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Our Favorite Designs of 2014

12.29.2014

2014 was such an incredibly awesome year for us here at Elum. We beefed up our shop with three new letterpress machines, added six new employees to our team, and started foil stamping everything we could get our hands on. On top of all that growth, we checked some boxes off our designer bucket list by launching our Same Sex Greeting Card Collection and designing invitations to impress awe-inspiring designers like Tom Ford International and Nate Berkus. We’re not worthy. . . (ok, maybe we are)!

HERE ARE OUR DESIGNERS’ PICKS FOR OUR FAVORITE DESIGNS OF 2014

Favorite Letterpress Projects

[typography font=”Montserrat” size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]ART DIRECTOR AMY’S PICKS:[/typography]

In looking back on 2014, I have two favorites. The first was a custom B’not Mitzvah invitation we worked on with our lovely custom dealer, Elyse Fuerth at E.A.F. Fine Papers. Her clients came in, two young girls with a sense of high fashion style wanting something to wow their guests. The final invite included a shimmery gold peek-a-boo pocket that revealed just their names. Upon opening, a chic monogram, created just for the twins and hand-dusted in our fine Tahitian gold pixie dust filled the page. Accompanied by hot pink edge painting, gold foil-stamping, hot pink letterpress and a shimmery gold backer, this was a true stand-out piece.

how_can_you_choose

Art Directors favorite letterpress projects

The second project that was near and dear to me was on the other end of the spectrum of what we do here at Elum. It was our line of Father’s Day cards made exclusively for Papyrus/Clinton’s in the UK. The cards explored all of the relationships we have with fathers and had just the right balance of the funny dad-humor and the sweet sentimental stuff. Each card was paired with incredible art by our talented group of designers here.

favorite letterpress projects

[typography font=”Montserrat” size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]ELUM FOUNDER MELISSA’S PICKS:[/typography]

When I found out that Elum had been selected to design the wedding invitation for Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, I had to pinch myself. I mean, this invitation project was monumental in its importance. And not only because it was the very first gay marriage to take place at the New York Public Library, but because as a tween, I used to race home from school on the days Nate was going to be featured on Oprah so I could gather around the TV with my mom and sisters. Nate was, and still is, a design hero to me personally. Over the years his design ingenuity, creative influence, and impeccable taste level has been an inspiration. So, needless to say, this is a project I called home about. It was an honor of a lifetime.

DESIGNER'S favorite letterpress project

[typography font=”Montserrat” size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]APRIL’S PICKS:[/typography]

Our new letterpress  Galactic card combines two of my all-time favorite things: clever, witty messaging and hand drawn lettering. With an awesome message from Melissa and Amy as a starting point, we pulled together some celestial inspiration (including some crazy galaxy leggings!) and decided to go with a casual hand drawn feel. After seeing the card printed in its interstellar color palette, it’s definitely my favorite greeting card I’ve worked on this year.

designer shannon's favorite letterpress project

[typography font=”Montserrat” size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]SHANNON’S PICKS:[/typography]

My favorite letterpress card has to be the Bacon & Eggs card, for so many reasons. Besides the fact that I loved spending my work day drawing bacon & eggs in a romantic setting, I really love the concept behind this card (props to April for this one)! It’s subtle yet hilarious, and manages to be romantic without being nauseating.

The Bacon & Eggs card is a great example of what I love about our creative team at Elum; we take sentiments that could feel cliché and find new ways to express them that feel honest and that will (hopefully) resonate with our customers. This was one of the first cards I worked on at Elum, and it was a great collaborative experience.

 

DIY Holiday Decor and Crafts With Paper

12.05.2014

Being the paper fanatics and art lovers that we are, what better way for us to decorate our homes and our office than with some of our very own decorative Elum holiday wrapping paper? Here’s a few of the creations our in-house designers whipped up for DIY holiday decor and crafts with paper.

Elum Holiday DIY Paper Ornament Crafts

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]SECRET STASH FAVOR BOX[/typography]

This cute little pyramid craft will add a sweet surprise to each place setting at your holiday table. You can fill it with a piece of decadent chocolate and holiday fortune inside for each guest. We used a straightforward template we found on Pinterest (where else?) and then added some candy cane colored baker’s twine.

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]CHUNKY PAPER STAR GARLAND[/typography]

This star garland is super fun to make, like stringing popcorn but way better. We used this origami star tutorial that we found via Pinterest but instead of using the really tiny strips, we cut the wrapping paper into 2” wide strips to make larger chunkier stars that are pretty much the most irresistibly adorable things we’ve seen.

