MAIL ART: Mail Art is a unique and fun way to send a letter or a box. There is nothing inside the item; the outside is the gift and it is created with your own special "form of art."
Several weeks ago, I took an online class called "Mail Art." ( Check out the site:http://theartofaltering.ning.com. ) They offer very affordable classes and you will learn some amazing ways to create some art. Mind you, I can't draw or paint, but you don't have to do either one of these, to create these mailable pieces of art.
I just started with sticky back canvas, and started collaging different items. I copied old pictures and reduced them to size. I also tore paper, distressed it and glued it down. There are no rules and the fun of it is , you get to personalize it exactly for the recipient of the card. The first picture is the night my husband and I got engaged. (he had hair back then!)
The other picture is one of my favorite. One Christmas we decided to do "home-made" gifts and it was the best Christmas ever. My sister in law, Carol, made us all our own aprons.
Ephemera is great to use on these cards. It just takes little bits and pieces, and it helps add interest.
I found some old sheet music out of a piano book that was about 100 years old and copied some of the music. You can find song titles that fit the person you are sending it to.
I wrote little "buzz words" that only the recipient and I share, and have special meanings between the two of us. I slipped them through out the pages.
Other items I used were gesso, glitter, and rubber stamps. Really, the sky is the limit and there is no right or wrong way to create these gifts!
I sometimes save old cards and I cut out focal features and glue them on the mail art; like the tree shown here in the picture. I then added glitter and pearlized paints. Rub-ons (the little x's and dashes) work really well on these items, as long as you "modge-podge" over it.
Since these will be actually be going thru the mail, you have to have areas for the addresses. I used white gesso to make address boxes and a white gel pen to embellish them. I sealed them with modge podge after the addresses were added, so the weather would not smear them. You will also have to ask the post office to "hand cancel" these cards.
My little sister used to wear those "pointy" glasses and she hated them. This was a perfect opportunity to not only use this picture on the collage, but I made sure her picture was accentuated by circling it and adding an arrow. That way, everyone in the postal service was able to enjoy this lovely picture.
You can also sew on these cards. Just use a real sturdy needle and wider stitches. I added bits of lace and when they were completed, I folded the canvas in half and sewed around the edges.
Liquid pearls is a fun product to add to get a flat back pearl look without adding the bulk of plastic pearls.
I really encourage you all to make some of these. They could be your Christmas card and gift rolled into one.
When I took my "Mail Art" to the post office, the employees had never seen anything like them. Just think, as these go thru the different post offices, your gift is blessing everyone on it's way to it's final destination. Just a little tip- if they are perfectly square, it costs more. I have no idea why. Mine measured around 5x5. They cost me a dollar per card in postage, but it's worth the smiles they will bring on postal workers and my relatives!