As someone who creates wedding calligraphy, I am always devastated to put gorgeous handwritten place cards, menus, table numbers, etc. into a remarkably unremarkable priority mail box for shipping to the bride. Priority mail flat rate boxes can be great to ship in because of their unwavering price regardless of weight, but let’s face it: they’re boring.
This is a dilemma that I have pondered over the past few months, and finally the obvious answer came to me: decoupage. Here, I will show you how I easily transformed a plain priority mail flat rate box into a lovely vessel for wedding calligraphy. Of course, you could (and should!) use this technique for any occasion. I can’t think of one friend of mine who wouldn’t appreciate the extra effort, and I am sure you can say the same.
Priority mail boxes are free at the post office. Pick up a few small flat rate boxes next time you are there! I always have a couple on hand. They come unassembled, which is perfect for decoupaging.
First, paint any adhesive you like onto the inside (brown side) of the box. It is important to paint it on (as opposed to liberally squirting and calling it good) to keep paper bubbling at a minimum. A spray adhesive may be even more ideal.
Next, choose a material that you would like to decoupage onto the box. I have chosen two pages from a vintage atlas. Vintage book pages are romantic and work well, but some matte wrapping paper would be pretty, too. Got fabric? Even better! Press your material against the glue-drenched side of the box and allow it to dry a bit.
After you complete this step, turn the box over (commercial white side), take a hobby knife or scissors, and trim off the paper that is not glued to the brown side. Use these scraps to cover any areas of the brown side that the material couldn’t reach (in my case it was a couple of tabs).
To add a special touch to my packaging, and because the packaging was going to contain materials for a wedding, I decided to watercolor a heart on the top flap. I placed a stencil I had made before over the flap, like so…
… and filled it with orange and red ombre-style watercolor:
After I watercolored the heart on, I sprayed it with matte finish just to be sure none of it would rub off on the calligraphy I had spent hours making. Also, on either side of the box, there are slits that the tabs on the left and right side of the top flap fit into. You’ll need to cut slits in the paper covering these slits (it’s easy with a knife or hobby knife) so the tabs can slide right in.
And that’s it! If you have found creative ways to make mail a little more fun to receive, please comment below. I love discovering new ideas and techniques!