One of the loveliest ways to elevate your stationery is the thought and care you give to addressing your envelopes. This is attention to detail at its best and, surprisingly, an aspect that is often overlooked. Hiring a calligrapher is top of mind for such a task, however, this is not always an option for every budget. Printing directly on your envelopes using a diy template is a low-cost alternative that will still charm your guests with gorgeous, professional-looking envelopes.
Obviously, you want your pretty envelopes to be accepted by your postal service so you will need to adhere to your country's guidelines. Without getting too technical, below are a few general guidelines to follow:
• Don't place any wording or art too close to the envelope edge, especially on the top or bottom right as this is often where the postal barcodes will go.
• The recipient address should be centered on the front. The return address can go in the upper left corner on the front or on the envelope flap.
• Don't sacrifice clarity for design. Keep your addresses clear and legible to ensure delivery.
Whether you build your own template or purchase one, it's important to consider the envelope size that you need and be sure that your document is sized accordingly. For example, a 5x7 invitation fits an A7 envelope, which is 7.25 x 5.25 inches.
When choosing a template, you'll want to consider what program it uses and how comfortable you are working in that program. For this tutorial, I'm using one of my editable templates built in Corjl, which enables you to edit right in your web browser. Try the demo here.
In the video below, I'll walk you through how to edit you addresses and set up a print-ready PDF. You can try the demo for this template by clicking on the link below.
Getting the settings and alignment right can be a bit of trial and error at first, so be sure to run a few test prints before sending the whole batch through. For this reason, it is also recommended to have 5-10 spare envelopes just in case, but you can also test print on plain paper. I've found that placing the envelopes upside down in the printer feed works best for the correct alignment, with the side you will print on facing you. However, your printer may be different than mine so again it's important to run a few test prints until you get the settings just right.
Open the PDF that you downloaded and get ready to print (Ctrl+P or File - Print). This should bring up a dialogue box to select your printer settings. Under "Page Setup" be sure that your paper size corresponds to the envelope size you will print on. Always choose "no scaling" or 100%.
Before placing your envelopes in the printer feed, I highly recommend going over all the edges with a bone folder, the edge of a ruler, or even just your fingernail to flatten down all the edges. This is a bit annoying, I know, BUT it truly works wonders to prevent smudging when they run through the printer so it's well worth the effort. I also recommend tucking in the envelope flap when possible to prevent jamming.
To help you navigate the diy process, I've put together a comprehensive PDF guide that's full of practical how-to's and useful tips. We'll cover printing methods, how to choose the right paper for your project, and my top 15 money-saving tips to help you stay on budget.
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