Best of 2018: DIY

I don’t consider myself a natural DIYer – if I DIY, it’s usually because I have a VERY specific idea about something, or I’m inspired by a particular issue or subject to create something new. So this year’s range of DIY projects included some rainbow-inspired place cards, rainbow watercolor party decorations, and DIY terrazzo-inspired pumpkins for Halloween mixed with a bit of political activism. Sounds about right for this DC-based former Federal government employee!

DIY Rainbow Watercolor Paper Backdrop

DIY Rainbow Watercolor Crepe Paper Backdrop

DIY Rainbow Watercolor Place Cards

DIY Rainbow Watercolor Place Cards on Handmade Paper

DIY No Carve Terrazzo Pumpkins

DIY No Carve Terrazzo Pumpkins

DIY Midterm Election Night Bingo

Printable Midterm Election Night Bingo

Boss Dotty / Believe Women

Printable I Believe Women Posters and Postcards

BTW – you guys seem to appreciate the political activism posts, so I’m planning to keep those coming in 2019! 

Best of 2018: Invitations + Gatherings

Happy New Year! My kids go back to school today, which means I finally get to go back to work – yay! I’m planning some big changes here at Oh So Beautiful Paper this year, so I wanted to start the year off by looking back at some of my favorite features from 2018. And of course, I had to start with some of my favorite invitations and gatherings from the year. It’s also sort of a mini trend round up of the year and a peek forward at some trends I’m anticipating for 2019. Let’s take a look!

Deckle Edge Paper and Vellum

If I had to describe 2018 invitation trends in just two words, it would probably be vellum and handmade paper. Both are incredibly romantic on their own, but are even more powerful in combination. I’m excited to see more of these trends in 2019!

Romantic Calligraphy Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper by Plume Calligraphy

Romantic Calligraphy Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper by Plume Calligraphy

Minimalist Type-Driven Deckle Edge Wedding Invitations by Every Little Letter

Minimalist Type-Driven Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper by Every Little Letter

Soft Neutrals

After several years of really bright color, neutrals made a comeback in a big way this year – along with a return to classic type-driven designs. I’m loving the subtle tone-on-tone effect of mixing several neutral shades together and playing around with different ink colors. 

Modern Minimalist Wedding Invitations by Owl Post Calligraphy

Neutral Modern Minimalist Wedding Invitations by Owl Post Calligraphy

Understated Blush and Teal Wedding Invitations by Designed by Jaclyn

Minimalist Patterns and Colorful Paper

I found myself very drawn to abstract shapes, minimalist design details, and incorporating colorful paper into invitation designs – like the simple hand painted brush stroke on our Friendsgiving invitations and white foil on deep green paper for the Paper Party 2018 invitations. These weren’t big trends in 2018, but I think the colorful paper in particular will be a major trend in 2019. We’ll see!

Minimalist Hand Painted Friendsgiving Invitations by Bare Ink Co.

Minimalist hand painted Friendsgiving invitations by Bare Ink Co. / Styling by Oh So Beautiful Paper

Modern Minimalist Invitations with White Foil on Green Paper

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations / Design by Ramona & Ruth, Printing by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan paper, Styling by Oh So Beautiful Paper

Pastel Mudcloth Inspired Wedding Invitations by Twinkle & Toast

Pastel Mudcloth Wedding Invitations by Twinkle & Toast

Those are my favorites for 2018, but let’s talk! What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorite trends? Do you agree with me on the trends going into 2019? If you’re a stationer, are you excited to incorporate colorful paper into some of your designs – either for invitations or other custom stationery? I really want to know!

Shop Local: Where to Find Unique Gifts in Washington, DC

You guys! Only four more days until Christmas! How did that happen? I’ll be taking next week off to spend time with my family, including my dad and step-mom who are coming into town from the West Coast, then returning with brand new content in 2019! But since this is the last shopping weekend before Christmas, I thought I’d leave you with a quick round up of some of my favorite local shops in the DC area, including a limited pop-up shop from Matine that ends this weekend! DC retail has come a LONG way in the last couple of years, with a bunch of really cute independent boutiques opening up across the city, and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them. I love being able to look for the perfect little special something in person at these shops discover new brands in the process. So for those of you doing a bit of local shopping this weekend, or if any of you are planning trips in the future, here are a few favorite spots where you can find unique gifts in DC!

