing other botanicals alongside juniper, a new American-style gin lends this drink a softer profile. We used Heritage Distillery’s Soft Gin for our Peak Bloom.

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

The cherry blossom syrup – made in Japan from honey and cherry blossom extract, which we included in another cherry blossom themed drink a couple years ago – lends this drink a subtle floral flavor. And those preserves do a couple of nice things: they add a bit of earthy sweetness that leaves this drink on the sweeter side, and the pectin in the preserves helps thicken this drink up a bit in the same way that a little egg white might, too.

The Peak Bloom Cocktail Recipe with Cherry Blossom Syrup and Str

The Peak Bloom doesn’t need a splash of soda water, but a few effervescent bubbles can be a nice addition here. But the drink will go flat fast – just like the cherry blossoms lose their petals – so you might find yourself drinking it down quickly.

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been spending a lot of time out in my garden lately (now that the weather is finally nice again!) and it has been so nice to see everything start to turn green after so many months of brown and gray. My peonies even have buds and the lilacs aren’t far behind! But in the meantime…


Photo by Flowermuse via Instagram

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Cohen’s Silver and Jute Birth Announcements

These sweet birth announcements were created by Cari from m.press for her own baby boy! The classic announcements feature a silver belly band with jute twine announcing Cohen’s arrival – and of course a few beautiful photos!


From Cari: It’s always a challenge to design for yourself and for your family, but luckily, with the gorgeous newborn photos from the super talented Ely Fair, this design focused on the images of our sweet boy! I wanted to keep his announcements very simple and traditional. The front features a crest with his initials and serves as Cohen’s personal logo (every newborn should have their own logo, right?). On the back, a vintage trumpet plays on the wording of introducing him to the recipient!


Printed on triple layer paper with a silky finish, the announcements were tied together with jute twine around the light gray belly band. Sealed in a gray linen envelope with a velvety surface, these were the perfect way to introduce our sweet Cohen Jennings to our family and friends!


Thanks Cari!

Photo Credits: m.press