Posts Tagged mail art

Mail Art Contest Winner

In June, we were thrilled to invite our customers to honor the art of letter writing through our first-ever Mail Art Contest. Participants were encouraged to create an original piece of correspondence using note cards, envelopes, box mailers and embellishments.

mail art

After admiring several innovative submission, we proudly present to you the WINNING MAIL ART SUBMISSION: David D. from Kansas City, MO!

mail art

This wonder came to us with one side wrapped using our recycled Paper Source shopping bag and the opposite side decorated with our paper bag string and button envelopes, adorned with little paper punched catalog and old school wrap accents. The submission is covered bookboard, so the weight made it a substantial delivery and the joy of finding little surprises tucked inside each of the smaller envelopes made it a special treat to receive.

There were so many wonderful entries that we’d like to share a few more. We hope you’ll be as impressed as we were with the detail found in each submission — from hand-stitched treatments that really wowed us, to little handmade envelopes made of packing tape, to various Paper Source catalog accents used to adorn several submissions.

2nd Place: We fell in love with the amazing detail that Julia P. from Lagrange, KY had on her submission. From the tiny stitched flags (don’t you just love them?) to foxes cut out from the catalog, we all want to become her pen pal!

mail art

3rd Place: Who wouldn’t run to the mailbox to get this fun, layered mail art creation? We think Kathie M. from Santa Barbara, CA mixed the right amount of fun, and we were awed by the awesome lined envelope touch created using our shopping bag (what a perfect way to highlight our favorite wasp!).

mail art

4th Place: How about this A7 box mailer turned into a fantastic little suitcase, complete with travel -stamped icons by Katie N. from Chicago, IL?

mail art

We want to extend a great big thank you to everyone who entered the contest. You have inspired each of us to send more letters through the mail in unique and unusual ways.

Paper Source Mail Art Contest

mail art contest

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me first give you background on Postal Art, Correspondent Art, or what we are calling Mail Art.

vintage mail art

At a very basic level, Mail Art is a small artful work sent through the postal service. As long as the postal service has been in service, you can find evidence of correspondent mail art. And, while considered unintentional, some examples date back to the 1890’s. Envelopes penned with notations, extra ink denoting a love note, landscape or seaside scribble from an oceanic journey, mathematical tributes or elaborate address corrections — these mail treatments paved the way to a world of artful correspondence.

Later artists began adding flourishes of ink, accents of color, or a collage of papers. Stamps became more common place, adding dimension to the expression sent through the mail. While no official name was given to those varietal, unintentional, tattooed letters of the early years, later artful letters coined the term, Mail Art.

[Image via A Polar Bear's Tale Ink illustration sent from Kingston to Whitstable in 1896]

From the early 1950’s through to the 1980’s there were several movements featuring elements of correspondence — envelopes, zines, postcards and more — which brought voice to art and the artist. From the famous artist to us ordinary folk, this means of expression is open to anyone who has the means to send something through the mail.

mail art[Image via Simpatico Home White ink illustrations on dark paper]

Now, we’re encouraging customers to rekindle their love of Mail Art with our Mail Art Contest. If you have a fist for lettering or knack with paper, then we want to see your best Mail Art. Enter our Mail Art Contest for a chance to win a $100 Paper Source Gift Card. Drop your correspondence in the mail by August 31, 2013 and help us bring light to this underground art form.

For entry details, visit our Mail Art Contest page.

For Mail Art inspiration, visit our Mail Art Pinterest Board.

Or, for a hands on approach to Mail Art, contact your local store to find out about upcoming Mail Art Workshops or to schedule a private party dedicated to correspondence!


– Linda, Head of Paper Source Workshops
PS colors: chartreuse & peacock
Latest fave: Academic Great Big Calendar