Using Templates to Address Your Own Envelopes

 
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I am a huge advocate for templates. I teach about them in my workshops, and I use them on almost every project. You will be able to address envelopes faster, and more consistently with the assist of a template.

They are almost perfect, but here’s the biggest flaw: You can’t use them on dark colored envelopes, or envelopes with a liner already in them. For those situations, a lot of calligraphers love and use a SliderWriter. I personally don’t love this tool because the laser hurts my eyes, so I will set up a table template using a string and taping it down. I slip an envelope under the string and eyeball half-way down the envelope. Then I put a piece of tape on the table as a marker for lining up the next envelopes I write. I do use a laser level for other kinds of projects like signs and mirrors, but for envelopes, I’ll stick with templates.

We are going to look at how I address light colored envelopes with a template. If you’re lining your own envelopes, hold off on inserting those until after all of the envelopes are addressed.

 
 
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STEP | 01

MAKE YOUR TEMPLATE

Cut a piece of card stock or bristol board to the dimensions of your envelope.

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STEP | 02

MEASURE YOUR LINES

Using a pencil, measure to the center of the bristol board both horizontally and vertically.

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STEP | 03

KEEP IT SIMPLE

If this is a first-time project for you, I recommend writing the guest’s name in calligraphy and then using capitalized block lettering for the street address.

Measure .75” from the guest’s name line, make a couple of marks and use them to draw a straight line. From that line, measure another line down .75” for your city, state, and zip code.

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STEP | 04

MAKE THE LINES BOLD

Go over your pencil lines with Sharpie so that they are bold. Put the template into the envelope as though it were your invitation so that you can see the lines through the paper.

Address your envelope, remove the template, and insert it into another blank envelope. To avoid smudging when you remove the template, make a few templates so that you can leave one in the envelope while the ink has a chance to set and dry before you remove it.

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STEP | 05

INSERT YOUR TEMPLATE

Insert the template, and begin writing! I like to make the top line of text larger so that the guest’s name stands out a little bit more, and then use the two address line guides to keep the text smaller.

Let me know how your project turned out, and if you have any questions, leave a comment below for me to answer.

 

Life Hack:

Some light envelopes are still hard to see the template through. You can purchase a light pad which will shine light through the envelope making the template easier to see.

Comment with any questions you have as you begin your own envelope projects! We can troubleshoot together.

Staci CullenComment