Friday, October 29, 2010

October Creativity Challenge - Mail Art

We're getting close to the end of the month so I figured I'd better show you some of what I've done in response to A Creative Dreamer's "Mail Art" challenge.

I've used stickers to embellish my letters and envelopes for years. Not a lot, mind you, but just enough to add interest. The concept of mail art goes way beyond that. Folks are not only making their own envelopes or other mailing containers, they're taking envelopes apart, painting and drawing and sticking things to them and then sewing them back together! In fact, you should go check out what June has done. :- )

My first attempt was to decorate this Priority Mail envelope that had already been stuffed with scraps for a swap and sealed shut. I knew it would be tricky to work on that soft, unstable surface. I'm not much for drawing either (as you probably know by now if you are a loyal reader).

Eventually I had a stroke of genius. I went down to our Visitor's Center and picked up a bunch of the color brochures that promote the various sights and events in our area. That provided me with lots of beautiful color pictures to use.

It turned out more like a photo album page than anything else but I thought the recipients might enjoy a glimpse of what's around here. If you look closely you may see that I used chalk pastels to add color around the photographs. I went over this whole side of the bag with clear packing tape to keep the pictures from ripping off and to keep the chalk in place (although it seemed to take to the surface of the envelope pretty well). I also used a few stickers - some fun Halloween stickers on the address side of the envelope.

I had another opportunity to dress up an envelope last week. This time I thought to do the decorating before I filled the envelope but I was kind of stuck as to what to do. This is what I came up with:

My hands weren't real steady that day. The 'stitching' is a little wonky and the pockets are obviously off kilter. Still, it was fun.

I had yet another envelope to send out this week. It was just a regular business envelope, plain white. It looked so stark and naked! I got out my colored pencils and just shaded around the delivery address, giving it some fall color. I put a seasonal sticker on the back and shaded around it too. No pictures to share with you, but I'll bet it's one of the prettier pieces in the system at the moment!


  1. LOL... oh Sue, we may have started something here... I sent my mail art out yesterday, and have a couple more things I need to mail in the next few days, and I was thinking the same thing... "how boring and dull this envelope is"... I think I may even doodle on my utility envelopes. I drop them off here locally in the "drop payment" boxes, but wouldn't it be interesting to get something all decorated up in one?

    I love what you did... can't wait to see what everyone else has done too!

  2. Now why didn't I think of that?
    Glad you did. How fun!

  3. What great ideas Sue! Love what you've shown and the idea of what you didn't. Why not? About time something interesting happened on those plain white envelopes! Hugs, Finn


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