Creative Challenge | Mail Art
DAY THREE of 2019 SLAMSEYS CREATIVE SUMMER CHALLENGE
Who doesn’t love the surprise of getting a handwritten envelope amongst the bills and junk mail? Writing a letter, putting it in the envelope, finding a stamp and a postbox is time consuming but, for the recipient far more memorable than an email or text. Letters are treasured and kept safe; postcards are pinned up and admired. Handwriting, the choice of paper, even the smell when the envelope is opened are personal and revealing; perhaps we send a little of ourself each time.
THE CHALLENGE IS:
TO CREATE SOME MAIL ART …
… and send it someone to make them smile.
Mail Art (or Post Art) can be anything that’s small enough to be posted: postcards, decorated envelopes, notecards and notelets, letters, fold & send letters, small folded booklets, maps, tickets, altered teabags … Read this article for a comprehensive description.
Here are some suggestions for mail art that you create and send.
Postcards are easy to make because they’re nothing more complicated than a piece of card with something printed, painted, scribbled, collaged or manipulated on one side with a short message and address on the other. Use plain card (200gsm minimum), index cards, fabric, packaging, photographs, playing cards … Pop them in an envelope if they’re bendy (like the fabric one above made by Elizabeth) or you’ve stuck lots of ‘bits’ on. Otherwise, post them as they are and let the postman enjoy them too.
If you’d like to know more about artists and postcards, read about The British Museum’s exhibition The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard
FOLD & SEND LETTERS
Fold & Send Letters are like old-fashioned flimsy airmail folded letters. Once written, they’re folded and sealed becoming letter and envelope in one. There’s more space to write than on a postcard but not so much space that you need to write too much. Use these instructions for making your own Fold & Mail Letter from a sheet of A4 paper.
Envelopes are so easy to make, it seems a shame to use boring plain ones. They’re an excellent way to use paper left over from printing and craft projects or you can create your own designs from plain paper. If you’d like to make envelopes, read our tutorial How to Make Paper Envelopes, which includes an envelope template.
If you need some inspiration, take a look at the amazing Mail Art at Naomi Loves (whose work is pictured above).
If you’re decorating an envelope, it’s important to leave a clear zone of 5mm around the address block with no text or pattern. I find it easiest to stick a label onto the envelope if I’m using decorated paper but you can incorporate it in your design if you’re creating your envelope from scratch.
FOR MORE MAIL ART IDEAS
Do let us know what you’re creating in this year’s Challenge. Leave a comment below (with a link if you’re sharing online) or tag @Slamseys in Instagram.