Wednesday, September 26

Postal flavours: Bookmarks with mail trash

We may have moved on from hand-written mail to e-mail world over. But that does not stop your mail-box from filling up.

My mailbox often gets full with coupon mail of stores I can rarely visit, given my no-car-no-life status out here in New Jersey. The other mail is from the electricity office, cable TV office, insurance and banks.

A lot of mail belongs to earlier tenants too, who we cannot go looking for.

Mail covers or postal envelopes in the US have patterns on their inside, something I love. I decided to experiment with these patterned paper pieces for my bookmarks.

The picture below is a sample of mail envelopes, basics needed for the bookmarks such as glue, a pair of scissors, mail envelopes, ruler and pre-punched shapes. You also need a paper punch - regular. And a small hole punch if you like.

Using a paper-trimmer, and corner rounders besides

I used a type-writer rubber stamp, and `a story begins' stamp which I had been looking for, a long time and found at Michaels during the Fall sales kick-off recently.

Dabbing some distress ink from a Distress ink stamp pad helped with the vintage look. Some olive green string with a wooden bead, and it is done.

Not to forget, you need a cardboard piece to firm up the patterned paper. I used cardboard from a pizza carton.

Here are the other pieces.

Since I was only experimenting, did not want to stick to a particular style. The red or crimson patterned paper bookmarks in the picture are actually courtesy mail from Target. Postal envelopes mostly have blue patterns or shades of grey-black. This was an exception. And my delight.

The `Live life' and `Hope' rangolis, I had experimented a couple of years back...not so happy with their result here. But I know how to make future sets better. The stamped words in the third one here read `Once in a lifetime you meet something who changes Everything' true! The white flowers are pre-punched from mail envelopes.

Here they are, a mish-mash of tinies and longer ones.

For the tinies, the sticker sheets above came in handy. If you look at the bookmark on extreme left, it is again a cut out of a mail cover. I still cannot figure out if it is pre-paid stamping by companies or bar-code printed. I have simply stuck the piece on another piece of cardboard, and a sticker rose to embellish it.

The paper clip bookmark was made with left-over mail paper and pre-punched flowers stuck on a paperclip.

Here is the rear side of some of these bookmarks....done rather casually. A doodle here, a punch-shape there...

Have a lot of mail around? Go ahead, try something. If you have kids at school, get them to try something new. And do mail me the pictures ;).

Photos: M Radhika
Permission for re-use is a must.


  1. U r so creative Radhika. Loved the ways to use up the envelopes.
    Love Ash.

  2. Thank u Ashwini. Am thinking up more designs using them now. Tired of throwing them in the trash can:)