• The Ultimate Funky Envelope Art Tutorial

    If you’re looking for a quick art project that will make someone’s day, try this funky envelope art tutorial! As long as you’ve got a watercolor palette and a fabulous postage stamp or two, you’re all set to go.

    The Ultimate Funky Envelope Art Tutorial

    There are some design concepts that I can’t help but return to using time and time again. This funky envelope art is one of them! It’s pretty simple: write out the recipient’s address in a cool lettering style. Then, use watercolor and a gel pen to make vibrant color magic that complements the postage stamps on the piece! Here’s exactly how to go about it:

    1. Choose a Postage Stamp Combination

    First, find a good white envelope that will withstand moisture (Cards & Pockets is a great choice)! Then, pick out a postage stamp (or postage stamps) with a defined and dramatic color combination; in this case, I chose red, blue, and purple. Go ahead and affix the postage to your envelope so you can reference the colors in it as you work.

    Funky Postage Stamps
    For more information about where to order cool postage stamps online, see How to Make a Stunning Postage Stamp Collage.

    2. Write the Recipient’s Name

    Now, use George Style lettering to write the recipient’s name. Fill in your letters with various sizes of circles instead of the traditional George Style diagonal lines.

    Writing the Recipient's Name in George Style Lettering
    I like using a black Energel pen to create the lettering for this piece. I find it much easier to hand-letter with a gel pen than a dip pen!

    3. Calligraph the Recipient’s Address

    This funky envelope art will benefit from a touch of elegance in the form of a neatly calligraphed address! I used the Perfect Calligraphy Envelope Generator to ensure consistently-spaced pencil guidelines and slant lines.

    Calligraphing the Address
    You can find the Perfect Calligraphy Envelope Generator here (it’s free)!

    Once you’ve drawn guidelines, use them to write an address in pretty Janet Style calligraphy. Be sure to add some flourish for good measure.

    Funky Envelope Art
    Sumi ink is a great choice for writing the address. Its deep black tone is a near exact match for the Energel pen.

    4. Add Watercolor

    For this part, you’ll need to work quickly and put on your “abstract artist” hat! First, moisten the colors of watercolor that appear in your stamps. For me, that’s red, purple, and blue — and I also moistened a bit of Finetec silver! Then, use a large brush (size 6 or so) to paint a stroke of clean water on the lower left side of your envelope. Before the water dries, apply one color of paint to your brush, and touch the brush to the water. The color should bloom out across the water.

    Adding Watercolor to Funky Envelope Art

    Continue to paint clean water on the envelope, then apply different colors to that water. The result should look something like the envelope below:

    Watercolor on Funky Envelope Art
    It’s okay if your envelope changes texture where you apply the watercolor. Any envelope will have some sort of reaction to this amount of moisture!

    5. Draw “Bubbles”

    Once your watercolor has completely dried, use your gel pen to draw various sizes of connected bubbles in a random formation.

    Drawing Bubbles on Funky Envelope Art

    Continue to add to the formation, using it to hug the contours of one of the watercolor spikes.

    Drawing Bubbles on Funky Envelope Art

    Add several groups of bubbles until the envelope art has a nice balance of watercolor and bubbles. Once you’re satisfied with the balance, you’re finished!

    The Ultimate Funky Envelope Art Tutorial

    Funky Envelope Art Color Scheme Examples

    I normally only use any given mail art motif once. But this funky envelope art concept has had me delighted for years! I’ve used it on quite a few envelopes, always corresponding my watercolors with the colors in the postage stamps that I’m using. Here are two examples:

    Abstract Watercolor Bubbles Creative Envelope | The Postman's Knock
    The eclectic, colorful stamps help to make this envelope art shine.
    Watercolor Mail Art | The Postman's Knock
    Notice that this envelope uses Kaitlin Style calligraphy and only one postage stamp. It still has a fabulous effect!

    Whether you’re a seasoned envelope art pro or just experimenting with decorating your mail, this is a fabulous tutorial to try! I hope that you’ll feel free to modify it to suit your personal style and the postage stamps that you have on hand. Enjoy, and have a fantastic weekend!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock