How To Assemble Wedding Invitations

How To Assemble wedding invitations

How To Assemble Wedding Invitations from back to front:

1 – Invitation words face up
2 – Reception card (if applicable)
3 – Reply Envelope with postage stamp pre-applied
4 – Reply Card tucked into Reply Envelope
5 – Information Cards (Directions, Accommodations, Website cards)

Place all the cards in this order into the inner envelope, belly band or ribbon.
Put them facing up in the outer envelope so your guests get to see the invitations as they open their invites.

Find more information like envelope addressing etiquette and other wedding advice and inspiration on our blog HERE.  Also view our full letterpress wedding invitation collection in our online.

Favorite Halloween Costumes

It’s no secret, I love dressing up in costumes almost any time of year, so naturally Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Even though this year’s Halloween has come and gone I wanted to share some of my favorite Halloween costumes over the years and a few tips on how to achieve them.

This past weekend, Halloween 2015, I recruited a friend to join me in a couples costume as The Grady Twins, AKA The Shining Twins.  Have you seen the movie? Probably one of the scariest films I’ve seen. There’s not a ton of gore or gimmicky horror, but it’s a slow-paced psychological thriller.

Shining Twins Halloween Costume

Here’s what you need:.

– A friend!
– Matching blue dresses – I found this one cheap with a simple google search online
– Lace collars – We made our own and sewed them on.
– White (or light pink) ribbon to tie around waist – Find at fabric store
White Knee Socks
– Black slip on shoes
Matching wigs (unless you and your friend have matching hair this is key!)
– Hair parted to the side with ribbon / barrette
White Face make up with dark circles around the eyes. (For ultimate creep effect)


In 2013 my husband coupled up as Suzy and Sam from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.  I already a full blog post dedicated fully to this costume, so please check it out here.

Moonrise Kingdom Halloween Costume


In 2014 I dressed as Amy Winehouse.  We are both jewish with similar features so I really only needed some accessories to make this costume work.

Amy Winehouse Halloween Costume

Here’s how I achieved the look.

– Rehab – Amy Winehouse wig
Red bandana in the hair
Gold chain necklaces (I already owned these, but you can pick them up at any costume shop)
– Gold hoop earrings
– Top: anything low-cut and busty
– Short black shorts, or anything tight that shows a lot of skin
– Extreme Cat Eye make up (I searched for “cat eye tutorials” and “Amy Winehouse Make Up” on youtube)
– Bright red lipstick


In 2011 I went as the beauty queen on the cover of the HOLE album Live Through This.  I particularly loved this costume because it was specific yet somewhat obscure.  People who got it LOVED it. Many people, even if they didn’t get it right away, once I showed them the cover art (I carried it around with me for reference) were familiar with the image.
Live Through This Halloween Costume

Here’s how I achieved the look.

– Blond Wig
– Tiara
– Fake Flower Bouquet – I bought these at a local fabric store and taped them together.
– Runny mascara make up and blue eyeshadow
– Long White prom dress (found at a thrift shop)
– Live Through This CD cover for reference :)
Live Through This Cover Art



In 2009 I was a flower. I am proud of this look because I engineered and sewed the flower headdress all myself.

Flower Halloween Costume

I wish I had documented the process, but I did not, so here’s my written instructions:

Flower Headpiece
Materials: Pink Felt, Sharpie, Scissors, Wire, Wire Cutter, Sewing Machine (or hand-sew if you’re feeling ambitious)
– draw out  template for petal shape (about 12″ long)
– use template to cut out at least 16 petal shapes from pink felt
– Pin two petal shapes together back to back (do this for 8 petals)
– Sew them together, leaving the bottom open and reverse them so the seams are on the inside (like making a pillow)
– Create “U” shape with the metal wire that is longer than the petal
– Insert the wire “U” into the inside of the petal “pillows” so the bottom of the “U” is at the tip of the petal and the two legs of the “U” hang out 1-2″ through the base of the petal
– Cut a 2-3″ long band of pink felt, enough to wrap around your head and tie.
– Line up each of the 8 petals along the headband
– Sewed each petal to the headband, over the ends of the metal wire
– Bend each flower petal at a right angle at the base so it holds they stand up and hold their shape.

For the rest of my costume I just dressed in green clothing and tried to stay warm.
Halloween in Chicago can be cold sometimes!

