Art of the party

You can print your own cards, and more.

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Publication: Sunset
Author: Jones, Miranda
Date published: November 1, 2010
Language: English
PMID: 10396
ISSN: 00395404
Journal code: GSUN

GETTHE LOOK of exquisite hand-printed invitations and placecards - without a spendy custom design. The cofounder of the San Francisco studio Yellow Owl Workshop, printmaker Christine Schmidt, shows a simple way to create your own - and wrapping paper too - using the graphics pictured here, which she designed especially for Sunset readers (they're on our website). Hungry for more? Check out Christine's new book, Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects (Potter Craft; $20), out next month.


8- by 70-in. transparency sheets (for invitations only)

Color laser printout of t of these design templates (download info is at far right)

Painter's tape

Fine-tip permanent marker


Paper (use watercolor paper for invitations and placecards)

Chartpak Ad Marker Colorless Blender (a "clear" marker to transfer a design)

Bone folder or spoon for burnishing (rubbing)


1. For invitations, place ? transparency sheet over a printout of design (from webpage at far right); tape both down and write your text on transparency with a fine-tip marker. Untape, flip the transparency over (text will be reversed), and re-tape it to printout.

2. For all three projects, make as many color photocopies of the design as you need finished pieces, plus extra for practice (if making invitations, make sure the tape doesn't show).

3. Lay 1 sheet of paper on a work surface. Place as many photocopies as fit, face down, on paper. Hold down or tape.

4. Using colorless-blender marker and working quickly, saturate an entire photocopy and burnish with bone folder.

5. Gently peel back the photocopy, checking that the design has transferred.

6. Trim, if necessary; for placecards, write in individual names.


* Color photocopiers tend to not reproduce color vividly on the "auto" setting; increase the color-saturation level to get a brighter print.

* If design is not transferring, go over again with colorless-blender marker and rub harder.

* If the design looks murky, use marker more lightly and rub more gently. Make sure photocopy and paper are not moving while you work.

* The colorless-blender marker is a bit smelly, so crack a window.


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