Stitched Flag Save the Dates

We are much overdue for a blog post, so I thought I'd kick it off with a new design concept that I'm really excited about.  These are a great way to use a photo for your save the date while adding a little bit of interest, rather than just printing on the flat card.  

The flags are digitally printed, but we also offer letterpress, and stitched along the top or side of the photo, depending on the layout of your image.

Available in the Etsy shop

photo 1-4.JPG
photo 2-5.JPG

I Wheelie Like How You Roll--Free Valentine Printable

If you're like me, you look at school celebrations as a fun way to craft with your kids.  My 4-year-old isn't that into crafting, insert sad face, but he loves cars and writing his name, so this is what we came up with (with a little Pinterest inspiration)

All you need are some plastic bags (available at local craft stores), paper, toy cars, and a printer.

Print these little bad boys out (click here for free PDF) download and your little Valentine will be sure to wow his friends. 

Woodland Shower Invitations

When my friend and expecting mama came to me to design her baby shower invitations, I couldn't wait to get started on these super sweet woodland themed invitations.  My favorite detail is the handdrawn deer with an owl friend hitching a ride.  They have a bit of modern flair with the bright white card stock, gray coloring, and metallic gold ribbon embellishment.

Available for purchase here in the Etsy shop.

Modern Geometric Wedding Invitations

So, I'm a bit delayed in posting these wedding invitations, but don't let that deter from how fun they were to create.  This Simply Modern Wedding's couple came to me with a desire for something big and unique.  It had to be modern, shades of gray, and pops of fuschia to fit their downtown Los Angeles wedding.

The invitation is digitally printed, along with the RSVP postcard, which features a silhouette of the LA skyline.  All of the pieces fit inside a metallic pewter pocket, which is embellished with a fuschia wrap.

Introducing (a little late) Will

I'm about to get a little personal here on the business blog, but this business is personal, so it's only appropriate.  Back in 2007, pregnant with my first son, I started a little Etsy shop with a big dream of someday quitting my teaching job and becoming a work-at-home-mom.  With a lot of hard work, late nights, and some pretty awesome luck, I was able to do just that, and in 2009 made the leap to a full-time business owner.  

In 2011 we found out we were welcoming another son into our family, which validated all my feelings of needing to be home.  Even if I am working at home while a sitter or my husband cares for the children, at least I'm here and can see and hear them whenever I want.  It's a definite distraction, but the most beautiful kind.

At our 20 week ultrasound, we found out that our son had a combination of heart defects and would require surgery within his first six months of life.  This completely rocked our world.  The news turned much of the joy in anticipating our new bundle into fear.  Once he was here, there was no no doubt he was definitely stronger than we could have ever imagined.  Throughout this journey, we have been blessed with a formidable prayer army and countless friends and family who have stepped up and been there for us.  #heartsforwill on Instragram reminded me what kindness lies in people's hearts as so many have offered up words of support and encouragement.  

To keep Will in people's thoughts and hearts, my incredibly generous friend Amy, printed these Strong Will totes.  I designed Will's announcements, complete with a sweet photograph of our beautiful boy and sent them along with a tote to all of our friends and family.  

So, meet Will.  He is cuddly, smily, has a contagious laugh, and is perfect in every way.  You can read all about our struggles and triumphs with this little man and our family on my personal blog She Stood in the Storm.

Paisley Foiled Custom Invitations

When we met with Hannah, I knew she would be a great match for one of our custom designs.  Her love for all things vintage and girlie made for a great pairing.  The final design concept was a paisley henna print.  These were printed with a light gold foil on cotton letterpress paper.  The envelopes are a blush pink and match beautifully.  Be sure to look for these in next year's collection for sure.  I just love the way they came out.

Congrats to Hannah and Jason and cheers to a lifetime of happiness!


Camouflage Birthday Party Invitations

Around here, soldiers, gear, and anything army camo is a big hit with my 4-year-old son.  For his 4th birthday, after seeing a camouflage bounce house, he asked to have an "army camo" birthday party.  Of course we got to work on the invitations, creating a draft notice style invite with fun details like "reply to major mom" and "report at 1300 hours".  The dog tags are from Oriental Trading and I thought it would be fun to include one in each invitation to make a special little gift for each "recruit".  The invitations are wrapped with camo colored yarn and housed in a box mailer filled with shredded camo print paper.  These were a big hit with even his most girlie of friends, who thought they were getting a little piece of jewelry.

