Photography: Charles Schiller1 of 6
A new home is something to celebrate, and custom-made announcements are one way to do just that. You don't have to look far for inspiration: A map of your community, floor plans, a set of house keys, the address itself, or the cardboard packing boxes provide material for imaginative missives.
When you've moved, everyone wants to know where you've gone. Show them with a map. This postcard depicts your new neighborhood; a punched hole marks your house. Color-copy the map detail onto card stock. Stamp your address on the flip side.
Or find an outline of your home state in an atlas, and photocopy, enlarging if necessary. Cut out copy and trace onto heavy paper; then stamp a star in your vicinity.
A map also makes an attractive lining to the announcement's envelope. The card is stamped with a compass rose (copied from an atlas), and the new address is handwritten.
Photography: Charles Schiller2 of 6
Birds represent the perfect balance between the freedom of flight and the comfort of a fixed address. Much of the mail the post office forwards is destined for people who migrate from one residence to another.
Lighten the postal workload by declaring your intentions on a card stamped with your address. Here, we used a stamp kit with adjustable letters to add the words and numbers.
Custom-made stamps of a bird in flight and a nest -- images found in copyright-free sourcebooks -- also provide elegant decoration.
Photography: Charles Schiller3 of 6
First HomeShow off a little with an envelope made from blueprints of your home's floor plan. A copy shop can make prints for you. Open an envelope's flaps and use as a template to trace onto the prints. Cut out; fold and glue the flaps.
Keys are powerful symbols of home ownership. Trace your set and enlarge on a copier to desired size; use copies as templates to cut out of card stock. Then use an embosser to imprint each with your address, and stamp with a message: "Your key to finding us." Use the tool later to create return addresses.
"Our search is over." Stamp that sentiment on a vellum envelope containing a card with an enlargement of your home's classified ad on one side and your new address on the reverse.
Photography: Charles Schiller4 of 6
Forwarding AddressEncourage recipients to keep in touch. Simply clip one or two stamped labels to a small piece of card stock and personalize.
Or stamp a sheet of several decorative labels with your new information to make it even easier for friends and family to correspond.
A mini address book has room for only one address: yours. Buy and disassemble a few inexpensive address books. Pick out pairs of pages that have no letters; stamp each with your address. Use original book cover as a template to cut facsimiles from decorative paper; affix with a staple. Find a friend who has a record of your wanderings in an address book. Color-copy the page onto card stock; cut out.
Update everyone's Rolodex. Purchase cards with unlettered tabs; prepare three custom stamps: a border, your address, and the reminder, "We've moved."
Photography: Charles Schiller5 of 6
House-Inspired AnnouncementsThese cards draw on two physical reminders of your move: the packing box and your house. Boxes surround you in every room. Playfully evoke their omnipresence by mailing rough-brown envelopes stamped with a custom-made "This side up" in red.
A paper chain of houses conveys the message that you haven't moved far away. Accordion-fold an 11-by-17-inch sheet of paper into six sections. Trace house template onto the paper. Cut out; stamp.
The final stamp is cut in negative to produce an inked background. This invitation to your open house includes a visual pun. Trace an open envelope on card stock to make the outline. Cut out, fold, and stamp the card. The window stamp can be made from images in a copyright-free sourcebook. Close flap with a small label stamped "Open."
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Photography: Charles Schiller6 of 6
Tools and TipsAll of these moving announcements can be made with a few basic tools and supplies. The office-supply store will probably be your first stop. You'll find envelopes, cards, paper, labels of every shape and size, and small address books for disassembly. Stamp kits with adjustable letters allow you to spell out a word, stamp it, and then change the letters to spell something else.
Although custom stamps, all of one piece, are cut by a professional to any design you specify, they aren't expensive. When ordering them, have the border made separately from the address text so you can use the latter as a return-address stamp. For simple stamps, such as the star shape, use a utility knife to cut your own from a rubber eraser. Finally, several templates are used, made from cut-out and traced photocopies.