 

 

Elum Holiday DIY Paper Ornament Crafts

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″] PAPER STAR ORNAMENTS[/typography]

Ok, so these DIY paper ornament masterpieces were admittedly a bit more complex (mainly because the instructions were in another language), however, through the art of pictures and a wee bit of patience, you too can make one . . . and then have boat loads of fun making more!

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]WOVEN PAPER BALLS[/typography]

Instead of Jingle Bells, how about using woven Paper Balls to decorate your holiday table or your tree? Just cut small strips of our gorgeous wrapping paper, follow the instructions found here and then jingle all the way.

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]3-D PAPER DIAMOND ORNAMENT[/typography]

This sturdy little 3-D paper diamond can bring some homemade bling to your tree year after year. Assemble the diamond with these directions and then use a needle and some gold metallic thread to turn this little bobble into an ornament. Boom!

[box][highlight]TIP:[/highlight] THIS IS A PERFECT USE FOR THE LITTLE SCRAPS REMAINING AFTER YOU FINISH GIFT WRAPPING.[/box]

 

Elum Holiday DIY Paper Ornament Crafts

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]PAPER WRAPPED CANDLES[/typography]

This is an awesome way to reuse & unify your mis-matched candles. You can disguise any colored candle and bring together an entire collection to create your own look.

[box]PSST! THIS IS ONE SO EASY EVEN THE KIDS CAN DO IT![/box]

Just measure the height of your candle, draw a line on the paper, cut, roll and tape. Done.

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]PAPER TRAY LINER[/typography]

No glue, no tape, no mess. Just cut and lay the wrapping paper inside a tray with edges. The tray can then be used for setting out a stack of small hors d’oeuvre plates or cocktail beverage glasses.

 

Elum Holiday Instagram Contest

Now it’s your turn! Show us your best DIY holiday decor and crafts using wrapping paper, post your creation to Instagram and tag it with #ElumHoliday and @ElumDesigns (also be sure to follow @ElumDesigns). We will re-post our Top 3 picks on Thursday, December 11th and have users pick the ultimate winner by likes and comments. See our Instagram feed for details.

[box]THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY,  DECEMBER 15TH AND WILL RECEIVE A $50 ELUM GIFT CARD  TO BE USED ON OUR SITE! GOOD LUCK![/box]

Stylish Hanukkah Gift Wrap & Cards

11.24.2014

OK, so we all know Hanukkah loves its blue & silver, but there’s more to Hanukkah than dancing dreidels and smiling stars. We want to share our inspiration for this lovely holiday of light and encourage you to bring updated style to your Hanukkah gift wrap and holiday cards. Here’s how we see Hanukkah today . . .

Stylish Hanukkah Gift Wrap and Cards

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]SUPER STYLISH HANUKKAH GIFT WRAP (FINALLY!)[/typography]
1. A fresh approach to Hanukkah gift wrap is to take our monochromatic wintery Birch Wood gift wrap or Wood Grain gift wrap and add a gorgeous luxe turquoise velvety bow to bring in the element of traditional blue.

2. With these beautiful Hanukkah wraps you don’t even need to add a ribbon. The artful placement of designs creates a picturesque scene that can stand all on its own.

3. Our 3-D Hex gift wrap is decidedly our most modern Hanukkah gift wrap. The abstraction of dreidels and cool combination of blues can be paired with striking gold embellishments in lieu of silver for Hanukkah style that is bold and contemporary.

[box]YOU CAN PURCHASE THIS HANUKKAH GIFT WRAP ON OUR WEBSITE  OR FROM PAPYRUS RETAIL STORES, OR OTHER FINE STATIONERY STORES. [/box]

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]HANUKKAH CARDS WITH CHUTZPAH![/typography]
4. Our letterpress Dreidel Dreidel card uses the classic dreidel shape to form a modern unassuming pattern in a fresh combination of cool blue hues. The letterpress printing on our soft cotton paper brings the pattern to life in such a way that they’ll be dancing the Hora into the night!

5. This  uber-unique Hanukkah card is so clever and creative that it was named (eh-hem) winner of the Greeting Card Association Louie Award for Best Holiday Card. This oversized letterpress card has the cutest keepsake pop out menorah that will bring smiles for all 8 glorious nights. Some might say it’s the perfect Hanukkah card for kids, but we grown ups are so smitten with it (no joke here), we leave ours out all year!

 [box]WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO  [highlight]SHARE YOUR HANUKKAH GIFT WRAPPING STYLE[/highlight] WITH US! [/box]

Elum In San Diego Style Weddings Magazine

11.21.2014

We are thrilled to see some of our Elum letterpress wedding invitations featured in the October / November issue of San Diego Style Weddings Magazine! Flip to the Invitations & Favors section to see our Alchemy, Fifth Avenue and Luxe letterpress invitation designs featured in their mix of favorite wedding stationery.  Look for their magazine in stores, or check out the Digital Version.

