Monthly Archives: April 2015

DIY – How To Make A Plastic Bottle Into An Envelope

A big thank you to Jack who wrote in my comments about sending some folded boxes in a bottle to his daughter and family for Easter. It was such a great idea, I knew I had to try it for myself.

This plastic bottle is the envelope. Proper postage has been applied.

This plastic bottle is the envelope. Proper postage has been applied.

And what a perfect “envelope” to send for the last day of National Letter Writing Month. This went to Jean Wilson of the blog, Pushing The Envelopes. Check out her blog to see lots of wonderful mail art.

Folded boxes as seen from the back of the bottle that is also an envelope. Address label is on the other side of the envelope.

Folded boxes as seen from the back of the bottle that is also an envelope. Address label is on the other side of the envelope.

The black line on the bottle shows where I slit the bottle with a knife.

The black line on the bottle shows where I slit the bottle with a knife.

Instructions:
1. Remove the label from your plastic bottle.

2. Cut a slit in the bottle, just big enough to push through whatever you want to put into the bottle.

3. Carefully push folded boxes or whatever you have chosen into the bottle. Make a mailing label just large enough to cover the slit.

4. Glue the bottle cap on the bottle.

5. Take bottle to the Post Office for postage and mail. It cost me $2.32 to mail my “envelope.”

In this photo you can see the address label and the boxes in the bottle. This photo was taken just before I took the bottle to the Post Office and got the postage put on it.

In this photo you can see the address label and the boxes in the bottle. This photo was taken just before I took the bottle to the Post Office and got the postage put on it.

Happy mail art, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Flower Envelope Series

I’ve been sending out a letter-a-day for the month of April in honor of it being National Letter Writing Month. My letters have all gone out in a handmade or hand decorated envelope. Somewhere during the month I made an envelope with a flower on it. I liked it and made another and another and another. And lo and behold, I realized I created a series.

One of the envelopes in my flower series. In this one the flower petals are watercolors and the background of the envelope was made with a Copic marker.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with watercolors (petals) and Copic markers.

I kept changing something with each new envelope. I tried new colors or centers of the flowers or number of flower petals or the kind of markers or watercolors I used. I experimented with lots of different ideas, but kept close to the same flower design for all the envelopes.

One of the envelopes in my Flower Envelope Series. This was made with Copic markers for both the flower and the background. The name was written with a white Sharpie marker.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Flower petals and background made with Copic markers. Name written with a white Sharpie marker.

It’s been interesting to try to combine colors that I would not usually use together. Sometimes the combination works, sometimes not so well.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with watercolors and Copic marker.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with watercolors (petals) and Copic markers.

I don’t think I am through making flower envelopes. I still have some ideas I want to play around with.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers.

From my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers.

I won’t be making as many flower envelopes as I have been lately because many of them take hours to make and I have other things I want to make too. Still, you’re likely to see some more of them sometime in the future.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic marker, watercolors and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic marker, watercolors, gold pen, and white Sharpie.

From my Flower Envelope Series made with Copic markers and white Sharpie marker.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Lisa wanted me to make her an envelope with lots of yellow. I think this qualifies.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Lisa wanted me to make her an envelope with lots of yellow. I think this qualifies.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and white Sharpie.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. Made with Copic markers and Sharpie markers. Note how the Sharpie background shows the marker strokes more than the Copic markers.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I'm not ready to let go of this one yet.

One of my Flower Envelope Series. I’m not ready to let go of this one yet.

I just finished the above envelope. It’s been a really fun month, making envelopes and writing letters for National Letter Writing Month.

Happy Letter Writing, Candy

DIY – Make Coasters From Old CD’s

I enjoy entertaining in my new-to-me home. With the constant flow of friends and family, I realized that I needed additional coasters to protect my wood tables. I had some old coasters, but I wanted something artistic that went with my decor, so decided to make my own coasters.

These coasters are made from old CD's and recycled paper. They even work well for putting under a vase of flowers.

These coasters are made from old CD’s and recycled paper. They even work well for putting under a vase of flowers.

I had a bunch of old CD’s that I had kept hoping to find an art project I could use them on. Perfect coaster size! A little experimentation and now I have a new set of coasters.

This coaster made from an old CD and recycled paper is a perfect to protect my wood end tables.

This coaster made from an old CD and recycled paper is a perfect to protect my wood end table.

I love finding ways to upcycle things that were destined to go into the landfill into something that is useful and artistic too.

My dining table is oak and my favorite placemats are a little small to hold a dinner plate and my mug of tea. My coaster made from an old CD is the perfect solution.

My dining table is oak and my favorite placemats are a little small to hold a dinner plate and my mug of tea. My coaster made from an old CD is the perfect solution.

I made my coasters by covering the CD’s with a recycled handmade paper. The paper I bought years ago. It is made from corn cobs, newspaper and  homework.

