Friday, July 10, 2009
Art Mail Envelopes
Back in the 90's, I often used to make handmade envelopes. I find creating these envelopes very stimulating! They are unusual, fun, and amusing subjects often appear in your artwork. Even now, I like to use old calendars, larger magazines, thick-paged catalogs, and even use those scrapbook papers that come in those huge paper pads that are just sitting around with not-so-lovely designs.
Envelope milling is a great way to recycle something that otherwise would be tossed aside as trash, but with a keen imagination you can create something "environmentally friendly" and beautiful.
By giving yourself a stash of envelopes that you have carefully made, you will find so many ways and reasons to use them. Can you imagine mailing a letter to a friend in a special envelope that may even bring yourself to correspond the old-fashioned way?
These pink envelopes with note cards were on sale at our local craft store, but these amazing royalty free decorative borders were purchased at Angela Harris' inspirational YourAngil Etsy shop. I love visiting her beautiful blog and her tags are just too cool.
It will be fun to find an old magazine at a garage sale and know that the work of its photographers and illustrators will longer be destined for the trash can. Your envelopes will be enjoyed and admired by you and their lucky recipients.
I have three templates. A note card size, a personal letter size, and then a business letter size. A very useful book called "The Envelope Mill" by Haila Harvey introduced me to this obsession of creating art mail envelopes. I am not sure if it is out of print, but possibly you can find a copy from Amazon or Ebay. Or, just make your own template to plastic.
In her book, she lists more than 50 ways to use your hand-crafted envelopes, including a handmade stationery set, reminder notes, coupon keepers, bank statement holders, recipe mailers, and trading card keepers.
Great magazines to get you started could be Victoria (wish I never threw mine away now), Vanity Fair, Veranda, Vogue, Food & Wine, National Geographic and those gorgeous Neiman Marcus catalogs at Christmas. Once you start making envelopes, the number of subscriptions may suddenly increase! Plus, you may never have to actually buy an real envelope again!
I think it would be fabulous to make a stash of envelopes by making color copies of my favorite magazines. You may need to line the inside to make them sturdier though. I would suggest spray adhesive on two pieces of paper, press the sticky sides together, and then drawing the template design on the two-paper thickness.
With a little pre-planning, I would love to make envelopes from photos of places I have visited, and then mail them from a vacation spot from where I may be sitting! A picture is worth a thousand words, or even a thousand miles.