Elum Letterpress Invitations Featured

Elum Letterpress Invitations Feature

Elum Letterpress Invitations Featured

Elum Letterpress Invitations Featured

 

Tips on Bringing Thanks Back to Thanksgiving

11.13.2014

Bring Thanks to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is around the corner, so, as we prepare for the big day known for cooking, overeating, and lots & lots of football watching, we’ve come up with some tips on bringing thanks back to Thanksgiving:

Letterpress Thank You

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]GET PERSONAL[/typography]

Incorporate a beautiful letterpress note card with each place setting so guests can write a note to the person seated on their right about why they are thankful for that person. Recipients can open their notes of gratitude when they get home.

Thanksgiving Notes

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]SHARE THE THANKS[/typography]

Provide small enclosure cards  for guests and have them anonymously write down one thing they are thankful for and drop it into a bowl. Then later on, each guest can pick one at random and read it aloud, while everyone tries to guess who wrote it.

[box]“FEELING GRATITUDE[highlight]AND NOT EXPRESSING IT[/highlight] IS LIKE WRAPPING A PRESENT AND NOT GIVING IT.”
– William Arthur Ward[/box]

Hostess Notes

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]THANK THE HOSTESS[/typography]

If you are not hosting the holiday at your home, you can do something thoughtful for the one who is. Bring one special card for the hostess that everyone signs. Discreetly leave the card behind at the end of the evening for the host/hostess to read after all have gone home. You can even go one step further and get a fabulous hostess gift from the entire group.

[box]GATHER THE CHILDREN AND HELP THEM [highlight]CONTRIBUTE TO THANKSGIVING[/highlight] IN THEIR OWN CLEVER WAY. [/box]

Gratitude Garland

Gratitude Garland by Carina Gardner

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]GET CRAFTY[/typography]

Offering a “thankful craft” is a fun option, particularly if there are a lot of kids attending your Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving craft ideas are plentiful on Pinterest, but our favorites are this Gratitude Garland or this Thanksgiving Tree .

[box]WHAT ARE SOME OF [highlight]YOUR FAVORITE WAYS[/highlight] OF BRINGING THANKS BACK TO THANKSGIVING?[/box]

[pinterest count=”horizontal”] [fblike style=”standard” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”]

Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

11.04.2014

Whether you’re headed to a holiday party with co-workers, a White Elephant gift exchange or an Ugly Christmas Sweater rager, bringing a hostess gift shows good party-going form. Instead of turning to the usual hostess gifts for the holidays, like wine, flowers or scented candles, first consider these en vogue alternatives:

Letterpress holiday gifts

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]BIG STACK NOTE BARS[/typography]

Our line of Big Stack Note Bars (our fancy way of saying uber-thick & totally awesome note pads) is a fan favorite, particularly this time of year when shopping lists, To-Do lists and Honey-Do lists are in abundance. We have a spectacular “Butterscotch” metallic gold dipped version or you can go with our fun new  “Naughty or Nice” Big Stack with bold red painted edges, offered especially for the holidays.

 

Hostess gift ideas for

Nate Berkus Gold Scissors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]GOLD SHEARS BY NATE BERKUS[/typography]

These high style Nate Berkus brassy gold tone scissors are a shear genius gift, especially now, with the holiday wrapping madness that is about to begin. And? They’re offered at Target. Win-win.

 

Ice Kit

Photo Credit: Studio Neat

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]NEAT ICE KIT[/typography]

We are in love with this item (family and friends, don’t be surprised if you see this under your tree this year). With this Neat Ice Kit, you can chisel your own giant ice cubes or any custom size cube for that matter.

[box]IT’S CERTAINLY A [highlight]GREAT CONVERSATION PIECE[/highlight] AND IF YOU GIVE THE GIFT PRE-FROZEN, THE HOSTESS (and party guests) CAN HAVE THE IMMEDIATE SATISFACTION OF WATCHING THIS SUPER COOL GADGET IN ACTION![/box]

 

Journal Hostess Gift

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]REFLECTING JOURNAL[/typography]

A gorgeous linen wrapped journal with super soft cotton rag paper is an awesome for gift for any hostess. She can use it for memoirs, recipes or daily planning. Or, put a creative spin on it by scribing “Deep Thoughts” provoking questions on a few of the inside pages, then leave it out at the party for guests to comment. For example: Red or White Wine? or If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be? Or, What I really want from for Christmas this year is . . . Your hostess will get a kick out of reading through the responses the next morning.

