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Mail Art for Beginners

Launch gallery slideshow

Mail Art for Beginners
Swap Coordinator:angellarae (contact)
Swap categories: Letters & Writing  Paper Crafts  Mail Art 
Number of people in swap:229
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:August 31, 2011
Date items must be sent by:September 15, 2011
Number of swap partners:1

If you're like me, you love to get letters in your mailbox... But the envelope is just as exciting to me as the letter is!

For this swap, you will send a little Mail Art love to one partner. And we're going to focus more on the envelope than what's inside, though you should enclose something... a letter, a card, stickers, a bookmark. It'd be nice to check out your partners profile and see what they'd like. : ) And you may even start a lovely pen pal friendship!

Now, on to the envelope... Be creative! Decorate it however you'd like, but really put forth some effort. You can draw, paint, stamp, paste... Pick a theme, or be totally random. The possibilities are endless! And don't feel intimidated... This is for beginners, after all! :)

Receivers, please don't be picky. If they put forth the effort, rate them accordingly. And please don't flake... nothing is sadder than opening an empty mailbox.

You'll have two weeks from when the swap closes to get it sent out. This swap is open for everyone, so join and have fun!! : )

P.S. If we do have any flakers, I'll be happy to angel...


FarStarr 08/ 5/2011 #

Can non-beginners play too??? :)

angellarae 08/ 5/2011 #

Of course! :)

flowerlady57 08/11/2011 #

This should be fun, I made my first mail art last week and thought it was fun. Like to try may hand at it again. I'll do my best :)

Adventurer 08/11/2011 #

I'm interested in this swap but as I always like to work with my partners profile I see that at least one swapper in this swap has nothing written on theirs. The swap does suggest looking at your partners profile so I think everyone should have a well filled profile and that goes for anyone to swap at any time.

flowerlady57 08/12/2011 #

I have my profile done now. Thank you for letting me know I needed to do that.

Desiree1962 08/14/2011 #

Can I join?

MusicalTheatreDork 08/14/2011 #

I have joined I am so excited! I would love to start swapping!

MusicalTheatreDork 08/14/2011 #

How do we start swapping! >_< I am pumped!

lorepuckett 08/15/2011 #

@MusicalTheatreDork , partners will be assigned randomly by the swap host after the last day to signup/drop, which for this swap is August 31. Welcome to swap-bot! ;)

grandmaroro 08/19/2011 #

I love enthusiastic newbies. Welcome to the greatest thing to happen to the Web. I want to play too.

spencersmom 08/21/2011 #

Is the envelope to be mailed "naked"? Or can we get dimensional with our art and put it in an outer envelope?

youngeclecticimages 08/23/2011 #

I carry envelopes with me and use them instead of a sketchbook and the postal workers love it Johnina :D

Kessie 08/23/2011 #

Hey Spencersmom, this is just my opinion, but:
I think whilst, yes, that would be a cool thing to do, I think you would then need to decorate the outer envelope too, as half the fun of mail-art is the reaction of the post office workers, and then the recipient seeing how fab it looks in your mail-box... I think enclosing it inside a plain brown envelope sort of defeats the point, so it wouldn't be mail-art any more.
But, for instance, I have sent a hand-made postcard that had coins and metal embellishments glued to it and it arrived safely... other people have mailed actual objects, like a flip-flop plastic sandal, or a frisbee, just written on and a stamp glued to it, and mailed! So you can try being dimensional on the outer envelope and just send it anyway!

MrsSawbones 08/23/2011 #

Righto Kessie! Decorating the outer envelope is sort of key here. I have had dimentional things torn off of envelopes tho:-( So, I try to stay flat with rubber stamp art or very firmly glued images. You can also secure the entire thing with wide celophane tape- but- some post offices see this as a problem. Also, items inside the envelope that bulge or make it bottom-heavy can jam postal machines- and destroy your envelope and its contents!:-( My local PO folks are fairly humorless... so I personally would not attempt to send the funky objects, but I'd like to:-/ Happy Mail Art Everyone!!

mrsb007 08/23/2011 #

I'm a newbie.My sister said this swap was really fun ,so I'm looking forward to this.fun fun!

