The holiday season is joyous, but it also brings time constraints and pressures that we don’t deal with during the rest of the year. This month might feel like a bit of a whirlwind, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to prioritize your mental health and let your creativity take the wheel. I propose making bite-sized projects in the form of Christmas mail art — and, to that end, I’ve got plenty of inspiration for you below!
1. Evergreens and Stars Christmas Mail Art
To make this envelope, use three shades of green watercolor and short, curved brush strokes to paint pine boughs. Then, use all-lowercase Kaitlin Style calligraphy and the watercolor calligraphy technique to write your recipient’s address. Finish this gorgeous Christmas mail art by adding different sizes of gold watercolor stars to fill in negative space!
2. Flourished Holiday Tree Mail Art
Is there a classier holiday color scheme than burgundy, gold, and white? To make an envelope like this, start by writing your recipient’s address in a diagonal orientation using gold watercolor. Then, use the remaining space on the right to flourish a holiday tree with white ink. You can learn how to flourish a tree like this one in the TPK Holiday Calligraphy Worksheet 2016 Edition. Finish up by painting different sizes of gold circles on the tree to represent ornaments, then add a postage stamp collage to the upper left part of the envelope.
3. Blown Watercolor Ornaments Envelope
This mail art features mini holiday ornaments with energetic watercolor paint streaks. To make it, use all-lowercase Kaitlin Style calligraphy to write an address diagonally. (Justify everything to the left to save time!) Then, draw the ornaments, and use this technique to fill them in with metallic watercolor paint. Finish up by drawing tiny stars around each ornament.
4. Midcentury Wreath Envelope
While this envelope isn’t explicitly holiday-themed, that luminous wreath evokes the spirit of the season in a low-key way. You can find instructions over how to make it in the (free) Simple Illustrated Wreath Worksheet. Use the wreath to frame a nice, big initial, then use left-justified Kaitlin Style calligraphy and white ink to write the recipient’s address.
5. Snowy + Shimmering Mountains Mail Art
If you prefer a muted color scheme and shimmery snowflakes, try making mail art that celebrates snow and the mountains. This tutorial will teach you how to use iron gall ink and metallic watercolor to make an elegant envelope just like the one pictured above!
6. Surprise Snowflake Medallion Envelope
We usually focus on the front of an envelope with mail art, which is why it’s important to switch things up a little bit! If you’re so inclined, try calligraphing your next envelope with a perfectly lovely Janet Style calligraphy address on the front. Then, add a flourished snowflake medallion (from TPK’s 2017 Edition Holiday Calligraphy Worksheet) to the back!
7. Beautiful Watercolor Fir Wreath Mail Art
This envelope couldn’t be more enjoyable to make: first, you start with waterproof ink to make a wispy fir wreath. Paint over the wreath with green watercolor, add some gold dots, then write the recipient’s address in Janet Style calligraphy and iron gall ink. For detailed instructions (along with a video how-to), see this tutorial.
8. Illustrated Perfume Bottle Envelope
I don’t have a tutorial for this mail art, but I want to share it because its warm colors and motif fit in with the holiday season. The fancy perfume bottle suggests the splurge of a holiday gift, while the spattered yellow and orange tones mimic twinkling lights. Don’t forget to use waterproof ink to make a piece like this, and let the illustration take center stage by keeping the lettering nice and simple (think Sans Serif).
9. Festive Pine Boughs Envelope
Leave it to Phyllis Macaluso, the queen of gorgeous holiday envelopes, to come up with this motif! In her guest tutorial here on TPK, she explains how to make abundant pine boughs that add pizazz to any winter envelope.
10. Vintage Mrs. Claus Christmas Mail Art
This free Mrs. Claus-themed printable mail art is a blast from the past — I designed it in 2013! It features a young Victorian-era Mrs. Claus holding a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. Print the envelope on cream-colored drawing paper and write the address in sepia ink to play up the vintage look.
11. Christmas Tree Mail Art
I’m ending this list the same way I started it: with a fabulous holiday tree-themed mail art motif. Inspired by Phyllis Macaluso’s mail art, this envelope uses white Janet Style calligraphy enveloped in a gold holiday tree with ornaments to make an envelope that radiates holiday cheer. Learn how to make it in the Christmas Tree Holiday Envelope Art Tutorial.
I hope that today’s roundup connects you with a project that you can happily spare a few minutes to make this month. Remember: if you can’t think of anyone to make an envelope for off the top of your head, consider a More Love Letters recipient. Thanks so much for reading, and happy creating!