 

Mixed Metallic Barware

[typography font=”Oswald” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#8d8580″]ORB COPPER SHAKER[/typography]

Metallics are where it’s at this Holiday Season so consider giving the hostess with the mostess one of these uber-cool metallic shot glasses or a  copper martini shaker from Crate and Barrel. All season long she can channel her inner Don Draper and prepare martinis in style.

Last Minute, Easy, DIY Punk Rocker Halloween Costume

10.29.2014

With Halloween only a few days away, I wanted to share this super easy, inexpensive, DIY Punk Rock Halloween Costume that my daughter Uma and I created last year. Check out the transformation . . .

Punk Costume Before After

While walking the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, my art-loving daughter and I studied every exciting detail. Some of the earliest works featured were crafted from basic household items; newspaper, tape, bubble wrap, old sweaters, safety pins, and more. We both walked away feeling incredibly inspired and couldn’t wait to start creating new looks upon returning to San Diego. This DIY Punk Rocker Halloween Costume was our first project and we had a blast making it together. [box]AND [highlight]HERE’S HOW[/highlight] WE PUT IT ALL TOGETHER[/box] Punk Costume DiagramTHE SHREDDED PUNK LOOK

To get this look, first cut the front graphic off an old sweatshirt and then safety pin it back together in a more form fitting fashion Cut slashes down the arms and do the same to an old pair of leggings or tights. The first cut may be daunting, but seriously you cannot mess this up–the messier the better. Then take an old pair of shorts, or pajama pants hacked into shorts, pick up a roll or two of decorative duct tape that’s all the rage and start taping like crazy.

[highlight]TIP:[/highlight] Put the safety pins in while the costume in on for best results and make sure to put the shorts on before applying the first basic layer of tape, otherwise the taping can cause the shorts to shrink and you won’t be able to put them on again.

THE PERFECT FEMME FAUX HAWK

No Punk Rock costume is complete without a Faux Mohawk. Just cut the top off of dad’s old socks and then make a series of sock buns down the center of the head. Then, spray with hair colorant and voila.

[highlight]TIP: [/highlight]Tinted hair spray is an awesome alternative to the well-known egg whites that, albeit effective, are just downright stinky.

ALL TATTED UP

punk rock tats close upA full sleeve of (fake) tats is a must to complete this look. Simply use the store bought temporary tattoos strategically placed, or plain ‘ol Sharpie markers. You can go to town and get creative drawing skulls, roses, and a few “I love Mom” hearts.

[highlight]TIP:[/highlight] Use rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover or hand sanitizer to get the “ink” off the skin at the end of the night.

FINISHING TOUCHES

You’ll want to finish off the look with some chains, dog collars, and the typical hardcore accouterments. We used old costume jewelry, belts, and yes, dog collars. They can be tacked on with a simple safety pin, just about anywhere.

  • Silver and/or gold chains (try raiding grandma’s old costume jewelry, or see if mom hung onto any 80’s chain belts)
  • Black or neon mesh gloves (Party City has these!)
  • A spiky dog collar
  • Black eyeliner and black lipstick (though you can line lips with black liner too)
  • Blue, black or purple eye shadow in any bold geometric shape

This year we’re working on a young Maleficent—we’ll let you know how it goes. [box]WHAT’S [highlight]YOUR FAVORITE[/highlight] EASY, HOMEMADE COSTUME IDEA?[/box]

4 Ways to Knock Their Stocking Caps Off With Your Holiday Cards

10.23.2014

In many ways process of sending holiday cards has become an impersonal well-oiled machine that can all be accomplished in one simple online transaction. A third party can take care of everything, making it so that the sender does not even need to lay a hand on the card itself, rendering the timeless tradition devoid of its magic, nostalgia, and meaning. By sending cards with pre-printed messages, signatures and envelopes, we are missing the real reason behind the season’s most popular tradition. We’d like to get back to a time when sending holiday cards is not looked at as an obligation, but rather an opportunity to demonstrate that we sincerely care.

Custom holiday cards by Elum 1 – GO TACTILE & SHINY

There is something to be said for the tactile pleasure elicited from hand-crafted letterpress cards printed on the awesomeness known as cotton rag paper. But don’t just stop there–consider taking it to the next level by blinging it out with the shine of metallics or adding a special touch like luxe a velvet-lined envelope or a rustic wood veneer backer. Call us biased, but sending a designer card is like sending a miniature work of art. Who knows, they may even want to frame it and keep it out all year long.