Your Love Story: Emotional Map Save the Dates

I have been waiting for the perfect client to create this type of save the date for, and Michelle and Sean fit the bill perfectly.  Their love story is just too cute not to share with all of their guests.  They met in high school where she was the cheerleader and he the football player, went to separate colleges, moved to the same city, bought a house, and are now getting married in the same town where they grew up and met. 

These would also be cute for a couple from different states using the outline from each state and then illutrating their journey. 

Congrats to Michelle and Sean!  We can't waiti to get started on your wedding invitations!

from the Collection: the Eve (Watercolor Wildflowers)

Back on a wedding Wednesday with another invitation from our Collection.  These invitations are perfect for the budget-conscious bride and/or those in a time crunch.

This invitation features a delicate frame with a burst of watercolor wildflowers anchoring the design, perfect for the outdoor semi-formal wedding.  This couple chose to include a hand drawn map to help their guests find the location, but also add a sense of whimsy to the invitation suite.  The back of the map is printed with written directions.  They also decided to go with the option of using a postcard as their repsonse card.   This is a nice way to save a little money on postage.

Invitations from the collection start at $5.00 each.  Full pricing details are available on the collection tab of the website, or feel free to contact us for your own personal quote.

If you'd like to order a sample of the Eve or any other design from our collection, please click on the "order a sample" button on the right.


Free Mother's Day Card and Tag

Yay for Moms and Grandmas!  Mother's Day is coming up (May 13th), second Sunday of May, so we thought we'd share a free download for a mother's day card and tag.  There is one for Mom and one for Grandma, perfect for the crafty-type.  "I'm sew lucky you're my mom" and "I'm sew lucky you're my grandma" complete with a custom illustrated vintage sewing machine.

Here are the simple steps:

-Download the PDF file here

-Print it out on 8.5x11 cardstock

-Trim the paper in 1/2 at 5.5" for the card and fold the card in half.

-Trim the tag along the light gray guidelines.  Punch a hole and hang from your pretty package.

Hope you enjoy!  Happy Mother's Day.

from the Collection: the Allison

It's Wednesday, and I'm back sharing another invitation design.  This is the Allison, from the collection of non-custom wedding invitations.  It features a delicate lace background image and classic frame design.  The calligraphy is elegant and has just the right amount of swashes and flourishes to keep it readable.  This was originally a letterpress design, but has translated beautifully for digital printing (budget-friendly).

We are able to update all of the colors on this invitation, but recommend sticking with one color for all of the text and a very light subtle color for the lace design.  This particular bride chose the following add-ons: enclosure card, lace wrap, envelope liner, guest addressing, and return address printing.

Invitations from the collection start at $5.00 each.  Full pricing details are available on the collection tab of the website, or feel free to contact us for your own personal quote.

If you'd like to order a sample of the Allison or any other design from our collection, please click on the "order a sample" button on the right.

New Studio

With the start of the new year, came some changes here at Paper and Thread.  We moved locations to a super cute little studio in downtown Carlsbad.  This is where we meet clients and where you can view all of our previous designs and paper swatches in person.  Bonus is that it's located right next to a great antique store and walking distance to the beach.  If you're in Southern California, we'd love to meet with you to chat design or stationery. 

3095 State Street, Suite F, Carlsbad, CA 92009

We're available to meet Sundays-Wednesdays from 12-6.  Contact to book your appointment.

Bonus is that the space is shared with my friend and talented floral designer, Hannah Sampson, of Modern Bouquet.  We are usually able to schedule back-to-back appointments, so you can tackle two items off your to-do list.

from the Collection: the Noelle (Mason Jar Bouquet)

The Noelle Invitation Suite is understated, yet perfectly beautiful, and has quickly become one of our most popular designs.  The main invitation features a hand drawn bouquet of mixed flowers placed in a super cute mason jar.  The flowers are colors with a watercolor effect and can be updated to shades of coral, purple, pink, or a mix of these.  The entire suite is printed on either pearl white cotton cardstock or ecru cotton cardstock, both with a slight natural texture.  We recommend using the paper bag envelopes to complement the natural feel of the invitations.  Optional elements include envelope liners in a soft quilted pattern, burlap string wrap, additional enclosure card, return address printing, and guest addressing.

