Upgrade Your Template: The Ultimate Guide to Paper & Customization - SincerelyByNicole

Upgrade Your Template: The Ultimate Guide to Paper & Customization

From template to custom stationery

You started off with a simple template on the screen, but let's be real – that's just the beginning! From selecting just the right paper (think matte, linen, or even a touch of pearlescent) to playing around with the paper's shape, there's a whole world of customizations out there. It's about making that final template truly yours, but with a personalized twist.

Crafting the Perfect Stationery: Balancing Style, Splurge, and Budget

What's the ultimate goal when you're sending out your stationery? It may sound like a silly question, but it's important!

Are you aiming for a show-stopping, luxe look, or is a laid-back, casual vibe more your style? Do you want to splurge on every last detail, or are you focused on keeping that budget tightly reined in?

These are all important factors to consider as you start narrowing down the vision for your event. Let's make your stationery not just pretty, but purposeful too!

Exploring Your Options: The Different Types of Paper To Consider

Matte Card Stock Paper

Matte card stock has a non-glossy finish, which makes it easy to read from multiple angles and in harsh lighting. It absorbs ink, reducing the chance of smudging and fingerprints. This also tends to be the most affordable option!

Ideal for: Text-heavy designs, formal invitations, and business cards where readability is key. Good for laser printing.

Not Ideal for: Photo-heavy designs, as the colors may not pop as much.

example of matte paper selection for a wedding invitation

Translucent Vellum Paper

Translucent vellum paper is my go-to for taking any stationery to the next level. It provides a delicate, layered look that's rich in depth and dimension. However, this paper is a bit high-maintenance. Fingerprints show up easily, and you'll need to be patient, as the ink takes its time drying—if you touch it too soon, you risk smudging.

Ideal for: Overlays, additional inserts, and creating a delicate, layered look. Adds depth and dimension to invitations.

Not Ideal for: Stand-alone pieces, as it can be easily crinkled and smudged. Ink takes a while to dry.

example of vellum paper selection for a menu

Linen Card Stock

If you're looking to instantly upgrade your invitations, go with linen card stock. It offers the same benefits as matte card stock but adds a texture that mimics the feel of luxurious linen

Ideal for: Upscale events, wedding invitations, and other formal uses where a luxurious feel is desired.

Not Ideal for: Budget options, as it's usually pricier than basic card stocks. May not be suitable for intricate printing designs.

example of linen paper selection for a wedding invitation

Glossy Photo Paper

If you're seeking to produce high-quality, vibrant, and sharp images, glossy photo paper is an optimal choice. However, be aware that its reflective surface is prone to fingerprints and may limit viewing angles due to glare. Despite these considerations and a generally higher cost, its advantages in color reproduction and detail make it highly suitable for professional photographic applications.

Ideal for: Photographs, vibrant colors, and image-centric designs to make them pop.

Not Ideal for: Text-heavy designs or where glare from lighting could be an issue.

example of glossy photo paper selection for a holiday card

Matte Photo Paper

If you're going for that classy, glare-free look in your prints, matte photo paper has got you covered. It may not give you those super-vivid colors like glossy does, but it's a pro at hiding fingerprints and lets you see the image clearly from any angle. Plus, it's easier on the wallet compared to high-end glossy paper. 

Ideal for: High-quality photos where glare is a concern, scrapbooking, and designs that balance both text and images.

Not Ideal for: Making colors extremely vibrant. It has a muted finish compared to glossy paper.

example of matte photo paper selection for a holiday card

Colored Card Stock

Colored card stock is a simple way to brighten up your stationery with a splash of color. It's just as easy to print at home as regular card stock. Just a heads-up: if you're using a home printer, stick to lighter shades. Home printers can't print white ink, so your designs may not stand out on darker colors.

Ideal for: Adding a pop of color, casual events, and craft projects.

Not Ideal for: Professional or formal events where a more subtle appearance is desired. Also, not ideal for dark colors if you're using an at-home printer.

example of colored card stock paper selection for a wedding invitation

Pearlescent Card Stock

If you're interested in elevating your stationery with a touch of sophistication, pearlescent card stock is an ideal choice. Its iridescent finish enhances color vibrancy, while the card stock itself is generally more durable and resistant to fingerprints. However, ensure your printer is compatible with this specialized material, as it requires specific handling. While it comes at a higher price point, the added visual appeal often justifies the cost.

Ideal for: Upscale, glamorous events where you want a shimmery, sparkling effect.

Not Ideal for: Casual, laid-back events or for designs that require a flat, matte finish.

example of pearlescent paper selection for a wedding details card

Sticker Paper

Sticker paper effortlessly allows you to add a personalized touch to your stationery or serve as a standalone label.

Ideal for: Custom labels for events or products and personalized stationery embellishments

Not Ideal for: Outdoor use (unless specifically designed for that purpose) or textured surfaces.

example of pearlescent paper selection for a wedding details card

Choosing the Right Paper Shapes for Your Stationery

Changing the shape of the paper you're using is an easy way to instantly transform your stationery. You can accomplish this by die-cutting, laser cutting, electronic cutting machines (think Silhouette or Cricut), scissors, paper punches, craft knives, decorative edge scissors, or using a craft knife. 

In the video below, I take the original ASPEN invitation and show what it looks like in different shapes. 

Paper selection and shape can instantly transform your template

example of paper color and shape transforming a template

...but the fun doesn't stop there! There is so much more you can do like embossing, debossing, or even using gold foil and specialty inks. 

So there you have it! With the right paper choices and a dash of creativity, you can create stationery that's both elegant and uniquely you. Thanks for tuning in! I hope this has given you some solid starting points. If you have any questions or you've tried some of these ideas yourself, drop a comment below. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

♡ Nicole

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