Recycled Envelopes and Weekend Links

August 16th, 2008

When my bff gave me a handmade journal made of magazine pages for my birthday, it reminded me so much of our snail mail correspondence when we were in college (which seems like a lifetime ago! yikes!), that it made me want to make magazine envelopes again. Back when my bff headed off to college and I was a still stuck in high school as a senior, she started sending me letters wrapped in magazine pages, with the colorful magazine page acting as the envelope. At the time, they were a cheap and creative way to send mail. But with going green being so big right now, they're also a great way of re-cycling. I don't know about you, but I love snail mail. Why not get creative and surprise a friend with a handwritten note, wrapped in used wrapping paper, catalog pages, contact paper, paper you've drawn or stamped a pattern onto, wallpaper, or magazine pages? You'll have fun putting it together and your recipient will love getting something so fabulous in the mail.

Above are some of the letters my bff sent me. I pulled down a box of old letters from my closet to look at them. I often wonder whether I should be keeping all these old notes and letters, but I do enjoy reading through them every few years. In one of the letters above, the bff wrote to me about a boy she met at a party who asked her to go home with him, but she said, "no way" because he was way too old for her and she wrote, "He's 26! Scary!" Haha!! Can you remember a time when 26 was old? Oh my. Good stuff. I only wish I could read the letters I was sending on the other end. It would be fun to have both sides of the story.

If you want to make some magazine envelopes for yourself, simply find some magazines with some fun images, tear out a page and fold the page around the letter so that the front contains an image that pleases you. Or if it makes it easier, you can use an envelope template. There are free templates that you can download online or you can take an envelope that you like, take it apart carefully and use it as the template for an envelope. You can trace the taken apart envelope on top of a magazine page and then cut it out to make a unique envelope of your very own.

So, what else have I got to share with you. Well, some links of course!

  • First off, many thanks to Meredith Cutler, a fellow boston artist and writer for Artscope Magazine, who spotted my "Subway Stories" pieces on etsy and posted about them on her blog! Meredith has her own fabulous shops on etsy, here and here. I love these mixed-media earrings she's created!
  • Claudine Hellmuth has a video posted on her blog with a very cool faux batik technique using her new line of paints and mediums.
  • Hanna sent along a link to this great article by Jill Badonsky about two of my favorite things, yoga and creativity. I liked this quote, "The key is practice for both yoga and creativity without concern for perfection. Practice just naturally turns into excellence but if we think too much at the beginning of either yoga or creativity, neither may happen." and this one, "Often we pay more attention to the discomfort in our bodies, our creative process, and our lives than to the bliss. When you are in a yoga pose, focus on what feels good about it."
  • The multi-talented Jennifer Lee has an an article, "10 Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur," on the Ladies Who Launch site. It's sure to be interest to you all you creative business folks out there!

I hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend!

11 Responses

Leah, thanks for the link to the ladies who Launch site. Looks like a great resource! Also, I adore the idea of recycled envelopes. It seems like I have an envelope pattern around here somewhere….I’ll have to find it.

it’s been awhile since i’ve been to your blog so i’m glad to see you’re still up to creating and writing and sharing cool things like old letters and magazine page envelopes!

Leah—I totally used to do the EXACT same thing…my BFF went to college one year before me too and we used to make magazine and calander pages envelopes…and we thought we were so creative and punk-rock because we would put a layer of elmer’s glue over the stamp on our envelope…because then when the person received the letter–you could wash the ink off the stamp and reuse it!! Ha–we wrote each other tons of letters only using one stamp.


Seems like ages ago. Now I would never go through the bother of the stamp business..and honestly I feel a bit guilty about it…but I still make my own envelopes!!

Peace & Love.

those envelopes are flippin awesome!!! I can’t believe you still have them…I do have your letters somewhere, I put them _____ for safe keeping. Now I just need to remember where that might be, lol!
luf you!

recycled envelopes; that is a great idea

What fabulous envelopes! I’ll have to send some… maybe make suitable ones now ready for Christmas cards…

I’m on Day 5 of the No Diet Diet and it feels like the Artist Way did when I first did that – electrifying and real!

what a great post, so filled with friendship and support for our world of art! Thank you so much for the links as well…Roxanne

these envelopes are awesome! i have a set of them that i bought at Anthropologie not long ago, and i thought about making some myself, thanks for the reminder!

A friend of mine is always sending mail in “magazine envelopes” they are so much more fun to receive than normal ones. Thanks for the template links..I’m going to have a go myself :)

I used to make these envelopes too… what a long-ago memory. Thanks for bringing it into the forefront of my mind again… really something that I should do.

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