We let the cheerful character of poppies inform this bold letterpress collection, available from Bella Figura. The graphic blooms, calligraphy (by Deborah Delaney), and type all have a light-spirited, modern feeling. For favors, mini sketchbooks are paired with petite colored-pencil sets from Paper Presentation (Bella Figura printed the glue-on labels).
To make the books, cut card stock into 3-by-6-inch strips (cut slightly smaller pages from regular copier paper), fold in half, and tie embroidery floss around the spine for a loose binding; stamp "sketches" on the front (or print out from your computer before assembling).
Even the postage stamps match the theme; you can use discontinued designs like these, available from online vendors, as long as the postage on the envelope adds up to at least the current rate.
Artist and stationer Ida Pearle designed the variegated tulips for this invitation and reply card using a collage of patterned paper. A tulip's simple shape lends itself especially well to collage, but Pearle can use the same art form to create other flowers. Her work was then reproduced for the stationery using offset printing.
Unlike engraving or letterpress, which requires separate plates to apply every color, offset printing allows for multiple nuanced hues, like the pale blues, tomato reds, and celery greens used here, at a lower cost. The green envelope liner repeats the pattern on the tulips in shadow-like forms.
We chose light and dark brown engraving on ecru paper to give this elegant lily-of-the-valley suite, available from Crane & Co., its finely detailed look; the linework of the illustration resembles a botanical print. The invitation has slim dimensions and a beveled edge, which is repeated on the place cards calligraphed by Deborah Delaney.
A paper wrapper, also by Crane, covers a matchbox by Rae Michaels Design Group and is secured with double-sided tape. We opted for offset printing on the reply postcard, since it's the best method for two-sided cards. The matching program is bound with silk ribbon.