Hello again, my betrothed buddies! It’s time for another installment of The Paper Place Guide to…
The wall of gorgeous Chiyogami paper… (Like all paper, they’re delicate, so to ensure you don’t get a bent sheet, please ask for assistance. )
In this, our second and third parts, we* will be talking about how to use decorative papers in your invitation designs. Since this is the focus of our store, this entry will long (even by my standards!), necessitating that it be split into two parts. The first will be about the paper itself and the options available to you, and how to best use the store. Planning a wedding, and making invitations can feel overwhelming, and our store itself daunting, in this guide I hope to explain how everything at The Paper Place works and how best to find the perfect paper for you.
So first, a paper breakdown, or…
HOW AND WHERE TO LOOK AT PAPER AT THE PAPER PLACE
Binders located at the front table. Duplicate binders can be found at the back of the store in the invitation and stationery section
It came as a huge surprise to me when I started working here that not all, not even most of the paper is out on display. It simply can’t be, we have over two thousand different kinds. Our handy solution to this is to provide binders full of samples for you to peruse. These binders are located at the back and front of the store, or, in the case of Chiyogami, on the shelves in the center of the store (pictured above). Our papers vary greatly in style, size, material and price. Names, size and price are all labeled on each sample. In order to purchase the paper, you must first fill out the green requisition form, found with the binders. (A note on the requisition forms below.)
A BRIEF PAPER BREAKDOWN:
Note: Most of the papers I’ve pulled are in the neutral/white or tone on tone range when possible. They’re available in a wide range of colours but I’ve selected these because sometimes it’s easier to imagine your ideas when what’s presented is closer to a blank slate–which is why people on house hunting shows are constantly saying “I hate the wall colour…” Guys, you can paint! Look at the crown moulding crazy people! Um… Back to the paper.
Some of my favourite metallic on solid colour Chiyogami papers. I’m a minimalist. (In reality I have a psychological block preventing me from wearing more than one colour at any time. I mean… Green goes with…?)
CHIYOGAMI are Japanese hand-silkscreened papers, their patterns are rather fine and elaborate, some are matte, some are iridescent, others are a mix of the two. Their prints are varied-floral (cherry blossoms are a big theme), geometric, abstract, fans, kokeshi dolls, cranes, and more. At The Paper Place you can browse the Chiyos we have on the wall, or go through the binders. Any patterns we don’t have in store, can be brought in with our weekly order. Online, you can browse the Chiyogami by colour, pattern, or both. You can also order samples of any sheet.
The beautiful and often overlooked Kinkaku papers.
KINKAKU, like Chiyogami, are hand-silkscreened metallic prints on coloured papers. These are beautifully minimalistic patterned papers.
A small selection of Nepalese paper, in gold metallic, white, and natural inks, with floral, geometric, woodgrain, and victorian prints.
NEPALESE these papers from Nepal are made by a women’s co-operative, they are environmentally friendly (the metallics are a little less so) and at $5/sheet they are very cost-effective. Their styles and prints vary, Victorian/Baroque/South Asian motifs and contemporary abstract patterns are available in a wide array of colours.
a selection of Japanese decorative in whites and ivories- floral sukashi, obonai feather, gold fleck, kin sunago (tiny gold flecks), shibazakura, and crane white
JAPANESE DECORATIVE These papers are not like the patterned Chiyogami, aside from the occasional metallic fiber, fleck or flower, or watermarked crane they’re not layered, their patterns come from an abstract finish or texture. Machine made, they are lower in price than either Chiyogami or Katazome. They make great subtle layers or liner paper.
a selection of smaller-print Katazome — the finer the print, the more visible it will be in small section cut for an invitation.
KATAZOME Hand-stenciled on handmade kozo paper these paper are bold and graphic in print, they are matte, unlike the Chiyogami which are often silkscreened with layers of iridescent or metallic inks.
a selection of white watermark and translucent papers: wave white, hempflower white, tarasen dot, new unryu white, and kingin white.
WATERMARK/TRANSLUCENT/SUKASHI ranging from soft tissue papers, to translucent but crisp paper that come in a variety of colours, textures and patterns. They can be a good material for banding, or as a layer on top, but shouldn’t be used as a backing as they are lightweight. These delicate, often tone on tone prints, and tissues make for beautiful accents and liners.
do you like little cardigans, records and vintage bicycles? This is the paper for you!
ITALIAN DECORATIVE These fine vintage floral and geometric prints have an old-world wallpaper/fabric feel.
Many of our papers can be purchased as 8.5×11” samples (the Nepalese, Italian and Indian cannot, but we have smaller cut-offs of some prints if you’d like to just get an idea of the materials.)
When you have multiple papers you like, but you’re not sure which one will look best with your finished design, it’s a really good idea to get a couple of samples of each before you invest in a great quantity of one.
Like trying on different dresses/tuxes/kilts/Star Trek uniforms, it takes a little experimentation to find what you like, this process will allow you to make multiple invitations in different patterns and styles, before making the decision to buy.
We stress making mockups and doing tests because it’s our policy at the Paper Place to accept no returns on paper or envelopes, and we don’t want to see you unhappy. (See below for an outline of our return policy)
Requisition forms located with the binders on front and back tables.
A NOTE ABOUT THE REQUISITION FORMS:
I know it seems easier to a lot of people to just show us the paper they want in the binders, saying “one sheet of this please”. It’s not! Because we have so many different kinds of paper, it makes our lives easier to have it written out, (also Nick will forget what you want by the time he gets to the shelf).
- The name will help us locate its general spot in the back—we have different sections for tissues, Nepalese, Japanese decorative, etc.
- The size will indicate to us what shelf it may be on—shorter sheets on shorter shelves, longer sheets on longer shelves, etc.
- Indicating the price will save us both time, even if you are buying samples, as we can determine the sample price based on the full sheet price.
At the cash, we can hand off your sheet to the staff member at the register and they can ring you in as we pull your paper, all of this information is also necessary when punching in your order, and your receipt will be properly itemized.
This process is really important, especially now, as we have several new staff members and all the information you provide them will ensure that your paper is found quickly and your order rung in accurately.
The green sheet will be handed back to you, and then you will have a written record of the paper you purchased in case you need to buy more, it will save you so much time, I promise!
A NOTE ABOUT THE RETURN POLICY
Paper is an easily damaged material. If you take paper and envelopes out of the store, we can no longer guarantee that it is in perfect shape. It’s a hard rule, but it’s for a good reason. It’s a rule we make clear with signs at the back, at the cash and on your receipt. It would be unfair to make exceptions. This is why it is very important to sample and test print, and why we stress the return policy when encouraging you to make mock ups.
NEXT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO USING DECORATIVE PAPER IN YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS
(*this is the royal we, in the sense that it’s just one person writing but that one person wishes she had a an English castle and a dozen Corgis and sometimes writes in the third person.)