Monday, 4 April 2011

DIY Letterpress, part 2: The Invitations

At first, it really seemed like the invitations were going to be the horror-movie sequel to the save the dates.

I showed up at my parents house, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, one Saturday morning, ready to crank out some invitations.  I knew that my plan to mask off some of the design during inking was going to add some time to each one, but I thought I still had it under control.

After 3 hours of pressing and not one single acceptable invitation, I knew something had to give.  Because of the design of the invitations, suddenly getting the letterpress to actually make an impression became critical, and what I hadnt realized during my testing of the whole blind impression thing was that while the letterpress can easily make a crisp impression somewhere on the paper, getting a blind impression across an entire invitation was not so easy.  On top of that, it became clear that after so many repeated pressings, the letterpress was starting to flex under the strain, and that if I wasn't careful I might break the press entirely and be back where I started.

My dad, being a stubborn engineer type, an myself, being a stubborn artsy type, ended up persisting until Dad hit on something that gave us better results: inserting a granite block to serve as the bottom plate of the press.  It wasn't perfect, but after hours of work it was enough to convince me that yes, this crazy plan would work.

I spent a whole Saturday on my feet, hunched over this press, and probably got about 15 invitations out that I will be willing to send.  But I learned my lesson and perfected my technique, and the following weekend I churned out 40 invitations, of which I could use more than 90%, and I am finally satisfied.

So here they are:


  1. Oh, Jenn ... they look amazing! Really, really lovely. =)

  2. they look FANTASTIC. you did a brilliant job!

  3. Thanks guys! After all that drama, I really like them now (and there was a solid week between print batches where I didn't like them AT ALL). So I am very happy :)

  4. woweeeeeeeeee! very nice! :)