Think Outside the Envelope

Artisans apply their creativity to extraordinary paper designs, from invitations to coasters.
Whimsy's reversible wrapping paper.
© Wendell T. Webber

Symbolic Greetings

A Gregg Shorthand dictionary she found in a thrift shop inspired Erin Healy to start Seattle's Shorthand Press. She uses offset printing to decorate cards with playful words and their corresponding symbols ($2.25 each;

Silk-Screened Style

Kate Lydon, a former art director at the Smithsonian, silk-screens multicolored images, like the spring onion and mushrooms pictured here from Saturate's "Flora" collection, on old-fashioned, deckle-edged paper ($7;

Victorian Chic

The Brooklyn couple behind Sesame uses a 19th-century press to embellish coasters with Victorian-era images of flora and fauna (set of eight coasters, $10;

Updated Botanicals

Binth uses hand-mixed, water-based inks to screen-print fanciful images on invitations and note cards. "Offspring" combines botanicals with a seven-year-old's sketches of imaginary characters (from $3.75;

The Luxe Look

Milkfed Press's invitation sets, coasters and note cards feature peacocks, Provençal-style florals, delicate scroll designs and other elegant images, all printed on owner Victoria Heifner's antique presses in Oakland, California. Inks are custom-blended by hand on a stone to achieve the perfect hue (invitation sets from $2,000;

Fun & Funky

Whimsy's reversible wrapping paper is extra-long, at 24-by-36 inches per sheet, and comes in 16 designs, like "Wasabi." Coordinating stickers and imaginative note cards complete the collection ($4.50 per sheet;

PUBLISHED November 2006