Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Come to our Wedding: Wrap Arounds! (With Instructions)

I knew that I wanted wrap around address labels from the very beginning. What's a wrap around, you ask? Well, it's simple: Instead of the mailing address and return address being shown on the front of the envelope, they are on a strip of paper that wraps around to the back of the envelope, so the return address does not show on the front. 

The journey of my wrap arounds is quite a long one. It all started the day after Thanksgiving, when I scored this stack of paper at 50% off at Michaels:

The green is much more green in person. To me, this look very yellow, but it could be my monitor.
 Now, if you're keeping track, Josh and I weren't even engaged at that time (we got engaged 2 days later), but I still knew this paper would come in handy when we made our invitations. At first, I thought it would be for envelope liners, but then I put the ka-bosh on those, and the paper became the background for our wrap around labels!

I went through countless drafts of the best way to make these labels, and at one point, I almost gave up. I couldn't figure out how to get the return address to show up vertically with the mailing address horizontal when they were both on the same label. So, after about three weeks of experimenting, I decided that the easiest thing to do was to put them on 2 different labels. Makes sense huh?

So, here are the directions for how I did my DIY wrap arounds:
(I apologize for some of the pictures/captions being cut off... I wanted bigger pictures so you could actually see what I'm talking about, but my blog doesn't expand to hold them. So sorry!)

1. Cut any pretty patterned (or solid would work too, I suppose) into strips that will fit your envelopes. I chose to cut mine in 6" by 2" strips, so I could get 12 strips from each piece of paper with no waste. 
All of the different patterns that adorned our invite envelopes!
2. Decide what size you want your mailing address labels to be. I tried the standard size mailing labels (I think they're like 1" by 2.33" or something) but it just didn't look right. So, I decided to make my own by purchasing labels that were a full sheet of adhesive paper. I chose to make my labels 1.5" by 2.5" so the paper would show on all sides.

3. In Microsoft Word, you'll have to make a document with your custom sized labels, which is super simple to do:
Go to the Mailings tab and select Labels, then select Options from the dialogue box.

Select New Label in order to add a custom size.

Enter your dimensions. Remember - Pitch is the measurement from the top (or side) of one label to the top (or side) of the next. I recommend making this the same measurement as the actual label you're creating, or else you'll have to trim it off later.
4. Then, keep choosing OK until you're back at your document, which should have dashed lines for where your labels are. Now, set your text orientation:
Once you have your document, you need to change the text orientation so it's vertical. (To avoid this, you need to set your paper to Landscape orientation, and then switch the height and width measurements of your labels. Whatever is easier for you)

Select the text orientation on the left, and you're good to go!
5. Input your addresses! I chose to do a mixture of fonts and colors, but it's completely up to you.

6. When they're printed, you'll need to cut each label out. I hate cutting straight lines, so I used a cricut paper cutter with a sliding blade (I don't have a pic :( ). Then, attach your mailing labels and return address labels to opposite ends of the paper strips you cut in step 1.

7. Using your favorite type of adhesive (I used photo mounting squares), attach the labels to the envelope, wrapping the return address portion around to the back. Mine wrapped around about an inch, but it's completely up to you!
Finished product! Unfortunately, I didn't snap a pic of the back of the envelope. Trust me, the return address is there!

Was there any DIY element you couldn't figure out how to do? How did you solve the problem?

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