Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Fun Stationary Idea: Fold-up Heart Shaped Stationary

As most of y'all probably know, I love snail mail.  I love, love, love it.  In fact, snail mail is the reason I got into card making in the first place!  Out of my love for snail mail has stemmed a love for stationary.  So, whenever I see pretty stationary, it gets me really excited (especially if there's a letter written on it just for me!  ;)).

It's true that I usually like to write letters in my own homemade cards, but it's nice to take a break from that once in a while, and even better when it's a fun, creative, think-outside-the-box-ish sort of stationary that I use instead!  So, I created this!

(Dramatic voice)  Enter ... Fold-up Heart Shaped Stationary!
*Gladly receives confused looks*  Okay, so maybe that's not very clear.  What I mean is, stationary that you fold up.  It's a heart shape (or, it's suppose to look like that) when all spread out, but after folding it all up as directed later, it will be a compact leetle package!  Get it?  If not, you will soon!

This is the first version I made.  Each of those rectangles is 5-1/2 inches by 4-1/4 inches.  That just means a quarter of regular size copy paper.  You can probably guess that that makes the whole thing quite large.  And you would be right.  This shows the first time I made it, after cutting out, arranging, and rounding the edges as needed.  Observe my fancy socks too.  They're an important part of the picture, obviously.
Because the first version was so large, I decided to make it again, but this time half the size!  And this is the size that I'll teach you how to make now.  It's incredibly easy to construct, although it may be slightly time consuming.  But I use the word "slightly" in the truest sense of the word.

Three sheets of 8-1/2 inch by 11 inch paper (not cardstock)
Writing utensils
Paper cutter (optional)(super helpful, but still optional)
Washi tape (optional)

Cut each piece of paper into equal eighths.  Each eighth should be 2-3/4 inches by 4-1/4 inches.  When you're finished cutting them all out, you should have 24 small rectangles.  You'll only need 21 of those for this project, so set aside 3 to use for something cool that comes out of your creative brain later on.

If you're using paper that's patterned on one side and blank on the other, arrange the 21 pieces into a heart shape with patterned side up, using the picture below as a guide.
Place tape where needed, again using the picture below as a guide.  I outlined the tape to make it easier for you to see.  Try to cut the tape pieces so they're about the same length as the area you're taping across, and don't make them to short, or it'll be flimsy and hard to fold up later.
Here I wrote on each piece of tape, telling whether it's a valley or a mountain fold.  There are specific instructions for how to fold this up later, but you can write the mountain/valley folds on the tape if you want.  Keep in mind that when folding this up, you won't be looking at the taped side, so it actually may not be very helpful.
Cut the corners off of some of the rectangles, as the picture demonstrates.
Now, carefully turn the whole thing over, so you're looking at the opposite side of the paper.  I suppose it's not imperative, but I highly recommend numbering each rectangle so the reader knows which rectangle to go on to next when perusing your thrilling letter!  I know you can't see the numbers as they are in this picture.  There's a clearer picture of the numbering later.  You can number them however you want of course.
Finally, write all over that thing!  If you're not much of a letter writer, write big!  If you're an avid letter writer, like me, write small!  (I got 19 lines on one of those small rectangles!)

After the most exciting part is done (the writing of the letter, of course), you probably want to know how to get it in the envelope.  So now I'll give you those folding instructions I talked about.

I'm going to use the first version to demonstrate how to fold it up.  I colored over the back of this one with crayons partly because coloring is just plain fun, and also to cover up the words on the back (I used scrap paper), and also to make it easier for you to distinguish the back from the front.  You can color the back too if you want, but it's not necessary.
Turn the whole thing over so you're again looking at the written on side, and follow the instructions below.  The first are the instructions in words, and the second is in pictures.  They correspond with each other, so you can easily refer to either one.  At first they were different, but I tweaked the first to correspond completely with the pictures.

Folding Instructions I
1.  Lay the whole thing out flat, with the written on side facing you.
2.  Fold down 1 and 2.
3.  Fold 5 and 6 over on 1 and 2.
4.  Fold 4 and 7 back against 3 and 8.
5.  Fold 3 and 8 down on 9 and 15.
6.  Fold 9 and 15 back against 10 and 14.
7.  Fold 10 and 14 over on 11 and 13.
8.  Fold 11 back against 12.
9.  Fold 13 back against 12.
10.  Fold 21 up on 18.
11.  Fold 16 and 20 back against 17 and 19.
12.  Fold 17 over on 18.
13.  Fold 19 over on 18.
14.  Fold that bunch up on 12.

I hope that makes sense.  If it confused you a little, I've got you all set up with these instructions in pictures!

Folding Instructions II
I used assorted writing utensils and scissors to hold down the paper while photographing.  So if you're wondering why those are there, that's why.

Also, I lightly drew big numbers on each rectangle with a colored pencil, so that it's easier for you to see which rectangle is which, and thus make it easier to put the instructions to use.

And you're done with that!  Back to the small version...
Alright, now that that's all folded up, get out your washi tape (if you have any/want to use it), and wrap two pieces around the edges, just to secure it.  I wrote on mine, "Directions: Gently peel away washi tape (or tear it) to open.  DO NOT TEAR CLEAR TAPE!"
It's a compact leetle package!  SO CUTE.
And now you can tuck it in the envelope!  I don't know about you, but I LOVE baby envelopes, and even more when they're BEAUTIFUL, like this one!  THE POLKA DOTS.
I love to decorate my envelopes before sending them off to my recipient, so I added some simple hearts to this one, in extra fine brown sharpie.

Notice how I made the hearts point outwards.  I think it adds a lot.  I'm sorry, but I can't help but think that this envelope is just adorable.

More Fun Ideas

  • Don't number any of the rectangles - let the recipient figure it out, using only the words on each as the clues!
  • Write only one word on each rectangle, for a (relatively) short and sweet message.  Challenge yourself to think of a message exactly 21 words long.
  • Draw a picture over the entire heart, instead of writing anything.
  • Make a bunch of these and save the 3 extra pieces from each until they eventually all add up and you don't have any extras.  Then mail them to a million different people!
  • Number each rectangle, but randomly.  Jump from the top left corner to the middle right!  Get crazy!
I hope this sparked a little creativity!  If you try it (you should!), be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments or by email.  I'd love to hear about it!

What other fun ideas can you incorporate into this craft?