Monday, February 18, 2013

Making Envelopes: Hello Friend!

I don't know why, but all of a sudden I have this fascination with handmade envelopes.  It could be due to all the wonderful mail I have been getting from LetterMo participants over the past week (I'll show those in another post), or it could just be because this is an easy way for me to be creative -- and I'm always looking for easy and quick ways to be creative.

Either way, I have been experimenting with making envelopes out of scrapbooking paper, which is fun.  But it can also be problematic if the scrapbooking paper is too thick -- it makes folding difficult and it also makes the envelope heavier than it needs to be (although VERY protective!!).  So I have been thinking about making envelopes out of regular printer/copier paper.

I hadn't gotten very far on that idea, however, when I also started experimenting with the Slow Journaling technique as presented on Daisy Yellow's awesome art blog.  I did a page in my journal and was so pleased with the result that I suddenly had a brainstorm to do the same thing with some envelope art -- and came up with this:

There's a blotch at the bottom of the page, but I left it rather than redo the whole thing, because it's unlikely that that part would ever get onto a meaningful part of a finished envelope.

I scanned it not only to have a record of what it looked like before I folded it up into an envelope and mailed it, but because it occurred to me that I might not want to take the time to do this every time I wanted to send out a letter.  (It didn't take forever to do this, and it was certainly a relaxing, semi-mindless activity, but it doesn't jibe with the whole "easy and quick" creativity thing.)  So since this is a scan, and even though the resolution on the image above might not be great, the original is very high resolution, and I can print it out to my heart's content and make this over and over again:

Pretty cool, if I do say so myself!  Slap a label and a stamp on that thing, and you've got instant mail art!  Someone will be seeing this in their mailbox soon, I'd be willing to bet.


  1. I really like this idea, Randall, and I think your completed envelope looks great! Now that you have your pattern scanned, you can do things like adjust the colour and size each time you print it out, so that even though you're using the same image, you can still make it a little bit different.

  2. Wow, this is cool, I read the post you linked to and I really like the concept of slow journaling. And your envelope looks great, what better to decorate mail with than words? :)

  3. Glad you both like it! The thing I like best about this is that it's completely open-ended and I can make lots and lots of variations easily.

  4. Very nice! :) I make duplicates of my scanned pieces. I learned the hard way. B&W is nice too because you end up with lovely grays. Am willing to bet you have gray ink. ;)

  5. Limner, I certainly do! I will have to try that sometime.

  6. I'm excited to see your post! Your envelope is great :)
    I love making envelopes by hand :) Perhaps it's time to add you to my mail art list?!