I used recycled handmade paper to cover old CD's and transform them into coasters.

I used recycled handmade paper to cover old CD’s and transform them into coasters. Be sure to seal the coasters before using.

1. Cut two pieces of paper, one 6″ in diameter and one 4.5″ in diameter for each coaster.

2. Apply acrylic matte medium to the back side of the 6″ paper and place an old CD in the center.

3. Cut slits in the paper about every half inch around the CD, then wrap them around the back side of the CD one by one.

4. Paint acrylic matte medium on the back side of the 4.5” circle and place it over the back side of the CD.

5. You now have a coaster. Coat the coaster (first one side, then the other) with 2 to 4 coats of acrylic matte medium to seal and protect the coaster from moisture.

Hint: Putting the coaster on the top of a glass or jar (smaller than the coaster), then painting one side and letting it dry before painting the other side makes the job less messy.

Mugs, each with their own handmade coaster from an old CD is perfect for entertaining on Earth Day.

Mugs, each with their own handmade coaster from an old CD is perfect for entertaining on Earth Day.

Note: I like the look and feel of a matte finish on my coasters. A matte finish will also be less slippery. However, you could use a gloss finish if you prefer.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Studio Snapshot – Spring Heart Garland

I made a wonderful green heart garland for St. Patrick’s Day. I kept it draped over my dining room chandelier, for over a month now because I thought the green reminded me emerging green leaves of spring. Now, however, the flowers have started blooming and I decided I want bolder flower colors decorating my home. So, this week I made myself a new Spring Heart Garland.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers that are now blooming.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers that are now blooming.

This is the beginning of my Spring Heart Garland. I start at the bottom and work up.

This is the beginning of my Spring Heart Garland. I start at the bottom.

For my Spring Heart Garland, I fold 2 hearts in half sew them together.

For my Spring Heart Garland, I fold 2 hearts in half sew them together as you can see above.

My Spring Heart Garland, now about 9 feet in length, is finished

My Spring Heart Garland, now about 9 feet in length, is finished

I find the colors uplifting.

Instructions for making a Heart Garland are on my blog post: DIY St. Patrick’s Day Paper Garland.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Envelope & Letter In One

I was requested to share my instructions for making this envelope and letter in one. I posted photos of my envelopes for National Letter Writing Month on Facebook page, and was asked how I make this envelope and letter all in one. So here are the instructions.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope, each made from one of my paste papers, will go in the mail today.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope are made from my paste papers.

It’s easy. First take a piece of paper and fold it in almost thirds, like you were going to put it in a business envelope.

The dashed lines show where the folds go.

The dashed lines show where the folds go.

Here is how it is folded, step by step.

Fold the paper in thirds, then fold the bottom third up.

Fold the paper in thirds, unfold, then fold the bottom third up.

Fold the top corners of the page down to the fold line as shown above.

Fold the top corners of the page down to the fold line as shown above.

Now fold the top third down.

Now fold the top third down.

And secure it with a sticker or tape.

And secure it with a sticker or tape (after writing your letter on the other side).

Address the front of the envelope, put on a stamp and mail.

Address the front of the envelope, put on a stamp and mail.

Note: I took my envelopes to the post office and they suggested putting a sticker or tape on the sides (just a little bit) to make sure the envelope wouldn’t get caught when going through their automated machines.

Three envelopes made from my original paste papers designed so that the letter is on the inside of the envelope.

You might note that I spelled Carroll’s name incorrectly on the sample showing how to fold this envelope. I actually sent her the envelope above with her name spelled correctly.

Idea: Send a child’s drawing to grandparents. Have the drawing on the outside along with the address and have a little note about the drawing on the inside with the letter.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – More Envelopes

While I had planned on making some other things this past week, I just couldn’t stop making envelopes. I even went to my local art store and bought over a dozen markers to play around with and see how they would work on my envelopes.

This envelope (with birthday card and envelope) was hand delivered to a family friend.

This envelope (with birthday card and envelope) was hand delivered to a family friend. The request came from his daughter and was a surprise.

These four envelopes and letters were made from a single sheet of paste paper. The envelope is folded in such a way that when it opens, the letter is on the back of the envelope.

These four envelopes and letters were made from a single sheet of paste paper. The envelope is folded in such a way that when it opens, the letter is on the back of the envelope.

This envelope went to Jennifer.

This envelope, with letter, went to Jennifer.

These two envelopes were inspired by some flower stamps I just purchased. They also highlighted my need for some better markers to make backgrounds. The backgrounds on these were made with a Pentel color brush.

These two envelopes were inspired by some flower stamps I just purchased. They also highlighted my need for some better markers to make backgrounds. The backgrounds on these were made with a Pentel color brush.

I gave this box (which I used to hold a letter, thus making it an envelope) to my neighbor for her birthday. Blog post and template: DIY Triangle Boxes.

