Recently whilst out op-shopping I stumbled across an envelope filled with old stamps, I remember having a similar collection as a child when stamp collection was all the rage. Now that I’ve been corresponding by snail mail with a few pen pals, I’ve accumulated quite a collection on envelopes as well. I thought it would be fun to decorate a blank notebook and cover it in stamps, perfect for keeping pen pal related notes in and a nice way to enjoy these little pieces of paper that we usually take for granted. It only takes a few minutes to make this Postage Stamp Notebook, the tricky part is getting the stamps off the envelopes, so I’ve included a few tips and tricks here. If you don’t have many stamps handy (because who sends mail any more?), you can pick up used stamp packs online quite cheaply, or ask friends and neighbours to save theirs for you.
With Christmas only a few days away I thought I’d share this Easy Upcycled Christmas Stocking Gift Pouch idea that was inspired by some recycled paper stockings that my friend Jodie made. She used old magazine pages, but I had a ton of wallpaper samples laying around from my kitchen renovations, and thought these stockings would be a great use for them. I’ve made these gift pouches to fill with little gifts for my pen pals, they are sturdy enough to post, and are a super fun and festive surprise to receive in your letterbox. They also make great little last minute gifts for friends, neighbours or even your postman, just add some inexpensive treats, homemade cookies or other small handmade gifts inside.
One of the wallpaper samples was this colourful parrot print which I love, but was quickly vetoed by the Mr, we settled on yellow polka dots for our kitchen wall instead. I’ve made the most of the quirky parrot design and managed to cut out one parrot for each stocking. If you don’t have wallpaper you can use strong gift wrap instead. You could even use some of your kid’s artwork to make a special gift for a relative.
I’ve been spending a lot more time playing with paper lately, and even though I consider myself a ‘fabric person’, I’m enjoying the versatility and easy accessibility of crafting with paper. In fact you can turn almost any piece of paper rubbish into something pretty and useful, making it perfect for an upcycling project. I’ve created a handy little wallet style notebook from a cereal box and an assortment of paper scraps collected at the bottom of our art and craft drawer. If you have paper loving friends or a pen pal, this would make a perfect little gift that can be posted inexpensively. Use it as a personal journal or as an alternative to a traditional letter, you can even make one out of holiday maps and paper ephemera collected on your travels.
After making and posting several very large hamburgers last month, I thought it was time to create another fun, not quite edible, but mailable surprise for one of my pen pals. Because Summer is approaching here in Australia, an ice cream cone seemed appropriate, and because I wanted to post some goodies too, I made an ice cream cone shaped envelope. It’s really easy to make and you can get the kids involved with the painting. There is a no sew option too. Just whack on a couple of stamps and the address right on the front, pop it in the post box for a guaranteed happy mail day.
Tidying up the other day I unearthed a cute origami book that I bought in Japan called ‘Origami of Delicious Food’. It’s in Japanese but has enough pictures to be able to work out the designs. One of the ‘delicious foods’ was a pumpkin, and I thought it would be fun to make a few and turn them into a garland just in time for Halloween. Emma is Halloween crazy at the moment so she has used it to decorate her room.
This garland would work well for other autumnal celebrations like Thanksgiving (for all you Northern American folk).
The origami steps are a bit tricky so rather than take photos of the steps I made a video which hopefully will be easier to follow. Of course if you don’t have time for all that folding, you could always cut out pumpkin shapes for your garland.
I’ve been having an awesome time sending ‘snail mail’ to a heap of new pen pals in the last few weeks. Writings words on paper seems much more tangible than this virtual world I seem to inhabit sometimes. Creating something for no other reason than to make someone happy has helped me out of a creative rut that has slowly snuck up on me without my noticing.
But as much as I’m enjoying the standard envelope and note paper scenario, I wanted to post something that reflects my quirky personality. Yes, a giant hamburger! And why not, it’s within the size limit of an Australia Post large letter so it will get anywhere domestically with just two stamps. I wish I could see the postman’s face when he (or she) delivers this.
Giant postcard making is a fun kids craft activity too, and you probably already have all the supplies at hand. Read on to see how Emma and I spent a fun afternoon…
On our recent trip to Japan I couldn’t resist picking up a colourful assortment of washi tapes. Emma loves to use them to stick up her artwork around the house, but unfortunately she is a little heavy handed and some of my favourite designs are nearly running out. In an effort to resolve the disappearing washi tape ‘situation’ I created some pretty washi tape magnets from unwanted advertising magnets that were just cluttering up the fridge.
Those advertising magnets just seem to multiply, where so they all come from?
I salvaged the strongest and largest ones for this project and the rest went in the bin.
The fridge looks much happier now with cute reusable magnets that look like pieces of tape.
Easter is nearly upon us, only a few more sleeps before Mrs Bunny comes to visit. If you’ve been a bit disorganised and haven’t had time to make or buy a gift, here is a quick and easy last minute project that you can whip up in just a few minutes.
Make this Easter Greeting Card with scraps of pretty gift wrapping paper. You can even use vintage wallpaper or pieces of fabric to make it really unique. I’ve included the bunny face printable and instructions for resizing.