SoLinda 08/23/2011 #

I'd like to join this swap. I just found swap-bot and love to make things. One way you can keep your art from being torn is to have it hand stamped. It cost a little extra but does give you more freedom.

LadyGuenevere 08/24/2011 #

Hi everyone! I'm brand-new here, and love the idea behind this site, and sharing creativity. I've never done anything like this before, so looking forward to some fun and perhaps making a few new friends!

angellarae 08/25/2011 #

I'm so excited to have such a great turn-out for my 1st swap. Thanks everyone!! :) And if you have any questions, please feel free to send me a direct message.

There are 6 more days left to sign up... So look for your partner info to be ready on Sept. 1.

Hope y'all have a great day!! :)

Adventurer 08/25/2011 #

Is digital art Ok for the envelopes?

journalstories 08/26/2011 #

Woohoo just signed up, never really done any mail art before but look forward to transferring journaling/ scrapbooking skills!

flowerlady57 08/26/2011 #

Mine is ready to send, this was fun, my second mail art ever.

MrsSawbones 08/27/2011 #

Just a thought on profiles- PLEASE create one if you haven't. Also, please READ your recipiants profile to see what sort of art they might like to receive. You may love unicorns but your art partner might not enjoy finding one (or 100) in her mail box:-( This may also cause you to step a little outside your typical art habit and create something really different and inspired!!! Happy Mail Art Everyone:-D

PJ 08/27/2011 #

Hi @angellarae

Just wanted to suggest that you change the swap type to 3, because although this is certainly flat mail, the fact that it's mailart gives it a "significant craft component." Type two would be more like storebought postcards, simple letters, etc. Little to no crafting involved. Whereas mailart should take a decent amount of time, effort, and creativity to make.

Thanks for hosting a beginners mailart swap!

sojourner 08/27/2011 #

I agree with @PJ It should be type 3. It takes me a lot more time and effort than an ATC.

clebeans 08/29/2011 #

This sounds like fun. I have been the recipient of some really cool envies in the past. I cant wait to send my envie and would love to be a fly on the wall when the posties see it lol.

Bedazzle 08/29/2011 #

Just a little shameless self promotion, New Mail art swap , starting after this one has finished.


Would love to see you all there!

angellarae 08/29/2011 #

Good point @PJ .. I've changed the swap to a type 3.

wonderwoman 08/29/2011 #

I heard about mail art a few weeks ago and wanted to do something and you gave me the perfect opportunity. :) I can't wait to see who I get!

Adventurer 08/29/2011 #

Is digital art Ok for the envelopes? I know some people don't like it.

glennasgarden 08/30/2011 #

Looks like a fun swap! I am deciding if I want to join or not.

Fleshb4soul 08/30/2011 #

Ok.. I just saw some people talking about this :O) I am also a newbie, and old hat at snail mail and pen palling, But have really taken a liking to the Mail Art idea. So, with all that bantering aside, Thank you so much for allowing newbies to start on this one. Excellent!! Peace all :O)

Vagirl 08/30/2011 #

I'm new to mail art too, but I'd like to maybe try it, just don't know whether I'm good enough at it for a swap? I think it's so awesome! Thanks for letting newbies join:)

Kattera22 08/31/2011 #

@adventurer If you get me I Don't mind it. I figure if you put good time and effert into it most people would say its fine

angellarae 08/31/2011 #

@Adventurer I think digital art will be fine... unless the partner you get specifically mentions not wanting any in his/her profile. But since this is a "beginner" swap, I hope that people won't be too picky with what they receive. :) The idea is to have fun with it!

Paulac440 08/31/2011 #

I did sign up right?