Thoughts on Amazon Handmade

Thoughts on Amazon Handmade

Since it’s launch just a few weeks ago, Amazon Handmade has hit the news and the handmade community with a splash.  There’s been lots of talk of what it will mean for the future of etsy, and what it means for crafters and makers.

Here is some more reporting from around the web:
New York Times article overview on Amazon Handmade
Forbes – Etsy v Amazon defining “Handmade”
Aeolidia – Is Amazon Handmade an Etsy Killer?
A Closer Look from a crafter who opted out.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

Steel Petal Press specializes in letterpress stationery that I sell direct to customers and wholesale.  I currently have an active etsy shop, a Steel Petal Press online shop, plus I also get business from wholesale accounts and custom client work. I make a living working full-time at my craft and I am able to do so through all these various revenue streams.  Personally, I’m all for Amazon Handmade.  An Amazon Handmade Storefront for Steel Petal Press will add another revenue source to my repertoire and give me new access to an untapped market: Amazon Shoppers.

Did you know Amazon has 285 million active users?  That’s HUGE compared to Ety’s 22 million.  (source)

In return Amazon takes 12% of the sale as opposed Etsy’s 3.5% + $0.20 listing fee. The 12% fee might be too much for some makers like this woman who says she won’t make a profit once Amazon takes their cut. (12% margins are pretty low, clearly Amazon Handmade is not the market place for her.  I also think she should consider raising her prices, or updating and streamlining her processes to be more profit-friendly.)

12% fees from Amazon are high, but don’t prevent me from making a profit;  My wholesale pricing is 50% off retail,  plus I work with sales reps that take an additional 15-20% on top of that and I’m still able to hand craft my goods and make, not only a profit, but a living.

My Amazon Shop has been up for a little over a week now, and I’ve already gotten three orders.  It’s certainly far from a huge volume, but it’s promising for a brand new market place.  My etsy shop was open for months before I even got my first sale and now I average $1500 a month in Etsy retail sales (which doesn’t make me rich, but keeps me busy.)  Those sales combined with my other revenue streams makes me a living.

It is my hope that the potential in Amazon Handmade is huge. Starting August 1st 2016 they will start charging an additional $40 / month sellers fee.  At that point I will reassess my sales and decide whether to move forward using their marketplace.

Until then, all the talk in the handmade community has been fascinating to follow.

Are you a maker? What are your thoughts on Amazon Handmade? Will you set up a store font there?  Why or why not?  I would LOVE to hear your opinion.

Midwest Fall Love

We are feeling the Midwest love this month. October foliage is bursting forth with all sorts of pantone-colored reds and golds. The cooler temperatures beg us outdoors to take advantage of the last pre-winter breaths of the year. In the spirit of all things fall, share the goodness and send a note from home. We love the simple elegance of this Love from the Midwest letterpress card. It’s perfect for dropping a few lines from our corner of the world.

Midwest is best letterpress card

And, while the weather remains so pleasant, check out some of our favorite seasonal spots and reasons we’re glad to make our home base here.

Apples, Pumpkins, and Corn Mazes, Oh My! The trip out to All Seasons Orchard is worth the drive as is a tour of Honey Hill Orchards.

Fall Colors

Comb the aisles of the Kane County Flea Market during the last weekend of October. No better time to peruse wares that boast they’re the “best in the Midwest.”

We never tire of donuts and cider. Try the pumpkin spice variety from Stan’s Donuts and Coffee or the pepita-studded variety at Glazed and Infused. Need a drink to wash it all down? The menu at Promontory in Hyde Park boasts of-the-moment sips like the Momma D’s Pumpkin Pie cocktail as well as a Scary Spice drink (with pumpkin butter!)

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For your friend who just got the job:

Job-hunting is super hard, and let’s be honest, we never enjoy being in that situation. Congratulations are definitely in order when someone we know finds the perfect gig. Here are some of our favorite letterpress congratulations cards here at Steel Petal Press for shouting the perfect congrats from the rooftops.

You Rock Letterpress Congratulations Card

Your friend who finds a new job definitely rocks! Why not tell them so with this letterpress card.

Congratulations Graduation Card

Whether it’s graduation or job heaven, turning a new page definitely feels like starting a new life.

High Five Letterpress Card

Give your friend a big “High Five” when the boss tells them they’re the newest member on the team.

