I’ve had posts before about making your own envelopes using colouring books, as well as decorating your envelopes using colouring books, and if you’re not a fan of colouring books (why aren’t you?), I had other ways of decorating envelopes, but I thought I’d do yet another post on simple ways to make your mail look nice because, well, why not! If you’re just starting out with decorating your envelopes, it can be hard to know where to start and even a bit intimidating – I know I felt that way when I saw the gorgeous mail art on YouTube and Instagram.
But rest assured, it’s not too hard to make really nice looking mail to brighten up someones day so here’s three simple ideas for you to try.
First off, let me introduce the envelopes. A while back, I got this lovely set of notecards in TK Maxx (only cost me €3!). They have these really colourful vintage prints on them but unfortunately, the envelopes in the set are boring, plain white ones. If I’m to send these notecards out, I need to remedy that!
The first technique up for decorating – just use washi tape. Yes, it’s as simple as that. A little bit of washi tape can go a long way!
What I like to do when using washi tape to decorate an envelope is pick at least two tapes that go well together – in this case, I’m using tapes that came in a set together to get a vintage look going – and I just lay down strips of alternating tape. It’s that easy. You can put tape on the back as well but I tend not to do that.
Your obviously going to need some labels for your envelopes so you have a clean space to write your address. In this case, I had some vintage looking airmail style labels that I thought might look good against the tapes. They’re fairly small so I layered them up to give me enough space to write an address. I did my best to pair what stamps I had with the envelope and once I’m ready to send this off, I can seal it all shut with the floral sticker, ready to put a smile on someones face!
Here are some other washi tape envelopes I’ve done:
As you can see, for the first one I went with a colour theme of black and white and laid down a strip of each washi tape design I had to fit while for the second I had a more eclectic purple and blue theme going and the third using as same vintage tapes as the one above.
The next simple envelope decorating technique involves more of that vintage floral sticker above.
All I did here was cover the front of the envelope using a random selection of stickers. Being a very busy background, you’re going to need a sticky label for the address so here I used a plain white one as it was all I had and given the flower theme of the envelope, I matched it with some flower stamps.
For the card above, I stuck the stickers down in line with each other to create three rows, although when decorating another envelope, I offset them a little…like what you see in brick work, and I think it looks better this way.
I also had another set stickers that were vintage advertisements. They were a mix of portrait and landscape orientation so I had to work with arranging them but they look great – nice and bright!
Here’s another envelope I decorated months ago using pretty address stickers:
Basically, if you’ve got lots of stickers and labels you’re not sure what to do with, use them to decorate your envelopes. As long as you have some white address labels on hand, you can have as busy a background as you want.
The final envelope decorating method I have for this post involves a bit more than just stickers or tape but it’s still a really simple thing do to.
I have this collection of images I’ve cut out from magazines. Sometimes I use the pictures in my journaling, but really this bag has been gathering dust in the corner of my room. There’s some really nice images there though and so the thought popped into my head to use some of them to decorate my mail.
I had a rummage through and eventually selected this image of a castle tower which happened to fit nicely on my envelope once I roughly cut it out.
I was going to leave it at that but I thought the white background against the grey stone looked a bit dull so on a whim, I decided to paint the envelope blue so that there would be a blue sky behind the tower.
I used my watercolours to paint the envelope, obviously not the best option of paint as the envelope didn’t like all that water but it was all I had so I made it work and just left it to dry a bit before sticking the image down and this is what I ended up with:
The image came from a free promotional magazine about Limerick City so adding a Limerick postcard seemed right and as a random extra, I added the piece of information about walking tours in Limerick that was underneath the image because sometimes it’s nice to connect the content of the envelope to how it looks on the outside.
But that’s it today for my simple mail art techniques. I hope they’ve been of use to someone out there and have shown you how simple it can be to make lovely mail – there’s no need to be intimidated! These techniques look great and have the added benefit of being really quick. They only take a few minutes each.
Let me know which of these techniques is your favourite and if you have any tips for mail art, do share!
Now, go make some mail art!