When making DIY stationery, crafters can use any items around the home to create personalized letters and cards, or can design their own images using traditional photo editing computer software. Any traditional household or garden item can be transformed into a stamp using a knife and paint, and new ideas to create these types of stamps may be found on the Internet. Image editing software allows crafters to draw or download their favorite images, or use family photographs, to create personalized backgrounds and borders for their stationery.
Stationery encompasses a wide variety of unique paper items. Handmade cards, full sheets of paper, and invitations may all be considered DIY stationery. Kits are available for purchase in local crafting stores and through Internet ordering that can guide crafters through this process and offer advice and materials for any level of experience. More adventurous crafters, however, may prefer to complete the entire process personally using supplies they have in their own homes without the instruction of a manual or kit.
One of the most important tools any crafter should have in her DIY stationery kit is stamps. Stamps can be made from virtually any product, and used to create signature motifs quickly and easily without hassle or mess. Pre-made rubber stamps may be purchased from hobby stores, and are designed to fit every need, whether a sports motif, wedding invitation, or individual block letters. These same designs may be carved by hand from potatoes as well for the thrifty crafter. Large, russet baking potatoes work well for this project, and should be cut in half prior to carving out the raised design from the potato's fleshy exposed interior.
Items from nature may be used as unique stamp templates as well. Flowers, clipped close to the bud, can be dipped in paint and pressed onto paper to create floral designs. Pine cones are often rolled in paint and used to make interwoven patterns. Tree leaves, when dipped in paint and pressed down, leave behind an intricate web of veins, surface patterns, and delicate edging. When working with hand painted stationery, it is typically best to choose a heavy weight paper or card stock that will prevent the materials from bleeding through to the other side.
Additional decorative items such as photographs, small beads, ribbon, and stickers may be added to the card stock to complete the DIY stationery. Crafters should keep in mind that postage rates are often higher for bulky or heavy mail items which can result from an overabundance of decorative items present on a card.
DIY stationery may also be created on the computer for those who prefer a printed design over a handmade image. Any photo editing or paint software can be used to create a personal image. Those areas of the paper where writing will be placed should remain light in color. Most image editing software allows the user to alter the level of transparency of an image, though if this setting is not available, images should be limited to the margins. The user should also determine what size stationery she is creating, and create a light weight border around that area that defines the boundaries of the paper.
Once the design is finished, it can be used as a background image in a word editing program. Individual lines may be drawn across the page, which will print over the background images and be used to guide handwriting. The letter itself may also be written using this type of software, and be printed simultaneously with the stationery.