Picture of IKEA Window Postcard
In the quest to find more things to put through the mail I turned to the Swedish masters at IKEA. These guys and gals are the ones to watch in terms of shipping so I figured I'd just hack their picture frames into some funky postcards.

This method is a little high-tech, but there's an easy low-tech modification for it.
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Step 1: Get a Cheap Frame

Picture of Get a Cheap Frame
Dig through the photo section of IKEA and you'll find plenty of options to show off a photo. Most of these have glass, but the real score are the cheap cheap frames with the polystyrene windows. They're safer to work with and the post office will definitely thank you for it.

My favorite find is the ISIG frame. Two frames that hold 5x7 photos for $3! A tasty deal and even my cat dug the smell when I tore the wrapper off.

Step 2: Take Everything Out

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Say goodbye to the cardboard backing and the liner sheet. Then rip out those flimsy metal pieces that hold it all together.

Step 3: Etch the Addresses

Picture of Etch the Addresses
Once again, I used the laser cutter at Squid Labs to make a new piece. These were etched with the Epilog at full power and a speed of 80.

So you don't have a laser cutter? I hear ya. Just grab a Sharpie and draw them on yourself. There doesn't need to be anything high-tech with this.

Step 4: Glue it In

Picture of Glue it In
Get out the hot glue gun and run a bead of glue all along the inside. Now just plop the window in and you're good. Take care of excess glue with a razor or an Xacto blade if you want.

Step 5: Mail it Off

Picture of Mail it Off
Get it stamped at the post office and send it off to meet its destiny.

I mailed two of these cards in the bay area of Northern California. One went about two miles and the other went about 30 on its way to Stanford. Strangely enough, the Stanford card cracked in almost the exact same way as the stencil postcard I mailed to Brooklyn. Weird.

Yesterday, I mailed off two more to Brooklyn. Don't know if they'll survive the trip.
sscape3 years ago
There is a machine in the PO that is roller like and it sends the cards thru and sorts-reads them. Not only does it crack the card it jams the machine. People have to pull it out and check for pieces remaining in the machine. Perhaps you should send these lovely gifts in a package as this could at best gum up the machine temporarily and slow postal service or at worst break the many thousands of dollar machines and cost the taxpayer mucho bucks.

These are lovely and I hope you find a safer way to send them.

dpocius7 years ago
Even cooler if you used slow glass for the window...
CameronSS8 years ago
This instructable has made me decide two things: a) when I get a job (i'm 14) it will be somewhere that I have access to a laser cutter and b) I really want one of those cinnamon rolls right now fedex it now.
same here. 14 no job and i want access to a laer cutter lol and by the time that roll thing got here it would be years out of date :( lol
J_SCAP binnie8 years ago
well if you are 14 and have a ds type in "dock ds lite knex" in the search
F-zero8 years ago
You could always engrave it by hand with a sharp paperclip or Xacto knife . :D
ajpik8 years ago
Another simple solution would be to print on a transparency or contact paper and then glue it in there.
cooy8 years ago
infact here is a link to a video that will explain that
cooy8 years ago
i bet one of the machines the post office uses made it crack.
fungus amungus (author)  cooy8 years ago
Yeah, that's what I figured as well. I remember some footage from ages ago that showed letters and cards shooting through narrow channels that would turn. That woul explain the split in the middle.
trebuchet038 years ago
You can also use glass etchant and contact paper if you don't have a laser cutter :P Although, it is a little expensive (about $11 for 6oz. at my art supplier). At least you don't need much.
fungus amungus (author)  trebuchet038 years ago
Does glass etchant work well on polystyrene? Cutting a stencil for this is a lot more work than writing with a permanent marker.
Honestly, I've never tried it on PS - but it sounds like a good experiment :P I agree -- stencil cutting (by hand) takes a lot of effort - especially for something like this (which may not even make it to its final destination).
fungus amungus (author)  trebuchet038 years ago
I'm almost hoping that one of these doesn't make it. So far I'm five for five with four more in the mail right now.
Wow... You should try using a mirror instead of glass, and see what happens :-P
fungus amungus (author)  zachninme8 years ago
Funny you should say that...
JakeTobak8 years ago
Cool, just a note though. You never edited out the last names in the other photos aside from the stencil.
fungus amungus (author)  JakeTobak8 years ago
All right, I asked. They're fine with it.
fungus amungus (author)  JakeTobak8 years ago
True. I doubt it's a security issue. I'll ask my friends, though.