Pretty Papers & Creative Cards

In the age of email and text messaging, we often forget the power of a beautifully hand written note arriving in the mail. However, when we think of the delight of opening the mailbox to a sweet card from a friend or loved one, it inspires us to share that joy with others.

Studio 5 Contributor Kelly Brown shares some of her favorite stationary picks.

This year, I have returned to the art of letter writing! Writing and mailing at least one note each week has led me to the quest for the perfect stationary supply. There are so many gorgeous prints and yummy papers available, it’s hard to know just where to start. Luckily, I’ve got some great recommendations to get you started! Whether you are wishing someone well, giving your thanks, or just corresponding with a friend, here are my favorite stationary essentials:

Everyday Stationary-

Because you never know when a friend might get ill or you’ll need to express thanks for a kind service, a good supply of everyday stationary is essential for any home. When you are hunting for everyday stationary, look for a variety of generic and themed notes that would be handy for basic events and casual correspondence.

Thank you cards seem to be one of those items you can never have enough of. Three of my favorite thank-you’s are designed by Mari-Mi and Gartner Studios and are available for purchase at Target. I love the variety of designs and styles they offer at a very reasonable price. Many of these thank you’s come in variety packs so you get several patterns to choose from. One of my favorite things about Gartner Studios is that the envelopes are just as cute as the cards. A little extra envelope detailing goes a long way!

When I want to write a quick “thinking of you” to a friend, I reach for my generic patterned card box. I love this variety pack of boxed cards from Papyrus. The decorative box contains loads of coordinating cards and envelopes in basic geometric patterns. They can be used as is or embellished with ribbon, stickers, or bling! The best thing about Papyrus brand products is that they all come with lined envelopes and sticker seals! Fabulous!

Having a few patterns of personalized stationary gives your everyday card collection a special touch! Personalized cards are great for professional correspondence or even casual notes to friends. They also make great gifts! I love the variety of personalized products available on Etsy. Each artist has a unique touch that makes their stationary one of a kind. My favorite everyday personalized Etsy finds are: – These simple graphic cards can be customized in an array of colors. You can pick your own design and have it printed in your favorite hue! Her clean simple designs are really eye catching.

Lucky Girl Paper
– I absolutely love the way these cute cards come packaged in a glassine bag tied with bakers twine. What a fun gift to give a new bride!

Pikake– When I saw this adorable vintage print, I couldn’t resist adding it to my collection. This Renaissance beauty can be customized with up to seven letters and is printed on a beautiful linen cardstock.

Silhouette– From start to finish, this beehive card is just delightful. These custom phrase and color cards arrive at your door in a lovely oatmeal box. Inside bright white printed cards and coordinating full color envelopes await. This card set is perfect for a dainty thinking of you note.

Specialty Stationary-

When an ordinary card just won’t do, you can make a real impression with specialty stationary! If every day stationary is the bread and butter of your collection, think of specialty stationary as the Filet Mignon! I reserve the use of these high end papers for special occasions that require a little more elegance and glamor. These would be cards and envelopes that use specialty printing processes like letterpress, embossing or engraving.

Engraving is a unique printing process where ink is applied to the paper as it is embossed. The ink is actually raised off the page and when you turn it over, you can feel the impression of the image. Because each color and shape must be printed separately, engraving is reserved for the finest projects.

Crane and Co. is a well-known stationer and is available through Papyrus . This beautifully engraved stationary set made my favorites list for its fun design and fine quality. I love the elegant glassine feel of the paper and each envelope is lined with a pop of pink!

if you’ve heard me talk paper, you know my heart skips a beat when I see something that has been letter pressed! In letterpress, ink is applied to fine cotton paper creating a de-bossed color. Delightful!

Papyrus offers a wide array of letter pressed items, but these sunshine yellow cards really caught my eye.

The floral set, by Elum, comes with a set of cards and envelopes as well as gift enclosures.

The fabulously gold lined envelope and thick cotton thank-you card are made by Kate Spade.

Another of my favorite letterpress designs is available from I love the clean look of this simple white card. Short Grass offers several font, color and design options so you can customize your letterpress just the way you like it.

These unique media cards from Papyrus also had to be included in my stationary must haves. The butterfly card is made of actual wood, while the hot pink paisley set brings a touch of India right to your mailbox! Both of these cards are spectacular and like all Papyrus products, they come with lined envelopes and seals.
Correspondence Note Pads-

We’ve all been in that situation where you have to write a quick note or instruction and it ends up on a piece of boring old computer paper. Pretty personalized note pads give casual correspondence a little class. I love these varieties that are available on Etsy.

This paper pad (which arrives in two sizes) is perfect for the man who is always jotting here and there. These pads can be customized with a multitude of black and white, vintage feel designs at

This note pad is the perfect solution for the busy mom on the go. I love that it is customized with your children’s names as well as your name and number. Sending a note to school couldn’t be easier…or cuter! You can order your own pad at

These graphic pads by compliment my everyday cards perfectly! These are the perfect desk scribble pad for quick notes to myself.

This clean and simple pad is my go to for classy, professional correspondence. I love the variety of elegant pads available at

The Over the Top Extras!

Once you’ve written your sweet sentiment on a beautiful card and placed it in an elegant envelope, adding a few little extras can take your correspondence over the top!

These items bring the wow factor when the mailbox is opened.

My favorite must-have extra is a personalized address stamp or embossing seal. I love using these handy tools on the outside of envelopes, but I’ve found dozens of other handy uses for these tools as well.

I created my stamps locally at Quality Stamp and Sign (
) in Salt Lake. Your stamp or seal can be designed online and ready for delivery in a matter of days. They had several tempting designs to choose from, or you can upload your own. The staff at Quality Stamp is so sweet to work with and are expanding their designs every day!

Repeatedly writing a return address on an envelope seems an unnecessary chore. Using a darling personalized sticker label is a quick and easy way to make your envelope pop. It is also a great time saver when you are dropping a note in the mail. These sweetly designed labels are available for personalization at
. They are so cute!

A graphic ink stamp adds a fun little touch for friendly correspondence. These rubber stamps, available locally at Hip and Humble Boutique are designed specifically for greetings. I love the vintage look and feel of each stamp as well as the metal tin for storage.

Free Digital Downloads

Although the printing quality isn’t ideal, the internet is a great source for getting free downloadable stationary when you’re in a bind. Using your favorite search engine to find “Free Printable Stationary” will yield thousands of results that can be printed at your fingertips. With a little browsing, you are sure to find the perfect printable for your occasion.

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