I do my best not to buy too much stuff from the big corporations. If you want to know why, read this post here. Rather than buying premade packaging materials, I have been making my own froom scavenged/leftover materials. Envelopes from unwanted scrapbook paper. Parcels from old cardboard boxes. Last year, as I shipped off increasing amounts of artwork to you all, I ended up having to become more and more creative with my packaging, as the materials I had on hand dwindled.
Paula would gaffer-tape together a cardboard package for me, and I'd look at it and think how utterly scrappy it looked, and cast around for leftover bits of art to tape over it. I ended up making a box of leftover paper from books, failed printouts, unused photocopies, old wrapping paper and whatever else was lying around the house, and then I used them to cover the highly unattractive boxes. This turned out to be one of the nicest parts of my day, as I'd lose myself in cutting and pasting. It wasn't high art. It was just something to make the package look a bit more presentable, and to hopefully result in a happy surprise in the letterbox the day it arrived. Me, when I get something nice in the mail, I often stick the packaging or stamps in my journal. I tried to make my packages somewhat journal-worthy.
It wasn't until I found a book in the library about mail art that I realised that was what I was doing. Mail art! I LOVE mail art! Simply by giving a name to what I've been doing all year, the book has inspired me to take it to a whole new level. Actually I was also inspired by a few recipients who said they were framing my packaging. Gulp! I thought I'd better lift my game. Though really, the joy of the packages is that there's no pressure. They are just fun with paper and scissors and rubber stamps and pretty tape.
As a part of my mission to get prepared earlier for sales in 2015, I spent some of my holidays making pretty envelopes. The volume of stuff I send now has surpassed my ability to make indiviidual envelopes for each order, but at least I can take those boring envelopes from the post office and make them look interesting. Some of them get a quick spray with a stencil. Some get a rubber stamp. And some of them, my very favourites, I really went to town with.
And here’s the backs of them:
These ones I'm happy to frame. And I think they'll look really lovely once postage stamps, postmarks and an address have been added. Rough them up a bit with some postal handling, and they'll be positively divine. I've got a nice little pile of these extra-gorgeous envelopes on my desk, and I'm ready to send them to you, with your name and address written on the front in my very best handwriting.
If you'd like to get one of these, here's what to do. Go to my Etsy shop and buy a piece of jewelllery, a zine or a colouring book, and with your order, ask me really nicely for one of my frameable art envelopes. It's just until they run out so you'll need to be quick. You could even be really nice and tell me why you love my art...