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how to make mail art from everything

Mail art for an artsy friend! Wanted to share how easy it is to pull together bits of all sorts of things, attach them here + there without a plan and make mail art!

a stack of mail art ready to go, including postcards for hanna's swap

here's the back of the envelope; i started with a large greeting card envelope, cut it smaller and stitched up the sides, then stitched on some papers

the front of the envelope, before adding the address, the right side is the closure flap

here's the back of the envelope decorated with mail art chaos

Two things are pushing this burst of mail art. First, of course, Hanna's swap! And second, I've been reading Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art. Mail art is such a pure and wonderful art form. It is made to give away, sent off to points far and near and appears in a friend's mail box through the magic of the postal service. I think it would be easy to utilize the ideas from this book to transform your art journal into something very wild and free. Get your mind off the end result and just start putting stuff out there.

I like the idea of using handmade stuff and core art materials on mail art. Here's some stuff I used:

fabric tape ☆ graffiti washi tape ☆ machine stitching ☆ coffee stained papers ☆ random drips of acrylic paint ☆ moo stickers ☆ colored washi tape ☆ fabric swatches ☆ random text made from quotes ☆ hand carved eraser stamps ☆

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Reader Comments (6)

Ahh! I love your blog so much and now you've posted about mail art and I love it even MORE!
Mail art is fabulous and it consumes my life! If you haven't already, you should check out MailArt365Project -- , a bunch of us sent a piece a day last year and people are still going!

I love your piece. <3

{Tammy}: Mary, I adore making, receiving and perusing mail art, just so impromptu and funky, really whatever you want it to be {like art journaling in that way}.

03.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I have a different take on mailart. When i first read your post i was okay I've been doing this wrong! I'm fairly new to mailart with about 6 projects or so under my belt. But then i put the breaks on and told my addled brain that mailart can be what ever i want it to be dang it! I use it as a canvas to practice using acrylic paint. I play with paint, learn to relax around paint and send of to parts far and wide. Mail art does not HAVE to be so abstract (face it i just do not have an abstract brain) i can paint a picture on an envelope and mail it. There really is no wrong way and i think thats what your trying to say here. :) So am i in an abstract kind a way. LOL! Hugs! deb

{Tammy}: Deb, We're actually in agreement, aren't we? This is just one of an infinite number of ways you can decorate your art or create mail art. Like art journaling, you can create whatever look and feel you wish, use it as an experimental canvas. I was trying to say that this is one way to make mail art, not the only way to make mail art. I hope that makes sense? I didn't see an email addy, so I hope you will stop back.

03.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

I am a HUGE fan of the book Good Mail Day. You simply cannot read it without getting the mail art bug!! Thanks for sharing your own mail art pieces; I love the idea of cutting away the regular sides of the envelopes and stitching them together.

{Tammy}: Andria, I actually cut up the envelopes to make them smaller - the postcards I made for Hanna's swap were too big for regular envelopes and I was thinking I would wind up paying more postage for the larger envelopes. A happy invention, perhaps.

03.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndria

Fun--always nice to see more mail art. Mary posted a link to your post on my mail art FaceBook page for -- a mostly postal blog too. And Good Mail Day is the best -- we all belong to the Correspondence co-op here in SF and we send mail!

03.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPamelaArts

awesome cards!

{Tammy}: Thanks!!!

03.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenteriamrushmore

I joined Hanna's swap, too. I love the randomness of art like this. I gave up on neatness and symmetry a LONG time ago. It is so much more fun like this! I am in the process of making a lot of fun and funky cards in this manner. Guess I am going to have to decorate the envelopes, too!

03.22.2012 | Unregistered Commentermelanie

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