Union Market / Washington, DC


Two locations in Washington, DC: Union Market (1309 5th St NE) and Logan Circle (1625 14th St NW)

Whenever I’m on the hunt for a unique gift, I always start at the OG Salt & Sundry location at Union Market. They have a fantastic collection of tabletop and home goods, art and wall hangings, some really cute baby and kid items, and lots of fun barware and mixers for cocktail enthusiasts!


1258 5th Street NE, Washington, DC

Shelter is one of DC’s newest boutiques, located just across the street from Union Market. Shelter was founded by DC jewelry designer Mallory Shelter and features a curated selection of jewelry, accessories, and natural objects by independent designers. Mallory has definitely curated the most beautiful and thoughtful selection of gifts, from the Clare Vivier clutches and hand beaded earrings and necklaces by Alchemilla Jewelry to Nightspace candles and ceramics from a local artist.


1338 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC

Heading across town to Georgetown and Take Care! Take Care is an all-natural skincare, beauty and lifestyle shop that offers an essential collection of plant-based and independent-label brands for your skin, body and home. I’ve made several trips to Take Care this year to finally get a handle on my skincare routine, and I can’t say enough good things about this beautiful little shop. If you know anyone who loves skincare, essential oils, or natural makeup, definitely stop by to check it out.


1810 14th Street NW, Washington, DC – until December 23 only

If you’re looking for beautiful and timeless leather goods, definitely check out the Matine pop-up in Logan Circle – this weekend is the last weekend to check it out in person! After that, you can always visit Matine online!


1201 King Street Alexandria, VA

Heading across the river to our friends in Old Town, Alexandria! Penny Post is the new stationery store from the owner of Red Barn Mercantile, and it’s seriously the cutest little shop with so many fun gift ideas. Books, notebooks, desk signs, fancy pens, art prints, mugs, and of course the absolute BEST greeting card selection in the DC area!


1117 King Street, Alexandria, VA

And of course we can’t forget our friends at Penny Posts’s sister store Red Barn Mercantile! Home décor, tabletop pieces, cookbooks, barware, accessories, kid gifts, and lots more. Plus, they also offer home design services!

Happy shopping everyone!

Green and Neutral Holiday Gift Wrap Inspiration

Now that we’ve got our Christmas shopping mostly under control, it’s time to move onto gift wrap! I put just as much time into thinking about the wrapping paper and ribbon as I do the actual gift inside, and I tend to switch my color palette from year to year. I’ve definitely been feeling more of a subdued holiday color palette this year – mostly deep greens paired with neutrals (including blush, cream, white, and black) and pops of gold and red. So today I thought I’d share some green and neutral holiday gift wrap inspiration and resources!

Okay, so let’s start with the wrapping paper. I always decide on a color palette before choosing patterns, and this year’s color palette was deep green, cream, white, black, gold, and blush with just a wee bit of red. I find that you can mix any pattern as long as you stick to a particular color palette, so there’s a mix of everything in here: plaid, dots, stripes, and even lettering this year!

The Sugar Paper for Target holiday collection has become one of my go-to wrapping paper resources the last couple of years – the patterns are just so cute! I particularly loved the gold foil snow dots, pale pink with gold dots, and cream and black Santa lettering patterns. I also incorporated a few plaid and striped patterns from Copper Paper Co. and an abstract pattern from Our Heiday! I’ll put all the sources at the bottom of the post for you.

When it comes to ribbons, I always start with Angela Liguori‘s beautiful Italian ribbons – she really makes the most beautiful ribbon in the most beautiful colors. I’m especially loving her new deep green color (called Cypress), which is available in a variety of tight weave widths. I used several of Angela’s drittofilo ribbons this year (the ones with thin piping along each edge), along with a metallic loose weave ribbon and 1/8″ metallic braided ribbon.

It can be tricky to know which size ribbon to choose – but I generally go by the size of the box: a larger gift (and larger box) requires a wider ribbon, while a smaller box requires a smaller ribbon. You can also try combining a few thinner ribbons to create the illusion of a wider ribbon. I also love wrapping a thin ribbon (like the 1/8″ metallic braided ribbon) around a box several times to create added texture and interest. 

I also normally try to incorporate a wired ribbon into my collection for wrapping larger boxes, but I just couldn’t find anything I really loved this year! So I picked up this blush pink velvet ribbon from the Sugar Paper for Target collection, which I’m saving for a special shared present that my husband and I are planning to give to our daughters for Christmas. I also really love the velvet ribbon colors in this shop. Velvet is so dreamy this time of year!


