Whenever I need a relaxing break, I turn to mail art. I love that mail art provides a project with specific parameters: write a legible address and apply sufficient postage. This past week, I tucked into making five different calligraphy mail art envelopes to get some quality “me-time”. My eight-month-old is teething, and she’s been a little grouchy, with dicey and interrupted nights. Creating the envelopes featured in today’s article has helped me to get through it with my sanity intact! I hope that you enjoy seeing what I came up with, and that you’re inspired to make your own creative mail art this weekend.
1. Guilty Pleasure Mail Art
I started working on this envelope last week as an excuse to play with my composition ruler. To make the lettering, I followed the steps outlined in Nico Ng’s How to Make a Stunning Lettering Layout tutorial. Once I finished, I only applied one postage stamp to help keep the focus on the design.
This mail art concept was time-consuming, but it was satisfying to see all the letters and embellishments come together. I thoroughly enjoyed working on it, and it was a struggle to get myself to stop!
2. Vintage Banner Calligraphy Mail Art
Does this concept look familiar? That’s because you might have seen it last year in The Ultimate Vintage Banner Illustration Tutorial. That was such a fun project that I decided to revisit it for this piece of mail art. The components are simple: iron gall ink with a touch of gold watercolor. This calligraphy mail art has two postage stamps on it, both for aesthetic purposes and to pay the non-machinable envelope charge for the wax seal on the back.
3. Starry Banner Embellished Envelope
To make this envelope, I used my 5″ composition ruler to draw a banner, which features the recipient’s name written in George Style lettering. Since there’s some watercolor here, I used (waterproof) Ziller ink to create all the lettering and the calligraphy. Then, I went over the banner with yellow ochre watercolor and added in some stars and dots to the rays above the banner.
4. Vintage Postage Calligraphy Envelope
The focus of this envelope is pretty calligraphy. I just felt like using iron gall ink to make nice, clean calligraphy with white ink reinforcement strokes. Then, once the calligraphy was finished, I relied on postage stamps with mellow color schemes to add visual interest.
To make envelopes like this one, I like to use the guidelines templates from the Marvelous Mail eBook. In that eBook, you’ll find three templates that helps you write the recipient’s name a little larger than the rest of the address.
5. Star Rays Calligraphy Mail Art
This simple mail art was created on fancy handmade cotton paper. It takes a while to write on paper that has so much tooth, but the result is well worth it! I used white ink to write Dr. Lunn’s address in wavy Kaitlin Style calligraphy, then I added in little white rays with gold watercolor stars and accent dots.
What Goes Inside These Envelopes?
These envelopes were created to house notes of gratitude for students who filmed a video testimonial for the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course. I recently found some Frida Kahlo cards at my local paperie, and I wanted to pair them with pretty envelopes. Thus, the envelopes featured in today’s post came to be!
When you invest so much time and creativity into making artistic envelopes, it’s important to protect your work. You can bet that I treated all of these mail art pieces with MicroGlaze to ensure no smudging or water damage. It takes a little bit of extra time, but the insurance is worth it!
Whether you’ve got a teething baby or not, this is when the year starts to get really hectic. It’s a lot of coordinating itineraries, figuring out gifts, and planning meals and get-togethers. While it’s a joyous time of year, it can all be a little much! If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, try making a mail art envelope. Seriously. It’s amazing how much one little project that you make for someone else can make such a big difference. If you don’t have someone to send something to (a thank you card, a birthday card), you can send a note to a More Love Letters recipient.
I hope that you enjoyed my little calligraphy mail art showcase! I still have a couple more envelopes left to make, so you’ll likely notice photos of those in the coming weeks. Thanks so much for reading, and have a fabulous Halloween weekend!