Paper, Planes & Pinot

In Other Words… Stationery, Travel, and All Else that Matters

My Entire Letterpress Experience

Happy Mardi Gras from NOLA!  I will have tons to write about this trip, but I’ll save that for a Travel Thursday 🙂

Moving on…

At a young age, I learned how to laugh at myself.  Thank goodness I did.  I am a klutz with no sense of direction.  I am emotional and pan-icky.  Also, for some reason I trip over my words a lot, and depending on the weather, I could have dandruff on any given day.  Needless to say, I am far from a person that ‘has it all together’.

I believe that YOU as a reader for my blog benefit 1st hand from this.  First off, many bizarre and awkward things happen to me on a daily basis.  Taking that a step further, I do not get embarrassed by these things.  Rather, I think that my experiences are funny, ironic stories that I can pass onto you.

With this being said I would like to share an experience with you…

Background information:  I thought that it would be nice to take a stationery class.  Paper-Source offers different classes, and you can sign up for them at the store location or online.   I decided to take a Letterpress course to see if I wanted to invest in all of the machinery needed to make Letterpress stationery.  [Spoiler – I now own a Letterpress machine.  I am a marketer’s dream.]

Now to the night of my class: the closest Paper-Source location to me is in Reston Town Center.   This place is beautiful.  It is an outdoor mall/restaurant mecca.  There is an Anthropologie, South Moon Under, J Crew … the list goes on for all you shop-a-holics.  Then there is an Uncle J’s, Jacksons, Clyde’s, Sweet Green, Red Velvet, and basically any restaurant to cure your craving.  Getting on with my story…

I decided to stop for some coffee (because it is about 20 degrees out) and water (since I have to hit my 64 fl oz a day) before my class.  I started to walk to my stationery class when this bus starts chasing me down.  I look over my shoulder and see that the driver has stopped traffic and is frantically waving his arms at me.  I look at the side of the bus and see that it belongs to a company that I have taken a couple of wine tours with.  Literally a couple – 2 in the past year.  The driver remembers me.  He starts a conversation with me as if we are old best friends.  Mind you, he is waving traffic around him since he is still in the middle of the street.

I have no clue how this man remembers me?  I put nothing past Wine Lush Kaye, but seriously this man must have so many passengers in a given week, how does he remember me?  Was it the fact that my friends and I took wine glasses from a tasting and he joked with us that the cops were coming for us so we started to run screaming?  Could it be that we became ever so thankful to this driver for making a pit stop and introducing us to the best Pie Shop ever?  Maybe it was the fact that I probably snored really loud when passing out on the bus after the last tasting of the day.   Whatever it was, I am going to lean towards the fact that he probably remembers me because I embarrassed myself.

After that encounter, I continued on to my class.  I perused Paper-Source before class putting some necessary supplies in my basket and also scoping out who else was going to be in this class with me.  I was a bit nervous that everyone else in the class would have Letterpress experience, and that I would be completely lost.  I expected to have a bunch of other twenty-somethings, or even thirty-somethings in the class with me.  I was imagining all of these other girls and me becoming best friends and bonding over our need for a hobby to escape from work.

Turns out, I was the youngest person … by far.  At first I was very hesitant … how was I going to spend a whole evening with these strangers?  Then I had a quick pang of anxiety… should I be out at Happy Hour instead of in this class, am I growing up too fast?  Those questions were quickly shut down.  It was awesome getting to know these women and their different stories.  There were five students in the class.  Three were grandmothers that looked great for their age might I add.  They were mostly taking the class to be able to help their families with wedding invitations or other stationery needs.  All while we bonded over the common love of stationery,  I learned so much about Letterpressing but also had an awesome time.

Needless to say, I loved the class and also the finished products that I was able to make.  I even bought everything needed to make Letterpress stationery and invitations.

Now Down to Business

Quick rundown on the Letterpress Printing Process:

  • Wikipedia defines Letterpress printing as such:  Letterpress is a printing method that requires characters being impressed upon the page. The print may be inked or blind but is typically done in a single color. Motifs or designs may be added as many letterpress machines use movable plates that must be hand-set.
  • Layman’s terms:  When making letterpress stationery, the machine had to be handset for the print, and each page of stationery is individually printed and/or engraved.  It is a very intricate process, but the finished product is professional and pristine.

Letterpress stationery is a bit pricier than embossed stationary because of all of the above.  I will say that you get a ‘more perfect’ end product since everything is measured.  You will mostly see Letterpress prints for wedding invitations, event initiations, and formal stationary.

Below are some examples of what I made in class:






Let me know if you would like to put in a Letterpress order, and we can talk about details and pricing!  I do need some examples for my blog, so I will do the first couple Letterpress orders I get at cost so I can get some more experience.  Just note that I probably will not do any Letterpress orders of less than 30, as it takes time to get everything set up.


2 comments on “My Entire Letterpress Experience

  1. mrssmith2011
    March 7, 2014

    This is so interesting. I have just purchased a Letterpress but in the UK there are so few courses I don’t really know what to do. Hopefully I’ll get some inspiration soon rather than feeling daunted at trying to figure out how to use this machine.

    • kayesaid
      March 9, 2014

      Yes – Hopefully I can provide some ideas for you!
      Thanks for following 🙂

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2014 by in Paper, Pinot and tagged , , , .
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