I’ve been obsessed with bright and colorful envelope addresses lately, especially envelopes that use white or light ink over bold and saturated watercolor paint! These invitations from Kim at Bright Room Studio and these save the dates by Gina at Eleven and West are recent favorites. So when Sakura of America got in touch about their new opaque Soufflé pens and vibrant Glaze pens, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with them! I enlisted my talented friend Michele of Meant to Be Calligraphy to help write out the addresses on some (well, a lot) of envelopes, and today we’re sharing the results with you – along with the how-to so you can recreate these DIY colorful envelope address ideas at home!
Let’s start with the Soufflé pens, which come in some really gorgeous pastel tones and white ink! Since the ink is opaque you can use the pens on dark paper or layer them over dark paint colors! I had the BEST time coming up with color combinations for these envelopes: pale pink over dark green watercolor paint, peach over cobalt blue watercolor, lavender over indigo watercolor, citron/mint over black watercolor, and aqua over violet watercolor. I can’t pick a favorite color combination!
To create the watercolor envelopes, we used Sakura’s Koi Watercolor Field Sketch Travel Kit to paint really vibrant colors on white cotton envelopes. We started painting right below the point where a stamp would be placed and painted horizontal strokes from left to right, working our way down the front of the envelope. The trick is to use high quality cotton or bamboo envelopes, which will absorb the watercolor without too much warping, and to use very little water and a ton of pigment when painting. We used only enough water to spread the paint over the envelope, rather than adding pigment to a cup or bowl full of water. Practice on a test sheet of watercolor paper until you achieve your desired hue, and be sure to place a clean sheet of paper under your envelopes while painting.
Once the envelopes are fully dry, start writing the addresses! The Soufflé pens go on dark but lighten considerably as they dry, which can make them a bit tricky in the beginning – but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Mix different lettering styles, from script to serif to all caps, and have fun with embellishments like dots, lines, arrows, and ornamental frames!
Now for the Glaze pens, which offer a really unique 3D ink and glossy, vibrant colors that remind me of watercolors! The Glaze pens are translucent, so we paired them with subtle dip dye envelopes. I really love the tone-on-tone look of blue, pink, and purple Glaze pens against blue, pink, and lavender dip dyed envelopes, but we also created some fun contrasting envelope addresses with tropical green against pale pink – even a rainbow envelope address!
As with the watercolor envelopes, the key to successful dip dyed envelopes is to use high quality cotton or bamboo envelopes. They absorb the dye and Glaze pen ink so well! To dip dye envelopes, mix food coloring with warm water in a vessel that is at least half an inch wider than your largest envelope and around three inches deep. I like using foil square cake pans to dip dye, and you can dip the envelopes at an angle to achieve more color coverage. When you’ve achieved your desired shade, dip (and quickly remove) the envelope in the dye bath, then blot dry with a paper towel and set aside to dry.
When addressing your envelopes, have fun mixing script lettering with lowercase and all caps, and play around with proportions! I also added a second layer of ink to some of the addresses (after waiting for the first layer to dry completely) for a more whimsical look. The best part is that you don’t have to be a lettering genius to create these envelopes – the colorful ink alone adds a major dose of whimsy to the envelope, and the combination of colorful ink with playful, imperfect lettering just makes my heart happy.
To create the little palm frond illustrations, I sketched them out very lightly with pencil first, then went over the pencil sketch with the Glaze pens. I also want to add whimsical polka dots to ALL of my envelopes from now on! Wouldn’t it make you so happy to receive that neon pink and coral envelope in the mail??
Photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper
This post is sponsored by Sakura of America. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!