Gift Wrap

Sugar Paper for Target in gold foil snow dots, pale pink with gold dots, and cream and black Santa lettering

Copper Paper Co. in holiday plaid, poppy red stripe, and evergreen plaid

Our Heiday Winter Colorscape Gift Wrap

Additional independent gift wrap resources: Amy HeitmanIdlewild Co., Shannon Kirsten, Paula & WaffleSnow & Graham, Fox & Fallow, and Knot & Bow


Angela Liguori tight weave cotton ribbon in cypress – both 1 1/2″ width and 1/4″ width – and striped natural/black 1 1/2″ ribbon, metallic loose weave ribbon in jade/gold, and drittofilo ribbon in natural/red, blush/rose gold, natural/black, petal/white, and natural/gold (I just keep adding to my collection each year!)

Sugar Paper for Target velvet ribbon

Tulip Bloom 3/4″ velvet ribbon

So that’s my deep green and neutral gift wrap for this year! What colors did you choose this year? Do you pick specific colors or patterns for each recipient, or use the same pattern for the whole family? Tell me, tell me!

Creative Direction and Styling: Nole Garey of Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gift Wrap Styling: Kelsey Bethune of Tart Event Co. 

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Hey everyone! No time like the holiday season to appreciate the beauty of calligraphy and lettering work. So today I have a treat for you that’s almost as sweet as a warm mug of cocoa topped with marshmallows. New York City calligrapher and creative entrepreneur Sam Teich takes us through a peek of her stunning portfolio, and shares inspiration behind her lettering work. (She had me at her logo, it’s simply so good!). So let’s dive in! Jen

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Sam working her calligraphy magic at Paper Party 2018! Photos by Charlie-Juliet Photography

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Sam even wrote on balloons at the party! Photos by Charlie-Juliet Photography

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

On how she got into doing calligraphy:

“When people ask me how I got started in calligraphy, I usually say that I was a very nerdy kid! I taught myself cursive (in the backseat of a car during a road trip) and always loved decorating letters and trying to copy other people’s handwriting or fonts and logos that I saw. I went to NYU for photography and graphic design, and worked as a photo editor for editorial publications for a number of years before leaving the office life to pursue calligraphy full time nearly 3 years ago.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Photo Credit: Ebbe Sweet Photography

On what she regularly works on:

“In addition to working on private and corporate projects and custom pieces, I produce and execute live lettering events, and teach regular modern calligraphy workshops.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: New York City Calligrapher Sam Teich

Inspiring Calligraphers: New York City Calligrapher Sam Teich

On her favorite unconventional projects:

“Paper is great, but I love applying calligraphy to unconventional materials. Denim jackets are always a favorite, and I really love working on sneakers too! I’ve done a few collaborations with the Italian sneaker brand Superga and they’re some of my favorites.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: New York City Calligrapher Sam Teich

Inspiring Calligraphers: Sam Teich

Inspiring Calligraphers: New York City Calligrapher Sam Teich

On collaborating with the Steelers:

“This fall I also collaborated with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a few events and got to create custom jackets for the wives and girlfriends of the players, and custom luggage tags for all of the players’ game day bags! I also hand-painted calligraphy on leotards for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater to wear during the Steelers’ charity fashion show.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: New York City Calligrapher Sam Teich

Photo Credit: Nico Schinco for HeyDay

On seeing her work in neon lights:

“I have a neon sign of my writing for the NYC facial shop Heyday that’s not far from where I live in Greenwich Village, so I get to pass by and see that from the street, which is pretty special.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: New York City Calligrapher Sam Teich

On teaching calligraphy:

“I find calligraphy is an extremely therapeutic hobby and it’s very rewarding to create something with your hands. It’s very gratifying for me to be able to introduce people to a new way of thinking. Even if it’s not something you’re going to continue with or pursue in a big way, I believe that we should always be challenging ourselves to learn and try new things.”

Big thanks to Sam for sharing some of the fun ways she’s bringing her lettering work to the world! You can also find her over on Instagram.

All photos via Sam Teich, except where noted.

Want to be featured in our calligraphy column? Reach out to us at submissions [at] ohsobeautifulpaper [dot] com with the subject line “Calligraphy Feature” for more details!