Embarrassing Hand Decorated Envelopes?

You would think that with decades of mail art behind us, people would be receptive to receiving such things in the mail

Not so, I saw someone mention that they had sent a decorated envelope to a pen pal, and the person had chastised them for sending something that looked like a child had drawn it, and possibly embarrassing her with the postie.

Imagine being so dull that you are embarrassed by hand drawn art? Anyway, I was kibitzing around and decided to try this. Up to now I was hesitant to draw on envelopes, fearing that they would look amateurish and goofy.

I laid this down with a Faber-Castell Pitt pen in sepia, and then coloured it in with Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils. At first it made me cringe a bit, but I kept adding things and doing subtle gradations and it turned out to be rather fresh and cheery. Not bad for a first try.


I wouldn’t really want to use art that takes hours to draw and colour on an envelope, so this was fun and looks quite good when folded and glued.

This is blue 65 lb card stock that I bought in a ream from Staples at least 8 or 9 years ago. It is letter-sized 8.5 x 11 inches, so I have to use a template for a small 1/4 size envelope to fit on the page, but it works quite well. I also have some white cardstock.

I would never have thought to use card stock but I bought some decorated sheets in a pad and people recommend scoring card stock first with a bone folder so it doesn’t crack when you fold it. So I tried that and it works beautifully; another new thing I learned.

This is made by K&Company and contains 42 double-sided sheets of card in the Blossomwood design paper pad. They don’t specify that it’s card stock but it is, albeit fairly light. This company sells a great variety of different packs in the 12 x 12 inch size through Amazon.


The girl I mentioned was pretty hurt by the ratty comment this other woman said to her about her envelope, but I bet she inspires many other people to try and make decorated envelopes. And she was encouraged by many to carry on creating and enjoying decorating her own envelopes.

That’s a good result from something not so good!



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2 Comments on “Embarrassing Hand Decorated Envelopes?”

  1. Roseanne Dix Says:

    Oh dear – what a sad remark (probably from a sad person). Way back before you were born, it was a craze to decorate envelopes and I loved doing it…but you know me, Jude, they were incredibly messy and invariably I couldn’t unstick them !! Yours are exquisite as is all your work. DO you use envelopes though? I never get anything in the post – all on email these days. I still have a book of stamps. Remember those tuts where we had to make stamps. Don’t think I would be able to do them now – yours were wonderful.

    • JJ ColourArt Says:

      I got one of your handmade boxes once and it was probably similar to your envelopes. I loved it, I was in awe because that was before I came unfrozen and started to draw and paint again.

      I have been using envelopes because once I started writing journals with my fountain pens, I thought I should write real letters again. It’s been fun. Shall I send you a letter in a decorated envelope? YES!

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