I’ve always loved the letterpressed notecards found in cute stationery boutiques, so when RH and I were planning our wedding, I knew that we simply had to have letterpressed invitations. My heart sank when I realized how expensive that could be, so I decided to take a class at a local printmaking studio and make them myself.
They turned out great, and I fell in love with letterpress. I became a member of the studio and have since rented the 100-year-old press several times to crank out birth announcements, holiday cards, and personal stationery. I even seriously considered buying a press, butsadly there’s zero room for the Chandler & Price press of my dreams in our two-bedroom loft.
For our first anniversary, RH surprised me with an incredibly thoughtful and unexpected giftan L Letterpress. Since the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, he thought it would be fitting, and I agree that it was the perfect gift!
I immediately began researching to see what people thought about the machine. After reading several negative reviews, I read Harold’s incredibly helpful tips on the Boxcar Press blog. I had been ordering Boxcar’s plates for my Boxcar base since I took the class and made my wedding invites, so I was familiar with them and trusted their advice.
After a few tweaks to the setup and equipment, I started printing on the L Letterpress and had pretty good results. My first big project was invites for a 90th birthday party, and with that I realized that while the L is excellent for home printing, if you need a lot of prints (more than 40 or 50), you should plan several hours or space your printing out over a few days. It’s much more time-consuming than printing on a flywheel press, which allows me to produce a couple hundred prints in a day.
It is a lot of fun though, and it’s perfect for smaller projects like personal stationery. I’ve created a brief video to show how I recently used the L Letterpress to print some notecards. I used some leftover wrapping paper from Paper Source to line a few envelopes, and I think the ensemble came together very nicely.
My supply list includes:
- nameplate designed in Photoshop with a font from MyFonts.com
- photopolymer plate made by Boxcar Press
- Crane & Co. Lettra paper (120lb cover) and envelopes in Fluorescent White
- Van Son rubber-based ink
While I think it probably helps that I’m familiar with traditional letterpress, I thinkwith practiceanyone can master the L Letterpress and turn out fantastic-looking prints. Happy letterpressing!