One of the things I miss about living in an apartment is — surprisingly — paying the rent! Every month presented a new mail art challenge that I was happy to take on, and I found out later that my landlord loved receiving the mail art as much as I enjoyed making it. In this…
After years of renting an apartment, my husband and I purchased a house in Boulder, Colorado, last year. While I love being a homeowner and being able to decorate my office like I want to, I do miss one thing: paying the rent. Every month from mid-2015 to mid-2017, I made mail art envelopes to send to the rental company who managed our apartment. Each mail art envelope contained a check, but that was the only thing they had in common! Today, I’d like to share a collection of 2016’s rent check envelopes, which is the only complete year of photos that I have. They’re fun to look at for inspiration and ideas!
January 2016 – Roses and Swirls Mail Art Envelope
I used Dr. Ph. Martin’s Iridescent Inks (Black Sparkle and Iridescent Gold) to create this envelope! The disadvantage to those inks is they don’t photograph very well, but in “real life” the piece was stunning. It absolutely danced in the light!
February 2016 – Ribbon Envelope
I loved the deep burgundy color of this square envelope, so I decided to contrast it with an orange colored pencil ribbon. White ink is a must for dark paper colors like this one!
March 2016 – Floral Burst Mail Art Envelope
This envelope was inspired by the springtime blooms that start to think about coming up in March. The yellow and red color scheme of the postage stamp helped to influence the predominant colors in the florals!
April 2016 – Flourished Mail Art Envelope
April is normally quite chilly in Colorado, so I have to imagine that this envelope was made at a leisurely pace on a snowy day in!
May 2016 – Shooting Star Mail Art Envelope
Did you know that colored pencils will show up mostly opaque on dark papers? This envelope features block letters and stars filled in with colored pencils.
June 2016 – Mask Mail Art Envelope
This mail art pulls its color scheme from the unique vintage postage stamps on the top! I cut out the geometric strip on the left side from an old magazine and securely glued it onto the envelope.
July 2016 – Climbing Letters Mail Art Envelope
These funky block letters “climb” from the bottom left corner of the envelope to the right. The postage stamps on the right serve to fill up space and complement the blue/white color scheme!
August 2016 – Traveler’s Mail Art Envelope
DIY envelopes are great for when you don’t have a lot of time, but you want to make artistic stationery! This envelope art utilized a map that I picked up in Brazil during my July 2016 travels.
September 2016 – Mountain Mail Art Envelope
This envelope’s inspiration comes from the Rocky Mountains, which you can see from most of Boulder. Instead of watercolors, I used McCaffery’s iron gall ink, which gives the piece a more muted, antique look!
October 2016 – Witch + Vampire Mail Art Envelope
Because … Halloween! Halloween envelopes are some of my favorites because you can explore ghastly yet playful themes. I love the vampire in this piece; his observant silhouette is so creepy!
November 2016 – Harvest Colors Mail Art Envelope
To me, November calls to mind colorful leaves, orange pumpkins, and yellow wheat. I ran with that color scheme to make November’s envelope!
December 2016 – Pine Bough Mail Art Envelope
This envelope relies on watercolor calligraphy to tie its colors together! You can spot two different shades of green within the letters and the pine branches.
You may wonder what the landlord thought of these envelopes. For a long time, I had no idea! I just sent the mail art every month, and I considered it to be a fun creative challenge. Then, one day, I received an email from him with a photo attached. Here’s what that photo was:
As it turns out, the landlord looked forward to receiving the mail art every month, and he enjoyed sharing it with his colleagues as well. When I notified him that we had purchased a home and would be moving, he was devastated! I don’t think he minded so much that the apartment would be vacant — it’s easy to find tenants in Boulder — but he realized that meant an end to the mail art. It just goes to show: you never know who will appreciate your time and talent!
I hope that you enjoyed this little collection, and that one of the pieces serve to inspire you next time you decide to decorate some snail mail. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your week!