It’s always nice to get a big GOOD JOB from those closest to you, especially after weeks or months of soul crushing job searching or course schedules. So if there’s someone in your life who’s finally in the “made it” category, make sure they know how proud you are.

Freaking Proud of You Encouragement Card

Art Deco Wedding Inspiration

Art deco is a popular trend both for weddings and other parts of life. It mixes vintage glam with modern lines, which makes it look balanced and sophisticated. We’ve compiled some awesome Art Deco designs to get you inspired.

Art Deco Letterpress Wedding Invitation Art Deco Letterpress Wedding Invitation

Being in Chicago makes it really easy to be inspired by art deco design, given the vast array of art deco architecture. Steel Petal Press has three different art deco inspired letterpress wedding invitation packages for your vintage inspired event.

But that’s only one part of the wedding, right?

Art Deco Cake Inspiration

(image source 1, 2, 3)

Cakes are one of the best (and coolest) parts of weddings. They’re the visual centerpieces of a whole reception, and these ones really take the cake (not sorry for that)! You can see how detailed they are, but that doesn’t take away from the glamour and they still look totally modern and completely delicious.

Art Deco Rings

(source 1, 2, 3)

And we all probably think about the ring when we think about any wedding. These are all vintage, but with today’s artisans, it wouldn’t be hard to find something custom and perfect for your own art deco taste. Again, the mix of geometric shapes and well-placed curves make these rings look incredibly balanced, glamorous, and, most importantly, special.

Art deco design is timeless and beautiful. If you love vintage style that’s both stylish and classic then maybe Art Deco is they style for your wedding or next get together.

Cards for your Friend who just got dumped.

We all have bad days, and so do those people who are closest to us. We always want to cheer our friends up when they’re having a bad day, whether they’re in town or across the country. Sending a reminder to a friend can help to soften the blow from any breakup. Here are a few of Steel Petal Press’s favorite letterpress greeting cards to give your friend a reason to smile.

Single Valentine's Day Cards

You never want to say “I told you so”, but we always knew they could do much better.

Letterpress Friendship Card You're Amazing

The amount of mascara running down your friend’s cheeks doesn’t change the fact that she’s a totally rad gal.

Bummer Letterpress Greeting Card

We all have bummer kind of days, but getting mail can fix that (even if it’s just a little).

Good Vibes Encouragement Card

Positive thoughts and good vibes are the best medicine for a break up. Time to get back on that horse, friend!

Whether we’re bummed because we’ve been dumped by our bae or our boss, these letterpress greeting cards can brighten the day of those at the raw side of a break up.

Chicago Renegade Craft Fair Recap – 2015

Chicago Renegade Craft Fair is always the biggest and best of them all!

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2015

It was another super awesome year at Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago last weekend.  I was worried with all the storms the night before, but the rain cleared up by Saturday morning and the weather all weekend was gorgeous.

Steel Petal Press at Renegade Craft Fair

This was my first time exhibiting in a booth on my own and my first time at a Renegade since 2013.  I was BUSY all weekend and had my best year of sales yet.  I know I say that every year, but really it just keeps getting better!  I attribute it to the good weather and the full booth all to myself.  More room to display = more items to sell. :)

The booth was filled pretty much the whole time and it felt like there was a constant stream of customers lined up to make a purchase.

Renegade Craft Fair

All the best sellers were in full affect.
The Holy Shit cards always sell well.

Funny Birthday Card

This year there was a new star of the show. Apparently there’s a lot of AWESOME BABIES being born these days.

congratulations baby card

Aside from that, it was really nice to meet some instagram followers in person (don’t be shy!) and to have visits from some of my favorite Chicago retailers: Sadie at Paper Source, Julie at Virtu, Ann from The Fig Tree and Todd from Foursided.  We love our retailers!  Please be sure to check our growing list of stockists for a local retailer near you.

Thank you again Chicago AND Renegade Craft Fair for the super awesome weekend!!  My next show will be the One of A Kind Show in December at the Merchandise Mart.

2016 Letterpress Wall Calendar

My 2016 letterpress wall calendar is here! It was inspired by my trip to the Adler Planetarium several weeks ago.  The silver ink printed on black paper really makes the image of the moon phases pop.  I’m totally in love with it.  It is 11×14″ ready to frame or hang on your wall.  It’s available for sale online in my online shop and on etsy.

Moon Phases 2016 Letterpress Calendar