 

2 – TAKE PEN TO PAPER

There is nothing quite like opening a card that is embellished with a hand-written greeting. Though time is something we are all short on during the Holiday Season, this year, take a night or two, sitting in front of your favorite holiday movie (ours is Elf) and sign your name to you cards along with a personalized message. The note doesn’t have to be a long one, but since this card may be the only time you engage with people on your list all year (not counting Facebook likes), your holiday card is the time to say something special, whether it is “I’ve been thinking of you,” or something more personal that pertains to your particular relationship.

Tip & Warning: Spiked eggnog can make the night of signing more fun, but don’t overdo it so as not to risk misspellings and messy handwriting.

 

Holiday Toast Custom Letterpress Card

3 – BUST A RHYME OR A MEANINGFUL SENTIMENT

Clever one-liners like, “Happy Everything,” are always fun, but why not take the opportunity to create a witty rhyme or personal sentimental wish that will really resonate with your friends and family. Think of it as making a meaningful toast with your holiday card.

Speaking of a meaningful toast, with our Holiday Toast card  for example, you can either use the message pictured above or come up with your own heartwarming message of love and good cheer.

 

Elum Letterpress Custom Holiday Cards

4 – AVOID THE OBVIOUS

Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, we get to see all our friends’ and acquaintances’ kids on a daily basis (sometimes hourly, but there’s no judgment here), so rather than inundating friends and family with more photos, go for a classic or snazzy holiday image instead.

Cards with clever images and captions, like our Bejeweled“It’s the moose wonderful time of the year” card, complete with gold foil and a creatively unexpected message, will stand out among the masses.

 

Elūm Letterpress Holiday Cards range from sassy to sophisticated, playful to nostalgic. Our holiday line can be found at Papyrus and other fine stationery stores as well as our website. Choose from single cards or boxed sets and spread some memorable, meaningful holiday cheer this year.

The Art of the Written Thank You

10.07.2013

my_first_Thank_You

Now that school is back in session I am reminded that the life of a parent is busier not just during the week, but all weekend long. The reason? BIRTHDAY PARTIES. The onslaught of invitations to these precious events has prompted me to write this post for a product that is not only near and dear to my heart, but one that I think parents (OK mostly moms) would benefit from immensely. I know I did. This is the story of the creation of “My First Thank You Notes.” These awesome kits are my personal attempt to keep the art of the written thank you note alive!

my_first_Thank_You_bg
Growing up I was taught that you always wrote a thank you note for any gift. In fact, I remember not even calling my grandmother to thank her for the twenty bucks, but immediately sitting down to draft her a written thank you note. But Noni was ALWAYS sending us twenty-dollar bills, even on St. Patrick’s Day! So that meant I had to get creative. I remember developing a systematic and foolproof method for thank you note writing. I never actually thought that I would have a use for this until it came time for me to instill the “art of thank you note writing” in my own children, hence preserving the good manners my own mother tried so desperately to grace us with.

[box]GROWING UP I WAS TAUGHT THAT YOU [highlight]ALWAYS WROTE A THANK YOU NOTE FOR ANY GIFT.[/highlight] IN FACT, I REMEMBER NOT EVEN CALLING MY GRANDMOTHER TO THANK HER FOR THE TWENTY BUCKS BUT IMMEDIATELY SITTING DOWN TO DRAFT HER A WRITTEN THANK YOU NOTE.[/box]

uma1So it all started when my daughter, Uma, was in Kindergarten and she was writing thank you notes for her birthday gifts. As any mom these days knows, one is pretty much commanded by politically correct standards to invite every student in the class to the party, so in this case that meant 16 thank you notes. . . all hand written. . . by a five-year old. Needless to say, that took some time, about 2 weeks from what I recall; roughly one per day. It also took some serious effort and determination from both my daughter AND me. My First Thank You NoteI began by drafting a fill-in style version of the thank you note, a cheat sheet so to speak, that my daughter could use. She copied the words on the card and when she got to the line left blank, we filled in the specific name, gift, etc. for each card.

The day that poor kid finished drafting her last thank you note, it sparked a whole plethora of emotions, but mostly pride in my daughter and motivation to make a product that would mean WE NEVER had to go through THAT again.  The next day, I began the conception our My First Thank You Note card kits. I loved the idea for the fill-in note cards only slightly fill in photomore than I loved the idea of doing my part in society to keep the art of the written thank you note alive for future generations!

BELOW ARE MY RULES FOR THANK YOU NOTE WRITING, each of which has been incorporated into these totally awesome modern thank you cards for kids. And even cooler (OK, not a word but just go with it), Uma got to put her own artwork and handwriting on the back of the box.  She thinks she’s famous now. And in my eyes, she’s right.

Most Sincerely,
Melissa Foster
Founder

 

 ThankYouTab