MrsSawbones 08/31/2011 #

Hi All (Especially Newbies!) Want to see great examples of envelope art from "Mail Me Art" project? http://youtu.be/jOMhJl8DZUY Wonderful things posted there.

grandmaroro 08/31/2011 #

Paulac440, go to the box at the top of this page, :Swap Member Options: and click on "View Participants". If you are signed up, a list of all the swappers in this swap will be listed. Hope this helps.

angellarae 08/31/2011 #

@Paulac440 Yes, you're showing as signed up. :) Another way to tell is if you click on the "Dashboard" link up top... it'll show you all the swaps you're signed up for.

flowerlady57 09/ 1/2011 #

I couldn't get into that link says it isn't there.

sweetred35 09/ 1/2011 #

Does mail art consist of only drawing or can other things be done to the envelope?

MrsSawbones 09/ 1/2011 #

@sweetred Hi, to see an answer to your question, have a peek at this mail art vid: http://youtu.be/jOMhJl8DZUY Happy Swap-Botting!

Ra1nbowUn1corn 09/ 2/2011 #

I've finished mine! But is it okay that I didn't decorate the back? :/

sweetred35 09/ 2/2011 #

@MrsSawbones Thanks.

Calinnero 09/ 3/2011 #

Also wondering if you just decorate the front, or also the back of the envelope?

MrsSawbones 09/ 3/2011 #

@Calinnero Hi There! Mail/Envelope Art is a free-thinking sort of medium, you do what you like! Personally, I like to leave a nice clear spot for the address, or incorporate the address spot into the surrounding art somehow- with a theme like vintage people, Egyptian style images, or creepy Halloween scenes- Then the back is a total wreck of funny sayings, images reacting to each other, and my address being mocked by a peeing doggy or pointing lady. That's my style. I hope you have fun finding yours!

nuvofelt 09/ 3/2011 #

I'm all done, but can't post until Monday.......

sissy 09/ 5/2011 #

Created my Art envelope, posted on Friday. clicked on sent but still not showing as sent. where do i go from here. this is fun.

sissy 09/ 5/2011 #

Created my Art envelope, posted on Friday. clicked on sent but still not showing as sent. where do i go from here. this is fun.

ziza65 09/ 6/2011 #

I sent my swap!

nermalski 09/ 8/2011 #

Mine's out via 03110820000226183050 first class.

LakeViewQuilter 09/ 9/2011 #

This was fun! I enjoyed stretching myself with a medium I don't usually craft in. Thanks for the Swap

summerhawk 09/10/2011 #

I had alot of fun making my envelope and the envelope I got from my partner is excellent. This was a great swap! I hope you'll do more like this.

angellarae 09/12/2011 #

Glad everyone's enjoying my swap! :)

Don't forget... 3 more days to send before the deadline!!

journalstories 09/15/2011 #

Min sent today, was so exciting to do!

journalstories 09/15/2011 #

That should say sent mine today lol! Long day today :)

Goldilocks 09/20/2011 #

Thanks @PJ for suggesting that this swap be changed to level 3. This was such fun to do. Couldn't wait until next round. Hope to see all of you join in. I'm ready!

darcilena 09/21/2011 #

I was under the impression that we would get a decorated envie with something small in it. I did get a decorated card and a few mini stickers on the back of the envie. What exactly is the definition of mail art? My partner will be getting a very decorated envie which I thought was the swap requirements...just wondering???

MrsSawbones 09/21/2011 #

@darcilena Hi There! Well this swap was supposed to be about decorating the envelope primarily, with a little something inside- but "Mail Art" can be anything art sent thru the mail- cards, envelopes, odd shaped items. For me tho- it's all about the envelope! That's why I joined this particular swap!

TC 09/27/2011 #

@darcilena , unfortunately, some people do the absolute minimum when it comes to decorating the envelope - a few stickers, some colored pencil scribbled on, etc. It's disappointing. All you can do is rate a 5 but make sure to leave a detailed comment about what you received, so future hosts can decide if they want this person in their swaps.

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