If You Give A Mouse A Cookie! Valentines


You have a design; now it’s time to bring that idea to life.

But how does it all work?

Here’s a glance into what it took to bring these Valentine’s I designed for my son, Oliver to life…


why did I choose “if you give a mouse a cookie”?:

We are really into “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” cartoon that airs on Amazon Prime right now; and the little boy in the stories’ name is Oliver. Every time “Oliver” is said on tv, my Oliver’s face lights up! He thinks it’s the funniest thing to hear his name on tv. I always like to design around something happening in my life; and right now, this is our show. So these Valentines will help me to remember what was happening in my life in 2019; when Oliver was 19 months old, celebrating his 2nd Valentines Day. I believe strongly in the power of using invitations/cards to celebrate little life moments.

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I’m leaving out the design process here and jumping right into the letterpress aspect… but there was a lot of prep that happened before I was ready to press.


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Steps 5-9

Cut my paper to size - 5x7”.

Mix up Brown Ink.

Ink up the press.

Press the Mouse.

Clean the press again.

Steps 1-4

I cut out circles (slightly irregular on purpose) for the “Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

I then inked the press with black ink.

I pressed the cookies.

I cleaned the press.


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steps 10-13

Mix up blue ink.

Ink up the press.

Press the Mouse’s Overalls (after setting up registration to align correctly with the mouse).

Clean the press again (3rd time now).


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steps 14-16

Mix up red ink.

Ink up the press (4th color! But the remainder of the pressing will be done in this red, thankfully!). And since this a flat 5x7 card; and I have a design for the front and back - each card will be pressed on the front and then again on the back.

First up - Press the hearts that the mouse is holding/on his overalls.

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step 18-20

Fold all the flaps on the envelopes out/ready for printing.

Press “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie!” on the front of the envelope. I had to insert a piece of card stock here to prevent read-through on the backside of the envelope.

Since my platen press isn’t very large - I actually had to press the return address on the back flap as a separate run through the press. (Actual Street Address has been edited out for privacy purposes).

Step 17

Press the Valentines Greeting on the back of the card.


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after you press a project; then comes the assembly.

step 21-22

Press the Mouse on the backside of the envelopes. (Final plate of the project!) I had to insert a piece of card stock here as well to prevent read-through on the front of the envelope.

Clean the press (4th time!)


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step 23

I tied the chocolate chip cookie to the front of the card using fishing line (Borrowed from my husband’s fishing bag; shhhh! Don’t tell!). I ran the fishing line through a popped hole, so it wouldn’t hang and cover up the mouse.

Below is what is looked from the back of the card.


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step 24-27

Insert Custom Envelope Liners! I always like designing liners for my special projects.

Address Envelopes to loved ones!

Stuff & Seal Envelopes.

Add Postage (these actually did not require more than one stamp; but I added double stamps because it looked pretty with the red Air Mail stamps). (Side note: ALWAYS have the post office check your postage before dropping them off! Just to be sure. Luckily the fishing line was thin enough, but ribbons & twines typically cost extra).


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just to recap:

I pressed (40) Valentines and (40) Envelopes.

(8) Letterpress Plates

(4) Ink Colors

(320) Individual runs through the press (NOT including any extras used for press set-up & mistakes)

(40) Handlettered Envelopes

(40) Cookies tied to the Cards

(40) Envelope Liners attached

(40) Sealed & Stamped Envelopes

= many hours of hands-on labor.


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Erica Howard