Invitations from the collection start at $5.00 each.  Full pricing details are available on the collection tab of the website, or feel free to contact us for your own personal quote.

If you'd like to order a sample of this or any other design from our collection, please click on the "order a sample" button on the right.

Beach Chic Custom Wedding Invitations

When I met with Michele and Nick, I was moved by their infectious love and classic story.  They started dating in high school, led separate lives, and are now, 13 years later, are getting married in their Southern California beachy hometown. 

The couple is fun and casual, but still super stylish, so their invitations had to evoke that same tone.  The keyhole design is a statement doorway from their venue.  We used subtle navy stripes on the invitation and bold yellow for the envelope liner.  To tie it all together, we used burlap string to bring a little of the natural beach element in.  One of my favorite little parts is the surfboard, which we used on the invite, response card and as a monogram. 

Style Me Pretty Feature: Fun with Stripes

Today, Style Me Pretty featured one of the weddings we worked on last year.  This bride's custom invitation design has had such a great response, we've added it to the collection.  It's called the "Alex".  Click on the link on the right to order a sample.

One of my favorite details from the invitation suite was the stitching to mimic the flow of a wave, and how cute are those bridesmaids' dresses?

To see the rest of this super cute wedding, be sure to head on over to Style Me Pretty.

Local TV Appearance

I was so honored to be asked to appear on our local CBS station to discuss trends in wedding invitations and to promote the US Grant Bridal Show event this Sunday.  This was definitely a pinch me moment.  I woke up at 3:30am and arrived to the studio at 5:00 with enough time to grab a coffee at the only open Starbucks.  Coffee in hand, I was ushered into the set where Dan and Nichelle were effortlessly delivering the news of the day. I quickly set up my display and thankfully didn't have too much time to wait around and get nervous.  Nichelle was great and kept the conversation moving.  If you watch the video, you can tell that right as I get comfortable, the segment is over, but such is the game of television.  It was definitely a fun experience and a proud moment.

The Paper and Thread segment is right after the Tiffany representative.  Thanks for watching :) 

US Grant Bridal Showcase Invitations

If you have yet to check out the historic, and rumored haunted, US Grant Hotel in San Diego, you're definitely missing out.  It is a one-of-a-kind venue with true vintage elegance.  Each year, they put on a large bridal showcase occupying the three main floors of the hotel and ballrooms.  This year's theme is Love, etc., a journey through love and I could not have been more honored when they asked us to design and create the invitations for the event.  They were looking for something unique with vibrant colors that evokes a sense of passion. 

The gown was hand-illustrated by our super talented design assistant, Jamie and will be used throughout the marketing materials for the event. 

Of course, I knew the right man to call for the printing.  Tim at Quality Letterpress has exquisite attention to detail and never dissapoints.  He beautifully printed these with magenta ink and rose gold foil, and I could not be happier with the way they turned out.

If you're engaged, thinking of getting married, or interested in the wedding world, please swing by the US Grant on Sunday, March 4th.  Visit this link for more information and to get your tickets.

DIY Stitched Wedding Programs: a tutorial

We completely understand that by the time you reach your readiness for ceremony programs, your budget may have taken on a life of its own.  We've created a simple do it yourself option for those brides with a little craft in their hearts and/or some helpful friends.  Instead of your typical ceremony booklets that are assembled with a ribbon, these programs utilize stitching for their binding. 


-sewing machine

-standard needle

-polyester thread (cotton tends to break)



-paper cutter with a scoring blade (helpful, but not entirely necessary)


1.  Create your program (or hire a designer to do so).  Print it on cardstock and have it cut to size.  We like to use a 5x7 size, but it depends on how lengthy your program is.  Keep in mind that to stitch the program, you'll need to use 5 or fewer pages.

2.  Score the first and last page at 1/4".  This prevents the stitching from acting like a perforation and tearing once it's opened.

3.  Thread your machine and start the fun.  We find that by starting with a scrap piece of paper, the machine is less likely to jam.

4.  Chain stitch the programs.  This basically means don't cut off each program when it's finished being stitched.  After one is done, stitch a couple dud stitches (on no paper) and then place the next program under the foot.  This saves a lot of time and helps prevent the dreaded sewing machine thread jam. 

5.  Trim your programs.  We love to leave a little bit of thread at the ends of each program.

6.  Display your masterpieces on your big day.