Make Beautiful Postcards From Recycled Materials





Introduction: Make Beautiful Postcards From Recycled Materials

About: I live on a farm with my 3 teenagers. Almost all my animals were either rescued from someone's dinner table or were abandoned. I have 25 chickens, 3 goats, at the moment 3 dogs (Harry is a abandoned pittbull...

This is my first ible so please comment I want to make it as good as I can. I was inspired by AlpineButterfly's postcard kit project and postcrossings to make my own postcards. Writing is definitely a lost art and having something handmade come in the mail is pretty much unheard of. I wanted to make something special for the people I am sending my cards and I always try to use materials at hand. This is a nice way to recycle lots of cardboard and paper. This is how I made mine. I hope others will give it a go. 

Remember it doesn't have to be perfect! My grandpa was a mailcarrier I have seen people so thrilled to see just the handwriting of a loved one. In fact some of my most treasured keepsakes are just that words on paper in a childs scrawl, the hurried writing of my sister at bootcamp, the impassioned writing of my love, and the slow thoughtful letters from my Pa. I even have poetry that my grandparents wrote back and forth to each other. For me there is nothing that tugs at my heart like the written word. I hope this inspires you to write someone who would love to see your words. 

Step 1: Raid Your Kids School Supplies!!

It worked for me! You'd be surprised all the goodies they have and don't use! You'll need to  gather together scrap boxes from cereal, or in my case junk food, also you'll need drawing supplies, anything you feel comfortable with. For mine I used nice colored pencils, good ole #2 pencils the kind your grade school teacher was always demanding, and I used a cheap ink pen that I got for free. I also found myself using school glue, and a few sprays of clear coat spray paint from the dollar store. You don't have to use this medium, you may feel more comfortable with paint, or decoupage, this is a fun project and there are no rules. 

Step 2: Step 2 Cut Your Cards

I chose a template for mine of a flashcard. Of course right after cutting several cards I found that there is a minimum size for mailing. I have read that it's not always enforced but if you spend time making something special why risk it? The dimensions you need to know are..Minimum size is 5” long X 3 1/2” high and Maximum size is 11 1/2" long X 6 1/8 they also state that you should ensure your postcard is no more than a 1/4 " thick... Just something to consider as you cut up all those boxes. 

I glued 2 together just to make them extra sturdy so they'd make it through the mail sorters. Make sure you have a good canvas for your design... 

Step 3: Rack Your Brain Get Inspired and Get to Work

Here's the fun part find some inspiration and draw, paint, glue, or sew to your hearts content. I used the Audubon coloring book and some pics online for mine, mine don't live up to Audubon standards of course but I liked them. I was lucky enough to snag this years ago in a yard sale! It was printed in 1974! And made it all the way intact and without one pic colored! Only some slight water damage on the corners a steal for $1.50!! Love the pictures in here! Black and white might not have been bad either. You could use a marker or pen and make a stunning piece of mail art.

Step 4: Now That You've Got the Hang of It Experiment...

I tried a few other approaches as did my indentured servants (otherwise known as my kids :P )  We came up with several unique ideas...just covering the front of the postcard in writing, my 15 yr old did a plain landscape that  looks pretty cool, and my 17yr. old pulled out her notebook and drew a pokemon to decoupage on.It's important to really get the object flat, rub it with a ruler squeezing out excess glue to make it flat so that it doesn't get ripped off in transit!  We made stars and dots using chrome nail polish for a little sparkle (it's hard to see from the scan but it looks nice in person) 

I hope that you'll have as much fun as we are with it. Thanks for reading and please comment this is my first ible and I would love to make it better!



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    I love re-using stuff and this is the first time I'll start making postcards, you gave me an idea. Thank you for sharing! More re-ibles please :)

    The book you show was published by Dover Publications and they have an incredible number of books of graphics some with cd's of the artwork in the books so you don't have to scan it.

    "Thanks for reading and please comment this is my first ible and I would love to make it better!"

    I don't think you can improve on this ible tbcross, it's perfect as it is! And I am so inspired! Thank you for posting this!

    Thanks so much :)

    great! I hope you'll post a scan or 2 when you do :) Thanks

    Thanks I hope you give it a whirl.

    This is a lovely idea.

    I really like the way you remind us of the value of hand-written commmunication ..and with such beautiful presentation it is extra-special.

    Quite inspiring! Thanks :)

    1 reply

    Thanks we've really enjoyed making them. I've actually started emptying boxes just to use for this :)

    Umm there's granola bars in there,...they're covered in chocolate but yeah there's granola. And cake that's eggs, milk, and flour right...yeah that's the ticket! :)


    Really nice. Very well written and love all the drawings. Especially the Blue Bird :) .... And kudos for the family involvement. I can't draw. But may try this one. Thanks.

    1 reply

    thanks I hope you do it's a fun project.

    Nice Instructable!! I love how you explain about your inspiration... and got the kiddos involved. Plus the postcards are really fun.

    1 reply

    Thanks, I hope people try it because we've really been having a lot of fun with it and it's cost us nothing!