My 3 Monsters: Send the Prettiest Mail in Town With This One Simple Trick!

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1.08.2014

Send the Prettiest Mail in Town With This One Simple Trick!

Some of my favorite pins on Pinterest are pictures of calligraphy.  I even really like just plain great handwriting.  It's a little bit of an obsession of mine.  When I was getting my Christmas cards together last month I wanted to do something pretty with the envelope addressing.  Something along these lines . . .


That was the look that I wanted, but I knew I didn't have the time to hand address each card {even though we send out very few} nor the budget to pay an artiste like Carrie to do it for me.  I do have kind of a knack for digital design, so I decided to try my hand at something fun.  I came up with a very simple method that doesn't require any fancy software or equipment -- just Microsoft Word {or a similar word processing program} and a home printer.  I'll warn you now, it's not as special looking as a hand lettered piece of artwork like the one above, but I was pleased with the result.

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!

The method I used involves the use of text boxes in Word.  It's pretty simple to do, but I have found that not many people have used them a lot, so I'll try to be as clear as possible.  I am using an older computer with an old-ish version of Word on it, so don't be alarmed if your screen doesn't look exactly like my screen shots.  As always, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email if you need a little more clarification.  Ok!

To begin, you will need to measure your envelope so you can set that as your page size for this project in Word.  My Christmas card envelopes were a little bit bigger than 7 inches wide by 5 inches tall.

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!
In the top left corner of the screen click on File and then select Page Setup from the drop down menu.  Adjust the width and height measurements to match your envelopes.  I just entered 5x7 because that is close enough for me -- I'm not too picky about centering, since I just eyeball it anyway.  While you have the Page Setup box open, click on the Margins tab within the box and set all the margins to .5 inches.  When everything looks right, click OK.  Your page size should change on the screen.

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!
Next we'll insert a text box for the Surname.  In the top left corner of the screen, click on the word Insert, then select Text Box from the drop down menu.  It will seem like nothing has happened, and, really, it hasn't yet.  

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!
Click anywhere on the document and drag your mouse to create a box that you can type in.  You will be able to adjust the size of the box later by dragging the corners and edges, so you don't have to get the perfect size right off the bat.  Type the name or word that you want -- in my case it was the name Gregson.  It will show up in the default font and size set on your computer - usually Times New Roman 12pt.  That doesn't make a very special envelope, so highlight your text and change the font and size in the tool bar at the top of the screen.  {The area circled in pink in the photo above.}  I used Janda Celebration Script 72 pt.  

Here's something you may not know -- or maybe I'm just a doofus who is super slow -- you don't have to use the font sizes that they give you in the drop down box.  Sometimes 72 is just not large enough!  Or sometimes 24 pt. is too big, but 22 pt. is too small.  All you have to do is highlight the number in the box, change it to any number you choose and click enter.  I can't believe I went all the way through design school without knowing that.  Drrrr!!

Once you have the name looking how you want, you can click on the edges of the text box to move it around on your page.  Lookin' good, right?  But you don't want every word on your envelope to have a black box around it so let's fix that.

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!
Place your cursor on the edge of the text box and right click.  Select Format Text Box from the menu that pops up.

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!
Under Fill Color select "No Fill".  That makes the box transparent.  Under Line Color select "No Line".  That removes the black border.  Click OK when you are finished.  Note:  As you continue to work, if you select one of the text boxes on the screen the borders will show up to show you what you are working on, but there will not be borders when you print.

Follow the same process to create more text boxes for the other words and phrases on the envelope.  For this example, I have added a second text box for the word "The", a third text box for the word "Family" and a fourth text box for the street address.  {I used Champagne & Limousines 24 pt. for the rest of the lettering on my envelopes.}  You can have multiple fonts and font sizes within each text box, but everything in the box will move around on the page together.  If you want to place it independently, it will need it's own box.  Drag the boxes around on the page by putting the cursor on the edge, clicking and dragging with your mouse to get them situated exactly how you want.

I had planned on using pre-printed return address labels on the back flap of the envelope so I didn't print a return address on the envelope.  If you want a return address in the top corner, just add a few more text boxes up there!

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!

I hate that gray box in the photo above.  I'm not sure who invited it to my Text Box party.  Just know that it will not show when printing.  Ignore it like the party crasher it is.  Here's what you will get when you finally print it out:

Send out the prettiest mail in town with this one easy trick at my3monsters.com!

Nice, right?  Load the blank envelope into your printer so that it feeds through right side up, and print.

Now, that may have felt pretty laborious for one little address, but you have just set up the template that will make the whole envelope addressing process go smoothly.  If I were addressing multiple envelopes, for party invitations for example, I would print each envelope one at a time, changing the information within the text boxes as I went.  Does that make sense?  After I printed the Gregson Family's envelope, I would click on the text box that says Gregson and change the name to Hughes, the next family on my list.  I would also click on the address box and change that for the next family on my list, then print again.

I know it sounds tedious, but if you have your address list on the computer you can just copy and paste the info into the text boxes as you go.  I sent out 35 cards this year and it took me less than an hour to address and print them all.  That's about as fast as if I had done them by hand and they were so much prettier.  Be sure and save the document file so you won't have to re-invent the wheel next time you send out cards!

What do you think?  Worth the effort?  I love getting pretty mail.  To me the packaging is as much a part of the experience as what's inside, so it deserves some effort, too.  But I'm weird like that,  It's OK.  

Have a great day, friends!


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for that tutorial! Your envelope sure turned out beautiful!! I really need to do this too, set it up once to use whenever I need it - thanks again!

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    1. I am so glad you found it helpful! Have a great day!

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  2. Hi Amy! Such beautiful cards!! We did something similar for wedding invitation envelopes years ago. Just a little bit of technology and adding a little fancy can make such a difference. Thanks for the inspiration!! Stopping in from SITS Tribe Challenge.

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  3. I know this is an older post but I am so happy with the results and I wanted to say thank you so very much for taking the time to do this tutorial.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I'm so happy it worked for you. Have a wonderful holiday season!!

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