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Making Art

Upcycling Mailers: Part I

I love mail. Snail mail, that is. Real life, papery goodness, stamped, signed, sealed, delivered—MAIL. I love to send it, and I love to receive it. Upcycling is a great way to reuse mail and make your own art or make artistic mailers that your friends and loved ones will "oooh" and "ahhh" over when they open their mailbox. And with these tricks from 101 Mixed Media Techniques, even junk mail will be fun to receive.

Tomorrow, in Part II, we'll talk about using materials from packages and other recyclables to make gorgeous mailers. 

Postcards, bi-folds, tri-folds, and other mailers that arrive in your mailbox make excellent substrates for your artwork.

upcycled mailers 2

Step One: Sand the mailers lightly on both sides. Then, with a paintbrush, coat each side with gesso, letting one side dry before doing the other.

upcycled mailers 1

Step Two: Once dry, you have a surface upon which to paint, collage, write, do mark-making, or whatever other techniques you desire! Try using other found papers or materials.

Images and text excerpted from 101 Mixed Media Techniques: Master the fundamental concepts of mixed media art

What kind of mail are you thinking about upcycling?

Angela Corpus

Angela is Marketing Manager for the Quarto Publishing Group USA. A Chicago gal at heart, she recently relocated to southern California and can usually be found exploring the beaches, feeding her newfound inner artist, and chasing sunsets with her camera. A collector of stories old and new, she's an avid postcard sender, and origami cranes always seem to tag along on her travels. Follow her adventures on Twitter: @angelacorpus

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