Monday, July 6, 2015

Mail Art

It's always fun to get a package in the mail.  It's even nicer to receive a brightly decorated package.  The first time that I encountered "mail art" was while leafing through Sommerset Studio magazine.  The editor published some of the creative packaging the magazine received containing art submissions.   At the time, I was sending so many packages to Connecticut that I thought it might be nice for Brittany to see a brightly decorated box on her door step after a long day on campus.  The decorated package was an instant hit, she loved it and so did her neighbors, her room mate and the UPS driver.  I reached for a plain shipping envelope to enclose a small box containing a gift card,  but I couldn't bring myself to place the contents inside this boring envelope.  Maybe it's time to revive mail art.

For the past few nights I had been trying to work art into my busy schedule.  I bought a copy of Dyan Reaverly's  Distictly Dylusional art journaling book, some Dylusions spray inks, stamps and the Dylusions journal and had been working my way through the book.  As I finished up my first entry in this new journal I decided to use the left over stamped flowers in the mail art.

Dylusions Journal Entry

I squirted some light blue DecoArt craft paint on the envelope in several places and spread it out with an old gift card.  Next I added some dark blue, and then purple paint creating a marbled effect as I spread the paint out.  I found a Chat Noir cut out in the "Pandora's Box" of die cuts and decorative elements. I glued the cat and the flowers to the envelope and added a decorative border (with a quote from Shakespeare on the inside of the border) for the address label.  Once the label is attached to the envelope the design area will be covered with clear contact paper to protect it during shipping. Hopefully this decorated package will brighten everyone's day.

Chat Noir Shipping Envelope

Directions for Decorated Shipping Envelope:

8x10 Padded Shipping Envelope
DecoArt light blue, purple and dark blue craft paint
Used GiftCard
Dylusions Flower Stamps
Color Box Chalk Ink-black
Dylusions Acrylic Block
Chat Noir Die Cut- SVG Cuts Maple Manor
Black and yellow card stock
Black Sharpie Marker-regular and fine point
White Gel Pen
Prisma Colored Pencils
Strathmore Bristol Paper
Clear Contact Paper or Shipping Tape

1.  Stamp several sizes of flowers on the Bristol paper using the black ink.

2.  Color the flowers with the colored pencils using colors that will stand out against the blue background.  Carefully cut the white paper away from the flowers petals.

3.  Cut Chat Noir at the given SVG Cuts file dimensions, out of black card stock.  Glue a small scrap of yellow card stock behind the opening for the cat's eyes.

4.  Randomly squirt light blue paint over the surface of the envelope and spread with the gift card.  Squirt dark blue paint over the surface and swirl with the gift card.  Repeat with the purple paint. Set aside to dry.

5.  Glue Chat Noir the left side of the envelope.  Use the journaling block to add a scalloped border the right side of the envelope.  The border should be large enough to attach and address label later.

6.  Add doodles or Zentangles to the inside of the border, with the black Sharpie marker.  Use the white gel pen to highlight to doodles.  Use a fine point black Sharpie to add a quote around the inside of the border.

7.  Glue the flowers randomly around the envelope, leave room for the postage in the upper right.

8.  Outline Chat Noir and the flowers with the white gel pen.  Add the cat's pupils and whiskers with the black Sharpie.

9.  Cover with clear contact paper or shipping to protect the design.