I gave this box (which I used to hold a letter, thus making it an envelope) to my neighbor for her birthday. Blog post and template: DIY Triangle Boxes.

Three envelopes made from my original paste papers designed so that the letter is on the inside of the envelope.

Three envelopes made from my original paste papers designed so that the letter is on the inside of the envelope.

Playing with watercolors and gold.

Playing with watercolors and gold.

I bought this Sharpie water based marker and found it wrote wonderfully even over the silver on my paste papers.

I bought this Sharpie water based marker and found it wrote wonderfully even over the silver on my paste papers.

I made this envelope using my new Copic markers. I love how the background doesn't show my strokes like the other two envelopes with flowers.

I made this envelope using my new Copic markers. I love how the background doesn’t show my strokes like the other two envelopes with flowers.

I am having so much fun making envelopes and writing letters for National Letter Writing Month.

Enjoy, Candy

Envelopes Need Addresses

As you may already know, I’m sending out a letter a day for the month of April, which is National Letter Writing Month. I’ve shared two posts about it already. But, as I was recently reminded, the Post Office won’t deliver those envelopes unless they are addressed.

I sent Jan's envelope in the mail, and as you can see it was postmarked. However, it was returned to me because I forgot to put on Jan's address. OOPS!

I sent Jan’s envelope in the mail, and as you can see it was postmarked. However, it was returned to me because I forgot to put on Jan’s address. Apparently the Post Office insists on addresses on envelopes.

I sent Jan’s letter out without putting her address on it. Oops! And guess what. The Post Office was kind enough to cancel the stamp and send it back to me (the return address is on the back). I’m going to try again, but this time I’ll address it correctly.

Just a gentle reminder to those who are as absent minded as I am.

Happy National Letter Writing Month, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Making Envelopes

I’ve been having a great time in my studio this week playing with all sorts of ways to make and decorate envelopes.

For this envelope I wrote Jan's name in watercolors and embellished the letters with black and gold.

For this envelope I wrote Jan’s name in watercolors and embellished the letters with black and gold.

With April being National Letter Writing Month, I’ve given myself a challenge to write a letter a day and send it in a handmade or hand decorated envelope. I’ve had so many volunteers to receive my letters and envelopes that I’m going to have to double up and send 2 or 3 letters out some days this month.

This is the beginning of decorating an envelope. I have no preplanned idea other than the address will go in the center.

This is the beginning of decorating an envelope. I have no preplanned idea other than the address will go in the center.

And this is how the envelope looks almost finished. It still needs an address (in the white space in the center) and stamp

And this is how the envelope looks almost finished. It still needs an address (in the white space in the center) and a stamp.

Still, I’m loving the freedom of throwing my perfectionism out the window for this month. I’m trying all sorts of different ideas. I feel I’ve only just begun. Each day brings another idea to try.

Music paper for an envelope for a retired music teacher.

Music paper for an envelope for a retired music teacher. The card was made by Brooke Connor. You can see more of her work at www.bconnordesign.com.

The start of another envelope design. With envelopes being ephemeral, I don't stress about perfection.

The start of another envelope design. With envelopes being ephemeral, I don’t stress about perfection.

This envelope will be going to Christer who is a fan of the Sunday comics.

This envelope will be going to Christer who is a fan of the Sunday comics.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope, each made from one of my paste papers, will go in the mail today.

These two envelopes, with the letter on the inside of the envelope, each made from one of my paste papers, will go in the mail today.

I am really enjoying playing around with envelopes. It’s going to be another fun month in my studio.

Happy National Letter Writing Month, Candy

April Is National Letter Writing Month

Imagine my surprise when I found out that April is National Letter Writing Month! I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but I decided to issue myself a challenge. I will make and send an envelope (with a letter inside) every day for the month of April.

My first letter to go out for National Letter Writing Month went to Ann Martin of All Things Paper. Ann sent me a quilled valentine card and I promised her a paste paper envelope. It's a little late, but I didn't forget.

My first letter to go out for National Letter Writing Month goes to Ann Martin of All Things Paper. Ann sent me a quilled valentine card and I promised her a paste paper envelope. It’s a little late, but I didn’t forget.

On my Facebook page , I invited my friends and fans to let me know if they wanted to receive one of the envelopes. You’re invited too! I’ll be sharing a photo each day of the envelope I send out. I won’t show the address of the recipient, so only your name and possibly a little information about you and your art (if you want) will be made public.

My second letter goes to Sallie. It's another long overdue thank you to one of my blog subscribers who visited me last summer.

My second letter goes to Sallie. It’s another long overdue thank you note. Should my third letter, which is to a retired music teacher, go in the purple paste paper envelope or in an envelope made from the music paper?

It’s going to be a fun month. I encourage others to follow suit.

Happy Letter Writing, Candy