Saturday, February 22, 2014

hand-painted envelopes

It was great fun to put these very pretty little envelopes in the mail today, like a party in my mailbox. Inside these envelopes are leftover postcards that I printed for project 52 two weeks ago:

As I mentioned here, I was curious if anyone wanted the leftovers. I wasn't likely to send them myself (I mean, sure, eventually I would have used them, but I'm more interested these days in using things up and clearing out the scraps and leftovers than hanging onto them). Two of my facebook friends asked to claim them. I wanted to be sure that they could actually use/send the postcards if they wanted, so this meant packing them up and mailing them.

The problem was, I didn't have any 4X6" envelopes in which to mail them. I asked my husband to pick some up for me on his way home from work one night. He agreed, but as he looked in vain for them, he asked me over the phone, "Why do you need to buy these, anyway? Can't you just make some?" "You know, you're right," I said. "Okay, I'll just make some."

Of course, on Friday, when I started to think about making envelopes, I started thinking about really MAKING envelopes ... as in, making them unique and special and fun and pretty ... as in, hand-painted envelopes! Of course! And why not?

I printed out a free 4X6" envelope template from here (and in case this information is useful, a 4X6" envelope is an A4 size).

I centered the template on two pages torn from my 12X16" sketchbook (so I had a bit more paper to work with; I wanted larger flaps so I'd have a larger glue-able area when I assembled the envelope, just for that extra sturdiness and reinforcement).

I scored and folded the edges, then unfolded it and set about painting the envelopes with large abstract flowers in acrylic paint. It was fun, and the perfect activity for my Friday afternoon combination of physical exhaustion (I've been working out regularly and not sleeping well of late; the combination left me drained by Friday) and rainy weather.

I let both of the envelopes dry in front of heating vents for a little while, then folded them up and glued them using acid-free bookbinder's glue. Of course, you could just use tacky glue or even Elmer's glue. Just take the time to spread the glue (with a brush or your fingers - I used my fingers) evenly over the areas to be glued, and to wipe away excess so it doesn't squish out of the edges and accidentally glue the sides of your envelope shut.

 After gluing, I pressed my envelopes between two heavy books (I always use my hardbound editions of the complete works of Shakespeare ... no disrespect to the Bard, but they're the heaviest books I own!) for a couple of hours to help flatten out any warping caused by the painting. And there they are! Aren't they pretty? I've got to do this again sometime; it really make the mail feel special - though I suppose these days, just getting any mail at all feels pretty special, doesn't it?


Oranges and Apples said...

these are GORGEOUS!

fleur_delicious said...

thanks, Franca! How are you these days? I need to get back on flickr; I miss my colorful remixing community.