“Make Mail Pretty!”

I love, love, love pulling decorated envelopes out of the mailbox, and I can’t remember if I’ve ever used a plain white envelope for personal mail.  I have two bins filled with stickers and a hard drive filled with photographs and other digital art to make sure no one receives a plain envelope from me!   I even make my own envelopes sometimes–thanks to my Cricut and my Martha Stewart Scorer and Envelope Maker.   (I find envelope-making very relaxing when I’ve had a really stressful week).  Even postal workers compliment my decorated envelopes. I secretly hope I’m adding a little sunshine to their day as well.

I receive LOTS of decorated envelopes–and mail art–from swappers.   I admire those who can take a bunch of miscellaneous scraps, cutouts, rubber stamps, postage stamps and stickers and use them to transform a plain envelope into art–into something I want to preserve just as much as what’s on the inside.  Here are some of the decorated envies I’ve received within the last year or two.  Some are recent. Some are not so recent.  They represent the range of decorated envelopes–simple to full blown “mail art.”

“Love Snail Mail”
This is a simple one. The sender used a rubber stamp (or two) and a 3.5 inch floppy label. Do you see how it makes the plain craft envelope pop? Props to swapper Castlequeen for using Romare Bearden postage. I “heart” his work!

Simple. Buggy. Cute.

“Children’s Art”
If I remember correctly, the sender used a sheet of kid art and transformed it into this envelope. This is the front. The next image shows the back. My only “regret” is the label covers the brightly colored girl’s face.


This is the back of the envelope, AKA the girl’s bottom half.

Isn’t this adorable? I have no idea what the penguins are saying! Translation, please.

The back of the penguins envelope. This is also a handmade envelope.


“Paris Airmail”
This is one of my favorites. I appreciate the elegant arrangement of the elements.


This is the back. Love, love, love the texture!

“Purple Cloud and Music Notes”
Even a purple sharpie and deco tape can be used to make a plain envelope beautiful!

“Doodles and Design”
SFreer sent this one. She doodles, stamps and zentangles a beautiful envelope.

Doodles and Design Part 2. This is the back of SFreer’s envelope. Isn’t it charming???

“Dream and Inspire”
SFreer sent this one for me to share with someone else. I doubt I’ll be able to part with it. Believe it or not, she used napkins, word stamps and bling to make this envelope. Beautiful work!

The back of “Dream and Inspire” by SFreer.

“Inspired Elements”
As with most of the mail art I’ve received, I can’t remember who sent this envelope. I recall that the swapper said she used pieces of wallpaper in her design. I also recall that I raided this mail art and used some of the elements in other projects. Oops! Isn’t the literary postage wonderful?

Inspired Elements–the back.

“Autumn Blessings”
This one was designed by swapper Tami. Even the inside of a security envelope becomes a tool for a mail artist.  Gotta love Garfield and Odie!

“Make Mail Pretty”
This envelope, designed by swapper Smmarrty, inspired the blog post. I love the textures and the arrangement of the elements.

The back of “Make Mail Pretty.” Surprisingly, I haven’t peeled off the stickers and used them in something else!

If you’re interested in mail art, do a google search and you’ll find TONS of inspiration.  Don’t be intimidated by the super-duper complicated mail art.  Just do something to make your mail pretty.  Add a sticker.  Use colored pens for the address.  Doodle a flower or a tree. Make the postal workers smile AND brighten someone’s mailbox.

While you’re searching around for mail art inspiration, check out this blog: Friperee(n):Purveyor of Nonsense, Adornments and Other Frivolities.

Happy 12.12.12!

5 thoughts on ““Make Mail Pretty!”

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      Hi Sara! Thanks for leaving a comment. Just send some mail art to a friend or family member. They’ll be tickled pink! And you’ll have fun while making something beautiful! Or you can try swap-bot. That takes care of my mail addiction–www.swap-bot.com. Have a beautiful day!


    • Chandra Lynn says:

      Thank you! YOU are an awesome photographer. I began following your blog today. When I grow up, I want to be like you. As for missing mail, I understand. I joined a swapping community and Postcrossing just to get non-junk mail! Nothing beats writing a letter to a friend or family member though. Send some of your amazing photos to friends and family as postcards. SOMEONE will write back–eventually! Have joy!


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