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.

Have fun!!



Debra said...

These are lovely Nancy. It would be a treat to receive mail in one of these pretty envelopes.

Terri said...

These are wonderful. I too use to make my own envelopes out of old calanders. Nothing quite as nice as these. I Love to recycle. It'll be eye candy for the one getting these and for the postal carrier who delivers them. Sweet!

Robin said...

hi Nancy! wow, the book, the envelope mill, sounds wonderful. i love working with paper! and i love the ones you made here... so creative and pretty. thanks for stopping by my blog. i am going to spend some time at yours, now... have a wonderful weekend. --robin

Daydreamer :) said...

Those are beautiful envelopes, Nancy!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a wonderful idea! I love your blog!

Teena in Toronto said...

So nice!

Happy blogoversary!

whymsicalmusings said...

Oh my Nancy these are just so lovely! So inspiring! I have never been very good at making envelopes but after viewing yours I do believe I should try again:)

Sending you a BIG HUG!!! Dear Friend.

Nancy said...

Hi Nance: I just read that today ( Sunday the 12th) is your blog anniversary. Happy day to you. You have such a wonderfil blog and I enjoy reading it to see what creative things you are doing. I love the green idea of making your own envelopes. I used to decorate my envelopes, until I asked a friend, my best friend, if she liked the envelope. She said she hadn't even noticed the envelope. Maybe I should try again.

Lori said...

Nancy, what an amazing idea...your envelopes are gorgeous!!!